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Windows 7/Cloning W7 and rebooting


QUESTION: I am still pursuing some help with my plans.
I am not comfortable with using the original W7 DVD approach.

I cloned W7 on my C Drive, to Drive E, Partition K.
Drive C contained W7 and was the boot and system drive.
I now wish to replace the C drive with a larger capacity drive.
In the meantime, I wish to be able to boot from Drive E, Partition K.
Is an easy solution to simply remove Drive C.
If so, will W7 search for the boot drive on Drive D, Partition K.

ANSWER: "I am not comfortable with using the original W7 DVD approach."

I'm not sure I understand your reluctance to use the accepted and Microsoft-supported method of fixing it. You can do it manually, using BCDEDIT from the Command Prompt, but Startup Repair performs it automatically.

You can take the existing Windows 7 disk out and see if it will boot to the cloned Windows 7 on the new disk, but there is a 99% chance it will not boot it. Windows does not simply "search" for an operating system partition when it boots - it's boot files must be told of the installation location. When you perform a clean installation of Windows, Windows creates the appropriate entries in the boot files. If you change the location of the operating system, you must manually update the boot files to know where to find it. Startup Repair will do this. Since you did not clone the boot files (almost never located on the C: partition), the computer will simply say not boot device could be found or no operating system could be located.

Just a couple of things to note:

The terms "drive" and "partition" are used interchangeably by Windows. A "disk" is the actual physical hard drive. A "drive" is a "partition" with a letter assigned to it.

Windows 7 will never boot to a "drive" letter other than C:. Even though your new Windows partition might show as K:, once you boot to it, IT will be the C: drive. Windows XP was not smart enough to make this switch and it caused many problems - Windows 7 will change the CURRENT OS drive to be C:.

Really the only way to fix this, OTHER than using Startup Repair (or possibly other repair commands), is to clone it again. If you clone it again, you MUST clone the entire disk and NOT just the OS partition.

Feel free to follow up for clarification if you have any questions.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Power Edge Help:
I was uncomfortable with using the W7 Repair and Restore DVD, because of the lack of instructions for its use. After reviewing some documentation, I feel more confident and plan to follow your suggestion.

However, this author indicates that a backup to a USB drive be made, and all connections to additional internal drives be removed.
Since I cloned a copy of my C Drive on an internal drive (Drive E, Partition K), can I not simply follow your original suggestion of installing the new larger drive and cloning the saved copy from my E Drive (Partition K) to the new larger C Drive, using W7 DVD.

Sorry for the follow up, but with a lot of stuff on my system, I don't want to botch it up.

Well, since you should ALWAYS have a good backup of your system, whether performing "dangerous" maintenance/repair or everyday work, having a good backup before this goes without saying :)

The reasons for removing any other disks is so that Windows does not write the missing boot files to the wrong disk. It will not write it to a USB drive, but having USB drives installed can mess with the order that Windows numbers the drives, causing the process to fail altogether.

Again, using the terms "drive" and "partition" incorrectly can cause confusion as to what the actual configuration is. Can you provide a picture of Disk Management? I promise I don't mean to be difficult, but the use of those two terms can make a great deal of difference in this case. I'm no longer clear on whether you have two disks or one, as it has been worded a little differently in different posts.

Sorry ... like I said, I don't mean to be difficult.

If you can provide me with a picture of your setup (Disk Management would be ideal), I will provide you with step by step what you need to do.


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I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 7 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (XP Mode and beyond), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 7 since the early Beta days.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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