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Windows 7: lost dual boot mode, can I recover it?

11 Jul 2010   #1

windows 7
lost dual boot mode, can I recover it?

Is there a way to recover the files needed for dual booting (Win7 and XP)? When I tried unsuccessfully to install a SSD, I had multiple instances of the NTLDR getting hosed. I eventually discovered that I could repair the file with my recovery disk. Before this, I could boot to Win7 or XP by selecting from the Windows 7 created menu at bootup. Now I can only boot Win7. I tried to solve the problem with EasyBCD, but it didn't work (I couldn't figure out what had to be done). I have some safe images of my old installation that presumably have the proper boot files on them. I would like to know what files to find and where to copy them. I do not want to install the full images, since they were made a long time ago and I would end up with days of work trying to recover.

Can I get back to dual booting (the XP partition is intact) by copying some files from my images to the proper place? If so, what files do I copy and where do I put them?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Have you tried installing EasyBCD 2.0 beta to WIn7 and adding XP on the Add/Remove tab? Accept offered boot files, let it autocomplete, Save, Restart.

Please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management drive map and listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Tell us what is on which partition.

Also please tell us more about the images you have: what they contain exactly, what program they were made by. Do you still need to install the SSD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #3

windows 7

Thank you. When I switched to version 2.0 I deleted the old XP entry and saved. Then I went to the add option and selected the option that included XP. From that point, the setup was automatic. I tested it and was able to boot in both XP and Win7. The key was apparently to use version 2.0 of EasyBCD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Jul 2010   #4

windows 7

Oh, I forgot about the SSD. It was a Kingston 128GB. The Acronis software was supposed to clone the existing OS, so that it would only be necessary to switch the boot order in the BIOS to change to the SSD. The problem (at least the first one) was that the version of Acronis I received would only clone an entire disk. My OS partition was 80GB, so it should fit nicely, but it was on a 1TB drive (all of the remaining space was in a second partition). Acronis wouldn't proceed because it wanted to either fit the entire 1TB or nothing. When I tried to restore images from Acronis and Macrium, they sort of worked, but that was when my NTLDR got hosed and my troubles got worse. Fortunately, Amazon accepted the drive back (I wiped it multiple times) for a refund. I will probably build a new computer in a year or so and may give it a try again, with a clean install to a SSD. Until then, I will remain in the spinning mechanical camp.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 and XP

The Windows 7 Installation disk has an option to recover "lost" bootable partitions. In my case I got a new hard drive and set up 64-bit Win 7 on it. Doing that, however, made my original 32-bit Win 7 boot drive (which was on a separate physical drive) invisible. Prior to my new hard drive, I only had the original single boot drive, so I needed to (a) find and recover the lost (original) boot drive, and (b) set up a dual boot menu.

"Repair" does all of those things. The function is buried a few menus deep in the install process which can be very confusing if you've never done it before, so here are detailed instructions which I found in another forum:

1. Beginning state: One bootable partition, but a spare bootable partition or drive that is currently not accessable on boot-up.

(Note: This happens a lot when you get a new hard drive and want to put a new OS on it yet want to save your old bootable drive to boot from, usually to store and access some software that may be incompatible with the new OS).

2. Insert the Windows installation disk (not sure, but either a 64-bit or 32-bit DVD would likely work equally well), and use whatever method your computer requires to boot from the DVD rather than HDD.

(Note: this is usually selected either from the BIOS setup screen or sometimes a good BIOs will provide the option on boot up, usually after pressing a special key to flag it into the mode where you can pick a boot-up device).

3. In the first screen after boot-up from the DVD, select the appropriate location and keyboard input, press "Next".

4. Since this is an installation disk, the next screen has a large "Install Now" prompt. Do not select that. Instead, select the "Repair your computer" printed in smaller text at the lower left of the screen. It can be easy to miss if you are not familiar with what the intallation disk can do.

5. The System Repair tool searches for valid operating systems and will state, "Windows found problems with your computer's startup options. Do you want to apply repairs and restart your computer?" Click "Repair and restart".

6. On the next reboot a B/W command level screen will be titled, "Windows Boot Manager". It should display the new bootable partition and the newly found old boot partition as two different boot options. In my case, it displayed the 64-bit boot option first, the 32-bit option next:

"Windows 7
Windows 7 Home Premium (recovered)"

7. This screen is now a permanent fixture in the boot sequence and the installation DVD can be removed.

(Note: Thereafter, every time you boot, the boot manager will appear to give you a choice of your two partitions to boot from. I suspect more than two partitions will work just as well, but you may have to reboot several times, possibly once per partition to recover or include them all. Also if there are other fixable boot issues, the "repair" may also require more than one reboot. However, for a non-damaged boot drive that is fully intact, just "lost", I found it only took one reboot to both find the lost boot drive and mount it in a dual boot menu.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 lost dual boot mode, can I recover it?

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