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Windows 7: Dual boot system failure, not detecting Windows 7 anymore


25 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 
Dual boot system failure, not detecting Windows 7 anymore

Hello,

I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble. I had a 160GB Hard drive that was getting kind of crowded, it was my sole hard drive. I had XP on it and as I had no problems with it, I was content to stick with it. I bought a 500gb hard drive and as my fiancee had bought me an upgrade to Vista and then 7, I put Windows 7 on the new drive and left XP on the old. The old drive (the 160GB) already had C: taken so I named the new one G:.

So, everything was working fine and if I wanted to switch OS's I'd just reboot and choose the one I wanted. Sadly my C: drive just died. I was like ".. bummer. I'll pop it out and just worth the windows 7 one now." However on start up I'm getting a bad boot file message and to put the install/system disk in. I do that and choose the restore option but its not showing that I have any previous versions of windows on it! When I do the repair option it says it was fixing a partition error. I can see the windows files when I use the command prompt and still see that windows is there under the G: drive.

My question is; does windows now think my G: drive is supposed to be C ? Is that why it wont boot properly? I mean it seems to be looking for windows to be under the C drive but its actually under G, if that makes sense. If so I found an article on how to change the drive letters via regedit at the command prompt. Or do you think my hard drive is just hosed and that I need to reformat?

Thanks for looking and any help at all would be greatly appreciated!! Sorry I dont have specific info, I'm not near the malfunctioning computer at the moment. Oh, I did go into the bios and check the settings in there. It does recognize the drive and the fact that the older 160gb is no longer there. Sorry if this is noobish!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Oct 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Vinbot1 View Post
Hello,

I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble. I had a 160GB Hard drive that was getting kind of crowded, it was my sole hard drive. I had XP on it and as I had no problems with it, I was content to stick with it. I bought a 500gb hard drive and as my fiancee had bought me an upgrade to Vista and then 7, I put Windows 7 on the new drive and left XP on the old. The old drive (the 160GB) already had C: taken so I named the new one G:.

So, everything was working fine and if I wanted to switch OS's I'd just reboot and choose the one I wanted. Sadly my C: drive just died. I was like ".. bummer. I'll pop it out and just worth the windows 7 one now." However on start up I'm getting a bad boot file message and to put the install/system disk in. I do that and choose the restore option but its not showing that I have any previous versions of windows on it! When I do the repair option it says it was fixing a partition error. I can see the windows files when I use the command prompt and still see that windows is there under the G: drive.

My question is; does windows now think my G: drive is supposed to be C ? Is that why it wont boot properly? If so I found an article on how to change the drive letters via regedit. Or do you think my hard drive is just hosed?

Thanks for looking and any help at all would be greatly appreciated!! Sorry I dont have specific info, I'm not near the malfunctioning computer at the moment. Oh, I did go into the bios and check the settings in there. It does recognize the drive.
When you dual boot win 7 it puts the boot files into a hidden 100 (in win 7, 350 in win 8) Mb folder on the original OS drive.

So when you install win 7 it added that folder to the XP drive. When the drive failed the folder cant be found.

Thats the reason it works with the win 7 dvd in the drive.

You should be able to use the win 7 dvd to repair the current HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #3

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP
 
 

If you can still boot to XP or Win 7 -
download and install Visual BCD Editor - Windows 7/Vista, it comes with "Dual-boot Repair" utility.
Run it and click on "Automatic Repair". Confirm.
After rebooting you should be presented with boot-menu and Windows 7 will be the default boot choice.

If XP is missing from boot-menu - run Visual BCD Editor, right click in tree view and select
"Create missing Windows loaders" - this will create a boot entry for XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

No need for 3rd party software, the easiest way is option 2 of this tutorial: Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

You will need to mark the Win 7 partition as "Active" (all covered in the tutorial)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Thanks for the fast replies!!

The Windows 7 that I can open with the install disk is very minimal; essentially it asks to either install it or do a repair. I'm not actually in Windows 7 or able to use it except for those two options. The XP drive is gone, it's been on it's way out for awhile and finally bit the dust. The initial System Recovery Options is blank (i.e., nothing under operating system, partition size or location). So i've been working with the recovery console. Startup Repair, System Restore, System Image Recovery, etc aren't really able to do anything.

Looking at some other related articles I've been trying to work the command prompt using Bootrec.exe. I've used the /ScanOs switch and it finds windows so that's reassuring. However when I use the /RebuildBCD, /FixMbr or FixBoot I get:

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows Installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y)/No(N)/All(A):Y
Element not found.

Is this due to the boot files having been on the original XP drive and now that it's toast thats what "Element not found" means? If so, any thoughts? Please bear in mind I cant at this point run windows 7 aside from the install/repair options I mentioned.

Oh, I've also tried to run "bcdedit" with what I hope was the right switch. As always, thanks for any advice!! It really is truly appreciated!!!!


PS - trying the startup 3 times tutorial, looking good so far!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Remove the XP drive, if you haven't already done so and then follow Option 2 of the tutorial I posted above to the letter. If you can't figure out how to get to DiskPart from your Windows disk, then there is a link at the top of the option 2 section that shows you how to do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #7

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

OH.. MY.. GOD! You rule Severedsolo! That tutorial was awesome!! I had to run Diskpart to get the drive labeled as "active" and then I ran the startup repair 3 times and on the third time... BOOM! I want to thank you and all who contributed for the awesome help!! Problem... SOLVED!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual boot system failure, not detecting Windows 7 anymore




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