how can I restore win xp hard drive to pre easy BCD state

#1
Hi, Have been happily using easy BCD to boot separate hard drives into xp and win7. Now have removed xp hard drive and placed into another computer but attempts to boot keep failing .Have tried 'fiddling ' with Easy BCD entries in numerous ways, have tried deleting entries as well to no avail. I assume some script remains behind. SO !!! I would like to TOTALLY remove ALL traces of BCD from that hard drive but not sure what entries /files are relavent and safe to do so.Cannot do System Restore as it does not go back far enough in time. Can you advise please
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You had W7 and XP dual booting on on PC and now you've taken the XP HDD and moved it to another PC, and what won't boot, W7, XP or both ?

If you're talking about XP not booting on another PC, then that's nothing to do with EasyBCD.
You can't just take an OS installed on one collection of hardware and expect it to run on a different set without reinstalling it, or at least doing a "repair install" (available on XP but not any later OS).
You'll only be able to do that if it's a full-retail copy of XP with a MS installation CD.
If it's an OEM copy which came pre-installed on your other PC, not only won't any OEM media have drivers for any hardware not present on the first PC, but the EULA prohibits use of the OS on anything other than the hardware it came supplied with.
In the case of a retail copy, you own the licence and you can run one (and only one) copy of the OS on a succession of PCs, each one invalidating the legitimacy of any previous version.
In the case of an OEM copy, the PC owns the licence and you can't move it anywhere else.
 
#3
thx Terry for that advice-I truly am computer illiterate. Fortunately win7 boots with BCD but after replacing winxp separate hdd into the original dual boot computer and trying all manner of setups with BCD,I cannot get it(xp) to boot. Win7 still recognizes the second hdd and files on it are accessible.There are easy BCD programmes and various files on both. Am wondering what to do . Can I ENTIRELY remove ALL traces of BCD from xp hdd or do I need to find a BCD 'formula' that works. I confess I feel as if I am going around in circles. I am trying to avoid an xp reinstall but perhaps that is the best option ?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
#5
Hi Terry, Yes I do have the latest and I have tried every combo I could think of including the basic of let BCD do its own thing/ me doing my thing +/- changing drive letters +/- changing BIOS boot orders in every permutation I could think of and if and when both boot options appear on startup I normally can boot to Win7 but get a missing or corrupted file message when trying to boot into xp. In some combinations only the boot into xp appears with the same failure message and on occasion the multi disk partition..... error messages appear (least frequent). If its relevent both hdds are sata with win7 on 1 master and xp 3 slave. Going to get some sleep to clear my head.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
If you let EasyBCD detect XP, it will set up anything that's missing.
Don't then go changing anything it sets up even if you think it's made a mistake. It hasn't.
Do as described and then, if it's not booting, supply exact messages of any encountered problem and post a screenshot of your Disk Management and the contents of EasyBCD "view settings" (detailed mode).
 
Last edited:
#7
Hi, I actually needed to transfer the non booting xp hdd so rather than chew up more time, I clean installed it WITHOUT any bcd into different computer where it is working fine . Later I will try dual booting with 'new' hdd's in 1 or both computers but for the moment I will keep it simple Thanks just the same and I FEAR I will be back in the not too distant future.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
OK.
You couldn't put EasyBCD on an XP-only PC even if you wanted to, but when (if) you come to trying dual booting again, as long as you install XP first and then W7, you don't even need EasyBCD.
MS will take care of the dual-boot automatically, though you can use EasyBCD if you wish to tidy up its "Previous Version of Windows" to a simple "XP" in the boot menu.
Two things to bear in mind.
Firstly, XP will be at EOL soon, so it might be a good idea to get a new HDD and install XP on it (on the intended eventual PC) while you still have the option to let WUD bring it up to fully-updated. Leave it too long and you'll be forced into using it at the level it was when you bought the CD, minus a couple of million security patches.
Secondly, when you dual boot XP with anything newer, remember to apply this patch
System Restore Points - Stop XP Dual Boot Delete
or else neither XP nor W7 will have a functioning System Restore capability.
 
#9
Hi again,I have set up reinstalled(so no added BCD entries) xp and win7 on SEPARATE hdd's ,connected as slave/master on IDE socket and can choose boot order in BIOS.Win7 'sees' its x3 partitions C(Boot)D(backup)E (Recovery) and second hdd I (which contains xp). Having downloaded easy BCD onto win7, BCD 'sees' win7 operating system with x1 entry ( Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe ).What now to enable dual boot option into xp. I assume I merely add an entry for xp using the console and THAT"S ALL ??(ie I do not add or modify the win 7 bootloader entry). I also assume it is ok to set xp as default operating system and to keep boot order in BIOS as is with win7 (??). It seems to simple given the heartache i experienced 2 years ago,so thought I would check before proceeding. Am I also to assume that I will need the restore points patch as well after this ?Out of curiosity where will the BCD bootloader for xp reside -I assume in BOOT C ?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Just boot W7, add an entry for XP in the BCD (let EasyBCD auto configure) and click "save entry".
That's it. Dual booting with W7 as the default.
EasyBCD copies everything necessary from XP into the W7 boot sector. (XP will be unaltered and continue to be stand-alone bootable via the BIOS).
You can use EasyBCD "edit boot menu" to make cosmetic changes to the displayed names, the display order, the default system or the timeout duration, but nothing fundamental changes on either system, only BCD entries are manipulated to your requirements.

Each time XP is booted and able to see W7, it will destroy the W7 backups and restore points. (they both use the same folder name "System Volume Information" but in entirely different incompatible formats). On rebooting W7, it will be forced to repair its own folder(s) and in so doing will break XP's chain and hence destroy XP's points in a never-ending tit-for-tat.

You must prevent XP from being able to see Vista/7/8 by the registry hack.
Set each OS to turn on system restore on the OS partition (and any partition containing apps installed, if that's not the same place) and off for all other partitions.
It's fine for Vista/7/8 to see XP. They're written to be backward compatible and will leave XP's SR points alone, but XP sees the later folders as different (hence corrupted) and will "fix" them for you. Just turning off SR on the W7 partition isn't sufficient. You must prevent XP even knowing that W7 is there.

After doing the above, set a restore point on W7, give it a name you'll recognize, boot XP, boot W7 again and check that your restore point is still there.
 
Last edited:
#11
Hi Terry, Thx for help and reassurance. All went well after following 'recipe'.Only surprise is that winxp continues to 'make' restore points which is good as I mostly use xp. Win7 does not (restore) and I have not yet ventured into 'patch territory'-that will be the next adventure.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
If you don't apply the patch, the next time you boot W7, you'll lose all your XP points too.
It's not that W7 actively breaks XP, but in repairing its own folders, it will break the chain of folders which XP mistakenly thinks are all in its format, and XP will start again from scratch.
Best get it sorted before you find you need a restore point and don't have one.