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Fixing Windows 7 with GPT and UEFI


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#1 Imipak

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 03:48 PM

I successfully installed Windows 7 using legacy BIOS and MBR. Worked great, auto-detected hardware just fine. Hard disk started going wonky, so made a file level copy of everything just in case.

Replaced hard drive. Because it's a big drive, I'm using UEFI and GPT. Windows recognizes the motherboard and disk but can't see any of the cards. Recognizes nothing.

(As an aside, the hardware works fine in UEFI mode under Linux and other OS', the hardware isn't having problems.)

I installed a lot of software under the BIOS/MBR install that would be painful to reinstall, and it had all the drivers installed. More importantly, perhaps, it had all Windows 7 patches installed. Reinstalling those won't be fun.

Is it possible to make use of the file dump to recover any of the prior state? Or am I doomed to push the boulder up the hill one more time and treat this as a scratch install?

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 05:18 PM

Windows that was installed on Legacy/MBR will not boot when UEFI is enabled. In other words, a disk image of Windows 7 installed Legacy will not work if restored to a UEFI/GPT disk. Is this what you wanted to know?

 

There are paid solutions that will convert an MBR disk to GPT. When you said file level copy, do you mean a full disk image using Windows 7 system image utility or something like Macrium? I believe this would be the only way you would be able to use the utility. Restore the image in legacy mode. Convert to GPT. Change form Legacy to UEFI. Reboot. I have never done this so I cannot say this will work in your situation. Best to install from scratch on a GPT disk with UEFI enabled.

 

Edit: I am assuming this drive is over 2TB as that is the limit for MBR.


Edited by JohnC_21, 13 December 2015 - 05:18 PM.


#3 GoFigure

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 02:21 PM

If you want to use GPT/UEFI then you need to do a clean install in that configuration.  You cannot change a boot disk from MBR to GPT (and you don't need to buy a program to do that, disk management does it as part of windows) but you can change storage disks. 

 

Control Panel ->Administrative Tools->Computer Management->(left pane under Storage) Disk Management->Select Disk you want to convert and right click on it, choose Delete Volume->all space should show as unallocated->Right Click on disk and select Convert to GPT.



#4 Imipak

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for the helpful tips. I have got closer to where I want to be, using a mix of that and pure insanity. My steps are as follows:

1. Convert the MBR partition to a GPT one
2. Install a fresh copy of Windows into a new partition
3. Boot into a different OS off thumb drive
4. Copy the Windows directory from the MBR installation to the GPT installation, with all permissions intact
5. Copy the Program Files (86) and Program Files likewise

The result boots with the drivers, programs and registry all as it should be. This is so so very close. On logging in, however, it gives me a temporary profile and the performance is terrible.

If it will let me, I'm going to switch to Windows 10 to see if that clears up the errors. I suspect it isn't going to like it, though. Any thoughts on how I might complete the conversion, since I am so close?

#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 03:58 PM

If you want to use GPT/UEFI then you need to do a clean install in that configuration.  You cannot change a boot disk from MBR to GPT (and you don't need to buy a program to do that, disk management does it as part of windows) but you can change storage disks. 

 

Control Panel ->Administrative Tools->Computer Management->(left pane under Storage) Disk Management->Select Disk you want to convert and right click on it, choose Delete Volume->all space should show as unallocated->Right Click on disk and select Convert to GPT.

I have not done it but the pro version of Aoemi Partition Wizard states it can be done.

For system boot disk conversion between MBR and GPT styles, to guarantee system bootable, you need to enter BIOS and change the boot mode after the conversion is completed.

 

 






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