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  1. #1
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    Changing where W7 boots from

    I have a Dell 4600 desktop. It came with an 80BG Pata drive; and along the way
    I converted to W7 on that drive.
    Last year I added a 500GB SATA drive to my system.
    The 80GB drive contains 2 partitions: C:\ for Windows, and a 2nd one for backing up my personal data.
    The 500GB drive contains 3 partitions: a dedicated Swap partition, one for my Data,
    and one for backing up my C:\ partition with images.

    Suppose I wanted to rearrange things, so that I put W7 on the SATA drive and booted from there. (I would also reconfigure how I used the other partitions, and which of the 2 drives they would reside on.)

    How could this be done in the most effective way?
    Or, is it better to leave well enough alone?
    Dick
    PS,
    I also have a 320GB external HD that I use for backups/images, if that would be helpful in this rearrangement scenario.

  2. #2
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    It depends which way you would like to go with this,

    Personally I do not see any benefit in shifting around what you have unless there are factors you haven't mentioned. As no mention of space usage % on any of the partitions is mentioned.

    A ) Buy a brand new hard disk and replace the 80GB HDD, new fast hard disks are very cheap these days and will provide a good performance boost to your OS. You would either have to image your partitions from the 80GB drive to the new HDD or reload Windows from scratch which may be a positive or a negative depending on your circumstances.

    B ) If you are running out of space on the 80GB drive remove the second partition, this is likely with Windows 7 and dependant on your partition regime on this disk. You said you already have an external hard disk for data backup if you would like a 3rd source to recover your data (original source 500GB drive, 320GB external, new device) from then buy another external hard disk and use for archival purposes not regular use.

  3. #3
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    Here are 2 images of my system:
    Dick_Y_Comp_Mgmt.jpg
    Dick_Y_System.jpg

    Space isn't the issue. The "concern" is that the 500GB SATA drive is on channel 0,
    and the 80GB PATA drive is on channel 1.
    Acronis, for example, seems to expect the bootable drive (80GB) to be on channel 0.
    Some Acronis image recoveries have failed me, which is why I now use W7's images
    for recovery purposes, and Acronis to back up my user data (faster than Windows's backup.)
    I thought having my OS on a bootable drive on channel 0 would straighten things out.
    Dick

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Drive options

    You could backup everything from your SATA drive and repartition it, then restore your OS image to the first partition on that drive (much quicker and simpler than a reinstall), and from there reconfigure your setup the way you want to use it and restore your various backups in the new configuration. You can use Disk Management to reassign drive letters to match the same drive lettering you're using now.

    I don't use Acronis and am not at all familiar with it. I use BootIt Next Generation for drive imaging (and partitioning, BCD editing and a number of other things as well) and this would be simple with BootItNG, but I can't really advise you via Acronis.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2011-03-04 at 13:43.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    I assume you added a SATA controller to run the new disk? If so, you could image the old disk, drop it onto the new disk and reset the boot info, but you will need a WinPE boot disk to do the work and a backup just in case.
    The trick to re-creating the boot files is to load the image onto the new disk, then use those files to create the boot info. If you are interested I will get the info - it's at work at present.

    cheers, Paul

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    Paul:
    I'm not too swift when it comes to hardware. My understanding is that the Dell 4600 motherboard had 2 SATA slots
    put there "for the future", and that the existing 80GB PATA drive was plugged in elsewhere.
    Last year I had the 500GB SATA drive installed for me at a computer shop, so I'm assuming they just plugged it into one of the existing
    SATA slots without having to add a SATA controller.
    Thank you for offering the info.
    Dick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    Acronis, for example, seems to expect the bootable drive (80GB) to be on channel 0.
    Some Acronis image recoveries have failed me, which is why I now use W7's images
    for recovery purposes, and Acronis to back up my user data (faster than Windows's backup.)
    I would investigate the version of Acronis first and look at upgrading/replacing it before going to the tedious effort of modifying your system to resolve a software flaw.

    Does the data of the system partition restore fine but is un-bootable? if this the case then it can probably be fixed by using a Windows 7 bootable DVD/USB and fixing the MBR/boot loader.
    Last edited by JDB1984; 2011-03-04 at 16:00.

  9. #8
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    Possible course of action …..
    Make sure the SATA drive is connected as SATA Primary Drive. Check your BIOS for this.
    1. Swap files are on C: and E: - which one is being used? If you want swap file on its own partition, set it up on PATA for now.
    2. How much space is available on external drive? Looks like between the PATA and SATA drives less than 140GB is being used. Backup/copy everything to the external drive if it has space available.
    3. Go to Acronis>Main Screen>Tools & Utilities>Clone disk . Use Acronis Clone feature to clone the PATA to the SATA. This will place an exact copy (bootable) of the PATA on the SATA. Everything else on SATA will be lost. When finished the SATA should have the same partitions (different letters) as the PATA with a fairly large unused area which you can use to setup your old partitions.
    4. For testing of the SATA drive alone. Reboot into BIOS turn OFF the PATA drive. System should boot into the SATA drive.
    5. Test drive the system, look at partition sizes and letters. Windows will be on the C: drive.
    6. After trying a few things out ie; internet access, programs,etc. make the partitions for your old data and copy /restore as needed.
    7. The PATA can stay dormant (OFF) for a few days to make sure all is well.

    Which partitioning program do you use? I like Partition Wizard.

    Any thoughts/comments?

    PS: Make a couple of Restore points along the way.
    Last edited by tfspry; 2011-03-04 at 17:53. Reason: added a PS

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  11. #9
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    JDB1984:
    Thanks for your reply. In the backup section of this site there are 2 threads by me dealing with my Acronis "saga."
    I have both TI 2010 and 2011. I have tried 2 separate versions of each year. I have been working with Acronis
    with an open issue since November of last year. Currently I am running the 2010 version, back one release, because
    that has been stable enough on my system for me to at least use it to back up my data. I cant rely on Acronis for
    imaging, so I use W7's instead.
    Acronis even went so far as to send me a Plus Pack to use to build a WinPE/Acronis rescue disk. I did so; and it was tedius, installing
    Microsoft's WAIK etc etc. Even that didn't work with Acronis 2011 (which was the release Acronis wanted me to use) with
    the default "universal restore." I had to play with some default parameters to get this to "resue" me.
    So, after all this effort with Acronis, that's why I'm looking for alternatives, and will be following tfspry's suggestions above.
    Best,
    Dick

  12. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    With BootItNG, you could shrink the size of the logical drives in the extended partition on your SATA drive, slide the empty space to the front of the extended partition, increase the Swapfile partition into that empty space to make that partition match the size of your system partition on the PATA drive.

    You could then copy the system partition from the PATA drive to the first partition on the SATA drive, open the BCD store in the copy on the SATA drive and edit it to reflect its change of location.

    Then you would just exit BootItNG, and the system would boot from the SATA drive. The two logical drives in the extended partition would still be there, just a little smaller.

    Any further partition/logical drive changes you wanted to do could be accomplished through Windows Disk Management.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  13. #11
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    Thanks to everyone for your helpful replies; and especial kudos to tfspry.
    Here's a picture of my "new" system:New_System.jpg

    I used Acronis as suggested to clone my C:\ drive.

    I have used Partiton Wizard before, and used it now for the current arrangement.

    Interestingly, I didn't have to switch any cables, or change anything in the BIOS.

    I've created and tested a W7 image successfully.

    I was able to create an Acronis image and use a rescue CD to recover, with one wrinkle (seems like there's always a wrinkle with my system and Acronis):
    I installed the latest release of the 2011 version, and the WinPE/Acronis rescue cd
    that Acronis tech support wanted me to use.
    If I check "use universal restore" it fails; if I leave that parameter unchecked, I can recover.
    Anyway, I'm a happy camper, and will now work with Acronis to resolve that quirk in their recovery process.
    Dick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    Thanks to everyone for your helpful replies........

    I used Acronis as suggested to clone my C:\ drive.
    I have used Partiton Wizard before, and used it now for the current arrangement.
    Interestingly, I didn't have to switch any cables, or change anything in the BIOS.

    I've created and tested a W7 image successfully.

    I was able to create an Acronis image and use a rescue CD to recover, with one wrinkle (seems like there's always a wrinkle with my system and Acronis):
    I installed the latest release of the 2011 version, and the WinPE/Acronis rescue cd
    that Acronis tech support wanted me to use.
    If I check "use universal restore" it fails; if I leave that parameter unchecked, I can recover.
    Anyway, I'm a happy camper, and will now work with Acronis to resolve that quirk in their recovery process.
    Dick
    Hi Dick - Glad to see the Clone process worked with your system. Clone Image is much easier than Backup Image. The benefit/drawback to a Clone is that it wipes out all other info on the target disk. The newly cloned disk is bootable without any bootloaders, rescue disks, etc, etc.

    Just curious if you have tried making a "new" Rescue CD(Not a WinPE) using Acronis 2011 with your new setup?

    Good to see you are a "happy camper"

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    Hi tfspry:
    I haven't made the "new" Rescue CD w/Acronis 2011; but I will today, and report results.
    I hadn't done it yet, 'cause I'm still working with Acronis corporate tech support to resolve the
    "use universal restore" issue.
    Best,
    Dick

  16. #14
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    Well my Acronis saga continues. I made a Rescue CD. I can boot from it; and, of the 3 choices offered from the Acronis menu, I can boot into my existing Windows 7 op system. However, if I choose behind door number 1, and try to recover from an image, it wont let me restore my C:\ image to C:\

    On my setup pictured above it wants to let me restore to my swap partition (which is only 4GB), or to my data partition (why would I want to wipe out my data?)

    Dick

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    If you can persuade it to let you do things manually you may be able to drop the image where you want it. What name does it give the image file?

    cheers, Paul

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