Can't access System Recovery or boot to Win-7 after installing XP

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problemoo

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Dec 17, 2011
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I am in a bit of problem... please read.

I recently created a new partition with 200GB of space on my Windows 7 64bit (HP Elite) PC system. I installed Windows XP Professional on that new partition (trying to create dual OS). After Windows XP was installed, I was unable to find "Windows 7" as a boot option under "Startup and Recovery"... I could only see Windows XP Professional. I went to Disk Management and right clicked on the partition where my Windows 7 OS was under, and chose "Make partition active"... I got a warning system MAY not be able to boot, but I chose to proceed anyways. I tried restarting and got an error "BOOTMGR is missing / Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart" ... I tried pressing F11 after restarting to get into "System Recovery" but it would go directly to the error message. I was still be able to access everything else during boot except "System Recovery" such as BIOS, etc.

I re-installed Windows XP Professional on the same partition... and was now able to get into the Windows XP Pro OS again. I'm still unable to access "System Recovery" when booting. F11 option is being bypassed and going directly into XP OS. This is my first concern, how do I get "System Recovery" to get working again? It used to work before as I re-installed Windows 7 couple of months ago. I can still see "FACTORY IMAGE" drive in My Computer (could be on a different drive letter than before). And second, how do I boot to my original Windows 7 OS (C-drive seems intact and all Win-7 system files are there)?

Any suggestion is highly appreciated.
 
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If you made changes to your partitions, you have lost access to recovery. You replaced the special MBR with a regular one, so now recovery and Windows 7 are no longer accessible.

You will most likely need to get a copy of Windows 7 from the manufacturer in order to get 7 back. Partition changes cannot be made on machines with factory images. If you have no recovery disks, it may be possible to boot the image partition using a boot CD, but you can't do that and also have XP on the drive.

You may even have installed XP over the top of 7 or on the wrong partition if you used drive letters to identify it. Drive letters cannot be used to identify partitions since they change all the time according to what is looking at them and from where. Partitions have no letters. They are assigned at boot time by the loading OS.

Rule #1: Never make changes to a computer that you do not know how to reverse.
 

TerryNet

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A corollary to Rule #1 is to always know how to recover from a complete hard drive failure. If you can do that you can handle most anything. The first and simplest preparation with a new PC with Windows 7 preinstalled is to make your allowed set of Recovery DVDs and a System Repair Disc.
 

fairnooks

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System recovery and factory image partition may be useless at this point but if you installed XP onto a seperate partitiion you made for it, that's where the boot manager is now and since its older than 7, it ignored it. As long as you can boot up into XP, you can install EasyBCD and use that program to add your Windows 7 partition to the boot menu again.
Read and follow the online documentation for EasyBCD use if you have more questions.

Then once you get back into Windows 7 again, either image with a third party tool or use the built in imaging software and retain that image as your "factory image" if you can no longer access the recovery partition.
 
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Yes, there are possible ways out of this. But before we can do anything, we really need to know what the situation is with the drive right now, what partitions are present, and where they are located.

Boot up with a partitioning tool and let us know what you see. Can you find a partition with 7 on it? Is it separate from the one with XP? What other partitions are there, in order from left to right?

*******************************************
Parted Magic disk partitoning tool (Bootable CD image)
If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
*******************************************

In addition to its other uses, the Parted Magic CD also includes 2 other boot CD's that may be of use to you. It has both the SGD boot disk and the PLoP boot disk as options under the extras on the initial menu. Both of those, by different methods, allow partitions to be booted directly without using the MBR. You may be able to boot your recovery partition with one of them (others have succeeded doing that) and start the recovery process. But the recovery process will remove XP and return the partitions to their original configuration.

============================================

System recovery and factory image partition may be useless at this point but if you installed XP onto a seperate partitiion you made for it, that's where the boot manager is now and since its older than 7, it ignored it. As long as you can boot up into XP, you can install EasyBCD and use that program to add your Windows 7 partition to the boot menu again.
Read and follow the online documentation for EasyBCD use if you have more questions.

Then once you get back into Windows 7 again, either image with a third party tool or use the built in imaging software and retain that image as your "factory image" if you can no longer access the recovery partition.
Yes, "prime the pump" as it were, or at least give it a head start. But the process will also tell us if the drive is accessible and can be partitioned at all, so it will give us information whether it works or not.
 

problemoo

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 17, 2011
Messages
2
Thanks for the help. So basically I fixed the problem by downloading "windows 7 recovery disk" torrent and burning it onto a disc. I then restarted the computer with the disc inside, and the system recovery was able to fix the problem after 2 restarts.

Right now, the only problem I have is I'm unable to access system recovery (without disc) when pressing F11 at boot screen.
 

fairnooks

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Did it also retain the XP install in the boot manager so you have dual boot?
 
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