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Change boot order Win7 vs. XP?

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I installed Win 7 on a SSD disk ith 2 partitions, one partition already with XP installed. The result was that Win7 always boot with no option to boot XP. I had expected to see a menu with XP as default and Win7 as an option.


In disk management I see the XP partition as a logical station and the other as a system partition.


Is there a fix for the problem or do I have to start from scratch?


But then, how to make sure I get what I want?


Will the outcome be different if I disconnect all other drives before installing Win7?

Edited by Roffen
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Did you used XP boot loader before?

Did you used grub4dos boot loader before?

Which boot loader do you use now?

To add XP to windows 7 boot loader, open a elevated command prompt

bcdedit.exe /create {ntldr}bcdedit.exe /set {ntldr} device partition=D:bcdedit.exe /set {ntldr} path \ntldrbcdedit.exe /set {ntldr} description "Windows XP"bcdedit.exe /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast
D: is a example, use your XP (system) drive letter instead. This is the \ntldr drive.

You may have to open disk management and assign a drive letter first.

Edited by cdob
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Sorry, no success, too much trouble


I think it will be easier to start over from scratch.


If I Install XP first and then rightaway Win 7, shouldn't the required conditions for having XP as the default

and Win 7 as an option automatically be taken care of by the Win 7 installation procedure?


That's how it used to be before, but this time it is possible something may have been done to the root of XP, I can't say for sure.


I could use grldr grub4dos but now the Win7 is a system partition and XP is a  regular partition and I expect I'd have a lot to do to obtain the desired result?

Edited by Roffen
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Naaah, no particular issue.


Boot into Windows 7.

1) Which drive letter gets the partition where 7 is installed? <- let's say it is C:

2) Which drive letter gets the partition where XP is installed? <-let's say it is D:


Make sure that you can see "hidden" and "system" files.


Check the C: drive.

You should be able to find in it the files:




Check the D: drive.

You should be able to find in it the files:





IF the above is correct, run the commands cdob suggested.


IF something is different from the above, describe such differences.



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Hi jaclaz,


D: is without ntldr and NTDETECT.

C: has bootmgr but no boot\BCD


I have a ntldr on C: that I suspect has no business being there;)


But what about the system status of the Win7 partition, is that ok?


ETA: I find a BCD file on a couple of Windows folders on the machine.



Have replaced missing files, and will try to install one of the BCD's in the existing boot folder

Edited by Roffen
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Well, somewhere a \boot\BCD (that is a file called "BCD" inside a folder "boot") *must* exist.


Normally (on a NON-previously-partitioned disk) a Windows 7 installs the BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD in a "special" partition that gets no drive letter, but when it installs on a pre-partitioned disk it creates those two files on the "system" partition, aka C:.


If you have NTLDR on C: you should have on it also NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI on the same drive.


Do another thing.

Open a command prompt (elevated) when booted in Windows 7.

Type in it (issue ENTER line by line):

diskpartselect disk 0detail disk

Post the output.

Type EXIT to exit from diskpart.

Then run the following commands:

attrib C:\bootmgrattrib C:\boot\BCDattrib C:\ntldrattrib C:\ntdetect.comattrib C:\boot.ini

Post the output.




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I am sorry, i've spent two whole days on this and my head is spinning - I just cant handle all the details. I AM getting older now! My picture was taken 15 years ago.


I just reformat the SSD drive and install XP and Win7 in that orde rand expect the dual boot festure will be in place.


I already have a hard drive with a similar dual configuration that I created some time back and it would be great if there were an easy method for me to clone that, but otherwise i just start all over again with the SSD.



I worked late last night, wiped clean the SSD drive, installed  XP first, then Win7 and got the desired boot options for free.


But this morning has been a bizarre experience. I thougt installing Firefox, Free ZoneAlarm and NoScript should give me a reasonable browser experience like I am used to but I am horrified at all the popups and the things that occupy the browser and won't go away. It just is not usable.


Switching to Win 7, even before installing anything else than Firefox, everything is quiet. It is like heaven.


I will check out the older XP installations that I have on the machine but I tested all three of them the other day and they all looked quite normal then.


If this is the best XP can do, it won't do.

Edited by Roffen
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  • 2 weeks later...

Google search for EasyBCDv2.3.0.207 - it helps setting up the boot order.  What I did was install XP on C:\, then, from within XP run the Win7 installer - custom install - select D:\ to install Win7 and things should result in a dual-boot configuration.

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Must be many years since I installed Windows from within an installed Windows, I may try that again if the need to reinstall should arise. But now I have both XP and Win7 on each their own USB stick created with Rufus. That works very well. What I should do now is to make a complete backup of both systems for easy reconstruction without the need to reinstall all my programs again each time. Will Macrium do that for me?


I gave up on downloading EasyBCDv2.3.0.207, it wouldn't start. Maybe more patience is required. I probably can live without it, will try not to install any OS again.


Here is a problem that I don't know how to fix:


My XP/Win7 boot ini:


[boot loader]



[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT


I tried to copy the last line, changing the rdisk and partition number for the other XP volumes, but that didn't work. Don't remember, it just crashed or I got error msg.


Should it work if I get the numbers right?

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Should it work if I get the numbers right?

Work for what? :unsure:


The general idea is that you provide detailed, exact, symptoms, from those someone may be able to derive a diagnosis, or ask you to perform some additional diagnostic procedures, and, based on the diagnosis suggest a (hopefully resolutive) cure.

 Then you have to apply the cure suggested (and NOT *something else*) and report, again exactly, what happens.


If you:

fail to describe as accurately as possible the issue


refuse to apply the suggested cure


do something else


fail to describe what is happening after the whatever you did


It is unlikely that you'll progress towards the resolution of the problem. :(



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When trying to collect and assemble all the info I might find I found that suddenly I have to ask for confirmation from big brother when booting an old XP disk. For the time being I think I will think it over. I had expected that the original and legal key would be sufficient. Are they doing all they can to kill XP?  I have used that disk before so it seems like something has been done to it


So I think I'll leave it at that. How long before the disk I am using here will say goodbye? I don't feel llike calling MS each time I reinstall. I'll look for alternative solutions.

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