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Boot Win 7 Paritition copied to Empty space after Win XP on old HDD?


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Boot Win 7 Paritition copied to Empty space after Win XP on old HDD?


I plan to upgrade my main OS from Win 7 SP1 x64 to 8 to 8.1. But to take the risk out of it...


I copied my main Win 7 Partition from my SSD to Empty space on old HDD after Win XP partition. (at night.. so I dont have to wait around for 200+ GB going over)


SSD 240 GB: [system Reserved: 200 MB] [sSD_P1 240GB]

HDD 320GB: [Win XP 33GB] [sSD_P1 Copy 240GB ][Free Space][OEM Recovery partition]


I copied this using Paragon HDM 12 Pro


I did not copy the [system Reserved] partition as I wasnt sure how it would fit in.. and since its 200 MB, should be easier to "move" / "copy" if needed. 


Now, I read that there is a way to make Win 7 bootable without the SysRrv 200 MB partition. 


Or do I need to copy the 200 M partition? Is there a way to make the Win 7 boot while letting the rest of the MBR & booters (Win XP and OEM Recovery) continue working? 


What way should I follow? What steps should I take? 


PPS: Once this experiment is successful, I'd like to upgrade my SSD with Win 8.. But I am wondering if I should keep the 200 M partn around or merge it.. It just creates additional 'partition's to worry about. 

What are the pros & cons of that?

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You just copy the:
\BOOTMGR <- File
\boot\ <- Whole directory and all its contents

from the "200 Mb" partition to EITHER the one you created on the HD OR to the one on which you have now XP (which should be the active one).

Then you need three more things:
1) make sure that the Windows 7 partition/volume on HD still gets drive letter C: when booted
2) repair/adapt the \boot\BCD
3) find a way to chainload the BOOTMGR on the hard disk volume[1].

It is perfectly possible to do these things manually leaving the current MBR "untouched" (and using the currently booting XP NTLDR as "main" boot manager), but each of them may result complex, since you do sound (no offence intended :)) to be completely unaware of how a Windows NT 6 OS boots or it is setup normally.

So I would advice you to BACKUP the current MBR "as is" (you never know).


Then clear the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices of the (offline) Windows 7 Registry, boot to a Windows 7 install CD and "repair" the installation.

This basically should:

  • Change the MBR code to the Windows 7 one, "upgrading" it from the Windows XP one or from the OEM one now in the MBR  (and in the backup you just made)
  • Change the PBR/VBR code (aka bootsector or $Boot) of the Active partition from the one invoking NTLDR to the one invoking BOOTMGR
  • Write to the root of the Active partition the BOOTMGR and the \boot\ folder (ncluding its needed contents)
  • Create a new \boot\BCD with the "normal" Windows 7  entries + an entry to load the previous XP

You will need some time to understand HOW EXACTLY a Windows NT 6 (please read as Vista/7/8/etc.) dual boots with a Windows NT 5 (please read as 2K/XP) when in s "default" setup (i.e. using the provisions of MS tools), i.e. read attentively this WHOLE site (just mentally substitute "Vista" with "7"):






[1] There are several ways this is possible, using only the MS provided mechanism or using third party bootmanagers such as grub4dos.

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