x2 Windows 7 Dualboot issue

Ok so I've been doing a lot of research on the boot issues with my two W7 OSes.

If you want the back story or possibly need more information click here:
The reason I am posting a new/separate thread in a different portal is not because I am impatient or want an answer quicker: I feel the topic/issue has evolved and does not belong in the other portal and it can be solved and is more topical in this portal.

My problem:
I installed a new version of Windows 7 Pro x64 on a new drive (upgraded to an SSD) because I was thinking my old W7Pro x64 on my HDD would not work when I installed my new motherboard (MSI 890GX BIOSv1.8).

So I UNPLUGGED all my other HDDs and plugged in my new SSD and installed a new version of W7Pro x64. So I think this is where my problem has stemmed from: When I plugged in my HDD with my old W7Pro OS its boot section had not been rewritten and moved to my new drive like it should have been when installing a new OS on a separate drive. From my research, the installation of a new W7 OS will automatically make the necessary changes to the bootmgr and BCD when an old W7 OS is already present on a drive. So I made a mistake when installing my new W7 while my old W7 drive was removed so the W7 install did not change the bootmgr and BCD files that were already present on the old OS but instead setup those files like it was the only OS on the system (which it was while it was installing).

So here is whats up: the old OS is still listed as the 'active' drive and its bootmgr and BCD do not reflect any new installations of W7 so if it is anywhere on the boot menu it will always load regardless of its position (whether it is listed after my new OS or before). So I have taken it off the boot menu so I can boot into my new OS. Both OSes are still bootable so they are not damaged. To my understanding of the boot processes the sequence will look at the active OS first and only/first look at the files in it (bootmgr & BCD).

  1. How do I fix the bootmgr and BCD files and which drive should I fix them on?
  2. Can I use EasyBCD for this? If not, what program will accomplish this?
  3. In my position does it really matter which drive is the active drive as long as the active drive has the correct mootmgr and BCD information?
  4. Will fixing these files remove the out of date bootmgr and BCD files on the other drive or will those files just be bypassed?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
There's an active partition on every drive (or can be). There's only one active partition per device.
"Active" is just a flag which tells the MBR which partition to look in for the boot sector on that HDD. It doesn't mean it's active in the sense of "in use". MS speak says that "boot" means "in use", and "system" means "where the boot files which started this system reside"
Both your W7s will be active/system/boot whenever you boot with that drive top of the BIOS boot sequence, and the other unbooted system will just be active.
Whichever system is top of the boot sequence, you can add a BCD entry for the other system into its BCD, and have a dual-boot menu.
When you boot the other OS (not the first one in the sequence), it will show as "active" and "boot" and the idle system will show as "active" and "system" (because its boot files were used to boot the running system)
Thank you for your help & clarification Terry.

Both OSes were bootable... but now I added the entries and pointed them to the correct drive, respectively, and when I tried to load my HDD OS the computer immediately restarted. So the screen came up again to pick an OS and I picked the SSD OS and it loaded. I then tried the Recovering the Vista Bootloader with EasyBCD.


Step1 did not work to get the HDD to boot and after I tried step 2 I made new entries and repointed them to their correct drive letters and now neither OS will boot. Whichever choice I pick the computer immediately reboots. I tried to use the install disc for the SSD & it told me the version of windows was not correct and to use the correct disc. So now I'm running a tool scan from the bootmgr menu.

Is there any suggestions that you may have that could help?

EDIT: So I unplugged my SSD and plugged in my HDD and it booted right up to my old W7 OS. So I'm guessing it is the SSD boot sequence that is at fault. Now I am afraid to install EasyBCD and use it on this OS for fear of creating the same problem.

As before, any ideas that could be helpful are appreciated. Thank you.
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Why did you try to recover the bootloader if both devices were bootable ?
That's only necessary if you've installed XP or Linux and overwritten the Vista/7 bootloader.
Sounds like you've put invalid information into the BCD entry you added.
Did you specify the disk letter of the new entry as the running system sees the other, not as it sees itself ?
Thank for your timely response.

Both drives were bootable... BUT I couldn't get a screen to come up that let me pick which drive to boot like in a dual boot system. So I used EasyBCD to make that menu come up. It came up on reboot, however it would not boot into the HDD from the boot menu (blank screen then system restarts). That is why I tried to recover the bootloader. That and plenty of ignorance. To be honest I'm a little confused and just looking for some help in solving the problem.

Yea I might have fuddled up the BCD. I made a backup with EasyBCD though, I just don't know how to replace the current BCD on my SSD with the backup I made of it prior to messing it up...

Did you specify the disk letter of the new entry as the running system sees the other, not as it sees itself ?
Yes, of course. I did all of this on my SSD which saw itself as C: and made an entry for that and then an entry for F: which has my other W7 OS.

::tongueout:ulls hair out::


Funny thing:

I went ahead and installed EasyBCD on this drive (HDD) and made entries to the boot locations and now both drives are bootable from the boot menu...:tongueout:oint:

soooo Problem solved I guess. But for anyone trying to solve a similar problem:

On the summary of bootable OSes, even though I had everything pointed to the right location, the file that my SSD was booting into had the extension '.msi' instead of '.exe'. I don't know if that has any relevance whatsoever...

But to avoid this mess: if you're gonna have a simple dual boot system with 2 W7 OSes on separate drives just leave the other drive plugged in while you install to your new drive.

Thank you for your time Terry I appreciate it.
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