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  1. #1
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Converting a re-build from MBR to GPT

    One of my 1TB drives had outdated image files and some odds and ends on it. I deleted all the unnecessary stuff and moved the rest to another drive/partition. I then used Diskpart to clean the drive (removes all partition info and data) and then convert it to GPT. I used the newly converted GPT drive as target for fresh images of all my partitions on the other two 1TB drives. I've got about 1.5TB of stuff (including OS, etc.) but the images compress enough that they all fit on the one GPT drive.

    After making current backups of all requisite partitions (I don't need to backup my Windows 7 and Windows 8 DVD's, just copy them in the new partitions), I've converted another 1TB drive to gpt. Windows 8 (and the system) is still MBR. Once I get all the hardware together, with the UEFI motherboard, the fun begins.

    Having opted for the ATX motherboard instead of the µATX (more functionality and expansion capability), I needed a larger case and PSU, and ordered those, as well. The last bits arrived yesterday, and I got into the hardware end of it. I have everything installed in the case, and the system will boot to the UEFI BIOS.

    I hit a snag in trying to install Windows 7 Ultimate. My plan was to install Windows 7 in UEFI, then boot my TBWinRE rescue environment and restore my Windows 8.1 Pro to the Windows 7 partition, and proceed from there. Evidently I'm hitting some unforeseen snag in the installation. On the first reboot, Windows fails to boot, Windows Repair can't repair it, then on reboot the system tries to install Windows 8. I think it's seeing the Windows 8 MBR HDD, and making assumptions.

    I cleaned the Windows 8 MBR HDD and converted it to GPT, but still no luck in getting Windows 7 to boot after installation. I cleaned the HDD again, converted to GPT again, then booted the Windows 7 installation USB stick instead of creating the EFI and MSR partitions first. In the installation routine, when it came to select a place to install, I hit Shift + F10 to get a command prompt, then opened DISKPART and created the EFI and MSR partitions. I then created a 60GB primary partition and pointed Windows 7 toward that for installation. That worked.

    After getting Windows 7 up and running, I skipped all the updating and such, booted my TBWinRE USB stick, and restored my Windows 8.1 Pro. Then it wouldn't boot. I gave up after a couple more tries. I found a post by Alex on Superuser.com that saved my bacon. I opened DISKPART again and assigned a drive letter to the EFI partition. I went into \EFI\Microsoft\Boot, ran bootrec /fixboot, renamed BCD to BCD.bak, and created a new BCD store using Alex's commandline. I rebooted, and there was Windows 8.1!

    Now I've got to slog back through restoring all those fresh drive images to newly created partitions on my HDD's; create a partition, use Image For Windows to restore the image file, go into Disk Management to get the letters straight, then do another one. But I'm liking the new system, and Image For Windows saves me the chore of formatting the partitions.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2014-09-08 at 22:20. Reason: spelling, clarity
    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

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Bruce,

    Looks great! Thanks for the info.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Bruce,

    Looks great! Thanks for the info.
    The real fun is going to be getting my sliced and diced Windows 7 dual boot going. I remember the snags I hit with that on my laptop.
    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

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    On the positive side, I have all my partitions restored, and everything on the Windows 8.1 side is working very smoothly. Random checks on my data partitions have all been good. I added a fourth 1TB drive today, single partition for a backup target. It's a drive I've been using in a drive dock. The new motherboard is SATA III, so I'll be swapping out the SATA II drives as budget and sales align over the next few months (I have one now).

    I'm making progress on my dual boot. I can get Windows 7 to boot in Safe Mode, but my user profiles are taking a big hit. I thought of a different angle of attack, but I'm through with it for the night. Some remote registry editing after another image restore should get everything back in line.
    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

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Sometimes I have to make a mistake two or three times in order to realize that I'm making a mistake. Once I get past that, I can start making progress again. I finally got the right keys and values edited in the Windows 7 registry remotely, and got the user accounts straightened out.

    I'm posting this from my Windows 7 dual boot. It's working now. I'll run sfc /scannow on it before I pronounce it good, but it's looking pretty much like it should. The bootup login screen isn't quite right yet, but everything else seems to be working. Programs load and all that stuff.

    I have Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 8.1 Pro both activated with the new hardware. I had to rebuild the BCD store to get the dual boot, and I still need to do a little cleanup on that - I've got two entries for 8.1 and a couple other little glitches, but it doesn't interfere with booting into either OS. After I run system file check on Windows 7, I'll create some fresh drive images with Image For Windows. I'll do both full disk and individual partition images on everything.

    Then I'll finally be ready to see just what sort of improvements I've gotten out of these upgrades besides some new parts.
    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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