I want to remove 1st drive from boot sequence


New Member
I already had a Windows dualboot system with an old copy of win xp home on drive 1, then added xp pro to a second drive. I then added Win 7 RC as a third OS on the second drive. I ended up with 2 separate boot menus. Win 7's bootmgr offers 2 choices of Win 7 and previous OSes. If I choose previous OSes, then ntldr display's my original boot menu from which I can choose between the the original XP Home on drive 1 or XP Pro on drive 2. I want to remove the first drive from the boot sequence.

Before installing Win 7, I made the mistake of not unplugging the first drive and formatting the Win 7 partition in xp. This put all the needed boot files on the first drive and my guess is that the second drive has an xp IPL and both partitions have an xp PBR.

If I make the second drive the boot hard drive and set the first partition as active system and copy the XP boot files (boot.ini, ntldr, and ntdetect.com), and the Win 7 boot files (bootmgr, and BCD) from the system partition of drive 1 to that partition, will this give me a working system? (of course the boot.ini will need editing out the extra xp entry) Also, will ntlldr ignore both PBRs and jump directly to Windows in the System32 folder?

Steps to remove the first drive from the boot sequence:
1) make the second drive the boot hard drive and set the first partition as active system
2) copy the boot files over from the old system drive. (Use Disk Management from Win 7 to check whichever partition is "system" ), your XP boot files (boot.ini, ntldr, and ntdetect.com) are on that partition. So copy them over from XP's partition root)
2) boot from the Win 7 DVD, and run Startup Repair (with the Win 7 drive still the first HDD in the boot sequence) to put Win 7's boot back in charge, and you should be able to boot into Win 7.
3) (if I don't get to a menu in which to select to boot into either XP or Win 7) use EasyBCD from Win 7 to add 2 new entries to the Win 7 boot menu to boot XP. (Do this though with the latest Beta build of EasyBCD autoconfigure, so I won't have to manually.)


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi mjcjr, welcome to NST.
You shouldn't need to manually copy any files (step2)
The W7 "repair" will put all the W7 files back with the OS, and the EasyBCD auto-configure will put all of the XP stuff in the right place. If EasyBCD can only see one XP that's all it will put in boot.ini . If you leave both systems connected it will create two entries and you'll get a second boot menu.