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Windows 7 Backup Utility/Active System Partition Drive Problem

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Pettigrew, Apr 21, 2010.

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  1. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    Ok so my problem here might seem a little complex but im going to go ahead and type it all out in hopes someone can help me out. Here goes:

    Ok so I have a 160 GB HDD that Win7 is installed on. I have a slave drive that's 320 GB that has Windows XP on it. (I boot from the 160 GB Win7 HDD).

    I have an 80 GB laptop HDD with USB enclosure which I want to use to make a complete disc image of using the Win7 backup utility from the Control Panel. The Win7 HDD has 70 GB used on it so I have enough space on the external laptop HDD.

    So this all sounds good like ok what is the problem? So here's the problem...Win7 Backup Utility automatically keeps highlighted the HDD's which need to be imaged for Windows to funtion properly (according to the backup utility). So when I click the Backup and Restore option in the Control Panel and then click Create a system image, I choose my external HDD (the 80 GB laptop HDD in USB enclosure) and I hit next. On the next screen it has the Win7 160 GB HDD and the 320 GB Windows XP HDD checked and they are greyed out so I can not click either of them. So now my total backup is going to take up alot more space than the 80 GB HDD external can hold.

    Solution I tried:

    I shut down and unplugged the Win XP HDD from the MoBo and attempted to start the computer up. I received an error telling me that I have no active boot partition or something along those lines can't remember it word for word. So I shut down again and plugged the XP HDD back into the MoBo, powered back on, and what do you know...Win7 booted right back up.

    So it seems like my Win7 install is dependant on my Win XP HDD being plugged in with it. Does anyone know why it is dependent on the XP HDD being plugged in and what I can do to make this not happen? I really want to backup my Win7 HDD but can't if the utility keeps the Win XP HDD checked and greyed out.

    Thanks way in advance for an answer on this issue, I really appreciate it!
     
  2. antech

    antech Banned

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    The win 7 has set its MBR and Boot info on the Win XP hard disk so it needs the Win XP Hard disk to boot up.
    The drive on which you making a backup is a laptop drive?Right?
    Have you taken it out from your laptop?
     
  3. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    Yes the laptop HDD is out of the laptop into a USB enclosure. So there's no way to move the MBR over to the Win7 HDD? This would really be inconvenient if this is the case.
     
  4. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    You can change the boot disk in BIOS then use Windows Repair to move the MBR. There is a utility...mbrfix.exe I think it is called...that is available to repair the MBR on a Vista machine.

    If you know what you are doing, you can also copy the bootstrap code in the MBR from your D: drive to your C: drive using a Linux Live CD and the dd command. Note, however, that I am not certain this would work; depends on how that code is written. I know it would work with a system of XP or older, but microsoft changed the boot procedure with Vista and I did not remain current in my knowledge.

    Of course, if you screw up the procedure, you could wind up with an unusable disk, so just in case I'd back up the MBR anyway.
     
  5. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    Can you assist with how to properly move the MBR? Also, when you say change the boot disk in BIOS you mean make my XP the active boot drive or leave it at my Win7 HDD which it is set to now? Thanks for reply.
     
  6. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    Note that I edited my post apparently after you viewed it. You need to look for the fixmbr.exe utility.

    Also, apparently you are presently booting off of your XP drive and transferring control to the drive that has Win7 on it. This is why your system won't start when you disconnect the XP drive.

    I know the XP boot procedure; I don't know the 7 boot procedure. There are likely to be some files in the root directory of your XP drive that are needed to boot 7 and are on the XP drive because you are booting from that drive. Not sure what those files are, though. For XP, they include boot.ini, autoexec.bat, config.sys, io.sys, and NTLDR.

    My Win7 virtual machine installation shows bootmgr, io.sys, autoexec.bat, config.sys, io.sys.

    So I'm guessing the essential difference is the bootmgr file needing to be on the boot partition.
     
  7. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    OK so if I run the fixmbr tool will that make my win7 boot independent?
     
  8. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    It will fix the master boot record on your boot drive.

    If all the files needed to boot Win7 are present on the Win7 drive then your system will boot from that drive. But it is entirely possible that some of the necessary boot files are on the WinXP drive because IT is the boot drive.

    That is my basic point: you need to make sure that everything you need is available on the Win7 drive.
     
  9. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    OK so can I copy the boot files from XP drive and move them over to the win7 drive? if so where are these folders exactly located?
     
  10. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    See my earlier post.

    The indicated files need to be available on the root directory of the boot drive. Should be bootmgr, io.sys, config.sys, and autoexec.bat. There's a couple of others but these are the ones essential for booting.
     
  11. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    And can they just be copied from XP HDD to Win7 HDD?
     
  12. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

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    Backup any important files before beginning.
    Boot files can't just be copied over.
    If you have both the windows 7 install disk and the XP disk,you should be able to do it.
    They need to be install disks,not restore disks.

    Disconnect the XP drive and the USB drive.
    If you are using IDE drives,you will need to change jumpers to correspond to the drive setup.
    Boot to the windows 7 disk.
    When the files are loaded,you should see a link to repair options.
    Click it and run startup repair.
    Reboot to the hard drive and make sure windows 7 is booting.
    If not,run startup repair again until it reports no repair needed.
    If windows 7 is booting,shut down,disconnect the windows 7 drive
    and connect the XP drive.
    Boot to the XP CD and select R for repair console.
    At the prompt,type fixmbr and hit enter.
    Reboot to the hard drive and make sure XP is booting.
    If so,shut down and reconnect the windows 7 drive.
    At this point,both drives have an MBR (master boot record).
    You can change drives in the bios to change the boot drive.

    You can boot to windows 7 and use this....
    http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1
    to add windows XP to the windows 7 boot manager.
     
  13. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    I just tried this and with the Win7 HDD attached only (All of my HDD's are SATA fyi) I ran the Win7 Setup DVD...I chose Repair and then it brings you to a screen to choose the Win7 Installation you wish to repau...I do not see my Win7 HDD even listed in there. So I hit next anyway and chose cmd prompt. The prompt opened up and had X as the default so I changed it to C: (which is my Win7 HDD) and then ran the following cmd:

    bootsect /nt60 c: /mbr

    It said it was successful so I restarted and still could not boot into Win7 with the Win7 HDD being the only one plugged into the MoBo.
     
  14. Pettigrew

    Pettigrew Thread Starter

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    Ok so I just did this and it looks like were all solved now:

    Went into Control Panel > Admin Tools > Disk Management

    Made my Win7 HDD Active (idk why it wasnt)

    Restarted PC with Win7 DVD in

    Ran Repair Your Computer tool (my win7 HDD now showed in the list)

    Chose the Repair Startup Problems option. This ran and fixed some errors and restarted itself and voila Win7 booted without the XP HDD being plugged in.
     
  15. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

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    Nice.
    Might want to make your backup of 7 first.
    Disconnect it and connect the XP drive and do the fixmbr to get it to regular boot.
    Follow instructions above.
    Then easybcd in windows 7 to add XP to the boot menu.
     
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