WinXP overriding mbr menu each time I boot it?


Hey all,

I've apparently spent too much time on my linux box and totally neglecting my Windows knowledge.

In an attempt to install an XP dual boot on an existin Windows 7 machine, I nearly screwed the pooch, despite following many guides.

I've recovered to the point now where, apparently for some reason I have three bootable drives (???) but thats' more my OCD being irritated than an actual issue

The actual issue, is that in order for me to get back into Windows 7, I have to use a recovery cd, let it 'fix' the MBR, at which point I get -tada- the normal choose your OS screen. From that point I can continue to log in to windows 7, and if I restart, I get the option screen again. Everythings spiffy. But as soon as I boot into XP, I totally lose that menu system unless I reuse the windows 7 cd to repair the MBR again. It just autoboots to XP.

Thoughts? Ideas? Random links of Tyranid porn? No I'm kidding on the last one. Please don't send those.

I could really use some help. I'm a bit embarrassed about this one. I nearly fragged my laptop trying to dual boot Vista/Debian some time back and had to manually rebuild MBR's to get it working again.

This time I'm coming to the pro's rather than going it alone.

Thank you guys, in advance. You're awesome.
Sounds like you've simply got the XP HDD above the W7 HDD in the BIOS boot sequence.
All three are SATA drives, and my BIOS doesn't let me pick which SATA drive boots first, it just boots to hard drive first.

However, the drive containing 7 is first on the SATA Drive list.
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modern BIOSs are multi-layered.
At the top level CD - HDD - USB preferential sequence
then drill down into each and you should be able to prioritize within each type.
If you can't ( I seem to remember someone complaining that Dell (I think) suppress the user's ability to change the boot sequence), then swap the sata cables between the XP HDD and the W7.
The SATA channel sequence is not relevant to the boot priority sequence btw.
I used to boot from SATA 4, till I recently added a HDD and swapped a few cables around.