Solved A bootloader problem Win7/XP

Gigabyte / Ga-78lmt-s2p
November 6, 2013 at 18:38:44
Specs: Windows 8 - 64Bit, 1.8 GHz / 4gig
On my second computer tower I have two hard-drives Disk 0 is XP and the drive has the drive letter "E:". It has twp partitions, one is the XP OS and the other stores .mp4 files.

On disk 1 is the Win 7 OS and the drive is designated "C:" My disk management layout can be seen here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v...

The tower originally had one disk installed (the Win 7 OS) but I later added a second drive an on it I installed XP. I have no idea why this happened but when I boot the computer I have a menu that presents me with the option to boot Win7 or XP whereas I thought originally that I would be able to select either system by changing the boot order in the BIOS but this was not to be.

If I change the boot order and select the XP drive I get the disk not found message I have EasyBCD on the Win 7 drive and it's setup can be seen here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v...
It will be noted that Windows 7 and Windows XP have different Bootloader paths. My question therefor is how can I isolate the two systems so that I can select them by changing the boot order in the BIOS. Win 7 appears to hold the boot files whereas XP has none and there's the problem.

Any and all help will be appreciated.


See More: A bootloader problem Win7/XP

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#1
November 6, 2013 at 21:17:46
If you installed Windows 7 prior to XP, it won't work.
You have to install the OS(es) in the order they were first released.

You have to format, install Windows XP and only then install Windows 7.

You could try the "BCD Backup/Resotre" option, but I'm not too sure it will help. Best practice is to follow the actions mentioned above.

"I'm tired. But then again I'm so hungry I can't sleep. But what's the point of eating if your sleepy?" - Sniff, The Moomins.

message edited by paradoxwizard


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#2
November 6, 2013 at 23:30:00
Thank you for your reply. Not exactly the reply I was hoping for but there you go! But bear in mind that the OSes are on different hard drives... is it not possible to create a boot system on the XP drive? In the event that this can't be done can I do the following:

1.) If I remove the XP hard-drive will the Win 7 drive still boot?

2.) I figure that if it will still boot I'll remove the Win 7 hard drive then replace the XP drive I'll then re-install XP onto which will be the only available drive. After I remount the Win 7 drive each hard drive will have it's own bootloader and I'll be able to select drives by changing the boot order in the BIOS.

Am I correct in my assumption?

message edited by Ewen


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#3
November 7, 2013 at 00:05:37
✔ Best Answer
Actually, the fact that the OSes are on separate hard drives makes no difference as the boot configuration states the full path to each OS (including which hard drive and which partition).

The thing is, there's only *one* boot configuration setting. You can't install XP after Windows 7, because it overwrites the configuration info, which is usually written to the primary hard drive on your primary partition.

When you install Windows 7 after XP, Windows 7 knows how to configure dual-boot. XP, however, cannot (as Windows 7 became available only years after).

For example. Windows XP uses the boot.ini configuration whereas Windows 7 is using bcdedit.

As for your assumption, it is incorrect.
I suggest you sort this out step-by-step, by deciding first which HD would host the XP os, and the 7 one.
Install XP on your 'master' hard drive, then 7 on the other.
Obviously, later you could chose which OS will be the default one and for how long will that screen be displayed (usually 30 secs).

Though, here's a friendly advice: Windows XP will reach End-of-Life cycle and will no longer be supported by Microsoft starting April 8th, 2014. That means that no security patches will be released and bad people out there are surely to reverse engineer the first vulnerability and use it to target unprotected computers. If you don't care about that and willing to take the risk, go ahead. But if you're concerned, I don't think it's worthwhile installing and using it for the next 5 months or so. I suggest you install Windows XP on a virtual machine. This way, if something bad happens, it will only be confined to your virtual machine (which is actually a single large file on your actual hard drive. Not to mention the fact you can take snapshots and revert whenever you want). You can even choose to disconnect it from the Internet and only allow local communication (between your Windows 7 and the virtual machine).

"I'm tired. But then again I'm so hungry I can't sleep. But what's the point of eating if your sleepy?" - Sniff, The Moomins.

message edited by paradoxwizard


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#4
November 7, 2013 at 00:53:16
Thank you paradoxwizard for your excellent advice. Actually the only reason I maintain XP is because I have a very outdated Camedia printer which went out of production some 10 years (or more) ago and XP are the last drivers available that will drive it. Apart from that dye sublimation paper and ribbon is becoming increasingly expensive and hard to get, at least in Australia. It is quite likely that once I have finished my present supply the printer will become an expensive boat anchor because it is really the only time I use the system. In view of the foregoing then it seems hardly worthwhile persevering. Your suggestion regarding mounting XP in a virtual drive is also worthwhile unhappily though I have tried it and the printer will not respond... I already run a very successful Linux 15 in this manner.

However and a big HOWEVER when I do decide to remove the XP hard-drive will the Win 7 drive still boot? I really have too valuable an installation (in terms of programmes and data) to contemplate starting again.

Regards,

message edited by Ewen


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#5
November 7, 2013 at 01:08:04
Happy to.
I'm afraid it won't boot. At least, not without applying a fix with Windows 7 Recovery media.
If the installation media will recognize your OS, you have to run a repair or fix it yourself (using BCDedit with Windows 7 recovery command prompt). You can consult this handful guide on how to accomplish that.

Strange your printer didn't work though, it shouldn't present any problems, given the right driver and virtual machine settings.

"I'm tired. But then again I'm so hungry I can't sleep. But what's the point of eating if your sleepy?" - Sniff, The Moomins.

message edited by paradoxwizard


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#6
November 7, 2013 at 02:06:49
Well it seems it's back to the drawing board for me. I will follow your link and see how I go. It wont be for a wee while yet but I will certainly follow it soon (it's bookmarked already). I back up the system weekly and I'll certainly be doing it before I jump in at the deep end.

In the meantime I thank you for your a most informative response and regards.


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#7
November 7, 2013 at 05:46:15
I have Win7 on my primary HDD, and WinXP on my secondary HDD. On my primary HDD, i have the boot loaders for both OSes, and the boot.ini points to the second hard drive. Win7's boot loader lets me select which one I want at boot, or defaults to Win7 if I can't be bothered to hit Enter.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#8
November 7, 2013 at 16:01:14
Thanks Razor many moons ago I had just such a select menu but over time things changed and Win 7 was the only drive in the box... I fitted a second drive and installed XP as a result I have two systems which are inseparable (like a loving couple) on the one menu. If I remove the XP drive the other one won't boot so at the moment I am slowly going bald (tearing the hair out).

But all suggestions and help are welcome... thanks and regards.


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#9
November 7, 2013 at 17:32:40
If the WinXP is on the secondary disk (where the boot loaders don't live), it should work without it. Chances are, however, WinXP was the primary disk. When you remove the WinXP disk, you lose the boot loaders, and the order Windows sees the drives change. Win7 is used to being the second disk, but it's suddenly now drive 1.

I've always got away with it because when I installed WinXP, I installed it on my secondary drive so both OSes were properly configured.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#10
November 8, 2013 at 01:02:19
Your observation must be right because today when I disconnected the XP drive the machine would not boot... on replacing all was OK again. I even tried disconnecting the drive and using the Win 7 install disk to do a repair but without success, it still would not boot without the XP disk connected.

The thing is that Win 7 was the original and only disk in the box apart from a 160gig data disk. When I decided to recommence using the printer I stuck a spare disk in the box and installed XP on it. I thought at the time that I would have two separate bootable systems that I could select from the BIOS. Ignorance is bliss because after reading your comments and those of paradoxwizard it appears I am fighting a lost cause. I have BCDedit on the disk but unhappily there appears to be no way out of my dilemma short of a complete re-install of both systems.

I am going to have another crack at putting XP on a virtual drive and re-install the printer driver to that disk. I have a sneaking suspicion I installed it to the host and that is why the printer would not respond.

I'll PM you if I'm successful second time around, meantime I live in the fond hope that someone will have a little known solution to my problem.

Regards

message edited by Ewen


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#11
November 8, 2013 at 05:31:05
Yeah, sadly there's not a whole lot of advice I can give, other than, "The disk with ntldr and the Boot directory is the one you don't want to touch," and, "Bootrec is a great tool."

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#12
November 9, 2013 at 06:35:53
How about loading a 3rd party boot manager such as GAG?

http://gag.sourceforge.net/


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#13
November 9, 2013 at 15:07:00
Thanks for the suggestion riider it certainly is a handy bootloader (now in my bookmarks) but the object of the exercise was to ultimately remove the XP drive from my tower and use the Win 7 disk exclusively (7 is on a separate drive) however if I remove the XP drive Win 7 will not boot because it appears that XP has ll the boot information... will GAG overcome this problem by installing it on Win 7?

message edited by Ewen


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