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Windows 7: doubled up OS disaster


08 Dec 2012   #1

W7 Pro 64, W7 Home 64, Vista Home 64, XP Pro
 
 
doubled up OS disaster

Learning the hard way. Have a m7160n desktop that came with XP. I did a XP/Windows 7 conversion upgrade using the Windows 7 on a flash drive. It worked fine for a year after I told the bios to use the flash for booting. I just pulled off a different Windows 7 OS from a different laptop HD and put it on my C drive (without partitioning it, if that was my mistake), so I could store it for later use on a replacement laptop HD. (the laptops HD was possibly going bad). On my next restart my PC wont start Windows 7, tries to do some kind of recovery on XP, but can't. I can't pull up a last known good config screen with any F keys, nor get into any way to do a system restore. Looks like I did something dumb, what can I do to correct my screwup? Could the laptop Windows 7 be activated temporarily until I can fix the other problem , if nothing else? My PC does have a D partition for recovery. MS says I need to get the XP going first before they can help me get the Windows 7 going again. HP says old and out of support of course. Thanks for any ideas.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2012   #2

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Hello and welcome helpful Now I am a tad unsure of which drive and OS you have where. Now you know that an OS if it is an OEM cannot be transferred like that because OS's are tied to the motherboard not the drive!

So it begs the question what are the two OS's you have are they retail packs you installed or ones that came with the machine (OEM's)?

Forgot soem system specs would be really helpful helpful
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #3

W7 Pro 64, W7 Home 64, Vista Home 64, XP Pro
 
 

7 year old HP Pavilion M7160n, 2.8Ghz, 4GB ram, 250GB HD. My desktop PC originally was XP and worked fine. I needed Windows 7 for schooling purposes and I got a legal upgrade(conversion) download which I put on a flash drive. That conversion went fine after I set the BIOS to boot with the flash drive. Now 6 months later I came up with a Windows 7 laptop that had a problem with the HD. I just wanted to use my PC's HD to store the laptop OS until I got another HD to transfer it back to. So that Windows 7 now is also on my HD along with the original XP. After putting it on my HD, at the next start up my PC now will not boot. It used to start fine as Windows 7, now it tries to do some kind of XP Startup repair but fails at that. F8 wont work at all to bring up a way to try last good configuration or safe mode. (tried a different keyboard and tapping and also holding down the F8 key during blue screen). I have a disc but it may not be an actual recovery disc or it is not being read properly. So the XP is OEM, the Windows 7 upgrade is from MS tied to the desktop, and the laptop Windows 7 is OEM for the laptop. Just asking about use of the laptop Windows 7 on the desktop. I see that can't be done, OK. I have a separate XP machine I am using now, that if I obtain a writeable CD, could be used to copy what files are needed to help the other if nothing else can be done. I guess I'd better get proper recovery discs if I can get beyond this one. I'll try to get some more specifics on the ultimate failure messages I get on what the PC does trying to do, as to the Hewlett-Packard PC recovery system screen. (it fails also). Thanks if you can help me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

How did you put the other OS on the same Windows 7 partition? Think it might be a good idea to tell us?

The only way this could rationally be done is to save a backup image, which would not affect boot.

If you copied the other OS partition onto the HD then mark Active the original Win7 or it's 100mb System Reserved partition (preferred if you have it) then run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times

If you overwrote the Windows 7 partition then your OS and data are lost. You can try again running HP System Recovery or get the vastly superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. Step 5 will show you how to browse in to rescue your files. If they're there then the OS might even be salvageable. Post back a camera snap of Partition Wizard bootable CD drive map showing all listings..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #5

W7 Pro 64, W7 Home 64, Vista Home 64, XP Pro
 
 

My desktop actually has XP on it’s HD, which I need to get operating again so I can get my Windows 7 upgrade to work. My Windows 7 for it is contained, in an upgrade/conversion form on a flash drive which I didn’t copy to, so that is likely still fine. It is actually unplugged now. When it’s in it tries to redo the Windows 7 upgrade but it says that my PC needs to boot on XP before it can do it’s work. It’s not a fully bootable system just the upgrade program. I’m learning more about partitions now. I thought that the partitioned area was where the OS was held and used from. I didn’t know that it is only where the OS is saved in recovery form. And so, since I thought my C partition was just my files etc., I thought that it wouldn’t affect my OS, especially since I also didn’t realize that my Windows 7 upgrade still uses and needs that original XP program. The laptop wouldn’t start so I removed it’s HD, used an external adapter and started by copying everything that the Testdisk program found on it’s 30GB partition to my hard drives C part. Next boot for my desktop was this all. It doesn’t seem like just files should mess up my OS, I think maybe my PC got confused with a new OS trying to execute or it changed some setting to mess up my XP OS booting. But I’m not the expert. Startup repair keeps giving me the message “Startup Repair could not fix this problem” Then it attempts to find a solution to the problem. The next screen says “ Windows cannot repair this computer automatically” and says to “remove any recently added devices (nothing has been added) and try restart, otherwise contact system admin or PC manufacturer for assistance”. My PC will mostly only do initial blue screen and BIOS screens, no way to do partitioning etc. unless you have a way to get to that alternatively. I can get to one screen that allows command prompt. Can I do anything there? I am waiting to see if I should use this cmd option and then later I can specify what the HP PC recovery system says, but I know it was some kind of fail message. gregrocker, I’ll try to see what that HP recovery info you gave me will do. Thanks for the attention all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #6

W7 Pro 64, W7 Home 64, Vista Home 64, XP Pro
 
 

Oh, also, I apparently can get the PC set to use an input including a USB input to start with, so if there would be something I could download to a flash drive with my other PC and go in that way, maybe that could help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #7

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Hum it is a pity you got the upgrade helpful as I personally think a new drive and an OEM would have saved you a lot of grief.

Is this an option?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

I couldn't have been more specific to mark Active the Windows 7 or 100mb System Reserved partition before running 3 Startup Repairs, which you just ignored and explained again how Startup Repair isn't working. Are you able to complete illustrated steps given?

No, you do not need to run the Windows 7 upgrade from XP which is the wrong way to Clean Install Windows 7, which must be booted to correctly install.

Are you saying you have the Windows 7 retail upgrade installer on a flash stick? Has this been booted to install before so that you know it works? If so back up your files and try booting it now to Clean Install Windows 7. If not write your licensed version of Windows 7 installer to the flash stick using the official installer ISO in Step 1 and the tool in Step 2 of Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Refer if necessary to How to Boot A Computer from CD or DVD - YouTube

The installer will see the underlying XP to allow you to use Upgrade version Product Key during install. I would also use the Drive Options described in Steps 6-7 of Clean Install Windows 7 to Delete all partitions to create New as you wish, or just click Next to let the installer make an Install partition for you - ignore the small boot partition it creates. You can make your XP Recovery disks beforehand if you think you'd ever need to return to XP.

Before you begin read over the steps in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 so you understand better how drivers are handled in Windows 7, and the best tools and practices to get and keep a perfect install.

If you have no place to backup your files you can shrink a partition on the end of the XP HD to store them in, then during the install make sure you don't touch that partition when deleting all of the others. But it's best to back up your files externally.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #9

W7 Pro 64, W7 Home 64, Vista Home 64, XP Pro
 
 

Sorry gregrocker, when I read your older post, it sounded like something to do that I wasn’t able to do since my PC isn’t starting. It was part in blue, but I didn’t know that that was a link with further instructions. I also apparently scrolled beyond your initial comment to me in your most recent post, so later when I saw that I went back to the diskpart info. I’ll do your first instructions of course before moving on to your other ideas unless instructed otherwise. I can get into the cmd prompt to mark partitions as active or inactive, but I don’t understand about how to find the original Windows 7 or it’s 100MB partition. When I get into diskpart it lists all of my drives, which are other than disc, usb etc., the C partition (pavilion) and the D partition (recovery). Of course both those are part of the 250GB hard drive. I suppose the Windows 7 upgrade that I am trying to repair was put on the C drive. If so should I make sure D is inactive and C is active? I can do that and then do the startup repair 3 times or more. The laptop files/OS I sent to the C drive, but I don’t think any special location there otherwise.
My response to your most recent post: I’ve been reading the pages you’ve linked to, especially the Windows 7 upgrade install info. Yes the flash drive loaded Windows 7 upgrade has worked fine before until I messed this up. That flash drive when installed and with the PC set to boot with it does give me those install screens. I can see how it If I try the upgrade option it wants me to do (upgrade-to not delete my files etc) it wants me to go back with XP started, which is now unusable. I understand about you talking of not needing XP anyway. The pages you direct me to tell me how to save that all, and still use the custom install. I believe that I understand your additional instructions. It’s interesting that when I click the “Custom install” it asks where to install, and there is an option of an unallocated space of 9MB. Is this somewhere that I can use for that? I see that the old XP partition is 11MB. That isn’t anywhere near the size that’s needed is it, or is that just some kind of recovery area?
Some of it’s kind of a pain, but I can do the new drivers if necessary, and I don’t have a lot anyway, monitor, keyboard, mouse, onboard audio and printer. I guess there’s the onboard video also. Live and learn. Is there info anywhere there about doing that small partition for saving my files, or somewhere else for that? You mean to put it on the D partition? If I do lose anything I won’t come back with that problem for anyone! I think that was all done with Windows Easy Transfer before and it worked great.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Please explain how you "sent" the other PC's OS and files to the C drive? Did you store a backup image there? Or did you just copy the files which would do nothing to preserve the OS? How do you think you messed up the OS by doing this?

If it won't start after marking C Active to run up to 3 Startup Repairs, then there are other steps to try leading up to if necessary copying out your data and reinstalling in Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start .

You cannot select Upgrade install from the booted Windows 7 installer flash stick, as an in-place Upgrade can only be done from Vista, not XP, and must be done from the desktop. Choose Custom Install as it illustrates in Clean Install Windows 7. Then use the Drive Options in Steps 6 and 7 to delete all partitions except the one where you have data stored, create new ones as you wish, or just click Next to let the installer create your install partition for you and continue.

It would be better if you copy the data out first using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console so that you can delete all partitions during reinstall.

The instructions for handling drivers are quite specific in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 so read it again and ask back if you have any questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 doubled up OS disaster




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