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How to copy Windows 7

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There is a task, the initial conditions are as follows:

  • The hard disk is divided into two or more partitions
  • Installed Windows 7 on drive C:
  • Windows 10 required
  • The current Windows should remain operational and start from drive D:
  • You cannot format drive “D”
  • This is not the first time a user has seen a computer 🙂

Alternatively, you can install the seven, and copy the top ten, and swap the disks, this does not change anything.

What is this for? Well, for example, it's time to reinstall the system, but in the old OS a lot of things were installed and configured from time immemorial. When reinstalling the OS, all programs and settings are lost. But I want to be able to run the old system and spy on what was there and how it worked. Well or stupidly some licenses are problematic to transfer.

The whole difficulty is that existing programs can transfer Windows to another hard drive or SSD, but to the same logical partition. That is, from drive C: to drive C. But so that they don’t know how to drive to the same physical drive and to the second partition. Everything is complicated by the fact that even if we learn, then we can’t format the destination disk, because according to legend, there are tons of information that has nowhere to go for a very long time.

Will have to conjure. The action plan is as follows:

  1. Edit boot menu
  2. Boot from flash drive
  3. Copy system folders
  4. Change drive letters

Windows boot menu

When loading Windows, we will have a menu with the ability to select the operating system: new (current) Windows and copied current. To add a new item there

Run through the right button and select "Run as administrator". Next, go to the “BCD” tab, where “BCD of current system” should be selected. Click on the button “Easy mode”

Next, click the “Add” button and select “New Windows 7/8/10 entry” from the list

Now you need to configure a new menu item:

BootDisk: our current Windows hard drive

Partition: partition (drive D) to which the current Windows was copied

OStitle: arbitrary name of the menu item

Language: ru-RU, Russian language

Timeout: seconds after which the default item is automatically selected.

To record the changes, click “Save current system”. All this can be done and then, read below.

How to transfer from disk to disk

As you rightly noted, there are a lot of free programs that could rewrite almost any of your CDs or DVDs. Personally, I prefer to work with two free applications. Ashampoo burning studio and Imgburnthat have long established themselves on the good side. Well, two paid Nero 8 and Nero 6.
Unfortunately, Windows 7 itself can only burn the finished image onto a blank CD-ROM (if you mouse over any image and right-click, a menu opens where you can select the Open with option and then select Windows Disk Image Burners).

And very often, one of the very first problems that beginners face after acquiring a computer is finding and installing programs for working with CDs, DVDs.
So our free distributors are Ashampoo Burning Studio and ImgBurn. It’s very easy to work with them, they are in Russian and even a beginner can handle them. How to download and install the program data is described step by step in our article. How to burn the iso image to disk, you can follow the link and read it, I won’t repeat it. In this article I will go directly to working with them immediately. Those who are interested how to rewrite from disk to disk various information using the program Nero 8 and Nero 6, and what errors can be made in doing so, can go directly to the end of the article.
Ashampoo Burning Studio, the main window of the program, as you can see, its capabilities are quite large and it will undoubtedly come in handy. So insert the disc that you need to copy or rewrite to a CD / DVD drive.
Choose Copy CD / DVD / Bly-ray Disc.

Next, you need to select the source drive, those users who have installed programs for working with virtual drives, for example Daemon Tools, should indicate their real drive here, in my case Optiarc DVD RW AD-7191S and click on.

The reading process is completed, click on.

We insert a blank CD and DVD disc, depending on what we copy. Push Burn DVD

A short recording process takes place and the disc is ready.

How to transfer from disk to disk the files we need using ImgBurn. Before us is the main window of the program. This program was originally intended primarily for creating and burning almost any existing image. Also, using it, you can create audio CDs from files: AAC, APE, FLAC and the like. You can create a DVD video disc from the VIDEO_TS folder.
In this program, the Copy CD / DVD disc function is not directly available, but if you do not need to rewrite the discs often, you can first create an image of the disc you need in this program, and then burn it to a blank disc.
In the main program window, select Create disk image.

We select the destination folder, that is, exactly where the image will be created on our hard drive.

You can select the desktop and give the image any name, for example, My image, then click the Save button.

Press the read button. The image is being created.

Now it’s the turn to burn this image onto a blank disc, insert it into the CD / DVD drive.
In the main window of ImgBurn, select Burn image to disk.

Under Select a file,

select our image and then Open.

Next, the Burn button and after a short process your disk will be ready.

Now let's look at working with the Nero 8 program.
The initial window of the program Nero 8 -Nero StartSmart, from it we can run the following programs, with which you can copy files we need from disk to disk and not only.
Nero StartSmart - module for launching your finished projects
Nero Burning ROM - a special module for creating images and burning discs
Nero express - A very simple module, you can say for the same purposes.
Let's start with Nero StartSmart-insert the disk into the drive and click on the Copy Disk button, then Copy.

After a short copy process

we insert a blank disc for recording and press Download, in a couple of minutes our disk will be ready.

The same thing can be done with Nero Burning ROM. Choose Launch Nero applications and tools, then Nero Burning ROM.

If we want to rewrite the DVD, then we’ll select the project DVDthen Dvd copy and most importantly, if you intend to rewrite the DVD-ROM, and DO NOT create an image, then your List of recorders should indicate your CD / DVD drive, in my case Optiarc DVD RW AD-7191S. Push Copy.

The copying process will begin, then you will need to insert a blank disc.

Nero Express is also very simple.

Image, design, copying. Copy of the entire DVD.

Also pay attention to what would Source drive and Drive receiver were specified correctly, click on the Copy button.

What do you think, where exactly did our reader make a mistake and why in his Nero Express when creating a DVD with personal data, unreadable discs are recorded. At his point Allow adding files (multisession), there was a checkmark, it should not be there, if we do not want to add additional files periodically to this disk.

Flash drive preparation

Create a bootable USB flash drive for the article. We will need Paragon Hard Disk Manager and Acronis Disk Director. Therefore, we select the image for the flash drive where these programs are. Suitable image from Sergei Strelec. Instead of a flash drive, there may be a CD / DVD or an external hard drive, this is not important.

We boot from the USB stick into the Windows PE environment, this is the Windows that starts from USB.

Copy windows

Now you need to copy the system folders to the root of drive D, namely:

  • Windows
  • Users
  • Program files
  • Program Files (x86) - if any
  • Programdata

All these folders are needed so that Windows and all installed programs function on the second section. Some highly specialized programs are installed by default in the root of the disk, and not in the “Program Files” folder, so go over the root of the C: drive with your eyes and if you see familiar folder names, you need to copy them too.

You can simply copy using a file manager, for example, Total Commander. You can use the TeraCopy program, which is included in the image of Sergei Strelec. It copies without stopping to error messages, if that. And then at the end you can see what failed to copy and take action.

There may be problems at this step. Surprisingly, running Windows from a flash drive, it still protects Windows system files on other drives! Not always, but it happens. Therefore, there may be access error messages when copying registry files and its user branches (ntuser.dat). Namely, the problem folders:

  • System32 config
  • ServiceProfiles
  • Users user folder ntuser *. *

If you obeyed and chose an image with Paragon Hard Disk Manager, then we copy EVERYTHING or only problem areas of IM. We launch it, go to "Utilities" and there we select "Move Files"

We select the necessary folders or files and wait for the end of the process:

You can also copy using Acronis True Image by choosing to back up files there, saving them to another drive, and then restoring to your D drive.

If someone has only this program at their disposal, then please. But sometimes, for some reason, it freezes when copying large volumes, for example, all the necessary folders.

If the BOOTICE utility appeared on the USB flash drive, then you can add another Windows to the menu item now, and not at the first step. All actions are the same, but on the “BCD” tab, select “Other BCD file” and look for it along the path “C: boot BCD”. Now drive C is a hidden drive in regular Windows, and after booting into Windows PE it is visible, and it should be 100-350 Mb in volume. Or, if there is no such hidden drive, then this is the drive with the current Windows 7/8/10.

Final Touch - Letters

And now the highlight. The main problem of starting Windows from another drive is that it has a different letter, for example D, and most of the settings are tightly written to drive C. We will change the drive letters in a copy of the operating system, i.e., so that Windows reads that drive D, to which he is now, drive C.

So, we start from the flash drive Acronis Disk Director. Select the copied Windows from the list. Now, in theory, you should have got two identical windows, and you can distinguish a copy by the letter of the disk and its size on which it is located:

Now we click on the C drive with the right button and select “Change Letter”. Choose any free one, for example, the letter G. Now we just need to free the letter C. Next, change the drive letter D to C, and drive G to D:

It remains to apply the changes:

Results what happened

So, we created a new item in the boot menu, copied the system folders and swapped the letters. The trick is that both Windows will now work, and the one that remains on the C drive, the current one, will still “see” C and D drives as they are now. And if you run the copied Windows, then in it you will see your disks "messed up" in places.

When you install Windows 10 on the C drive, boldly format the partition. The new installation will replace the name of the old Windows 7/8 with 10 in the menu and leave our new menu item.

But there may be a problem - most likely the activation of a copy of Windows will fly off. You can re-reactivate or do nothing if you need it for a while.

I did not find a simpler and “stupid” method to do all this, and if you know how else you can, please unsubscribe in the comments.

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