Dual booting nightmare: XP & 7, flashed BIOS, XP fried, and Win 7 "boot error":
Ok, I'll try and be clear and succinct, but I APOLOGIZE in advance for the super length here! Here's the essential "backstory" of what was/is going on, and where I am right now:
Had an XP machine for 4 years; two months ago, I bought and added in another HD. At reboot, I put in my Win 7 64 Ultimate disc, and installed 7 to the new HD; so I've been dual-booting for 2 months now, with the classic black & white dual-boot screen at startup:
"Which operating system do you want to use:
Older version of Windows
So I've been gaming exclusively on the 7 HD, playing SupCom 2 via Steam. In one week, it BSOD'd four times, so I sent my minidumps to another forum, and I was told the crashes were due to two things: video driver, and hardware. So I un/re-installed the video driver, and then, using the Asus AutoUpdate (I have an AMD cpu/ASUS mobo), I flashed my BIOS to the latest. Win 7 was totally fine, and I believe it fixed all the errors, played my game, and turned if off.
The next morning I needed some files on XP, and that's when I saw the crap had hit the fan. I chose "earlier version of Windows", and it simply BSOD immediatley; and I've not been able to get back in since. So, of course, I tried to fix it on my own. I searched online, and the first thing I did was put the XP disc in, and hit R for Repair right away; this brought me to the black and white screen. The problem was, it showed that I had two HD's, and it listed them just like this:
I chose C:, totally assuming it was my XP HD. Then, at the C:COMMAND> line, I typed in "FIXBOOT" (minus the quotes), as that was what I read. Well, that really seemed to bork things up. After reboot, instead of getting the "Which OS do you want" choice screen, I only got the "Windows cannot boot, do you want Safe Mode, Safe Mode w/Networking", etc. etc. screen. So I then unplugged my 7 HD, put in the XP disc again, tried to Repair Reinstall over the XP, and that didn't work either.
So finally, I plugged my 7 HD back in, put in the Win 7 disc, booted from DVD (and yes, both my HD's are where they should be in BIOS; XP is SATA 1, and 7 is SATA 2), and did the Win 7 Repair Startup option. That got me right back into Win 7, as if there was never a problem at all. This was yesterday morning. So I then spent the entire day migrating my backed up XP data from an external HD onto my 7 HD, and putting it all in the correct folders, and then backing all that up again to the same external HD (to be super safe, haha), and then last evening, I finally needed to re-boot.
And that brings me to my current problem/state of affairs. At reboot, or normal boot-up, I now come to a black and white screen with roughly the words "Boot error, please insert disc and hit Enter." So essentially, it again does not bring me to the "which OS do you want screen", just this new screen. So, I put in the Win 7 disc, and did a hard reboot. As expected, after reboot, the next words to come up were "Hit any key to boot from CD or DVD...", but to test things, I hit NO KEY. I let it pass. Guess what? The two choices screen came up! "Earlier version of Windows, or Windows 7". Very perplexed, I chose Win 7, and it boots up no problem. So, to test it out again, I took out the 7 DVD, and rebooted. Wham, same problem black and white screen: "Boot error, please insert disc and hit Enter". So I did, but this time I DID hit a key, went into 7 setup, and tried the "Win 7 repair startup" option, and rebooted w/out the disc and tried it again; again, SAME "boot error" message! But when I put the Win 7 disc in, hard reboot, let it come back up, display the "Hit any key to boot from DVD" and I SKIP THIS (hitting no key), it then goes to the "correct" screen of offering me two choices. I hit Win 7 every time, and it boots up fine. (whew).
So, I essentially have two very important, very specific questions. They are;
1. How can I first get Win 7 under control, and fix this boot up error? Do I need to keep doing the Win 7 Repair Startup about four, five, six more times, or what? Or do I need to use EasyBCD? And if so, HOW do I use that program, as I've never used it before?
2. Once I do get Win 7 startup fixed, and under control, it's quite clear that my XP HD is fried beyond repair, so I would like to erase it, and just use it as extra storage. So my second question is: because I am currently dual-booting, and went through XP (XP being first, added a second HD put 7 onto that), HOW or WHAT do I do to make the Win 7 HD the only OS in my machine, and have it look only for itselt, and not two OS's, at boot up?
I know this is extremely long, and I'm very sorry for that, but I hope this helps anyone and everyone who is looking at this. What should I do? Thank you all very much in advance. Best, Dave.