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Windows 7: Dual boot lost?

17 Jan 2009   #1

windows 7
Dual boot lost?

Hey I've been reading the forum now and then so I decided I finally sign up and see if I could get some help. I'm not sure if this would be the correct section so I apologize in advance.

The problem I'm having is that I had been running WinXP SP3, I used GParted to partition my hdd so I could do a clean install and try out windows 7. The odd thing is though, at first when it would boot up I'd have two option to select from, either "Windows 7" or "Select an older version of windows", then I reinstalled windows 7 at one point(to the same partition used before) and lost that menu all together, now whenever I turn my PC on it just acts like windows 7 is the only OS installed. I know my other partition is still there though, my question is, how would I go about retrieving it if possible. Can I just pop in my WinXP disc and do a repair or recovery on the other partition? Never had this problem dual booting windows and linux so im unsure as to what I should do.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jan 2009   #2

vista x64/ win 7 x64

win 7 rewrites the masterbootrecord, i guess to break SLI loaders. Best is to do a repair with your xp disk and rebuld the xp bootrecord.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate Vista Ultimate x64

You need to download EasyBCD and recreate your boot file for your XP partition, it's fairly easy just look through all the options, have a play and you will figure it out, here's a clue!

Also you will need to go to computer and right click and select manage to access disk manager, then fine your XP partition and assign a drive letter to it, one you do that remember to recreate the boot file ussing the same drive letter.

Once you are back in XP it will still show as C drive so don't be worried about that.

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My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jan 2009   #4

Windows 7 RC 7100 32bit/64bit

Hello Knowle and welcome to the Windows Seven forums.

You can bring the menu back by doing the following:

1. Open Disk Management and assign a drive letter to your WinXP partition, if it doesn't have one. (e.g. D: )
2. Close Disk Management.

3. Open Command Prompt (run as administrator)
4. Type :

bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP SP3"

bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=d:

(change d: above with the drive letter you have on your winxp partition , as it is seen in windows 7)

bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr

bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

5. Reboot and you should see the menu and be able to boot to XP too.

Hope it helps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2009   #5

Windows 7 RC 7100 32bit/64bit

Posted same time, Mr.Grim....I went the manual way

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2009   #6

windows 7

sigh...I must be doing something wrong. I'm sure you guys will start to hate me. xD

I tried the manual way first, got an error at the command prompt each time. So then I tried using the easyBCD program but I was unable to change the drive letter when I first added it, after I went back to the entry I was able to change the drive letter(F:/ is what I assigned from Computer Management) however it also changes the drive letter for windows 7 as well. Then whenever I reboot and select Windows XP it gives me an error saying the Boot.ini was invalid.

from the command prompt trying to do it manually:
C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d Windows XP
A description for the new entry must be specified.
Run "bcdedit /?" for command line assistance.
The parameter is incorrect.


Also, I just went back and tried to change the drive letter for the fun of it but it said "Windows cannot modify the drive letter of your volume. This may happen if your volume is a system or boot volume, or has page files." O_o

edit: thanks for all the help so far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate Vista Ultimate x64

I have noticed that EasyBCD will do that sometimes, just change the letter again and save it then check both are correct and if not just change it again and save it till it works, it's just a bug with EasyBCD but it will work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2009   #8

vista x64/ win 7 x64

Best in these cases is really to revert to the lowest common denominator. Whilst for those savvy with the issue it's feasible using booteditors, for those who just want to boot and go it can seriously mess up your installation.

First rule of preventing permanent issues, always reboot using the disk of the oldest os first. Repair os's in sequence of their releases.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2009   #9

windows 7

Well, finally got it working from the CL, sadly, I still get the same error message when I try to boot into it saying "invalid BOOT.INI" or w/e.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7000]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=f:
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
The operation completed successfully.

C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast
The operation completed successfully.


edit: EasyBCD would continue to change both of the drives letter no matter how many times I tried. lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2009   #10


Hi knowle, you may need to edit your XP boot.ini and change the partition it is looking for. Partitioning and installing Seven may changed the 'partition location' that XP is looking for.

This is Vista, but same method should hopefully apply:
You cannot start Windows XP after you install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration together with Windows XP

Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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