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Windows 7 with Windows 8 Dual Boot Boot Loader Issues **FIXED**

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys,

So my fiasco started yesterday when I went to boot my machine up and got a Win 8 BSOD. Before I get into this, let me tell you my situation.

I have my 1TB drive housing Win 7, and I have an 80GB drive housing Win 8. I installed Win 7 years ago, recently installing Win 8 (dual booting) to the 80GB drive. About a couple of days ago, I formatted the 80GB drive since I was done playing with Win 8. Hadn't restarting my PC in days, I never ran into the issue until yesterday morning.

To continue, I tried repairing my boot record for Win 7 by booting up with the install disk and using bootrec.exe in the command prompt, but when choosing which operating system I would like to repair (even the description said it was Win 7 when choosing) it told me that it was not a supported OS (guessing becasue it was seeing the Win 8 boot loader and not the Win 7 one).

SO I cut my losses, reloaded Win 8 onto the second HDD, and all was well, still having the terrible Win 8 boot loader there.

**HERE is my actual queston to everyone**

My theory is that whatever the last OS is installed, THAT boot loader will overwrite the current one (correct me if I am wrong(purtaining to Win7 and Win 8)).

So let's say I remove Win 8 again, thus recreating my issue. If I were to either load Win 7 AGAIN on the second HDD, or loading it on a seperate partition on the 1TB HDD, would that then, in theory, overwrite my existing Win 8 boot loader and replace it with a Win 7 boot loader? And if this was successful, would removing the second Win 7 partition still allow my original Win 7 parition to load off of this?

I am thinking yes? But this is why I have come here to consult one of the smarter communities.

Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
Jon2109
Edited by Jon2109 - 7/13/12 at 7:09am
post #2 of 12
Yes Windows 8 bootmgr is written over Windows 7 bootmgr if found on first disk active partition ! Not the other way around !

So repairing Windows 7 with Windows 7 CD will fail, I suppose, for reason that W8 bootmgr is newer (a later version).

The bootmgr is written always to FIRST disk ACTIVE partition.
So you can play here !

1. Just put your disk with Windows 7 first (unplug other disks) and be sure that Windows 7 partition is marked active.
2. Start Win8 (YES WIN 8 !) DVD/USB and go to Recovery command prompt.
3. Run commands:
bootsect /nt60 c: /force /mbr
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

First command updates MBR and PBR.
Second command writes Windows 8 bootmgr to active and puts Windows 7 as default boot menu entry.

So you have Windows 8 boot environment in control of the booting (no need of Windows 8 OS itself - just boot files). Windows 8 boot files are newer, better and have more capabilities.

To install old Windows 7 boot files (bootmgr + \boot folder) you should first delete (or rename)
a) bootmgr and b) \boot folder
and then write fresh Win7 boot environment using Win7 install/recovery DVD/USB.
Same commands as above.


Note:
Whatever disk is FIRST (in BIOS) receives MBR and bootmgr on active partition when installing Vista/Win7/Win8.
And booting goes MBR->PBR(active)-->bootmgr(active)

Hope this helps.

(To get rid of "terrible" Win 8 metro style boot menu just Windows 7 has to be your default boot-menu entry - see BootMenuPolicy - set text or metro style boot menu in Windows 8)
Edited by darkomano - 7/12/12 at 7:19am
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkomano View Post

Yes Windows 8 bootmgr is written over Windows 7 bootmgr if found on first disk active partition ! Not the other way around !
So repairing Windows 7 with Windows 7 CD will fail, I suppose, for reason that W8 bootmgr is newer (a later version).
The bootmgr is written always to FIRST disk ACTIVE partition.
So you can play here !
1. Just put your disk with Windows 7 first (unplug other disks) and be sure that Windows 7 partition is marked active.
2. Start Win8 (YES WIN 8 !) DVD/USB and go to Recovery command prompt.
3. Run commands:
bootsect /nt60 c: /force /mbr
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
First command updates MBR and PBR.
Second command writes Windows 8 bootmgr to active and puts Windows 7 as default boot menu entry.
So you have Windows 8 boot environment in control of the booting (no need of Windows 8 OS itself - just boot files). Windows 8 boot files are newer, better and have more capabilities.
To install old Windows 7 boot files (bootmgr + \boot folder) you should first delete (or rename)
a) bootmgr and b) \boot folder
and then write fresh Win7 boot environment using Win7 install/recovery DVD/USB.
Same commands as above.
Note:
Whatever disk is FIRST (in BIOS) receives MBR and bootmgr on active partition when installing Vista/Win7/Win8.
And booting goes MBR->PBR(active)-->bootmgr(active)
Hope this helps.
(To get rid of "terrible" Win 8 metro style boot menu just Windows 7 has to be you default boot-menu entry - see BootMenuPolicy - set text or metro style boot menu in Windows 8)

Yes! This helps a lot. Thank you so much.

I am currently at work, but I will give this a shot once I get home.

Thanks!
Jon2109
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkomano View Post

Yes Windows 8 bootmgr is written over Windows 7 bootmgr if found on first disk active partition ! Not the other way around !
So repairing Windows 7 with Windows 7 CD will fail, I suppose, for reason that W8 bootmgr is newer (a later version).
The bootmgr is written always to FIRST disk ACTIVE partition.
So you can play here !
1. Just put your disk with Windows 7 first (unplug other disks) and be sure that Windows 7 partition is marked active.
2. Start Win8 (YES WIN 8 !) DVD/USB and go to Recovery command prompt.
3. Run commands:
bootsect /nt60 c: /force /mbr
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
First command updates MBR and PBR.
Second command writes Windows 8 bootmgr to active and puts Windows 7 as default boot menu entry.
So you have Windows 8 boot environment in control of the booting (no need of Windows 8 OS itself - just boot files). Windows 8 boot files are newer, better and have more capabilities.
To install old Windows 7 boot files (bootmgr + \boot folder) you should first delete (or rename)
a) bootmgr and b) \boot folder
and then write fresh Win7 boot environment using Win7 install/recovery DVD/USB.
Same commands as above.
Note:
Whatever disk is FIRST (in BIOS) receives MBR and bootmgr on active partition when installing Vista/Win7/Win8.
And booting goes MBR->PBR(active)-->bootmgr(active)
Hope this helps.
(To get rid of "terrible" Win 8 metro style boot menu just Windows 7 has to be your default boot-menu entry - see BootMenuPolicy - set text or metro style boot menu in Windows 8)

Remembering on this, yesterday when I was playing around and trying to edit the bootloader, I did try the Win 8 disk, I believe it errored out on me though since it didn't see a Win 8 OS.

If the HDD is unplugged for Win 8, will I still be able to run these commands through CMD?

Thanks,
Jon2109
post #5 of 12
you can also just set Win7 as the default OS for boot....

In Win 8

Open System by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking System.

Click Advanced System Settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.

Under System startup, in the Default operating system list, click the operating system that you want to use when you turn on or restart your computer.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StaticFX View Post

you can also just set Win7 as the default OS for boot....
In Win 8
Open System by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking System.
Click Advanced System Settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
Under System startup, in the Default operating system list, click the operating system that you want to use when you turn on or restart your computer.

If I remove Win 8 after doing this, will the bootloader still be set to Win 7?

Thanks
post #7 of 12
sorry.. no i dont think so.

DO this....

Boot to Win7

Click Start > Run > Msconfig
select the boot tab

it Should have win7 and win 8 listed

select win8 and delete it

then format the win8 partition.


if the win8 is not listed, here are a few other things to try

http://www.wincert.net/tips/microsoft-windows/windows-7/2884-how-to-remove-windows-8-dual-boot
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2372-dual-boot-windows-7-windows-8-delete-windows-8-a.html


i still use win8 - after playing with it a while, i have found its faster, smoother, and all of my games start/run better on it smile.gif
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StaticFX View Post

sorry.. no i dont think so.
DO this....
Boot to Win7
Click Start > Run > Msconfig
select the boot tab
it Should have win7 and win 8 listed
select win8 and delete it
then format the win8 partition.
if the win8 is not listed, here are a few other things to try
http://www.wincert.net/tips/microsoft-windows/windows-7/2884-how-to-remove-windows-8-dual-boot
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2372-dual-boot-windows-7-windows-8-delete-windows-8-a.html
i still use win8 - after playing with it a while, i have found its faster, smoother, and all of my games start/run better on it smile.gif

Awesome info, I really appreciate it. These are some good options for me to try when I get home.

For you still using Win 8, was it a huge difference in performance in games?

Thanks
post #9 of 12
not huge no.

example, BF3
has yet to crash (for me) whereas on Win7 it was often enough to be mad (lol)
I get a slightly better FPS (avg 70-80) instead of (65-75)
loads faster

Diablo III - runs great but, i have to say, havent tried it on win7

Legend of Grimrock - loads faster and has no hiccups

Minecraft - works great (but if you want to add tons of mods, not all work)

I think overall it has come down to

1) win8 itself boots faster, if you put to "sleep" its ready in seconds
2) more stable, i have had zero crashes or random reboots
3) games (and most apps) seem to load faster in general - and this is comparing to a fresh install on win 7

i DONT like the start menu [metro]... yes its for a touchscreen and i am hoping they change that or make it more pc friendly.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StaticFX View Post

i DONT like the start menu [metro]... yes its for a touchscreen and i am hoping they change that or make it more pc friendly.

That was my biggest concern. I didn't like that I felt crippled with their Metro menu.

Maybe I'll try some games on it and see how it works out. Thanks for the info, appreciate it!
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