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Windows 7: Boot issue after removing original OS in dual boot


06 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Boot issue after removing original OS in dual boot

Hi, I seem to have royally trashed my boot capability. Please help.

The original set-up was as follows:
Vista Home Premium was installed on a two-partition disk
Subsequently, Windows 7 was installed on a single-partition disk; I could not upgrade because it was Professional edition, and I did not want to erase because there was an important program that I had lost the install disk for.

I recently got around the problem with my important program, and installed it under Win 7. So me being the clever clogs I am, decided to free up 250GB of space and remove my Vista partition, forgetting that it was the system partition and it contained the boot sector the MBR was pointing to even if my usual OS was on a separate physical drive.

Of course, now I can't boot Win 7, as the computer says there is no disk with bootable information. I have booted with the install disk and run every option I can think of, including this kb article, to no avail. I can't perform an upgrade install since that's only available when booted to the OS, and I'm loathe to erase it as that would involve a LOT of setting up again. Fortunately the majority of my important files are on different physical disks and I'm competent enough with Linux to recover the few that aren't.

So the short question is: is there a way of rebuilding the MBR other than bootrec /RebuildBcd? (because that one didn't work - it finds the OS, and when I say 'yes' to the prompt it says 'Element not found')


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Nov 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Windows 7 installer only updated the System boot files on the Vista partition. To move them to Windows 7 Mark Partition as Active (Method Two) then write the System boot files there by running from the booted DVD or Repair CD Startup Repair 3 Separate Times.

If Vista was on a separate HD in Disk0 slot then it's best to keep it unplugged during these operations and swap Windows 7 HD into Disk0 permanently, set to boot first in BIOS setup . If this is not possible, mark Vista partition Inactive if it still holds an Active flag.

If Vista was on the same HD then you can recover both the System boot files AND the HD space back into Windows 7 using free Partition Wizard bootable CD which can also mark Active/Inactive. Highlighting the Windows 7 HD once marked Active, then choosing Rebuild MBR from the Disk tab, sometimes works on its own precluding the need to run Startup Repair from DVD or Repair CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Hi, thanks for this, I actually resolved it by using GParted to set the boot flag on the Win 7 drive, then Startup Repair to replace BOOTMGR. Sounds like your method does the same thing but with a different tool so thanks for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Boot issue after removing original OS in dual boot




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