Win7 / XP Pro dual HDD boot issue: Win7 won't boot

I have Win7 and WinXP Pro on two separate HDDs. The bootloader that came with Win7 worked until I did a repair install of XP. That's when I got EasyBCD, and installed in on the Win7 drive. The Win7 drive is the default boot drive. A few days ago I was on XP and hit restart and walked away. Upon my return several minutes later the PC was still on the Win7 start window, long after it should have booted. I shut it off and tried to start the PC with the same result. It takes a long time for it to get to the boot menu, and longer to get to the "starting windows" screen, where it stays. I have run startup repair from disc and from Win7.

I just got to your forums and discovered that I can attempt a fix from XP with EasyBCD. It's installed, but I want some advise before I continue to prevent me from losing access to both OSs.

Running Win XP, in the "View Settings" section of EasyBCD the entries in the bootloader appear as:

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 35 seconds
Boot Drive: D:\

Entry 1
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {c140b9fe-c1c5-11de-8181-9b0dbc2af7b5}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr

Is it correct that the entries should be shown as on the same HDD? How should I proceed from here?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Yes, the BCD is correct
If you are booting XP via the W7 BCD, then no matter how slow, there's not a boot problem that needs repairing, from W7, the DVD or XP.
You say that W7 starts, but hangs at the blue "welcome" screen?

which sounds like there's been an accidental change of system disk letter in W7.
If so, it should get far enough to run regedit, and you can check whether this applies
How to restore the system/boot drive letter in Windows

If you're also saying that the system is taking longer than usual to offer you a boot menu, then it would indicate a possible problem with the HDD.
Did you change the physical connections on the HDDs while you were fixing XP ?
Check first, before doing anything else, that W7 and XP are in the same positions as they were before the reinstall, using the same SATA connections as before.

Did you change any BIOS settings when you reinstalled XP ?
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The sata connections are the same. I checked the link. I'm not sure how to get to regedit without booting W7.

Now there is another problem. Impatient dummy that I am, I used the Reset BCD option on the repair page of Easy BDC. When I entered the boot devices it only lets me enter one, with an error: not enough resources.

No bios changes.
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If the problem is as mentioned before, then the W7, though not reaching logon or the desktop, will allow you to run regedit from the run command.
First and foremost, thank you for your time.

Let me just go through all of this for the sake of clarity. The information in my original post is accurate. I tried to "correct" my situation by using easyBCD from XP. The result was as posted above. When I tried the Win7 HDD as boot drive it couldnt find any boot info. I booted from the W7 disc and it repaired the boot info. I ran startup repair 3 times from the disc. No problems found. Tryed to boot W7 again and the situation was the same as before. I changed the boot sequence to boot from the XP drive and tried W7. Same Situation. Windows boot manager has been restored to this drive, apparently.

Are you suggesting that the drive letter that w7 identifies itself as is incorrect? Are you also saying that I can access regedit on w7 from command prompt? Should I do it from disc or the HDD? The link above sends me to a page for changing the XP registry.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If your W7 system goes through the normal boot selection, completes the animated "Starting Windows" screen then hangs before logon and desktop can complete, you should find that you can run regedit at that stage.
Those symptoms are indicative of an accidental change of the system's registry entry of its own partition letter.
You can fix it with regedit.
It doesn't matter that the linked example is for XP. The registry keys are the same for Vista/7.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Do you have a "start" button ?(try the Windows key)
That makes sense. Just let me run this by you before I try it. On my system in that (W7) registry there would be normally a C drive (W7), a D drive (XP inactive of course when running W7), an E (DVD ROM) and an external HDD F. What is the probable scenario here as far as the registry entries? Are there two mounted D drives, or have the drive letters simply been reversed? Should I physically disable all of the other drives before attempting this?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
It never uses the same letter twice, so you will just have the wrong internal drive as C, and you'll need to free up C and rename the other (probably D) to C
It doesn't really matter about the others. They aren't stopping the system from booting and they can be simply assigned to whatever you want in Disk Management once W7 gets past the logon if they're not already on their "normal" letters.