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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I am moving up to Win 7 and want to keep my old XP system intact. I plan to set up a dual boot with Win 7 on C drive and XP on a separate hard disk W drive. I have XP on my C drive and want to move it to W drive on the other hard disk so I can install Win 7 on C drive. I Have an image of the C drive and a full backup of all my data stored safely on yet another hard drive. I know if I simply restore the image to drive W it wont work, all the registry entries and other file links will still be to C:\... C drive is 39 GB, is there a program, preferably free that will convert all the thousands of entries from C to W. I don't fancy a reinstall of XP and all my programs onto W drive if there is an easier way.
    Thanks
    Eric

  2. #2
    Star Lounger
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    If your W: physical hard disk is newer, faster or less used than C:, then I'd install Win 7 on it. If you'd actually have only one physical hard disk partitioned as two or more drives, then things would be a little different. In my opinion, performance-wise it's best to have the operating system always on the fastest part of the HD, which is the first partition ot the disk. The more partitions you have, the slower the later ones are and that is because all systems start the partitioning from the outmost available sectors of the disk. That's just plain law of physics stating that the further you are from the center point of rotation, the faster you move if the rotating speed stays the same. And that's the case in hard disks.

    So, I do comp you in having different OS'es on different physical hard disks. If you had them on the same disk, you'd have to install older OS first, cause from what I've heard, the opposite is not possible, at least in normal ways. And tracking the previous statement, that wouldn't be a good idea.

    Then the drive lettering. When you boot into Win 7, the W: drive you see in XP should now show as C: and the former C: something else, defined automatically by the system. You can then change your XP installation drive to any free letter via Disk Management. If this is not the case and you end up having your Win 7 system drive letter to be something other than C:, then there must be something specific in your system keeping things that way. Have you already tried this?

    You are also probably going to make your system dual boot, otherwise you'd only have one usable OS at a time, which you'd have to change via BIOS settings (on most systems, I think). I've found EasyBCD to be a nice tool for creating a dual boot very easily.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the reply Ripley but what you are suggesting wont work. You can't simply change the drive letter on a system drive and have it still run correctly.
    I have used EasyBCD before and it is very good at modifying the boot files but doesn't do what I want. What I had was a dual boot with XP on the C drive and Win 7 Beta RC on drive W and that worked well. Win 7 Beta RC has now expired so the system is back to running XP only on C and an empty drive W. C is the first partition on a 500Gb disk, W is the first partition on a 350Gb disk. The 500Gb disk is the fastest and so I want Win7 on that. If I restore my XP drive image to W and install Win 7 on drive C then XP will not run, the drive letter will be wrong. All the files will be there and I will have access to them from Win 7 but that's not what I want. I want a program that will change the drive letter in the XP registry and all the other system files from C to W.

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Maybe I'm on the wrong tracks. To me it looks like you think that the drive letters are somewhow fixed. Well, at least on my system they aren't, and I have triple-boot system as follows:

    Win 7 64-bit
    OldWin 7 (same as above - the other just clean installed on a new HD)
    XP Pro SP3

    The first OS is on a separate hard disk, the others on same disk, but different partitions. Each of these OS'es sees it's own partition as C: when booted into it, and the others as some other letters. I have not defined the drive letters, but have let Windows do it for me automatically. Instead I have labelled the drives so that it's easier to see, which drive I'm dealing with. Also I don't run programs from other OS'es or even drives, only from where I'm booted, i.e. C:\Program Files.

    So, I really don't understand why would you or anyone want to change the drive letters in the first place? Can you clarify this somehow? And again, have you already tried this, and things went wrong?

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    I wouldn't be happy with your setup, it must be confusing. I have many small programs that I use often on a separate partition F, if the partition letter gets changed they aren't going to work.
    How did you install 3 OSs and have them all as C drive and in what order did you install them?
    When I installed Win 7 Beta RC on W last year, it found XP on C and created a dual boot for me with XP still as C and Win 7 as W. This was fine while I was testing Win 7. Whatever I installed on W put all its files on W as you would expect. If I was running Win 7 then I couldn't of course run any programs from XP but I did have access to everything on C and it didn't change any drive letters. C was still C, D E F were still D E F. All my programs of still ran fine. I also have all my partitions labeled like you, C Win XP, W Win 7, D Backup, F Programs.
    What I am trying to do, change system dive C to another drive letter W, seems to be impossible. Everywhere I look the answer is the same, can't do it.
    Looks like I have 2 options
    1 Go back to what I had with Win 7 Beta and put my new Win 7 on W dual boot with XP still on C. Easiest solution but not what I want.
    2 Do a clean install of XP on W then install Win 7 on C. This will give me a dual boot with Win 7 on C and XP on W which is what I want but I was looking for an easier way than a reinstall of XP and all my old programs.
    Edit.
    I've already tried making an image of C and restoring it on W which of course didn't work. As expected it wouldn't even boot into W.

  6. #6
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    Depending on what one is using for a boot manager, the current OS may or may NOT be on the C drive.

    I have always used the Boot manager that comes with windows and always install the older OS's first. This way I can set what OS is on what drive except for the C drive as it will always have the oldest since it is first installed. Any others after that I use the custom install, and tell the installer what drive letter that I want the current install to go on. This way I can see all of the drive from any OS, access any data files and can even run SOME programs fro a different drive but not many.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Mortimer View Post
    I wouldn't be happy with your setup, it must be confusing. I have many small programs that I use often on a separate partition F, if the partition letter gets changed they aren't going to work.
    How did you install 3 OSs and have them all as C drive and in what order did you install them?
    If you've done it yourself, it's not that confusing . Anyway I'm planning to get rid of the older stuff, so this should only be a temporary arrangement. Although there might be some reasons to have two Win 7 installations. E.g. if the other one gets contaminated, boot to the other and do the cleanup from there.

    So, on my rig I installed XP first, obviously. Then, at some later point created a new partition for Win 7 and installed it from booting the dvd (as opposed to installing from within XP - if that is even an option). Anyway, the installer found XP, but if I remember right, I chose custom install. I don't remember having any trouble with the installation. Too bad I can't recite the exact procedure - it's so long ago

    The last one I first tried to accomplish by cloning the older Win 7 to a new hd (using DriveImage XML). I don't know what went wrong, since I couldn't log on to my profile, only to a temporary profile, where there was practically nothing to do. Maybe that could have been worked out, but I changed my plan and decided to have a clean install instead.

    It was easy after realising how - simply detached the other drive during the installation. Then afterwards I had some trouble figuring out how to change the boot order when I reconnected the older drive. That one was solved by changing the order of SATA connectors on the mobo. At first, having the connectors in wrong order, I couldn't boot to my new OS at all, since the BIOS settings wouldn't accept it. That may have been due to having a third drive, an IDE one also connected.

    My advice to you is now to disconnect your XP drive and clean install on the other. But first from XP, format the Win 7 partition. That is necessary, because if you install over an existing Win 7 (or Vista, maybe even XP), you'll probably end up having an old windows folder on system root. And also many of your other folders residing in the system root will remain. Later you probably want to get rid of them anyway. As to why not delete them afterwards, I've noticed that its usually hard to get rid of hidden system data, which will render your drive more fragmented than it would be on a clean system. So backup what you need and toss away the rest.

    From Win 7 you should be able to access relevant parts of your XP and other partitions according to your needs.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Hi DaveA. What you describe is my option 1 in post above and what I had with Win 7 Beta. It works really well and already having XP on C a custom install of Win 7 allows you to put it on any partition you like. It then goes on to create the dual boot set up with Win 7 as the first OS and I think it has "Old Windows System" or something like as the second OS. This is easily fixed with EasyBCD if you want to reverse the OS boot order or change the names.
    Convention says you should have your major OS on the first partition of the first hard disk and it should be your fastest hard disk. It doesn't have to be the C partition but it makes more sense if it is.

    Ripley, I understand what you are saying. I will do a clean install of XP on W and get that running then clean off the C partition and install Win 7 on it. This way I will have what I wanted but just have to install all the XP programs I want to use with XP and copy my old data across from my backup. This way I don't end up with a Windows Old folder.
    Thanks for all the help
    Eric

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