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Win7 is installed twice. I want to remove the one on the FIRST disk.

    Question

  • What a nightmare!
    Short info and question first. Details at end..

    My system ended up with Win7 installed on two drives. One is brand new (and never started) and one is "recovered".
    The new one is on the "first" disk. (disk 0)
    The "Recovered" one is on the Second disk. (disk 1)

    I want to keep the "recovered" one and remove/erase/format the new one.


    Now the details:
    This system started as
    Win XP Pro (disk 0)
    Win 7 (disk 1)
    Dual boot

    I finished up with the XP Pro and decided to format it. Windows would not let me do it because it was a system disk so I STUPIDLY downloaded a program which allowed me to format the drive.
    This, of course, removed the files needed to boot my system and I could not boot into Win 7.
    I tried repair and all sorts of other things... Finally I decided to bite the bullet and just reinstall.
    When reinstalling it asked me where to install so I decided to install on disk 0 since that is the more appropriate place to do it.
    When Win 7 was done installing and I rebooted I discovered that it then repaired my original install of Win 7 so I was in a dual boot situation that I described above.

    I want to keep the recovered one but have no idea how to go about doing this without trashing my install again.
    I have downloaded the program EasyBCD since it seems to be a recommended program. It appears to be Vista specific so I am unsure how to procede.
    Obviously just poking around and "trying" things is NOT the way to go. :D

    I've seen lots of different so-called "answers" to this problem. Some seem inappropriate, such as to edit the Boot.ini file and I am just unsure what to do.
    Tuesday, December 01, 2009 4:06 AM

Answers

  • Holy cow, I don't believe it... I got it to work!!!

    Now the only problem is that I don't know what exactly I did that solved the problem so I can help others...
    This is what I did since my last post...

    I used EasyBCD and tried the "Type 2" repair from this page:
    http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+with+EasyBCD

    This didn't appear to do anything as I still did not have the /boot folder nor the bootmgr file in the root of the drive I wanted to keep.. (Called: Win7New or C:\)
    So, in my frustration I decided to just try copying the files I wanted...
    I copied the /boot folder (hidden) from the drive I did NOT want but had all of the boot files (Called: Win7OLD or D:\)
    D:/BOOT (hidden)
    Windows would not let me copy the file BCD (D:\BOOT\BCD) located in (win7OLD/boot) because it was "in use by System" so,
    I used EasyBCD to backup my BCD settings which created a recovery.bcd file.
    I renamed this to "BCD" and placed it in the proper place on Win7New. (Win7New/Boot/BCD) C:\BOOT\BCD
    I copied the file "bootmgr" (hidden) from Win7OLD ROOT to Win7New ROOT From D:\ to C:\
    I shut down and unplugged the Win7OLD hard drive and rebooted with my fingers crossed...
    This still did not boot and I was crestfallen.
    I booted into my Win7 repair disk, started the repair utility and got a command prompt
    I tried bootrec /rebuildBCD This gave the same "Element not found" error
    I ran bootrec /fixmbr ... as usual this completed successfully
    I then exited the command prompt and ran the startup repair utility (first option in the recovery option screen)
    This scans your computer for startup problems and then gives a report. This report looked no different then the 20 or so previous attempts I've tried doing this.
    I then hit the reboot button and walked out of the room in disgust at my failure. I went outside to have a smoke while my computer rebooted.

    And when I came back, there it was... my Win7 login screen.
    I was dumbfounded and even had to double check to see if the other HD was unplugged. And it was.

    So, what did I do? I do not know. What fixed it? Who knows?

    If I had to guess I'd say that the important parts were:

    Copying the files from the OLD hard drive to the new one, including a copy of BCD and BOOTMGR
    and running bootrec /fixmbr after copying the files.

    Now... I get to plug the OLD HD back in and see if I can format it!

    Thank you so much, Shaon and Thomas! :D
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 8:50 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I understand that your system now dual boots. There are two OSs installed, both Windows 7.

    With the system powered off and unplugged, open the case and unplug the new disk (disk 1, I believe). Remove both cables, that to SATA controller and the other to power.

    Make sure the remaining drive is connected to SATA 1 connector and is properly connected to power. That should be your original drive, the one with the recovered Win 7 system on it.

    Turn the power on and enter the BIOS setup during the boot process. Adjust settings, if necessary, so SATA 1 is the HD in the boot order. Save settings and exit. The system should start to reboot.

    If it completes booting to the OS you want to keep, you are almost finished. Go to **.  If it does not boot to an OS, the boot loader has to be repaired. I suspect that will be needed.

    Assure that the DVD comes before the HD in the BIOS boot order. Shut down. Place the DVD in the DVD drive. Boot to the DVD and follow the prompts through the first few screens. Read carefully. When you get to the screen with that option, choose to repair the computer. Follow the instructions.

    When that process is completed, restart the computer.

    **Use EasyBCD to edit the boot menu to remove the now surplus entry.

    Now, after the system is booting the proper system, you can connect the other drive to SATA connector 2. (Power must be off). Boot and confirm that the system is booting to the desired drive. Now you can format the drive and re-purpose it.

    Good luck.

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:13 AM
  • After you format the disk 0 to remove the Windows XP system, we can directly perform a repair and run the command "Bootrec.exe /REBUILDBCD" in Windows Recovery Environment with the Windows 7 DVD. It will help fix the boot entry of the system on disk 1.

    For current situation, I will still recommend to format disk 0 and repair --- rebuild BCD on disk 1.
    Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:15 AM
    Moderator
  • Hmmmm... Sounds doable and logical...
    I have created a complete system backup/restore on an external so hopefully I've covered my bases.

    In my Bios I have the ability to set the disk assignment:
    New disk = disk1
    old disk = disk0

    What gives me trepidation, and why I'm being so ultra careful here is that I did something similar and it caused my computer to not reboot. When I attempted to "repair" it did not do it.

    I believe what I will do is do a restore from my backup... (to ensure it is proper and working)
    If it is then I will follow directions above...

    I will...
    Turn computer off... unplug disk0 (with Win7NEW) Go into Bios and make sure remaining disk is now set to disk0...
    Boot... see what happens. If it boots (I do not believe it will) but if it does, then use BCE to repair the bootloader menus
    Reboot... make sure all is well...
    Turn of computer and install the HD that I removed before...
    Boot again... see if all is well and if so, format the drive and Bingo...

    If it does NOT boot after removing disk0 then I will boot to Win7 DVD and attempt repair by going to a command prompt and typing
    Bootrec.exe /rebuildBCD
    Reboot into windows... if it boots, use EasyBCD to fix boot menu if need be.
    Test many times...
    Once satisfied, format Win7New and call it a week!
    If it doesn't repair and doesn't boot then use the Win7 System Repair disk that I made and restore my system with my TESTED system backup and come back here with my sad story!
    :D

    Seems like alot of work. I'm guessing that this is going to be a big deal in the very near future as I imagine many people installed 7 as a dual Boot with their WinXP

    If I get it working I'll try to write up a nice post that others can hopefully find useful.
    In any case, I will certainly come back and let you know how it goes.
    Thank you very much for your help.

    Brian
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 3:41 AM
  • Ok, I removed the disk and booted to my win7 repair disk...
    did bootrec.exe /rebuildBCD
    and got "Element not found" error...

    Will try again with actual Win7 disk...
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 4:22 AM
  • Well, that was a bust...

    as noted before, the bootrec.exe /rebuildBCD only resulted in an "Element not found" error... from both the repair disk and the full win7 disk.
    Running Startup repair a couple of times resulted only in it finding some kind of partition table error??? but not fixing the bootloader.

    Ultimately I tried all of above and then some and the result was nothing.

    This would be funny if it wasn't so serious. I mean, how hard can it be to tell the system to boot from the perfectly installed Win7 disk???
    And it IS perfectly installed.

    I replugged my other disk in and it booted into my recovered Win7 without pause.
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 5:05 AM
  • Hi PastorVor,

    Sorry for cause the issue.

    The steps you performed are correct to rebuild boot entry. As we failed to do the rebuildBCD step, it should be caused if boot files are saved on your disk 0 so after unplug it from the computer, system cannot load these files anymore.

    If avaiable you can do an in-place upgrade on disk 1 to repair install the system. This can help rebuild the files.

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 6:57 AM
    Moderator
  • An in place upgrade???
    You mean, install Win7 on top of Win7???
    Does this not mean reinstalling all programs and settings?

    I have a perfectly good version of Win7 on both disks... I could just use the brand new install on the disk that has the Boot information and be done with this whole mess!
    That's what I'm trying to avoid.

    I have done everything I can think of including using bootsect.exe to repair the MBR and used the /NT60 option... Nothing.
    I was somehow, successful in getting windows to show the boot information on the disk that I want but it still refuses to boot if I remove the other disk.
    I have included a picture of my HD configuration as it is now after some very frustrating work.
    [URL=http://img44.imageshack.us/i/diskmap.png/][IMG]http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/5169/diskmap.th.png[/IMG][/URL]
    http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/5169/diskmap.png

    I truely appreciate all of your help and I'm sorry I'm frustrated, but this has become absolutely crazy.
    A Google search on this problem shows a great many others with this same problem.

    I've seen people suggest simply removing the entry for the second install from the bootloader. Will this not just cause your computer to boot correctly but still leave you with a Hard disk that you cannot format or remove?

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 7:11 AM
  • Holy cow, I don't believe it... I got it to work!!!

    Now the only problem is that I don't know what exactly I did that solved the problem so I can help others...
    This is what I did since my last post...

    I used EasyBCD and tried the "Type 2" repair from this page:
    http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+with+EasyBCD

    This didn't appear to do anything as I still did not have the /boot folder nor the bootmgr file in the root of the drive I wanted to keep.. (Called: Win7New or C:\)
    So, in my frustration I decided to just try copying the files I wanted...
    I copied the /boot folder (hidden) from the drive I did NOT want but had all of the boot files (Called: Win7OLD or D:\)
    D:/BOOT (hidden)
    Windows would not let me copy the file BCD (D:\BOOT\BCD) located in (win7OLD/boot) because it was "in use by System" so,
    I used EasyBCD to backup my BCD settings which created a recovery.bcd file.
    I renamed this to "BCD" and placed it in the proper place on Win7New. (Win7New/Boot/BCD) C:\BOOT\BCD
    I copied the file "bootmgr" (hidden) from Win7OLD ROOT to Win7New ROOT From D:\ to C:\
    I shut down and unplugged the Win7OLD hard drive and rebooted with my fingers crossed...
    This still did not boot and I was crestfallen.
    I booted into my Win7 repair disk, started the repair utility and got a command prompt
    I tried bootrec /rebuildBCD This gave the same "Element not found" error
    I ran bootrec /fixmbr ... as usual this completed successfully
    I then exited the command prompt and ran the startup repair utility (first option in the recovery option screen)
    This scans your computer for startup problems and then gives a report. This report looked no different then the 20 or so previous attempts I've tried doing this.
    I then hit the reboot button and walked out of the room in disgust at my failure. I went outside to have a smoke while my computer rebooted.

    And when I came back, there it was... my Win7 login screen.
    I was dumbfounded and even had to double check to see if the other HD was unplugged. And it was.

    So, what did I do? I do not know. What fixed it? Who knows?

    If I had to guess I'd say that the important parts were:

    Copying the files from the OLD hard drive to the new one, including a copy of BCD and BOOTMGR
    and running bootrec /fixmbr after copying the files.

    Now... I get to plug the OLD HD back in and see if I can format it!

    Thank you so much, Shaon and Thomas! :D
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 8:50 AM
  • Hi,

    Copy boot folder to drive D is correct. As you said it will be a little difficult to copy the files to your disk 1 so I just provided the in-place upgrade step instead.

    Generally in-place upgrade will not damage system and we just need to reinstall updates which installed before.

    Thank you for the detailed steps, they will be helpful if others encounter similar issue.
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 9:06 AM
    Moderator
  • Great!

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Tom
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 4:29 PM