Windows 10 dual boot config won't boot after changing boot drive.

#1
I upgraded a dual boot Windows XP + Windows 7 system to Windows XP (Disk E/) + Windows 10 (disk C: ). Disk C: is boot, swap file, crash dump, main partition; Disk E: is system, active, main partition. Everything apparently works fine, but I would like to recover the 150 Gb of Disk E: which I never boot into.
So I downloaded and installed EasyBCD 2.3 to C:, ran EasyBCD, selected BCD Backup/Repair, selected Change boot drive, and clicked Perform Action. I specified disk C: as the new boot drive, and fired it up. It ran about 30 seconds, which seems long for the quantity of data copied, but I imagine the process is very thoroughly secured, and EasyBCD displayed the dialogue box announcing that the copy had been made, and I could restart if there was just one hard disk. This is the case (it's a portable), so I stopped EasyBCD and tried restarting.
Blank screen. Wouldn't boot at all. No Dual boot screen to choose the XP or W10. No disk activity. Nothing.
After a lot of hassle with a Windows 10 installation USB key I got Windows 10 to boot again. I must be a masochist; I tried again, and guess what ! Same result, the machine wouldn't boot at all.
So after making it work again I still have an E: partition which I would like to scrap, and it happens to be the active partition. Given that all the partitions are on one disk, is there an alternative using the Windows Disk Manager, or another function of EasyBCD ? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Can you post a screenshot of MS Disk Management, and copy/paste the contents of EasyBCD "view settings" (detailed mode.)
 
#3
Thanks for your message. A question: I thought I was pôsting to the Forum. Did I make an error ? if so how do I post to the forum ? Thanks in advance for the help.
Microsoft disk management screenshot: its in French. Translation follows:
Sain = healthy, démarrer = boot, fichier d'échange = swapfile, vidage sur incident = crashdump, partition principale = main partition, système = system, actif = active.
upload_2016-4-7_14-44-58.png

Detailed mode screen settings:

upload_2016-4-7_14-46-18.png
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
You are posting to the forum. You must also have your profile set to notify by email for watched threads.
It will have emailed you, not me personally.
Did you observe whether the active flag did move to C: after the EasyBCD "change boot drive" ?
Can you see copied boot files on C: ?
(bootmgr and a \boot folder (containing the BCD) should be there, though you will need folder options set like this to see them)
 
#5
Active flag on C: Getting back to the situation where the computer boots into W10 is not an easily reproducible process... I prefer not to use the EasyBCD copy function if possible...
Here are the screen prints for C: (Windows 10) and E: (Windows XP) at present, where booting goes through the dual boot manager.
Disk C: contains Windows 10, + bootmgr + bootnxt + /boot etc.
The screen dump, 2016 04 08 Folder display disk c.jpg, must be too big to copy here. I've uploaded it instead.

Disk E: contains Windows XP + bootmgr + bootnxt + bootsect.bak + etc.
The screen dump, 2016 04 08 Folder display disk e 1.jpg and 2016 04 08 Folder display disk e 2.jpg must be too big to copy here. I've uploaded them instead.
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
You shouldn't need to use "change boot drive" again, all of the files appear to have been copied to C successfully.
If C is now active you should have succeeded in achieving your aim.
When you boot W10, does it show as "active" "system" and "boot" in Disk Management ?
If so, you should be able to decommission the XP drive or whatever you want to do with it.
If not, where are those flags located ?
 
#7
Thanks for your message. So in Disk management I could activate C: and if necessary disactivate E: and it would work in principle. What ,would be thé tool to boot with to fix C: if this didn't work ?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
Yes, just setting C active should be all you need, but bearing in mind your previous problems, I'd be inclined to have a bootable partition manager handy which you could always use to make E active, if there's a problem.
You can pick up a free one if you don't already have one
Bootable Partition Manager| MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable Edition
Remember, if you're using a Linux-based bootable partition manager like gparted that Linux calls the active flag "boot" which has a completely different definition in Windows.
Disk Management flags have the following meanings

"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"
 
#10
Well it's getting better... The computer boots straight into W10, but it still displays the dual boot choice. I use EasyBCD to go into the boot menu and I find both Windows 10 (default) and XP; would removing XP do the job ?
I can see why the boot menu is displayed, it's the same as before when the E: (XP bootmgr) was fired up first, presumably by XP; this is the bootmgr which was copied to C: (W10).
How about if I set the Skip the boot menu switch as well ?
 
#12
I went ahead and used EasyBCD to edit the boot menu; zapped XP, skipped the boot menu, and it all works... for the moment. I shall wait a few days before zapping the E: partition.
You have an english writing style, yet you apparently work for an american company. A lotus-eater ?
Thanks for your help, Nicholas
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
No, this is a volunteer forum.
I stopped paid employment (IBM technical support) in 1988 and didn't see or touch a computer for 12 years till my dad (now 96) dumped his old Aptiva (W95) on me and I gradually picked up some Windows knowledge. I came here for some support in my first attempt at dual booting Vista and XP. The proprietor (and author) had me fixed up within about 10 minutes of arriving, informed me that he was working on a better way of doing what I wanted (a fudge at that point) and I stuck around and became his alpha tester for about 50 builds of what turned out to be a niche product which did exactly what I wanted but didn't have that many potential other users.
His time wasn't entirely wasted though, because the extensive burrowing into the internals of MS boot and the BIOS code needed to get something that would work on his system and mine eventually transformed a rudimentary EasyBCD1 into the all-singing version 2 which automates everything that used to take "suck it and see" manual intervention.
He btw is Jordanian and was still in college at the time but eventually married a Chicago girl.
Enough of my life story,
I'd untick the "skip menu" option in your place.
Just deleting the XP entry should suffice. Bootmgr doesn't present a menu when there's only one BCD entry (unless there's some minor corruption in the BCD, which is something else EasyBCD can fix)
 
#14
For the moment the result is good. Prior to deleting E: I moved everything into a new folder, and this apparently caused no problems, so I went ahead and zapped E:, and won 150 Gb.
So you worked in technical support for IBM. Those were the days, when you needed a team of SE's to keep the machine running; could have done with and EasyBCD instead of superzap !
 
#15
Incidentally, in my rage to upgrade everything to Windows 10, I used the software provided for cloning a system disk to a SSD by Samsung and by EaseUS; both copied the data, neither made the SSD bootable, even when I followed up by using EasyBCD to make the SSD bootable. Finally, I managed to boot from the SSD by doing a complete new installation of Windows 10. The SSD in question had an MBR. Any ideas why there are these problems of bootability ?
What I did learn is that once a PC has one Authentic Copy of W10 you can reinstall another copy, on an SSD for example, and it inherits the activation key of the original copy, probably obtained over the Internet from their activation server, and not by scanning the other disks on the PC.
Best wishes, Nicholas