Over the weekend I had the pleasure of breaking into my laptop, a Dell XPS 15z, to swap the HDD for an SSD (and to see if I could replace the thermal goop with AC5 to see if it'd make a difference). And then I ran into one hitch that made me scratch my head.
Normally when one installs Windows 7 on a blank drive, Windows will create a 100MB partition to store the bootloader. On the hard drive in my laptop, there were two other partitions. A 100MB one labeled as an "OEM Partition" and one 20GB one for recovery. Without really checking, I copied the 100MB OEM one and the Windows partition. The SSD wouldn't boot into Windows. And then I found that the actual bootloader is on the recovery partition. The OEM partition just houses a basic DOS prompt (probably with some basic recovery tools). So does this mean I have to now keep 20GB of something I won't use just so I can boot into Windows?
After some searching, I found out nope. With a little command line magic, you can create a bootloader partition. So I wiped the SSD, made a 100MB partition, then copied the Windows partition over and used diskpart to both make the 100MB partition the bootloader partition, and have it boot up Windows. Then plugged the SSD back in and... Hey! It boots just fine.
I'm starting to enjoy the wonders of those hidden utilities in the command line. Like at work, I found out how to configure my network card without having to actually log in as the local admin (because Windows XP is stupid like that).