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Windows 7: Multi-Boot Nightmares

13 Oct 2010   #1

Multi-Boot Nightmares

Hi, new to the forum and wondered if I could beg some help.

Yesterday I create a clone of my Windows 7 partition for beta testing, using Norton Ghost to copy my existing Windows 7 partition onto a completely new and unformatted drive. Everything ran fine. I may have also ticked the box which instructed Ghost to copy the MBR to the new drive (I don't recall for sure), but for some reason I now have a completely messed up boot situation which I desperately need to try and resolve.

Basically, after I added the newly created Windows 7 partition to the BCD (using EasyBCD) I tried a reboot, and selected the old, original Windows 7 partition to boot into. The system got to the point where I would normally expect the login screen to appear, and I got a black screen with the error:

"autochk program not found, skipping autocheck"

Followed by a blue screen. This happened everytime I tried to boot into the old partition. As far as I was aware, nothing on this drive should have been changed, this is my original Windows 7 partition.

So, I rebooted and tried to boot into the newly created Windows 7 partition - this worked fine, except that, according to Explorer, I'd actually booted into my original Windows 7 partition! I could see that changes I was making on the desktop were appearing in my old system drive (Drive C) and not in the new one (Drive H). When I checked in Disk Manager, Drive H (the new partition) appears to be the active drive - it has 'Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump etc.' visible in the disk management GUI for that partition, but no changes are being made to that drive.

So, bottom line, I seem to have arrived at a situation where booting into my old partition doesn't work - I get the autochk error. Booting into the new partition seems to perhaps be using the MBR on the new drive, but actually loading the old OS. I can't delete either volume because they appear to be mutually dependant, and I can't find a way to straighten things out.

I've tried using the Windows 7 Startup Recovery, but this just results in only the new partition being bootable, which in turn appears to actually load the old OS, as described above.

Is there any way of fixing both MBR's on both drives and whatever else needs fixing, on both drives, so that I can at the very least boot into my original partition and delete the newly created one?

Sorry if the explanation above is confusing - I'm not sure I totally understand the situation myself.

Thanks in advance for any help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64

Did you change the size of your partition C?

Try Startup Repair:

Troubleshoot Startup Problems with Startup Repair Tool in Windows 7

If startup repair doesn't fix it, choose command line and type bootsect /nt60 C:/.


( )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #3


Hi Cybercore - many thanks for your response.

Can you perhaps explain what the bootsect command does?

Do the symptoms I describe suggest that the new OS volume is somehow linked to the original volume?

Thanks again for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64

I understand you resized C (?), created another partition from it, and now you can't boot - correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #5


Not quite. I cloned C: onto a new physical drive which was unformated (H).

When I try and boot to C: I get 'autochk program not found'. When I try and boot to H: it appears to use the MBR on that drive, but actually loads the OS on C:. I'm guessing slightly here, but that's what it looks like - C: shows changes made on the desktop, whereas H doesn't, even though H appears to be the active drive in Disk Management.

It looks to me like I need to completely rebuild the boot strucure for the whole machine so that I can then boot into one OS cleanly.

Thanks for your hlep.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64

See you cloned your C:, not backed up, but cloned. So your MBR was on C:, and now it is the same MBR on 2 partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #7


Hi Cybercore - I suspect you're right.

Is there any way of remedying the situation? Also, why would this mean that I am no longer able to boot into C:?

If I just wipe the new partition (H), will I be back to where I was?

I'm reluctant to do this whilst I can't boot into my original partition, because of the 'autochk program not found' error

Thanks again

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64

First run Startup Repair.
If it doesn't fix, have 7 DVD in drive -> cmd -> sfc /scannow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #9
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

If none of that works.

Turn off PC and unplug power and data cable to cloned HD.
The main HD may boot then.

If not use this. Bootmgr is missing - Fix
That should get you back into the main HD since it can't boot into the clone.
You will be back where you started before cloning.

You can reformat or reinstall from the main OS.
If you plug in the clone with PC off it will possibly try to boot to clone again.

Then I'll find some tutorials if you need to use a system image using Macrium for your dual system if needed.

For later after we get you back into the main HD and OS if your interested.
Imaging with free Macrium

I asked for some help with getting the cloned drive working.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2010   #10


Many thanks for the helpful suggestions.

So far, I have run startup repair from the Win7 install DVD, and have run Bootsect and Bootrec.exe with various MBR suffixes as suggested here and elsewhere. None of these processes have made any difference.

The Startup Repair DVD only sees the new Win7 install (H), and although the system boots into this drive ok, it then appears to run the actual OS from drive C. I've confirmed this by umounting C whilst booted into drive by running chkdsk, which causes all desktop icons disappear, and all programs to become unavailable. I guess it's booting into H but because the MBR was copied, it's referencing C for all OS files and data.

I'll try the scannow command now and will try disconnecting the drive tomorrow and see if Windows is able to find the old system volume and boot into that, if it can't I guess I'm stuffed. Your offer of help setting up a dual system is appreciated Hopalong X. At this stage I'd just like to get one partition working properly and go from there.

Thanks again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Multi-Boot Nightmares

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