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Clone Windows 7; add Win7-PE, Win XP or Win 8 etc.


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cannie

cannie

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CLONE WINDOWS 7; ADD WINDOWS 7-PE, WINDOWS XP OR WINDOWS 8; QUICKEST RESTORE; OPTIMIZE ALL AND IMPROVE THE SECURITY OF YOUR FILES.



INDEX.-

1.- WHY THIS TUTORIAL.-


2.- NEEDED DOWNLOADS AND EXTERNAL DEVICES.-
2.1.- Programs.
2.2.- Build boot devices using downloaded files.
2.3.- Options for computers with preinstalled Windows 7.
- 2.3.1.- Clone the preinstalled Windows 7.
- 2.3.2.- Install from scratch.

3.- INSTALL WIN1.-
3.1.- Windows 7 setup.
3.2.- Disk partitioning.
3.3.- Apps setup.

4.- COPY WIN1 INTO WIN2.-
4.1.- Get a System Image.
4.2.- Deploy the OS folders into Win2.
4.3.- Boot Win2.

5.- OPTIMIZE WIN1.-

6.- OPTIMIZE WIN2.-

7.- OTHER WINDOWS 7 MULTIBOOT OPTIONS.-
7.1.- Windows 7 PE setup.
- 7.1.1.- Modify partition sizes.
- 7.1.2.- Install Windows 7 PE.
- 7.1.3.- Create the start list and include Win2 into it.
- 7.1.4.- Restore Win1.
- 7.1.5.- Restore NTFS to the first primary partition.
- 7.1.6.- Cautions.
7.2.- Add the second Windows 7 working mode.
7.3.- Add Windows XP.
7.4.- Add Windows 8.
- 7.4.1. Setup.
- 7.4.2. Shortcuts.

8.- SYSTEM RESTORE.-
8.1.- Quick Win1 reconstruction.
8.2.- Quick boot drive reconstruction.
8.3.- Quick Windows XP and Windows 8 reconstruction.
8.4.- Quick BIOS reconstruction.

8.5.- Reinstall from the internal HDD.
- 8.5.1.- Running Windows 7.
- 8.5.2.- Running Windows PE.
8.6.- Home Group repair.
8.7.- Boot old computers from pendrive.
8.8.- System image optimizing.
8.9.- Use the external HDD image container as Repair CD.

9.- OPTIMIZERS.-

 

10.- COMPUTER OVERHEATING.-

 

11.- QUOTES.-



1.- WHY THIS TUTORIAL.-
- The operating system is composed of thousands of software pieces, many of which are read and sent to the memory, modified and rewritten again and again. This means a permanent danger: sudden mains cuts, damaged apps, viruses, failed install or uninstall operations, etc. can eventually force C drive formatting, being this drive by default the only existing one for Windows files and user folders.
- Even when Microsoft provides an excellent disk image saving procedure any not saved file will be definitively lost. The OS files are always included, but it doesn't happen the same concerning user files. Formatting the HDD or restoring the disk image always means stop working and very frequently also loosing recent user files.
- All this may be avoided by dividing the HDD into several parts. This way a multiboot OS may be implemented to keep working if C drive fails and user files and folders are kept away from the OS. Advantages also include a by far minor fragmentation, a considerable performance improvement, faster search speed, more data security and increased working stability.
- Depending on the computer this can be done in two ways:

a ) Using an empty HDD:
- Working at an unallocated HDD space Windows install program creates two primary partitions: the first one as boot manager (into which you may later include Microsoft's Windows 7 PE mini-OS), and the second one as C drive (Win1).
- The size of C drive is afterwards limited to 16.000 MB (32 bits) or 20.000 MB (64 bits). A same sized third primary partition is built at the next free left space, to deploy into it a special copy of the previous one, which may be run as a second optional C drive (Win2).
- A bootlist allows choosing at start between Win1, Win2 or "Windows Setup" (that's the name given by the OS to Windows 7 PE).
- All the remaining free space of the HDD (usually most of its capacity) may be used to build into it one or several logical units, being this the best place for your user files and folders: they never mix with the OS and are never affected by OS damages or when a system image is used to rebuild it.

b ) Keeping a preinstalled OS:
- The preinstalled OS is used as Win1, reducing the size of C drive to 16.000 MB (32 bits) or 20.000 MB (64 bits).
- A same sized new primary partition is built afterwards into the free left space, to deploy into it the second optional C drive (Win2).
- Microsoft's Windows 7 PE mini-OS may be included later into the first primary partition.
- A bootlist allows choosing at start between Win1, Win2 or "Windows Setup".

- Windows XP and Windows 8 are also included into the multiboot options.
- Multiboot allows restoring any of the installed OS while running another one by using new original, secure and extremely fast procedures very different from the standard ones.
- Links to some worthy and verified freeware utilities are also included at the end of the tutorial to help you get an optimal OS performance.
- Enjoy it!


2.- NEEDED DOWNLOADS AND EXTERNAL DEVICES.-

2.1.- PROGRAMS.-

You obviously need the Windows 7 install DVD, and also to download the following freeware by simply clicking the given links:
- "Partition Wizard", freeware partition manager allowing even to resize drives by moving the existing files and folders to the new spaces whenever needed.
- "LinuxLive USB Creator" to build a boot pendrive.
- "Universal USB installer", if you wish to burn a boot CD instead. This program is very similar to the previous one but allows saving the downloaded file to be used afterwards by the CD burner.
- "Imgburn", CD burner, when needed only.
- "FreeCommander", an alternative file manager.
- "EasyBCD", BCD editing tool.
- "7-Zip", to deploy or build compressed files.
- "Winbuilder", to build a Windows 7 PE image from the Windows 7 install DVD. This image may be used to build an external boot pendrive or to run as such the HDD first primary partition as an alternative OS by choosing it at the boot list.
- "Ccleaner", HDD disk cleaner.
- "Wise Disk Cleaner", HDD disk cleaner.
- "Wise Registry Cleaner", registry cleaner and defragmenter.
- "Disk Defrag", fast HDD defragmenter and optimizer.
- "FastCopy", to synchronize folders or whole drives in a fast and easy way.


2.2.- BUILD BOOT DEVICES USING DOWNLOADED FILES.-
- From Windows 7 install DVD .iso image: start 7-Zip to deploy it into a previously 4 GB (at least) FAT32 formatted pendrive to build an install Flash Pendrive, or run Imgburn to burn an install DVD. If you already have got the install DVD you only need to format as FAT32 the 4 GB pendrive and copy into it the whole contents of it.
- From Partition Wizard .iso image: load it into LinuxLive USB Creator to build a Flash Pendrive, or burn it using Imgburn to get a Live CD.
- From Win7PE.iso image: Universal-USB-Installer allows you to build a Flash Pendrive, and Imgburn to burn a Live CD.
- From Windows 7 Repair CD: use FreeCommander to copy its whole contents into a previously Fat32 formatted pendrive to build a 32 or 62 bits repair Flash Pendrive.


2.3.- OPTIONS FOR COMPUTERS WITH PREINSTALLED WINDOWS 7 ( jump to paragraph 3 if this is not your case).-
- Before any duplication of the OS on a preinstalled computer it is very convenient to obtain an image of the whole HDD on DVD or external hard disk and also the repair CD. Restoring is easy if needed. After that you may choose between two options:

2.3.1. - Clone the preinstalled Windows 7.-
a ) Reboot using the Partition Wizard Live CD.
b ) Reduce C drive size to 16.000 MB (32 bits) or 20.000 MB (64 bits) and rename drive as Win1.
c ) Create a new same sized primary partition named Win2 and complete the remaining free left disk space with one or more logical units for personal files.
d ) If any difficulty arises during the new primary partition building it may be used a same sized logical unit instead, choosing the last of them for this purpose in order to keep the same drive letters for the other ones when it is used as C drive.
e ) Reboot using Win1 and jump from here directly to paragraph 4 to go on.

2.3.2. - Install from scratch.-
- Remember that any Windows 7 install DVD containing the preinstalled version may be used to legally replace it, no matter if 32 or 64 bits working mode is used, using the "Activation Key" found at a sticker. This activation key is nevertheless not the OEM one, so it is recommended to build and keep into DVD an image of the whole HDD before deleting partitions, in special when your computer is into warranty period.
- The Microsoft install DVD doesn't contain all drivers for every computer. Therefore it is very convenient to keep a copy of the folder into which they are, named "swsetup" (Hewlett Packard or Compaq), "cabs" or any other way at the C drive root or into "Program Files" subfolders. These drivers are valid for both 32 and 64 bits working modes of the same Windows version.



3.- INSTALL WIN1.-

3.1. - WINDOWS 7 SETUP.-

- Boot using the Partition Wizard Flash Pendrive or Live CD.
- Delete all existing partitions.
- Insert Windows 7 install DVD or Flash Pendrive and install it
- Open the device manager to check uninstalled or not properly installed devices (yellow marks or "Others") and let it search for them at your drivers' folder. "Screen adapter" and "Network adapter" drivers must always be sought to replace the generic ones by the special drivers usually provided by manufacturer.
- If you don't have all needed drivers let the computer search for them in the internet, from Windows Update or from manufacturer's site. If the internet connection does not work you may use the ones from a similar computer or use a different computer to download them.
- Open Windows file manager and rename C drive as Win1.


3.2.- DISK PARTITIONING.-
- Open Windows 7 disk manager. You will find two primary partitions (blue), the first one being a hidden "System Reserved" 100 MB space without drive letter containing boot manager. The second is Win1 as C drive and includes all remaining HDD space.
- Use the disk manager utility to reduce Win1 size to 16.000 MB (32 bits) or 20.000 MB (64 bits).
- Create a same size drive and rename it as Win2. It will also appear as primary partition (blue).
- The remaining HDD space may be used to create one or several logical units for user files (green).


3.3.- APPS SETUP.-
- Install "Microsoft Office", the diverse internet apps, mail, games and everything else before going on. Whenever the install program allows changing the install folder it is convenient to choose a logical unit for it instead of the default Program Files folder so that they don't increase the size of the OS and also to allow them to be used indistinctively from any unit used as C drive.
- Install "FreeCommander" and configure it to show hidden files and folders (Extras > Settings > View, then activate "Show hidden files" and "Show system files").
- Install "7.Zip".



4.- COPY WIN1 INTO WIN2.-

4.1.- GET A SYSTEM IMAGE.
- The registry "MountedDevices" key must be emptied before obtaining a system image, so that it can be used at any other drive. This may be done by building a text file named i.e. "Unmount.reg" pasting into it the following lines.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]


- Doubleclick "Unmount.reg" before building the system image.
- Don't forget obtaining also the Windows Repair disk offered at the end of the image building, because it is needed for a complete restore of the internal HDD.

4.2.- DEPLOY THE OS FOLDERS INTO WIN2.
- Open Windows file manager and search folder WindowsImageBackup, which contains the just built OS image. You will find into it another one named after the computer, and into it you will find a third one named "Backup (date and time)". And finally into it you will find several files, all them needed to restore the whole OS using Windows Repair CD.
- We only need for our purpose the compressed folder containing the whole C drive. It is the biggest of them all, having a 32 characters name and a .vhd extension. Run 7-zip to open it and deploy only the following folders into Win2 drive:

Program Files
Program Files (x86)
(64 bits versions only).
Program Data
Windows.
Users.



4.3.- BOOT WIN2.-
- Run "EasyBCD" and add manually Win2 drive letter to the boot options.
- Boot Win2 and accept "Start Windows normally".
- Check C drive at the Windows file manager. If mounted drives were not properly unmounted Win1 will appear as C drive instead of Win2. That means no problem: you only need to doubleclick "Unmount.reg", reboot and Win 2 becomes C drive.



5.- OPTIMIZE WIN1.-
- Keep running Win2.
- Format Win1 and deploy Windows folders from "WindowsImageBackup" .vhd file into Win1 drive as explained at paragraph 4.3. Even when folders are the same you need to do it in order to get a total control allowing you any unneeded file deletion.
- Open FreeCommander and select Win1 drive.
- Delete pagefile.sys file, and also Windows\Temp, Windows\winsxs\Backup and Windows\winsxs\Temp folders.

- Click "Search files/folders" and check "Subfolders" box. Paste the following line at "File name", then click "Find" and delete results:
.etl;.rhk;.jrs;.bak;.blf;.chk;container;.evtx;.log1;.log2;.pnf;.regtrans-ms;.tmp;$;.log

- Uncheck "Subfolders" box, select \Windows\winsxs folder and paste one by one the following lines into "File name", click "Find" and delete results:
a ) If your printer is already installed:
prnbr0;prnca0;prnep0;prnfx0;prnge0;prngt0;prnhp0;prnin0;prnkm0;prnky0;prnle0;prnlx0;prnnr0;prnod0;prnok0;prnrc0;prnsa0;prnso0;prnsh0;prnsv0

b ) If you always use the same keyboard and language:
keyboard;codepage

c ) If your internet access is already installed:
mdm

d ) If you don't use asian languages you may delete \Windows\IME and \Windows\System32\IME folders, place the cursor on Windows\winsxs, uncheck "Subfolders" and paste the following line at "File name", then click "Find" and delete all results:
arabic;japanese;chinese;jpn;kanji;kor;thai;turk

- Empty bin and perform Disk Defrag choosing the defrag and optimize option for Win1 drive.
- Reboot choosing Win1 and accept "Start Windows normally".
- Run Ccleaner, Wise Disk Cleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner.
- Compact registry using Wise Registry Cleaner.
- Doubleclick "Unmount.reg" and reboot to run Win1.


6.- OPTIMIZE WIN2.-
- While running Win1 build an updated system image as explained at paragraph 4.1. The updated .vhd folders file will be considerably smaller than the older one.
- Format Win2 drive and rebuild it as explained at paragraph 4.2.
- Run Disk Defrag and defragment Win2 selecting the optimize option.
- Reboot choosing Win2 and accept "Start Windows normally".
- Win2 must appear now as C drive. If you forgot doubleclicking "Unmount.reg" as said in the previous paragraph you will find Win1 as such. No problem: you only need to doubleclick "Unmount.reg" now, reboot choosing Win2 and it will replace Win1 as C drive.



7.- OTHER WINDOWS 7 MULTIBOOT OPTIONS.

7.1.- WINDOWS 7 PE SETUP.-
- You may include into the HDD boot drive a minimal Windows 7 virtual version delivered by Microsoft to implement an external boot device called "Windows 7 PE". That allows to the small HDD boot drive to work as it were an external boot device.
- The external boot device for which this Windows edition is offered must be built first to be used as an install tool afterwards. Run Winbuilder as described at paragraph 2.1 to get the needed OS image ("Win7PE.iso") and load this image into LinuxLive USB Creator to obtain a Flash Pendrive or burn a Live CD using ImgBurn, then do as follows:

7.1.1.- Modify partition sizes.-
- Boot using the Partition Manager Flash Pendrive or Live CD.
- Delete the two first primary partitions (100 MB and 16.000 MB (32 bits) or 20.000 MB (64 bits)), and create a first one sized about 1000 Mb (which may be renamed as "Bootdrv") and a second one taking the remaining free space (renamed as Win1) instead.

7.1.2.- Install Windows 7 PE.-
- Boot the Windows 7 PE Flash Pendrive or Live CD.
- Run LinuxLive USB Creator, load "Win7PE.iso" and install Windows 7 PE at the first primary partition.

7.1.3.- Create the start list and include Win2 into it.-
- Withdraw the external device and reboot to run the just installed Windows 7 PE version.
- Insert the Windows 7 DVD and execute "Setup.exe" installing Windows 7 at the second primary partition. After reboot a start list will show "Windows 7" as first choice and "Windows Setup" as second.
- Rename C drive as "Win1".
- Start "EasyBCD" and choose Add new entry > (letter of Win2 drive), and afterwards Edit Boot Menu > Boot default after > (some 5 seconds is usually enough).
- Save a backup of the boot list clicking "Backup Settings". In case of need it may be restored using the same program by clicking "Restore Settings".

7.1.4.- Restore Win1.-
- Reboot choosing Win2.
- Format Win1 drive and deploy into it the needed files from the .vhd compressed image file as explained at paragraph 4.2.
- Run Disk Defrag and defragment Win1 selecting the optimize option.

7.1.5.- Restore NTFS to the first primary partition.-
- Start Windows disk manager.
- Give a drive letter to the first primary partition.
- Run cmd.exe and execute (replace # by the first partition drive letter):

convert #: /fs:ntfs /V

- Start Windows disk manager again and clear the given drive letter so that it keeps hidden again.

7.1.6.- Cautions.-
- It is very convenient to save an image of the two first primary partitions after installing Windows PE as a complementary security measure.


7.2.- ADD THE SECOND WINDOWS 7 WORKING MODE.-
- Most new computers are delivered with preinstalled Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits OS, which does not allow the use of some old apps made for previous Windows versions.
- After the HDD has been configured as explained this may be sorted out by keeping at Win1 the preinstalled 64 bits mode while installing Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bits at Win2, using the same activation key. This second working mode of the same version allows running almost all old software.
- The new OS may be cloned as explained for Win1. The cloned copy may optionally be run as C drive from any logical unit by simply copying it and adding the needed entry at the boot menu using EasyBCD if Win2 is needed to install XP into it.


7.3.- ADD WINDOWS XP.-
It is normally impossible to install Windows XP in new computers because there are no drivers for the mainboard disk controller device. Older ones in which this is allowed and already use the two first primary partitions for Windows 7 may get Windows XP installed into the third one (Win2), never forgetting to create previously a "WindowsImageBackup" at a logical unit or external device and also Windows 7 Repair CD or pendrive, as follows:
- Boot Windows XP install CD and deploy it into the third primary partition (Win2). Now Windows 7 will be out of reach.
- Reboot using Windows 7 Repair CD or pendrive and restore the Windows 7 image. Now Windows 7 will work as nothing had happened and Windows XP will be out of reach.
- Run EasyBCD and add a new entry for XP into the boot menu (Add new entry > Windows > XP). The needed boot files (NTLDR,boot.ini etc) will be automatically created into the first primary partition and every installed OS will be at reach.


7.4.- ADD WINDOWS 8.-
- Windows 8 is only convenient for computers having a touch screen. Computers without touch screeen loose many useful items and don't find any advantage at all in it.
- Nevertheless many users feel curiosity or wish to be familiar with it, and keeping them in mind a procedure is described here to make it possible with no damage at all for the existing Windows 7.

7.4.1.- Setup.-
- It is very convenient to get a copy of all your personal files and folders into DVD or at an external HDD before installing Windows 8, in order to avoid eventual damages if any of them is considered risky when examined by the new OS security-chain.
- It is also very convenient to keep untouched the existing Win1/Win2 dualboot and run Windows 8 from a logical unit. You may do it in two different ways.
- The first option is executing the install process over a copy of Windows 7, so that all existing applications remain installed, as follows:
a ) Build a new logical unit named i.e. "Win8". This logical unit must be the last one of them all, so that all others show the same drive letter when the new one is used as C drive. The size of the new logical unit must be about 26.000 MB for Windows 8 32 bits, or some 35.000 MB for 64 bits, because Windows 8 needs a free space of 16.000 or 20.000 respectively for the install process. You may later reduce the size after the install process is ended after deleting the "Windows.old" file.
b ) Deploy the compressed Windows 7 .vhd folder into Win8 as explained for Win2 at paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3, and create a boot link for it using EasyBCD.
c ) Boot Win8 and abandon Home Group if you are into it (join it again after the new OS gets installed using the same keyword).
d ) Insert the Windows 8 install DVD and install it choosing to keep personal files, applications and Windows configurations.
- The second option is to install Windows 8 into the same empty Win8 logical unit, only needing now 16.000 MB (32 bits) or 20.000 MB (64 bits). Even when implies reinstalling everything you may avoid this way any problems coming from possible existing bugs. You only need to boot the Windows 8 install DVD and execute it.
- Windows 8 will always appear as first and default OS at the bootlist and 30 seconds as waiting time. It is recommended running EasyBCD again, move Windows 7 to the first position, set it as default OS and reduce waiting time to some 5 seconds.
- It is recommended to defragment/optimize the Win8 drive using DiskDefrag, previously deleting the "Windows.old" folder when the first option was used.


7.4.2.- Shortcuts.-
- When it was installed over a copy of Windows 7 the Windows 8 desktop shows all previous Windows 7 icons, and all shortcuts keep being active.
- All icons previously displayed by clicking the lost "Start" button remain as hidden files at folders "C:\Users\(user name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" (user programs) and "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" (all users). Shortcuts keep working. Being already configured to show hidden files you may use FreeCommander to reach them.


8.- SYSTEM RESTORE.-

8.1.- QUICK WIN1 RECONSTRUCTION.-
- After booting Windows PE (installed into the first primary partition or into a Live CD or flash pendrive), and also after booting Windows XP or Windows 8, you may use Win2 to rebuild Win1 in a few seconds by running FastCopy. Win2 must be used as "Source" and Win1 as "DestDir". Select the "Sync (Size/Date)" option and write 1024 at "Buffer", then clic "Execute" and Win1 will be totally reconstructed, taking less than one minute the whole operation.
- If Win2 had been used at any time it will appear as C drive at the Windows file manager after booting Win1. If this happens you must execute the described "Unmount.reg" script and reboot afterwards so that Win1 works properly as C drive. You may of course avoid this problem by simply running the script whenever you boot Win2 just before switchoff.
- As an alternative and a bit slower procedure, always booting Windows PE, Windows XP or Windows 8, you may fast format Win1 drive and deploy into it the .vhd compressed file containing the Windows 7 OS as explained for Win2 at paragraph 4.2.


8.2.- QUICK BOOT DRIVE RECONSTRUCTION.-
- Open the Windows file manager and search WindowsImageBackup folder, which contains the system image. As already said, you will find into it another one named after the computer; into it a third one named "Backup (date and time)", and finally into this one you will find several files. At least two of them will be .vhd compressed ones. Leave the smallest one only, which contains the boot drive files, moving all remaining .vhd files to a different folder out of WindowsImageBackup so that you may later take them back to their previous place when the drive rebuilding is achieved.
- Insert the Windows Repair boot CD or flash pendrive, reboot using it and restore WindowsImageBackup.
- Restore process takes less than one minute, ending just after the first primary partition has been rebuilt with an error message.
- Reboot using the HDD. The first primary partition will work normally with no damage at all for any other drive.


8.3.- QUICK WINDOWS XP AND WINDOWS 8 RECONSTRUCTION.-
- Concerning Windows XP the easiest and most secure way for restoring it is to include its drive into the Windows 7 image, so that all its files appear into another .vhd compressed file. To rebuild the OS you only need booting any of the other ones included into the multiboot list, or use a Windows PE Live CD or Flash Pendrive, format the XP drive and deploy into it the whole contents of the corresponding .vhd file as explained at paragraph 4.2 for Win2.
- It is also recommended to include the Windows 8 drive into the Windows 7 image file to rebuild it as explained at the same paragraph, never using instead the image file obtaining procedure of Windows 8 because of the new format .vhdx used by it instead of the previous .vhd. There's no software at all until today to decompress it, and therefore you can't deploy it into the Win8 previously formatted drive as done for Win2 at paragraph 4.2.
- After rebuilding any of both OS from a .vhd file you get a total access to all the OS files and folders, allowing you to reduce the OS size by deleting any unneeded file or folder by appliyng to is drive unit the procedure explained at paragraph 5.
- The Windows XP or Windows 8 .vhd contained into the WindowsImageBackup folder may also be used the same way to create a new Windows XP or Windows 8 drive at any other logical unit when the "Unmount.reg" was run while using them before building the Windows 7 system image. You must of course use EasyBCD to create a new access to the new Windows XP or Windows 8 drive.


8.4.- QUICK BIOS RECONSTRUCTION..-
- To fix a corrupted BIOS you may remove the motherboard battery for a few seconds or open the command line screen and execute the following orders:

debug
o70,2e
o71,ff
o70,2f
o71,ff
q



8.5.- REINSTALL FROM THE INTERNAL HDD.-
- Deploy Windows 7 setup .iso image file or copy the whole contents of the already existing DVD obtained from it into a logical unit folder named i.e. "Winsetup". This way you may reinstall or install it into any primary partition or logical unit in a totally autonomous way. The new unit will always appear as C drive. You may choose one of the two following options (being # the drive letter):

8.5.1.- Running Windows 7.-
- Run 7-zip and open #:\Winsetup\Sources\install.wim. You will find into it some other .wim files named 1.wim, 2.wim etc. The lowest number (1.wim) corresponds to the most simple running mode and the highest one belongs to the most advanced one (list has the same order which appears at the ordinary install process start, the number of options depending on the different DVD versions). Choose one of them and deploy only the folders Program Files, Program Data, Users and Windows into the formatted drive unit (and also Program Files(x86) for 64 bits). Reboot and run the reinstalled drive. A fast install process will automatically start adapting the deployed files and folders to your computer needs, totally respecting all other HDD files.
- When this procedure is used to build a totally new Windows 7 drive please remember that you must run EasyBCD using the "Add new entry" option to include it at the boot list before logging off, so that the new drive can be chosen at reboot.

8.5.2.- Running Windows PE.-
- Format the destination drive, open Windows File Manager and doubleclick #:\Winsetup\Setup.exe.


8.6.- HOME GROUP REPAIR.-
- If any connected member is not shown at Windows file manager you may fix it by clicking on Start and afterwards rightclicking on Documents, Images, Music or Videos to select Share > Home Group .
- Computer used to build the Home Group doesn't work as a server, behaving as one more member. If any member is working you may include new computers into the group.
- If you reinstall the computer used to build the Home Group you can't include it again. You must create a new Home Group forcing all members to abandon the old one to become members of the new one.


8.7.- BOOT OLD COMPUTERS FROM PENDRIVE.-
- If needed an old computer whose BIOS doesn't allow it may be booted from pendrive by running "EasyBCD" choosing "Add New Entry">"Portable/External Media">"Bios Extender">"Install PLoP"
- Reboot and you will find a new "EasyBDC BIOS Extender" boot option. Plug in just now the boot pendrive, select and execute.
- Don't forget withdrawing pendrive after computer switchoff.
- ""EasyBDC BIOS Extender"" may be used when needed only uninstalling it afterwards using "BIOS Extender">"Remove PLoP" (never use "Delete">"Edit Boot Menu" for this purpose).


8.8.- SYSTEM IMAGE OPTIMIZING.-
- By the WindowsImageBackup subfolders used to copy Win1 into Win2 is found another one named "DELETED", containing all deleted files traces which remain at the Win1 drive unit.
- Any Windows 7 or Windows PE drive may be used to format any other OS drive. By unchecking the fast format box all traces left by deleted files and folders will be wiped out. This way you are able to rebuild Windows 7 afterwards by only deploying into the clean drive only the needed folders as explained at paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3.
- After Win1 has been optimized you may also build an optimized and smaller Windows 7 system image.


8.9.- USE THE EXTERNAL HDD IMAGE CONTAINER AS REPAIR CD.-
- Create a 1 GB first primary partition at the external HDD and format it as Fat32.
- Copy into it the contents of the Windows Repair CD.
- To restore the system image you must plug in the HDD, boot and choose the external HDD as first boot device at BIOS or use the corresponding function key (F9, F2 or any other depending on the computer type). The new partition works just as the Repair CD.
- This boot option can only be used while partition sizes are not modified after image building and the Windows Repair CD belongs to the same bits version (64 or 32) as the image file.  If partition sizes were modified or bits versions are not the same you must boot using the Windows Repair CD.

 

 

9.- OPTIMIZERS.-
Download the following freeware by simply clicking the given links:
- "Wise Data Recovery", to undelete erased files.
- "Wise Uninstaller", for complete removal of unwanted applications from disk and registry.
- "Autoruns", to detect underground run programs and deactivate unwanted ones. Any unwanted entry may be deactivated by simply unchecking its box. Mind carefully to keep checked all Windows 7 install process created ones because computer won't boot (if it eventually happens do as explained at paragraph 8.1). Any others may be easily reactivated by simply checking their boxes again.
- "Ultimate Windows Tweaker", freeware for many useful improvements like totally using 4 GB memory on 32 bits mode, no hibernation, withdraw icon arrows and many other useful changes using the interactive way instead of the command line.
- "Tweakslogon", freeware to use any .jpg file as logon screen.
- "Displayset", freeware to modify every item of your desktop.

 

 

10.- COMPUTER OVERHEATING.-

If the power supply device fan works properly, computer overheating is usually due to dust accumulation. To withdraw this dust you may use your domestic floor vacuum cleaner, as follows:

1.- Switch off your computer.

2.- If you use a desktop remove the covers of the mainboard space and apply the tip of the suction hose to every place where dust accumulation is seen and also on the back of the power supply fan (the power supply fan will rotate in the opposite direction).

3.- If your computer is a laptop you only need to apply the tip of the suction hose to each and every hole at the bottom of it. The small size of the internal space significantly increases the strength of the vacuum extraction.

 

 

11.- QUOTES.-
- This tutorial is based upon a previous one for Windows 98 and XP which I wrote by choosing, collecting, resuming and putting together many ideas suggested by other members, now rebuilt and adapted to Windows 7. You can find such antecedents at How to create easily a second Win98/XP in the same computer
- The initial text published in 2010 has been repeatedly improved collecting many new experiences, some of them also suggested by members or visitors of this forum in their posts, which you may find all along the thread.
- Thank you all for your help and support. Your suggestions are always welcome.

cannie


This post has been promoted to Article


Edited by cannie, 04 July 2014 - 05:22 AM.



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#2
dencorso

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Awesome, cannie! :thumbup

Delete primary 50 GB unit to leave its space free. In this space the install disk of Windows 7 will create the primary partitions 0 (hidden) for grub and 1 for Windows (first of the two).

But I do have a question... Grub? Does Win 7 install grub? Or did you forget to add grub to the list of needed tools?

#3
cannie

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Awesome, cannie! :thumbup

Delete primary 50 GB unit to leave its space free. In this space the install disk of Windows 7 will create the primary partitions 0 (hidden) for grub and 1 for Windows (first of the two).

But I do have a question... Grub? Does Win 7 install grub? Or did you forget to add grub to the list of needed tools?



Hi dencorso!
I was really surprised when I first noticed it. By simply installing Windows 7 in a free space (never if you install it into an existing primary partition), it creates a hidden active primary partition 0 which behaves just as grub did, and it is thanks to it that, using partition 1 or 2 you can format the other one and rebuild it by a simple copy/paste procedure, using a file manager which allows you to see and copy hidden and system files.
No need at all to rebuild the PBR!

#4
xboxhaxorz

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All that unit and install stuff is confusing. Why not just install windows 7 2 times as normal and then do step 7? I currently have windows xp and 7 as a dual boot and have used duals for 7 yrs.

The *


#5
cannie

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All that unit and install stuff is confusing. Why not just install windows 7 2 times as normal and then do step 7? I currently have windows xp and 7 as a dual boot and have used duals for 7 yrs.


Yours is a perfectly valid option.

Why all the rest?

Apart from explaining the procedure for easy cloning at number 7, which closes the tutorial, in the previous numbers I've tried to explain how to restructure before it the complete HD in order to preserve only a sufficient and similar disk space for each of both Windows 7 primary partitions while saving all the rest of the whole HD totally prepared for films, fotos, music etc.

Being an original first exposition of a personal experience of mine, maybe it is not so clear as it should be.

I'll read it all again by heart and try to explain everything in an easier way, in a short term.

Thanks for your contribution!

Best wishes

cannie

#6
cannie

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The whole text has been corrected and modified for an easier understanding. :whistle:

Hope it helps.

cannie

#7
mraeryceos

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You can instead use GRUB in the 100MB partition to have the alternative boot be Linux.

#8
cannie

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You can instead use GRUB in the 100MB partition to have the alternative boot be Linux.


Totally correct, if having Linux is better for your needs.

As I commented to dencorso at post no. 3 the hidden active primary partition 1 which Windows 7 installs by default into a not partitioned space behaves in a similar way as grub's partition 0.

This tutorial takes profit from this grub-like approach of Windows 7 to run optionally any of two totally identical Windows 7 primary partitions after an easy and fast cloning procedure of the originally installed one.

cannie

#9
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very informative post, I actually tried it on one of my computer and it did work wonders.

thanks

Edited by cluberti, 15 July 2010 - 07:57 AM.
Sig links removed, spam. User banned.


#10
cannie

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Thanks for your appreciations, willjackson and maria!

As maria says, there is a lot of software for data recovery and to get a clone of the HD. The need of it is so basic that they exist since the first days of computing.

But the purpose of this tutorial is not exactly that:

1.- It tries to configure your HD in the optimal way to keep safe and apart your personal files, while "repeating" your Windows 7 into two primary units of the same disk which are also optimized just for this OS.

2.- The purpose of this tutorial is just to take profit of the grub-mode facility which appears under Windows 7 to have two copies of your OS totally operative into two different primary partitions of the same HD, choosing at boot one or the other. AFAIK ordinary clones from Windows 7 can only be used to rebuild the original drive.

3.- When your Windows 7 freezes or stops working for any motive you feel really happy if you can switch inmediately to an exact copy of the same software, shortcuts and apps, not only to go on working without delay in the same usual way but also to delete the damaged drive unit and rebuild it from scratch on the background from a logical unit, external HD or DVD in less than 15 minutes. No problem of drivers and no need to remember but a single install scheme.

4.- The saved clone is totally transparent: it allows you to examine at any moment any of the elements of the OS, even the hidden ones (preferably using Total Commander in this case). This option is very useful in many occasions.

Edited by cannie, 15 July 2010 - 10:32 AM.


#11
cannie

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Taking into account the words of the members who have posted before into this thread, and trying to accomodate in a better way the title of this thread to its content, I have changed it for a better understanding.

Thank you all!

HTH

#12
rlstroncek

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I followed all of your directions and everything has worked until step 4.2.
When I doubleclick on my "unmount.reg" text file, I get a Registry Editor error popup message that says:
Cannot import C:\Users\Rich\Desktop\Unmount.reg:The specified file is not a registry script. You can only import binary registry file from within the registry editor.

Here is my unmount.reg script:
{-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices}
{HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices}
{HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control}
"SystemBootDevice"=""
{HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet001\Control}
"SystemBootDevice"=""
{HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet002\Control}
"SystemBootDevice"=""

Does anyone have any ideas/corrections to solve this problem?

Thanks for your help and patience. Rich

#13
dencorso

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Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
<blank line>
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control]
"SystemBootDevice"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control]
"SystemBootDevice"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control]
"SystemBootDevice"=""
<blank line>

Yes. The items in red are missing. Note that <blank line> denotes just that: a blank line.

#14
rlstroncek

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:D Thank you very much for your help. Your correction worked great; now on to the finish line! Rich

#15
rlstroncek

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I can understand the advantages of adding the "Unmount.reg" to the registry to allow the easy copying. Adding "Unmount.reg" is a permanent change; what are the disadvantages to making this permanent chagnge?
After I set up my computer this way, Acronis True Image can't find the hard drives/partitions in my computer when I try to run it.
Are we supposed to change the registry back to its state before adding "Unmount.reg" after each copy of the system?
Thanks!

#16
cannie

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1.- Adding "Unmount.reg" is a permanent change; what are the disadvantages to making this permanent change?
2.- After I set up my computer this way, Acronis True Image can't find the hard drives/partitions in my computer when I try to run it.
3.- Are we supposed to change the registry back to its state before adding "Unmount.reg" after each copy of the system?


Hello rlstroncek!

I have numbered your questions for a better answer:

1.- Units keep mounted even after running "Unmount.reg" and the registry is updated automatically at next reboot. The change is therefore no permanent and has no disadvantages at all.

2.- When you use "Unmount.reg" your registry gets modified so that you can use Windows 7 into any other primary partition. It achieves its goal by totally deleting any references to the unit into which the OS is working and also to all other mounted ones. It doesn't leave into the recovery file any reference to the original unit. You should rather save the recovery copy into an external device (copy/paste) or by building a rar file of it to be saved on DVD using the UDF format of Nero.

3.- No need to change the registry back to its state after each copy of the system: as soon as you reboot all units will be mounted, recovering the deleted registry keys.

Enjoy it!

cannie

PS: Being this explanation very important, last paragrah of the tutorial has been modified to include it.

Edited by cannie, 16 January 2011 - 11:45 AM.


#17
cannie

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I have noticed that the compressed recovery .rar file can also be fully copied into a DVD by simply using the Windows 7 file manager.

Trying to make it better I've modified the text to include this easier method. Of course you may keep using the UDF format of NERO or any other burning program for the same purpose.

HTH

cannie

Edited by cannie, 18 August 2010 - 11:21 AM.


#18
cannie

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Revised and improved in many points, collecting new suggestions and personal experiences.

HTH

cannie

Edited by cannie, 22 August 2010 - 01:17 PM.


#19
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It's seams like the primary focus here is to quickly do a bare metal restore of the machine. It's a nice experimentation exercise, but I don't see the point beyond that. It's not a backup, so that's something the user still needs to do. Wouldn't it be easier to have an external hard drive and regularly use the built in Windows backup so your backups are up to date? This reminds me of all the extra partitioning people were doing with Win9x back in the day. Ugh. And why not use Virtual machines for testing? You get snapshot capabilities that can't be any easier to use. Many bits of good knowledge here. I just don't see why anyone would go through all this trouble.

#20
cannie

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1.- It's not a backup, so that's something the user still needs to do.
2.- Wouldn't it be easier to have an external hard drive and regularly use the built in Windows backup so your backups are up to date?
3.- Why not use Virtual machines for testing.


Hi mOgely!

I've resumed and numbered your questions for a better answer.

1.- The purpose of the tutorial is not to describe a backup method: there are a lot of excellent ones. But as a consequence of the proposed optimized system the recovery "unmounted" copy is a backup for both primary partitions. You may also backup your personal files into an external device, but they are not permanently in danger.

2.- If you simply use the traditional image obtaining methods, when your C drive fails you must stop working and you loose all your not previously saved personal files.

3.- Using virtual machines for testing is also an excellent option for those who prefer it.

HTH

Edited by cannie, 01 September 2010 - 05:09 PM.


#21
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Thanks for this site very helpful.

Edited by Tripredacus, 01 September 2010 - 08:24 PM.
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#22
m0gely

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2.- If you simply use the traditional image obtaining methods, when your C drive fails you must stop working and you loose all your not previously saved personal files.


We agree factory restore images are bad. However Windows backup in Win7, and business versions of Vista create a current image of the entire system. When you restore the image, it contains all your current personal files so nothing is lost. This requires you to backup regularly, but in Windows 7 it can easily be scheduled and is a question the user is asked when they run their first backup. The backup software takes care of this for them. You mention "when your C drive fails." I know that what you mean is, when the "Windows partition needs rebuilt". However, if the hard drive physically fails, then nothing is gained by your method. In either case, using Windows backup or other backup tools to create a restore image that is regularly updated would still be a solution. It's fine, we just prefer different methods. I just prefer less effort.

#23
cannie

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1.- Windows backup in Win7, and business versions of Vista create a current image of the entire system. When you restore the image, it contains all your current personal files so nothing is lost. This requires you to backup regularly, but in Windows 7 it can easily be scheduled and is a question the user is asked when they run their first backup.
2.- The backup software takes care of this for them. You mention "when your C drive fails." I know that what you mean is, when the "Windows partition needs rebuilt". However, if the hard drive physically fails, then nothing is gained by your method. In either case, using Windows backup or other backup tools to create a restore image that is regularly updated would still be a solution. It's fine, we just prefer different methods. I just prefer less effort.


Well, I see it this way:
1.- Even when the recovery system now used by Microsoft is by far the best of all existing ones, no scheduling saves the last minute introduced personal files, unless you save inmediately every change, and today, as you know, your personal files are very frequently dispersed into hundreds of GB.

2.- Of course I exclude a physical failure of the HD. In that case the only solution is a new one. But in the everyday use we all have lived experiences in which restoring to a previous moment was not enough and you had to pick your external image to rebuild totally the HD, including the personal, and normally outdated, files and folders. Then you must stop working, and that may be a big problem in critical moments.

HTH

cannie

#24
dencorso

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The best strategy is many at once: full partition images burnt regularly to DVDs, full partition images saved at finer regular intervals to a big external HDD, two HDDs with independents OSes in system partitions and one data partition in one of them incrementally backed-up to another one of the same size in the other. And, at least one aditional partition in one of the drives for discardable data (which can be lost without problems) and the page file. It's time consuming, but the more paranoid you are, the safer you get.

#25
catsado

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For me the best way to get speed for your Win 7 is to install it on a SSD , and keep your data on a HDD :) .




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