Dual booting issues

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Installation' started by nothvice, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    Hello. I installed Windows 7 on a separate hard drive. In the same computer I also have a Windows XP drive. The XP drive was present in the computer when I installed 7. However, when I start the computer, I don't get a choice between the two, it just automatically starts 7. What is the best way to fix this problem?

    Thanks
     
  2. busydog

    busydog New Member

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    Get VistaBootPro at http://www.vistabootpro.org/ It is my personal favorite.
     
  3. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    Thanks for the tip, but I already tried EasyBCD and when I try to add XP to the list of bootable os's, EasyBCD errors out saying that it can't find the NTLDR loader and that it must be installed. The 7 machine doesn't even see the XP drive, so I'm wondering if there is a problem with the XP drive.
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Did you change the primary drive during this process. If you had been booting to XP, then added a Win 7 drive and installed Win 7, the boot files would be on the XP drive. If you now have the Win 7 drive booting first, it will not see the XP install.

    Try reversing the boot order to see if you have a dual boot set up on the XP drive, or look in the root directory of the XP install and see if bootmgr and a boot folder are present.

    If you want to leave it like it is, you will need to move the ntldr and boot.ini files into the root directory of the Win 7 drive, where the bootmgr file is. Also in the boot.ini, you will probably need to change the rdisk(0) entry to rdisk(1).

    Maybe a snipit of your disk management window and a copy of the printout of an administrative command window after you type bcdedit.
     
  5. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    Before I read your post, I tried running the startup repair off the Win7 disk and successfully got it to show the boot menu on startup where it lets you select either Windows 7 or Microsoft Windows. However, when you select Microsoft Windows, it comes up with an error saying it cannot locate the ntldr file. How can I fix this error?
     
  6. RAK

    RAK Extraordinary Member

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    What letter designate did you give in Easybcd to the XP installation? If , for example, C. try D. and the other way round. Otherwise, if you could post a picture of your setup, from Computer management - Disk management (In Administrative tools) a more specific answer could possibly be given. Could you also check, from Windows explorer, if the missing ntldr (and the .ini files) are present on the XP hard disk. If not, you may have overwritten them with the 7 install.
     
  7. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    I have attached screenshots from EasyBCD and Disk Management. The problem is that my Win 7 install doesn't see my XP drive at all even though the BIOS sees it. In the Disk Management shot, ignore the extra and unallocated parts of the C drive, they are leftovers from an old Linux install that used to be on the drive and will soon be eliminated.
     
  8. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    Thanks, but I already tried that. I have the boot screen already, but when I select the XP install, it does not work.
     
  9. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Did you ever do this?

    The fact your other drive is not seen in Disk Management, would seem to be a problem. I can only think the system is going around the XP drive to find a bootable partition.

    ________________________
    I must add, the ntdetect file also has to be in the C:\ area.

    This is how mine looks with a separate drive for XP. disregard the Linux install, the drive in not attached now.
     
    #9 Saltgrass, Dec 26, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  10. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    I have attached four screenshots of relevant boot information from the XP install. I simply disconnected the Win7 hard drive drive and the computer booted correctly into XP. It appears that Win7 is the only one with the boot loader since the XP install does not prompt and instead boots right into XP. The XP install sees the Win7 drive, but when booted into Win7, it does not see the XP drive.
     
  11. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    According to your disk management snipit, you are not booting to either drive.

    Your system seems to be a little messed up since you do not show the 2nd drive in the top, but do in the bottom.

    If you want to clean it up, we can work on that.

    Your program data folder should be a hiddden folder, but it does not appear to be. I assume you are showing hidden folders, but is should be semi-transparent, like the other two folders.
     
    #11 Saltgrass, Dec 26, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  12. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    A brief history of the XP install (the Win7 install is brand new):
    I had another drive in the computer at one time that had Vista on it. I successfully had the Vista boot menu selecting either XP or Vista. I removed the Vista drive later on and modified the boot file from there. I have a feeling that something didn't go quite right when I remove the Vista drive and modified the boot files on the XP drive. I have tried to fix the boot files from the XP install disk, but it keeps prompting me for an admin password and I know I am entering the right one, but it refuses to accept. At this point I am thinking I need to reinstall XP.
     
  13. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    The Vista and Win 7 boot files are essentially the same. If you install Win 7 after you already have XP, the boot configuration will go on the XP drive. So possibly you have a bootmgr and boot folder on your XP drive.

    All this aside, it is getting a little confusing. If it were me, I would take out the XP drive. Put the Win 7 drive on the SATA 0 connector and then do in in-place upgrade of Win 7 to Win 7 to move it to the first partition on that drive. Then use MSconfig.exe to remove the old Win 7 boot menu entry (make sure you know which is which) and then reformat or delete the old Win 7 partition.

    Once you get Windows 7 working normally, then put the XP drive back in, and set up the boot as described. You can delete the bootmgr and boot folder from the XP drive once you have everything working.

    If get really frustrated and are about to give up, go to the EasyBCD webpage below. If you join their forum, you can download EasyBCD version 2.0, which will do a better job and move the necessary files for you if you let it. Bu the computer still has to be able to see both drives.

    http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=642
     
    #13 Saltgrass, Dec 26, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  14. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    I reformatted the Win7 drive and reinstalled 7 with just one partition now. I installed EasyBCD 2.0 and let it copy the necessary files to the XP drive (I can now see the XP drive in 7). Now at the boot menu when I select XP, it reports that an unexpected error occurred and then it gives an error code. More and more it looks as though I will have to reinstall XP.
     
  15. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    If you installed Win 7 with the XP drive in, it should have set up a dual boot without any help from you. If you installed Win 7 without the XP drive present and then reconnected it, EasyBCD should have set up the boot for you.

    Leave one drive in and get that OS working, and try to do this with XP first.

    Then take out the XP drive and set up Windows 7.

    Then reinstall the XP drive and if EasyBCD does its job, you should be able to boot normally.

    Just for the heck of it, where is the bootmgr file located (this is a hidden system file).? Look in the root directory of both drives.

    It is very important to know which drive is set as the boot drive, or the first one listed in the bios.

    Did you ever get us a picture of you disk management window and a copy of the bcdedit printout?
     
  16. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    The solution to your issue is in the screenshot of EasyBCD.
    The second entry shown is your XP install. Note the drive letter associated with it. It is C: but it needs to be the drive letter of your
    XP install as seen in Win 7 explorer.
    Use EasyBCD's change settings button and under entry-based settings make sure your XP entry (Microsoft Windows) is selected from the drop down
    and change the drive letter to the one that corresponds to the actual drive letter seen by Win7.

    Sorry I didn't post this earlier before you reformatted but the forum went down for several hours while I was composing my post.
     
    #16 fjgold, Dec 29, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  17. nothvice

    nothvice New Member

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    I have attached the most recent screenshots of the XP root, the Win 7 root, disk management and EasyBCD. The Win 7 drive is the first drive that shows up in the BIOS.
     
  18. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    What message exactly are you getting when you try to boot to XP? Does Boot.ini show rdisk(1)? You can edit boot.ini from within easybcd?

    Well, it looks better. You can see you have been changing things around because you have the Win 7 boot files on the XP drive and vice versa. You show "boot" on the larger drive (0) which means that is the one booted to. You can change the size of that partition using Disk Management, if you so desire.

    Much of the confusion on dual booting, to me, seems to come from which hard drive is the primary boot drive. If you have a drive connected on SATA 0 but have it second in the disk priority in the bios, I believe the Sata 0 drive will always show up as Drive 0, but the system will boot to the first disk set in the bios. I used to dual boot just by changing the drive order in the bios. But when you start adding dual boot capabilities, you really have to know which drive is the primary boot and not change it during the installs or the boot files will point to the wrong place. If you remove a drive, you automatically set the other drive first in the disk priority.
     
  19. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    In EasyBCD CHANGE the drive letter for the #2 entry (XP) to E:
    It looks like all the boot files you need are on E: as they should be.
    The drive letter must match what is reported by explorer in Win 7.
    Please give it a try.
    It just may be that simple.

    I speak from experience.
     
    #19 fjgold, Dec 29, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  20. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Below is an attachment of my current dual boot setup. I am using EasyBCD 2.0 which may differ from the earlier version as to how it sets up the boot. As you can see, mine shows C:\ also for the XP boot files. If I change it to E:\ it will not boot.

    I have seen earlier setups where the actual partition letter was used instead of C:\ so perhaps the boot.ini file is being done differently to account for the change.
     

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