jbullard wrote:Got the info!!!
OK, at this point we have the dual boot functioning, but the initial problems still remain. I'm typing this to try to keep others who find this thread up to date. No one likes a thread that addresses their problem only to find out that when all is said and done there is no answer posted.
At this point we've created the dual boot, but the method to do so is not what we had in mind. However, it does show that it can be done with an install of Windows 7 and an imaged copy of that install overlaid onto another drive.
I'm of the mind that the 'generic boot loader' is the right focus and automating that process is the proper method. This will remain to be seen, but progress on this effort is looking like where the real potential is. Since making a fresh image of the original install periodically and then sending it across to the backup drive, and getting the dual boot with it, as the method of keeping both drives up to date for upgrades, updates, additional software changes, and stored documents, keeping it user friendly would be a must. Such was the case in Windows OS's before Vista/7. With the Windows 7 boot loader this has become a nightmare.
At this point we have the dual boot of the image created hard drive's OS functioning, but the effort to do so is not so user friendly and offers a necessity to reexamine the method. Considering the generic boot loader option, if it works, would allow the image to be used on both drives instead of just one and hopefully retain the floating C: drive capability.
So far the method includes running the image across without any referencing for a drive letter assignment in both the setup for the image and the "New Volume" creation. (Note: The "New Volume" is created without formating in this exercise and shows as "RAW" in disk management). We then toggle the drive to "online" in Disk Management since the ID signature kills it the moment it's installed.
Then, using mbrfix to change the ID signature, and then, after finding out that you can't boot to either drive as a result of the mbrfix, installing and running the repair option from the original Windows 7 install disk. This cleans up the boot loader and renames the drives.
That's quite a bit of ridiculous effort to have to go through every time you create an updated image and then throw across just to bring the backup drive up to speed. I does allow for the bulk of this to be done from within a Windows environment, which is a plus, but still requires the Windows 7 installation disk to fix the mess. Also, booting up using the backup drive's boot loader (done by switching drives in the BIOS) brings on the same problems so now the method has to be repeated twice, once for each boot loader. After that's done you can use BCDEDIT from the command prompt to rename the drives, which also has to be done for both both loaders. That's not much of a problem though and I can live with that more trivial aspect.
It looks like the next thing to do is give the generic boot loader option a go.