I initially had an XP system several years ago. I installed Win7 on a different hard drive and I currently dual boot (though I have not used the XP partition in a very long time).

Looking at my partitions under one of the partition manager programs, I see that my Win7 partition is active+system, and the WinXP partition is active+boot.

Of course, the nomenclature is reversed with the Windows-built in storage manager, where the XP partition is listed as system, and the Win7 is listed as boot.

Can someone explain how the boot drive is not also the system drive? Also, how do I change it so that the boot drive is the same as the system? Is this related to how BCD reads and boots the hard drives?

EDIT: The reason for this is I am attempting to clone my Win7 HDD onto a SSD and I believe this is preventing a successful transition.

  • See below for my problem + answer. – BCD novice Apr 16 '15 at 0:17

As far the question on System Drive goes:

boot drive or partition in your case (as is common) DOES NOT have to be on the "system (C:) Drive" so long as the BCD (Boot Code ?Directory?) has the system drive in its "address book" per-say. There are several ways to reset this to be on the "System Drive" --now the win 7 install, the safest is to boot a install / recovery mode or cd/dvd/usb --with the xp drive removed or otherwise not visible to the system and run an boot code recovery or marking that drive / partition as bootable from there I have linked a few tutorials with commands needed once there to help clarify..

Important part form link 1 is /RebuildBcd From link 2 is an EFI friendly version of a builtin functionality that can be used on nearly every Windows Version back to NT

windows 7 boot code entry fix

EFI Friendly builtin tool used

  • I appreciate the links. I have been working with easyBCD which revealed the boot drive was the XP partition, but then it is redirected to run the OS on the Win7 partition. Booting directly into the Win7 partition does not work, just a blinking cursor. I believe this indicates the boot partition in the Win7 partition is not quite functional, so I will be directing some attention to this. – BCD novice Apr 14 '15 at 6:28

After many many hours/days of troubleshooting, here is my precise problem + answer.

After cloning my Win7 HDD to my SSD, it just would not boot directly. I thought it had something with the cloning process, or the SSD not having a MBR, etc. I experimented endlessly with BCD, fixmbr, bootsec, etc. None of this would allow the SSD to boot directly. My BIOS settings were flawless. It would boot to a black screen with a flashing cursor, and nothing else.

I did finally got it to boot, but it had to boot first to the bootloader on my XP drive. Hence the different boot + system partitions. I just could not set the SSD as the primary boot drive. I thought the blinking cursor sitting in the upper left corner meant it had frozen.

Until one time by chance I left it there blinking for 45 seconds or so, and then the BCD OS selection screen popped up, as if nothing abnormal had occurred.

Why? After reading about a similar problem on an Acronis forum, I realized the problem was the motherboard. The XP drive was on SATA1. My old Win7 install was on SATA2, and the new SSD was on SATA3. I would think it didn't matter which controller the disks were on, but apparently it does.

Even though the SSD was set as the boot disk, for some reason the mobo could not bypass/ignore the other drives very quickly.

This is on a fairly low end ASRock mobo I purchased just to keep my old components useful, http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/G31M-GS/ so I assign put full blame on it!

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