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Old 08-11-09, 11:44 PM   #1
MasterAlex
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Default Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

So here's the deal: My computer will not boot into Windows.

I have a 250 GB HDD and a 500 GB HDD. the 250 GB had Vista x64 on it and then I partitioned it with Acronis (after backing it up to the 500 GB HDD) so I could install Windows 7 x64 on the smaller (about 55 GB) partition that I have just made. That didn't work so I reformatted my 250 with Acronis (the backup that I had) and tried to install Win7 on the 250 and just make a small partition from the installation screen. Now when I try to boot up there is just a black screen with a white blinking hash mark in the upper left corner. When I use a boot disk it does show that there is partition on the 250 GB and both Vista and 7 are installed, but for some reason I can't seem to boot to them.

Long story short: I want to be able to dual boot to windows vista or windows 7. How do I do that?


If you didn't read that paragraph basically I have Vista and 7 installed in two partitions on one HDD and it wont boot, and I would like it to be able to boot into either one.


sorry if this isn't the right forum to post in
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Old 08-12-09, 12:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

Looking for the simpliest answer first, did you check your boot priority in the BIOS to insure that the drive with the OSs is the drive being booted to? If so, it appears that something went wrong in the boot.ini. Maybe that can be fixed in the Recovery Console.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

ya, the bios only recognizes the one drive as a whole, not as two separate drives.

any idea what i would need to do to fix the boot.ini?
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Old 08-12-09, 09:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

Hmm, if it only sees one of the two physical drives, first figure out which one that it is? It sounds as though the one showing up is the 500GB, not the one with the installations on them. The first thing would be to check the connections. If they are clean and tight, then I would replace the cables. If that doesn't fix it, I'm not sure what next, because you said that the boot disk does see the installations, so I would assume that means that the drive itself is okay. That would only leave the detection of the HD by the MB itself, and unless the MB is defective, that would only leave the smart data on the HD.

If worse came to worse, I would just try installing only one OS with only one HD connected and see what happens. If that works, then install the second OS on the other HD with the first HD disconnected and cross your fingers. (If this works, then connect both HDs and use the F8 Boot Menu to select which OS to boot to)

EDIT: After rereading you last post, just to be sure that I understood... since the BIOS doesn't see OSs, it sees only harddrives, I'm assuming that one of the harddrives is not appearing, which is the one with the installations. If that is the case, then the boot.ini is not the problem.
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Old 08-12-09, 07:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

I think I miscommunicated that. The BIOS sees a 250GB and a 500GB. Not 3 drives; I'm not an expert on HDD's so I'm not sure if it should see the 250GB as two or not (the new partition is an active partition)
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Old 08-12-09, 09:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

Within the BIOS settings, it ONLY sees harddrives, not partitions. Even the F8 Boot Menu doesn't see partitions either, only bootable devices. The boot menu, that appears after selecting a drive on F8, displays ONLY the bootable options on the HD selected. Non-bootable partitions are invisible to the BIOS and everything else, until you reach desktop and use Computer Management, a file manager or some other disk software utilities to access them. To a degree, non-bootable partitions can also be accessed by some bootable utilities, without booting an OS, but I know of no other way to do so.

Therefore, since both HDs are visible to the BIOS, assuming that the OSs have been properly installed on the HDs, then we can fall back to the items that I listed in post #4 above. When you spoke of 3 drives above, that is an erroneous thought and statement. Partitions can be spoken of as volumes, not as drives.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

Well,

The problem isn't with the 500 GB HDD being in there. But when I tried to fix the mbr and the bcd the vista partition works, but the win7 gives me errors saying it needs a checkdisk and then it just restarts and goes back to the blinking hashmark.
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Old 08-13-09, 02:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

You must understand that I'm having to do alot of guessing, because I can't see exactly what you see, and the conversation between us seems to be going in circles somewhat. The confusion is thickened by the fact that at one point, we are talking about both OSs being on one drive, and the next, we are talking about them being on separate drives...it needs to be only one way or the other, because your computer is getting as confused as I am. I'm making assumptions and that isn't a good way to go.

The 500GB HD shouldn't have any effect whatsoever as to whether Vista on the 250GB boots, unless somehow it was left connected during the installation of W7 (which should not have been the case). Forget about W7 for the moment...does Vista now work with both drives connected? If so, despite the fact that you wanted both OSs on one drive, is there a reason that you can't install W7 on the 500GB instead? If not, then leave Vista as is, but do the W7 installation with the Vista drive DISCONNECTED during the installation, then reconnect afterward.

Now test the boot on both OSs using the F8 method to choose each of them, but disregard W7 on the Vista drive. Having the OSs separated in this manner is the most reliable method of dual boot available.
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Old 08-13-09, 07:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Attempt at a dual boot with Vista/7

Vista and 7 are installed on the same 250GB HDD and vista works just fine (besides the fact that it wants to check disk when it boots up). Win7 is also installed on the same drive and gives errors when booting up. If I do a check disk then it gets back to the blinking hashmark
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