Windows 7 And XP Bootloader problems

Hi all,

I can't boot Windows XP anymore. I have two OSs on my system. They are both on the same disk in different partitions. I have XP and Windows 7. I first installed Windows Vista, then Windows 7. Since I don't like Vista, I will return to Windows XP. So I reïnstalled Windows XP on the Vista partition. Here's where my problems began....

The Windows 7 boot choice didn't exist in the boot.ini file so I had to create it manually. Also i moved some files for XP needed to boot into the XP Partition. The Windows 7 partition data shows up as a drive D: on my XP image. I recreated the Windows 7 bootmanager with the recovery dvd. But when it was searching for installed OSes, it doesn't recognize Windows XP. Then, when I boot into 7, the Windows XP partition showed up as drive D :confused:. Also, when I open Disk Management, it only shows my dvd-rom devices, i don't see any of my four partitions!

If I reboot now, I get a bootmanager with Windows 7 and Windows XP, but if i select XP it just reboot the system, instead of starting XP. Windows 7 boots up and runs fine.

Cheers! Forza.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Can you attach a picture of your Disk Management window using the snipping tool.

Win 7 does not use the boot.ini..

What you should have is the Win 7 bootloader in control and pointing to the XP boot files to boot it.

You can set the boot up yourself if you want, or go to the Neosmart Technologies site and join their forum so you can download EasyBCD version 2.

After you post your Disk Management picture, we will have a better understanding of your situation.

Thanks for your reply!

Here's the screenshot of my Disk Management Window. As you see, it only shows my dvd drives, none of the disk partitions are visible!

I've tried to create a boot entry for windows xp in EasyBCD, but that doesn't work. The system simply reboots itself.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Well, maybe I need to restate you situation to see if I have it right.

You started with Vista on Partition 1 and Win 7 on partition 2. You did not have any small System reserved partition. If you installed Vista then Win 7 as you state, the boot files would have been on the Vista partition and it would have been active.

You formatted the Vista partition (1) then installed XP.

Now, did XP boot normally after the install?

I will, for now, assume it did. Here is where I start to have problems. You moved XP files for XP to boot to the XP partition? :confused:

Oh heck, maybe a step by step process starting with the Vista deletion and what the result was.

You may want to download and burn the bootable version of Partition Wizard and look at your drive from outside of Windows.

Before I installed XP, the situation was as follows:

Partition C: Windows Vista
Partition D: Windows 7
Partition E: Data
Partition F: Backup

As far as I know, I didn't had a system reserved partition. But when installing XP, I had to set the size of the new partition. I couldn't allocate the last 8 mb of free disk space. Maybe there is a new system partition now with the size of 8 mb?

So I installed XP after formatting the Vista partition. After the installation XP booted up as it should be. The only problem now was that I can't boot Windows 7 because the bootmanager doesn't recognize it.

So I used my recovery disk to recreate the Windows 7 bootmanager. It showed me a list of installed OSes, but to my surprise it listed Windows 7 and Windows Vista!

After the repairs I could boot into Windows 7. It also listed Windows XP correctly in the bootmanager. But it reboots itself every time.

Then, I opened disk management in Win7 and all my partitions where gone...

I read a lot of forums about this, and in the folder options, I set it to show the protected operating system files, to see if all the files needed for XP to boot are present.

I found it strange to see that all these files where on my Windows 7 partition! The setup of Windows XP also renamed that partition to 'Windows XP Professional'.

I assumed that this was incorrect, so I moved the files needed for XP to boot to the XP partition. Now, when I try to boot XP, it doesn't reboot immediately. I get a screen that says that NTLDR is missing or corrupt. I should try to recreate the bootmanager with the recovery DVD. So I tried, but it says that there are no problems and that I could boot normally.

I checked the C drive, and saw that NTLDR is present in the root of the drive. So why is this bootloader thing telling me that it couldn't find that file? Are there other settings that need to be repaired?

Thx in advance!

Activate & sell any CD-keys of OS Windows(XP, Vista & 7)

Activate & sell any CD-keys of OS Windows(XP, Vista & 7) with any version & good license keys/lowest-price. Please contact to or or or here... :razz:


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
If you have been browsing the forum, you already have heard this, but the XP boot files, ntldr, boot.ini, and ntdetect, need to be on the active partition, which appears to be the Win 7 one. I could tell for sure if I could see them. The boot.ini is what tells the boot where XP is, not the Win 7 bootloader.

If you open an administrative command prompt and type bcdedit, it will show the boot loader and what it is pointing to. You might attach a picture of that and possibly the text of your boot.ini file.

I am concerned you say you changed the size of the Vista Partition. My fear is that you may have messed up the Master Boot Record which might be why the partitions are not showing.

Again, perhaps you need to download and burn the bootable version of Partition wizard and maybe you can correct the situation.

Remember, Windows can only have 4 partitions on a drive unless you make one of them extended and put logical partitions in there.

Partition wizard does not have a screen capture utility, but in some cases cell phones work well for this type of thing if you feel it is necessary.

Hmm, the bcdedit command points to the D (Win7) partition every time. I'm afraid that it was a stupid mistake of me to move those files to the C partition. :( Should I move them again to the D drive?

Here's the text of the boot.ini file:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

When installing XP, I have tried to correct the size of the new partition. I've entered the size manually, including that last 8 mb. But after pressing Enter, it would show the old size minus the 8 mb. Now I have a non-partitioned space of 8 mb. I think this wouldn't matter since windows does nothing with non-allocated space. Or does it?

Feel free to give me any suggestions. I will update this post if Partition Wizard improves the situation.

Edit: Partition Wizard seems to recognize both OSes correctly. One is labeled Windows XP and the other as Windows 7. I don't really know what to do with this program, because I don't see any options to fix the MBR. Maybe you can tell me step by step what to do to fix it.

Thx in advance!



Last edited:


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
The bcd store looks ok, but the boot.ini seems a little strange using Partition(4).

I think you said Vista was on the first partition. If you reformatted it, then the boot.ini should be partition(0) or maybe (1).

What did Partition Magic say?

The boot files need to be in D:

Hi Saltgrass,

You gotta be kidding me! I can boot into both Windows XP and Windows 7 now! :razz:

Thanks for your help so far!

But still, there are some things that need to be repaired:

1. When booting into XP, I can't press F8 to specify advanced startup options. If I ever have a problem with Windows XP, I can't boot into Safe Mode to correct these problems.

2. The installation of Windows XP renamed my Windows 7 partition to 'Windows XP'. Although I can change the name of my C drive, it wouldn't accept any new name I give to the Windows 7 drive.

3. Windows XP won't shut down the computer. After shutting down Windows, the power light and wireless network light stays on. I have to press the Power Button to shut down completely.

4. Still, the partitions of my hard drive won't show themselves in Disk Management.

I would really appreciate it if you will help me to correct all of this.

Thx in advance!



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I hate to keep asking this, but what does Partition Wizard show for your hard drive partitions?

I mistyped and used Magic instead of Wizard in an earlier post, but that was a mistake.

Hi Saltgrass,

I'm not sure about what you mean with 'what does Partition Wizard show for your hard drive partitions', so I took some pictures of the Partition Wizard screen with my cellphone and placed them in the attachments. The quality is not that good, but I hope you will find what you're looking for.

Note that I found the option of rebuilding the MBR in Partition Wizard, but that didn't help as far as I can see now.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I see now why the first partition was not active, because since it is logical, it cannot be marked as active.

Win XP can cause some problems when dual booting with Win 7. If yours is booting and working normally, I should not suggest you make any changes that might cause problems, so I will leave it alone.

At some future time, if you feel like changing it around, I would use Partition Wizard to expand the first partition to include the first unallocated space.

I would also make that partition primary, and Partition Wizard can change a partition from logical to primary, but XP will run from a logical partition, as you now know.

If Disk Management continues to be unable to see your partitions, I would have to guess it was because of the current layout.

Hmm, ok than I will leave that alone for now.

This will do for now. Thx for everything saltgrass!


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