dual booting problem

new here so firstly, hi to all. i need some advice please, so hope some can help and am posting in the correct place. will try to describe the issues below. if i am not clear enough, let me know and i will do my best to explain better.
anyway, i had win XP and win 7 installed as dual boot on one HDD, all working fine. i used Acronis True Image to take a complete back up of both partitions together because i wanted to change to a bigger HDD. i changed drives and imaged on to the new HDD and all works fine. i can boot into either O/S. what i forgot to do was partition the new HDD first so as to leave all free space (approx 300gig) in one partition at the end of the drive. what happened was that the image partitioned the new HDD approx in half, so i have an XP partition of approx 230gig (i wanted about 75gig) and a win 7 partiton of approx 230gig (i wanted about 75gig as well). how can i get the 2 O/S next to each other and have all the free space behind those 2 O/S partitions? i know i can 'shrink' each partition but that will create separate partitions on each partition that is already there. if i do that, how can i merge the 2 new partitions of free space together, as they are not adjacent to each other? also, i noticed that the XP partition is set to 'Primary' but the win 7 partition is set to 'Logical'. is that correct or should both O/S partitions be set to 'Primary'? if so, why is the win 7 partition set as 'Logical' anyway?

any help greatly appreciated


Windows Forum Admin
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Hi welcome to the forum Prettygrim.

Could you get a screen grab of disk management so we can see what we have to work with before modifying any partitions :)


hi. tnx for reply. the screen dump i have is to a word document and is over a meg. is that too big? how to get smaller and upload here, please?


Extraordinary Member
hi. tnx for reply. the screen dump i have is to a word document and is over a meg. is that too big? how to get smaller and upload here, please?
Hi Prettygrim and Welcome to The Forum.

nmsuk is asking for a screenshot (or snip) of your Disk Manager to see the layout of your partitions.
To open Disk Manager type diskmgmt.msc in the Start Menu Search box or a Run... window. As an Example, here's a screenshot snip of my Disk Manager.



hi Elmer. i understand what is required but dont know how to get the image small enough to upload. i already have the screen dump, but it is 1.1meg in size. i can rar the file to upload. just wannted to know how to get the image as a small file for you all to look at. being a bit thick maybe. sorry


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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hi Elmer. i understand what is required but dont know how to get the image small enough to upload. i already have the screen dump, but it is 1.1meg in size. i can rar the file to upload. just wannted to know how to get the image as a small file for you all to look at. being a bit thick maybe. sorry
Just post that :)


Senior Member
With your image displayed on the screen, press Prt Sc. This will place a copy of your screen in the clipboard. Next open Paint and paste the image. You can then Crop the image to display only the portion you want. Select save (I save to my desktop to make it easy to find.

Now in the Forum choose Go Advanced. This will open the full editor. Click on the Paperclip:

Screen Shot.jpg

Follow the directions to Choose Add Files, Choose Upload Files, then Choose Insert. This will insert your screen shot where the cursor is placed.

firstly, appologies to Elmer. should have said 'thanks for welcome message'. sorry. anyway, have got the image to a few kb now. hope you can see it ok. the object of the exercise is to have the 2 O/S on separate partitions, next to each other and all the free space at the right hand end on it's own partition. also, should all partitions be 'Primary'? tnx for help guys


Senior Member
I would Image the Win 7 drive. Then use a partitioning tool such as Partition Wizard or Easeus Partition Magic to partition the XP partition to 2 separate partitions. I would then use the Win 7 image to restore into the newly created partition. You might have to fix the MBR. Then use the partitioning app to delete the old Win 7 partition which should leave it unallocated. You should then be able to use the partition app to extend the existing Back up partition into the unallocated space on both ends. I have used both of these partitioning tools successfully.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Did Acronis not give you the option to keep the same size partitions as the original install? If it did have that option, I would reimage and use that option.

If not, there may be several possible routes, but Partition Wizard will move partitions. I have done it, but it is dangerous any time you move the leading edge of a partition. I suppose since you have a image to recover, it would not hurt to try.

Always keep in mind the boot files for Windows 7 are in the XP partition. And no, the Windows 7 partition does not have to be a logical partition, but it will work as long as you have a primary active partition to place the boot files.

to Saltgrass. unfortunately that option is not in True Image. i believe it may be in one of the other Acronis apps but not sure.
to Ted Myers. i had thought of that option, but was uncertain whether it would work, hence my request for advice here. if what you say will work, i assume that after doing the resize of Xp partition, creating a new partition for win 7, i would boot into Xp to perform the rest of the tasks? another option i thought of was to reduce the size of the XP partition to approx the size of my old drive and image back both XP and 7 to the one partition. if it does the same as before, it should auto partition that partition in half, leaving the free space to the right, as it is now. i could then delete the win 7 partition i have atm, merge all free space how i want. would that work, do you think? how about the 'primary partition' question? anyone able to tell me that, please?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Whatever you created the partition with made it a logical partition. Some are set up to do that by default and it was not corrected. Windows 7 will not create a logical partition on a drive unless there are already three and you are not using the remainder of the space for the fourth.

I would not leave it as logical, but it will work. I believe Partition Wizard will convert it to primary if you want.

ok. first job, i changed win 7 partition to 'Primary'. next step, i resized the XP partition while i was using win 7. next, i booted from Acronis recovery disk to see if the partitions were visible on the HDD. unfortunately, they are not. Acronis only sees the whole HDD, no partitions. so my idea appears unworkable. i am assuming, therefore, that your method wont work either, Ted Myers. i know i can always resize win 7 partition, leaving the freespace either at the front or the back of that partition. if i put thw win 7 partition at the back, it will leave all the free space between the 2 O/S partitions. will that be ok to then merge them? will either O/S then boot ok, or will there be any delays? if i put win 7 free space to the back of the partition, will i still be able to merge the 2 lots of free space when there is an O/S partition inbetween them?


Senior Member
When you resize your XP Partition, it should leave unallocated space at the end with XP at the front. Do that, then Image the XP partition (new smaller size. I would perhaps leave about 50 Gb for XP)

Once you do that try to install and run Partition Wizard from within Win 7. It should see the unallocated space ahead of it. You might be able to complete in one step by just moving Win 7 into that unallocated space, but probably not. From Within Win 7 extend the Win 7 partition forward to reclain the unallocated space in front of Win 7. Now Image the Win 7 partition.

Next use Partition Wizard to resize the Win 7 partition to say 75 GB or so. This should now leave unallocated space behind the Win 7 partition. Now Image XP and Win 7.

Next use Partition Wizard to extend the Backup partition to reclaim the unallocated space in front of and behind it. Once finished you should have an XP partition of about 50 Gb, followed by a Win 7 partition of about 75 Gb followed by a Backup partition containing the remainder of the space. Image all 3 partitions.

I think this should work. Make sure you have identified all your Images so you can tell them apart if disaster strikes. I have used both Partition Wizard and Easues Partition Magic to move partitions back and forth and resized partitions and both worked surprising well without any loss of data.

I have Acronis True Image Home, both 2010 and 2011 versions. When I create images I Image the entire HD. Remember however, you can only restore one partition at a time, at least thats the way mine works. For example. I have a C Drive with OS and apps and a D drive for all data. When I wish to restore, Acronis will only let me restore C or D, not C and D.

sorry Ted Myers. didn't get your post until after i played. basically, i have done what you intended me to do. all is ok. can still dual boot. only thing i see now when booting into win 7 is a message which disappears very quickly. have tried to read, so if not 100% accurate, cant do anything about it as the 'Pause' button wont stop the progress of the booting. it says something like g program missing autocheck skipped. dont know to what it refers. bit weird. anyway, i may be able to put the separate images created a couple of days ago back on to the new partitions separately now. if i can, it may stop that message from briefly appearing. wont try anything further tonite and want to reimage the partitions first anyway. appreciate the help guys. many tnx


Senior Member
It is possible you could do a repair install from within Win 7. Pop in your installation disk and choose repair rather than install. You might have to reinstall a few updates. If you already have SP1 installed you can download the Win 7 iso file including SP1 from Digital River, right click the file and choose Burn Image to Disk, burn it to a DVD then use that for the repair install. Your original Win 7 key will work to unlock the correct version from the iso file.

tnx for the further info. got genuine win 7 ultimate, so no need to download. getting sp1 as a separate entity though. i'm just extremely curious as to exactly what is missing, especially as everything seems to be working as it should. will give it a go tomorrow. tnx again

ok . so i did a bit of internet hunting and came across info relating to the 'g program missing autocheck skipped' message i was getting. there were 2 opinions on the possible cause, both of which could apply to me. the first was that an uninstall of a Norton product, the second was a registry error had occurred. what i then did was log into the XP partition and run the Norton Removal Tool because i had used Partition Magic 8.05 for a long time, but removed it because it didn't support Win 7 before i started playing with the partitioning of the new HDD as above. that made no difference. next thing was a simple registry change. to do that i followed the instructions to go to:


once that key is found, look for the 'BootExecute:REG_MULTI_SZ:autocheck autochk *' string in the right hand pane. mine said:

BootExecute:REG_MULTI_SZ:autocheck autochk *autocheck g

all that is required is to remove the 'autocheck g' part of the string (and anything else that may be there), leaving the string as above. voila! all done.

hope this little bit of info will be helpful to someone else.
tnx for the advice given guys. all seems to be fine atm

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