Win7 mbr missing

Hello all, I'm new here.
Dual boot of XP SP3 32bit and Win7 Ultimate 64x. No problems were had at all. Well, but not for long.
Few days ago I had to reinstall XP which replaced boot files with its own mbr. Nothing new. But when I installed EasyBCD I couldn't get Win7 to boot. I did what wiki said (Installing XP as a second OS, Newer versions of Windows), but for naught. No mbr, programme can't find any, only XP files. Even though Win7 entry is present the window pops up with the message:

Unable to obtain exclusive access to [drive letter]\Windows\Boot\DVD\PCAT\BCD. If this is a removable disc, try ejecting and reinserting it and then try again.

Is there anything I can do with EasyBCD? Or should I repair-install or just reinstall Win7?


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Where/when do you see this message? Can you provide a screenshot?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Check EasyBCD > Tools > Options
Make sure you don't have an override in the "automatically load ....." field.
Looks like you're using the "proto" BCD used to create the real one during Setup.
You can use EasyBCD > File > Load system BCD to ensure you're trying to update the correct copy.
Oh, there had been a line in that field, so I unchecked it.
However, when I try to load BCD as you told me, just another window pops up about inability to find/open the BCD file, prompting me to find it manually, while showing 0 entries. Does that mean no OS would boot then at the PC start-up?



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
That message occurs when EasyBCD fails to find a BCD on the "active" partition of the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence, which suggests that you've got your BIOS boot priorities set incorrectly.
Make sure that the BIOS is set to find the drive with your boot files before any other and EasyBCD should locate it without a problem. Until you do that you can manually navigate to the correct location when you see that message.
Ok, I've tried that and set Win7 disk first, but then OS won't boot. BIOS just gives me the message:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please reinstall a copy of the above file."

Now, after reverting to the original state, I can't boot XP at all, shows message about missing NTLDR file.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
That shows that your W7 disk still has an XP MBR format, so you haven't successfully reinstated the W7 boot process.
Did you do this after installing XP
Fixing the Windows Bootloader via the setup DVD
(you'll probably need to do it 3 times, as it explains somewhere)
Nope, I had thought that just using EasyBCD and doing the stuff from those two entries I've linked is enough to restore Win7 MBR.
I'm gonna do this when I'll have a bit of time on my hands (I mean, only that repair stuff, as I can't boot into XP now, well, maybe I'll try repairng XP and check the EasyBCD repair tools)
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O.K. now, crisis averted (at least for the time being). The repair disk was enough to restore missing files and after that I reapplied EasyBCD treatment to XP form Win7 to find new MBR localisation.
Now I know what should I do if the problem arises.
Thanks for your time and help; it was very simple solution of which I could think myself, which makes me look dumb now.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member