Re: [Win7 x64] Move partition C to another drive

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by R. C. White, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. R. C. White

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Ohmster.

    I get lost in the details of your system - just as you might get lost in the
    details of mine. :^{ I also have many logical drives on my 4 HDDs and am
    running out of "drive" letters. As a sometimes beta tester (Vista, Win7 and
    others), I've had a number of occasions to move entire partitions -
    including "boot volumes" - from place to place. I've used only the tools
    built into Windows (no Acronis - and no Partition Magic since about version
    6), primarily Disk Management with occasional help from DiskPart.exe - and
    good old Xcopy.exe. (Yes, I know Xcopy is deprecated in favor of RoboCopy,
    but I've never learned to use RoboCopy, and Xcopy still works fine in Win7
    for me.)

    Two keys to this process: First, don't get hung up on "drive letters".
    Windows doesn't really care about them, and they often are just a
    distraction for us humans. They shift like drifting sand as we reboot from
    one OS to another. Give each volume a NAME; this will be written to the
    disk and will remain the same, no matter which OS is running. Second, don't
    try to move the current OS. To move Win7, for example, boot into Vista and
    run Xcopy to move the Win7 partition. (Or boot into Vista x86 to move the
    Vista x64 partition, etc.) This way, you won't have to deal with Registry
    and other files that may be active and changing during the Move process.

    When you are ready to move Win7 from Drive C: to Drive M:, for example, boot
    into Win7 on Drive X: (or wherever you have another Windows
    (Win2K/XP/Vista/Win7) installed). Open an Administrator Command Prompt
    window. Use Xcopy with these switches:
    Xcopy C:\ M:\ /c /h /e /r /k

    To see what each of these switches do, just type Xcopy /? to get a mini-Help
    file that lists all the switches and parameters available with the command.
    Some of the switches I use are not necessary for this job, but I memorized
    that set years ago and they still work for just about every situation when I
    need Xcopy.

    You could move only the C:\Windows folder tree; that contains the entire OS.
    Or, at least, delete the Recycle Bin, Hiberfil.sys and Pagefile.sys from C:\
    before running Xcopy; they will simply be rebuilt as needed on the new
    volume. And while X: is still your current boot volume, use Disk Management
    to change the drive letter of M: to C:.

    That will leave you with the problems of updating your System Partition to
    point to the new location of that Win7 boot volume. I think you can simply
    designate your new HDD (the one that holds the M: volume that will have
    become C:) as the boot device, then insert the Win7 DVD and tell it to
    Repair your startup files. Let this write the boot sector and startup files
    onto that HDD. You may need a final tweak of the BCD with BCDEdit or a
    third-party BCD utility.

    Please let us know how this works out for you.

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64

    "Ohmster" <> wrote in message
    > Hi. I have Windows 7 installed on a primary 1/3 partition of a 300Gb SATA
    > hard drive. The other 2/3 is are logical partitions of 100Gb each.
    > Needless
    > to say, I am running out of room on drive C and also want to have my OS on
    > my biggest and fastest hard drive that I have. In the system is another
    > 1Tb
    > SATA drive broken into 4 250Gb primary partitions for storage. I just put
    > in another 1Tb drive last night, broke it into 4 primary partitions of
    > 250Gb each, and gave it drive letters of L, M, N, & O. Because of this and
    > my mounted shares, I am running out of drive letters and cannot even plug
    > in a flash drive because there are no more letters left! (I have a 500Gb
    > Passport USB drive for backups.)
    > I want to Ghost my 100Gb C: system partition over to the first partition
    > of
    > the new, fast, SATA, terabyte drive, currently empty as drive L:, then
    > while offline with Hiren's boot disc, use EASEUS Partition Master to make
    > the L: partition active, change it's drive letter to C: (It will be an
    > exact copy of the real drive C:), change the old drive C: letter to L: and
    > then boot up.
    > Question, can I do this? Will it work? Will I hose the crap out of my
    > system or is this a safe, recommended thing to do? Alternatively, I can
    > empty the other two partitions on the C: disk, then use the partition
    > manager to remove the partitions and have drive C: as a single 300Gb disk.
    > My thoughts on that is that the terabyte disk would of course be faster
    > and
    > so that is the way to go for drive C:. What do you all recommend? Thanks.
    > --
    > ~Ohmster | ohmster59 /a/t/ gmail dot com
    R. C. White, Dec 21, 2009
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