Win7 + XP dual boot problem

Can someone please help me with a dual boot problem I've been having for about a month (since Win7 came out)? For history, I had XP installed on my primary drive. I used gparted to split it, and then I ran the Win7 beta followed by Win7 RC on the second partition. But then when I got a real version of Win7, I backed up both partitions, blew away and reformatted the hard drive, and did a clean install of Win7 (no other partitions on that drive).

For a while after Win7 was installed, I could only boot to the hard drive when the Win7 Install DVD was in my DVD drive. Eventually I got that fixed but I can't recall how. I might have booted to the Win7 install DVD and repaired the install, but then again, I have both EasyBCD and VistabootPro on my system, and I *may* have used those to fix the first problem - or even I recall doing some BCDedit commands along the way.

But one of my applications still wouldn't run on Win7 (or even the virtual XP mode), so I decided to reinstall XP on a second hard drive. Now XP will boot with the XP install DVD in the DVD drive, but if the XP DVD is not in there, it will give me the menu, but will only boot to Win7 under the default timeout or selecting Windows 7.

I do get a menu at boot time for Windows 7 and Windows XP. Again, Win7 boots, but when I select XP, something flashes quickly on screen, but then the PC reboots. It happens so fast I can't catch the message.

From reading the sticky, I tried booting into XP and using the "How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first)..." solution. I followed the instructions, thought maybe I had it fixed, but upon reboot, the same symptoms.

Entering XP again the next time, and EasyBCD can't find anything. Nothing in the View Settings window. Yet I can still boot and get the menu options from before.

So from the Win7 side, here's my Detailed BCD Settings info:


Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
path \bootmgr
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
default {0a85ad20-c5ca-11de-9604-cc47da7e9628}
resumeobject {c35d8045-c5b9-11de-9215-806e6f6e6963}
displayorder {0a85ad20-c5ca-11de-9604-cc47da7e9628}
timeout 15

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {0a85ad20-c5ca-11de-9604-cc47da7e9628}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate
locale en-US
recoveryenabled Yes
testsigning No
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {c35d8045-c5b9-11de-9215-806e6f6e6963}

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
device partition=D:
path \ntldr
description Windows XP


In the disk management od the administrative tools I have:
Disk 0: Z: Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)
Disk 1: D: Healthy (Active, Primary Partition) - also has a 33MB Healthy (Primary Partition) without a file system
Disk 2: V: Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)
Disk 3: C: Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)

Disk 3 (C:smile: is where Win7 is installed, Disk 1 (D:smile: is where XP is installed.

Also note that in XP the drive letters are all scrambled. I didn't write them down, but if I recall:
Win7 C: = XP F:
Win7 Z: = XP C:
Win7 V: = XP ???? (don't recall)
and D: is the same in both.

Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.



Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to NST whiten,

Please grab the latest version of EasyBCD from [thread=642]here[/thread]. In Windows 7 add a new XP entry on the Add/Remove entires page and let EasyBCD autoconfigure. You can delete the old XP entry.
Tried but no success

Welcome to NST whiten,

Please grab the latest version of EasyBCD from [thread=642]here[/thread]. In Windows 7 add a new XP entry on the Add/Remove entires page and let EasyBCD autoconfigure. You can delete the old XP entry.
Thanks for the suggestion. I did download the latest beta and installed it and followed your suggestion. The interesting thing is that the autoconfigure directed the bootloader for XP to the same hard drive as Win7 was on. Not surprisingly then, when I rebooted and selected XP, I got a screen from the bootloader that /ntldr wasn't found.

I manually changed the XP drive to D: and that returned me to the flash of something followed by a reboot.

Could the problem be in the boot.ini file that's on the XP hard drive? Since my D: drive has that second unformatted partition on it, maybe the partition info in that file is wrong? Does the ntldr still look at the boot.ini file? I'll bet so. I had been assuming that the new vista bootloader takes care of everything, but maybe when ntldr is called it still looks at the boot.ini file?

I'd love some feedback if anyone cares to comment, but otherwise I'll try learning about and playing with boot.ini tonight and see what a happens



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
It's supposed to point to the same drive as the bootmanager. The BCD doesn't point to XP. It points to copies of the XP boot files in the "system" partition. They point to XP.
Can you post Disk Management and "view settings" details from W7, as detailed in the last point of the sticky thread.
EasybCD 2.0 Beta should have created boot.ini, NTLDR, and in the root of the C: (W7) partition. Have you looked in it, with hidden files and folders shown and protected system files unhidden in the Folder Options of the Control Panel, to verify that this is the case? You are definitely booting from the W7 (not XP) HDD.
They are there

I looked on my Win7 drive in the root folder and those files are indeed there.

Here's what boot.ini has in it:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on D:\" /fastdetect
And you still get the NTLDR missing error when attempting to boot XP from the W7 boot menu?
What's the size of the NTLDR?
It works now


Yes, I still got the message (this is only part of it):

Windows failed to start. To fix the problem...

File: \ntldr
Status: 0xc000007b
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.

Given your question, I pulled ntldr off my D: drive (loaded there myself from the \I386 directory on my XP drive. It was a different size than the ntldr file that BCDEasy 2.0 installed on the C: drive. I rebooted. Black screen this time when I selected Windows XP. So then I looked at It was also a different size, so I copied it from by D: drive to the C: drive.

Rebooted, and *poof* off it went into XP!!!

So I'm fixed. Thanks for all the help!

I have attached a screen shot of the properties of the ntldr that BCDEasy installed, but I've also attached the ntldr and that I pulled off my XP disk that got things working. - Oops, scratch that, the system won't let me upload those files, so I've uploaded a copy of the properties. Please let me know if you'd like any more info or to send the files another way.

Again, thanks!


So the 290 KB NTLDR is the one that Easy created, and the other one is the one you copied from the XP partition? And the NTDETECT.COM is the one you copied from XP (not the one created by Easy)? What was the size of the NTDETECT.COM created by EasyBCD?


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Can you please send me your (working) NTLDR and NTDETECT in a zip file to (Or upload the ZIP attachment here)

Many, many thanks :smile:
Sending files later

I just checked in and see the two messages. The file names of my attachments indicate which ones were XP (xxxx-XP.jpg). Sorry I didn't post the ntdetect window (I was in a bit of a rush this morning to get out the door).

I will zip up the files tonight when I get home and get them out to you.

Again, I really do appreciate your help, as I had been searching the web and looking for answers off and on for a few weeks. Somehow I missed that those three files needed to be on the Win7 drive and not the XP drive. That was the key!

So I just rebooted twice trying to go into XP. It worked only one out of two times. I'll have to try more times, but it *might* be that with EasyBCD 2.0 files it would have worked had I tried it more.

Just wanted to give you a heads up before you fry too many brain cells trying to figure out the difference between yours and mine.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
You should find EasyBCD's copy of NTLDR and NTDETECT in \Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\Profiles, if you'd like to give them another try.

You should find EasyBCD's copy of NTLDR and NTDETECT in \Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\Profiles, if you'd like to give them another try.

Are those files created there once you do the auto-configure, or are they already there after installation of EasybCD?
You should find EasyBCD's copy of NTLDR and NTDETECT in \Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\Profiles, if you'd like to give them another try.

I renamed my XP versions to _old and then copied those from the EasyBCD directory that you pointed me to into the root directory.

I then rebooted, and sure enough the one time I tried booting into XP it booted fine. So your files will work sometimes and mine from the XP install DVD work sometimes. Hmmm....

However, I have yet to have a problem selecting Windows 7 and getting into my primary OS.

Sorry to not give you more statistics now, but I've been limited in time due to work constraints. Maybe over the weekend I'll have more time.

While intermittently booting into XP presents an interesting academic question, since I don't expect to go into XP more than a few times a month at most, I'm not too worried about it. With that said, if you have any suggestions to fix this, I'll be all ears.

Thanks... Happry Friday!
Ahh...ok. Thanks, Justin. :smile: