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I had an old IDE hard disk with Windows XP Installed. Then I switched to Windows 7 but that was installed on another drive, this time SATA and then I reformatted the drive with Windows XP.

However, the boot information is still on a partition on an IDE drive.

I wanted to remove this drive from my computer (physically) but when I did that, the system wouldn't boot, even though the Windows 7 is installed on a disk that remained in the computer. Obviously, the problem is in that 100 MB NTFS partition on Disk3 (System Reserved).

Is there any solution for this, so I can remove Disk3 IDE from my computer, and that no Windows reinstallation would be necessary.

Note that I have another SATA disk (Disk2) which is still unused. Maybe I could copy/mirror the System Reserved partition to that disk and then remove Disk3. Would that do anything?

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I'm not 100% sure, but I have a hunch supergrub will allow you to boot Win7 in your situation. If all else fails give this a go. – boehj Apr 23 '11 at 14:06
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I was stuck in a similar situation... These two articles might help you:-

Moving Windows 7 Boot Files (bootmgr, bootsect.bak, Boot directory) to Different Drive

Basically, for me, the Windows 7's boot manager got stuck in the drive with Windows XP (I heard Windows 7 always install this to the first drive it finds during boot). I followed steps in the two articles above and managed to move it to the drive with Windows 7. I removed the Windows XP drive and Windows 7 managed to boot on its own.

And I also recommend that you backup everything before attempting anything. =)

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Note from original poster: I have found the solution to my problem on the second link provided. In a few words, I have installed EasyBCD and switched to BCD Backup/Repair and then "change boot drive". This worked perfectly. I have disconnected my IDE drive afterwards and it booted allright. – Kornelije Petak Apr 24 '11 at 8:34

Why not create a Windows 7 rescue disk, remove your PATA harddisk, reboot with the Rescue disk and let it repair the boot sector? See if that works.

NOTE: Backup your data before you do anything.

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Change your boot order in your system bios so that the Windows 7 hardbdrive is first. Also change your hard drive order in the BIOS. it should boot off the SATA drive then.

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You haven't read the post carefully. The problem was not in the boot order, but in the fact that the boot information was on the disk I wanted to remove. I have solved the problem. – Kornelije Petak Apr 26 '11 at 6:33

Run msconfig /boot and set Windows as the default OS .

If you have already done that you can use a open-souce boot loader like Grub included with most Linux.

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