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revert windows 7 & 10 dual boot to windows 7 only RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I have my old main computer running as dual boot. It was built with Windows 7 Ultimate and I added Windows 10 a few years ago. Each is on it's own SSD. I have mainly been using Windows 7. I am in the process of building a new machine and what I would like to do is extract the W10 drive to nuke for my new computer and leave Windows 7 operational on the old one.

    I have changed the boot menu in the Windows 7 msconfig and removed the Windows 10 option altogether. The system will boot straight into Windows 7 as desired. The problem is, when I unplug either OS drive, the system will not boot either OS.

    Is there some dependency between the drives when they are set up to dual boot? Is there some change W10 makes to a W7 OS drive, when installed on a separate drive? I remember I had problems when I transferred my machine to a new case, as I apparently did not get the drives plugged into the same ports as before. Jockeying the boot priorities in BIOS seemed to do the trick then, and I have used the system that way for the last two years.

    I have the feeling it will be a face-palm when someone tells me what I forgot... When I mess with the BBS boot priorities it will sometimes come up with the insert boot media and press any key prompt. It seems it is looking for both my W7 and W10 drives, as well as my 1tb storage drive, but the 4tb storage drive can be (and is) disabled in BBS boot priority. If I disable either SSD or the 1tb drive, it is the same as if I unplugged the W10 drive. It will boot W7 normally as soon as I plug the W10 drive back in (or restore the bbs order) and BIOS seems to update the BBS priority list automatically. AHCI/Native IDE SATA modes have no effect. Likewise, the Windows 10 drive will not boot standalone in the current machine. Really wishing I'd never bothered with dual-booting 10 in the first place. Every other upgrade I did was a standalone installation with the 7 drive unplugged.

    Do I need to fixboot or fixmbr? Rebuild bcd?


    Friday, January 17, 2020 8:15 AM

Answers

  • The BootManager is specified via a volume number. That number may be incorrect when the win10 disk is by itself. You can see the information with bcdedit.

    You would have to rebuild the BCD on both disks. It means you'd need to boot into a WinPE to do the work.

    If it were me, the method I would use to do this work is to make a sector copy of the disk and do the command testing on the clone. If something got messed up, reclone the disk. When everything is figured out, then do the work on the original disk. Repeat the process for the other OS disk.

    • Proposed as answer by Joy-QiaoModerator Tuesday, January 21, 2020 6:44 AM
    • Marked as answer by Eizen745 Monday, January 27, 2020 4:10 PM
    Friday, January 17, 2020 7:21 PM

All replies

  • The BootManager is specified via a volume number. That number may be incorrect when the win10 disk is by itself. You can see the information with bcdedit.

    You would have to rebuild the BCD on both disks. It means you'd need to boot into a WinPE to do the work.

    If it were me, the method I would use to do this work is to make a sector copy of the disk and do the command testing on the clone. If something got messed up, reclone the disk. When everything is figured out, then do the work on the original disk. Repeat the process for the other OS disk.

    • Proposed as answer by Joy-QiaoModerator Tuesday, January 21, 2020 6:44 AM
    • Marked as answer by Eizen745 Monday, January 27, 2020 4:10 PM
    Friday, January 17, 2020 7:21 PM
  • Msconfig is a great utility,but by pc defaults the boot drive should be set in the BIOS (1st boot priority).SATA mode is/should be set in BIOS,advanced chipset setting,and some BIOS settings need another setting (Integrated Peripherals) set to SATA mode,youre pc owners manual should outline the SATA settings,by default SATA & RAID are disabled.Even RAID ready gets you SATA advantages..Also,Intel requires SSD software/drivers be installed after Chipset driver & storage controller software.Follow the link.

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/35125/Memory-and-Storage

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/53/Chipsets

    Also,with Dell pcs,pressing the F12 key on pc start up gets you Boot menu,youre pc might have same..

    Saturday, January 18, 2020 2:19 AM
  • Hi,

    Any update for your issue?

    By the way, as Windows 7 is out of support in this month, I would recommend to keep Windows 10 system only no matter on your new computer or old device. 

    Bests, 


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, January 21, 2020 6:45 AM
    Moderator
  • I certianly dislike this sort of answer -

    I have plenty of "OLD" hardware that is perfectly fine I shouldn't have to buy new hardware to have a valid OS.

    Microsoft, I don't need to buy new hardware I just need a way to retain a license and activation for XP for example.

    This should be seen by Microsoft as stealing from them as it has lately   

    Saturday, January 25, 2020 2:03 PM
  • So the Rebuilding BCD seemed to work and got the system booting from the working/backup copy of 7 on a 1tb drive on the same "P0" port. But: "I remember I had problems when I transferred my machine to a new case, as I apparently did not get the drives plugged into the same ports as before." Turns out this was my problem all along. Plugged the 7 drive into the "1st" sata port which BIOS seemed to be gravitating to (Even though AHCI mode was set, This was labelled "SATA" in bios as opposed to "P0") and Problemo Solvedo. 7 at least boots independently of the 10 drive. I will fiddle some more and see if the 10 drive boots on the same port.

    I had already resolved to keep 10 on this machine anyway, so I can keep it online-capable. I had another lower-hours SSD than the one I was planning to extract, so that went into the new build instead... Seems odd P0 would not correspond to the first SATA port though?

    Update: No luck booting the 10 drive either by itself, or with the 7 drive attached, on any port. At first there was the same black screen & flashing cursor. Running bootrec from install disc, fixmbr is successful, but fixboot & rebuildbcd both say "element not found". There is no system reserved partition on this win10 drive, presumably because it was subordinate to the win7 drive. After setting the C: drive as active in diskpart, I now get a startup error 0xc000000f when trying to boot the 10 drive. Startup repair attempts but fails to repair the issue. Do I have to manually create a system reserved partition?

    • Edited by Eizen745 Monday, January 27, 2020 8:34 PM
    Monday, January 27, 2020 4:21 PM
  • For the initial problem, since the disks were in different ports, Windows may have "reinstalled" the disks, thus changing the numbering.

    As far as making the Win10 disk bootable... I'm not sure about that. The problem you run into is changing the start boundary of the OS volume. You can easily shrink the partition and move the boundary... nothing in Windows will let you do that tho. You'd need to find some partitioning program to do the work. So, shrink the partition by say, 500 MB. Then "move" the partition (if there is a graphical representation, such as in Disk Management, it is incorrect to say "move" in this context, but visually it appears so) so that there is 500 MB at the beginning of the disk, and then your OS volume starts from there.

    Then you boot into WinPE, and make sure you can read the OS volume. Easy way to read with a stock WinPE is open Notepad and just browse to that drive letter. Then using diskpart, change the OS volume to C if it is not that already. Create a partition on the disk, select it, set as active. Format it NTFS and use volume label "System" and assign drive letter S. Then run bcdboot c:\windows /s s: ... and reboot and see if it will boot. Of course, do this work with a clone if possible, and once you get the process down, you can do it with the actual disk.

    Monday, January 27, 2020 9:45 PM