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Windows 7: I installed win7 on one hard drive, but it seems to need 2 to boot

12 Dec 2011   #1
cjmdjm

windows 7
 
 
I installed win7 on one hard drive, but it seems to need 2 to boot

I have a computer with two (IDE ribbon cable) hard drives. One had a bad windows XP installation on it. I installed win7 on the other. I formatted the drive before installing win7.

Then, I decided I want to use the hard drive with the bad winXP installation on it, in another computer (I will format it). When I opened the computer side panel, I wasn't sure which hard drive was which, so I unplugged the power to one, and started the computer.

The thing is, it won't boot win7 with either of those hard drives alone, only when both are plugged in. With HD #1 disconnected, it says "Can't find BOOTMGR, press a key to reboot." With HD #2 connected, I get asked whether I want win7 or an older OS, and when I choose win7, I get an error message, something like "Win7 failed to start. To try and repair, insert install disc, or use recovery mode, etc"

With both HDs, I get asked the same question, "Win7 or an older OS," but when I choose win7, it works. In my computer, I have verified that win7's files are on one disk, and corrupt winXP files on the other.

Whats going on here? Thoughts? Thanks guys!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2011   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I think your error was installing Windows 7 without first disconnecting the XP drive. During the installation, the boot files for Windows 7 were put on the XP drive. That could not have happened if you had disconnected the XP drive.

I think you can solve it by disconnecting the XP drive and then running a repair install on the Windows 7 drive. You might have to run repair several times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #3
gregrocker

 

You need to mark Win7 partition Active first so Startup Repair will write the System boot files when run up to 3 separate times with reboots: Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)
Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

In addition I'd plug Win7 HD into DISK0 position so that in the future repairs cannot derail System boot files to another partition preceding it which is accidentally marked Active.
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12 Dec 2011   #4
cjmdjm

windows 7
 
 

Quote:
I think you can solve it by disconnecting the XP drive and then running a repair install on the Windows 7 drive.
So, this might be a dumb question, but which drive is the windows 7 drive? The one which, when disconnected, produces the "Can't find BOOTMGR" error message? Or the one which, when disconnected, produces the "Windows failed to start, please insert install disc" message?

I know one of the hard drives has to be first in the boot order list, in the bios setup, in order for it to work. But since the boot files, and the actual windows 7 installation are on two different drives, I don't necessarily know that the one that must have the highest boot priority is necessarily the one with the win7 installation on it.

Thanks guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cjmdjm View Post
Quote:
I think you can solve it by disconnecting the XP drive and then running a repair install on the Windows 7 drive.
So, this might be a dumb question, but which drive is the windows 7 drive? The one which, when disconnected, produces the "Can't find BOOTMGR" error message? Or the one which, when disconnected, produces the "Windows failed to start, please insert install disc" message?

I know one of the hard drives has to be first in the boot order list, in the bios setup, in order for it to work. But since the boot files, and the actual windows 7 installation are on two different drives, I don't necessarily know that the one that must have the highest boot priority is necessarily the one with the win7 installation on it.

Thanks guys!
Imagine drive A and drive B.

If A is disconnected and you get "can't find bootmgr", then B (the only connected drive) is the Windows 7 drive. You need to run the repair with drive B connected.

In other words--the error refers to the drive that is attempting to boot (connected) at that moment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #6
cjmdjm

windows 7
 
 

Thanks. Also, you mentioned plugging it in to the DISK0 position. How do I do that? (it is a ribbon cable drive).

I never would have guessed that I could tell windows 7 setup to install windows 7 on a particular drive, and it would then put critical boot files on some other drive. I never knew that could happen.

Thanks guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #7
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

n case of an IDE cable, set that drive as master not slave, this is usually done with jumpers. Once you reconnect the drives you will need to set the correct one (currently B per Greg) with boot device priority in the BIOS.
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12 Dec 2011   #8
gregrocker

 

To create a Dual Boot menu, Win7 updates the XP boot files when installed last. To recover them into Win7 you mark it Active and run 3 Startup Repairs, while XP HD is unplugged and Win7 HD set first to boot after disk drive..

If you plug both back in again just like before can you boot into Win7 to provide us with a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map, using the Snipping Tool in Start Menu?

Are they connected with the same ribbon cable?

Look at the mobo to see the IDE ribbon cable ports and trace where the cables run.

Remember not to touch any electronics before touching the case to discharge static electricity which can fry components.
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12 Dec 2011   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think everything was said. But just to summarize what has happened, here is the following.


1. XP was the first system installed on the PC. That contained the bootmgr and the XP partition which was marked as "active" (meaning that is where the bootmgr is).

2. When you installed Win7, the installer grabbed the first disk where it could find an active partition and added the Win7 to the existing XP bootmgr. In order to avoid this scenario we always recommend to unplug all disks that are not used for the Win7 installation.

3. When you took the XP disk out, Win7 was orphaned because it had lost the bootmgr that was sitting on the XP disk

4, The boot sequence is BIOS > MBR of the disk that is set first in the BIOS boot sequence > Active partition with the bootmgr on that partition > OS that was selected for boot (and that can sit anywhere on any disk in the system. The bootmgr will know)
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 I installed win7 on one hard drive, but it seems to need 2 to boot




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