Dual booting with a RAID 5 array XP/Win7

Hello. After recently losing the data on the hard drive my data was stored on I decided to go with a RAID 5 array. There are four SATA 500Gb disks plugged into an ASUS motherboard with an onboard NVIDIA RAID controller. I left my original XP installation alone on an IDE drive. I installed Win7 on the raid array. The first issue I ran into was that it appeared as multiple entries were showing on the choose OS screen. After reformatting and repartitioning the drives I could get Win7 to load and alleviated the multiple entries problem with EasyBCD.

Everything is working great now but with one caveat. If I don't have the installation DVD in the drive I get an error that tells me to insert the system disk and hit enter. If I insert the disk (or if the disk was in the drive when I booted) and ignore the "press any key to boot from CD" I will get the screen with the option to choose the OS. I have tried using the "repair" option with the Win7 installation disk but it always passes all of the tests (possibly because the disk is in the drive?)

I followed going through disk manager as suggested in the FAQ and I have three volumues:

C: (this is my RAID array with Win 7 on it) (boot, page file, crash dump, primary partition)
D: (this is my old IDE Drive with XP on it) (system, active, primary partition)
E: DVD Drive with installation DVD (healthy, primary partition)

I just tried making C an active partition and rebooted. (system is also tending to hang on trying to shut down). I then got an NTLDR file is missing. So I put the install disk back in and ran the repair again and it didn't find anything. Rebooted again and as long as that install disk is in and i ingore the boot to cd I get the menu to choose my OS and the rest goes fine. Any input or suggestion you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Hi Josef, welcome to NST.
D:\ is "system". i.e. that's where the BCD and bootmgr were placed when you installed W7. (That's normal when you install a newer Windows after an older. The boot files will be placed alongside those of the previous system)
You need to put D first in the BIOS and boot from it, and your W7 boot menu should appear without the need for your DVD.
Thank you for your response. I went into the BIOS (NVDIA NFORCE) and things are a little different when using the onboard RAID controller. When I enabled it all four SATA drives dissapeared and are now managed from the "onboard device" controller screen. When I go to the boot sequence screen I simply have the choices for "Hard Disk" "CD ROM" "Removable". I can go into another menu and change the device priority for "Hard Disk" but the RAID array is set as the first prioity. This is my first attempt at using a RAID controller and think this might be the crux of my issue. I am tempted to just manually remove the IDE cable from drive with XP installed on it and see if I make any progress this way. I have tried a few options of trying to move the system flag from BCD and disk manager without any luck (yet). I am continuing to read up on the RAID controller and the specific issues I may have with my chipset but are there any alternatives to correcting the problem if I am unable to do it by switching device boot priority in the BIOS? Thanks again for your time.


Just an update here. I think I have made good progress and hopefully am on the home stretch. I ended up unplugging the IDE drive and letting Windows7 run the repair (two boots). The good news is now I can boot without the installation CD. I plugged back in the IDE drive (with XP on it) and still no booting issues. I look in Easy BCD and the Windows 7 OS is now labeled "Windows 7 Recovered". Although I can look at my old files now on my IDE drive is there a way to USE EasyBCD to put the choose OS screen back into the boot sequence? If I go to "add remove entries" I can add an "XP" entry but it shows for Drive "C" (RAID array). Should I go back and edit anything on the original IDE drive? At this point I am just happy to be booting into Win7 and being able to dual boot would be a bonus. Also having trouble with the system hanging on shutdown but that this point I think that is an unrelated issue.
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For the same reason W7 put its boot files on the XP IDE disk (Multiple Windows OSs all have to have their boot files on the "system" partition), EasyBCD is pointing at W7 RAID for XP now (the BCD entry doesn't point to XP, it points to the XP boot files and they point to XP)
If you are using EasyBCD 1.7, it will be necessary to copy those files, and then to edit the boot.ini copy to point back to the IDE disk.
Fortunately you don't need to do that any more. Just use EasyBCD 2.0 latest build and reply "yes" when it offers to auto configure the XP boot and it will do all that for you.

You do have the latest beta build of EasyBCD do you? If not you may obtain it here. Add an entry for XP and let it autoconfigure.


Oppss, if only there were a feature on here letting me know you were typing up a post Terry :smile:
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