Adventures with Win 7


New Member
What an adventure!!

I'm posting this in the hopes of preventing someone, somewhere some grief if they use a similar approach to setting up a new HDD.

I just purchased a new, larger (Seagate Momentus 7200 rpm HDD,320 GB) to replace the 200 GB Momentus 7200 rpm drive I've been using for awhile now. This is in an Acer notebook.

MY plan was to create bit by bit images of all the OS installs on the old drive (XP Pro, 4 Linux distros and Win 7 RC 32 bit)
using "Partimge" an open source image creation tool. I then formatted the new drive exactly like the old one with respect to the OS partitions and the shared Linux swap partition. The increased disk space was split between my NTFS
Programs partition (shared between the 2 Windows installs) and the Fat 32 partition I share with and can access Read/Write from all OS's, Linux and Windows alike.
This created about 3 times more space for both these data partitions.

Now where it gets complicated.

I anticipated issues so I clean installed XP on the first partition, like it is installed on the old drive and then clean installed Win 7 RC on the last partition again like the old drive. I figured this would set u the bootloader correctly for what I did next.

I then used "partimage" to restore the previously prepared images obtained from the old drive to the same locations
on the new one.

Rebooting resulted in bootfailure errors. Specifically Win 7 failed , complaining about ntldr missing or corrupt.
Running the install disc as suggested by the error message and performing a repair fixed Win 7 and allowed me to boot Win 7. When Win 7 rebooted it sucessfully recognized the new drive it was installed on and setup "drivers" for it, normal behavior for restoring a "partimage" image to a partition on another drive.

I still could not boot XP though, getting the same error message when choosing the XP entry from the Win 7 boot menu.

Running XP install disc and choosing repair and "fixboot" restored the XP bootloader and allowed me to boot XP.
Again XP recognized the new drive it was installed on and setup "drivers" just like Win 7 did earlier.

Using EasyBCD 1.7.2 (I have it installed in both XP and Win 7) I restored the Win 7 bootloader and thought I had it beat.

Trying to boot XP from the Win 7 menu gave the same error.

On a hunch I opened EasyBCD from Win 7 and clicked the "Change Settings" button and noticed that the Entry Based Setting for XP showed the drive letter as C: where I knew I had assigned J: to the XP partition in Win 7, C: being the root partition of Win7.

Could it be this easy? Yup, changing the erroneous drive letter in EasyBCD to J: fixed my boot issues, allowing me to boot both XP and Win 7.

As for my Linux installs that was easy, I installed Ubuntu Hardy 64 to sda5, the partition it is installed to on the old drive (Hardy 64 is where my Grub bootloader stage 1.5 is located and where my /boot/grub/menu.lst is). Clean installing Ubuntu to sda5 restored Grub stage 1 to the MBR (overwriting the existing Windows MBR) detecting my Windows installs and creating the appropriate entries in menu.lst.

I now used "partimage" and restored my 4 Linux installs to their respective partitions including the Hardy install on sda5.

I now have a new much bigger drive with everything like the old except for two storage partitions being larger and I didn't have to go thru the trouble of installing XP and Win 7 from scratch with all my apps and customizations (at one point I thought this to be a real possibility).

All told it took about 6 hours including prep time (creating the images using "partimage" and setting up the new drive partition structure using Partition Magic 8). PM8 works great for setting up the new drive. I run it from XP
on the old drive with the new one installed in an external USB enclosure. It creates NTFS, Fat32, ext3 and linux swap partitions easily.

I figured I saved about 20 hours or more using this approach and would have been done sooner if I hadn't had to figure out my boot issues.

As I said at the beginning of this rather lengthy post, "What an adventure".

An adventure for sure.. ;) I'm glad you were able to get it all sorted out and fixed in the end.. :) Definitely a good post, like you said, hopefully if someone runs into the same problem they see this before freeking out.. ;)

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