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The last time I installed Windows 7, the boot manager automatically got installed in a small hidden partition, and the main os into another partition. So, formatting the C: won't affect the boot manager.

Yesterday I wiped and repartitioned my HDD like this:

  • 50 MB primary NTFS (meant for boot manager)
  • 100 GB primary NTFS (for Windows 8)
  • 50 GB primary NTFS (for Windows 7)
  • Some logical partitions to install Ubuntu and other OS

I installed Windows 7 and then Windows 8, and now there is no OS choosing menu. System directly boots Windows 8 and the 50 MB partition is empty.

There is a way to boot Windows 7 and even Ubuntu directly from the Windows boot manager with EasyBCD. But How do I put the boot manager in the 50 MB partition?

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Just a note to mention that the 100MB System Reserved Partition is created by the Windows 7 installer only if the drive is not pre-partitioned. If you install the OS in an existing partition, it will not create that extra partition for BitLocker and WinRE. – Karan Sep 18 '12 at 22:27
  1. Run CMD (command prompt) as administrator.
  2. Input bcdboot d:\windows /s d:

    It means, copy the boot files for the system d:\windows to drive D. If system is not installed in d:\ you need to change the path. We will get a message "boot files successfully created".

  3. Open Disk Management by entering diskmgmt.msc in Start - Search, locate the D:\ partition and mark that active instead of C: — Note: Drive D should be a primary partition.

Now the computer should boot from Drive D. Now I can format my C: drive any number of times without messing up with the boot manager.

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