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Windows 7: Cannot Dual-Boot Windows 7 w/ 8


11 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 
Cannot Dual-Boot Windows 7 w/ 8

Hi peeps,

So I have this virtual machine with Windows 8 installed on it and working perfectly. I thought i would start using my Windows 8 copy installed "for real" and sort of get it to go faster, so that I could get use to it too. I mean like sort of "unvirtualize" it. So i worked a few days, trying to find a way to convert a vhd "Virtual Hard Disk" to a real physical disk. Yesterday I finally was able to get it working by mounting the vhd and then cloning it to a partition. It working perfectly, so i marked the partition with the new copy of windows 8 as active. I rebooted, and as expected, windows 8 started properly and was working as good as new. And yet i had it the exact state as when it was a virtual machine!
Now the problem:
It won't boot to windows 7 anymore!! I searched a bit, and realized that windows 7 isn't in the list of msconfig! So then i realized that the windows 7 partition was marked as inactive, thus the BIOS was not detecting it. So thinking it would work, I marked it as active and rebooted.
Guess what? No windows 8 this time! As expected the windows 8 partition was now marked inactive. So I did some research that only one partition per disk could be active. But then how was I able to dual-boot the same way a few weeks ago when I attempted the exact same thing, except the only difference being that I installed windows 8 from scratch. Still on a partition on the same disk as windows 7 though.
So how can I do that without having to reinstall? Is it possible? Is my boot loader for windows 8 screwed up?


p.s. Yes I have another disk but it's always been a GPT disk, thus my BIOS not supporting it. Remember, this dual boot setup worked a few weeks ago with the EXACT same hardware!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Boot into Win8 System Recovery Options - Boot to in Windows 8
to run the Automatic Repair which should configure a Dual Boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2012   #3

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

Better yet isolate the dual boot if you have either 8 added into the 7 BCD store or 7 added into the 8 BCD store! The dual boot here between 7 and 8 ended up disasterously with both versions crashing!

Unlike Vista/7 and XP/7 dual boots the two do not work together. The best option is to see 8 go on a totally separate drive as a stand alone OS and simply bring up the boot device menu at post time to select the drive 8 is installed onto.

Originally the CP was added into the 7 BCD and the 8 disk was needed to rewrite the mbr to 8 in order to see both boot without problem. If I were to add the retail 8 on at some point the 7 drive would simply be unplugged first to isolate the two. It solves a list of problems when trying out any newer version or new OS!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Hmm i dont quite get it, but you said something about putting the 8 into the 7 BCD? How can you do that? I know thats its probably possible since ive installed rp before as dual boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

I told you how to do it. Did you even see my post?

Boot into WIn8 Recovery Options to run Automatic Repair which will automate the function.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #6

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

The BCD store is the boot configuration store. You can either manually use the BCD editor in Windows or a 3rd party program like EasyBCD to add a new boot entry into the boot options.

One thing to know here is once you add an entry into 7 for booting into the new version you will need to boot up from the 8 dvd or usb install key if not repair cd in order to correct the mbr for the newer version of Windows. Instead of seeing the Startup repair tool it is now called the Automatic repair found in the repair tools on the 8 dvd you buy or burn or when booting from the usb install key.

The same was seen when adding a boot entry for 7 into the Vista BCD store being the first version with the present form of boot loader. For XP you may have added the boot entry only if you installed XP after 7 where installing 7 last automatically added in an entry for XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Ok ill try the repair first and see if that works. If not ill have to do it manually
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #8

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

Once you are booted from the 8 dvd or flash drive used the command prompt will offer the manual method option for Fixboot and Fixmbr commands. The Automatic repair however is the fast and easy fix.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Okay so i first attempted Automatic Repair, and it said that a needed device was missing. I forgot the exact error, but the code was 0x000000e.
Anyways, i then put my Windows 8 installation USB stick and ran it from there. It ran fine, but it failed to fix the problem.
Then atlast i decided to do it manually, and surprisingly it was very easy. I mean even easier than trying to get to the automatic repair thing. (Im still not so familiar with windows 8)

Anyways thanks alot guys for helping me out. For others that are stuck still, just use EasyBCD (Freeware!!) to Add new entry and then choose the type of operating system, and specify which drive (or partition) the operating is in.
Anyways ill mark this thread as Solved, and thanks again guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

I was waiting to hear back from you before recommending EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) as the secondary method since it should be supported by now.

But I believe Automatic Repair is supposed to do this, while checking all other parameters - a big benefit of using Startup Repair which is why we lean toward it in these situations - however the error may mean you have deeper problems so I would google it to learn more about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cannot Dual-Boot Windows 7 w/ 8




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