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Windows 7: I can no longer boot my Win 7 drive

23 Aug 2015   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
I can no longer boot my Win 7 drive

My desktop pc has 2 HDD's. One had the OEM Vista boot and later the other one Windows 7 Professional 32 bit. A dual booth arrnagement. I have no Windows 7 disks or Product number, as a relative took my computer away and created a dual boot system so that I could keep all my documents on the Vista drive for later back up.
When my reservation for Win 10 Pro came, I decided to format the Vista disk and install Win 10 on it as I needed time to get familiar with it. While an age of 70 is not an excuse, it just means I have far more important family obligations that prevent me from being an OS savvy guy. I'm sure my understanding that this offer was computer and not HDD related was misguided.

Anyway two unfortunate things happened. Even though I did a clean Win 10 install on the old Vista drive, I can no longer boot my Win 7 drive (dual boot). the second problem is that I'm being asked to activate Win 10. This latter outcome is understandable, but rendering my Win 7 drive un-bootable , is beyond my understanding. I guess I should have disconnected the drive before installing Win 10 on the other drive?

How can I simply boot my Win 7 Professional 32 bit HDD? I have no disc burner on another computer and I have no installation or repair disks or Product codes. I do not ave another 32 bit win 7 Rrofessional PC. I do have a Thinkpad X220 but it is X64 Win 7 Professional

. Attached is the Disk Management report that will hopefully help as I am not savvy at this level. I do not have access to anyone that can help me either. It is possible that when we moved from a house to a condo 5 years ago, any install USB or product codes were lost in the shuffle.

I need a USB boot solution. I just do not have the money to pour in a 32 bit computer. I mostly use it to wath OTA TV becasue it has a TV tuner card. That is why I needed to hang onto Media Center that Win 7 has, but not Win 10.
My wife thinks I need to see a shrink! and that's the only boot she can offer!


Attached Thumbnails
I can no longer boot my Win 7 drive-disk-management-capture-hp-m7760n-2015-08-22.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Vista supposedly cannot be free-upgraded to 10.

I'm guessing the only reason you were able to do it was you had Win 7 on another drive? I'm quite surprised that you could direct the Win 10 upgrade to the Vista disk.

Plus you say you not only upgraded, but you did a clean install.

You've got a mess since you don't have Product Keys.

You could try to revert to Vista using that recovery partition seen on drive 0.

You'd probably have better luck if you made a post on the Win 10 forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2015   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

No product codes ?

How did you ever activate Windows 7. ( I see you explained that ) I`d ask him how he activated it, and where`s the key he used ?

You have to make a system repair disc from another windows 7 pc with the same bit version, then Disk 0 has to be unplugged. Disk 1 has to be marked Active, then you can attempt to run startup repair on Disk 1 (up to 3 times) to get Windows 7 booting again, Good Luck.

If you somehow manage to do that, get windows 7 booting again and it`s activated, then you can upgrade it to 10, making sure there are no other hard drives plugged in.

Then just re hookup the drive with the Windows 10 install that`s asking to be activated and format it, it useless, just use it for storage.

Disk 1 probably has all the proper files on it and is already marked Active, you just can`t tell because you are not booted into it, but if Vista was on the PC 1st, then 7 installed later, then only Disk 0 should be marked Active, this is totally normal.

If you had unplugged Disk 0 (Vista) to do the upgrade on Disk 1 (windows 7) I doubt if that drive would have booted anyway, because all the boot files are on Disk 0 (the Vista drive)
The Windows 7 drive has to boot on it`s own and be activated for you to upgrade it to windows 10. (for free that is)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Aug 2015   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

My problem is I know nothing about boot. all I can say is that until recently, thanks to Win 10 and the poison pill Win 7 has been given, I got into this mess. I clearly did not reformat my Win 7 drive as the file folders are still there. What you seem to bee saying is that when I formatted the Vista drive, it had the boot folder for the dual boot system? So that killed the boot for the Win 7 drive?
I did not do an upgrade from Win 7. i was given that choice. If I had taken it I assume that I would have still had a Vista and Win 10 dual boot system. Instead I assumed the upgrade was linked to the MOB, so I decided to do a clean install on the formatted Vista drive.

The folks on the 10 Forum suggest I use Macrium on the Win 10 drive to try and repair the Win 7 system to boot. I have no clue what to do. However I agree that your outcome is shared by them and me; making the Win 7 the boot drive and disconnect the Win 10 drive for the upgrade.

I have no access to a Win 7 Pro 32 bit boot /repair USB. I feel stranded as the only guy (at 70) on an island!

Thank you for offering to help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2015   #5

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

I apologize in advance if this request is not in keeping with the rules of the forum. I am not promoting any vendor. All I want to know is whether this particular Windows 7 Professional 32 bit application (irrespective of vendor) will help me solve my problem of getting my Win 7 drive to boot or format my non activated Win 10 drive and install this OEM version of Win 7 Pro and then upgrade it to Win 10. It is the only affordable option I have IF IT WILL WORK.

I do not have the skill to determine if this product is a viable solution to my problem. Thanks

Buy Windows 7 Professional, Win7 Pro Key - MMOGA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2015   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

No way to know without more details or without any prior experience with the seller.

You are relying on the seller. The seller may be totally reliable or an outright thief.

The following 2 statements on that page would cause me to run away. You have to pay to get the information and you have to activate by telephone. You pay your money and you take your chances. It's your call entirely.

Information about the software download will be made available to you after your purchase.

A verification via telephone is required to activate the product.

Maybe the following link will discourage you enough to look elsewhere.

Regarding MMOGA: Reviews - Ratings at ResellerRatings

"After purchase, they deducted payment from my Paypal account and emailed me requesting a copy of my drivers license / photo id before they would fulfill the order. This is not stated during checkout, or before they have your money.

Filing a Paypal chargeback. Avoid this place like the plague; reeks of fraud and high potential for identity theft!"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2015   #7

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Really :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2015   #8

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Thanks for the warning about this vendor. I will definitely not buy anything from them. However there are reputable vendors that sell the same or similar product. For now I am struggling with the solution. Will this product allow or something similar help me to install Windows 7. I need to retain Windows 7 as I need the Media Center to watch over the air broadcast TV.

What is your opinion?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2015   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

You need 2 things:

Installation media for Windows 7, such as a legitimate installation disc or a legitimate ISO from which you can burn a legitimate installation disc.

A valid and legitimate Product Key for the same version of Windows 7 as your installation media.

You can buy them both as a package for $99.99 US from reliable vendors such as

Operating Systems, Microsoft Windows -

You might occasionally see a reliable vendor selling it for 80, but that would be only on a sale.

When you get down below that price and into vendors you never heard of or Ebay, you are taking risk at being ripped off.

It's a crap shoot on these lesser known vendors. You can play or walk away from the table and buy from a legit source.

You are particularly taking a chance from someone offering to sell you just a key with few details provided.

You say "Will this product allow or something similar help me to install Windows 7?"

That "product" appears to be a key. What good will a key alone do you if you have no media?

Don't know what else to tell you. You can buy Windows 7 all day long from reliable sources. If you can't or won't do that, you get to roll the dice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2015   #10

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Thanks again. I can use that knowledge to consider what to do.
Due to my limited resources, (as I was planning on a free Win 10 upgrade), I was wondering if I could get your advice on what the disadvantages are of "second hand" retail Win 7 or is that illegal and unusable?

I wonder if someone took the free upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10, would their Win 7 license be deactivated from further uses for Windows 7?

If it is still available for use, does the retail version allow me install a win 7 installation using the Product serial number that activates the install? Will it allow me to reinstall or repair or put it on a mini home theater pc and upgrade to Win 10

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I can no longer boot my Win 7 drive

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