How do I get the Boot Manager to work in Developer Preview? For me it works on a Preview install that was a Vista upgrade, but NOT on two different clean (Bootable USB) installs. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have three PCs that all run Win7 Ultimate and all had an old copy of Vista Ultimate on a separate hard drive so that either OS could be booted. I normally upgrade from one OS to the next in this manner - thereby always having a good OS to fall back on.

    To install Windows Developer Preview on my first two PCs I downloaded the Preview under Win7 Ultimate, created two Bootable USBs and did clean installs to formatted HDDs.

    Then on the third PC I used Vista Ultimate to upgrade to the Preview.

    On the Preview install that was an upgrade from Vista I get a new (Preview supplied) Boot Select screen and can choose to boot either the Preview or Win7, and both OSs start fine.

    However, on the two PCs that Preview was installed via a Bootable USB drive created in Win7 I can no longer get at Win7 at all. Using Windows Explorer in Preview I can see the HDDs that contain Win7 are intact, but I cannot force a Win7 boot on either.

    Since all my Production work is under Win7 it is necessary to be able to boot either OS at anytime.

    If I click F12 when starting I get the standard Boot Select screen (from the BIOS, not from Preview), but regardless of which hard drive I select the Preview starts every time. During normal startup, since there are two hard drives with Bootable OSs present, I should be presented with the Boot Options screen as before (when one drive had Win7 and the other Vista) - but this does not occur.

    I'm guessing that if I physically unplug the HDD with Preview I will eventually get the Win7 to boot (perhaps after clearing CMOS or something) - but that would make this testing very inconvenient.

    Is there an existing work around for this problem?

    Saturday, October 8, 2011 10:29 PM

All replies

  • Update: I used bcdedit to create a boot manager entry for the Win 7 OS (and set it with displayorder) - so now when I look at the boot manager in System Properties / Startup and Recovery / Settings both the Windows Developer Preview and Windows 7 are listed (and I can set Win7 as the default).

    But it still does not work.

    Although Preview now stops and displays the Boot Manager screen during start there are no OSs listed - there should be two 'square' icons - one with each OS.

    Still looking for any advice - if I get it working I will post.

    This problem only exists on the two Preview instances I created by downloading Preview under Win7 then creating a bootable USB and installing from the USB to a clean HDD. The Preview I installed by updating an existing OS (Vista) allows select of either Win7 or Preview on each start as designed.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011 12:37 PM
  • Hey Aquaholic II,


    Another user was able to resolve a similar problem by performing a startup repair using a Windows 7 installation disk. Take a look at the answer provided by Apoorv Narang in the thread link below.


    Hope that helps.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011 8:02 PM
  • Hi Steven, sorry to be so long getting back, but YES I did try to do a Repair start of Win7 - and lost the entire Win7 hard drive. Let me explain - but please add a STRONG caution to anyone that received this suggestion to try Repair to get Win7 and Win8 Developer Preview (Win8) dual-boot working. 

    Just before I did the Win7 Repair attempt the Win8 Preview was working fine and I could see the Win7 drive in Explorer. When I did the Repair attempt it found Startup error(s) immediately (before asking which OS I wanted to attempt to Repair) and after Repair did it's automated thing I performed the suggested Restart. That was the last time my Production Win7 HDD with ALL my personal; banking; business; music; pictures; etc., etc.,  was ever mounted (or mountable).

    On that very first restart after Repair Win7 Blue-Screened, and I was never able to get it back up. Worse, when I brought Win8 back up the WIn7 drive would not mount. When I looked at it in Computer Management / Disk Management it showed the drive as File System RAW (i.e.: Not Formatted) and asked if I wanted to Format it.

    I tried putting the drive in an external device on another PC and still it would not mount - again it showed the drive as not formatted with allocated space as 0.

    I tried to bring that Win7 OS up several times in different machines and it would always do the same thing - display the Starting Windows screen (with  logo) then flash the BSOD immediately as it came off that screen. The BSOD always went by so fast I could not read it - other than it appeared to only have data on the very top portion. With that drive installed the PC just went around and around - starting Windows, getting the BSOD and restarting BIOS.

    However, although I lost an enormous amount of time and work, I never quit  working on a problem - at least not since I started in IT in 1972. I figure I will get this Dual-Boot working (if at all possible) then go about rebuilding my data.

    To that end I formatted and reloaded the drive with Win7 again, then Re-Activated and used easy-transfer to move some files (about 3 hours worth - which is a small fraction). Then I tried dual-boot and found that it still did not work. However, I could now F12 on boot and bring up either OS by pointing at the respective HDD.

    So I tried a Win7 Repair start again. Same result - It found an error, fixed it, then Win7 Blue Screened in exactly the same place on startup and the drive was back to RAW with allocated space 0. So going forward when I reload Win7 I don't bother with any data or even to re-Activate - until I get it stable with Win8.

    I've tried loading Win7 in different ways but always get the same result - until last night when I tried loading an upgrade version of Win7 and doing it from the Win8 Preview system. After loading Win7 that way Win8 knows about Win7 and puts out the GUI Boot Manager screen - but ONLY if I F12 and select the HDD with Win8 in the first place. If I do a normal start it was giving me the non-GUI Win7 Boot Manager screen with the old Win7 and the Win8 entries I put in via bcdedit. From there it will start Win7 but gives a strange screen if I try Win8 (and the net is I can't get to Win8).

    So I brought up Win8 and did a bcdedit Export of the Boot Data then brought up Win7 and did a bcdedit Import so that both Win7 and Win8 have exactly the same boot information. But it STILL doesn't work!!

    What the heck is going on with Win8 that it is not-compatible with Win7 boot Manager - to the extreme extent that a Repair start of Win7 that finds both Win7 and Win8 installs on two different HDDs causes the Win7 OS to be entirely destroyed? I haven't come across a problem of this severity level in close to 20 years! Long ago this kind of thing (losing an entire OS and it's data) was rather expected, but not these days.

    Anyway - I am still trying to get two of my three Win8 installs to be dual-boot. The one Win8 that I installed by update over Vista has been dual boot with the Win7  on a different HDD in the same PC all along.

    The two Win8 installs that I did by using Win7 to download Win8 and create bootable USBs that I then targeted to separate HDDs have never been dual boot. But at least now in a very convoluted way I can get them to bring up either OS via F12 on boot - that is progress, but at great cost.

    Please pass along any updates and I will do the same. Thanks, Bob

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:48 PM