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Windows 7: Removing old XP HDD from system prevents Win 7 on new HDD from booting

08 Oct 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Removing old XP HDD from system prevents Win 7 on new HDD from booting

I have a desktop which originally came with XP.

The original HDD filled up so I installed a second HDD (1TB) for the data.

I then carried out a clean install of Win 7 on that second HDD and had a dual boot setup which, in the end was the only HDD being used - or so I thought!!

I have now removed the original XP HDD and installed another HDD (3TB) for yet more data at which point my problems started.

Machine wouldn't boot with a short simple message something along the lines of no boot disk. I tried swapping the boot order in BIOS with no change so, thinking it was a simple matter to run a Windows 7 Repair to place the MBR, which I now assume had been originally installed on the XP disk, onto the Win7 HDD and thought it would take 5 minutes - Wrong.

It's now been going all day and I wonder if I can stop it to replace the XP HDD and sort out the boot process that way assuming no other changes have been made in the mean time.

Apart from a detailed Disk Check, I can't think what is taking so long.

So, is it safe to stop the Repair or do I risk breaking the Win 7 installation resulting in a new install?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2015   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Only 1 way to find out :)

Put the XP drive back in, making sure it`s set to boot 1st, write the system files to 7 and set it active, disconnect the XP drive and Windows 7 should then boot fine.

Strange thing with startup repair, it doesn`t always work.

But it sounds like you never set the W7 drive active, so no matter what, it won`t boot by itself until you do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Removing old XP HDD from system prevents Win 7 on new HDD from booting

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