Windows XP/W7 dual boot Problem (XP not bootable)


Posts: 376   +8
Hey guys, I'm having a problem with dual booting..

So I'm taking a computer course, and I've never worked with Dual-booting (never needed it) were doing it in-class, he explained it and I've read a bit about it before.

So you need XP installed first on 1 partition then a seperate partition space for W7, understandable, then after XP is installed you can install W7 on the other patition, after the install is done, right away it should give you an option to either boot Windows 7, or a "Previous version of windows," something like that, right?

Well, not for me, after installing Windows 7, it boots right into windows 7 right away, no options given.

So I opened up My Computer, looked inside, theres both partitions, Windows XP and Windows 7. I read some forums, that tell you that you can edit Windows 7 boot manager with bcdedit.exe using command prompt. So I did that, added the XP as a boot option and all, saying to load off \ntldr off the partition it's installed on.

So I restarted windows and it shows up ! .... But it doesn't load anything.. First time it just gives me a Windows 7 looking startup error.. So I looked in the Windows XP Drive, couldn't find ntldr on the root of the drive, searched for it, found it in some far in windows folder, copied it over to the root, (I know, probably won't work but gave it a shot) so I restarted, this time it just restarted instead of an error or anything...

So, anyone know how to fix this problem? Know what it is? What causes it to not give me the option to boot into XP after installing Windows 7? I tried reinstalling XP then W7 again, and did the same thing.

Suggestions VERY WELL Appreciated, thanks.


Posts: 6,430   +186
Hmm.. not sure why you should be having such problems.. but some info and a few thoughts

1) If only for good background, this should help explain the differences between the XP vs. the newer Vista/Win 7 boot loaders
2) Also see here about dual boot instruction

As to fixing where you are:
> Are you running EasyBCD v2 or later?
> Might best start by fixing your XP boot. Use EasyBCD to rewrite the XP MBR or use your XP cd to do a repair install to make sure it's all good
> I would think you then should be able to run EasyBCD to add Win7 to the boot options


Posts: 376   +8
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  • #3
Thanks for the reply.

Thing is windows does not see XP installed. I put in the XP disc and when I go into the step where it checks if there is any previous version installed, it doesn't list it, but the partition is still there, so a repair is not an option.

Second I wasn't useing EasyBCD at all, as I understand how to use command prompt, and followed a site that gave specific instructions on how to edit it.

So far, I've wiped ALL partitions off the hard drive, and have started over, right now running Windows XP. I will be using the second partition that i made (Not formatted or anything) to install Windows 7 on when I do not need a computer inclass to work on.

My though as to why it wasn't working, which doesn't seem to be a likely cause but I'm eliminating it (soon) Is that I made another partition (5GB) and then put data off my XP install onto it, incase anything went wrong, then after I installed 7, that disc did not show in My Computer, but the XP one did, so now I am trying with 2 partitions, just XP and 7 and will see how things work out.. I think that 5GB partition might have some how messed it up since it was done while in XP..

from the website you directed me too, I understand that Windows XP and Windows Vista/7 have different boot managers, and that if you install Vista/7 then XP after, it will not see Vista or 7 because XP is an older version and will not recognize newer windows, but if you install XP first then Vista/7 the new boot manager will automatically configure itself and see the older version and add it to the boot options on startup..

I just don't understand why, I had XP first, then did 7, and it will not let me load XP, many other users in class have the option to boot XP or 7, but for some reason mine won't, and the only difference I see is my 5GB partition that I made to store data. Anyways I will be installing Windows 7 sometime next week probably I'll tell you how things work.


Posts: 376   +8
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  • #4
Ok I forgot to update, but I did fix the problem. I deleted all the partitions on the hard drive and then reinstalled windows XP, then installed WIndows 7 and it worked perfectly.

I believe the reason it didn't work properly is because I created a 5GB Partition While in XP. And for some reason this screwed up the dual boot, so when I would install Windows 7 it would delete the NTLDR file in the root of windows XP and it wouldn't boot. So after deleteing all the partitions and installing from scratch it worked perfectly.