Windows 7 boot help (XP on other drive)

Hi everyone and thanks for taking the time to read this.

I have scoured the forum and couldn't find anything specific to my situation, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm also a little concerned about rendering my PC unbootable, hence posting before trying anything.

Here is the current status of my PC:

- Originally installed with one HDD (1) with Windows XP on it
- I then added a second HDD (2) and installed Windows 7 on it
- My boot menu now lists "Earlier version of Windows" or "Windows 7" as my two options

I want to format HDD1 and get rid of XP. However I believe the boot information is on HDD1, as when I change the boot sequence to start with HDD2 I get an NTLDR error.

Am I correct in thinking that all I need to do is change the boot sequence to go to HDD2, and use bootrec /fixmbr to write a fresh Windows 7 boot record to HDD2? Thus losing the dual boot menu and enabling me to happily ditch everything on HDD1?

Also, if I go into Disk Management in Windows 7, HDD1 is "System, Active, Primary Partition". HDD2 is "Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition". Do I need to do anything here?

Sorry for all the questions but I just want to get this right first time, rather than create myself a problem which I don't have the skills to solve.

Thanks to anybody who is able to assist.

5 answers Last reply
More about windows boot drive
  1. You can re-format the XP HDD, then in Win7, download and install EasyBCD to edit the Win7 bootloader to remove "earlier version of windows."
  2. i think the easiest thing to do is first unplug the drive w/ XP
    then boot to the Windows 7 DVD and select "repair my computer" / "repair startup" so that Win7 will automatically create the correct boot for you on your disk.
    You will probably need 2 or 3 iterations before it corrects everything, it's pretty dumb and only seems capable of one thing per boot.
    Once this is done plug the old disk back in and format away.

    i say to unplug it just encase something bad happens. nothing bad should, but hey, you never know
  3. Thanks to you both for replying - I think unplugging the XP drive completely is probably a good move. I do have everything backed up on a separate USB drive too just in case.

    I'll post back when I've tried this over the weekend.
  4. Just in case anyone ever finds this old thread and wonders what the solution was ...

    I left it as it was for months as I was concerned about making it worse and losing data. However my motherboard died last week so I thought it would be a good time to tackle this problem once I had replaced it.

    I first attempted to use the Windows 7 Startup Repair tools on the installation DVD. However it did not recognise that there was a Windows 7 installation on the drive. It did fix a missing system partition, but it didn't help and just did the same thing every time I ran it with no effects.

    I tried to manually write a boot record using bootsect /nt60 c: from the recovery command prompt and it claimed to be successful, but still nothing. I then tried bootrec and when using the /ScanOs switch it found the installation in C:\Windows. I then tried using the /RebuildBcd switch but on trying to accept the confirmation prompt, it said "element not found".

    I then found this article:

    The problem, as hinted in my original post, was that the HDD with Windows 7 on it was not an active partition. I followed the tips in that article to mark it as active using diskpart, re-ran the bootrec commands which this time worked.

    I then used the Windows 7 Startup Repair tools again, which detected the installation, added it to the boot menu, and on the following boot it worked!

    Thanks to those who contributed.
  5. Another vote for EasyBCD and iReboot. Very east to edit and with iReboot you can switch to another os easily.
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