Windows 7 x64 will not start on dual boot PC

Here we go:
PC is a dual boot WinXP32/Win7x64. Son in law made the mistake of trying to repartition the hard drive to move some free space on the XP partition to the Windows 7 partition. The end result is that the XP boots up and runs fine, but Windows 7 will not boot up. When you look at the partitions in XP under Computer>Manage>Disk management, the XP partition shows up as a SYSTEM partition, but the Wind7 partition shows up as "page file". Here's what has been tried to date (without sucess):

1) Boot up in safe mode: stops during loading drivers, auto reboots
2) " " last know good configuration, auto reboots
3) Install DVD > System restore to previous point: no previous point found to restore
4) Install DVD > System Repair: unable to automatically fix "unspecified changes to system configuration might have caused the problem, error code 0x57, repair action system files integrety check and repair.
5) Install DVD > command mode: sfc /scannow or sfc /verfiyonly - there is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete.
6) Install DVD > command mode: sfc /offboot=c:\ /offwindir=e:\windows - windows resource protection could not start the repair service
7) Search for and delete pending.xml - no file found to delete (to resolve item 5)
8) Install DVD > command mode: bootrec /fixmbr, /fixboot, /scanos, /rebuildbcd executes, no improvement
9) Running chkdsk /f on the Windows 7 partition from the XP partition did not report any problems, no improvement

Now this is not the end of the world, as the drive was backed up via Novabackup earlier this month, and worst case, all files currently on the Windows 7 partition were backup to a separate USB drive in case a clean install is required. However, before we imbark on either restoring the disk image, or a clean install, was wondering if there were any other tricks or tests to run to try to get it back up and running, and save some time.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Are the Windows 7 files still in the original partition?

If you open Disk Management, you can take a picture with the snipping tool. Edit it in Paint if you want and attach using the paperclip on the advanced replies.

Did you install Windows 7 or XP first? How did he try changing the partitions, what did he do to try to gain the space. If he used a third party software and moved the leading edge, it may be a problem.

Yup, the Win7 files are apparently still there. I was able to copy all files from the partition into a folder on an external USB drive, so no data would be lost if a clean installed is required.

In dual boot, the older operating system has to be installed first. So the drive has XP up front, and Win7 on the backend, and yes, a third party program was used which apparently did not allocate the free space to the backend of the Win7 partition properly. I am pretty much set to reimage the disk, but was just wondering if there were any other possible "saves" out there to salvage what he has.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Have you tried the third party program that was used to move the partition? Depending on which one it was, there may be some option to re-write the partition table. But really hard to even guess.

If a partition had been removed, it might upset the bootmgr , but using a Startup Repair from the Install DVD should watch for that. It may take several attempts, 3 or maybe even 4, for a startup repair to fix all the problems, if it can.

He said it was the Aoemi Partition Assistant home (free) version. I guess we could download to the XP partition and see if it can "fix" the paritition from there. No partition was removed, he was just trying to allocate some unused space from the XP partition to the Win7 partition. Startup Repair has been run dozens of times, and we only get the message that System Repair can not automatically fix the problem, and the problem is as noted in item 4 in the original post. Trying to run sfc from the command mode generates more obtuse error messages. If the partition can not be fixed (or if fixing it does not fix the problem), then I will just re-image the drive from the last backup.

EDIT: I did email Aoemi and asked how to fix, but I don't know if they provide support on the home/free version. Will try it from the XP partition tonight after work, although I am more than a little hesitant to use the tool that screwed up the partition to fix the partition.

Last edited:
Problem solved: restored entire disk from image (via NovaBackup). Basically, Aoemi Partition Home scrambled the Win7 partition and left it as a non-system partition, even though all the files are still there. Lession learned, don't mess around with partitions on a dual boot machine.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.