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Windows 7: Partitions became 'Unallocated' after installing xp over 7


18 Sep 2012   #1
mmosT

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Partitions became 'Unallocated' after installing xp over 7

Hello guys, I have got caught up into a horrible situation right now.

I had windows 7 x64 installed and running well on my 1TB sata HDD with three partitions. It was all well with it and smooth. But some of regional language software wont work on it,and I decided that I need to have windows XP. I refrerred few guides to installing windows xp over windows 7 in dual boot. Then, I followed the following procedure to dual boot..

1>I created a new 10GB partition out of unused space of third(E) partition using "shrink" and formatted it to NTFS(I did format it during the XP install) so as to install XP on this drive.

2>I did not make any backup or whatsoever, In my mind, worst case scenario was that I will be no longer able to boot into 7 if anything goes wrong.

3>I installed winodws XP on newly created 10GB partition and it installed successfully.

4>Then, I opened "My Computer" from newly installed XP and discovered that only the 10GB drive is being shown. So, I ran into disk management tool, and there it showed the
remaining space(1TB minus 10GB) as "Unallocated"!!! which was having all my data+windows 7 + important documents and stuff in those partitons.

5>I tired "Easy BCD" But it wont dectect any "BCD storage on my system" I am totally stuck now. I have also tried to repair using my windows 7 dvd, but it wont detect any windows 7 installation on my hdd at all.

What should I do?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #2
stubbyhs

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Have you tried using a boot time file manager to see if the other information is there and Windows just isnt discovering it?

Go here to get the AVG rescue CD and boot into it.

Select Miscellaneous or Utilities or whatever and then Midnight Commander.

You should be able to view all mounted volumes and through them your data if it is still there.

If you cannot see the information there then you have to consider recovery programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #3
mmosT

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

thanks stubbyhs for reply. But while I was waiting for you post, I downloaded testdisk to rewrite the partition structure, it did that successfully. Now I can see the lost partitions in partedmagic(boot cd). but now windows wont boot from hard disk. Upon system startup I get message "select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #4
mmosT

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

At this point I tried windows 7 startup repair from windows7 dvd. It is still not detecting windows7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #5
mmosT

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Well, well well. I got it working at the sacrifice of XP. Thanks a lot to parted magic, testdisk and Hiren`s boot disc ( all are free and great great tools).
I am able to boot into my original windows 7 by following steps:
0. I rewrote the previous partition table using 'testdisk'
1. I deleted that 10GB partitions and 'checked' all other partitions using PartedMagic
2. Then, I run live windows XP from hiren`s boot cd and copied boot files from 'system recovery partition' to all partitions
3. Next, I slid up Win7DVD (It again detected nothing) but, ignoring that, I proceeded to startup repair, and did that.
and voila!! I am able to boot into my old good windows7.

So, basically I think the problem was about "dynamic disc limitations of number of primary drives that can exist on a single HDD". I read somewhere that it is limited to 3. Well, so, the 10GB partition with XP installed on it, was the main cause. Also, XP rewrote the MBR which windows 7 startup repair, repaired. This process ate my about 4 hours and I am glad that its over now. Hush!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #6
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

I'm not sure how you deleted Win7 at the same time you say you only installed XP to a single partition while not touching any other. It should have then been as easy as starting Win7 by marking it Active to run 3 Startup Repairs, adding XP using EasyBCD. We have helped countless thousands do this.

But if you've got a Dynamic disk that must be dealt with immediately as it is only for spanning a single partition across multiple disks.

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, draw a box around full map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #7
mmosT

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Thanks for reply :)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I'm not sure how you deleted Win7 at the same time you say you only installed XP to a single partition while not touching any other. It should have then been as easy as starting Win7 by marking it Active to run 3 Startup Repairs, adding XP using EasyBCD. We have helped countless thousands do this.

But if you've got a Dynamic disk that must be dealt with immediately as it is only for spanning a single partition across multiple disks.

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, draw a box around full map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition.
Actually, yes. I did not delete windows 7. I had made one more partition to the addition of my already 3 partitions which were basic partitions.

At the time of creation of fourth partition in disc manager of windows7, I was warned by windows about dynamic partitions( When I tried to format the newly shrunk space) . So, I just let it be raw, and stay let it stay there. Thinking that I will avoid dynamic disc conversion by formatting that raw space in XP`s installation.

Then, I inserted xp cd and booted from it, when it was asking about the partition to install, I chose the raw 10GB space to install in it. It got installed. But rest of My drives got converted to dynamic disc, automatically, resulting in to only two drives present on MY HDD which were"unallocated space"(Which I converted back to 'basic' using testdisk') and the 10GB NTFS where XP was installed.

At this point, when I had only xp installed and only 10GB space accessible, easy bcd was not able to detect the bcd storage on my hard-disk, so it threw error every time I ran it, and it ran in limited config. mode.
Same thing was with windows 7 repair tools, they were just not able to detect the data from 'unallocated space' which got created due to dynamic disk.

The problem was not about only getting windows 7 boot-loader rewritten by xp, but it was also about dynamic disk, as far as I can say, though a confirmation from you guys would be nice .

Well, I think my disks are basic now, here is the attached screen shot.
Also, which '3 start-up repairs' you meant?
Oh, and the C: partiton contains winodws 7 files, and other two contains programs and data.


Attached Thumbnails
-capture.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

To add another partition to install XP boot free Partition Wizard bootable CD (also on Hirens or Ultimate BD) to convert C or D to Logical, then shrink to add as many adjacent Logicals as you want:
How to set partition as Primary or Logical.
Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition Video Help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Partitions became 'Unallocated' after installing xp over 7




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