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Windows 7: Separate Win7 installs requiring both hard drives to boot 1 instance?

18 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Separate Win7 installs requiring both hard drives to boot 1 instance?

I have two copies of Windows 7. One is installed to C:\ - One is installed to D:\

They were both intended to be separate installations, due to a hard drive failure with C:\ .. (and Pre-startup reflects two different versions of Windows 7 to load, of which I have to choose the first one (D:\).

I've attempted to remove the C: from inside my tower, but when I do, D: will not boot up.

I am not understanding why this is happening. I have a new hard drive to use in place of C:, but my BIOS is not liking that I removed it, even though, it's not even supposed to be in use.

I need to get Windows 7 installed to my new Hard Drive, but removing the C: won't even allow me to boot the D: .. I'm using SATA connections for the hard drives.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #2


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

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My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Apr 2013   #4


Looks like all your boot data is on D:\

GR will undoubtedly tell what you need to do.

You just need to repair your boot data. Hope you have the disc handy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Thanks for pointing that out smarteyeball See, that is what I'm hoping for. D:\ is the only drive I can use at the moment.. It's when I remove C:\, that D:\ fails to boot. I'm puzzled...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #6


You're booted into D right now as signified by the Boot flag on its partition, which means that Win7 on D was installed incorrectly from C, blocking out the C letter's availability so Win7 cannot claim the C letter as it always does when it is correctly installed from a booted installer.

You can keep it this way or reinstall, this time unplugging Disk0 as also should have been done before booting the installer to Clean Install Windows 7.

You can also leave it the way it is on D which most users do not want. If you don't mind then to transfer the System boot files to D you 'll need to first mark it Active in Disk Management: Partition - Mark as Active

Then power down to unplug Disk0, swap its SATA cable to D so that it becomes Disk0, boot into the Win7 installer or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times with reboots, until D starts up and is marked System Active.

You can then plug back in the other HD to wipe it withDiskpart Clean Command and repartition in Disk Mgmt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Greg, thank you so much for this I will follow-up when I'm done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro-x64

The "Active" drive is the one that Windows will boot from. You need to mark C: inactive then mark D: as "Active". You should be able to do that from the disk management screen.

Yep, there's other considerations. Forget that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #9


He'll be unplugging C in order for the repairs to work, so it's Active flag won't interfere - while D will now be marked Active so ready to receive the Boot files written during repairs.

Afterward when C is plugged back in it will now be on Disk1 cable which isn't set first to boot in BIOS. So it won't interfere and boot unless it is specifically chosen to boot from the BIOS.

We know that Disk0 was set first to boot C which held the System files, and its cable has now been swapped to D so it will boot itself. It is also safer to have the System HD in Disk0 position.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

As Greg suggests. Unplug C and move D to sata port #1 on the motherboard, then reinstall windows.

Do not plug C back in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Separate Win7 installs requiring both hard drives to boot 1 instance?

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