Windows boot priority and BOOTMGR problem.

aymendj

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As you can see, my disks are a bit of a mess, as it's an old PC with old HDDs.

1609318139499.png


The problem: I'm trying to merge all the partitions in Disk 0, but I can't wipe drive C: because it has an old and corrupted version of Windows 7 that used to be my main boot device. I tried to set the drive to Inactive using DISKPART in order to wipe it, but that makes the bootup broken as it requires C: to be active. I've had to boot from a USB just to get to CMD to set it as active again. I'm not sure if it has something to do with BOOTMGR or anything, but any help would be welcome.



I want a way to be able to format C: to merge all Disk 0, and to merge those small, unused allocations.



Thank you.
 
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FreeBooter

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The Disk 0 is the disk you boot your computer from that is why it has C: letter assign to it, you can merge D:, E: and unallocated space to C: partition by deleting them.
 

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johngalt

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In addition, it sounds like the bootloader files are on the first HD - you'll need them on the physical drive that contains drive H in order to boot from it directly.

One trick that you could try is to remove the physical drive and boot your computer with an existing installation disc / USB drive with only your physical disk 2 connected, and perform an In-Place 'upgrade' of your system so that the files needed to boot will be installed to that drive.

If you do decide to try this, the first thing you want to do before anything is to make a clone of the current H Partition to another drive so that if the in-place upgrade does not actually work, you can restore the H partition, reconnect all your drives in the same order as you had them and all will be well.

Based upon the sizes, I'd assume disk 2 is a large mechanical drive, disk 1 might be n SSD, and disk 0 is a smaller mechanical, but I'm only guessing based upon the sizes of the drives. Knowing which drives are mechanical versus SSHD / SSD would help, as it would make for better planning on how to fix this, too. I see that another partition on disk 2 is labelled games - is that just backed up .ISOs for games or is that an alternate installation location (such as J:\Games\ where you tell game installers to install?
 

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zbook

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""One trick that you could try is to remove the physical drive and boot your computer with an existing installation disc / USB drive with only your physical disk 2 connected, and perform an In-Place 'upgrade' of your system so that the files needed to boot will be installed to that drive.""

Do you have any links for this method?

An in place upgrade can be performed by booting Windows.

It cannot be performed when booting a flash drive:

  • You will only be able to do a repair install of Windows 10 from within Windows 10. You will not be able to do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode.
 

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johngalt

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zbook

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In the link it displayed:

  1. Connect the USB Flash drive to the PC you want to upgrade or insert the DVD into the drive.
  2. Start the PC or restart it.


The method can only be performed by a normal or selective boot.

If there is boot failure the in place upgrade cannot be performed.
 

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johngalt

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As you can see, my disks are a bit of a mess, as it's an old PC with old HDDs.

View attachment 2597

The problem: I'm trying to merge all the partitions in Disk 0, but I can't wipe drive C: because it has an old and corrupted version of Windows 7 that used to be my main boot device. I tried to set the drive to Inactive using DISKPART in order to wipe it, but that makes the bootup broken as it requires C: to be active. I've had to boot from a USB just to get to CMD to set it as active again. I'm not sure if it has something to do with BOOTMGR or anything, but any help would be welcome.



I want a way to be able to format C: to merge all Disk 0, and to merge those small, unused allocations.



Thank you.

Based upon the the indication that a USB boot to use a CMD prompt to set the drive active leads me to believe that booting is *fixed* for now, which would allow the in place to then work, right?
 

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    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
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Ghot

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As you can see, my disks are a bit of a mess, as it's an old PC with old HDDs.

View attachment 2597

The problem: I'm trying to merge all the partitions in Disk 0, but I can't wipe drive C: because it has an old and corrupted version of Windows 7 that used to be my main boot device. I tried to set the drive to Inactive using DISKPART in order to wipe it, but that makes the bootup broken as it requires C: to be active. I've had to boot from a USB just to get to CMD to set it as active again. I'm not sure if it has something to do with BOOTMGR or anything, but any help would be welcome.



I want a way to be able to format C: to merge all Disk 0, and to merge those small, unused allocations.



Thank you.


I would try this...

1. Get Macrium Reflect (free) and install the program.
2. Run Macrium Reflect and create the Macrium Reflect bootable media (CD or USB stick)
3. Insert the bootable media into the optical drive or USB port.
4. Turn the computer OFF.
5. Unhook the power and data cables to Disk 0 and Disk 1
6. Turn the computer ON and boot from the Macrium Reflect bootable media.
7. In the Restore section, choose the: Fix boot problems, option
8. When it's done, restart the computer and you will probably be able to boot from Disk 3.
9. If you can, then turn the computer OFF again... hook up Disk 1 and Disk 2, and boot the computer.
10. Now, you should be able to delete everything you want, on Disk 0 and Disk 1.
 

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johngalt

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Caveat - may *also* need to set your BIOS / UEFI boot order setting (assuming it actually exists and lets you) to permanently boot off the new boot drive, in case it is set to poll through available drives and picks the first one - which might then try to boot off the old drive again.

But Ghot makes a good point on using a feature that I've never actually used in Macrium which, theoretically, should accomplish the same thing I was trying to without actually having to do a full reinstall of Windows over itself.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model A (homebrew)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
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    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
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    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen @ 1920*1080
    Hard Drives
    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM (Old storage)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
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    NZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler + Air (3 * 140mm fans from case)
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