Windows 7 - How to move system partition

Hello,

I recently performed a clean install of Windows 7 on a 1TB SATA drive. Unfortunately I left my 500MB IDE storage drive connected, and as the IDE channel is listed first, Windows 7 installed the System partition to the storage drive. Now, if I unplug my storage drive I cannot boot into Windows 7. The problem is my storage drive is starting to go. I'm getting warning from Windows, and when I reboot CHKDSK finds tons of error on that disk, so I need to get this fixed ASAP.

Is it possible to move the system partition to my C drive and set it to active? I'm attaching an image showing my current disk management. I tried disconnected the IDE drive and running the Windows Startup Recover Tool from the Windows 7 install disc, but it said there was no system partition on that drive.

Thanks!
disk-management.jpg
SpiderstaveAsked:
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Here are clear steps to move the system entirely to your C: drive:
1)Download and install Drive Backup 10 Professional Edition trial from here: www.drive-backup.com
2)Run it and select Volume Explorer in vertical tabs list - enter your small HDD where Windows system files are stored and find there the folder Boot and file BootMgr.
3)Export these files to root of C: drive.
4)Then run Recovery Media Builder in Drive Backup - Tools. Create boot CD with it.
5)Boot your machine from it and select Normal Mode - Drive Backup. There set partition on small drive inactive and set C: drive active by right click on partition - set active or inactive.
6)Then quit from Drive Backup (one step back) and start Boot Corrector. Let it search for Windows installations to correct.
7)When found update Partition Boot Record. Apply changes. Restart PC with IDE drive disconnected.
If updating partition boot record does not effect and Windows claims about inability to load - boot the PC from Windows 7 install DVD and perform repair of the startup. Drive Backup CD must be used in any case to set the C: partition active.
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parazenoCommented:
A possible solution can be found here: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7performance/thread/cc8476b7-2162-4136-a0ea-20ee45b8013a

It seems the person created a new partition 100MBs, deleted the old one (in your case remove the external drive) and booted the computer with the Win7 disk and chose to repair the installation. Just in case of disaster, make sure you have everything you need backed up.

-parazeno

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SpiderstaveAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry but I'm having a hard time following those instructions. I went into disk management and reduced the size of my C partition by 500MB, so now I have 500MB of unallocated space on that disk. Do I need to create a new partition for that 500MB of unallocated space? When I right-click on it, it has an option for "New Simple Volume".
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parazenoCommented:
Do create the new simple volume for the unallocated space. Then restart your computer with the external drive detached and boot with windows 7 disk. From there, assuming, the article was correct, you should be able to run "repair installation" and get the system partition back to your primary drive.

Once you know it is working (try a few restarts) you could delete the system part from your external.
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senadCommented:
here :
http://www.partition-tool.com/

Save yourself time and nerves....
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SpiderstaveAuthor Commented:
Hello senad,

Thank you for your link! I checked out the site and it didn't mention anything about moving the System Partition. Do you have a suggestion on how I would use this tool in my situation?
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parazenoCommented:
For what it's worth, I think my suggestion will work without many frayed nerves. Here is microsoft's explanation of how to use system recovery and then Startup repair. The article refers to Vista but the process is the nearly the same for Win 7.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Make-system-repairs-from-the-Windows-Recovery-Environment-from-Windows-Vista-Inside-Out
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senadCommented:
I would suggest you do a clean install once more....Easier....
Just backup what you need....
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
The asker requested exact steps to move the system partition to another drive. The instructions were given in step by step mode in post ID: 31755437 by noxcho.
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SpiderstaveAuthor Commented:
Apologies for not accepting your answer as the solution. My computer ended up having a hardware failure and I ended up having to purchase a whole new computer and forgot about this topic. I'll mark yours as the solution.
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SpiderstaveAuthor Commented:
Thanks! I did not try these steps myself, but they appear to be correct.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Thanks for feedback Spederstave,
take care
Nox
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