[Download] Vista Hide 'n Seek BETA


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
XP 's NTLDR reads boot.ini for partition and disk number, and compares those numbers to the ones allocated in the BIOS. It doesn't matter what Vista's disk manager says that the drive numbers are, the BIOS says 0 is the 1st one in the list, i.e. your Vista disk. Hence the other one will be rdisk(1).
There is a complication, in that you have so many logical partitions, and from the labels you've used I've no idea which 2 are the XP systems.
If your XP systems are on logical drives, then you won't be able to use HnS to boot them. HnS makes use of the makeactive command when booting OSs, and a logical drive can never be active.
You can still dual-boot however via the normal Vista BCD/bootmgr, chaining to NTLDR route.
Remember though that a logical drive is inside an extended partition, and that extended partition has a number too. So, for example your WXPAPP partition will be rdisk(1) partition(6).
Bearing that in mind you should be able to work out the correct address for whichever of your many partitions are the XP systems.
Are those 2 unlabelled primaries before Vista the 2 XP systems ?
Is that why you were saying they're hidden ?
Try assigning letters to them - what happens ?
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Besides using the extended not primary type partitions Vista is installed on the 3rd partition seen on Drive 1. Vista seems to favor the first primary on the drive intended to upgrade any previous versions.

I found that out trying to install Vista on a second primary with XP Pro on the first some time back where Vista refused to install but simply wanted to replace XP Pro. I ended having to move XP Pro from the second ide drive onto the first of two sata models. If the two XP installations proceed Vista there as Terry60 is asking about you are likely going to see similar problems.

Linux is the OS that will run on extended as well as primary type partitions. Windows for the most part looks for the first primary to go on as well as looking for the first ide drive during the installation. To see an effective dual boot here I first unplug one drive to see a working copy of one version on the other and later simply copy the essential boot files over. On the same drive XP would go on a second or third primary if on the same drive with Vista leading on the first.
The 2XP installations were installed first, then Vista. All the OSes are installed in Maxtor IDE disk. Then I replaced the 2nd IDE disk and installed the SATA disk. the order is XP, XP, Vista. As I said, Vista works and XP installation used to work. The partitons are still there, seemly intact. I just do not know how to configure ebcd or even bcd. After a while one does oversees the reason for the errors. And as I said, I had no problem with bootmagic, but Ir emoved it when it stopped working with Vista.
All my OS partitions are Primary.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If those 2 unlabelled primaries are your XP systems, then that's what your problem is, and no amount of fiddling with boot.ini will get the dual-boot working.
Your boot.ini looks to be pointing to the right partitions, but if Vista doesn't even detect what the file system is, then you've got problems beyond the scope of just fixing the boot. If Vista cant see a validly formatted partition and identify its file system, then it's going to have a problem doing anything with it.
Have you tried telling Vista to assign a letter to them ? What does it say when you do?
With two copies of XP installed you can only have one boot.ini file copied to the root of the Vista primary to start with. That will need entries for both XPs edited there as well as seeing the ntldr and NTDETETECT.com files copied over as well. I think the lack of both entrie being seen in the boot.ini file is likely part of the problem.

The entries will have to see a one letter or number difference since you have two copies of the same edition which is impractical to start with on the same drive. You would better off seeing one larger primary there for a simple dual boot. But to make that work as well as distinguishing between each installation you would see:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Vista Hide 'n Seek: windows xp pro64" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Vista Hide 'n Seek: Windows XP pro64" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

The one number change is obviously the rdisk(0)partition(1) followed by the rdisk(0)partition(2) entry distinguishing the two primaries. Once you have both copies loading you would simply label each volume like XP Pro64 A or 1 with the other being XP Pro64 B or 2. Note the partition 1 in the line above simply designates which of the two copies will be set as default.
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Actually, not, the 3 oses are installed in c: of disk 1, with 2 of them hidden so that only one OS installation is detected. This is not the problem, I've had this setting working for many years.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
OK - are you saying you were previously using a 3rd party boot manager which hid the non active partitions before booting the chosen selection ?
If so, then you're going to need to unhide those 2 drives to get a conventional Vista BCD controlled dual-boot to work (that will leave you with Vista vulnerable to restore point corruption), and you're going to to need to unhide them while you set up HnS (which will protect Vista's restore points by hiding Vista from XP, but makes no attempt to hide XP from Vista)
If you really want the status quo ante, you'll need to find a working version of your old 3rd party manager again.
If that's what you're trying to achieve I don't think we can help you.
We can help you get the Vista bootmgr to dual boot XP, using EasyBCD to improve the useabilty of the BCD.
We can help you protect Vista's system restore capability by using HnS to hide Vista dynamically.
Both will need you to unhide those 2 hidden partitions first.
If you want HnS to hide XP from Vista too (because of Vista's backward compatibility there's no practical need for such a feature), you could always raise a thread in the "Ideas and Wishlists" forum suggesting it to Guru and see what he thinks, but there's no facility to do that with either HnS at present, or the Vista BCD.
I actually want to install a correct Vista boot. After that, I still need to be able to change partitions and bcd can do that and ebcd can perhaps automate the configuration (make it easier but still allow me to install the correct boot). Since the hidden WXP OSES cannot be booted, I need to first have a correct boot file.
Is the one I uploaded OK? Can I boot from it and change the OSes partions?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Right. If you want to get a standard Vista dual-boot working, the boot.ini you posted looks OK, and if you've got NTLDR and ntdetect.com copied into your Vista root, all you should need to do is use Gparted or some other 3rd party partition manager to flip the "hide" bit off the 2 XP partitions, and use "add/remove entries" in EasyBCD to add an XP entry to the BCD (if you haven't already got one) pointing to the Vista partition not to XP (you're pointing it to the boot files in the Vista root, which in turn will locate XP from the boot.ini)
Here I have XP on the second of two sata HDs allowing for plenty of drive space since removing ubuntu root and swap partitions seen for two different releases of that distro. When I get working on a few other projects the free space seen in the image here will shrink rather fast.

You will also note the second storage partition on the Vista primary along with the external usb drive. For seeing XP on the same drive I would simply install that inplace of the storage partition with the F drive letter assigned rather then two copies of the same version proceeding the newer one(Vista) being the older OS. I would still need to see changes made in the boot.ini file pointing to F not G in order to see XP added in after the version was installed there.
Thank you. I used Paragon to unhide WXP, but there is no difference. I think that when I tried to repair the WXP OSes from Console, I changed some vital settings for the worse.
I am getting a different error message when I try to load WXP:
"autochk was not found..."


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The only time I've seen that "autochk missing " message was in the early days of experimenting with hiding Vista and a partition accidentally got left in a "hidden" state.
Are you sure that the XP partitions are visible now ? Do they show up in Vista disk management and explorer ?
If so, can you browse through the XP folder structure and verify that the Windows folder and subfolders all appear to be present.
One thought I come up with is first removing Paragon and then seeing if you can perform a repair install on both XP installations. With the correct mbr entries and new boot.ini file you would then be able to utilize the HnS tool while keeping the same partition arrangement intact.
The WXP repair instal is what got me into this problem. Yes, Vista has given drive letters to the 2 WXP, but to start with, I would like to remove them. It gave them letters such as X: and repair fails because they did not have letters while Vista was loaded. Thinking of the installation order; WXP, WXP, Vista, perhaps I should install/repair Vista again.
I have switch Paragon Hard Disk Manager off, and I get the same; Vista as the only OS listed.
At that point if I had to fight with a drive mahager I would simply wipe the entirely and start off fresh where I could custom install multiple OSs much easier. You have two installations of the same edition of XP on two primaries one following the other and are running into the obvious problems trying to somewhat multi not dual boot both versions.

By starting over without Paragon the idea besides the option to see XP installed on the other drive instead you would simply repartition the OS drive seeing Vista go on first or installing XP to a second primary first to be followed by Vista on the first being the newer version of Windows. Vista especially favors the first while XP could see older 9X versions proceed it.

On one build here some time back Dos 6.22, 3.1, 95, and even 98SE were all on proceeding an XP installation on the 3rd or 4th partition on the same drive. That was a short lived tricky custom setup there. For a working dual boot there a restructure and rearrangement of OSs woud be your best move.
Here I seem to have into a good one with the HnS tool itself while the 1.7.2 version of EasyBCD is reliable as always. When trying to open it up once the initial selection of XP and Vista drives is performed and the boot entries set the error reported earlier will keep appearing even when starting all over.

The dual boot is working fine with just one problem being realized. Vista wasn't hidden!
uninstalling Vista hns?

I had some problems with Vista HNS. I couldn't boot to either Vista or XP. System would just hang after post. I was able to recover Vista by rebuilding the mbr via vista recovery command prompt.

Before I give Vista HnS another go, I want to return everything back to the way it was. How do I uninstall Vista HnS ? I don't have a uninstall option when running Ui.exe
The EasyBCD tool will run in XP as well as on Vista for simply restoring the Vista mbr. The shortcut you create and drag onto to the desktop is the only installation since there are registry values created. First however you run the HnS tool when working and select the start over option seen there before deleting the shortcut to the ui.exe file.

At this time I have wiped all traces of the files unpacked from the original download of the latest Build #61 following a reinstall of Vista and will proceed to work with a fresh download of 61 again until it is working like it did prior to Windows seeing the latest reinstall. Apparently the MS update saw the wrong SMBus and sata drivers go on where a BSOD and the quick online automatic search pointed to a different version! Hopefully that's what the unhandled exception error seen earlier was caused by. Page #28 Post #415 for a look.

I'm sorry what was that? A UI shortcut on my desktop? I just ran it from the directory I extracted the package to.

I didn't understand the directions you gave me. I need to use Easy BCD to restore the mbr? I thought I just rebuilt the MBR. Hitting Start Over in UI.exe doesn't appear to do do anything.

Can you give me more specific directions on what I need to do to remove all traces of Vista hns and prevent it from taking over?

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