Windows 7 Fun

As you may have seen in my twittering yesterday, I wanted to start using Windows 7 more. I had setup a dual boot system a few weeks ago, but didn’t get around to installing the program we use (photoshop, office), so we weren’t really using it. I had decided to take XP off and only use Windows 7. I asked @christoc about how best to rearrange my partitioned hard drive. He suggested I not take the full dip yet, and made some suggestions that were a bit over my comfort level. So, I decided to just adjust the size of my partitions and reinstall some of my most used programs.

I first tried to use the Win 7 partition tool, but it wouldn’t let me increase the size of my Win 7 drive. I shrunk the XP drive down, but when I tried to expand the Win 7, it was a no go. So, I pulled out my trusty GParted CD and did it there. I moved about 100GB from the XP drive to the Win 7 drive. Easy enough I thought……..

Well, I rebooted out of GParted, and got a line I had never seen before:
ok, maybe the partition misplaced the bootmgr, I’m sure if I restart it’ll be alright.
Oh crap. I should know better to just leave things alone. Luckily, we have a laptop at home as well, so I started searching for how to fix this. I quickly found out that this isn’t the end of the world and it is easily fixable by booting from the Win 7 install disk and choosing the “Repair” option. I rebooted with the Win 7, followed the instructions, it found the problem, and fixed it. So, we reboot again…..

Alright! No bootmgr missing line. Win 7 started right up. Wait a sec…..Win 7 started right up? I’m supposed to get a prompt that asks me if I want to start Win 7 or XP. Where the hell did that go? I started searching online (this time on the desktop) and found some articles that talked about how to help. Evidently, the boot manager that Vista and 7 uses is different than what XP uses. We are quickly moving out of my comfort range. Several of the articles mentioned that EasyBCD can update the Win 7 boot manager without having to dig into the config files. I follow the instructions, but the articles all mention that I should be able to choose XP from the settings screen. I only have Win 7. I know I didn’t delete XP. I double checked and found the drive in file explorer. What the hell is going on?

I did several things at this point, and I’m not sure if any of them helped or hurt, so I won’t mention them. I then remembered that when I was playing with the Disk Management tools, I could make each drive “active”, which it says means there is an operating system on it. Sure enough, the drive with XP on it wasn’t listed as “active”. I switched it back to Active and restarted. The option screen came up and I choose XP and success! I needed to get it done quickly as Bridget had a paper to work on last night. I figured enough was enough and quit playing with it. This morning though….

I restart to get into Win 7 and when I choose Win 7 at the boot loader, nothing. DAMMIT! Now what? I ran the Win 7 install disk and repaired the startup, and luckily, that got us back to even. So, I think what happened……

When I resized the partitions, two things happened. The BOOTMGR got lost somehow and my XP drive got labled as “inactive”. Running the Win 7 install disk and repairing the bootmgr helped Win 7, but resizing the partition caused Win 7 to not know there was an operating system on the XP drive. <sigh>

Windows 7 is pretty cool though.

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