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Unable to select other harddisk drive as backup destination RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello!

    I'm attempting to create new System Image with Windows 7 - Backup and Restore. My harddisk configuration is:

    Disc 0               C partition, Win7 installation drive
    Disc 1               E partition

    When I can select HDD, DVD or Network location as destination for backup, I cannot find E partition as an available option. Why?

    Disk Management shows that E partition is System, Active and Primary partition.
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 3:32 PM

Answers

  • Hi weedee,

    That's your problem the operating system is on drive C: and the boot manager is on drive E: Windows isn't allowing you to delete the drive E: because it has the boot manager on it. I can only suggest that you do as Sanmartin has indicated, disconnect your second hard drive and then re-install Windows 7 to your first hard drive. The boot manager should then be placed correctly on the C: drive (in this instance you probably will get the 100MB partition followed by your C: partition. Once that is done and everything is working you can reconnect your second hard drive and you should be able to delete the E partition.

    John Barnett MVP: Windows XP Associate Expert: Windows Desktop Experience: Web: http://www.winuser.co.uk; Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org; Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org;
    • Marked as answer by weedee Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:02 PM
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 12:07 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Disk Management shows that both of my hard disks are with System status. I red from help, that System status prevents using HDD as a backup destination. How I can remove System status from my second HD?

    Sunday, June 14, 2009 5:16 PM
  • weedee -

    Before you go too far - what exactly is on the E: drive? Are you dual-booting into another OS?
    Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:24 PM
  • Thanks Wolfie for your reply.

    E drive has couple of folders containing my personal files and backup folders created by my previous Windows 7 RC1 installation. There's no other OS in E partition. So I'm not dual-booting into another OS.
    Monday, June 15, 2009 6:10 PM
  • Thanks Wolfie for your reply.

    E drive has couple of folders containing my personal files and backup folders created by my previous Windows 7 RC1 installation. There's no other OS in E partition. So I'm not dual-booting into another OS.

    weedee -

    Ok... So there's no OS lurking on that E: drive. For some reason, it's been marked as a SYSTEM partition - I'm wondering if that's part of the problem... Do  you have a spare drive or an external drive available? Might want to try copying the files from the existing E: drive  to a non-System partiton.
    Monday, June 15, 2009 8:02 PM
  • Yes, that's what I'm going to try next.

    Copy all files from E: drive to external drive and then delete/re-create partition on Disc 1.
    Monday, June 15, 2009 8:13 PM
  • weedee,

    All I can guess is that the Windows 7 install process looked at the information corresponding to your previous Windows 7 installation on E:, and misread it as files belonging to your current installation.

    Would you be able to temporarily copy and paste all of the essential files from E: to C: (or some other backup medium), then delete and recreate the partition?
    -Alex
    Monday, June 15, 2009 8:35 PM
  • Hi axfelix,

    I'm not able to delete E: partition. Disk Management has greyed out option 'Delete Volume'. I started computer with Windows 7 install CD and attempted to delete E: partition with partitioning tool in setup. But no luck.
    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 4:29 PM
  • weedee -

    Now, when you did this - did you boot from the DVD or did you run the setup from within Windows 7?

    You want to boot from the DVD.
    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 8:31 PM
  • He said he started the computer with the installlation DVD.

    Try deleting it with your XP cd or other.
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 6:27 AM
  • Rebooted with Windows XP installation CD and attempted to delete E: partition in non-GUI setup. It looked as partition was successfully deleted. After this, I tried to boot in 7 again. There was error BOOTMGR is missing. "Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". I booted up with Windows 7 repair disc and it fixed partition table.

    After I was able to boot into 7 again, partition E: was there again and marked as System drive in Disk Management.

    Problem still exist.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 3:36 PM
  • Probably won't work but you could try DISKPART.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 3:40 PM
  • How do you delete partition with DISKPART

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 4:03 PM
  • Ok, tried command DELETE DISK 2 in DISKPART. Error was:

    "The disk you specified cannot be deleted.
    Please select an empty missing disk to delete."
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 4:07 PM
  • weedee,

    At this point, I'd point you towards a third-party utility such as Partition Magic or GParted, but I'd keep in mind that your system clearly does not want you to delete that partition.
    -Alex
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 4:57 PM
  • Hi axfelix,

    Maybe 3rd party tool could solve this...

    I'll copy all my files to external USB disc and delete all partitions from all drives. Then, I'll disconnect other discs than the one I want to install OS and install OS to it. After this, I'll connect other discs.

    If this fails, then I'll go back to Vista and install 7 next time after it's available in stores.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:11 PM
  • Try opening a command prompt and type chkdsk -it could find your errors.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:22 PM
  • When Windows shows a volume as a "System" volume, it simply means that the partition has been marked active.

    You could try using the Diskpart command INACTIVE.

    Microsoft DiskPart version 6.0.6002
    Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: Phenom-Server08
    
    DISKPART> ? INACTIVE
    
        On basic master boot record (MBR) disks, marks the partition with focus as
        inactive.
    
    Syntax:  INACTIVE
    
        The computer may start from the next option specified in the BIOS such as a
        CD-ROM drive or a Pre-Boot eXecution Environment (PXE)-based boot
        environment (such as Remote Installation Services (RIS)) when you restart
        the computer.
    
        A partition must be selected for this operation to succeed.
    
        Caution:
    
            Your computer might not start without an active partition. Do not mark
            a system or boot partition as inactive unless you are an experienced
            user with a thorough understanding of Windows storage management.
    
    Example:
    
        INACTIVE
    
    DISKPART>
    If Windows thinks the disk in question is the one the BIOS is booting, it won't let you deactivate it or delete the active partion on it.  Windows is often wrong when it makes that determination during the boot process.

    This usually the case if you set the BIOS to boot a drive other than the first IDE disk.  At some point, Windows thinks the BIOS booted the first IDE drive, or whichever one it thinks is first.

    If this is the one Windows is actually using, there will be a \boot folder on it and the file BCD in it is in use and mounted by the Registry as HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\BCD00000000.  It will be listed in the hivelist (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist).
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:25 PM
  • Another possability in order to delete partition E:\ Would be to delete the boot configuration store entirely and make a new on from scratch using bcdedit or a 3P tool called easybcd.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:41 PM
  • <Rebooted with Windows XP installation CD and attempted to delete E: partition in non-GUI setup. It looked as partition was successfully deleted. After this, I tried to boot in 7 again. There was error BOOTMGR is missing. "Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". I booted up with Windows 7 repair disc and it fixed partition table. After I was able to boot into 7 again, partition E: was there again and marked as System drive in Disk Management.>

    My interpretation is this: Your E: partition was the one you did boot from before and was set as "active" because BIOS used this disk (disk1) to boot. In other words, you installed Win7 on C: (disk0) while being E: the first drive in your boot order. Therefore, Win7 setup placed its bootloader on partition E: (disk1). You would have Win7 prevented from booting if you would have deleted that partition, so you couldn't delete it. Well, you found a way to delete it anyway, and got the appropriate error: BOOTMGR is missing. Sure, you deleted it one moment ago. The repair disk looks on the errors ocurred, finds a pointer that disk1 is the bootable device and "repairs" the problem restoring the bootloader on E: Result - E: is once again undeletable and unaccessible for backups.
    Conclusion: Either I misunderstood your report quoted above, or you should set disk0 as the booting drive in BIOS, and then repeat all the suggested steps if needed.


    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:53 PM
  • Well like I said recreating the boot configuration store could do the trick and like sanmartin said you wiped out the bootmgr file from E:\ .

    I don't think changing the bios boot order is going to make a lot of difference but what could work is to copy bootmgr to the real system partition and reasigning it to that partition with your EASYBCD.

    Also make sure the boot data store (it's a folder named "boot" and contains "BCD" is on the real system partition as well.

    If you can get the "boot" folder (boot data store) and bootmgr to the partiotion with your system files and off of E:\ and reasign them with bcdedit or EASyBCD then you'll be able to use E: for other operations such as backup and restore.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 6:10 PM
  • Hi weedee,

    I might have missed something along the way reading these threads but how large is the partition E:? When you deleted it using your XP CD you apparently got a message on reboot which said that the boot manager was missing? Windows 7 shouldn't do this but i'm wondering whether Windows 7 installed to your C: drive and then created a 100MB (yes Megabyte) partition on your second drive (Partition E:) to install its system and boot manager records. It 'should' do this on a single drive system but not on a double/triple drive system. It certainly doesn't happen on mine and I have two 500GB hard drives; however, if I disconnect one of the hard drives and then install Windows 7 I get two partitions created on the same drive - a system partition of 100MB and then drive C:

    John Barnett MVP: Windows XP Associate Expert: Windows Desktop Experience: Web: http://www.winuser.co.uk; Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org; Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org;
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 6:40 PM
    Answerer
  • John, you said if you install windows 7  to a computer with only one clean slated hard drive it creates a 100mb seperate partition for bootfiles? Doesn't it just make a "boot" data store folder and bootmgr on the system partition like Vista?

    Anyway, the best todo is get your EasyBCD then delete the entire boot store and make a new data store from scratch to c:\.


    Saturday, June 20, 2009 6:51 PM
  • You could just copy the existing BCD on E: to C:, but you would have to do it "offline", or from a WinPE prompt, available by booting a Vista or Windows 7 install disk.

    As an alternative, you can use the /export command in BCDedit:

        C:\> bcdedit /export C:\boot\BCD

    Assuming that C:\boot\BCD does not already exist, it will export the currently mounted BCD to the file C:\boot\BCD.

    You might think that this "export" file has a different format, such as compressed, but it is if fact the same.

    Since we are talking about the same drive when bcdedit shows "partition=C:", it will work.

    I have tested this and it works.

    If you have problems, you can have the install disk "repair my computer", after you set the BIOS to boot that drive.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 7:11 PM
  • To avoid the complications that arise from using bcdedit I suggest:

    http://neosmart.net/downloads/software/EasyBCD/EasyBCD%201.7.2.exe
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 7:38 PM
  • What complications?  You are just using it to make a copy.

    When editing, I would recommend copying an entry, and then changing the copy.

    I have used EasyBCD, but now that I am used to BCDedit, I prefer it.  But then I am kind of command line oriented, since that is the way I started out.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 8:40 PM
  • The command you suggested can not be used for the purpose you intended since export is only used to make a backup of the data store for future restoration unless you use the import command afterwords. Using bcdedit export alone will result in not being able to boot and having to use the restore disk to rewrite partition information

    Furthermore more likely than not the boot data store folder is aleready on c:\ so the only file to be concerned with is bootmgr.

    • Edited by ONE ZERO Saturday, June 20, 2009 8:55 PM
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 8:49 PM
  • It will work, I tell you.

    To test the concept, export your BCD to a file of your choice.  Then, open Regedit and select File\Load Hive, while focused on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.  Navigate to your exported file and select it.  Enter a temporary key name and it will mount it.

    You will see a copy of what you can see in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\BCD00000000.

    I have played with this while copying a Windows installation to a different drive.  It works.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 8:58 PM
  • You can import and export as much as you like but please don't have me wondering why it did not work becouse you didn't give me a complete answer and include import. 

    And now your wasting my time with registry hives.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 9:09 PM
  • You do not have to import.

    The exported file has the same format as the original file, and can be used as a substitute BCD database.

    It can also be verified and otherwise manipulated with esentutil.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 9:15 PM
  • You can export the bcd for future restoration and then import it at a later time other than this I don't really get your point.

    If your looking for a quick answer and are not familiar with bcdedit you can use a simple interface like I suggested to free up the partition you neeeded to use.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 9:20 PM
  • When someone posts a question I try to give an honest and complete answer to quickly resolve the issue and now you want to make things even worse with another command tool.

    My suggestion was posted by somone else in a similar situation and the response was "great, thank you!" instead of your confusing and incomplete answers.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 9:32 PM
  • Try this.

    Open a command prompt and type the following:

        bcdedit /export BCD.test
    This exports the BCD database to the file BCD.test in the current directory.

        bcdedit /store BCD.test
    This enumerates active entries, using the store BCD.test instead of the current one.

        reg load HKLM\BCDtest BCD.test
    This will mount the hive BCD.test on a new key just below the present one at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\BCD00000000.

    The exported file dows not have to be imported for it to be used as a boot configuration database.  It already is one.

    If you still don't believe me, take a spare drive and put it in your machine.  Create a partition, set it active, and format it NTFS.  Copy bootmgr to it from your C: drive and create a \boot folder on it.  Type bcdedit /export E:\boot\BCD, assuming E: is the new drive.  Then boot that drive by setting it first in the BIOS or using the BIOS boot menu, if available.

    Report back.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:00 PM
  • It's not a question of weather I believe you or not becouse the simple tasks you have preposed I can easily preform however it would be a waste of time to preform them. 

    Alternativly I could use  bcdedit.exe  /createstore then set the drive to c:\ and path to winload then set the display order.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:06 PM
  • You obviously don't believe me.

    If you are unwilling to try things, don't tell me it won't work.

    I have done it and it works.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:28 PM
  • It works but why would I when I can do it all from one command window with bcdedit?
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:47 PM
  • One command window, one command.

        C:\> bcdedit /export C:\boot\BCD
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:54 PM
  • I made a folder "boot" on another partition and hit export. A backup "bcd" appears with "bcd.log".
    but if I type bcdedit to retreve boot info it still tells me bootmgr is on drive c:\ so how will it find bootmgr?

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:02 PM
  • Even if I change the BIOS boot priority I would need to use the bcdedit /set to reasign bootmgr.
    If I type createstore it automatically creates BCD and the boot folder it sits in.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:14 PM
  • Well, I did forget about that part.  You have to have the correct drive in the {bootmgr} section.

    To view, or modify settings in the copy, you need to use the /store parameter.

        C:> bcdedit /store c:\wherever\BCD

    If the system is currently booting from E: as in the original post, bcdedit will show:

    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    device                  partition=E:
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    default                 {current}
    displayorder            {current}

    etc.

    Bootmgr is loaded by the boot sector from the root of the partition booted.  But it no doubt needs device set properly to continue loading.  Such as:

        C:\> bcdedit /store c:\wherever\BCD /set {bootmgr} device partition=C:

    Using the /store command is a risk free way to practice using bcdedit on a copy of the system store, without modifying the original store.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:20 PM
  • I suppose so.
    I could also modify the current store and export it to it's new home.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:27 PM
  • One command window, one command.

        C:\> bcdedit /export C:\boot\BCD

    I do this and bcdedit /set  for bootmgr the data store won't be found on reboot.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:51 PM
  • What is the error message?

    This would tend to indicate bootmgr thinks a different drive and partion is active.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:54 PM
  • I can export a data store but will not be able to use it unless I import it to the the old location or a newly created one in a new location.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:59 PM
  • Hi John,

    There's no 100MB partition on second "empty" harddrive. There's only hidden folders: $RECYCLE.BIN, Boot and System Volume Information. And there's also file bootmgr. Nothing else.
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 7:48 AM
  • Hi weedee,

    your problem will persist as long as you have your OS files on drive0 (C:) and the files needed to boot (bootmgr, f.i.) on drive1 (E:). If the BIOS boot order is OK now, disable your drive1 and reinstall Windows on drive0 to ensure that the bootloader, volume info etc. is on that drive and not on the other you want to use for backups.
    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 8:48 AM
  • Hi weedee,

    That's your problem the operating system is on drive C: and the boot manager is on drive E: Windows isn't allowing you to delete the drive E: because it has the boot manager on it. I can only suggest that you do as Sanmartin has indicated, disconnect your second hard drive and then re-install Windows 7 to your first hard drive. The boot manager should then be placed correctly on the C: drive (in this instance you probably will get the 100MB partition followed by your C: partition. Once that is done and everything is working you can reconnect your second hard drive and you should be able to delete the E partition.

    John Barnett MVP: Windows XP Associate Expert: Windows Desktop Experience: Web: http://www.winuser.co.uk; Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org; Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org;
    • Marked as answer by weedee Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:02 PM
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 12:07 PM
    Answerer
  • There is no need for weedee to reinstall the operating system or disconect his hard drive.

    There are less drastic measures he can take to free the drive he is trying to use.

    Sunday, June 21, 2009 12:25 PM
  • Hello everybody,

    And million thanks for your efforts in helping me to get my system running again.

    I booted with Windows XP install CD, deleted all my partitions from Disc 0 and Disc 1. Then I disconnected Disc 1 and started installing Windows 7. After setup was completed, I connected Disc 1 and now Disk Management shows partition on Disc 1 as just plain Primary partition as it should. I got my backups running and everything is super.

    Thanks John, Midnight rambler, Wolfie, Axfelix, brborg and Sanmartin.
    • Marked as answer by weedee Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by weedee Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:03 PM
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:01 PM
  • You're Welcome Weedee. It's good to know you are now up and running.
    John Barnett MVP: Windows XP Associate Expert: Windows Desktop Experience: Web: http://www.winuser.co.uk; Web: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org; Web: http://vistasupport.mvps.org;
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 8:57 PM
    Answerer
  • I'm so glad weedee's back in business but if only there was a way to do it without reinstalling.
    • Proposed as answer by nomotek Friday, November 27, 2009 3:02 AM
    Monday, June 22, 2009 12:44 AM
  • I'm so glad weedee's back in business but if only there was a way to do it without reinstalling.
    I accidentally clicked "propose as answer" to Mr. Seven's because I thought it said "propose an answer," which is what I would like to do now.  I wish I could undo the mistake, but I can't, so far as I can see.

    I had a similar situation because I first installed Windows 7 RC from a Win XP partition, and the boot files for Win 7 were on the XP installation.  Later I removed that hard drive and had the problem.  Putting the Windows 7 DVD in and running it would have solved things, because the auto-repair would have put the boot stuff back.  But my Win 7 DVD had gotten damaged meanwhile, and one can't download the RC anymore.  I downloaded the current retail version as a trial and burned it and tried to boot with that, but my computer would not boot with that DVD -- though another computer would!  So I still had a problem.

    I temporarily put the other hard drive back in and booted, then downloaded Neosmart.net's free EasyBCD software.  Register for the forum and get the 2.0 beta. http://neosmart.net/  There is a utility in there that will rewrite the boot files from a working Win 7 installation.  I did that, and it worked!
    Friday, November 27, 2009 3:10 AM