Changing BIOS settings

I am using a laptop with Win7 64 bit and Win XP 32 bit, on the same hard drive.  I am now able to use only the Win 7 OS.  This problem was once fixed by someone else By changing something in the BIOS.  When the computer starts, I can choose either Win 7 or “Earlier version of Windows”.   If I click on earlier version, the screen flashes a dos screen for a split second, then goes back to the same choice.  I can read the XP ‘C’ drive in Win7 (it’s ‘D’ in Win 7), but there is other information not available, plus I’d like to use Outlook Express in the XP OS.  So, what do I change in the BIOS to access
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
How large is your HDD?
Radhakrishnan RSenior Technical LeadCommented:

Running multiple OS on a machine with small amount of hard drive is always a pain. It always fails either 1 OS. The technology has changed now, you can install VMWare workstation or similar virtualization application and create several virtual machines (depends on your hardware) and install the OS of your choice.

If you are still looking for the BIOS change as you mentioned above then i suspect that you are referring to "msconfig" (start>>run>>msconfig) and check the boot configurations.
if both OS are installed separately on different disk drives - you can change the boot order to select the disk drive you want - but this is probably not the case for yoy - or do you have 2 disks installed
so at boot you press DEL - or F2 or F10 key depending on your laptop brand to change it

if both OS are installed on the same drive as dual boot - you need a "boot manager" -  either the windows one or a 3rd party, like Bootit-BM

then the boot process stops at the screen to select the OS to boot from
if it does not stop, you can best run msconfig, and select the boot tab  - select the Windows XP entry and click on the ‘Set as Default’ button. Click on OK to close the tool

you can also make a shortcut in W7 to it :
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

GlenAJAuthor Commented:
I got myself in trouble in msconfig by asking to reboot
with information.  Now I get the following command prompt:
C:\windows\system 32 –
What command do I use to get booted?
Radhakrishnan RSenior Technical LeadCommented:
shutdown -r -t 0
what did you change -or select in msconfig - before rebooting?
if xp - you may use this  method :
windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:  \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
An easier way is to boot from a Bart PE CD (or UBCD4Win CD) and use the file manager for manipulating files. Here  the procedure :
1. rename c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM to c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM.bak
2. Navigate to the System Volume Information folder.
it contains some restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
The restore points are in  folders starting with "RPx under this folder.
3. In such a folder, locate a Snapshot subfolder. This is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:  C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
4. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following file to the c:\windows\system32\config folder
6. Exit Bart PE, reboot and test

Use a fairly recent restore point from at least a day or two prior to problem occurring .

** you can add the other hives also with this procedure       BARTPE            UBCD4WIN
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
My HD size is 320GB
System restore did not work.
I solved my immediate problem by typing msconfig again and
resetting as it was before I changed it.  Now I’ll work on your other ideas.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
I have one hard drive
Right click computer then properties. Select advanced system settings then click the settings button under startup and recovery. Make sure there is a check mark in time to display list of operating systems. You can put whatever time you like.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
joinaunion - Check mark was already there
Go here scroll down to Easybcd instructions to add entry to your os choices at boot.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
I would like to mention that I have another hard drive for this computer. (80GB)  It has XP only.  When I try to use it, I get the XP window for a second, then the dos screen flash, then the screen that gives you a choice of start up options.  This hard drive has worked in this computer.  I ran a diagnostic check on it and no problems were found. Maybe the best plan would be to make it work, before trying the Two OS hard drive.
You can do that too. Also try the Easybcd method in link I posted. If you choose to use one drive.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
joinaunion - this is exactly the screen I get.  It's the same as the example in your link.
Do you have a 64 bit version of xp you can install?
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
I don't have a 64 bit XP, but the 32 bit I have worked just fine in the past.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
The easycbd is already working in my two OS hard drive - see the attached pic.  The
problem is not choosing which OS to use, but making it open when I choose it.
Select the earlier version and quickly tap F8.
If you now have the option to select last known good configuration try that.
Do you also have option to repair or list options you have after tapping F8.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
I've tried all that.  There is now only one version.  I'm concentrating on the XP
hard drive.
Well you haven't mentioned steps you have tried and you seem to not want to try options via command prompt.  So I don't know what else to tell you except good luck.
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
Radhakrishnan Rajayyan -
Here is what my config looks like  (attached)  So what boot configurations do I want?
So if the xp install is on the same drive your missing the xp entry. You need to use easybcd again to add it to your configuration or add it manually.
add the entry   Microsoft Windows XP Professional (F:Windows) with F: the partition on which XP is installed

more info :
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
nobus: I went to the web site and followed instructions to change the default OS TO "earlier operating system" as suggested.  (see attached)  I then opened msconfig and the option was, as usual, not there.  Still no change in performance.
You did it exactly as written from step 8 on?

If you did it correctly it will add the entry for you.

Otherwise your only other option is to use BCDedit scroll down to Adding a new boot entry in Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Is the notebook pre-installed with Windows 7 and you install Windows XP afterwards?

What is the brand and model of the notebook?

What is the brand and version of the BIOS? Can you take a photo of the BIOS screen and post it?

If it is just a BIOS problem, look for something like AHCI or legacy mode and change the value to test.

If it is not related to the BIOS, there can be two possible clauses for your problem. The first one is that Windows XP has corrupted drivers for the HDD OR the partition for the HDD where windows XP resides is corrupted.

It is common problem that XP cannot be launched for dual boot system and it takes long time to fix if you do not want to delete and rebuild the Windows XP partition. Re-install is alaways faster than to fix it.
did you put in the txt in msconfig?
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (F:Windows)     with F: the partition on which XP is installed
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
Jackie Man –
Notebook shipped with Vista
It’s a Dell inspiron1525
See pics of BIOS
I may close this question and open a new one that deals with the
other HDD I have  that is XP only.  Let’s deal with it now.
If I try to re-install XP on that disk, the installation proceeds only
until programs are loaded into the RAM.  The next message I get
is that there is no hard drive in the computer.  It is there, and I can
run a diagnostic check on it.  It checks out fine.  Also, that disk works
in another Gateway 1525, and has worked in this computer in the
Exact same procedure in the link I provided. You will do the same if it's on the same drive or on a separate drive.
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
You do not need to do a re-install for XP yet. Try to boot into XP first after changing the BIOS. If the current value is the same as the value in your BIOS, try to change them to the default values, save the BIOS, reboot the notebook and change the values again and save the BIOS to see whether it helps.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
Thanks for this information.  Unfortunately, on occasion, I still want to use Win 7.
I had tried to use the re-install disk, hoping to fix the problem.  That’s when I discovered the computer would not recognize XP. I have no problem selecting which system to boot to, It’s just that if I try to boot XP, it won’t open.  XP has been installed on the two OS disk, with the proper drivers  and has been used successfully on that disk. In fact, I just tried  the HDD in my other Dell inspiron 1525, and had no trouble booting to either XP or Win 7.   The problem with that computer is that it’s physically falling apart, and needs to be recycled.. That machine uses the same Bios (version A17) .  This problem was once
fixed in less that one minute by someone no longer available.  It looked to me like he changed something in the BIOS.
I'll work on your last suggestion.
Slowly but surely more info comes out. Lol
GlenAJAuthor Commented:
Jackie Man -
I now have a usable 2 OS computer.  I bravely went forward with the instructions in spite of a warning that said “Attention: Changing this setting may prevent your OS from booting”, etc. You came through when the other experts did not.  Apparently, you actually read the question which asked how to change BIOS settings.  You are a truly an expert.
Thanks very much.  Glen
Everyone read your question and understood it.

YOUR the one who led everyone on a wild goose chase. Remember it was you who decided to do everything within windows 7 install.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.