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Windows 7: Problem With Multiple OS' on Different Drives

13 Jul 2010   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x86
Problem With Multiple OS' on Different Drives

I recently decided to try out Windows 7 (loving it by the way) and have decided I would like to stick with it. However, I have run into a problem with having XP on one drive and Windows 7 on another.

I have two drives, which for the sake of simplicity I'll call Drive1 and Drive2. I have XP installed on Drive1, and Drive 2 was just used for storage. As I said I recently decided to try out Windows 7, so I created a 10GB partition on Drive2 and installed Win7 on that. Now when I boot, a screen shows where I can choose to boot Windows 7, or "An earlier version of Windows". The second option boots my XP install.

I'm soon going to be receiving a new drive in the mail, and after falling in love with Windows 7, I'd like to get rid of Drive1, and expand the 10GB partition on Drive2 that Win7 is on to fill the entire drive. Getting rid of Drive1 is where the problem starts.

It seems that whatever files are used to display the "Windows 7 or an earlier version" screen are located on Drive1, because when I removed Drive1, my computer tried to boot from CD, and then changed to a blank screen with a flashing underscore.

So, my question is, how can I get rid of Drive1 and just have it boot Windows 7 from Drive2 at startup? If it comes down to it, I can just wipe Drive2 and reinstall Windows 7 on it without Drive1 plugged in, but I'd rather not have to do this, as I've already customized 7 a bit and installed a few apps. Any help is appreciated though. =)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2010   #2

Mc Donald OS Version Beta

Alright my friend, use EasyBCD.

That allows you to dual boot them.

To get rid of Drive 1, use Windows 7 partition manager and erase disk 1.

To access this,

open the start menu

right click on Computer

Select "Manage"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2010   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

What you are asking is for instructions on rebuilding the 7 BCD store on Drive #2 since the 7 boot loader and files as well as the mbr entries are now presently on Drive #1. The EasyBCD is for setting and/or configuring dual boot setups as well as adding new boot entries. You can even rename the "previous version of Windows" entry now seen to "Windows XP" or "XP edition name".

For seeing a new set of boot files, the boot loader and BCD store as well as mbr entries on Drive #2 you will to review a guides on how to use the command prompt while booted live with the 7 dvd and in the repair tools>command prompt there or while booted in 7 as seen at How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

Another option before considering a fast clean install all over is the use of the upgrade option when going to start up the installer while booted in 7 to see that preserve everything you have on now while writing a new boot sector on the same drive with the XP Host drive removed. That would make the 7 Drive #2 the new host/boot drive where you could later even add XP back into the new 7 BCD store.

For resizing the 7 primary since 10gb is far too small to start with you would need to be booted live from something like a live drive tools cd or the 7 dvd drive tools section seen when first going to install 7. Once the expansion is complete you simply reboot.

The one caution however depends on large the drive is since sudden large expansions could trash the partition table on you. Make sure to back up any files you want to keep before any resizing is attempted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jul 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


Mark Win7 partitiion Active from XP Disk Management or from booted Win7 DVD Repair console: Partition - Mark as Active

Next unplug XP HD and plug its cable into Win7, or set Win7 HD as first HD to boot in BIOS setup, after DVD drive.

Now boot the Win7 DVD Repair console, click through to Recovery Tools list to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots until Win7 starts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2010   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

I had a second install of the 64bit RC last year as a stand alone install on a second drive not added into the host drive's 64bit install's BCD there until booting up with the wrong dvd when having added the 32bit RC to a 3rd drive. The second drive's RC was hen seen as "recovered" when successfully added in as a new option. But that was with when another 7 install was present on the first drive showing the repair tools do work.

The recovery console/command prompt method is still something to get familiar with if repeat tries with the startup repair don't succeed. Rebuilding or building new the BCD store would have to be done at the command prompt while booted live with the 7 dvd. Besides an upgrade repair install a fresh clean install is still the best move having done this several times for the betas, RCs, and some fresh installs with the retail as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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