Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Cannot boot Win7 after upgrading HD, Win XP only boots

29 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit upgrade version
Cannot boot Win7 after upgrading HD, Win XP only boots

I need some big help on my hard drive installation. The following is what I did and what is currently happening.

I was running an upgrade version of Win 7 Home Premiun 64-bit and decided it was time to upgrade to a larger capacity hard drive.
I got a new western digital HD and for the 1st time decided to use the Acronis True Image HD Clone feature for the installation. Cloning took about 25 minutes and was completed successully. Upon reboot, I got a message that windows wasn't genuine and I could either select to do it then or remind me later. I recall selecting remind later.

My thinking at the time was to make sure my clone of the older drive was indeed successful so I selected remind later.

So at this point, I still have my older hd with Win 7 installed and also the new hd with win 7 installed and also my previous win xp pro hd installed to access older files as a slave drive. I'd never utilized a dual boot setup.

Once I verified that my newly cloned hd was successful, I shutdown to remove the older win 7 hd which I did and rebooted. This time my older Win XP loads (it is not selected as boot dive in BIOS) however it still loads.

I then remove that drive (the win XP drive) rebooted to BIOS and selected my new HD drive with win 7 as boot drive. Win XP still loads! At this point, the only drive connected is my ne hd with Win 7 but XP is loading.

At this point no matter how I arranged my hd drives, win XP loads. I even removed all the drives and booted to see what would happen. Win XP loads with no hd's installed in my PC?? It's almost as if Win XP is within memory in my motherboard or something if that makes any since.

At this point:
Only XP loads no matter hd arrangement
I am unable to get into BIOS anymore I've tried my del key, F1 and F2 keys when post screen appears. XP is adamate about loading no matter what
If I connect either my older win 7 hd or the new hd with win 7, my data is still there but only accessable as a secondary drive (without the hd with XP connected)
Can't boot from cd/dvd drive, Unable to access BIOS anymore to select boot from cd/dvd
Drive letters are screwed up, current drive in DOS from XP reads (E:\Documents and Setting\User Name>)
Any drives that I have connected all show in disc management but again no matter the arrangement, win XP still loads

I think my mistake was not genuine activating win 7 on the new hd when prompted even though it was just a choice. Since I had two hd's with win 7 connected at that time. (I didn't want to do that until I had verified that my hd clone was successful) I think I was busted back down to win XP with the thinking
that I was trying to run (1) genuine copy of win 7 with two hd drives connected that had win 7 installed.

Do I have any options to fix this?
It doesn't seem like there's a way to start over since I can't get to my Bios. If I can't do that I'm not able to boot from cd/dvd
Is there anything I can do from DOS, any commands would be helpful
Is my motherboard a factor in this? (win XP loads even without any hd's attached)

Motherboard - Asus M3A78-EM
Running Upgrade Win 7 64-bit

Thanks in advance,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2011   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

Not activating Windows 7 has no effect on your being able to get to BIOS Setup.

According to the manual for your board, you press the Del key during POST. Timing is critical, you have to press the key at the right time. I would power on then start tapping it every second or so until the Setup screen shows up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit upgrade version
I will retry accessing the BIOS

I'll take another shot at trying to access the BIOS. I'll update my posting with my results.

Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 May 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

It appears you also cloned the XP install at the same time. Go to msconfig, Boot tab, select your default operating system. At boot, after "Loading operating system" you should be given a choice to pick one. Set your timeout to 15 seconds or more to give you time to select an OS to load.

Cannot boot Win7 after upgrading HD, Win XP only boots-capture.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2011   #5


You needed to unplug the XP HD during the cloning procedure, or at least when it started interfering. It may have been also cloned as theorized, or it is at least interfering. Unplug it.

Plug in only the Win7 clone to whichever cable is booting first in BIOS setup, if it won't start make sure it is marked Active, then boot the Win7 DVD or Repair CD to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots to repair or write the System Boot Files to Win7 so it starts on its own.

If this fails, clone again with only the two Win7 HD's plugged in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot boot Win7 after upgrading HD, Win XP only boots

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
2 x Win7 boots. Need Boot 2 up first
Hi I have two Win7 boot drives - A boot C drive and more recently another drive holding Q boot which enables the openong of graphics programs only untainted by anything else. The default boot is Q but I want to change that to the C. Upon firing up the computer, the DOS screen asks - win7 or...
General Discussion
No login prompt when Win7 boots
Hello everyone. I've spent my entire Sunday scouring the net to find a solution to what happened on my laptop this morning. I opened it up, Windows resumed. I had 3 programs running from the night before (AIM, Skype, and Firefox) all of which started performing slowly and freezing. Eventually I...
BSOD Help and Support
BSOD in Win7 x64 when Windows Boots
Hey, I'm new to the forums, and I'm having some trouble with a computer I built not more than 2 months ago. The problem started a couple weeks ago, and it happens every time the computer boots. It occasionally loads the sign-in screen and allows me to log in, but then immediately blue-screens....
BSOD Help and Support
Upgrading to 32bit Win7- could not boot to next phase
So i'm trying to upgrade from vista 32 bit to 7 32bit using an official CD. Doing a clean install isnt something I can do b/c I dont want to lose everything on my harddrive. When I do the upgrade I get the error "Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation."...
Installation & Setup
Only get 1 of my 2 monitors when Win7 boots
I'm not sure this is the best place to post, but will try here. I've been using dual monitors for a long time w/XP & for a few months Win7 Pro. All of a sudden, when I re-boot (or cold boot) Win7, I get the bios tag lines & the Microsoft screen with the moving bars on both monitors. Then get the...
Graphic Cards
dual boots vista with win7
if one dual boots vista with win7 which is installed later, can the boot order be changed, to boot into one or the other? & where is the place to change things. thanx .......nick
Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:00.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App