CreatingDual boot Windows 7 + Vista on a machine that had dual boot Vista+XP

I had my system running with dual boot Vista Ultimate (32bit) and XP professional (32 bit). These OS were both installed on 2 separate partition of a single physical Hard disk.

Now, I just did a full install of 64Bit Windows 7 Ultimate, on the partition where windows XP was installed. I had booted to the windows 7 install DVD (i am a msdn subscriber, btw) , let the install DVD first to format the XP partition and then perform a full install on that partition to put windows 7 there. The installation went flawless however after the install is complete, I was expecting that I will get a dual boot menu where windows 7 and Vista both will show up, but its not. there is no boot option, the machine directly always boot to windows 7. After digging a little bit i noticed that, running msconfig, it shows only windows 7 as default OS and there is no other option there to add other OS. Looking at the device manager for all the partition, the windows vista partition also just shows up as logical drive but not bootable like windows 7 partition.

I am just wondering what did i missed during the install that wiped out the vista entry from the boot ini (i meant what ever is similar to boot ini in vista/windows 7).

Anyway, if anybody can point me how to fix the boot record and let windows 7 to add the windows vista that is sitting in the other partition to recognize so that during boot i get the option to choose between 7 or vista.

Will the Bootrec.exe of the windows 7/vista allow me to repair or rebuild the BCD and add both OS in the BCD?



New Member

I assume you had XP on the first partition and Vista on the second?

In that case, when you installed Vista - NT6 compatible boot code and mbr were written to the HD, and bootmgr and the Boot folder( containing bcd) were installed on the Active partition - the partition with XP on.

Deleting/formatting the XP during 7 install also deleted the Vista boot files.

It is worth running startup repair on 7 dvd to see if it detects Vista installation and adds it to 7 bcd.

Otherwise, it is very easy to do it by hand :

Boot into 7.

Open an elevated command prompt and type: ( If Vista is on partition D:, otherwise, use the appropriate drive letter)

bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Vista"

It will return a new {GUID}.

Use that , including the brackets in these commands:

bcdedit /set {your-new-GUID_here} device partition=D:

bcdedit /set {your-new-GUID_here} osdevice partition=D:

Last edited:

Thanks you so much for the tips and such an excellent and very precise solution. Appreciate it.

I just followed your instruction and did it manually with the bcdedit commands and it worked perfectly. The dual boot option is showing up during startup. Both OS are happy.

Thanks again. It was a great help. APpreciate it very much

BTW, I still think this is one of the corner issue that windows 7 install process currently not handling the best way. when people moves from dual boot (xp+vista) to dual boot (vista+7), and they want a clean install wiping out the xp partition, windows 7 installer should first see wha are the OS currently in the system and try to preserve the one that is not getting wiped out when windows 7 gets installed. Don't u think?


New Member
Hi Zrouf,

You're welcome - glad it worked for you.

Usually 7 will pick up existing installations.

As in previous versions of Windows, the 7 installer will place the boot files on the Active partition , and the rest of the o/s on the partition you pointed the installer at.

7 would then pick up the previous o/s from their boot information on the Active partition.

However - the Active partition was the one you deleted/recreated in this case - so 7 didn't detect any boot info on there - and wasn't able to auto add them into bcd.

An extra wrinkle 7 adds to the installation is the creation of a separate 100mb System, Active partition.

You only get this if you don't already have an Active partition.

It is to help with Bitlocker - I don't use Bitlocker , so don't know the precise details of the advantage it confers if you do.


Thanks again for the clarification. I did not relaize the affect of active partition thing w.r.t dual boot scenario.


This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.