Win 7 / XP dual boot configured, but computer reboots once on each OS?

#1
Hi folks,

I have an odd problem where my computer restarts whether I select the Win 7 or XP partition on my hard drive. After the restart if I select the same OS again, it works no problems. Well, until I boot into the other OS and then the problem starts again!

For instance if I select 'Win 7' from the menu, then the computer will begin to load Win 7, but after a few seconds on the windows logo screen, the computer will reboot. Then if I select 'Win 7' again, a 'Repair Windows (Recommended) or Start Windows normally' option appears. If I start normally it will load into Windows 7 without problem!

Now if I always choose Win 7 when starting my computer from now on in then the problem is fixed. But if I select Win XP, then I get the same looping problem again, but this time with XP.

System info:
- Samsung R580 laptop with Win 7 preinstalled, 3GB RAM, 300GB Hard Drive
- Genuine copy of Win XP Pro SP2 on CD

EasyBCD setup:
1. create and format a 50GB partition on the hard drive
2. install XP on the 50GB partition
3. computer now booting only into XP
4. boot computer from Win 7 32-bit repair CD
5. repair Windows 7 and now booting only into Win 7
6. run EasyBCD latest version on Win 7 and add XP profile on D: drive
7. computer now displays boot menu with Win7 and Win XP options
8. select either option and relevant OS starts to load, but computer reboots. select the same OS again and bingo, we're in to that OS when selecting 'start normally'.

If anyone has any ideas on how to sort this they would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

Regards,
Ross
 
#2
I don’t know exactly why that problem is happening. It probably has something to do with switching the active partition back between the Windows XP and Windows 7 partition.

But I believe if you can scrap this setup and start again the following setup should solve the problem.

Make a 100 MB primary boot partition at the front of the drive. Install Windows 7 and use its installers advanced option to make a partition for it. Finish installing Windows 7.

Run the GParted partition editor from a Gparted live CD or any Ubuntu install disc. Partition the rest of the hard disk as an extended partition. Within the extended partition and create a logical partition for Windows XP. Load the Windows XP install disc. Install Windows XP into the partition you made for it. When asked do a quick NTFS format.

Now use the Windows 7 recovery disk or the Windows 7 installed disk to repair the boot into Windows 7. Once back in Windows 7 install Easy BCD and make a boot entry for Windows XP.

That should fix it. Now Windows XP will have its boot files in the same boot partition along with Windows 7 and you won’t have to worry about which primary partition is active because it will stay the same all the time. The active partition will be the boot partition.


Gparted live CD:
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
We've had a number of people with this issue, all of them with 3+ GB of RAM.

It's not related to EasyBCD; we suspect it has something to do with different "versions" of the NTFS file system combined with a filesystem driver issue related to the memory.
 
#4
That’s an interesting theory regarding different versions of the NTFS file system. I don’t see how it could cause a double boot booting problem. If the NTFS file system on the Windows XP partition was out of date then the result would be it’s possible that the user would have a hard time writing to the Windows 7 partition from the Windows XP partition.

I don’t know about Windows 7 but I know that Windows XP when installed will automatically, without asking the user or commenting on it, automatically update all NTFS partitions that are on the system during installation. This can make it difficult to install and XP installation on a system with an older NT installation. The workaround was to use partition Magic to convert the older NTFS partitions to fat 32. Then the XP installation which will not touch the fat 32 partitions. After XP is installed, convert the fat 32 partitions back to NTFS.

Rossco123 did note in his post that he was using Windows XP with service pack two slip streamed into it. Perhaps if he had service pack three slipstreamed into the disc, the driver he needes would be in the install and resolve the issue.

Also, perhaps simply installing service pack three in Windows XP and make sure all the updates are Windows 7 will resolve the issue which is a lot easier than making the slipstream disk unless one wants a fun little project.


Slipstreaming info for Windows XP and Windows 2000:

Steps 1-4:
http://www.winsupersite.com/article/showcase/slipstreaming-windows-xp-with-service-pack-2-sp2.aspx

Then because I didn’t have any the paid burner software I followed the steps below.

http://www.howtohaven.com/system/slipstream-xp-service-pack-3.shtml

Under the section labeled “Create the ImgBurn Project Configuration File” follow the steps absolutely exactly including the name of the folder on the hard drive. And I mean absolutely exactly! When I tried to get cute and name the project on the hard disk something like W2k, I made a coaster
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
All NTFS filesystems are technically compatible with one another. But in the days of Vista, it was known that formatting partitions in a very particular way from XP would cause problems for Vista installations and vice versa.
 
#6
Hi Guys,

Many thanks for all of you help with this, it is greatly appreciated.

Pillars of Creation, I would love to give your suggestion of installing Win 7 and XP using a 100MB primary boot partition a try, but since my Win 7 was pre-installed I don't have an install DVD. I repaired the Win 7 boot using a Win 7 repair CD .iso that I downloaded.

Interestingly when I installed XP I chose not to format the 50GB partition because Win 7 had already done that and I had a few files there I wanted to keep.

I don't know if that would have any bearing on the NTFS version theory, but the XP install went smoothly nonethess. I can read and write to both partitions from either OS without problem as well.

Maybe if I had formatted the 50GB partition during the XP install that would have prevented the issue in the first place?

Ross
 
#7
When I had this problem on my previous motherboard I assumed it was the BIOS changing the order of my harddrives due to having several external USB drives connected. My assumption was they were detected in different order and so it rebuilt the boot order list. I had multiple internal drives and it would change between the 2 bootable drives occasionally. Have not had that problem in current configuration but then I cannot boot to my XP partition at all anymore and that is what I'm trying to fix with EasyBCD.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
Maybe if I had formatted the 50GB partition during the XP install that would have prevented the issue in the first place?

Ross
That's my theory. I personally prefer to manually partition my drive beforehand using Acronis Disk Director, never had any problems that way.
 
#9
rossco123,

“Interestingly when I installed XP I chose not to format the 50GB partition because Win 7 had already done that and I had a few files there I wanted to keep.”

Yes I would use a partition netter like Gparted which is free or Acronis Disk Director which is $50 to make the partition for Windows XP. During the install process let Windows XP format the partition. If you’re in a hurry you can select the quick format which takes about 10 seconds. The full format will check all the clusters and mark any bad clusters as bad. For 50 a GB it might take five minutes. It’s definitely worth doing a full format unless the system is brand-new.

As an aside when I redo a system from scratch I generally use the Windows XP disk to make a single partition and do a full format. This will check the entire hard disk for bad clusters. The hard disk manufacturers diagnostic utility should also do this as well but the the Windows XP disk will always work regardless of the hard disk type. Then I partition up the hard disk as needed.
 
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#10
Thanks for the info guys, I will try a re-install of XP when I get a chance and do a full format of the 50GB partition during the setup.

I'm not sure I'll be able to use the partition utilities mentioned though because I don't think Win 7 will allow me to delete the 50GB partition and then extend the C: drive over it.

When I first bought the laptop I had to specify a partition size for the D: drive during initial setup, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered with the 50GB partition at all. I thought this was a bit curious at the time, but there was no way around it.

Anyway, I will let you know how I get on later in the week when I try XP again.

Many thanks,

Regards,
Ross
 
#11
“I'm not sure I'll be able to use the partition utilities mentioned though because I don't think Win 7 will allow me to delete the 50GB partition and then extend the C: drive over it.”

When you boot to a third-party partitioning program running off a self booting CD you have full access to the hard disk and you can do whatever you want. You can delete any partition you want. In your situation you can delete and then re-create the 50 GB partition.

Drive letters are really a construct of Windows. They aren’t real in the sense that partitions are.


“I'm not sure I'll be able to use the partition utilities mentioned though because I don't think Win 7 will allow me to delete the 50GB partition and then extend the C: drive over it.”

You don’t want to extend the C drive over anything. Drive letters are assigned by the Windows operating system.
 
#12
Right I'm with you now Pillars of Creation, I have a program called Parted Magic Live CD that I've used in the past when changing partition sizes, that should do the trick.

Also, I'm thinking back to my install of XP and one thing I remember is the computer actually rebooted after it had completed the initial part of the setup before the install. You know when it loads all the drivers just before going to the screen where you pick where to install XP and you can mess around with partitions. The 'Loading Windows...' message came up and then the computer restarted, but worked second time around. Maybe it detected that something wasn't right with the 50GB partition?

Who knows, anyway, will follow your advice and let you know my results.
 
#13
Hi,


Hi folks,

I have an odd problem where my computer restarts whether I select the Win 7 or XP partition on my hard drive. After the restart if I select the same OS again, it works no problems. Well, until I boot into the other OS and then the problem starts again!

For instance if I select 'Win 7' from the menu, then the computer will begin to load Win 7, but after a few seconds on the windows logo screen, the computer will reboot. Then if I select 'Win 7' again, a 'Repair Windows (Recommended) or Start Windows normally' option appears. If I start normally it will load into Windows 7 without problem!

Now if I always choose Win 7 when starting my computer from now on in then the problem is fixed. But if I select Win XP, then I get the same looping problem again, but this time with XP.
I have the same problem with my Samsung E152 Aura Notebook.

Maybe it's a problem with drivers? (It's suspicious that my notebook is a Samsung as well, isn't it?)


I installed XP after Windows 7 and created the partition for XP with GParted, just like described in apc mag.

I had the exact same problem that rossco123 described in his last post (computer rebooted after having loaded the initial part of the XP install setup before the installation of XP).


Addendum:


so i finally found out why it's not working.

XP and windows 7 were installed with different AHCI settings in the bios. so windows 7 has AHCI enabled, whereas xp doesn't. if it's set to "automatic" in the bios it actually detects the right mode AFTER the system crash. if you select the right settings yourself both systems boot, but you always have to manually change the settings when changing between both systems.

it is possible to install AHCI drivers for xp after its installation - i guess i chose the wrong controller from the driver list - xp won't boot, but i'm sure i'll be able to fix it. you should set the drive controller to RAID or AHCI BEFORE installing xp.

haven't tested it yet, I'll let you know when i did. i don't have the XP install disk with me... unfortunately!

cheers!

Addendum:

i found a way to reboot to xp (start with last known configuration) and install the right AHCI controller. this solved the problem for me.
 
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Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#14
I have my controllers set to IDE (AHCI and RAID are the other choices) and am wondering why you would pick AHCI if you aren't using RAID?
 
#15
For the installation of Windows7 AHCI support was picked automatically. The bios says that the option for the support should be enabled for Windows7 and disabled for WindowsXP. If its disabled the system will not support NCQ of modern hard drives. NCQ improves hard drive speed. Intel even recommends choosing RAID mode on their motherboards (which also enables AHCI) rather than AHCI/SATA mode for maximum flexibility.
 
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Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#16
Well that's a very weird BIOS if it tells you that as it's the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. BIOS settings should remain constant throughout multiple boots as they apply to the motherboard generally, not dependent on different OS's. I quad boot 2 Vista and 2 Win 7 and within 2 of those I have XP VM's and never had this issue arise.

If you aren't using RAID I recommend you set the BIOS to IDE.

Addendum:

Doing a bit of research and found this..

To actually use AHCI, the OS (whether that's Windows, Linux or whatever) has to have an AHCI driver. Windows Vista and 7 include the driver, but don't install it if the boot drive's controller doesn't have AHCI enabled. Similarly, the IDE driver doesn't get installed if the IDE controller is disabled. That's why you can't just toggle the setting in the BIOS on an already installed Windows system.
For the marginal and doubtful increase in speed and flexibility using AHCI and the fact that you need to find a driver externally in order to use it with XP, I wouldn't even consider it..
 
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#17
I of course agree that BIOS settings should remain constant throughout reboots.

I just wanted to point out that if this specific (Samsung) BIOS setting is on "automatic" it (automatically) supports IDE if you install WindowsXP and AHCI if you install Windows7, which is (as you mentioned) pretty weird. Booting between those two systems will cause the error this topic is about. So one should decide for IDE or AHCI in the BIOS before setting up your operating systems.

Deciding for IDE or AHCI is of course a topic of its own - in my case I installed Windows7 first (AHCI enabled - which i didn't know at that time) and then XP (AHCI automatically disabled due to the weird BIOS). Since I did not want to uninstall either XP or Win7 + Intel supports a stable AHCI driver + I only found a tutorial for installing AHCI drivers for XP (and not IDE for Win7) I decided to use AHCI and I am quite content with this solution though I of course see the point why you would not consider to use AHCI.
 
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Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#18
Well if it works for you then that's fine, but I most likely would have forced the BIOS to use IDE. My Win 7's all have the AHCI drivers alive and well, albeit unused.