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Windows 7: Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)

06 Jan 2010   #1

Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)

Complaint: When starting computer, boot manager does not show Win 7

Symptoms: Previously, my system was running XP 32 bit and Vista 32 without any problems. After installing Vista, I found it quite easy to use EASYBCD to properly configure the boot manager to have XP as the default system, and Vista as the optional system further down the line. The two OSs are set on separate partitions of the same disk. Note however that the disk is actually a RAID 1 array.

A few days ago I installed Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, as a clean install after wiping out the Vista partition. Installation proceeded without difficulty, but when I tried to make the necessary changes to the boot file via EASYBCD, the XP partition was not listed. So I mounted the partition and labeled it as X:, and went back to EASYBCD to add XP to the X: partition.

But after restarting, the boot manager menu listed:

(1)Older version of Windows
(2)Vista boot loader

When I choose (1), a new table comes up that lists only XP. If chosen, XP starts without difficulty.

When I choose (2), I get an error screen. I will post the exact error message momentarily.

I thought maybe the boot needed to be repaired, so I booted off the Win 7 DVD and instructed it to fix my computer. But after running a scan, a window popped up telling me that there was no problem to fix. I then restarted the system, leaving the DVD in the drive, but when prompted, I allowed the system to continue loading instead of striking a key to boot from the Win 7 DVD.

Instead of the boot menu above, the new menu was:
(1) Windows 7
(2) Windows XP

This is exactly what I told EASYBCD to do! But I can only get to this menu if I have the Win 7 DVD in the drive when I start up the computer! Note that I am NOT booting off the disk; the disk is simply sitting in the drive! When the bios checks the drive for a disk and sees one is present, it asks me if I want to boot from it (press any key) or not (do nothing). Whenever I do nothing, I get the right boot menu!

I have spent many, many hours and scoured the forums, but I have yet to see this problem described.

I will post a screen image of my disk management shortly. I will also post a copy of the EASYBCD screen image.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #2


Enclosed is a screen shot of my disc management.

Note that Windows 7 has designated a data drive as disk 0. I find this to be a little strange and even annoying. I have read posts that this is a hardware issue, but previously, the drive with the OS has ALWAYS been Disk 0.

Attached Thumbnails
Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)-screenhunter_02-jan.-06-12.47.gif  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #3


Screen shot of EASYBCD.

Please let me know what other data and settings I can post to help solve this problem.

Attached Images
Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)-screenhunter_03-jan.-06-12.54.gif 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Jan 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


The problem is your System MBR has been derailed to the Media drive. This is a frequent problem with data drives in DISK0.

I see SIW2 is reading this so I will defer to him to give you the fix.

I would unplug Media, repair install XP, then add Win7 with Easy.

When replugging Media drive, it may be necessary to set it Inactive using Diskpart CMD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Try seeing if Disk 0 is first HD in bios boot order.

You have one HD set up as a Raid array?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #6


@gregrocker: Thanks for the idea. If this is what I need to do, I'll do it. Is there maybe a less labor intensive fix? Is there anyway to move the MBR from Media back to where it should be (the Win7 partition, right?).

@SIW2: Good thought.
And yes, Disk 1 is a RAID array.

I had a look, but the drive with my OS is first in line.

But here is another interesting symptom:

I changed the boot order from CD ROM > HDD to HDD > CD ROM.
The boot menu changed to:
(1) Microsoft Windows XP
(2) Microsoft recovery console

So, any mention of a Vista loader or Win 7 was gone. But once I switched the priority back to CD ROM > HDD, and if the Win 7 DVD was loaded (even though I did not tell the bios to boot from it), I get the menu I am looking for:

(1)Windows 7
(2)Windows XP

But I suppose all of this is moot considering that to fix this, according to gregrocker, I need to put the MBR back where it should be. Again is there possibly a better procedure?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64


It appears you have two different bcd stores.

Go to folder options and show Hidden files.

Post a screenie of the contents of the Media drive and the 7 partition - see if you can locate a pale yellow Boot folder on the root of the drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #8


And the plot thickens...

Attached Thumbnails
Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)-screenhunter_02-jan.-06-14.06.gif   Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)-screenhunter_03-jan.-06-14.07.gif  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #9


Here is a screenie of drive X (with XP):

Attached Thumbnails
Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)-screenhunter_04-jan.-06-14.11.gif  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Ok - I think the best way forward is to use C as the system partition. You can leave Disk 1 as first in Bios boot order.

You can use commands, but easiest to d/l EasyBCD 2.0 Beta Builds - The NeoSmart Forums

Click Diagnostics center , Dot Change boot drive, click Rescue my system - select C in drop down, OK.

It takes a few seconds.

Then click Add/Remove entries - remove the entry for Xp .

Add a new entry for XP and let easy autoconfigure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem with dual boot Win 7 + XP (XP first)

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