Dual boot? XP & W7 on 2x HDDs WITHOUT having to re-install W7?

Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#1
I know I went the wrong way about this....but can anyone point to a SIMPLE solution?

So I have an Athlon 64 as my spare PC and it runs XP perfectly on 4Gb Ram.

And after building my Haswell i7 and upgrading the SSD to the Samsung EVO 250Gb, I had a Samsung Pro 128Gb spare; and a copy of Windows 7 x64 laying around. What to do with it?

For the Haswell I had later bought Windows 8.1 Pro (installing the excellent `Free` Windows SHELL program).

I installed Windows 7 x64 onto a partition on the XP hard drive and it dual booted lovely. After hundreds of updates, and installing Office Ultimate it is great.

So;
I CLONED the Windows 7 partition on to the Samsung SSD and shutdown and unplugged the XP drive to test the SSD.

It runs perfect. (sure it runs slower on a 2006 Mo-bo, but not a big concern).

BUT


When I adjust the Bios to boot from the SSD or the XP Drive (after deleting the Windows 7 from the XP Disk partition) I cannot get a CHOICE of Dual Boot for XP (32-bit) Or W7 (x64)
UNLESS I alter the Bios Boot drive each time.


So; I wondered if there was any SIMPLE way to get the Dual Boot CHOICE back?


I know I was `Winging it`, and I guess I can Just clone Windows 7 back onto the XP Drive Partition, but I would like to have W7 x64 onthe SSD. If its EASY.

Or should I just use the SSD for a Ramdisc or something?
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#2
Try using the visualbcd editor from here:

http://www.boyans.net/
 


bassfisher6522

Essential Member
#3
I've found that creating partition for dual booting is a pain, because of the reboot cycle of you choose a different OS to boot from main OS on the C drive. That being said.

Yes you can install an OS on different HDD's. The key is to unplug the other HDD's and SSD's in the system before doing so. This will keep the MBR on the specific HDD/SSD for that OS it's being installed on. The to change the OS you want to use, you still have to reboot....but now just tap the F12 key and this will bring up the OS boot order and just select what drive you want to boot from.
 


Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#4
Try using the visualbcd editor from here:

http://www.boyans.net/
Tried it.
After Downloading. Installing and clicking "Repair"
It said;-
"Drive could not be accessed."
Will try installing under XP as well as Windows 7.

Edit.
Downloaded to XP; but when I went to install the program it said that XP was not capable of running the program.
QUOTE;-
"Visual BCD cannot be installed on systems with Windows Installer version lower than 4.0"
 


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Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#5
I've found that creating partition for dual booting is a pain, because of the reboot cycle of you choose a different OS to boot from main OS on the C drive. That being said.

Yes you can install an OS on different HDD's. The key is to unplug the other HDD's and SSD's in the system before doing so. This will keep the MBR on the specific HDD/SSD for that OS it's being installed on. The to change the OS you want to use, you still have to reboot....but now just tap the F12 key and this will bring up the OS boot order and just select what drive you want to boot from.
Thanks for that.
But F12 does nothing under the circumstances I described.
Good effort.
 


Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#6
Everything I do gives me the middle finger.
 


Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#7
I guess I will have to access the BIOS every time and alter the Drive Boot order.
 


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bassfisher6522

Essential Member
#8
First you have the correct the MBR for the orginal dual boot setup...using Patcooke suggestion or just uninstalling the partition and starting over. Starting over is what I would recommend.
 


Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#9
First you have the correct the MBR for the orginal dual boot setup...using Patcooke suggestion or just uninstalling the partition and starting over. Starting over is what I would recommend.
Its easier going to the BIOS and altering the boot drive every time.

But you would have thought a bunch of dimwits like Microsoft would have made a SIMPLE SIMPLE DOWNLOADABLE fix available by now after twenty years.
 


#10
It's easier for me to use the F12 option at boot up for me, it bypasses the need to go into the BIOS. It saves me a lot of waiting....I have 3 HDD's with 3 different OS installed. When I want to change to a different OS, I just reboot, tap F12, choose my lettered HDD with the OS I want to use, click it and it boots it right up. Simple and easy for me. But to each their own.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#11
If you were to install Windows 7 instead of just cloning the partition, it would have set up the dual boot for you.

But XP and Windows 7 use a different boot configurations. When you install Windows 7 last, it overwrites the XP boot configuration but adds that version to the menu. Installing on separate hard drives is fine, but as has been mentioned, what drives are installed and which one shows as the primary drive is important.

You might even consider using EasyBCD to add the other boot.

A picture of your Disk Management window might help us understand the situation.

There have been many posts concerning dual booting Windows 7 and XP, but you may have to go back a few years with your search.
 


Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#12
Putting in a Disc Management image here.

Hoping for a simple solution.
DiskManagementImage.jpg

P.S.
The SSD does run FAR slower on this PC than the i7, but I had hoped it would make things easier.
Like I say; I am happy to consider other options, such as cloning the W7 back onto the drive it Dual-booted from; and use the SSD as a ramdisc? or something?
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#13
Can you boot either OS by setting that drive as primary in the bios?

You System partition on the SSD is showing the drive letter C: and it should not. When you start cloning drives, things can become a little confused and Drive letters are one of those. You might try assigning it a letter like S to see if the OS partition goes back to C: but eventually it needs to show no drive letter.

You can add the XP boot to the Windows 7 BCD Store using BCDedit, but using EasyBCD might be easier. This will depend on the answer to the first question.

SSDs like running with an AHCI controller. I might assume you installed XP using the IDE controller, do you happen to know how yours is set up?

Edit: And like Bassfisher, I dual boot Windows 7 and 8 using the Boot Device Menu during boot.
 


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Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#14
Can you boot either OS by setting that drive as primary in the bios?

You System partition on the SSD is showing the drive letter C: and it should not. When you start cloning drives, things can become a little confused and Drive letters are one of those. You might try assigning it a letter like S to see if the OS partition goes back to C: but eventually it needs to show no drive letter.

You can add the XP boot to the Windows 7 BCD Store using BCDedit, but using EasyBCD might be easier. This will depend on the answer to the first question.

SSDs like running with an AHCI controller. I might assume you installed XP using the IDE controller, do you happen to know how yours is set up?

Edit: And like Bassfisher, I dual boot Windows 7 and 8 using the Boot Device Menu during boot.
Thanks for the response Saltgrass..
1) I can boot to either drive by altering the BIOS boot drive.
2) The SSD may show as the C-Drive because origionally I had Windows 8 on it for my i7 PC and I replaced that and cloned the Windows 7 to it from a partition on the XP Hard-Disk (XP first and Win7 after [and it dual-booted lovely as I said]).
3) I will try change the drive letter. I Did think about that. But was concerned that something could go wrong.
4) I dont think I have an AHCI Controller; the Motherboard is from 2005/2006. But it may have, as it was one of the first motherboards manufactured with 2 SATA red cable connectors. I cannot see AHCI anywhere in the BIOS. Last BIOS update is the newest (March 2006).
5) I guess I could clone Windows 7 back to the XP Hard Disc partition where it dual-booted lovely last week.

6) BCDedit, or EasyBCD still seems complicated after my failure with VisualBCD.
 


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Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#15
HardDrivesCompare.jpg
This is the Hard Drives when looked at in Explorer. BEFORE CHANGING ANY LETTERS...

EDIT
I went to change the SSD W7 Drive letter to "S", (in `Computer Management`) but it said "The parameter is incorrect".

I will take that to mean that I should give up trying to get it working how it should be able to more easily..
That said. I have Visual BCD Editor installed and running; but the interface doesnt make a lot of sense to me. It seems to indicate that it cannot "see" the XP Drive as a Boot Option.

I Just clicked "Add new Boot loader for XP" and some text appeared.... but dont know what to do now.

I re-Booted and it gave an XP option on Boot up; but it was a dead end text message. Press `Esc` and select Windows 7. So seems HALF-way there.
 


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Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#16
Re-booted.
Windows 7 and XP option appeared.
Went for XP.
Gave an error message and said `Put your Windows disc in and restart and go through the proceedure to "REPAIR" your Windows Installation`.
Booted off the XP Disc.
Went to Install proiceedure; to find "REPAIR" (hoping to set up the BOOT `repair`).
Now I have a PC with a non-stop black screen and blinking white cursor.
Not sure whether to wait hours to see what happens.

I get why people jump out of windows. It ain`t right. But I get it.

I remember leaving a Blinking cursor for ten hours once, and eventually the OS booted up.

Edit.
Had to use the Windows 7 `Repair` Disc. Thought the PC had snuffed it for a while.
No more `experiments` for today.
 


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#17
Like saltgrass stated, all your problems stem from the use of a cloned HDD, which contains the MBR of the previous install. Doing a clean install of a partitioned or 2nd HDD for dual booting would have eliminated all your issues. There is software out there that will allow you to move the MBR and fix most if not all your issues...but I personally never tried it.
 


Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#18
Erm.... Still trying... :red_smile:
AutomaticBootRepair.jpg

Did this....
But Do I have to do something in Visual BCD Editor or is it fixed?
Then
this....
BootRepairFixedAgainButIsIt.jpg

But do I have to EDIT BOOT-MENU as per the bottom right hand of this image?
Its a Mystery. :indecisiveness:
 


Attachments

Rogerthat

Well-Known Member
#19
So I re-booted and tried the `New XP Loader` boot off the Windows 7 Drive Start-up process; and somehow it started installing XP.
There is no XP disc in the Drive only on the other HDD.

Its halfway through and asking for the CD labelled `Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3`.

Its a mystery to me whats happening. :apathy:

Edit.
Its no longer a mystery. It wants to install an extra copy of Win XP. Rather than a repair.
 


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