installing windows OS on a different drive affected main OS

ok so i was trying to install xp on a flash drive and this has happened twice once 3 years ago and once now, i selected the partition for the flash drive when installing xp etc, but when i installed xp on the flash drive, it messed up my main hard drive on windows 7, now when i try to load from the hard drive it says it can't find the boot information, it doesn't blue screen, i'm pretty sure the computer now thinks windows 7 is windows xp because when i give it a 2nd OS option from a flash drive it shows two windows XP options, how do i fix this? everything from the hard drive is still intact

last time i was doing the same thing and it's like it installed another version of xp even though once again I'm sure i selected it to install on my flash drive, two different computers not even same model, now i'm on a toshiba netbook, this doesn't make any sense, how could this problem even occur? i'm probably done with all windows OS at this point and i'm switching to linux but i would like to get on windows 7 from the OS one last time because i want to do things with my internet cookies etc

anyone have any advice? this must be a fairly common problem, i'm sure i selected the install drive to be my flash drive, so how does it mess up my main hard drive OS? it should have never touched it

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Re: install

This is a very uncommon problem, since it's well known Windows only supports being installed on an internal HDD or SDD and not on a flash drive, so nobody (except you) does that.

All I can advice: get your Windows 7 install disk and do a startup repair. What happens with Windows XP on the flash drive then? Can you still boot from it?

Next time you try this, disconnect the hard disk with Windows 7, so you're sure it isn't touched in any way.


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umm hmm

ok thanks, it installed on the flash drive, but it doesn't load up from the flash drive and it blue screens etc... that's what it's supposed to when booted from a flash drive, but i was hoping with the install edits it would work this time

long story short, i... messed up the reinstall part too, windows 7 is built in on this computer in another partition, and in order to even write this or have internet, well i deleted that partition and installed xp, so at this point i just want to get windows 7 working again for my cookies etc, i kind of wanted xp on this comp to begin with so it wouldn't be bad except that's it's unplanned, i have sensitive information to delete and don't remember passwords

the main question now is can i use chrome with all my cookies on it on this partition? i'll just have to google that somehow i'm sure it's not hard, i'm downloading ubuntu and i'll just put that on another partition and start over from there, you may think it's bad putting xp on this flash drive, but i paid for both xp, but that's kind of a poor excuse and i'm just looking for help at this point

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since i can't seem to edit

I wanted to add, the first time this happened i was using xp to begin with, and the computer just showed two versions of xp on the same partition and only 1 worked, so beyond me having to select between two versions of xp at start up nothing bad happened

all of my windows 7 OS is still there and i can't find anything that was over-written, it just doesn't load up because it says it can't find the boot information, no error code or anything

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Ok, let's assumed nothing has been done to the old drive,

then the problem must be in the boot order. Go into the bios and change it to the old hdd. If you want dual boot then you need to set it up differently. But I am wondering what's the idea behind your thinking though (2 separate but the same OS on the same computer?).

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Sorry my mistake.

I thought it was the same OS.

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i usually always test the boot order but maybe i didn't this

time, but i think i did i'll test again after my download finished, but nothing at all would boot before i installed xp in an empty partition in he same drive so i could at least have something to use

when i said i had two OS on the same drive i was referring to the first time it happened 3 years ago, it always wanted to boot two versions of xp on the same partition (back then i used xp) and only one of them worked, but this time i don't see an option for windows 7, i see two xp options, one doesn't work and one is for the xp i just installed in another partition to type this with (I deleted the inbuilt windows7 installation to do this... kind of stupid on my part) windows7 didn't come with a cd and had the installation built into a separate partition

anyway i'm trying stuff with bootsect.exe and i downloaded it but i really don't know what to do with it

i know that all of my windows 7 files are still there, i've been trying to find some stuff that might have been over-written with boot info, but everything was installed onto the flash drive

i'll try the boot order thing and get back to you tomorrow but i'm pretty sure that isn't it, thanks for help etc pls let me know if you have anything more

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XP should bluescreen

For reasons given. Also, Microsoft's XP install could corrupt the HDD boot area so you know that that has happened.

-> Running XP off a flash drive is far from trivial. The method is on the web but doesn't match what you wrote here. And since it's unsupported, no one dives in. That is, you may feel abandoned.

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