Dual boot system with multiple hard drives


New Member
The issue I am dealing with is: I started off running XP but decided to try windows 7. So I installed it on another hard drive (while running XP, thus forming a dual boot system) after testing out windows 7 I want to switch to just that (but Windows 7 hard drive cannot boot without the XP holding hard drive) – is there any way to make it so the Windows 7 hard drive can stand alone boot without having to reinstall windows 7?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
When you installed Win 7 with XP already installed, the boot files for Win 7 were put on the XP hard drive.

You might attach a snipping tool picture of your disk management window so we can check and make sure this is correct.

The overall senario here is to put the boot files on the Win 7 drive, make that partition active and them make sure it is the first active partition encountered during the boot. So---

You need to put the boot files on the Windows 7 drive. I am assuming you do not have the 100 mb System Reserved partition, so boot into Win 7. Using the drive letter for Win 7, which should be C: , open an administrative command window and type this command followed by enter.

bcdboot C:\Windows /s C:

Wait for a response.

Now, open Disk Management and make the Win 7 partition active. Then go into the bios to make the Win 7 drive primary (first) or disconnect the XP drive.

You should now be able to boot straight to Win 7 without the XP drive. You will not have a boot menu, but if you want, download EasyBCD 2.0 beta and replace it.

The alternate process to this is to make the Win 7 partition active, then put that drive first in the bios or disconnect the XP drive and use the Install DVD or Repair CD to do a startup repair two or three times to replace the boot files.

When you are done, you can reconnect the XP drive if you disconnected it.


New Member

For some reason your step "bcdboot C:\Windows /s C:" would not work for me (always got the error that it failed copying). So I tried your alternative process which solved the issue.

Thank You

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