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Windows 7: Dual Boot: XP and 7: Want to Format the XP and move MBR to 7

05 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Dual Boot: XP and 7: Want to Format the XP and move MBR to 7

I have two internal hard drives. I had XP for many years until the recent loss of support for XP by Microsoft, so I decided at that time to install Windows 7 on one of my other hard drives. To make my transition to 7 smoother, I installed 7 on a previous storage drive, basically dual-booting for a little while. Now I would like to format and clean out the XP drive and make that my storage drive - but my system is still viewing the XP drive as the "active, boot drive" and won't allow me to format it. Even if I unplug that drive and attempt to boot only to the 7 drive, it won't let me.

I did some searching and found this thread, many years old, that describes my problem exactly:

Moving MBR to Windows 7 drive

I DL'ed, burnt to a CD Mini Tools Partition Wizard, and was able to convert my Windows 7 Drive to Active. It displays the Windows 7 HD as: Primary Active & System, but with the XP disk removed from the computer, I am still unable to boot to this HD. I attempted the x3 repair process with my Windows Disks, and it isn't even seeing the Windows 7 OS for some reason, and is asking for HD drivers...

I think I am failing to apply the MBR to the Windows 7 HD and not sure which way to go now.

One other thing, not sure if it is related, but the Windows 7 disk also has a 8MB Unallocated partition on it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 May 2014   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Sp1

Can you post a screenshot of disk management in windows 7?

Show the disk management and wait on advice before doing the below, but I think that would work. Just want to make sure my answer won't cause you to not be able to start windows.

Have you tried a ubuntu live cd to boot and format your drive? That is an easy option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Screenshot of Disk Management

Here's the Screenshot of the Disk Management for my computer, Boot Drive D: is my previous XP drive.

Attached Thumbnails
Dual Boot: XP and 7: Want to Format the XP and move MBR to 7-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 May 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


Unplug the XP hard drive, boot into BIOS setup to set Windows 7 hard drive as first hard drive to boot, save changes and exit.

Reboot into the Windows 7 installation media to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Windows 7 starts and holds the System flag signifying it is booting itself.

You can then plug back in the XP HD, boot it when needed using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key. When the time comes I would wipe it with Diskpart Clean Command to get it cleanest before repartitioning in Disk Mgmt as a data drive.

You are wise to have your data drives as Logical so they can stay plugged in during these operations, since boot files cannot be derailed to a Logical drive. Otherwise the installer may place the boot files on the first Primary partition in order.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have done that as mentioned in my initial post, I tried it again after your response. There are no OS's even listed in the OS window asking me to repair. The only time an OS shows up is if my XP is plugged in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #6
Microsoft MVP


Since you have another OS you can use this method which also works well and doesn't depend on Repair console:

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD

If it fails then try the repairs with all drives unplugged. I notice you reported that the repair prompted for drivers. This almost always means a bad Windows 7 installer.

If no installation continues to show up for repair you can try to force it using the bootrec commands from Step 9 of Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start . The installer and tool to burn to DVD or flash stick is provided in Step 6.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for the help, I got a copy of Easy Recovery Essentials, burnt it to a CD, and booted up into it. It detected my OS, ran some repairs, and now I am booting into Windows 7 with no problems. Disk Management now lists it as Boot & System. I am now wiping my old XP disk. Glad I found this forum, I can see a lot of problems solved in this place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #8
Microsoft MVP


I've been waiting to hear some reports about their boot disk. Thanks. We should add it to tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64 Sp1

Thank you greg
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2014   #10

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server

Hi there

People often make this stuff too complicated

Windows 7 drive. As it's a separate HDD - simple.

ON THE Windows 7 HDD (not the XP one)

1) load Windows 7 install or recovery disk
2) choose repair system
3) command mode and type the following

cd /bootrec

Now you can install / boot windows.

Forget about bootmanagers etc - if you want to dual boot I'd simply use the BIOS menu when starting your machine and choose the HDD you want to boot from - XP or Windows 7. As you've got two separate HDD's then this IMO is the best way.

Once you've got XP finished with simply set the Disk order in the BIOS so Windows 7 HDD boots.

Can't understand all this other complicated stuff like easyBCD and whatever.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual Boot: XP and 7: Want to Format the XP and move MBR to 7

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