Dual boot - Windows XP won't boot

Hello, I am new here, so thanks in advance for anyone who can offer me some idea on what I can do to resolve my problem...

I have two separate harddrives with one win7 and one winxp installed on the two drives separately.

First of all, easybcd works wonderfully. I use Easybcd so I can have different boot. I set Windows 7 as default boot and Windows XP as secondary boot. I have been able to use it for last few months. Last week I have to move to another location, so all the plugs and cables were unplugged and reconnected few days later.

Now I have encountered a problem: windows xp is stuck at "Windows is starting up" forever and it seems mouse is not detected. But I have no problem booting into Windows 7 and both mouse and keyboard is usable in windows 7. I tried to boot into windows xp safe mode but same thing happened. No mouse and it is still stuck at the same screen. I wanted to find the option to be able to boot from CD/DVD but that option is nowhere to be found.

Can anyone help on telling me how to solve this situation? Thanks


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If XP finds itself in a different physical configuration when it tries to start, and you haven't specifically allocated disk letters to devices/partitions manually in Disk Management, the PnP routine at startup will allocate the incorrect disk letters, and XP may suffer from schizophrenia, with it's registry driver map pointing to a different drive than it currently thinks it's on.
Goodells.Net :: Understanding MultiBooting
Firstly, try setting the hardware cabling back as it was initially.
Abraxas and Terry 60, Thanks for the replies and advices. I am reading the advices u guys gave and trying to find what I should do.

Before what I mentioned in my op, this happened: I tried to boot into XP and this error message showed up:
"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

I opened the case and unplugged the SATA cable and power to both harddrives and replugged them. Then that message no longer shows up but then I encountered the problem I mentioned. Right now I have C: with the Windows 7 and E: with the XP. Should I do fdisk /CMBR e: from the command prompt under Windows 7 or should I follow How to restore the system/boot drive letter in Windows
I actually am not sure what to do out of fear that I might do something stupid and messed up the Windows 7 boot too...

Sorry for asking, but can you guys let me know what I should do? Thanks


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Before anything else, try replugging the SATA cables in the mobo with every permutation of configurations (making sure to check the BIOS HDD boot priority is following your W7 drive in each try).
Hopefully you'll find the configuration where both systems boot properly without needing to "fix" XP.
I have tried every combination possible in trying to boot into XP, but none of them works : ( I stuck at "Windows is starting up," and can not boot into windows xp. Any other suggestions? Thank you for the advice though
I have tried every combination I can think of for the sata and mobo but I still have the same problem (Windows 7 booting up no problem, XP is stuck at "Windows is starting up" and mouse+keyboard don't seem to work at "Windows is starting up") so I am posting the configuration of EasyBCD
Detailed (Debug Mode):
Edit Legacy Entries (Boot.ini):
Disk Management:

I have the Windows 7 installed at C: and Windows XP at E:. I use "Automatically detect correct drive" in EasyBCD when I add XP in the boot menu and I have tried to delete XP in EasyBCD and readded it but the same problem persists. If anyone can offer any sort of insight, it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Mak 2.0

Staff member
Have you tried to do a repair install of XP?
EasyBCD has changed the way it handles the boot files, so I am not completely sure that the boot.ini you are looking at is correct, but should rdisk be 0 and not 1 if XP is on the same drive as it is?

I suppose, using C: for the ntldr path might also be incorrect...but having two active partitions might be confusion things, it is booting to E: