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Windows 7: Issue with establishing dual boot Win7/Vista

13 Dec 2009   #1

Win 7 & Vista
Issue with establishing dual boot Win7/Vista

I attempted to create a dual boot machine when installing Win 7 alongside Vista but have hit an unexpected problem where Win 7, after successfully installing, doesnít provide the option on boot up of selecting which operating system to use, it just goes straight into Win 7. Hereís the process I followed:
My machine has three physical drives, 320gb, 500gb and 1.5tb, the 320gb is split into two partitions of equal size and the original c: drive petition on that drive houses my Vista o/s. The 1.5tb drive is a brand new drive, which I had formatted in Vista prior to attempting the Win 7 install; it has no data on it prior to the Win 7 install. I created a bootable disc from my downloaded copy of the Win 7 upgrade and booted the machine via the disc and installed it onto the 1.5tb drive. Install went fine with no errors and Win 7 runs without issue. My problem is that now whenever I boot the machine it doesnít provide the option of booting into Vista it just goes straight into Win 7. Also I cant see all of my drives in Win 7, I can see one of the 320gb petitions (the non Vista OS petition) and the 1.5tb drive but I cant see the 500gb at all (it only holds media files). I havenít looked into disk management yet to see if the drives are visible that way.
If theres any further info needed to come up with a solution please let me know as Iím keen to still run Vista for a while whilst I transition data to Win 7.

Thanks for your assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Pro & Vista Home Premium

You have to change the boot drive, hit F2 o mstartup and get into boot options, Select the 2nd drive in the list,

If it works you'll;ll need to get into the BIOS and change it here as well.yo get the dial boot menu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP


Please post a screenshot of your full Disk Management drive map, using the Snipping Tool in the Start Menu, attach file using paper clip in reply box.

All will be revealed there, or not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Dec 2009   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #5

7 Pro x64

I used EasyBCD to modify my dual boot menu... (Download EasyBCD 1.7.2 - NeoSmart Technologies) It may help with your problem and is worth a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #6

Win 7 & Vista

Disk mgmt screen shot attached

Attached Thumbnails
Issue with establishing dual boot Win7/Vista-disk-mgmt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP


The problem is that the Media Drive was somehow marked active, became the System Active drive and holds the MBR.

This frequently happens when data drives are left plugged during OS install and confuse the installer.

The best tool for fixing this is to download and burn to CD free Partition Wizard bootable.

The Media drive will need to have data temporarily moved off as it needs to be formatted to remove the MBR.

Enter BIOS setup using F-key given on first bootup screen (usually F2) and change boot order to boot Win7 HD first, after CD/DVD drive.

Boot into PW CD and right click Media drive to Modify: Set Inactive. Then rightclick>Delete Media drive. Then right click Create New partition(s). Then rightclick>format Logical (can't be marked active).

Now rightclick Win7 partition and Modify: Set Active. Apply all steps now.

Boot into the Win7 DVD Repair console and run Startup Repair 3 separate times as it will need to fix several issues then write the MBR to Win7.

When you are able to boot into Win7, run the Win7 DVD to do a Repair Install which should reconfigure the dual boot correctly.

If this fails to create the Dual Boot Menu, then it may be necessary to change the BIOS to boot first the Vista drive, run Startup Repair from the Vista DVD to get it started and then run a Repair install from the Vista desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #8

Win 7 & Vista

Thanks guys for your help, very appreciated, all sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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