swapping hard disks

Hi all,

I hope some clever bod out there can help - I don't know what I'm doing so consequently am not getting too far.

I have a PC with a hard disk that has 3 partitions - Windows 7, WinXP and documents. Each partition was getting a little full so I want to upgrade it.

I bought a 1Tb drive, installed and partitioned. Cloned the drives across. All looking good. I now had 2 drives and 6 partitions - Drive letters from C to H (DVD drive unplugged at the mo). C,D.and E are the old drive and F,G and H are the new drive.

I unplugged the old drive and re-started the machine and got an "NTLDR missing" error. Plugged the old drive back in again and all works on the old system.

Did some scratching round and found that I had to copy some system files across to the new boot drive. When I investigated further I found the systems files were (for some odd reason) on drive E. I've copied boot.ini, bootmgr, NTDETECT.COM and ntldt over from drive E to drive F.

I unplugged the old drive again and now it's complaining about changes of hardware and software. I'm guessing that I could be looking for a boot drive (maybe E) that no longer exists because it's labelled differently (F). I may have to edit bootmgr??

My worry is that the Disk Management window looks subtly different and I may have set things up incorrectly.

Before I go to far down a dangerous path I wonder if anyone would have a look and give me some wisdom? I attach a picture of my Disk Manager (from Win 7) - I hope you'll be able to see what I mean.

PS - Actually this is my sons computer and I'm his dad trying to help but worried about messing it up for him!

NTLDR is from XP... win 7 doesn't use it. I'm not clear on what you are wanting to do.... boot into 7 ? If you see a ntlder message you aren't booting to the right partition.

One more reason I hate partitions.

I want to replace one (small) drive with a new (larger) one. I've cloned the data over but - when I take the old drive out the system won't boot.

With the original drive I have the option to boot to 7 or XP (default to 7). As I've cloned the drives I don't know why the system won't boot when I take the original drive away. When I look at the disc manager (as in the picture) I can see that the drives are not exactly the same.

(by the way I did post this in a different forum (http://www.sevenforums.com/) and nobody there knew - I'm hoping to blazes that you guys are better!!!)

BTW - sorry tblount - thanks for taking the time to clarify, I really appreciate any help I can get. I don't think I'm a million miles away.


New Member
I assume AVALON =7

When you only had Disk 0, The boot files were on E.

They pointed at Disk 0 , partition 1 for XP (E) , and the bcd identifier for C.

Now , those same boot files have been copied to F.

Guess what - the copies are pointing at Disk 0 , partition 1 for XP (E) and C for 7.

When you remove Disk 0 - you remove E and C - no wonder you can't boot.


New Member
D/L This, unzip it and copy the file ( not the folder) onto F - overwrite the existing boot.ini.

View attachment 3304

Boot the 7 dvd, and when you get to the screen saying Install Now - DON'T click that.

At the bottom of the same screen - click Repair my computer.

It will search for o/s installations.

Click the 7 installation on F to highlight it. click Next and run startup repair.

( It will probably run startup repair automatically anyway ).

Then just remove the 7 boot menu entry you don't want.

Boot into 7, type msconfig in start search - click it when it pops up - under the Boot Tab - make the 7 entry you want keep Default, and Delete the other one. Apply. OK. Exit without restart.

Hope it helps.

Just out of interest - where is the thread on sevenforums, where my colleagues missed it?

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Thanks for this SWI

The original CD is in a safe locked away. The guy who looks after the CDs is away until Monday so I don't have access to it (yet). Is there any way I can do this manually?

Also is there any significant difference with the original disk being partitioned into logical drives and the new one being 3 x primary partitions?

Thanks for your help

(the original post was on swapping hard disks - Windows 7 Forums


New Member
Yes, you can use commands instead.

Need to know what is on each partition of the new HD to give you the commands.

Slightly odd looking - one would think the clone app. by default would have copied E to F, D to G and C to H.

However, the labels ( names ) are different - unless you changed them . Also H is smaller than C - so not clear what you have done there, or what app. you used.

From a practical point of view, it doesn't matter which is which - as long as we know what they are.

Hi Swi2
Thnaks for getting back and for sticking with it.

Avalon was/is Windows 7, Ithika was/is WindowsXP and Olympus was/is 'Doccuments' I've changed the sizes to allow each drive a bit more room on the new drive. I simply reversed the order on the new drive (Drive1) so that the First drive (F) was first in the list as this seemed more logical to me. I cloned the partitions one at a time and mapped them to the new partitions.

Hi bob,

If you currently boot into your old XP on E, then simply overwritng the boot.ini on F by copying the boot.ini attached here directly onto F drive - should get you booting into the New XP partition instead.

View attachment 3315

Next step is to add an entry to 7 bcd for the New 7 partition on F.

Boot into 7 on the C partition, as you are doing now

Open an elevated command prompt and type:

bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Win 7"

A new {GUID} will be returned - long string of numbers in curly brackets. Use that , including the brackets, in the commands below, press enter after each command :

bcdedit /set {your_new_GUID_here} device partition=F:

bcdedit /set {your_new_GUID_here} osdevice partition=F:

bcdedit /default {your_new_GUID_here}

close command prompt.

Restart into the New 7 installation - select "Win 7" from boot menu.

Go to msconfig as posted earlier and Delete the old 7 entry.

Hope it helps

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