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Windows 7: Dual boot Win7 with XP - disaster!

21 Oct 2009   #1

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit / Win XP Pro 32bit
Dual boot Win7 with XP - disaster!

Hi, I really need help with this!

I have 2 XP installs on my pc, both on separate partitions. Today I installed Win7 Home Premium 64bit on a clean partition on a separate drive with the intention of creating a triple-boot system.

After the Win7 install finished, I installed some updates and rebooted - but was shocked to see no dual boot option! Instead, Win 7 loaded automatically and it seemed I had just 'lost' my 2 xp partitions. I know from previous experience dual-booting Vista that I *should* have seen a boot menu offering a choice of Win 7 or 'Earlier Versions of Windows' - but alas no!

Later I took the Win 7 DVD out of the drive and rebooted. This time, Win XP booted automatically, giving me no option to load Win7!!!! Cursing that I had now lost my new Win7 install, I tried putting the Win 7 disc back into the DVD drive and rebooted: hey presto Win 7 loaded again, but no sign of Win XP....

So confused and frustrated with this nonsense to be honest. Can someone please advise me what I've done wrong (did exactly the same with Vista last year and it triple-booted perfectly). More importantly, how can I sort out this mess?

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #2


Download EasyBCD and see what OS entries show up. Add the ones needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #3

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit / Win XP Pro 32bit

Thanks for replying. I ran EasyBCD, but Win7 is the only OS listed.

I tried adding an entry for WinXP, but it wont let me select the hard drive letter for my XP installs (d: and e: ) So when I boot and select XP, it fails to load.

Any idea what I should do next?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Oct 2009   #4


Go to Control Panel>Folder Options>View and show hidden files and system files.

Make sure boot.ini, ntldr, and are in the root of all 3 drives.

Now open EasyBCD and see if they can be Added.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 x64 finally!

Right click on My computer, click Manage and disk management. You should see the XP partitions. What does it say regarding their status (System, Active etc)? They should show Active and I believe System (I don't know if both in your case)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

Welcome to Seven Forums.

Can you give us a snip/pic of your Disk Management?

How to Post a Screenshot in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #7


Boot from the Windows 7 disk, select Repair My Computer and run Startup Repair a few times. If this doesn't sort out the boot issues, try a Windows 7 repair install, which is an Upgrade over itself.

When Windows 7 is installed last in a multi-boot, as required, it will normally configure everything correctly. The fact that the boot files were not copied means one or more of your XP's was installed later (or thinks it was) so this repair install is another go at installing Win7 last so that it can configure as it should. It has worked for me many times when I have given up with EasyBCD and boot files.

Back up everything, but it is a true in-place Upgrade so everything will remain in place during reinstall except some Advanced video settings, and it will need reactivation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #8

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit / Win XP Pro 32bit

Thanks for the advice/welcome.

I have used EasyBCD 2.0beta to copy the NTLDR, boot.ini and ntdetect across all drives. Now I can triple-boot into 7 or my 2 Win XP installs again.

However, the dual-boot seems unstable! For example, this morning, first time i powered my pc on, it booted directly into the XP boot menu (ignoring Win7). I pressed hard reset, 2nd time I landed at the Win7 boot loader, and was able to load Win 7. Mystifying!

The upshot is I now cannot boot into Win7 without the Win7 dvd in the drive and the bios set to boot from CD drive as 1st priority. If I remove the dvd, my pc skips the Win7 bootloader altogether and gives me the old Win XP boot menu....

Snip of my disk-management screen (OS partitions are WinXP1, XP Music and Win7 HP) :
Dual boot Win7 with XP - disaster!-diskman2.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Where is HD Library 2 on the Disk MAP?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #10

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit / Win XP Pro 32bit

oops my bad, accidentally cut the top of the pic off (1st time using Snip )

It's there now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual boot Win7 with XP - disaster!

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