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  • Problem with dual boot

    Posted on Slowpoke47 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Problem with dual boot

    This topic contains 24 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Slowpoke47 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    • #335675 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      Running W7 HP 64 bit on Dell desktop, on a second HD, installed alongside the original Vista HD several years ago.  Today, removed the original Vista HD and installed a new blank drive which is now successfully loaded with Linux Mint.

      During the installation, I unplugged the W7 HD inside the case, to be sure the new install went on the new HD.  Both drives now connected, Mint working ok but BIOS can no longer open the W7 drive. Although that drive shows up in the boot order, it is highlighted in red as “disabled.”  Connections to this drive checked twice, still no joy.  What’s my next move?

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

    • #335691 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      With the Windows drive turned on and connected, boot into Mint, then open a terminal window (command prompt), and type:

      sudo update-grub

      Enter your password, and in a few moments, it should say Found Windows Boot Manager on /dev…

      If so, you’re good!  That should be all that is needed to pick up the Windows installation and have a menu appear at boot time where you can choose Windows or Mint.

      The bootloader for the Windows drive wasn’t touched during the Mint installation, so it will still boot if the system is told to boot from that drive.

      When the Linux installation took place, the installer switched it to point to its own bootloader, which is also what you would want for a dual-boot setup.  It’s the Linux boot that handles the GRUB boot menu, but GRUB doesn’t currently know there is Windows in the system, since Windows was not there at install time.  That update-grub command will tell it to look for other operating systems and configure the boot menu accordingly, the same as it did during the installation of Mint.

      To get into Windows without the menu, you only have to start your UEFI /BIOS firmware setup utility, and set Windows Boot Manager to be the first boot option (UEFI), or the Windows drive (BIOS).

      Good luck. You’re almost there!

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

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    • #335778 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks for the quick response.  The command prompt sequence in Linux that you cite generates several lines, found.. etc. followed by “done” but the BIOS still can’t find the W7 drive and boots straight to Linux.

      On startup, I think you’re telling me to go into BIOS, which is no problem, but I don’t see the option to set Windows Boot Manager, actually that term is not there.  I did try the options that are offered, but they all result in Linux.

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

    • #335815 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      As stated, neither of the sequences you suggest let the system “find” the W7 drive.  On bootup, there are two choices to get into BIOS.  F2 (Setup) has nothing usable for this problem.  F12 (Boot options) instructs, “please select boot device” and gives this menu:

      SATA: WDC…(the rest omitted, this is the Linux drive)

      SATA: WDC…(same as above, this is the W7 drive, flagged as disabled)

      CD/DVD: TSSTcorp DVD….(balance omitted)

      Diagnostics  (runs many tests)

      Boot to utility partition (this also loads Linux)

      Enter setup (this is F2 as above)

       

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

    • #335852 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      If you try to select the disabled Windows boot drive in the boot options, does it do anything?  I’m not sure how that works with it being disabled but still showing in the boot options as such.  There is wild variation in the way different PCs handle the boot options– I have four UEFI machines, and they are all different, very different, from one another.

      If you go into Mint and enter ‘disks’ into the main menu to run the GNOME disk utility, can you see the Windows drive listed from there, in the left pane of the window?  If not, I don’t know how specifically to enable the drive, since I can’t see the options in front of me as a reference.  There should be some kind of option to enable it in the BIOS/UEFI setup, if it is really and truly disabled.

      Now, about Windows Boot Manager not showing up in Linux or the UEFI/BIOS.  If it’s not because the Windows drive is completely disabled (in which case it would not show up at all in GNOME disks), I would guess that since Vista was installed first, Windows 7 ended up putting the bootloader only on the Vista drive.  Once that drive was removed, there’s no Windows bootloader anymore! Without that, Linux won’t recognize the Windows installation, and it won’t show in the system boot options.

      The easiest way I’ve found to install a Windows bootloader is to use a Macrium Reflect (Free edition) bootable USB drive and select “Fix Windows boot problems.”  It’s been more effective than the Windows installer boot fixer, which seems odd.  If you have one of these USB drives already made, that might work.  I use Reflect free a lot, so it’s something I have on hand anyway.  I am sure there are many other tools that do the same thing, but Reflect works quite well for me.

      Dell has this guide to restoring boot functionality (if your system uses UEFI), which should help if you don’t have a Macrium USB drive handy (and you can’t currently get into Windows to install it and make one, obviously).   That should install the bootloader on the Windows 7 drive, which in turn will allow Linux to recognize it and give you the option to select Windows 7.  If your system uses BIOS (real BIOS, sometimes called legacy BIOS… UEFI is often called “BIOS” sometimes, since that term is familiar to a lot of people), this guide should help.

      You could also install the Vista drive again, which would allow Linux to recognize it and give you the boot option.  I know you probably would not want to do it that way, but it’s an option.

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    • #335870 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      If you try to select the disabled Windows boot drive in the boot options, does it do anything? Just shows the red “disabled” label

      . If you go into Mint and enter ‘disks’ into the main menu to run the GNOME disk utility, can you see the Windows drive listed from there, in the left pane of the window? 

      Yes, it’s there.  What should I do?

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #335950 Reply

        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        When you go into the BIOS and see that the drive is listed as “disabled,” do you see any way to select the drive to change its setting to “enabled” (or whatever)? Typically you can click on the setting and a menu will appear that gives you a chance to change the setting.

        When you unplugged the Windows 7 HDD, the BIOS may have disabled the SATA port that the HDD is (was) connected to, and so you need to re-enable it in the BIOS. See this page: there are three BIOS screen images shown on it; see the ‘SOLUTION’ that is given immediately above the third image.

        No doubt the BIOS in your PC will look different, but the concept of re-enabling the SATA port for the Windows 7 HDD should be the same.

        Good luck, and let us know how things go.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #335912 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      If you try to select the disabled Windows boot drive in the boot options, does it do anything? Just shows the red “disabled” label . If you go into Mint and enter ‘disks’ into the main menu to run the GNOME disk utility, can you see the Windows drive listed from there, in the left pane of the window? Yes, it’s there. What should I do?

      Don’t yet know how to save a screenshot in Mint, but the W7 disk is in the left pane.  Highlighting it shows:

      Device- /dev/sdb1

      UUID- 9276D76076D7439F

      Partition type- NTFS/exFAT/NPFS

      Contents- NTFS-not mounted

      The drop-down menu from the upper right menu:

      Format Disk

      Create Disk Image

      Restore Disk Image

      Benchmark Disk

      SMART Data & Self-tests

      Drive Settings

      Standby now

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

    • #335955 Reply

      BobbyB
      AskWoody Lounger

      Hmm not sure how much time and effort you want spend on this but, as I am guessing the 2nd HDD has all the precious data customisations etc that you really want to preserve. So that precludes any drastic Surgery creating System Partitions and making them Bootable on the 2nd HDD.
      Likely, from what I have read when you “wiped” Vista you took the system Parts. with it See illus. attached. (I am guessing your running UEFI?)
      Well a bit drastic but probably eminently simpler is to reinstall Windows 7 or any 8’s or 10 on the C: drive junking/wiping Mint in the process (you can always reinstall later I believe Mint is the same as Ubunutu i.e. not to long to get up and running again.
      As an aside a couple of years ago I did have Ubuntu running with Win’s 10,7 in a triple boot combo, without Grub, it actually wrote its self in to the Windows BCD (Boot Record) not sure how that worked? but its entirely possible.
      You basically need parts #1 + 2 from illus. don’t worry about #3 its the mystery Part. that Win10 and 8’s creates that I am not able to find a definitive answer about.
      Win7 UEFI only creates 2 System Partitions for UEFI/GPT installs
      Once you have Win7 up and running either reconnect or add to Boot Record your 2nd Disk i.e.
      bcdboot d:windows make sure it boots and everything is good then Reinstall Mint on the C: original drive taking care to preserve the system partitions on the C: drive then @ascaris ‘s advice should kick in as above the sudo apt grub CMD’s
      Hopefully your Mint installation hasn’t got too much time and Data invested in it, your lucky you have a desktop the whole 2nd HDD wrangling assumes a whole new dimension with a laptop, hope that works for you, there’s a few links below should help including EasyBCD which is quite handy for handling Dual Boot scenario’s and adding other OS’s.
      https://superuser.com/questions/715347/windows-7-fresh-install-wont-boot-without-2nd-harddrive-missing-boot-partition
      https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/repair-the-boot-menu-on-a-dual-boot-pc
      https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

      Disk-Parts-1-3-19-Aomei-A

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    • #336006 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      I followed Slowpoke’s other thread/topic (“New hard drive installation“), but didn’t wade in because I don’t know enough linux to offer an opinion. But I did note that it seemed Slowpoke’s 640GB disk (with Vista) may have contained the “System” partition for his Win7 installation, even though the Win7 “Boot” partition was on the 320GB disk. That meant that once he removed the 640GB disk, Win7 would no longer boot.

      So if I’m reading correctly, now he’s replaced the 640GB with a new disk (or the 640 has been wiped and replaced) with linux, and a linux bootloader.

      If Slowpoke is trying to dual-boot via selecting Disk1 or Disk2 via the BIOS, that won’t work because Win7 can no longer stand on its own because the “System” partition (on the old 640) disappeared.

      If OTOH, Slowpoke is trying to dual-boot via the grub boot manager, I don’t know enough to know whether that would or wouldn’t work, because I don’t know how grub works. Perhaps Ascaris or one of the other linux aficionados can clarify whether grub can natively boot a Windows “Boot” partition, or does it merely chain through to a Windows bootloader (which would have been on the now gone “System” partition)?

      IAC, if it were me, I’d try temporarily removing the linux disk, then using the Macrium Rescue media and it’s “Fix Windows boot problems” to repair the Win7 partition so it will boot on its own. Like Ascaris mentioned, I’ve also had very good results with that Macrium feature.

      Once you have Win7 booting properly as a single-disk system, you should be able to reinsert the linux disk and dual-boot via the BIOS. At that point, perhaps Ascaris’s advice in #335691 would also work to get the dual-boot working through grub.

      Anyway, just my two cents.

       

       

    • #336012 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Ok, good, the drive is showing up.  I was concerned that it was showing disabled.  This is good!

      The bootloader for Windows is on the Vista drive, evidently, which is not surprising given that the Vista one was on the system first.  We need to either create one for the Windows 7 drive or reinstall the Vista drive in the PC, which will put the existing Windows bootloader that you’ve been using for years back in the system.

      To put a bootloader on the Win 7 drive, I’d try using the Macrium boot USB from above to repair the Windows drive (in other words, to install a bootloader on it) if you have access to one, or else to use one of the two links to do so with the Windows command line in post #335852.

      I’m sure there are lots of other graphical tools that will do the job other than Macrium Reflect, but I am not familiar with them.  I happen to know of that one because I use Macrium Reflect anyway for my backups, and I decided to give it a shot one day, and it proved to be a pretty effective tool.

      I went through this just a couple of days ago with my Windows 10 volume on one of my PCs.  In my case, using Reflect to “Fix Windows Boot issues” fixed it.  My Windows 10 installer USB, which I had tried first, had failed, with Windows telling me it cannot fix the boot issues.

      Once the bootloader is added for Windows 7, that sudo update-grub command in Linux will find it and create a dual-boot setup.

      This is really a minor thing, even if it doesn’t seem so at the moment.  Nothing has been deleted… it’s just that the bootloader is on the drive that is not installed anymore.

       

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      • #336066 Reply

        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        To all who posted, many thanks.  This is an ongoing project, for sure!  Please see the attached s/shot from the Mint user manual re dual booting- Since Mint already recognizes the second W7 HD, this seems like it could be a less than huge matter to get the PC to dual boot.

        Screenshot-from-2019-03-02-08-06-06

        Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

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        • #336104 Reply

          NightOwl
          AskWoody Plus

          @ Slowpoke47

          Since Mint already recognizes the second W7 HD, this seems like it could be a less than huge matter to get the PC to dual boot.

          Probably not a *huge matter*, but it requires the proper steps to make it happen.

          Do an experiment–remove the *new Linux* harddrive (HDD), re-install the *old Vista* HDD, and attempt to boot. You should get the old Microsoft dual boot startup screen that allows you to select either the Vista or Win7 OS. If this is what happens, you can assume that the files needed by the Win7 OS are not on the Win7 HDD, but instead they are on the Vista HDD. This happens, depending on how you install a second Microsoft OS, when there already is another Microsoft OS on the system.

          A quick word on terminology. Microsoft uses two terms for the partitions that it creates when you install an OS:

          1. System: This is the partition that Microsoft uses to put the boot information that allows for the correct selection of one or more of the OSs that may be present. It’s fairly small–maybe 100-300 MB, but could be up to 1000-2000 MB, or so–but not *huge*. (Note: OS = Operating System. You would think that the actual OS would be on a partition labeled *System*, but it’s not installed there! Microsoft has put only the *boot* information here.

          2. Boot: This is the partition that Microsoft uses to install the actual OS files. I know it does not make intuitive sense, but this is what Microsoft has chosen to do.

          If you run the program *Disk Management*–probably can be done from the Start, Run or Search, box–you will see the two HDDs listed and showing the various partitions that you have. The Vista HDD should have a small partition that has *System* as part of the HDD description. And there should be a *Boot* partition.

          The Win7 HDD most likely does not have a *System* partition, but only a *Boot* partition.

          If this is all the case, then you can assume that when you installed Win7, it saw the Vista HDD, and that a *System* partition already existed on that HDD. So it decided to place the Win7 boot files on that Vista *System* partition while creating the dual boot setup for Win7 and Vista. Which means your Win7 is linked, and dependent on the *System* partition on the Vista HDD. Which is why you are unable to set up the dual boot with the Linux system–it’s because the files needed by the Win7 system to boot are on the Vista HDD that you have removed.

          End of story, unless you fix the problem and place the needed boot files onto the Win7 HDD partition.

          Here’s a link to a Google Search on how to possibly do that:

          https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=gZV6XLDZENLJ-gSekJ6YDg&q=how+to+transfer+bootloader+from+system+partition+to+boot+partition&btnK=Google+Search

          And here’s one outline by EasyBCD on how to do it with their program:

          https://neosmart.net/wiki/easybcd/basics/changing-the-boot-partition/

          Do some searching and researching, and decide how you best wish to procede.

          NightOwl

          No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are 😉 !

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    • #336470 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks to all who posted.

      Today started the computer and pressed F2- setup.  Selected “Hard Disk Boot Priority” which shows both HD’s with the W7 disk highlighted as first priority.  Exited this screen and Mint booted up.

      On restart, F12 “Boot priority” shows the Mint HD highlighted.  The red “disabled” notation no longer appears next to the W7 disk.  Selected the W7 disk as priority, Mint opens anyway.

      Opened case, unplugged the Mint drive, restart shows “No boot device available.”

      Reconnected Mint HD, start w/ power button on case, Mint opens.

      BTW, took photos of each step, but no way to post since W7 is M.I.A.

      The W7 disk is “found” by the Mint OS and allows me to “mount” it, and then allows me to view the “Pictures” folder only.  Mint also reports the W7 disk to be in proper working order.  Looks like those who are suggesting boot repair are on the right track.  As a non-tech, I had assumed that, since both the Vista and W7 HD’s were fully functional as stand-alone OS’s, they didn’t need each other to operate.  To confirm, I’ll try NightOwl’s suggestion to reinstall the Vista HD to see what happens.

       

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #336479 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        As a non-tech, I had assumed that, since both the Vista and W7 HD’s were fully functional as stand-alone OS’s, they didn’t need each other to operate. To confirm, I’ll try NightOwl’s suggestion to reinstall the Vista HD to see what happens.

        Someone else may have mentioned that option a couple of times too <g>

        They are fully functional as stand-alone operating systems, but an OS is not a bootloader. Once the bootloader on the Vista drive starts Windows 7, it is independent from that point forward, at the OS level.  It’s just the boot level, after the UEFI/BIOS gives up control (or tries to, anyway) but before the OS takes over, that is the issue.  Only one drive can be the boot device, so if you’re going to have a menu that presents a list of the various OSes installed on that PC, the bootloader on that device needs to be aware of all of the OSes.

        When you start the system, it does a POST (power on self test), then looks for boot devices in the order that it was told to look in the boot priority list.  If the first one on the list fails, it tries the next one, until it either finds one that works.  If it runs out of things to try, it returns with an error (or starts the system diagnostics), as you saw with the Mint drive disconnected.  The Windows 7 drive had no bootloader, so it was not recognized as a bootable drive.

        When you install Windows on a system that already has Windows installed, the Windows installer  finds the existing bootloader and adds the information about the new boot option.  That’s how you get a menu giving the two options when you still specify the old boot device as the first priority.  If it simply added the bootloader to the new drive like it was the only one present, neither OS or bootloader would know about the other one present on the system.  You’d still either boot into the old OS each time, same as before, or if the UEFI/BIOS setup option was changed to the new bootloader, it would just load the new one each time, with no mention of the old one.

        Hypothetically, it could, for maximum compatibility, add a bootloader to the new drive AND modify the bootloader for the old drive to give you the menu, but it doesn’t do that.

        When you put the Vista drive back in, it still won’t show in the GRUB menu until you boot Mint and enter the sudo update-grub command, after which one or both of the Windows installations will show (I am not really sure which, but my guess is that it will simply have one option for Windows Boot Manager, which will take you to the menu of Vista or 7 as normal.  The Windows boot manager will appear in the boot options once again too.

         

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    • #336483 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      @slowpoke47
      Here is the problem in a picture. The Win7 does not boot by itself because it has no bootloader.
      If the Win7 and Vista are connected, it uses the Vista bootloader.
      If the Win7 and Mint are connected, it could use a Grub bootloader on the Linux drive.
      But Win7 has no bootloader of it’s own, so it is not bootable by itself unless a bootloader is added (by repair or reinstallation). And it is not recognized as a bootable drive for that reason.

      BootOS

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    • #336491 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      Update- Vista HD reinstalled in place of Mint.  W7 now loads as normal, now I understand what several have tried to tell me, many thanks.  Only wrinkle was that shutdown got stuck on the “shutting down” screen, ctrl-alt-del had no effect, so after about 45 minutes I shut down via the power button and rebooted, everything seems ok.

      Please advise the next move.  If I need to create a bootloader, please direct me to a user-friendly site.  If this is to be done, can I use a blank 700MB CD-R (Many on hand) or do I need something else?

      BTW, I took photos of the various BIOS screens, if anyone wants to see them, I can now post them.

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #336496 Reply

        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        @slowpoke47, do you have a “System Repair Disc” for your Windows 7 installation?

        System-Repair-Disc
        If you do, then maybe you can boot the PC with this disc and only the Windows 7 HDD connected; then you may be able to use the disc’s repair functions to create a master boot record (MBR) for the Windows 7 drive, which GRUB would then finally find when you put the Linux drive back in. (Others more knowledgeable in these matters: please correct me if Oscar can’t create an MBR for his Windows 7 HDD with the system repair disc.)

        If you don’t have this disc, then boot into Windows 7 (I guess you’ll need to put the Vista HDD back in to do this) and open your Windows 7 Start menu, then type “system repair” into the search bar and the first result should be to “Create a System Repair Disc.” Do it and then, after removing the Vista HDD, boot into the new disc.

        (A Windows 7 installation disc, if you have one, will also work for purposes of fixing the MBR.)

        At that point, this web page should be useful in navigating through the options and fixing the MBR.

        Let us know what happens.

        Edit: This page may be easier to follow for the MBR repair, as it includes visual aids.

        EDIT 2: This page has a well-organized description of all the steps, and involves a situation similar to yours where the MBR had been written to the “wrong” disk.

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      • #336559 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        If the system repair disc works, that’s great.  It does not hurt to try, but I fear that it may not work.  I tried the Windows 10 install USB the other day to try to place a bootloader on my Windows installation, and it just told me that it could not repair the Windows installation.  The Windows installer includes the same fixit tools as the system repair disc.

        I don’t know if it will fit on a CD, as I haven’t used optical discs in years.  When the trend of computer cases (desktops) without 5.25″ bays started, I recoiled at the idea, as a DVD-RW was IMO a part of any well-rounded PC, so I bought a case that has 5.25″ bays.  And I haven’t used the optical drive installed into it since!

        That was why I suggested the Macrium Reflect rescue drive– while Reflect is a backup program, its rescue disc/USB has the function “Fix Windows Boot issues,” which did successfully create a bootloader where none previously existed on my Windows partition.  (I’d deleted the EFI partition previously as part of an experiment, and that’s where the EFI bootloader lives).

        If that fails, or if you don’t want to install Reflect Free to create the rescue disc/USB (it’s a really good backup program, though!) the two links in post 335852 should work.  Since the original system was a Vista one, I was not sure if it was a UEFI or BIOS system.  The Vista to 7 transition point was roughly when PCs started coming with UEFI, so I don’t really know what yours is (I must have missed if you said which one).

         

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    • #336503 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      @slowpoke47, do you have a “System Repair Disc” for your Windows 7 installation? System-Repair-Disc If you do, then maybe you can boot the PC with this disc and only the Windows 7 HDD connected; then you may be able to use the disc’s repair functions to create a master boot record (MBR) for the Windows 7 drive, which GRUB would then finally find when you put the Linux drive back in. (Others more knowledgeable in these matters: please correct me if Oscar can’t create an MBR for his Windows 7 HDD with the system repair disc.) If you don’t have this disc, then boot into Windows 7 (I guess you’ll need to put the Vista HDD back in to do this) and open your Windows 7 Start menu, then type “system repair” into the search bar and the first result should be to “Create a System Repair Disc.” Do it and then, after removing the Vista HDD, boot into the new disc. (A Windows 7 installation disc, if you have one, will also work for purposes of fixing the MBR.) At that point, this web page should be useful in navigating through the options and fixing the MBR. Let us know what happens. Edit: This page may be easier to follow for the MBR repair, as it includes visual aids. EDIT 2: This page has a well-organized description of all the steps, and involves a situation similar to yours where the MBR had been written to the “wrong” disk.

      Thank you.  If left out anyone who suggested returning the Vista HD, my apologies.  I don’t have a W7 disc as I bought the HD with the OS already in it.  I’ll follow your other suggestion.  Is a 700MB CD-R ok?

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

    • #336598 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      (Others more knowledgeable in these matters: please correct me if Oscar can’t create an MBR for his Windows 7 HDD with the system repair disc.)

      Technically, it’s not the MBR that is the issue, it’s the bootloader and boot configuration data (BCD) that’s on the “System” partition. The MBR (which is not on a partition) should be fine.

      Slowpoke can confirm the Win7 setup was using split “System” and “Boot” partitions by reinserting the Vista disk and doing a check. Boot Vista, check Disk Management, and note which partitions are identified as “System” and “Boot”. My guess is the RECOVERY partition (in post #332977 in earlier topic) is “System” and OS (the Vista partition) is “Boot”. Repeat by booting Win7. My guess is the RECOVERY partition will still be “System” but the unlabeled partition on Disk2 (Win7) will now be “Boot”.

      Now compare to PKCano’s drawing in #336483 above, though I’d amend the labels to be “Win bootloader” and “grub bootloader” for clarification. The computer used to be booting through the Win bootloader (RECOVERY) on the Vista disk, then forking to either the Vista or Win7 “Boot” partitions on the two disks, depending on boot selection. In order to make Win7 boot as a standalone disk, you must transfer or build the bootloader and BCD onto the Win7 disk. It can be on the Win7 partition and doesn’t need to be a separate partition, but without it the boot process has no starting point if the Vista disk is removed.

      When the Vista disk is removed and the linux disk inserted, the boot process starts from the grub bootloader. From there it can either fork to the linux partition or to the Win bootloader. Linux users, please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe grub can natively boot a Windows partition directly, I think it has to chain to a Win bootloader which can then redirect to the corresponding Windows “Boot” partition. Without the Vista disk, grub can’t leapfrog across to the Win7 partition in PKCano’s drawing. The solution is to put a bootloader on the Win7 partition, then grub can chain through the new Win bootloader to get Win7 booted.

      To add a bootloader to the Win7 partition, I’d use a Macrium Reflect Rescue CD or USB stick. Put the Vista disk back in and install the free version of Macrium Reflect on either Vista or Win7. Then use the program to create a Macrium Reflect Rescue CD or USB stick. (It’s only about 300 MB.) Remove the Vista disk so only the Win7 disk is connected, and boot from the Rescue media. Choose the Macrium option to “Fix Windows Boot problems”. See steps 11-15 in my little tutorial here. Once that’s done, test whether you can reboot from the Win7 disk by itself.

      You can do the same thing with the “System Repair disc” Cybertooth mentioned, but it will involve several steps typed into the command line. All those options in my tutorial’s step 14 are separate functions with a System Repair disc. I find the Macrium technique easier to understand and execute, and more reliable overall.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #336636 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks to all for the education on this.  I did make a repair CD earlier today, but just to be on the safe side I’ll proceed either with the CD or Macrium later in the week, as now that I have access restored to the W7 OS I have some time-sensitive bookkeeping to address (taxes, etc.).

      If I stub my toe again, at least urgency will then not be a factor.

      BTW- If anyone else is considering this move, after perusing the Mint OS on a cursory level- looks like the learning curve will not be too steep.  But I’ll keep W7 even after MS walks away.  The Mint OS in some contexts is a bunch faster than W7, but I like 7 anyway.  No W10 for this Slowpoke!

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #339644 Reply

      DavidForrest57
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’d like to offer the following suggestion, which may be a longer/more simplistic way of doing what Cybertooth and dg1261 suggested above.

      Revert to the original configuration of Vista and Win 7 drives.
      Create a backup of your Win 7 installation on an external drive (& a recovery CD; I think you already have one).
      Set up your new configuration of Win 7 and Mint drives.
      Restore Win 7 backup to Win 7 drive using the recovery disk.
      Rebuild the GRUB menu, if necessary.

      I don’t know precisely how backups work, but if you can recover from a HDD failure this way, I assume that the backup program will reinstate the necessary boot protocols for a restore to a different drive.

      I suggest you wait for comments on this approach, as I’m not an expert.

      I hope you find a solution soon.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #339660 Reply

      Slowpoke47
      AskWoody Plus

      I’d like to offer the following suggestion, which may be a longer/more simplistic way of doing what Cybertooth and dg1261 suggested above. Revert to the original configuration of Vista and Win 7 drives. Create a backup of your Win 7 installation on an external drive (& a recovery CD; I think you already have one). Set up your new configuration of Win 7 and Mint drives. Restore Win 7 backup to Win 7 drive using the recovery disk. Rebuild the GRUB menu, if necessary. I don’t know precisely how backups work, but if you can recover from a HDD failure this way, I assume that the backup program will reinstate the necessary boot protocols for a restore to a different drive. I suggest you wait for comments on this approach, as I’m not an expert. I hope you find a solution soon.

      Thanks for your suggestion.  Currently having issues with the 7 OS- need to straighten them out first.

      PC will not shut down

      Windows 7 HP and Linux Mint Mate 19.2

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