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Windows 7: WIN 7 corrupting XP HD in dual boot system

29 Apr 2012   #1
Gerry Peters

WIN7 64
 
 
WIN 7 corrupting XP HD in dual boot system

My transition to WIN7 has been a long process, primarily because my Layla 24 sound card has had driver problems that are about to be resolved. I installed WIN7, it was on a separate 80 gig HD and I left a 2nd 80 gig HD there for my XP, so I'd have a dual boot system. I tend to have lots of Acronis image files for each time I change something on my boot HD. After installing WIN7, I had to abandon using it because of driver problems.

In the mean time I've created lots of image files for my XP HD. When you install WIN7, if it sees an XP installation it automatically creates a boot menu so you can choose either WIN7 or XP. If you revert the XP HD to a pre WIN7 image then you can't boot to WIN7, because it puts the boot info files and changes to the MBR on the XP HD, which a pre WIN7 XP HD doesn't have on it.

WIN7 can fix this by putting in the WIN7 install CD and choosing repair computer and then choose fix startup problem. It takes 3x of doing this process until you can actually boot to WIN7 again. I then use Easy BCD in WIN7 to alter the startup boot menu.

Now here's the problem. Somehow it corrupts the XP HD by fixing the startup problem. Now Sonar, my audio recording software almost immediately crashes with a MS Visual C+++ run time error, shortly after opening Sonar. I then went a ahead and uninstalled my sound card driver and Sonar and then reinstalled my sound card driver and then Sonar. I still have the same crashing problem.

Has anyone had similar problems and found a solution? I wish I could change WIN7 so it would put all the MBR boot info on it's own HD instead of the XP HD. I wonder if using one HD and installing WIN7 on a partition would help? I made tons of changes to WIN7, so I'd hate to have to completely start over with a clean install. Whenever I revert to an old Acronis XP image I also restore the MBR, I wonder if not doing that would enable WIN7 to still have a boot menu?

Any suggestions?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2012   #2
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

The location of the master boot sector will always be the drive plugged into the slot your motherboard sees as 0 or the primary. It will always do this as it's the best way to ensure the boot info is read by the system when you start it up.
You should be able to physically change where the two drives are plugged in, then use startup repair to put a new btmgr on the windows 7 disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #3
bbearren

7 Ultimate x64/7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I also dual boot from two hard drives, and I also use drive imaging for backup exclusively. On this machine I dual boot Home Premium and Ultimate. I do things a bit differently than most, but I have copied my Windows 7 installation DVD to a small partition. My BCD store is on that partition (which is also bootable), rather than on either of the Windows 7 partitions.

The DVD partition is sort of a rescue disk on steroids, and being on the hard drive it loads much faster than a Rescue CD would load. (Some things I do to Windows instead of in Windows). Of course, I also have a Rescue CD; belt & suspenders approach.

But by not having the BCD store on either of the Windows installation partitions, it is less likely to get involved should something in Windows go awry. This is not at all a standard means of booting Windows 7, but it is fairly hardy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2012   #4
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

You can avoid the problems you describe by unplugging the other HD when installing, imaging or repairing.

A benefit of having separate HD's in a Dual boot is you can keep them booting independently via the BIOS, setting preferred one to boot first, then if you need the other by tapping the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key at boot. This keeps them independent to come and go as you please.

Currently you likely have both HD's boot files on XP so that reimaging it wipes out the Dual Boot.

If you'll post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map with listings, using the Snipping Tool in Start menu, we can advise you further.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #5
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

actually you can ignore my method, Greg's makes more sense in the long run.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #6
Gerry Peters

WIN7 64
 
 

Thanks for the excellent suggestions. I have XP installed on an IDE HD which shows up first as Disk 0, when I view it in XP under Control panel / computer Management. My Win7 HD is a SATA HD showing up as Disk 4. I haven't noticed a bit of difference whether my boot drive is the SATA or IDE, so I certainly don't mind putting WIN7 on the IDE Disk 0 and having Disk 4 become my XP.

So are you saying if I restore those Acronis image files like that on Disk 0 and Disk 4 and then unplug all the HD's except the WIN 7 HD and let it use the install DVD "repair computer", Fix Startup Problem" that will make the WIN7 totally independent with the MBR info being stored on Disk 0 and I can use any image I want on the XP HD?

I can of course then plug all my HD's back in and boot to WIN7 and use Easy BCD to add XP to the startup boot menu.

Let me know if I'm understanding this correctly and if this will solve my problem.

Thanks again,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #7
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

It isn't necessary to reimage to do this. Just post up the requested screenshot and we'll advise you how to make both HD's boot independently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #8
Gerry Peters

WIN7 64
 
 

Here's the screenshot from the snipping tool.
WIN 7 corrupting XP HD in dual boot system-capture-gp-win7.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2012   #9
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

As suspected Win7 HD does not have its System boot files and is booting off the the XP HD therefore dependent upon it.

To correct this, unplug all other HD's except Win7, set Win7 HD first HD to boot in BIOS setup, boot the Win7 DVD or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots on its own and holds the System flag.

I would also move Win7 HD into Disk1 position by swapping the cable for Data (E) drive to it first. This is so no other data HD can be in a position to steal the System boot files if accidentally marked Active and in a preceding position.

Once Win7 boots on its own, plug back in the other HD's, choose XP to boot when needed by tapping the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key at boot.

Reimaging XP should now no longer steal the boot from Win7 since it's independently booted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2012   #10
Gerry Peters

WIN7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
It isn't necessary to reimage to do this. Just post up the requested screenshot and we'll advise you how to make both HD's boot independently.
Yes, this is the way I've always preferred dual boot systems, just changing the boot order in the bios or hitting F12 during bootup to get to the bios boot menu. Independent booting is far superior and less problematic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 WIN 7 corrupting XP HD in dual boot system




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