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cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:36 pm
by PJT
I installed Windows 7 in the second partition on my hard drive.
I saved the Windows 7 filesystem with fsarchiver.
I then restored the filesystem to the third partition on my hard drive, in an attempt to have two distinct Windows 7 environments to work in.
Unfortunately, the copy in partition 3 does not boot. It displays the startup graphic and spins forever.
I tried hiding all other partitions and booting with the Windows 7 CD and choosing 'REPAIR', but that did not help.
I then tried booting the Windows 7 CD, going to a command line, and edited bcdedit to change the startup to refer to Harddisk3 instead of Harddisk2, but that didn't help either.

Note that when I boot either partition I have the others all hidden so there should be no conflicts or confusion with drive letters.

Any help?

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:02 pm
by admin
The Windows partition must be active and it must be a primary partition, it won't work with logical partitions (inside an extended partition).

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:42 pm
by PJT
It is active, not hidden, and a primary partition.
Every other partition is marked hidden when I am trying to boot it.
My boot manager (GAG) does not depend on any other partitions to 'chain boot'.

The partition starts and displays a Windows 7 startup graphic (the flying sparks that coalesce into a Windows four-color square). If the partition couldn't be found for some reason it wouldn't make it that far.

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:47 pm
by tului
Bit late on the response, but you likely need to edit your boot.ini on the partition. It's sort of like in grub where you have to tell it what disk and partition to look for.

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:39 pm
by feffer777
Ability to handle Windows7 is important and although the original post is dated, I'd like to know if this has been successfully tested? I'm not a "window's guy" but I believe Win7 uses bcdedit rather than boot.ini. I also tried saving and restoring a Win7 system. The save went w/o errors, and the restore seemed to work but did not boot (see my previous post about this). I haven't pursued this further yet, but before I can trust fsarchiver with Win7, I need to get a successful restore. I understand that Win7 needs to be on an active primary partition. I'm guessing that I might be able to restore it to the original drive that it's on, but I haven't had the nerve to wipe it and try. The only other test option is what the original poster did: restore it to a new primary partition, make it active, and shut off or remove the original Win7 drive.

Again, anyone who has been successful with this, please let us know.

thx,
feffer

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:06 pm
by PJT
Original poster here.

No, I still haven't been able to get FSArchiver to restore and boot Windows 7. As I said earlier, I did use bcdedit to fix the boot parameters, to no avail. Windows 7 does not use boot.ini it uses bcdedit.

Looks like Feffer and I are in the same boat for now...

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:14 pm
by feffer777
@PJT -- finally got some time to test this further, and got w7 restored. For details see this thread If you are still having trouble, and have not tried replacing your original w7 drive with a restored one, try that. I tried BCDedit and other things too, but w7 really does not like 2 installs on the same machine.

Regards,
feffer

Re: cloning bootable Windows 7

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:47 pm
by PJT
feffer777 wrote:w7 really does not like 2 installs on the same machine.
I should be able to have two Win7 installs the way I am doing it.
I do NOT use the Windows boot MBR. I use GAG (also good: OSL2000 and PLOP). When I boot it HIDES every other active partition and runs the boot code in the partition boot. That means each Win7 should not even see the presence of the other Win7 on the disk.