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Thoughts on migrating Win7 x64 Professional from two drives to one?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
The current setup is a host OS drive with documents and programs and a second bulk drive for documents and game files. I want to migrate the entire contents to a 3TB drive, preserving the links so that programs will not need to be reinstalled, and turning the 3TB drive into the new host OS drive. Then I'm going to paste files from another three or so small hard drives and about thirteen DVDs worth of data. Much of the data is redundant, with four or more copies of the same file.

I'd also like to figure out partitioning, with putting as much of the OS in its own smaller partition as possible, with as many programs and associated program data as possible on the larger partition. I have some legacy games that insist on residing on the primary C drive; other programs try to put some sort of data in a location other than the destination folder, like Application Data.

I've never had good success finding out which services are essential, and which ones can be disabled or excluded in a slipstreamed install without breaking functionality (for example, Homegroup sharing does not work between any of the four Win7 systems in the house). I have at least a hundred programs installed on the host OS I'm using right now, and install updates to old software, or download new software for mods every other week; it seems like slipstream installs might have only a very limited short term impact. The way I understand it so far is that you install the OS with security updates built into it (I'd like to find one of those any way so that I don't have to go through the five hour update--I already have a Win7 x64 Professional license with less than three seat activations used). Once it's installed, get it updated, install the programs that you want, uninstall the features you don't, and create a second slipstreamed ISO. Install that, then create a slipstreamed ISO out of it, and install that final ISO.

I'd also like to get a RAM disk Win7 x64 installation. Not sure where to start with that. It's part of a bigger project of finding ideal IO, and it's a fork of another discussion on SSD performance; this thread is more about the technique of getting it installed, and I might start a new thread for that part of the discussion. http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1769029
post #2 of 13
Most of what you propose can't be done, or at least is way to difficult to be practical.
For example, you can't "migrate" an OS.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
What about putting the host OS drive in a RAID 1 with the 3TB drive, then removing the original drive?
Also, any thoughts on the comments regarding starting from scratch?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeybuddy96 View Post

What about putting the host OS drive in a RAID 1 with the 3TB drive, then removing the original drive?
Also, any thoughts on the comments regarding starting from scratch?

Breaking an array is more complicated than just removing a drive, especially if it's an active, primary array.

Starting over (reinstall OS and programs and then copying data) is easy. It's just time consuming.
Edited by billbartuska - 8/10/13 at 6:43pm
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
How would this forum recommend setting up two complete OS host systems with the exact same content on both systems?
Also, what about backing up the main OS; if it crashes, the system image couldn't restore the full OS drive to another hard drive? Are system restore points only for infection or rolling back changes?

This article mentions moving and rebuilding the system reserved partition (albeit in the context of multiple OS booting from the same drive, but I've heard that I can use it to clone the drive). http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee829683%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

Also, this mentions how to clone the entire drive, OS MBR included.
http://www.howtogeek.com/57442/how-to-backup-and-resurrect-a-dead-or-dying-system-disk-with-clonezilla/

Possible solution seven or so is that I could copy the OS drive, then just merge the files from the bulk drive with the old programs folder on the OS drive.
Edited by joeybuddy96 - 8/14/13 at 5:44pm
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
The first Clonzilla attempt failed. So have Clonzilla's discussion threads apparently, because SourceForge keeps encountering server errors.
First of all, the motherboard in the system doesn't use EFI--it's BIOS only as far as I know. I've heard that it can still use GPT, and the cloning continued before it ran into bad sectors on the 3TB target drive. The target drive is 3TB, which exceeds the 2TB MBR limit, and might be causing the bad sector halt.
Second, the biggie: bad sectors.
Before I go any further in this post, I need to mention that I haven't confirmed that it isn't just Clonezilla failing, and not the drive with bad sectors--PassMark is the only one I can think of. One user with bad sectors in their target drive mentioned it might be a cooling issue (which may have been what killed my video card--having it crammed in the case right next to hot hardware with insufficient ventilation). My first suspicion is that I shouldn't have gone with an open box drive from a seller listed as verified through Google shopping; the listing said the drive was in tested, working condition. I bought the drive on June 27, and have just now gotten around to installing it, due most of my time going in to trying to get the semi-restored drive working, so I'm thinking it is out of their return window. Samsung's warranty on it is probably a three-year one, so I might be able to RMA it directly with Samsung; that would be cheaper even if the shipping or repair fee turn out to be overpriced (this is assuming the drive was manufactured within that window). Keep in mind no scan of the drive it outside of Clonezilla has been done yet, so I need the name of a utility that can scan the drive for bad sectors (I think chkdsk might be able to do it).
A post in an archived Ubuntu thread (I'm running Win7) mentioned bad sectors can be reset by zeroing the drive (which would take forever with a 3TB drive, but oh well), so I could try running DBAN: http://www.dban.org/ The name of the program is appropriate, since it will wipe out every drive installed; I plan only have the SATA cable with the 3TB drive attached at the time of the wipe, if anyone on the forums says it will actually work.
Another theory regarding a possible workaround is that I can copy the drive using partition-by-partition imaging using Clonezilla (since the Microsoft article on dual-booting doesn't address this particular scenario in enough detail for me to be able to do anything with it). The idea is that it can bypass the bad sectors. There are supposedly other programs that can do image copying around bad sectors, but the ones that will work with Win7 x64 are unknown to this user.

I ran PassMark's drive check up program. It recorded one End-to-End error, which is apparently, "a part of Hewlett-Packard's SMART IV technology, as well as part of other vendors' IO Error Detection and Correction schemas, and it contains a count of parity errors which occur in the data path to the media via the drive's cache RAM." That doesn't tell me how to fix it, or whether it is even something that can be fixed, so I'm still stuck at square one. There were no temperature warnings during the short test.

This article says that for an SSD, the sectors need to be aligned. It's a HDD that I'm trying to clone to, so I doubt if that's the issue. http://www.howtogeek.com/97242/how-to-m ... ate-drive/

The 3TB drive is showing up in drive manager as being offline due to a signature conflict. I'm thinking that's from the partial cloning failure--it still has data on it from the source drive. I think I should zero the 3TB drive and run drive check up again.

EDIT: I updated the st3000dm001-1ch166's firmware to CC29, then ran drive check up. The end-to-end error is still in the SMART diagnostic. There are no auditory signs of drive failure, at least. I haven't run the drive wiper yet.

EDIT 2:
I ran Seagate SeaTools Long Fix; it didn't find any bad sectors. The drive still has years left on its warranty, so I could RMA it. I still haven't zeroed the drive--if it's a problem with the chip on the drive, zeroing the drive will not do anything.
Edited by joeybuddy96 - 8/17/13 at 2:30pm
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's a copy-paste of a post I made on the MaximumPC forums: http://www.maximumpc.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1343213&sid=f2e85154784a2d3701564adc01898868#p1343213
tl;dr: I'm trying to move from a 1TB MBR drive to a 3TB drive with GPT.

not long enough; did read:
I should note that SeaTools' Long Test in DOS fixed the two bad sectors on the host drive.
I want to move to a GPT 3TB drive that also has WinRE and a recovery partition. I need to do it soon, because the read fail TEC is on September 24. It sounds like a non-WinRE install is the default, so I need to figure out how to get a WinRE install of Win7 started.
I'm dealing with another challenge/software thing that Clonezilla hasn't bothered to automate: The original OS host drive is 1TB, uses MBR, and booted from a BIOS. The target drive for the backup is 3TB, and I want it to use GPT and UEFI. I found several threads on what to do, but I want to make sure I'm not screwing things up.
http://superuser.com/questions/443561/c ... mbr-to-gpt
http://forums.partedmagic.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4752
Microsoft recommends a configuration with a partition for WinRE tools, System, MSR, Windows, and Recovery image. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 32(v=ws.10)
The WinRE partition should be 300MB (and has to be configured as a utility partition with an ID type command in DiskPart or SIM; this link says it has to be 300MB instead of 100MB, but this could just be for Win8: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 24839.aspx); EFI System should be 260MB (unless it's going to hold WinRE tools also, in which case the combined partition should be 240MB less than both partitions alone, 300MB) and formatted in FAT32 "For Advanced Format Generation One (4-KB-per-sector) drives, the minimum size of this partition is 260 MB"; the MSR should be 128MB, the big Windows partition (I don't know how to go about setting aside maybe from subtracting the space of the other partitions, but it seems like any measurement might get thrown off by several megabytes due to the way different applications read the hard drive space); and the Windows Recovery Image partition should be at least 2GB (I guess it's left blank until it gets an image written to it, but exactly which parts of Windows would go on it and how to set up the image is unknown to this user). So that's a minimum total of 2736MB worth of overhead in boot and recovery related partitions.
"If you clone a Winows 7 formatted MBR disc to a Windows 7 formatted GPT disc you will trash the mysterious hidden partition." It sounds like it might be resolved by going into Clonezilla's expert settings (which is a questionable idea, since the recommended setting is beginner), and opting not to use the partition table from the source disk. This doesn't resolve how the partition table is supposed to get in there, then, but I guess it's resolved by installing Windows to the target drive first, and only copying the Windows partition.
Step 1. Seems to be cleaning the drive, which seems most easily done from Windows' Disk Manager. RMB on the drive > clean this drive (wipe the data).
Step 2. Install Windows to the drive from an ISO downloaded from Microsoft's website --it doesn't have to be activated (I guess the partition sizes are automated, but they don't mention partition sizing for WinRE and Windows Recovery Image in a clean install context in the links regarding partitions, so those partitions might not be automatically created). This link indicates that for cloning an image to another drive, you can set up the partitions without installing Windows: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 53(v=ws.10) Microsoft notes that the partitions need to be the same size on the source and target disks, so I guess I could extend the Windows partition after imaging (I guess imaging and cloning are two different things--clonezilla has a disk to disk option, so imaging is probably different only by paying attention to partitions instead of raw data like the disk to disk copy does). http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 25686.aspx
Step 3. Install PartedMagic to a bootable flashdrive.
Step 4. Clone the MBR from the old drive to the EFI System partition
Step 5. Clone the Windows system partition to the 3TB drive
Step 6. Leave the other partitions alone
Step 7. Run Windows repair from the same ISO DVD supposedly used to install Win7 x64 on the 3TB drive
Step 8. Skip Chkdsk, it's useless and never does anything helpful
http://superuser.com/questions/443561/c ... st#tab-top

A ton of stuff to fix; I can't tell if it would be easier to start from scratch or not, but other people have managed to clone their drives, so I'm not giving up on it yet.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
At the very least, I want to make sure the EFI System partition is 260MB because the drive is an Advanced Format Generation One drive. I'd like to know if it can be done with the 3TB drive connected to the source Windows install system, also.

http://www.maximumpc.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1343300#p1343300
What I'm stuck at right now is how to get the installation set up with specific capacities for each partition. Of all of the links I've gone through, I can't find a single tutorial that goes along the lines of "How to install windows 7 Professional x64 on a GPT with a recovery partition."
I'm not doing an enterprise or multi-system deployment. It's not Windows 8. It's not going to use MBR. I'm not looking for people that had problems with the installation, or people asking unresolved questions. I'm not trying to create a dual-boot environment. I'm not trying to install a pre-existing image from a previous installation (However, I am trying to copy the Windows partition from the old drive to the new 3TB drive's bulk partition, and the MBR from the old drive to the new 3TB drive's System partition). I'm not trying to create a bootable USB WinPE installation. I'm not trying to create a backup image of an entire partition. So what do these links do? They tell me the only people who know how to set up pre-defined partition capacities for a Win7 installation with a recovery partition on a clean drive work are IT people that do it on Enterprise systems for a living.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824839.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825702.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/library/dd744519.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744565(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744246(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766245(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749113(v=ws.10).aspx
http://emeneye.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/creating-a-winpe-usb-drive-with-imagex/
Edited by joeybuddy96 - 9/8/13 at 7:41pm
post #9 of 13
I can't say I read a lot of what you posted (didn't make it through the first post), but I think it MIGHT be possible to accomplish in some fashion. I know it is possible to simply clone your existing drives to the new drive, and combine both drives onto a single disk. Depending on how you're set up, you may need to edit the registry just before you shut down to do the clone (depending if you manually specified the install path as being on the second drive or simply did an ntfs mount/link).

I don't know much about gpt, but I think if you set the drive up before cloning the partitions, you may be able to convert the system, but it will probably require a repair install of windows on top of everything once you're done to fix the boot settings.

I'm not anywhere near confident with any of this, but it's not that complicated to try it (just be careful you don't erase anything but your new drive)
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
@ZHoob2004 It sounds like it would be easier to clone the host drive first, and then to dump all of the files from the 1TB drive into the new 3TB host drive. What I'd like to know is, if in order to clone a MBR drive to a GPT one, does the installation of Windows on the 3TB drive (which will be overwritten with the old host drive's contents) need to have a Windows Recovery partition in order for the repair install to work? This link seems to indicate I don't need the five-partition setup. http://superuser.com/questions/443561/clone-a-windows-installation-to-a-3tb-hard-drive-mbr-to-gpt While it would be a nice amenity to have those two extra partitions set up for ease of creating and deploying backup images, it would be easier to periodically create a disk image to an external drive. The default installation of Windows 7 doesn't include a WinRE partition, but Win8 does have a WinRE default partition. Win7 only has three partitions install by default: MSR, EFI System, and the bulk Windows partition. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744301(v=ws.10)

The other big question is how to tell the Windows installer to install to specific partitions that were made ahead of time. GPT drives need EFI, and the EFI System partition must be 260MB because the drive is an Advanced Format Generation One drive (I'm also hoping there won't be any cloning incompatibility issues with the older drive's format, which I'm guessing is 512e). The rest of the capacities that the other partitions should be (from my earlier post; the point is that I want to know if I can tell Windows to install each of it's three partitions in the ones I specify and not reformat their capacity) 128MB for the MSR, and then the bulk Windows partition should cover the rest of the drive.

It's not clear to me from the Superuser thread how many partitions there are at one point during the steps--Vincent Chan's method seems to imply there would be three initially, then four (a second partition for the "the new GPT Win 7 boot partition"--which is also unclear, as the EFI System partition and MSR both serve boot functionality), after which the old partition is deleted (leaving three), then four (for the cloned Windows partition), then three again as the cloned data partition is extended over the unallocated space left by the deleted Windows partition (the one from the clean install on the new drive). Seems like users should be able to clone over the top of the partitions without the extra partition creation and deletion steps.
Edited by joeybuddy96 - 9/9/13 at 4:19pm
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