I installed Windows XP on a second partition on a machine already running Windows 7. Now, I do not get a boot menu. The machine always boots in Windows XP. How can I restore the Windows 7 boot menu? Once I can boot in Windows 7, I'll be fine working with BCDEDIT.


Found the answer myself. Just boot from the Windows 7 DVD, select "Repair computer" (after language screen), then "Command Prompt". Copy files NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM located in the root of your C: drive to the root of your D: drive. Then type those two commands:

bootrec /fixMBR
bootrec /fixBoot

Reboot. Other solutions out there don't mention copying those two files, and that's why it failed for me every time.

You still won't see your Windows XP partition. Use BCDEDIT to add XP to the boot menu. The series of commands depend on if you already have {ntdlr} in the list. Let's assume not.

bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP"
bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=D:
bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

After that, you should see both Windows 7 and Windows XP in your boot menu, and both should work.


Method 1

Simply boot the Windows 7 DVD, then, after the language choice, choose in the bottom left corner the button “Repair my installation” or something like that.A little menu will open up and one of the choices is “Repair startup”. This procedure will rewrite your boot sector and will replace the boot files.

If this doesn’t work, try to boot again and choose “Open command prompt” from the above menu then write Bootrec /RebuildBcd command

Method 2

Use vista boot pro software to do anything with boot loader. software can be used for win XP, VISTA AND 7.

You can download from here

Method 3

you just went into the recovery console and type fixmbr

Source: http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-7/how-to-reinstall-windows-7-boot-loader/

  • Unfortunately, this does not copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files back to the second partition (XP), thus Windows XP does not work anymore. – Martin Plante Jan 22 '10 at 13:41


To restore the Windows 7 bootloader, please boot from the Windows 7 DVD and opt to run a Windows startup repair.

Should you require additional assistance and feedback, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum. It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams.

Jessica Microsoft Windows Client Team

  • This is NOT a complete and accurate solution. The NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files are not copied back to the second partition, thus Windows XP does not boot anymore. – Martin Plante Jan 22 '10 at 13:40

You could just install EasyBCD on Windows XP, go to the "Bootloader Setup" page, and select "Install Windows Vista Bootloader," then go to "Add New Entry" and add a new Windows XP entry.

That will write the Windows 7 MBR to the disk, copy NTLDR and NTDETECT to the right place, add the Windows XP entry to the Windows 7 boot menu, and fully-configure your dual-boot. Note that EasyBCD requires .NET 2.0 installed.

(Full disclosure: I'm the author of EasyBCD)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.