How to install Windows 7 without extra system paritions on GPT Disk?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by ian82, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. ian82

    ian82 MDL Expert

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Usually when you choose to create a partition in Windows 7 setup, it prompts you to create a system partition

    in my case, it also prompts me to create some MBR disk I think it is because my SSD is a GPT disk (I have no clue what's that)

    So basically, when I install Windows 7, I end up up with:

    1- System partition (for boot files I think)
    2- MBR Disk (or whatever it is called is being created due to me having a GPT disk I think)
    3- C: partition (where windows is installed) [part of my 256 GB SSD]
    4- d : partition, my 2nd disk which is a 1 TB HDD

    The problem is, when I try to backup with Acronis True Image, even though I have installed the addon which supports GPT disks, when trying to restore the backup it always fails.

    Now what I want to do is, at one point last week, I installed Windows 7 but it didn't prompt me to neither create a system partition nor that extra MBR disk! I was then able to backup / restore in ACronis True Image just fine! I don't know what I did in computer management / disk management that made the SSD become a non GPT and valid for a normal installation, this is very confusing

    now yesterday I wanted to make a new installation with a new backup of Acronis True Image but this time it kept prompting me to recreate those extra partitions

    How does one go about installing Windows 7 on C: only without any extra partitions?

    Thanks
     
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  2. acyuta

    acyuta MDL Expert

    Mar 8, 2010
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    I think your motherboard has UEFI BIOS and so windows by default converts the boot disk to GPT. GPT is not required for <2.2TB disks. Assume that you want to install windows 7 on mbr instead of gpt

    To convert the boot disk from GPT to MBR:
    Insert your Windows 7 installation media and boot.
    AT BIOS, you will see boot order as whatever, but you will see UEFI dvd, but also will see your DVD writer (say HP 1260i) without any UEFI prefix. Select that boot device (without UEFI prefix)
    After booting you see the Install Windows 7 screen, press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt.
    At the command prompt, type Diskpart, press Enter.
    Type List Disk, press Enter.
    Type Select Disk # (where # is the number your drive shows up as), press Enter.
    Type Clean, press Enter.
    Type Convert MBR, press Enter.
    Type Exit, press Enter.
    Close the Command Prompt window.
    Click the "Next" button.
    Click the "Install now" button.
    Accept the terms and click the "Next" button.
    Choose "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)."

    Now to install windows 7 now without system reserved partition (see this tutorial)
    http://www.mydigitallife.net/hack-t...reserved-partition-when-installing-windows-7/
     
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  3. ian82

    ian82 MDL Expert

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Thanks a lot! ill try that soon! this is the best advice I have received in a long time!

    Cheers man
     
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  4. acyuta

    acyuta MDL Expert

    Mar 8, 2010
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    #4 acyuta, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    I suggest initially you connect only the boot disk. That way you will have only disk and only one disk to select.
    After windows install, just connect the other ones.

    Also in the MDL link posted, use method 3, which I prefer as it seems easiest. If you make a mistake, do it again. Remember, you can abort everything prior to install and redo.
     
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  5. ian82

    ian82 MDL Expert

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Anyone knows how to create a DOS Boot CD in case something goes wrong at least I can access all the formatting utilities in DOS?
     
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  6. acyuta

    acyuta MDL Expert

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  7. ian82

    ian82 MDL Expert

    Mar 7, 2012
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    I finally figured it out after a lot of research online.

    It seems the reason that extra MBR Disk 100 MB partition is created in addition to the 100 MB system partition and forcing the disk to be a GPT disk is because I had EFI Boot enabled in BIOS!

    All I did was delete the EFI boot option, and disable "Boot to EFI" in the BIOS settings then this time when I inserted the Windows 7 DVD and tried to create the partition, this time it only created C: without anything else! no system partition and no MBR Disk!!! Finally! I can use my Acronis True Image to back up and restore properly!! :)

    Thanks for all the suggestions though!
     
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  8. acyuta

    acyuta MDL Expert

    Mar 8, 2010
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    #8 acyuta, Aug 8, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
    Different motherboards may have different implementations, but in my ASUS X79 motherboard, the default is EFI or UEFI. Thus windows by default creates GPT partition.

    As you noted, you insert your windows dvd, and boot.
    Then you will see UEFI DVD, normal (name of DVD writer such as HP), and hard disk. Just make the DVD writer as the first boot device and then windows will install as MBR. If your disk was previously GPT, then you can use the above command to make it MBR.

    Then remove system reserved partition thru MDL method.

    ATIH 2011 can back up from GPT and also create images of GPT. You should select C: and the 100MB partition and also recover the same. I use the free Acronis for WD hard disks. Since I use a Intel SSD which is only for windows, I do not care if it is GPT or MBR. I use GPT (which makes a 128MB microsoft system reserved or MSR, a 100MB system reserved, and the C: drive) and just backup the entire disk. It is a problem though and you may forget to select both c: and 100MB. On GPT, MSR of 128MB is not shown and not required to be backed up. Acronis by default selects only C:. So on each backup, I have to manually select both C: and 100MB.

    You can use the bootable partition wizard to convert GPT to MBR and vice versa.

    PS: Although Acronis for WD is free, it works only if you have a WD hard disk in your system. There is also free Acronis for Seagate. I have a Intel SSD as boot and use acronis WD to backup/restore. Works all the time.
     
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  9. ian82

    ian82 MDL Expert

    Mar 7, 2012
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    I have a paid license for Acronis True Image 2011 and 2012 (upgrade) but I am using 2011 only I like it more. The point is, I also installed the addons for ATIH which enables GPT Disks support and I did backup as you said before that is all the 3 partitions, but the problem comes when you try to restore, it never does, and comes back with some weird error number.

    That being said, GPT is bye bye now :)
     
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  10. Kouryu

    Kouryu MDL Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2011
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    so you're willing to give up the much faster performance with an EFI installation on a GPT partition simply because you like an outdated utility that can't properly handle GPT partitions more? are you using acronis 2011 so much that this matters? :rolleyes:
     
  11. ian82

    ian82 MDL Expert

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    I am using Acronis True Image 2011 with the add on pack the enables GPT support and I can backup just fine but when I try to restore it never works

    Same thing happens with Acronis True Image 2012

    and I didn't know that EFI offers better performance and I didn't notice any degradation in performance at all, all my benchmark scores are the same so what are you on about? :rolleyes:
     
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  12. acyuta

    acyuta MDL Expert

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    I do not think GPT offers better performance than MBR. That being said, I use GPT on my SSD and acronis handles it well.
    It would help if Kouryu could post some benchmarks/reviews that show GPT to be faster than MBR. If the difference is significant, then perhaps ian82 could look at that and evaluate the benefits of GPT versus the problems that he is facing in backups, and see if there is a workaround.

    ian82: if you create a GPT with multiple partitions of which one is a boot partition, you should backup the C and 100MB fat partition. Acronis makes one image of that. Then when you restore, in destination, you should also select c: and 100mb. For me, since my ssd is gpt and exclusively for boot, I just backup the entire disk. That is not practical for larger disks though.

    GPT is supposed to offer better security, better restore ability, and ability to handle >2.2 TB disks. Restore ability on a MBR can also be equally good with a backup/image solution. However, I have not read so far about GPT offering better performance in terms of faster hard disks or boot times.
     
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  13. Kouryu

    Kouryu MDL Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2011
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    on an customer's HP ProBook a few months ago, I installed a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (which she bought and handed me to install) under BIOS/MBR mode... FRESH/CLEAN install of it, it took about a minute to minute and half to boot up. Then I noticed that laptop had EFI support, so I installed 7 again under EFI/GPT mode, and the system booted from 30 to 45 seconds TOPS... This was just by guess, no stop watch was used... this system used a regular 250GB HDD, no SSD or anything fancy.... actual usage was slightly faster while in Windows, again I had no stop watch to check.... just going by the seat of my pants, the performance increase was significant

    these improvements are greatly multiplied with the use of SSDs... during my research on 7 EFI installation, some people have claimed that their systems booted in mere seconds with SSDs, I believe it!

    given the choices, I would use 7 in EFI/GPT mode, any day

    and I'm sure there are people with meaningful benchmarks that can be posted here... I'm certain there's information to be found on google too!
     
  14. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    Doing a little bit of searching around, I found that many people are saying that there's no real increase in performance with GPT, but on drives like the Samsung 830 SSD, their own software does not support GPT correctly. So I'll probably do a MBR install when my Samsung 830 comes in.

    That's not to say that Kouryu did not experience the performance increase; Different hardware configurations will show different results.

    Or, as they say, Your Mileage May Vary.:)

    (I have often wondered who "they" are, and why "they" have so much to say about everything...)


     
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  15. R2KCS

    R2KCS MDL Novice

    Jan 2, 2013
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    This one solved my problem... Thanks for the info..
     
  16. f33nix

    f33nix MDL Member

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    GPT is just a partition method, so not sure how this will speed up boot... however UEFI/EFI booting with GPT disk is faster as the whole EFI system shaves time off the boot process.
    I have Windows 8 with UEFI and GPT Samsung 840 Pro that loads in about 3 seconds and there is a thread here on the forum somewhere showing boot times when using EFI.
    So for me on a modern system I would use EFI and partition with GPT everytime. Otherwise it would be like buying a fast car and then using the hand brake (parking brake) on a few notches to slow it up.

    Just my 2 cents into the mix.