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Windows 7: Single-partition W7 install fouls up BCDEdit

18 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Single-partition W7 install fouls up BCDEdit

I pre-formatted my boot drive so Windows 7 would install in a single partition and not create the hidden partition. When I boot, an OS selection screen appears listing two installs of Windows 7 when there is really only one. Some reading revealed that BCDEdit is the tool to fix this but when I try running it in an elevated command box I get:
The boot configuration data store could not be opened.
The system cannot find the file specified.
BCDEdit must be looking for its data in the non-existent hidden boot partition. While I could leave this as-is I'd like to know if there's a way to use BCDEdit with a single-partition Windows 7 install.

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Hello timmy2 Welcome to the Seven Forums!

That's an easy fix there to see if you have more then one entry in the 7 BCD store. There's two immediate options for this.

The first is opening up the boot tab found in the System Configuration Ultility also known as the msconfig utility as seen with the image attached below. The second is a free download with a gui that allows you to rename boot entries as well as set the default OS when having a planned dual boot or in your situation deletion of any unintentional additional entry on the singe OS system called BellaVista

If you were already working with a dual boot the other option not needed would be the use of the free program EasyBCD which can add as well as remove entries. That's a second BCD editing program available for custom set ups found at Download EasyBCD 2.0.2 - NeoSmart Technologies

The msconfig boot tab can be used easy enough for checking up on this. The other two are gui methods availabel for editing the BCD store with BellaVista originally having been named BCD Editor when first available for Vista.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 
Nothing in the Boot tab

Thank you for replying Night Hawk. I looked in the boot tab and the area where your screen cap shows text is empty on my PC. Note also that in System Properties | Advanced Tab | Startup and Recovery there are no default operating systems listed and I unticked the delay times. I'm thoroughly puzzled.

I'm afraid to install either of the GUI apps you suggest because I suspect they, like BCDEdit, expect to find the hidden Windows 7 boot partition and either won't run or will corrupt my system.

You might wonder why I forced Windows 7 to install in a single partition and avoided the hidden partition?

I've used BootIt NG for years and because of that I don't like "wasting" primary partitions (although BING is not currently on this PC). When I was reading up in anticipation of installing Windows 7 after its release, I learned about the hidden partition, which at the time sounded like a needless appendage, a complication when using and imaging app, and would reduce my available primary partitions to 2 if I want to use Bootit and keep the number of primaries to 4, so... I took the seemingly popular approach of pre-formatting the Windows 7 partition. Sounded great then; now I wonder.

I'm hoping someone here who is familiar with single-partition installs can address the issue of BCDEDit. I suspect the file that BCDEdit is looking for is in a folder somewhere on the drive and I just need to issue the right command in BCDEdit to make it fully useable. THEN, I'll consider trying one of the gui's.

Thank you again for the informative answer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 Oct 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map with listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Since you are not seeing any boot entry try using the startup repair option found in the repair tools when going to install 7. Right under the Install Now button seen on the second screen following the language selection you see the repair tools link.

When clicking on that the automatic detection for any existing installations takes place where you would click the one shown on the first screen and the next button to move onto the next screen where the Startup tepair is at the top of the options list. The command prompt is last at the bottom.

If you see immediate results or need to repeat it a few times the new boot entry will see "(recovered)" added after Windows 7 for the entry. That will mean the repair worked and that can be renamed using one of the two free programs to simply show Windows 7 or "Windows 7 edition" depending on which one you are running.

The best and usually most reliable partitioning programs by the way are those that run booted from a live cd rather then installed onto Windows! They run totally independent of any OS avoiding problems for various reasons. GParted was used extensively here while others prefer Partition Wizard live also another free partitioning program.

When a drive is Raw and you use the 7 installer's drive tools that's when the 100mb system reserved partition is created for the "bootmgr" file and BCD store contained in the boot folder that would otherwise be hidden on C. When going into the "menu bar>Tools>Folder options>View" tab in any Windows Explorer window and unchecking the option for hiding the protected OS/system files you should see the "boot" folder on C without the 100mb present. If that's missing like removing the 100mb partition after 7 is installed... ut ooooo....

Try running the Startup repair tool before either needing to perform a repair install of 7 or even a clean install on a prepreped C primary. You should have found a single entry for 7 in order to see 7 load on it's own.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map with listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu.


This will help us help you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 
Drive map from Disk Mgmt

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive
map with listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu.
First, I apologize for being such an idiot. My policy is to usually pre-format a boot drive before installing Windows 7, but apparently in this case I let Windows 7 create the 100MB hidden partition! That doesn't fix my problem of an OS selection screen appearing during bootup with two Windows 7's listed (only one is valid) or the absence of anything in System Configuration | Boot tab. Here's a screen cap of the boot drive. I appreciate your help.


Attached Thumbnails
Single-partition W7 install fouls up BCDEdit-diskmap.png  
Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

It looks correct to me.

Having the 100mb boot partition is beneficial because it puts the Windows 7 Repair console found on the DVD or Repair CD on your Advanced Boot Tools menu accessed by clicking F8 at bootup.

Install EasyBCD 2.0 to see if it shows two listings, then remove the one which is not active on the Edit Boot Menu tab.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

That's a weird one alright unless you somehow managed to delete the entry without realizing it. It is possible to preserve the present installation however!

Fortunately someone wrote an excellent BCD editing program called EasyBCD 2.0.2 That will allow you to add a new default entry for 7 into the BCD store so you won't go without since that is essential to start with.


Attached Thumbnails
Single-partition W7 install fouls up BCDEdit-easybcd-add-new-entry-c.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Single-partition W7 install fouls up BCDEdit





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