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Windows 7 boot help (XP on other drive)

  • Configuration
  • Windows 7
  • Boot
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows 7
February 18, 2010 10:05:59 PM

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.


More about : windows boot drive

a b $ Windows 7
February 18, 2010 11:54:59 PM

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."
a b $ Windows 7
February 19, 2010 2:54:22 AM

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
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February 19, 2010 6:41:06 AM

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.
September 24, 2010 10:29:07 PM

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.
September 28, 2010 3:03:16 AM

Another vote for EasyBCD and iReboot. Very east to edit and with iReboot you can switch to another os easily.