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How to Recover Dual Boot of XP and Windows 7

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June 21, 2012 6:50:23 PM

Hi, I would like to give a history as to what caused the problem in the first place. I had a dual boot of Windows XP and Windows 7 on my computer. Another computer which I was trying to install XP on was refusing to install so I checked online if the internal hard disk from this could be attached to my computer with an adapter as an external drive and used to install XP and some MORON had said YES on a forum and that it is possible! Boy was I wrong in trusting so! I skeptically tried and as Luck would have it, it returned a blue screen error and then caused my Dual boot to get corrupted in the bargain. All chaos began here. :fou: 

When I tried to reboot after removing the failed setup, I guess it was still going back to the Setup part and trying to find the other hard disk and not recognizing the boot sector of my own hard disk that contained the dual boot OS' and failed to start up. Turns out the problem for the files not copied error was a faulty RAM on the other system(YES RAM) of all things no connection at all between files not getting copied from the CD whereas it went through on one try from my system! :o 

So I succeeded in changing the Ram and getting that system installed. The problem is on my computer I tried repairing my installations to boot up and all I managed to get was despite failing Startup Recovery several Tries was a Recovered start of Windows 7 whereas there was no way in getting XP to boot. Whatever I try, it either goes to an NTLDR 0x00### whatever error and that's about it. Repair install does not happen as it only gives the option to install fresh in XP. I tried the FIXMBR, FIXBOOT, through Windows Recovery all in vain and even tried the Hirens and UBCD4WIN which didn't seem to help much. Guess you have to know which program to use and how and any wrong move can mean death to the PC.

What I want to know is if there is any way of rewriting the MBR or boot.ini/bootmgr/bootsector to recognize the Windows XP and Windows 7 installations correctly and booting into them. I have checked out the locations of the files and also read a couple of forums regarding the same. The thing is the crappy part here is people forget that Windows 7 changes the damn Partition Letter to C: when it boots up which confuses the hell out of people when trying to do the recovering. So from this both Windows XP will show up as C: when booted from it and Windows 7 will show up as C: when booted up from it. Thus the confusion lies in directing the boot part to the appropriate disk partition and also following the instructions and entering the commands to the correct partition (XP/7)!

Please help me to recover the same or guide me as to what is to be done to recover or rewrite the boot partition or boot manager to load the OS' correctly. On unchecking hide files and system files I see that there are two boot.ini files(is this normal?) one each in C: WINDOWS 7 and D: Windows XP PRO. The files in C: Windows 7 are autoexec.bat, boot.ini. bootmgr, bootsect.exe, and config.sys. The files in D: Windows XP Pro are AUTOEXEC.BAT, boot, boot.ini, boot.LOG, CONFIG.SYS, IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, NTDETECT.COM, and ntldr. Where I originally installed was C: partition as Windows XP Pro and D: as Windows 7 but since now only able to boot into Windows 7 (Recovered) showing up as C: Windows 7. Am unable to figure out how to get things back to normal as too much of hard work went into installing it and never ONCE did it screw up until the FATAL error of trying to install XP onto the drive to use on the other system so a humble warning to my brethren. :non: 

boot.ini on C: WINDOWS 7 is as follows:
[boot loader]
redirect=usebiossettings
redirectbaudrate=
timeout=20
default=
[operating systems]

boot.ini on D: Windows XP PRO is as follows:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows 7 Ultimate" /fastdetect

Any help would be grateful. Both OS' are on a single 160GB hard disk with two partitions. There are two other drives on the system too. One 500 GB drive which contains the installation files of Steam and other games as there was less space so everything is spread around all over the place, and screwing up anywhere means I Lose Everything! Another new 2TB drive for data storage. The most Painful thought is risking losing all that time and effort and having to do a fresh install which will literally Kill Me! Your kind help would be greatly appreciated.
a b $ Windows 7
June 21, 2012 7:32:10 PM

michschu1 said:
Another computer which I was trying to install XP on was refusing to install so I checked online if the internal hard disk from this could be attached to my computer with an adapter as an external drive and used to install XP and some MORON had said YES on a forum and that it is possible! Boy was I wrong in trusting so! I skeptically tried and as Luck would have it, it returned a blue screen error and then caused my Dual boot to get corrupted in the bargain. All chaos began here. :fou: 


wow that is really bad advice. you should always install windows on the computer you will be using it on. If you move the hard disk afterwards it will not work properly :-(

How to Manually Repair Windows 7 Boot Loader Problems

did it occur to you that if the other computer was refusing to install XP then there was a problem with that computer?
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June 21, 2012 8:13:46 PM

Yes the advice was bad and wish I could get a hold of which forum that was to give that person a piece of my ill-tempered mind at the state it is now with all the work to be done! I did mention realizing the faults to that advice, as everyone normally does, AFTER the damage is done. So apologies again for trusting some so called self-proclaimed computer specialist who claimed to have done the impossible.

Well first thing I tried since it was not copying files from the OS CD was write new CDs, then changed the DVD writer but it did not work, but on my system it did in a single go! Well just out of curiosity, did you already know that Files not copying from your OS CD/DVD could be a RAM Fault and not any other fault?! I mean seriously! Does that even seem to have a connection to you or any logical thinking person?

All I know is that NO ONE can say that they are geniuses with computers(certified or not) because computers have the weirdest ways of making anyone feel like a noob! I do have some experience with computers, that too ones which don't even have their drivers available on websites, but they have never seemed to fail in stumping me with the weirdest of issues every now and then. These new instances included. Sorry to sound offending and like a bit of a pompous prick, but when offering help, getting off the high horse(or never committed a mistake in my life attitude) and being grounded would help.

I did read that forum you have linked to and tried those steps too and that is how I have reached the present status where "windows 7 recovered" is booting and Windows XP is not and goes to NTLDR 0x00#### error. :(  I think I mentioned the same above and also the problems with instructions regarding which Drive letter to use for the command line prompts since XP will show up as D: booted through Windows 7 and Windows 7 will show up as C:/ thus any advice in clearing up the doubts relating to that too would be good. Thanks.
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a c 352 $ Windows 7
June 22, 2012 2:06:33 PM

Actually almost anything that goes wrong with a PC can be caused by bad RAM, including file copy. RAM is the "gateway" to the CPU, very few programs send instructions directly to the CPU or disk. So when you copy something from a disk to the hard-drive, it goes to the RAM first, then to other areas.
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June 22, 2012 2:37:56 PM

Okay... And the solution to my problem that I am originally facing now is?...

Debug mode of Easy BCD is below:
Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
path \bootmgr
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
default {a4f485c4-b1d2-11e1-bae0-f48240e4a63e}
resumeobject {dda31ee3-b165-11e1-9c9f-806e6f6e6963}
displayorder {a4f485c4-b1d2-11e1-bae0-f48240e4a63e}
{a4f485c8-b1d2-11e1-bae0-f48240e4a63e}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {a4f485c4-b1d2-11e1-bae0-f48240e4a63e}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
recoverysequence {a4f485c5-b1d2-11e1-bae0-f48240e4a63e}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {dda31ee3-b165-11e1-9c9f-806e6f6e6963}

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {a4f485c8-b1d2-11e1-bae0-f48240e4a63e}
device partition=C:
path \NTLDR
description Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Any Ideas?
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a c 352 $ Windows 7
June 22, 2012 3:42:10 PM

Aside from re-installing XP then Windows 7 to recreate the proper settings, I don't know how to fix the MBR or setup the boot options without wiping out the partition data. Which seems to be what happened here to begin with.
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June 23, 2012 10:17:35 PM

Nope partition data was fine because everything else was accessible. Something in the MBR or boot sector was probably screwed.

Okay, so I solved the issue by going into EasyBCD 2.1.2 resetting the BCD, installing the bootloader to the MBR and deleting the old entries and recreating them with the automatically search for option ticked and gave entries for both Windows XP and 7. This created a folder called NST in the windows 7 partition with an ntldr file and then booted into XP. The first time though it went up to the XP splash screen and restarted(I probably should have tried booting normally twice or thrice, but I gave the Last Known Good Configuration option) and after a long stay on the Login Page without any reaction, it finally went through. Probably because it reset some files since I had to reinstall SP3 and a few dotnet and other XP updates. After they were done, I restarted and checked for updates, and when none were there, booted into Windows 7 option, but again 0xc000000f error.

I put my Windows 7 DVD in and I gave a repair and restart after it did the Startup Recovery and it gave back the Windows 7 (Recovered) option and logged into 7, so I again went into EasyBCD and removed the non-booting Windows 7 entry in the boot settings and now the system is back to normal! So a great feeling to have finally resolved something that seemed way beyond my capacity and a definite mission impossible kinda situation! Did a giddyup horsie jig around the house to celebrate the success and what do I say? All is well right now!

Cheers to those who tried to help and Damn am I glad to be back up and running! The sheer joy and ecstasy of knowing that you accomplished something that seemed beyond possibility(especially with Computers) just has to be experienced and cannot be explained! Oh and thanks to EasyBCD for being there too especially when everything seemed lost ;)  I rest my case. This issue is RESOLVED!
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July 1, 2012 12:11:13 PM

err... How can I mark my own post as Best Answer since I'm receiving mails to do so? :(  Can somebody else please mark my post above as Best Answer so that would solve the problem? I did mention the issue is resolved. ;) 
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April 11, 2013 6:00:05 PM

Hey, Windows can be loaded via external hard drive if the same files that came from the installation disk went on the external drive. Pre-installed software can only be loaded through that hard drive, and the startup menu, (Whatever it is, dell, hp, whatever) should have a boot menu. This way, you should be able to tell your computer what hard drive to boot up on. Remember, Running and Installing are two completely different things. Even then, there is a small chance that it works because your internal hard drive and xp can be kinda picky...
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April 11, 2013 6:10:28 PM

By the way, boot files can be configured, and when you do so, there should only be ONE. This reduces occasional blue screen of death. Or, your hardware could easily need replacing. Remember also, If the blue screen appears, check software, then hardware, 'cause the software is usually the problem. If you get it repeatedly, this can also CAUSE the problem to be hardware all of a sudden. When you get blue, fix immediately, there can be no hesitation because this can damage hardware!
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a b $ Windows 7
April 11, 2013 10:59:27 PM

Welcome,, demonlord - I deleted your blank post and I'm closing this old thread now. Please give your future advice to more recent questions.
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!