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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    (SOLVED!) Windows 7 and XP boot loader flip flopping

    Hey all,

    I have a desktop PC with two hard drives: a 500 gigger with Win 7 Pro x64 installed on it, and a 40GB drive with XP Pro installed. I recently was trying to delete and merge my 100MB System Reserved partition with my primary Win 7 partition, but I didn't do it right, and Windows 7 wouldn't boot. Fortunately, I was able to fix the issue by booting into my XP install and using Partition Wizard to recover the deleted partition. However, it was marked as unallocated space, so I had to mark it as active, and then run Startup Repair so that Windows Recovery Environment could rewrite the files to the new System Recovery partition. It worked, and Windows 7 was just the way it was before I started fiddling with it.

    Here's the problem: now XP won't boot! It gives me the "NTLDR is missing" message, and then won't boot. After I restart, it simply ignores the drive and goes right to my 7 install. Well I ran an install on XP, without reformatting, but then XP would boot, and 7 wouldn't. I ran Startup Repair to fix 7, and now 7 boots, and XP doesn't, and so it goes. What is going on here? Do I need to perform a complete, clean install of XP? I still have my files on there, so it doesn't look like anything is wiped. I tried booting up from my XP install disc, but there is no option to hit "R" to repair the partition or run the recovery console. Is there any way that I can make the two drives boot together again as they did before?
    Last edited by Diogones; 2011-10-21 at 05:51.
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
    Is there any way that I can make the two drives boot together again as they did before?
    Diogones,
    Hello... "Ifc" is correct , you need to install EasyBCD 2.1 on both OS's . You can get away installing on one OS, but... I put it on everyone of my OS's (multi boot)... Reason being ..If you have to do a recovery on one or the other ..You then have EasyBCD on both ...so no problem..The problem comes because XP want's to be the "Big Dog ...and so does "7" You can make them behave using "EasyBCD" Set whichever one you want as "Default" .... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    All right, thanks Infinicore and Fred! I've never even heard of EasyBCD! I'll give it a try and report back with the results.
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

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    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Great news! I finally found a solution to my drive issue! It took me several hours of nonstop marathon troubleshooting, but perseverance really pays off! I could go on for pages describing everything I tried, but for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to just explain the winning moves. I downloaded EasyBCD, and set up the bootloader so that both Windows 7 and XP could boot in harmony. Unfortunately, I was still getting errors when I tried to boot into XP. So what I basically did was boot up from my XP install disc, launch the Recovery Console, and executed FIXBOOT. This fixed the XP partition, but now 7 wouldn't boot, and it was basically ignored by the bootloader.

    So then I booted from my 7 repair disc (it's a damn good thing I have all these discs lying around!) and ran Startup Repair. After it fixed the boot sector, 7 booted fine, but now the reverse was true: XP was ignored. This is what I meant when I titled my post a flip flop! However, with the boot sectors now repaired with XP, all I had to do was add XP as an entry to my EasyBCD bootloader, and now I can select which drive I'd like to boot at startup, without any problems at all!

    This is a unique situation, because previously - when everything was working - I would boot into either 7 or XP depending on which I had set to boot first in the BIOS. There was no bootloader to prompt me on a choice: both installations worked, I just had to specify which one I wanted to boot from the BIOS boot menu. In some ways, this is more convenient, because now I don't have to use the BIOS menu. On the other hand, if I wanted to boot into, say, 7 as the default, I either have to wait 30 seconds for the default drive to automatically boot, or I have to remember to press it after I start up the machine.

    In any event, I'm just grateful I got both systems booting normally again. I've certainly learned my lesson: no more playing with the System Reserved drive for me!
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

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    Oh, I think we both thought you had a bootloader that was lost previously, some do prefer to use the BIOS to select witch to boot to if on separate drives, pretty much need a bootloader if the two are on the same drive.
    You can also use EasyBCD to reduce the default selection wait time if you want, say 10 seconds or even 5...not 0 or it will just boot into the default right away.

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    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
    ...with the boot sectors now repaired with XP, all I had to do was add XP as an entry to my EasyBCD bootloader, and now I can select which drive I'd like to boot at startup, without any problems at all!
    I used to do the same whenever I had trouble, then I learned EasyBCD alters XP's ntldr file in such a way that you will get "ntldr not found" if you ever try to boot into XP without going through Win7's BCD as configured by EasyBCD. There is nothing wrong with what you have and it will work fine until/unless it might break, but just keep that in mind for the future. To get around that problem, use Easy BCD to delete the XP entry, then replace ntldr with an original MS copy and add the XP entry back into Win7's BCD manually:
    http://diddy.boot-land.net/bcdedit/f...les1.htm#ntldr
    note: The "/store C:\Boot\BCD" part of those lines is optional since you will already be there.

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