Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Repairing XP Installation In Dual-Boot w/W7?

Last response: in Windows 7
Share
December 29, 2009 2:36:44 PM

I have WXP installed on my 160 GB "C" drive and then installed W7 on the 40 GB "D" drive, which of course, becomes the "C" drive for W7. I received the infamous BSOD this morning on WXP and upon reboot, it gave me the following message::

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."

How do I get the system to boot from the XP CD when it always goes to the W7 boot manager? Once I can get it to boot from the CD, I feel that I can do the repair.

Should I unplug the "D" drive so all the system will see on startup is "C" with XP installed?

glen@ccim.net

More about : repairing installation dual boot

a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2009 2:38:51 PM

glenf said:
How do I get the system to boot from the XP CD when it always goes to the W7 boot manager? Once I can get it to boot from the CD, I feel that I can do the repair.



XP's boot manager does NOT understand how to boot Win 7. Therefore using your XP disc in an attempt to repair the boot loader is 100% guaranteed to fail.

So:

Go into your Bios, and check/ensure that your optical drive is the first device in line.

Boot to your win 7 DVD.

Select 'Install'

On the second screen, in the lower left, there is an option to 'Repair'

Run that... Yes... Yes... Accept... Restart... Done.
m
0
l
December 29, 2009 3:16:32 PM

Scotteq said:
XP's boot manager does NOT understand how to boot Win 7. Therefore using your XP disc in an attempt to repair the boot loader is 100% guaranteed to fail.

So:

Quote:
Go into your Bios, and check/ensure that your optical drive is the first device in line.

Boot to your win 7 DVD.

Select 'Install'

On the second screen, in the lower left, there is an option to 'Repair'

Run that... Yes... Yes... Accept... Restart... Done.


I'm trying to run the 'repair' on WXP, not on W7! I don't see how running a 'repair' on W7 is going to fix XP?
m
0
l
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2009 3:53:31 PM

Can you see the XP disk from Windows 7? (You should be able to, although you may need to assign a drive letter.) If so, try this:

1. Open Windows Explorer on that disk (the XP one, not the Windows 7 one!) and navigate to "\windows\system32\config".

2. Rename "SYSTEM" to "SYSTEM.old".

3. Copy "REPAIR\SYSTEM" to "SYSTEM".

4. Reboot and see what happens.

(You will need to be Administrator to do this.) If this doesn't solve the problem, reverse the steps so that you are back where you started. Worth a try.

The error message that you are getting indicates that the "SYSTEM" file is corrupt rather than any problem with the boot loader.
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2009 4:11:17 PM

glenf said:


I'm trying to run the 'repair' on WXP, not on W7! I don't see how running a 'repair' on W7 is going to fix XP?
[/quote]



The action I gave you is a startup repair. Not a complete installation repair. The issue you are having is that neither OS's boot manager is recognizing the other. XP's boot loader can not start Win 7, and it is not possible to configure it to do so. If you use an XP disc to repair XP's boot loader, then your Windows 7 installation will not be able to boot. So using your XP disc will only move the problem.

Windows 7's boot manager *does* know how to boot XP. Following the steps I gave you above will allow it to detect and configure your XP install.
m
0
l
December 29, 2009 4:18:41 PM

Ijack said:
Can you see the XP disk from Windows 7? (You should be able to, although you may need to assign a drive letter.) If so, try this:

1. Open Windows Explorer on that disk (the XP one, not the Windows 7 one!) and navigate to "\windows\system32\config".

2. Rename "SYSTEM" to "SYSTEM.old".

3. Copy "REPAIR\SYSTEM" to "SYSTEM".

4. Reboot and see what happens.

(You will need to be Administrator to do this.) If this doesn't solve the problem, reverse the steps so that you are back where you started. Worth a try.

The error message that you are getting indicates that the "SYSTEM" file is corrupt rather than any problem with the boot loader.


Where do I get the "REPAIR\SYSTEM" file to copy to "SYSTEM"?
m
0
l
December 29, 2009 5:30:53 PM

Maybe I didn't clearly explain my problem. The machine will boot to W7 fine. It is what I try to boot to XP that I get the error message
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2009 6:05:24 PM

glenf said:
Where do I get the "REPAIR\SYSTEM" file to copy to "SYSTEM"?

There should be a subdirectory of "\windows\system32\config" called repair with a copy of "SYSTEM" in it. (Or it could be a subdirectory of "\windows\system32"? - it's a while since I had an XP installation.) It's just an earlier copy of that file.

Update - I've just checked online - apparently in XP it should be "\windows\repair" and you'll find a copy of "SYSTEM" in there. If that's not right try doing a search of the whole windows directory for "SYSTEM". Sorry to sound a bit vague!
m
0
l
December 29, 2009 7:54:51 PM

ijack - I made the change that you suggested, re-booted and then got the same error message when I selected XP. W7 still works great and that is how I am accessing this forum. Any other suggestions?
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2009 8:06:13 PM

Oh well. Two more things you might try (no guarantee, but it's worth trying anything).

1. As you've already suggested, unplug the Windows 7 drive and see what happens. (That won't solve your problem, but it may help to diagnose it.)

2. Install EasyBCD and see if that helps. (I've recommended that so many times today that I'd suspect myself of spamming if it wasn't free!)

As to your original question, why can't you boot from the XP CD? If you set your CD drive to boot before the hard disk in the BIOS then it should boot from it whatever OSs you have installed.
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2009 9:27:57 PM

Or if you enable the boot menu in your BIOS, you can select your boot device by pressing a key (usually F12).
m
0
l
December 29, 2009 11:25:49 PM

try easy bcd , a free programme install it on win 7 when you boot up it will give you a menu ,
I had the same crap on my second pc, its unbelievable really that MS diddnt sort it out after the Vista debacle
m
0
l
January 8, 2010 11:38:52 PM

I'm not exactly sure what I did to get this thing working on XP again, but I did. Of course, in the procedure, I lost the 'dual boot' option for W7! I'm thinking that a reinstall of W7 choosing 'repair' may get the dual boot back. If not, I'll try easy bcd which should do the trick:) 
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
January 9, 2010 12:35:27 PM

pete3867 said:
try easy bcd , a free programme install it on win 7 when you boot up it will give you a menu ,
I had the same crap on my second pc, its unbelievable really that MS diddnt sort it out after the Vista debacle


There's nothing to sort out. This has always been the case when dual booting a previous version of Windows with the latest one. The previous version's bootloader will quite obviously not be able to recognize the newer one's. That is why you always have to install your previous version first if you plan on dual-booting. If your previous version has a problem, repairing it using its own CD will of course render the new Windows unbootable... so then you have to also repair the new one.

To the OP: Scott knew what your problem was... he was giving you a method of repairing XP's boot without having to then repair Windows 7 on top of it.
m
0
l
December 25, 2012 3:17:53 PM

Scotteq said:
XP's boot manager does NOT understand how to boot Win 7. Therefore using your XP disc in an attempt to repair the boot loader is 100% guaranteed to fail.

So:

Go into your Bios, and check/ensure that your optical drive is the first device in line.

Boot to your win 7 DVD.

Select 'Install'

On the second screen, in the lower left, there is an option to 'Repair'

Run that... Yes... Yes... Accept... Restart... Done.



Hi Scot,

I'm trying to solve the same problem using your solution. However, when running Win7 repair I can only see the Win7 drive (no option to repair XP). When I opt to repair Win7 I'm presented with some further options which doesn't follow your solution sequence.

Please could you let me know if repairing Win7 will repair XP, and what repair option should be selected.

Thanks,
Rainer
m
0
l
!