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Removed XP from Dual Boot with 7, now I cant get into any OS

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 30, 2010 10:12:14 PM

Okay, lesson learned here, i didnt realise removing a dual boot would be this much of a hassle.

Ive had XP 32 bit SP3 on one partition, 7 Ultimate 64 bit on another, and all my data on a third, ive been running a dual boot system for some time with both OS, and earlier, i figured i never use XP any more, so id format that partition, and merge with the windows 7 one.

Big mistake, i selected format disk using Acronis disk director, waited for it to restart, and i get a message NTLDR is missing, press Ctrl alt Del to restart, searched the internet endlessly, found the most common advice is to use the recovery disk to fix the bootmanager and voilla. So I:

Used recovery disk: automatic fix - didnt work
Used command prompt, bootrec.exe etc etc (basically following this guide http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Reco...r+from+the...) - it said, "cannot find bcd" when i used "del C:\boot\bcd"
Tried resetting the BIOS
Removed all CDs and floppys


Now the message has changed to BOOTMGR is missing, again, tried using the recovery disk: didnt work, the old XP partition was left "half formatted" from acronis, as i was never able to restart and finish the job.

Right now i am using the win7 disk to format the old C (XP) partition and install a copy of win7 on there just so i can get into an OS and use EasyBCD to fix my bootmgr, then hopefully get rid of the "temporary" win7 partition.

EDIT: Lots of things went wrong.

I sort of got it all working, and then i used disk director to make my windows 7 install the primary drive, and active. that worked fine... then i made the old OS partition change from primary to logical, hoping to then reformat it and merge with the current OS partition, now here is when i ran into trouble.

Upon reboot, I could not get into my OS again, this time i just get a blinking underscore. I ran recovery disk, automatic recovery didnt work, Ran ChkDsk on C: E: drives (OS partitions), Errors on the E: drive (this was the old OS drive, nothing on it so i used DOS to reformat it... that all went well)

I tried to recover bootmgr again, didnt work, so i tried to install 7 on the freshly formatted drive, i get the message "windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation" "run ChkDsk on C:" I run chkdsk on C and it says its fine... Try to install again, i get the same message.

Now when i turn my computer on i get the message "A disk read error occured, Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart"

Im getting sick of these problems, when i get it fixed im going to leave it alone. PLEASE PLEASE HELP!

EDIT 2: Tried re-formatting, windows 7 wouldnt install again on the old partition, so i tried installing windows XP, now the error has gone back to NTLDR is missing press CTRL ALT DEL to restart, I tried running recovery console off XP CD, it said it rebuilt the bootmanager, and is detecting Windows XP, but still... not starting. Done some more stuff - this time DISK READ ERROR, seems to be rotating between these error messages.

Please dont tell me to start again, because i know my data is still intact

More about : removed dual boot

a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2010 11:41:08 PM

I think that you have managed to wear out your hard drive. :(  The error massage disk read error nearly always means that you have a faulty hard drive providing that the hard disk is formatted correctly. :cry: 
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a b $ Windows 7
May 31, 2010 2:18:55 AM

rollojarvis said:
Okay, lesson learned here, i didnt realise removing a dual boot would be this much of a hassle.

Ive had XP 32 bit SP3 on one partition, 7 Ultimate 64 bit on another, and all my data on a third, ive been running a dual boot system for some time with both OS, and earlier, i figured i never use XP any more, so id format that partition, and merge with the windows 7 one.

Big mistake, i selected format disk using Acronis disk director, waited for it to restart, and i get a message NTLDR is missing, press Ctrl alt Del to restart, searched the internet endlessly, found the most common advice is to use the recovery disk to fix the bootmanager and voilla. So I:

Used recovery disk: automatic fix - didnt work
Used command prompt, bootrec.exe etc etc (basically following this guide http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Reco...r+from+the...) - it said, "cannot find bcd" when i used "del C:\boot\bcd"
Tried resetting the BIOS
Removed all CDs and floppys


Now the message has changed to BOOTMGR is missing, again, tried using the recovery disk: didnt work, the old XP partition was left "half formatted" from acronis, as i was never able to restart and finish the job.

Right now i am using the win7 disk to format the old C (XP) partition and install a copy of win7 on there just so i can get into an OS and use EasyBCD to fix my bootmgr, then hopefully get rid of the "temporary" win7 partition.

EDIT: Lots of things went wrong.

I sort of got it all working, and then i used disk director to make my windows 7 install the primary drive, and active. that worked fine... then i made the old OS partition change from primary to logical, hoping to then reformat it and merge with the current OS partition, now here is when i ran into trouble.

Upon reboot, I could not get into my OS again, this time i just get a blinking underscore. I ran recovery disk, automatic recovery didnt work, Ran ChkDsk on C: E: drives (OS partitions), Errors on the E: drive (this was the old OS drive, nothing on it so i used DOS to reformat it... that all went well)

I tried to recover bootmgr again, didnt work, so i tried to install 7 on the freshly formatted drive, i get the message "windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation" "run ChkDsk on C:" I run chkdsk on C and it says its fine... Try to install again, i get the same message.

Now when i turn my computer on i get the message "A disk read error occured, Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart"

Im getting sick of these problems, when i get it fixed im going to leave it alone. PLEASE PLEASE HELP!

EDIT 2: Tried re-formatting, windows 7 wouldnt install again on the old partition, so i tried installing windows XP, now the error has gone back to NTLDR is missing press CTRL ALT DEL to restart, I tried running recovery console off XP CD, it said it rebuilt the bootmanager, and is detecting Windows XP, but still... not starting. Done some more stuff - this time DISK READ ERROR, seems to be rotating between these error messages.

Please dont tell me to start again, because i know my data is still intact


Have you attempted to boot from the Windows 7 DVD and perform a startup repair to restore the bootloader?

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
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a b $ Windows 7
May 31, 2010 7:41:35 AM

By all means try Jessica's solution, but I have a feeling it may be a bit late.
Try deleting the partition with W7 disk tools (boot the W7 dvd) and create a new NTFS partition and retry the install.
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May 31, 2010 9:53:23 AM

Yeah i tried using startup repair (I did say in my original post). My hard drive is not corrupted, i know as i have removed it from my computer, and have put in an external hard drive caddy, and have connected it to my laptop, i can access all the files fine, everything is intact, it is just the bootloader that it messed up.

Know of a way of fixing it when it is connected externally, i could rebuild the bootloader using EasyBCD, but then that might affect my laptop's boot files, i only want to edit the boot files on the dodgy drive...

any suggestions?

I am thinking of using EasyBCD to add the external HDD (the one i want to fix) to my laptops boot sequence temporarilly, so i boot into it, then, once im in, use EasyBCD on *that* hard drive to restore the boot files, then boot back into the laptop, disconnect the external HDD, and remove it from dual boot, put the hard drive back into my main computer and voilla.

(quite difficult to explain)
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May 31, 2010 4:49:21 PM

rollojarvis said:
If only...



This is not exactly my field of expertise, but I had a problem similar to this once.

What I did was that I downloaded puppylinux and put it on a usb stick
Booted from the stick and installed the grub bootloader onto my HD.

When installing grub you can ask it to search for and add any bootable partitions with OS' on them.
If that doesn't work, you can add them manually to the bootloader with some manual tinkering.

Just google it some and read up a bit on it before trying. (I'm not a good source of information, I barely managed to fix my problem this way. It worked though, is still on that solution a year later ;)  )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GRUB

http://puppylinux.org/main/index.php?file=Overview%20an...


Hope it works!
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a b $ Windows 7
May 31, 2010 6:59:26 PM

rollojarvis said:
Yeah i tried using startup repair (I did say in my original post). My hard drive is not corrupted, i know as i have removed it from my computer, and have put in an external hard drive caddy, and have connected it to my laptop, i can access all the files fine, everything is intact, it is just the bootloader that it messed up.

Know of a way of fixing it when it is connected externally, i could rebuild the bootloader using EasyBCD, but then that might affect my laptop's boot files, i only want to edit the boot files on the dodgy drive...

any suggestions?

I am thinking of using EasyBCD to add the external HDD (the one i want to fix) to my laptops boot sequence temporarilly, so i boot into it, then, once im in, use EasyBCD on *that* hard drive to restore the boot files, then boot back into the laptop, disconnect the external HDD, and remove it from dual boot, put the hard drive back into my main computer and voilla.

(quite difficult to explain)


Since Start Up repair did not work -- Easy BCD may be your only option outside of rebuilding / reinstalling. Can you attempt to use Easy BCD only to get back into Windows 7 and then edit the boot configuration accordingly once you are back in?

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
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May 31, 2010 10:17:38 PM

I tried using EasyBCD with the hard drive connected to my laptop using a USB cable, but i didnt have much luck getting in... I think it might be possible though.

The big problem is the fact i cant get into an OS environment on the hard drive... therefore i cant rebuild the bootloader for that hard drive only. Suggestions sound good though, ill give them a go as soon as i get a chance, I have a load of exams at university in the next few weeks so it might have to wait until im done with them. If you have any more suggestions keep them coming.

Using the laptop, i deleted the partition that had XP on altogether, if i cant get either of the above suggestions to work, i might install linux on some of the free space, and just stick to dual boot with that.
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a b $ Windows 7
May 31, 2010 10:56:07 PM

RolloJarvis,

Can you get into an OS environment from another hard drive / different OS? If so, you could try to add the Win 7 OS back into the boot loader through Easy BCD from the alternate drive?

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
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June 1, 2010 7:49:40 AM

yeah i tried that but it didnt work... i think i might have done something wrong, ill try again when i get the chance
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June 1, 2010 3:56:18 PM

delete the xp partition completly so that you only have one partition that has an OS on it, make sure the xp partition has been removed completely. then use the windows 7 disc to repair windows, if that doesnt fix it first time, do the repair windows again and if that doesnt work try it again.

I had the very same problem (although not a disc read error), kept saying the bootmanager was missing but when i repaired windows it fixes the missing boot manager but it thinks that xp is still on the system and so gives the other error instead, this is y you must completly remove the xp partition and then do the steps above.
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June 1, 2010 6:50:20 PM

davedurg09 said:
delete the xp partition completly so that you only have one partition that has an OS on it, make sure the xp partition has been removed completely. then use the windows 7 disc to repair windows, if that doesnt fix it first time, do the repair windows again and if that doesnt work try it again.

I had the very same problem (although not a disc read error), kept saying the bootmanager was missing but when i repaired windows it fixes the missing boot manager but it thinks that xp is still on the system and so gives the other error instead, this is y you must completly remove the xp partition and then do the steps above.


thanks, that sounds promising.

I completely deleted the XP the other day, but i havent had a chance to try anything else yet, i might try this when i get home... ill let you know the results
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June 4, 2010 6:24:44 PM

tried using EasyBCD to restore the bootloader, and booting from the hard drive whilst its still connected to my laptop via USB:

I get the following at startup

"¤ à →" followed by a flashing underscore, it doesnt seem very nice.
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June 4, 2010 7:18:45 PM

Hmmm...tried grub yet?
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June 4, 2010 8:38:11 PM

rollojarvis said:
tried using EasyBCD to restore the bootloader, and booting from the hard drive whilst its still connected to my laptop via USB:

I get the following at startup

"¤ à →" followed by a flashing underscore, it doesnt seem very nice.

Is your Windows 7 partition marked as active?
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June 5, 2010 11:07:25 AM

havent tried grub yet... to be honest i havent really had/got the time for another 2 weeks, because then ill have finished my exams.

would you mind pointing me in the right direction as to how to use GRUB, i read up on it a little but i cant find any decent documentation. I have PuppyLinux installed on my USB stick, and that works fine. I assume i can use it from that.

And yes, the partition is marked as active

Here is a screenshot of the drive setup as viewed from my laptop


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June 5, 2010 10:14:04 PM

This was a while ago, but if I remember right, there is an utility that lets you install GRUB to the harddrive.

Thinking of it, I might have booted puppy linux via the usb stick and then used the universal installation utility to install puppy linux to a partition on the Harddrive. While doing that there is an option to install grub to the MBR.

I kept it like that for a while and it was working well but then I got tired of puppy linux and removed it from GRUB and then deleted the partition. I remembered thatit was important to do it in that order because if you delete the partition before deleting it from GRUB, the system will not be able to boot.

There are certainly easier ways of doing it than that. I don't have puppy linux installed any longer, but if you aren't able to solve it, I could probably put a guide together on how to install GRUB to your HD when I have some spare time.
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June 5, 2010 10:16:25 PM

cobot said:
This was a while ago, but if I remember right, there is an utility that lets you install GRUB to the harddrive.

Thinking of it, I might have booted puppy linux via the usb stick and then used the universal installation utility to install puppy linux to a partition on the Harddrive. While doing that there is an option to install grub to the MBR.

I kept it like that for a while and it was working well but then I got tired of puppy linux and removed it from GRUB and then deleted the partition. I remembered thatit was important to do it in that order because if you delete the partition before deleting it from GRUB, the system will not be able to boot.

There are certainly easier ways of doing it than that. I don't have puppy linux installed any longer, but if you aren't able to solve it, I could probably put a guide together on how to install GRUB to your HD when I have some spare time.


thanks a lot for the help, ill let you know how it goes after im done with my exams
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a b $ Windows 7
June 6, 2010 5:38:25 PM

my advice would be to put the HDD in another machine and get all your important data off it, use The Ultimate Boot CD or something that has a wipe program on it and wipe the drive, you must remove NTLDR.dll from the MBR and format will not do it, then reinstall you OS and data
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a b $ Windows 7
June 7, 2010 12:38:23 AM

number13 said:
my advice would be to put the HDD in another machine and get all your important data off it, use The Ultimate Boot CD or something that has a wipe program on it and wipe the drive, you must remove NTLDR.dll from the MBR and format will not do it, then reinstall you OS and data


The NTLDR is a file that is on the HDD not within the MBR. If you do a format -- you will not have to worry about the boot.ini or the NTLDR.

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
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February 28, 2011 12:16:53 AM

SO, what happened, did you fix it?
I'm having the same problem, so any help would be appreciated.
WIll formatting c: (xp partition) and repair mbr using windows 7 repair disk solve it? :cry: 
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March 10, 2011 3:22:35 PM

Hey, sorry for the late reply, i thought i replied a while back on my phone but obviously it didnt post.

This is an old topic and i cant really remember what I did. I know that i fixed it in the fact that i didn't lose any of the files on my partition with the data on, but I did lose the operating system partition. Basically, I think i formatted the 2 smaller partitions which had windows XP and windows 7 on, and then installed windows 7 fresh on one of them. I left the other one blank as i was too scared to merge it with my data partition. (I use it to store games on now)

So at the end of the day I got it sorted - sort of, but just try every possible thing you can think of and at least you'll learn from the experience, even if you don't recover your operating system.

Always keep a back up of important stuff!
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