Wierd link between an old HDD with Win 7 on it and the actual HDD with active win 7 on it

Weird link between an old HDD with Win 7 on it and the actual HDD with active win 7 on it

Hello, I've experienced today a weird "error", that I even do not know how to search for it. Let me explain:

I had win 7 (32bit) installed at job, and worked on it for more than a year. Two weeks ago I got a new HDD and decided to make a clean install, starting from scratch. So, i disconected the old HDD with Win 7 on it (removed all wires, sata etc), connected the new empty HDD (C:\) and performed the Win 7 full install (with same licence I had on the old one).

I shut down the computer, reconnect the old HDD (as G:\) - I needed it for the jobs archive on it - and enterd the bios, disabled the boot for it and started the comp with the new Win 7.

All went OK, and after a week I decided to free some space on the old HDD (G:\) so I made a dump folder on it which I was planning to delete and started to move everything from old HDD root into that folder. When I reached to the old users folder, there were some files I could not move, I clicked "try again" twice with no succes and sudenly my desktop blanked and all icons dissapeared from it. I recieved some message about "system files" and when I accesed (C:\) My Computer, in Users - on my new HDD with the actual running Win 7 everything was gone... How is it possible to move some old win 7 files from an HDD (G:\) that was not in the system when I installed a new Win 7 on other HDD (C:\), AND WIN 7 to start moving his own files?

I had some luck in a restore point made a week ago and managed to repair Win 7.

I researched the problem and did not find anything. I did not made any hard links or similar and I do not understand how files and folders became jammed between old HDD with Win7 and the new one? Both, with all files, were installed and had real files, with no shortcuts.

Can anyone help me? Can anyone explain what happened? How can I empty the old HDD without affecting this weird connection between independent files?

Thank you, Max

Last edited:


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Re: Weird link between an old HDD with Win 7 on it and the actual HDD with active win 7 on it

You might take a snipping tool picture of your disk management window and attach using the paperclip.

It can be confusing when you try to pin a Drive letter to a particular partition. Under certain circumstances, they can move around.

It sounds like you could boot to either Windows 7 install depending on which drive was shown first in the boot priority or possibly using the F12 key to choose a boot device. There is a good chance you got the partitions confused and moved the wrong files. But the Disk Management picture should help sort things out.

Re: Weird link between an old HDD with Win 7 on it and the actual HDD with active win 7 on it

Dear Saltglass,

thank you for reply, I will do a snapshot monday when go to job.
What I can say for sure is that C:\ partition is 250 GB partition on 1st HDD and G:\ is 500 GB on another drive.
The Win 7 on old HDD (G:\) had other configuration and look and software installed on it than the new one (C:\) so I should seen imediatly that I was starting with the wrong disk.
Also, the boot in bios is: 1 - optical device and 2 - the new drive, other entries are Disabled.

Even the Move action I took was different. When I moved G:\WINDOWS into G:\DUMP it was instantly, one second action BUT when I begin to move G:\USERS into G:\DUMP it started to move file by file, EXACTLY like when you move files from one drive to another. I didn't realize at that moment the difference, just when it started to ask me about system files I knew something was wrong.

Also, when I made restore point and started win 7, I went on G:\ to the old Desktop folder and when I put a file into folder, it appeared also imediatly on screen, on Desktop, on C:\

This is strange, because I can find that file in two places, accesing the Desktop folder on different drives...

I suspect something like a hard link or junction, but I didn't made such a thing, it looked like Win was doing it alone, automaticaly.

I will return monday with details


Hi, here is Disk Management screen:


As you see, C:\ is bootable, and everything I've moved was on G:\ (from G: to G:, to say so).
And things dissapeared from C:\...


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Still not sure about what might be going on. But why are you moving the Windows files to another partition? Those files are still on a valid Windows Install and are probably still controlled, but I have never tried doing what you are doing.

There must be a better way to get where you want, like booting into the original install and doing a file backup to the empty partition on the new drive.

If you still want to move the files, I would suggest copying instead of moving.

I had a good reason to move and sort out all the files on the old HDD because it was a mess, with a lot of software installed and uninstalled, some features stopped working and many other errors. It was an unstable system, thats why I stopped using it. Also, job files were saved in all places, a lot of backups an so on...

This is why I made a clean install on a new HDD and start everything from scratch.

The only reason why I kept the old HDD was to sort my job files "a la carte" to say so, making a useful structure for work (clients, orders, jobs done, archives, common useful things etc).

The first thing I wanted to do was to gather all system files from the old HDD in order to see the rest of data.
And I can say I was inspired to move first all data into a dump folder, because if I just would directly deleted it, maybe the system couldn't do a system restore.

You know, I am quite used with Windows, I worked on all of it, starting with Win 3.11 for Workgroups and sometimes I had more than one system on disk, I've experienced a lot of bugs in almost 20 years of work but I never had a problem like the one I described.

I was convinced that mounting an old HDD with Windows files on it and startsorting the files on it will not affect the active Windows. Well, I was wrong. Now I'm digging to find out what happened.


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