I have a fairly new PC. When I first bought it, I set it to dual boot Windows XP and OpenSUSE Linux. When OpenSUSE died (strictly just X and/or KDE) for no clear reason, it was the final straw that broke the camels back after no end of driver problems, configuration problems etc.
Linux was mostly my internet operating system anyway, truth told, with most other stuff done in Windows XP - but with me no longer willing to trust that on the internet (ethernet drivers disabled) for the last few years.
Luckily, I got a good price on a legal copy of Windows 7 Home Premium.
When I installed Windows 7, it refused to recognise Windows XP in the bootloader. I didn't worry too much - I replaced OpenSUSE with Ubuntu, and used Grub for the multi-booting.
I've now ended up with the following partitions on my hard drive...
1 : 100GB : Windows XP main partition - Drive C in WinXP, not mounted in Win7 2 : 100MB : Windows 7 reserved - not mounted in anything 3 : 100GB : Windows 7 main partition - Drive C in Win7, not mounted in WinXP 4 : ... 4a : 166GB : Data partition - Drive G in WinXP and Win7 4b : 100GB : Ext3 partition for Ubuntu
However, now that I'm using Windows 7 and I've converted all my backup stuff (Firefox profile moved to Win7 etc) I no longer need or want Linux installed - I'd rather have a bigger shared data partition. I haven't even booted into Linux in weeks now. Windows 7 has taken on the role of web-browser host, and although the pretties are probably no better than KDE (I really must find a phase-of-the-moon widget - er, sorry, gadget) the driver issues and most configuration hassles just don't happen any more. The only configuration hassle I've had for Windows 7 is basically what I'm describing here.
The thing with each operating system seeing itself as drive C, and not seeing the other OS main partition at all, was initially because of another oddity in how Windows 7 installed, but it's also a nice scheme IMO and now I want to keep it that way.
So... I want rid of Linux (actually, it'll probably live on in VirtualBox, but not as a main operating system). But Grub stores needed files in that Linux partition. I could revert to the Windows 7 bootloader (the usual boot-the-CD and fixmbr, fixboot trick presumably works for Win7, or something similar) but I already know that that doesn't detect my Windows XP.
I've tried to do some research. One thing I found was GRUB4DOS and WINGRUB. What I found with those is that GRUB4DOS itself really is for DOS - not Windows. And the most recent download for WINGRUB is dated 2004, and doesn't seem to be compatible with Windows 7.
I found various rescue boot disk images etc, such as Rescatux. I've found several ways to repair GRUB with these, provided that I have a Linux install. It's very likely that I'm missing something, though, as it seems the power tools for these things just dump you into a virtual terminal to use command-line tools without much indication of what tools are available or how to use them. Possible the neatest trick in these things is including a working internet connection and web browser, but since I couldn't find the help I needed even with that...
I used to be happy enough editing boot.ini in Windows XP - but there is no boot.ini in Windows 7, and I haven't had much luck trying to work out the Windows 7 way.
Finally, EasyBCD seemed like the magic I needed. I installed it, and it seemed very easy to add Windows XP to my boot menu - but then it told me that it couldn't find Windows XP. Apparently, Windows XP must be in a partition that's mounted in Windows 7 and given a drive letter. It can't recognise, and won't reference, that unmounted partition.
Can anyone recommend a solution that will work for this? And because I don't have a credit card, so paying online is virtually impossible, any software needs to be free - at least for trying, so I only have to go through the hassle of finding some other way to pay when I know it'll work.