I have three partitions in my boot HDD, and normally can select what OS I want to boot from a list shown before booting. I re installed Windows 7-32 and the boot selection option is gone. I re installed Asus drivers for the MB and all the other partitions are there, but cannot get the boot selection option back. Does anybody have any ideas what to do.
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Thread: Multi Boot
if Win7 works like XP then multibooting is controlled by the boot.ini file which is a hidden/system file on your main HDD.
Your re-install has inevitably re-written that file so it only shows one bootable partition. Rebuild it to show the other partitions.
DB83 Thank you for answering.
I thought that function was part of the MB software and has nothing to do with Windows as it shows up well before Windows has even started, and also, Windows, at that moment, wont know what partition I'll be booting from. It must be part of the MB software, possibly BIOS. What do you think about that?
I fixed it. No files lost, no damaged OS. Three partitions, three OS's booting OK.
Care to share how you 'fixed it' ?
No, it's not part of the mobo software, or in the BIOS either. Multi-boot is a bad idea, and most especially if you have no clue how it works. Catastrophic failure or problems are a very high probability.
Also, making a problem post and then just announcing that it works now, with no description of the method used, is rude, foul, and puts you right at the top of many peoples lists to never answer your questions again. Hint - Those people who really want to find out the answers have been doing it for a long time, that's why we have so many correct answers.
Here is a general flow of the boot sequence...
Pardon me Nelson37 if I don't get everything right (I know you are MUCH more of an expert at this):
load ROM BIOS
POST (incl. RAM test, more CPU init, inventory HW devices)
OS loader boot record (first based on BIOS, then on Boot.ini, etc)
BIOS loaded to mem & OS takes control
OS load subsystem, then drivers
OS load GUI
GUI (and user) chooses User account
(Notice that up to the point where it says OS load subsystem, it has only taken a few seconds)
Where it says OSloader boot record, THAT is where it can decide to use 1 or more OSes. Clearly, at this point and like Nelson37 was saying, it has nothing to do with MOBO or BIOS. I'm not sure if I would go so far to say it's a bad idea, though I can see where he's coming from.
The way I used to do multi-OS was, IMO, more clearcut & safer: Use swappable boot drives (with rack sliders), and separate User Data drives. Takes a while to set up correctly, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for the OSes to detrimentally interact.
I haven't had any problems with one hard drive multi-boots or multiple hard drives with their OS'.
It's called the master boot record (MBR) that has the boot info, not the Motherboard or bios.
Sometimes when when doing a re-install with a multi-boot system, the new installation can ignore the other already present OSs.
If I can't get a bootup in such a situation, I run the OS disc in repair mode.
If the new installation doesn't see the other already present OSs, I run easybcd to correct the MBR.
Running a linux distro complicates matters somewhat but it can be done also.
There are a lot of people running multi-OSs without a problem but it's best to know what you doing.
My bad, evidently, there is a difference between the MBR and the Boot Configuration Data but I don't know what it is.
This jargon is a little over my technical vocabulary level, perhaps someone can explain it better, all I know it that it works.
Last edited by Steve(MS); 18th Oct 2013 at 23:29.
I finally closed the box and everything works as its been for about four years.
What happened was: I was installing latest version of my antivirus and it was rejected, whatever I tried to do to fix it would sink it deeper in the sh!t. I re installed my backup of that drive and it was then that I could only boot only to that partition, W7 32. For hours tried many things. Got a spare PC With WXP and deleted the partition with the bad HDD as a slave. Tried again and this time no boot possible. Decided to re install W7 and acronis to replace everything but just to try my look pressed repair windows with the windows install disk. Could not find any images but kept trying other selections then repair PC or repair Windows did not give any rejections bur looked as it was not doing anything, then the message reboot now. I had three choices to boot to. The one for W7 32 I re installed The Acronis image I had backed up a week ago. That was it. All my data is in the second 1TB drive. The WXP OS on the spare PC was painfully slow but did what I wanted although did not fixed the problem.
Thank you for reading
The bottom line is that you do not know how you fixed it and no one else will either in reading the above.
The safest method I find is to keep the 2 boot os on totally separate drives (not just partitions) this way the mbr and any shared directories are never confused or corrupted. With this method you switch the boot drive in the bios device bootup sequence instead of the boot.ini since you want the initial pre-os boot to take place on the proper drive. I know the boot.ini seems easier since you just select os 1 or 2 and it will default to 1 if you do nothing after x seconds but in my case my second os at this time is just an older clone of the 1st. I'd still do it that way if I wanted to keep 2 different resident os. I'd just set the bios boot to the most commonly used drive like I do now.
All you need to do at os install time is to make sure to select the right drive and then switch it when installing the second os. If they are identical drives and you want to play it safe just disconnect the data or power cable of the alternate drive until both are completed.
btw) I could suggest certain function keys to quickly select the boot drive ie... F10, F12 but since the options differ greatly from bios to bios it may not be an available option to some so it may be necessary to enter the full bios setup to make the change via the del, F2 etc.. keys.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
I have W7 32 in one partition and W7 64 in two other partitions with very different software in them in the same HDD. I do not have another PC with the same power to operate W7. I am not a professional nor I consider myself an IT, and do not use computers for business, I do not play games in them either. The other two PSs are WXP32 and also have two HDD but not partitioned. They are slow.
Thank you for the comments information, I did not know WXP would delete restore points in W7. I do not have WXP and W7 in the same drive.
Interesting reading about Windows Boot Manager. Related to my thread. The second link shows what I did, but I clidked on Startup Repair, just found it on Google.
Last edited by jollyjohn; 20th Oct 2013 at 20:57.
As a side note, I realize the conventional wisdom these days is to avoid dual boot setups on the same drive, but of the over half-dozen PCs I have on my home network, all but one are dual boots (e.g., XP / Win7; Win7 / Ubuntu; etc.) One machine is an Ubuntu / Win7 dual boot that has a virtual PC XP on it, so it's kind of a ménage-à-trois. And a while back, the only thing that ultimately saved a "legacy" XP computer that just would not fire up anymore was making it into an Ubuntu dual boot where GRUB finally made my old XP install show up. Jes' sayin'.
I vaguely remember something about the order of installing dual boot matters. I think in an XP / Win 7 case you have to do the install of XP 1st. I have XP Pro -32 bit and win 7 Pro - 64 bit as dual boot on both of my machines. They are on the same physical drive but in different partitions D and E. With C as the boot partition. When I boot up Win 7 the D partition disappears and the win 7 partition shows as the C drive. Go figure! but then it's $MS
I finally created a base install back up of my C,D,E partitions (with drivers and updates) with Acronis and start there when I have to do a clean install. The base install back up does not contain any add on programs (other than Acronis). I do the back up from the XP boot. In most cases I install software on a F or G partition. Some apps will not allow you to select the partition, they automatically install to the Programs folder under the associated OS.
Interesting comments, Thank you. My only reason for having Dual Boot is that I have different versions of CAD and CAM software that I run as a hobby and explore the maximum power of the software. I experience software conflict between older and newer versions of the software. I need older versions to open older geometry files which won't open in later versions. I think Acronis is a good thing to have to get out of the sh!t hole.
I have some software that just doesn't run under Win 7 (typically drivers never updated). $MS is famous for that. I have an $80+ game controller that $MS stopped updating the drivers and that makes it useless. $MS has a 5 yr. plan where it's software and hardware need to be replaced because they stopped supporting it. I will never buy $MS hardware again. I've had really bad luck with their keyboards and mice. The mice when they worked ate batteries. I remember (when I was working - I'm now retired) when $MS came out with a new version of Office and they changed the file formats so that older files were not compatible with the newer version (yes I know I'm an old f-rt). Grudgingly they came out with a file converter to convert the old files to the new. Our function had about 100+ PC's that were a mixture of the old and new. No company wants to shell out vast amounts of money to update apps. such as Office every couple of years it's big bucks. Not to mention the training that might be required. Hey planned obsolescence that's their (and a lot of other companies) business model.
I like small boot drives also and don't like the idea of partitions.