Dual Boot WIn 7 & Win XP system - Wont boot WinXP after Acronis Image restore

First off I have searched the forums and many of these types of questions go unanswered.

I have built a dual boot Win 7 and Win Xp image. I used Easy BCD to start and show the menu and have the user choose the OS. I created the Win 7 first and then installed the Win XP following some instructions from the WinSeven forum. I used Winlite to inject the proper WinXp Sata drivers and the system is set up under BIOS as AHCI.

The computer is an E6530 Dell computer with a 128GB SSD. The master is built and works fine. I have taken an acronis image to capture all partitions and I have also performed a sector by sector (not copying empty sectors)

When all is said and done everything is copied over and Win 7 runs with no problem. Win XP produces a BSOD. I have tried to restore partitions separately and various other methods. Copying the proper IASTOR.sys file to the d:\Windows\systems32\drivers directory. this gets me past the BSOD, but Win XP just goes to a blue loading screen and sits there.. Very little HD activity.

I am looking for any help and guidance to address this...



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Did XP ever boot successfully before you repaired the W7 boot manager and tried making a dual-boot ?
And what do you mean "copied everything over". Did you install XP on your PC or did you install it somewhere else and clone it ?
The latter won't work unless the hardware is identical, and even then you'll run into this sort of problem.
Goodells.Net :: Understanding MultiBooting
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Hi Terry,
i read a previous post where you recommended that site and based on what I read, this could be my problem. Since I do not have a floppy, I cannot do option 8. I have an orignal matching system that works but scared to try option two. My thought is I may go down that road. Would an OS selector program (boot manager) address this issue?
Are there any open source you recommend?



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Vista and W7 are kind enough to get you far enough into the boot to be able to run regedit and fix the rogue drive letter if their letter assignment becomes accidentally changed.
Unfortunately XP is not so accommodating, so option 1 is out unless you have a 3rd party registry editor as described.
Option 3 is ruled out if you have no floppy drive (or an old W98 repair disc) available.
That only leaves you option 2, which shouldn't present you with a problem.
The registry entries that you're removing are all self-healing as soon as you boot the clone in its new location.
But why don't you just install XP in situ on the PC where you want to run it ?
That avoids the problem completely.
I have tried option two on the original system, shut ti down and then cloned it. Same issue. I have tried to install Win XP and after install and reboot I receive errors that it cannot find boot files. I have done this at least three times.

Could it be an issue or assignment between BCD and what is stored. I made the changes (option 2) to the original working system and rebooted. I could not access WinXP. Same blue screen like it wants to log in but nothing. I recovered the same cloned image I had been using before I removed the assignments in the registry and after reboot the original system is back booting up fine.

I think you are right it is in the drive arrangement.. But now what?? Reinstalling Winxp is not addressing it..

Can I remove BCD and clear the registry entries and then clone?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
It's nothing to do with the BCD. When bootmgr chains to NTLDR (as specified in the XP entry in the BCD), that's the end of the "boot" process and you're into loading the kernel etc.
i.e the BCD is only involved in step 2 of the starting of an OS as outlined below.
The schizophrenia caused by a change of drive letter affects the later stages 3-6 and prevents transition from one of them to the next.
You say "I have tried to install Win XP and after install and reboot I receive errors that it cannot find boot files."
Do you mean that you have tried to install XP directly into the desired space on your target system and that it never booted, or that you could not get it to dual-boot ?
Check that you did everything s specified here
Installing XP After Vista or 7 - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

1.After pressing the power button, the PC’s firmware initiates a Power-On Self Test (POST) and loads firmware settings. This pre-boot process ends when a valid system disk is detected.
2.Firmware reads the master boot record (MBR), and then starts Bootmgr.exe. Bootmgr.exe finds and starts the Windows loader (Winload.exe) on the Windows boot partition.
3.Essential drivers required to start the Windows kernel are loaded and the kernel starts to run, loading into memory the system registry hive and additional drivers that are marked as BOOT_START.
4.The kernel passes control to the session manager process (Smss.exe) which initializes the system session, and loads and starts the devices and drivers that are not marked BOOT_START.
5.Winlogon.exe starts, the user logon screen appears, the service control manager starts services, and any Group Policy scripts are run. When the user logs in, Windows creates a session for that user.
6.Explorer.exe starts, the system creates the desktop window manager (DWM) process, which initializes the desktop and displays it.
Hi Terry,
To your questions above I receive boot errors. Everything from NTLDR, Boot.... A number of them. I tried the repair and reinstall and this is over several units not just other same one. Because I was against the clock I may have missed something. Since people have been successful with this process it must be something I am doing.

I followed steps from another site that are very similar to these, however I will rebuild this again. As my only other option is to look toward VHD and someone had told me previously that our signature pad would not work through the VHD...

As a fall back, do you have links and suggestions to the VHD creation process. I would like to do this once.. :smile:
Thank you for your assistance so far..



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
XP/Vista/7/8 on my PC are all "real", so I won't attempt to give advice on virtualization in any form, lacking any relevant experience.
If you open another thread specifically about any VHD problem you encounter, I'm sure one of the other regular contributors will pick it up.
All of the other mods are virtual dabblers.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Only 7 can officially be booted from a VHD. Vista can be hacked to work. XP isn't possible.