Startup volume problems...

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I recently picked up Windows 7 and set this up on my Mac Pro. Prior to this I had a dual boot configuration working fine with Snow Leopard and Windows XP. Now I have a third boot option which is Win 7 and in the beginning everything was fine. Unfortunately now I have an odd issue...

When I go into System Preferences -> Startup Disk and select to restart using either the Windows XP volume or the Win 7 volume it boots XP. I can hold down the CRTL key on boot and boot the Win 7 volume that way, but I would like to fix this issue if possible.

Thanks in advance for any help.


  • Reply 1 of 1
    The problem is that when you choose to boot Windows (unlike choosing MacOS volumes) you are not really choosing what volume you want to boot, but rather choosing the "legacy" (read: BIOS) method of booting. That in turn reads from a boot sector on the primary hard drive, that then reads from a file on the partition that is marked "bootable" in the MBR (Master Boot Record, the table that tells Windows computers how the drive is divided). This file is either boot.ini (the XP bootloader) or the bcd (Vista/7). This then tells the computer to either show a list of choices, or to directly boot into a system.

    If this all sounds like an ancient hack, it is because you are understanding it correctly.

    The upshot of this is that having more than one Windows volume is always going to be problematic. Doing it on Apple hardware is only slightly more problematic than hardware from other vendors at this point.
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