Win7 + Activation + Boot Manager Problem


I have Windows 7 installed on HD:7 and Windows XP on HD:XP.

EasyBCD Is installed on Windows 7.

XP was installed before I installed 7 and Vista before that (on HD:Vista - now formatted). That said, the Boot manager was in HD:XP. When I installed 7 it used the boot manager from HD:XP instead of copying in HD:7.

EasyBCD Is installed on Windows 7.

Everything worked fine, activation worked OK, but I have to select HD:XP as the boot disk in the Bios to be able to boot either 7 or XP. If I try to boot from HD:7 I get the error that Boot Manager is missing.

To fix this I disconnected HD:XP and booted from the the 7 DVD to repair the start up. It did repair it after two restarts, and I can boot fine now from HD:7 only.

The problem now is that Activation is lost when I boot from HD:7 (using the bios). If I boot from HD:XP, I get the boot options (7 and XP) and I can login to XP or 7. If I boot 7 from that Boot Manager activation is fine.

How can I fix this?

Can I copy the boot manager from HD:XP to HD:7 and still be able to boot from HD:7 and keep the activation intact?

Thanks in advanced!



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Wilfredo, welcome to NST
When you boot from the W7 HDD, install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build and add an XP entry. When it offers, accept the auto-configuration of the XP boot.
Thanks for the answer.

If I boot from the W7HDD, keep in mind that windows is not activated, while if I boot from the XPHDD and select W7 then Windows is activated.

If I boot from the W7HDD and add the XP entry, will the activation be back?



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Sorry Wifredo, what exactly do you mean by activation ?
Do you mean activation as in the attached screenshot ?
If so, your W7 is either activated or not. The status can't change if you boot the OS from a different disk. The activation status will be encrypted somewhere in a registry key and not influenced by the boot process.


Exacltly. Windows is activated if I boot from W7HDD, but if I boot using the XP HD, then Windows is not activated, weird, no?

This is the answer I got from a forum:

"Windows 7 uses an internal system change algoritm to keep track of changes taking place in an activated installation. Probably when you change the BIOS on you system and boot from a different disk you pass the tresshold of allowed system changes and Windows 7 requires reactivation. To Windows 7 your changes are considedered as booting from another system. You are back in the state you activated when you boot from HD:XP.

You can call to request activation of the system when booted from HD:7, but this will cause the Windows 7 installation to request activation when you boot from HD:XP again. Microsoft activation support will provide you an activation code when you tell them what happened and that you need to reactivate."

I just want to see if I can boot from W7 HD without the activation problem, right now I need to boot from the XP HD and select W7 at the boot screen.



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
That's certainly weird - we've never had a member experience a problem like that!

Anyway, the solution is simple.

Boot into 7 in the way that leaves it "activated." Run EasyBCD from there, and have it configure your bootloader to add an XP entry. That should do the trick.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
That's really bad news if they're lowering the threshold trigger..
I've had older OSs require reactivation when I changed the HDD they were installed on, but not when the OS was merely booted from a different disk.
Anyway, when you reactivate from the W7 HDD boot, you shouldn't get further problems because you won't go back to booting from the XP HDD, you'll be booting both W7 and XP from the W7 HDD permanently. The re-activation should validate automatically without the need to phone MS.
My Vista (which is OEM builder version and therefore tied to my hardware) revalidated OK when I shuffled my multi-boot and it ended up on the other HDD from where it had started.
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