Backing into a dual boot in UEFI
As I posted previously,
Now that I have converted my hard drive to GPT, enabled EFI, reinstalled Windows 7 Professional SP1 and then upgraded it to Windows 8 Pro, I want to set up a dual boot with the Windows 7 Ultimate that was installed on my laptop with all my programs, apps and data prior to the changes. Windows 7 was installed on MBR, with two primary partitions and an extended partition with four logical drives. This is the setup I use to enhance the backup regimen using drive imaging that I have developed and honed over the years.
Originally Posted by bbearren
At present, Windows 8 is installed on one of two 60GB partitions I made during the installation of Windows 7 Pro. I've since used BootIt Bare Metal to setup partitions as I had in my Windows 7 installation on this laptop drive. I used Image for Windows to restore my Windows 7 backups of each individual partition to the same relative locations on the GPT drive. I then editted the BCD Store to add Windows 7 to the boot menu, rebooted and selected Windows 7. Windows 7 booted, took me to the login screen, and I logged into one of my user accounts - almost. It proceeded normally, but the wait for the desktop was a tad longer, and then I got an error message that Windows was unable to find my user profile. Clicking on OK simply returned me to the login screen.
So I have an almost-dual-boot setup on my laptop. After ruminating over this for a while, it seems that the differences between GPT and MBR are what is keeping Windows 7 from finding my Users partition. GPT doesn't allow Extended Partitions, and my Users partition is actually a logical drive in an extended partition. GPT and MBR mark partition boundaries in different ways, and Windows 7 is looking for an MBR identified boundary in an extended partition for my Users drive, and the labeling just isn't there. What this means for me is that I have to stitch Windows 7 back together into one primary partition, and make a drive image of that partition. I've already made a drive image of my Windows 8 partition for safe keeping, next I'll disable EFI, and restore my full-drive Windows 7 image in order to gather it all back together.
After I have Windows 7 restored and booting, I'll have to slide the primary partition back enough to allow creation of an EFI partition and MSR partition, and probably finagle the BCD Store to get it to boot again. Once I have the reconstruction of Windows 7 completed, I'll enable EFI again, convert the drive to GPT again, create the EFI and MSR partitions, then restore my Windows 7 image to a single partition right behind the MSR partition. I'll most likely have to boot my Windows 7 Ultimate installation USB to re-create the EFI partition as true EFI, finagle the BCD Store, and then Windows 7 should be able to fully boot in EFI.
At least, that was the plan. My TBWinRE rescue disk made under MBR wouldn't boot the laptop in UEFI. So to keep it simple, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on the GPT disk, installed Image for Windows and the TBWinRE build utility, built a new rescue disk under UEFI, and rebooted. The UEFI rescue disk booted the laptop, TBWinRE reached across the network to my NAS and restored my reconstructed Windows 7 Ultimate, wiping out the utility installation. I had to do a startup repair, but it was simple enough that Windows managed it all alone.
Now that I have Windows 7 Ultimate booting in EFI with all my programs and data intact, I can restore my Windows 8 EFI drive image, add it to the boot menu, and have my dual boot setup complete. I think I'll save that for tomorrow.