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Why Windows Won’t Boot from the Cloned System Partition?

Question:
I want to image my Windows 7 on disk 1 to another disk. However, there are many partitions on disk 1, so I copied the system partition with Partition Wizard to achieve system migration. But disappointingly, Windows won’t boot from the cloned system partition: a black screen emerges during the boot stage. How could this happen? Can't I use "Copy Partition" of Partition Wizard to migrate a system?

Answer:
Since Windows Vista boot mechanism differs from that of conventional Windows OS to some extent (BIOS+MBR based). Under Windows Vista and later Windows systems, BOOTMGR is used as the systems’ boot manager and must work with a boot file named BCD (Boot Configuration Data) to boot Windows. To be specific, BOOTMGR finds the exact disk and partition to load Windows kernel files via information provided by BCD. It is noteworthy that Disk Signature (DS) is used in this boot mechanism, which is a 4-bytes hex number (624AA2E0, for instance) and can be found in MBR sector. It can be comprehend as the only ID of each disk with a unique value. However, just because DS is a unique number, Windows won’t boot from the cloned system partition.

In the case of copying Windows system partition from disk 1 to disk 2, the BCD file is also copied, and the DS information stored in BCD stays fixed (still be the DS of disk 1). However, disk 2 has a different DS, which is not accord with the DS recorded in BCD. Thus, BOOTMGR in this time cannot locate the Windows system files to load up system on disk 2. As a result, Windows will not boot from the cloned system partition.

However, users can employ "Copy Disk" and "Migrate OS to HD/SSD Wizard" features in MiniTool Partition Wizard to migrate Windows. For both functions employ sector-by-sector copy. To be specific, the DS of disk 1 will be copied to disk 2, which makes disk 2 have the same DS as disk 1. And in this circumstance, the disk 2, whose DS is accord with BCD entry, can be identified by BOOTMGR and becomes bootable.

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