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New SSD - cloned my boot partition to it, but can't change drive letters...so won't boot right.

Tags:
  • SSD
  • Partition
  • Boot
  • Hard Drives
  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
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November 27, 2013 9:26:13 PM

I was sure this would be easy, but it's not turning out that way.

Current setup is Windows 7 Pro x64 installed on a standard hard drive (henceforth "HDD") in, of course, C: with a few other partitions/letters.

Added an SSD to the system and want that to be the new system/boot disk, without reinstalling Windows.

I assumed all I'd do was install it, boot the HDD as usual, clone the HDD's "C" partition over to the SSD, then reconfigure the BIOS to make the SSD the primary boot disk.

Not so simple I guess - when cloned, with Macrium Reflect software, it still gave the new SSD partition a letter, "I:" in this case.

Problem is, even when I boot from the SSD now, it insists on leaving itself "I:" and then I get no desktop, nothing at all after login. I can bring up Task Manager and launch a new process and bring up a command prompt, but not really sure what good that is anyway.

Since you can't change the drive letter of the active boot partition, I can't change I: to C: and if I boot off the HDD, same issue in reverse - I can't change I: to C: then because C: obviously is taken by the HDD's booted C: and can't be reassigned.

I even uncabled the HDD thinking that then the SSD would default to C: but no dice - it tenaciously hangs on to I:

Thinking I was smart, I booted from a USB into Recovery Console, brought up DISKPART and....suddenly, that way, the SSD disk/volume was letter C: now!

But of course the minute I boot normally off the SSD, it reverts back to I:

I'm hoping I'm missing something obvious here....but no idea what it is.

Help?

More about : ssd cloned boot partition change drive letters boot

a b $ Windows 7
November 27, 2013 10:05:53 PM

It is rare to come across issues with drive letters getting moved like that.

My recommendation would be to give the clone another shot, but check to see if you also have a system reserved partition. If you do it needs to be cloned as well since it contains the boot loader for Windows.

Here is the sort of strange part.

Not all cloning software knows that it needs to change the boot loaders setup to work off the new drive.

A program called easyBCD(has a free community edition) can fix up the boot loader settings on the ssd to so that it does not still point to the old hard drive.

I have not used your software so the steps may be a bit different.

1. Clone both the system reserved and Windows partition(letters when loaded into HDD windows should not actually matter as it never has for me so far. Even when dual booting what ever OS was running would always become c : ).
2. reboot if needed and stay on the hard drive for now.
3. Install EasyBCD community edition.
4. goto disk management(Start + R and type diskmgmt.msc) and assign a drive letter(right click. give it a letter you know is not in use, I thinking W to avoid card readers and stuff) to the system reserved partition on the SSD.
5. Turn on showing hidden files and folders as well as system files(just for now). Open Explorer and hit ALT to get the menu to show up. Select Tools -> Folder Options -> View and select Show hidden files, folders, and drives and remove the check mark from Hide protected operating system files(Recommended). Again this is just temporary and you will want to switch it back after.
6. Open EasyBCD and use the File menu to Select BCD Store. Hit ok to the message you get and select the drive letter you assigned the SSD system reserved partition under its BOOT folder(w : \ BOOT \ BCD).
7. If you have loaded the BCD file from the SSD right, you should be able to go to the Advanced Settings menu in EasyBCD and look for Windows 7. It may say Drive c : \ . Change this to whatever the assigned letter of the SSD's windows partition is currently under(it will not be c : ). and hit Save Settings.
8. Shut down(you may undo all the stuff you have done to Windows if you wish, with any luck. your next boot will be from the SSD).
9. Disconnect the hard drive and try to boot from the SSD alone.

As long as everything done here is done properly, no harm can come to your Hard drive load of Windows giving you an easy to fall back on system load. I have not used your software, but many others have worked fine with this method. Some software like Acronis True image make all the BCD edits when you clone(it is a 1 click and wait operation that works every time.).
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November 28, 2013 1:59:57 AM

hello, i have the same problem and i'm searching solutions.

sorry for my english.

i have disk which is recognized as BAD, but it's still running i have two smaller disks which i use to store my data. my problem is to clone whole system partition from old disk to a new one. i've done it by EASEUS software and booted to a newly created clone of my system ... it would not boot. then i used windows recovery cd (created on my pendrive) and i used diskpart to fix mbr of the new drive. it was a success but for short. the new disk booted on itself but the driveletter stays as it was seen by old system (H: in my case). i tried to use diskpart to change driveletter and got the same result as u.
i have an idea of cloning disk, when booted on a pendrive, then the drive letter would not be set by a system.

do you know a software (bootable) which can be used to clone partition ??

i think this can solve the case. Good Luck
Michał from Poland
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November 28, 2013 3:28:32 PM

S O L U T I O N


i've done it !!! :) 


u need :
2 pendrives, clonezilla.iso , repair disk windows 7.iso, and two freeware programs : "easeus partition master" and "rufus"


STEPS:

1. with use of rufus make 2 bootable pendrives from iso - 1st will be clonezilla and 2nd will be repair disk of windows 7(everything was found by google)
2. use easeus software to wipe entire destination disk (core is to remove all partitions)
3. unplug source drive and boot win7 repair pendrive
4. with use of cmd option u get access to diskpart, with diskpart u have to:
- change driveletter of a pendrive to n: (since u have plugged only pendrive and destination drive u will only have one partition c: which is your pendrive :)  ) [select disk 1 ; select partition 1; assign letter=n]
- create partition on target drive [select disk 0; create partition primary; select partition 1; active; format fs=ntfs quick]
- and lastly to check [select partition 1 ; assign letter=c; detail]
it should show u that u have one big primary and active partition with letter c :) 

5. turn off the computer and plug on source drive (when serial ata it should be after the target drive, when ide it should be slave when target will be master), plug in the clonezilla pendrive; win7 repair pendrive out.

6. boot into clonezilla pendrive ; follow instructions of clonezilla, i was impressed of clearness of the commands, it should be easy to clone your source drive into target drive.

7. when cloning is done turn off the computer, unplug source, and boot into target drive there will be a problem with booting so boot your win 7 repair pendrive

8. win7 repair pendrive will come with help, it repaired everything by itself in my case .

9. unplug pendrive, and boot into your old system on a new drive with a lovely C: in my computer :) 

10. use easeus to sortout partitions on target drive and .... "Don't worry be happy :)  "

hope i helped :) 

Michał from Poland
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November 28, 2013 5:44:14 PM

Thank you all for the input....I actually managed to figure it out myself, a different method than has been given here so far, but similiar.

I think the problem I had was twofold...I was using Acronis Home 2010 as my backup program, and it doesn't allow a single partition clone (only a whole disk) so what I had tried to do was a sector backup of my HDD C: partition (system/boot, obviously) and then "Restored" that to the SSD, where it was given letter I: by default.

Then of course the catch: I couldn't change I: to C: because C: was of course in use, and I couldn't change C: to something else since it was the system/boot partition and that can't be changed when you boot from it.

Well, what I ended up doing, was using another Freeware program called Macrium Reflect.

I used that to create a bootable "rescue media" USB thumb drive.

I booted from that thumb drive into a Windows PE environment that ran the Macrium Reflect program, but also allowed a command prompt to be opened.

I used Macrium Reflect to clone the HDD C: partition onto the SSD. Again it was given some odd letter, but this time, since I had booted the USB into Windows PE....I could open a command prompt and run DISKPART.

It was a simple matter to use DISKPART's "Assign" command to change the letters of the disks as needed, since this time neither the HDD C: or the SSD had been the boot drive.

That was all I needed to do.

I found Macrium Reflect on CNET's download.com site, it's 100% Freeware without any crippling at all. Seems pretty solid.

Thanks again to all who helped!

JD
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November 28, 2013 5:47:17 PM

letoslaw said:
hello, i have the same problem and i'm searching solutions.

...

do you know a software (bootable) which can be used to clone partition ??

i think this can solve the case. Good Luck
Michał from Poland


Hi Michal,

See my last update - I found a program, 100% freeware on www.download.com called Macrium Reflect that was able to create a bootable USB drive, and also clone the partition to the new drive. Then while still in the "rescue media" environment, you can open a command prompt and use DISKPART's 'assign' command to reconfigure all the drive letters.

Hope that works for you as well as it did for me!

-JD

(Your English is far better than my Polish, my friend! :)  )
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