[Download] Vista Hide 'n Seek BETA


I often remote into my computer in either Vista or XP. I want to be able to set HnS to be able to reboot and have either Vista or XP start up as the default. I'm having problems though.

Drive 0 is XP
Drive 1 is Vista

Installed EasyBCD, set Vista as the default.
Installed HnS (in XP) set XP as the default. menu.lst is saved on the XP drive
boots into HnS flash, then timesout to boot XP directly
I'm in XP and Vista drive is hidden. Looks good so far.
Now I want to default boot into Vista
Launch UI.exe in XP. Change default to Vista
boots into HnS flash, times out to Vista
Loads EasyBCD flash, times out to Vista default
I'm in Vista.
Now I want to reboot into XP by default.
Launch UI.exe from within Vista
It complains that it can't find menu.lst (cause it is on the root of the XP drive)

How can I get UI.exe to change the menu.lst on the XP drive?



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Lowcarb, welcome to NST.
The UI is designed to run from Vista, and should install the HnS bootmgr (grub4dos masquerading as Vista's bootmgr) on the "system" partition root with all of the other Vista and XP boot files. (It renames Vista's bootmgr to "bootmgr.HnS" to be able to surplant it and chainload it when Vista is selected from the HnS menu)
The UI is only supposed to be run once to set up the environment. It's not designed to do what you want.
You should simply be able to edit the line "default 0" to "default 1" in the menu.lst if you want to change which system boots on timeout.
When Vista is your "system" partition and will be hidden, the UI puts duplicate files on XP, so that it can still boot. When XP is "system" (like my PC) and will thus not be hidden, there's just one copy.
I'm surprised that it worked at all when run from XP.
Thanks Terry.
I realized I could do what you suggest, but I was looking for a way to do it through a GUI.
I will modify my menu.lst ignoring of course the warning
# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta

timeout 5
default 0


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
HnS was designed to be used by Windows users without any Linux experience, as a simple point and click solution to the Vista restore point problem. (The previous NST solution of using Neogrub required the user to become instantly familiar with grub and its syntax, and produced a clumsy non-intuitive 2-stage boot).
The warning is of the "here be dragons !" type, just to avoid the complication of trying to debug user interference with the menu, rather than program errors. (HnS is still officially Beta, though stable at the current build for about 6 months)
You'll see from here, that I've not only messed with the menu, but the message too.
For a previous user of grub, (and now that the build is so stable) the warning is somewhat academic.
Hi Blue, welcome to NST.
HnS must be run from Vista.
If you want to use EasyBCD , you'll need a copy on Vista too. (Once Vista is hidden, the copy on XP won't be able to see the BCD unless it happens to be on the XP disk in your case)
When HnS is controlling the boot it will chainload the Vista bootmgr when you select Vista from the boot menu. The Vista bootmgr will then display your current bootmgr menu (which will be redundant), so you'll want to set its timeout to 0 or delete the XP entry so that the second boot menu doesn't get shown. HnS will give you the ability to call EasyBCD to do this at the final tidying-up stage (where you can rename the entries, change the HnS timeout etc), so you'll want a copy available in Vista for that purpose.
According to [post=10366]Post #11[/post], HnS can be used from either XP or Vista, though the preferred method is apparently to install HnS on Vista, so if you want to later remove it, Vista will not remain hidden...

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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Just repeating the instruction "(It needs to be run from Vista)" from here Cool.
The post you quote was about 40 builds earlier.
It obviously can be run from XP in some circumstances as a recent post suggests, but I don't know if the installation is bullet-proof when done that way in all configurations, so erring on the side of caution seems appropriate.
CG will have to say if the latest build is OS independent and that advice can be dispensed with.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
It can be installed OK from XP, IIRC.
My situation:
-Started with XP Pro and then recently added Vista Ultimate and set it up to dual boot.
-Installed EasyBCD 1.7.1 no problem and changed XP generic wording in the bootloader to read as "Windows XP".
-Unpacked Hide N Seek and told it to hide my Vista directory from XP and my XP directory from Vista.
-On next boot up, system booted directly into XP- bootloader didn't load and I wasn't given the option to choose Vista (rebooted 3 or 4 times and each time it booted directly into XP).
-Vista drive was hidden from XP, but the problem was I couldn't get into the boot loader to boot to Vista.
-Installed EasyBCD 1.7.1 on XP. Attempted to restore bootloader using that process. NO GO.
-Restored bootloader using my Vista disc and now I can boot into either XP or Vista fine.

-Hide N Seek is not hiding anything anymore.
-I start by telling it to start over and then check the drives in Hide N Seek and it tells me they're already hidden.
-I attempt to uninstall Hide N Seek and it goes through the motions like it's uninstalling, but it's still there and the next time I enter it tells me that the drives are already hidden.

Any advice on what I can try next?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi John, welcome to NST.
Can you post the contents of the menu.lst file created on your "system" partition by HnS, the contents of the log file (located in the folder you unpacked HnS to), and a screenshot of the contents of the partition root of the "system" partition. (You can see which is flagged "system" in Admin Tools / Comp Mgmt / Disk mgmt).
Make sure folder options has hidden files, system files and known filetypes all unhidden first.

btw HnS only hides Vista from XP because there's no need to hide XP from Vista.
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Am traveling right now & posting via a laptop (not the PC I've having troubles with). Will check my menu.lst file on that PC and post this weekend.

Thanks for the help.
I don't have a menu.lst file on any of my drives (all files are and were already unhidden).
I searched for it and didn't find it and then found a couple of ways for Hide N Seek to give me an error that the 'menu.lst' file is not present too.

My 'system' partition doesn't have an OS on it. On my IDE drive, partition 1 is my 'system' partition (with a few files on it), partition 2 is XP, partition 3 is Vista.

I also have a SATA drive that I just installed (it's currently empty).


Super Moderator
Staff member
Your ide/sata mix might be proving to cause issues. CG's made a discovery for getting around this issue and has already incorporated it into the EasyBCD beta. If thats the case hopefully he'll add it into the next HnS build.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
HnS already contains the logic to circumvent any problem with a SATA/IDE mix. I broke all the early builds because of it, and poor CG had to redesign several times to make it work no matter what the HDD mix. It was that expertise which he then ported over into Easy 2.0.
John, can you post the log file from your HnS folder, and the names of the files on the "system" partition root.


New Member
HnS and Ubuntu 9.04


About a year ago CG helped me to install the HNS systems and add Ubuntu to the menu system. I have just upgraded to Ubuntu 09.04 and followed what I thought were the logical methods to add Ubuntu 9.04. But it doesn't work. Below is the menu description. I have installed Ubuntu onto sda5 and used the advanced button to install grup onto the same partitiion. I have then used the Ubuntu livecd to copy across the menu list for Ubuntu and then added the root line to it. Vista and XP work but I can't get Ubuntu to load


# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta
timeout 15
default 0
title Microsoft Windows Vista
find --unhide /Vista.C.HnS
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS
title Microsoft Windows XP
find --hide /Vista.C.HnS
find --remap-root /XP.E.HnS
find --set-root /XP.E.HnS
chainloader /ntldr
title Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-11-generic
root (hd0,4)
uuid 0d62d5f0-76b4-4ac6-8e40-cd38637ab2ea
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic root=UUID=0d62d5f0-76b4-4ac6-8e40-cd38637ab2ea ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic


Super Moderator
Staff member
GDH welcome back.

We'll haft to wait for confirmation on this one but I don't think HnS plays nice with 9.04 yet due to some changes in grub syntax and the addition of ext4 if thats the filesystem you chose during installation.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hello again Gareth.
Take a look at my thread. It's a little more complex than yours and a much later build, and I've moved some stuff into a separate boot partition and created independent boot files in each partition in order to make use of grub's iReboot-like facility to dynamically modify the default OS at boot, so don't try to copy the whole thing.
The syntax for chaining to Ubuntu should suffice though. I'm using 9.04.
Just get the right (hdx,y) values.
Grub4dos will help. If you use edit mode (e) at the boot menu and "tab" at the x and y values, it will display a list of all valid values and you can pick the Ubuntu one and make sure that menu.lst is updated with the correct values.
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HnS bombed after installing VISTA SP2

I've had Hide 'n Seek v61 working great for some time now (with seperate partitions for VISTA and XP - neither could see the other). Esch partition is a C: drive to it's own local OS - easier for installing apps, etc.

Anyway, earlier today I installed VISTA SP2 and **BOOM** - now no more Hide 'n Seek at boot. Now my system only boots into VISTA directly. I tried running HnS again, starting over, etc. but no luck - it doesn't even see the XP partition now, only VISTA. And when I boot my system, no HnS menu.

This is the log:
6:00 PM Vista Hide 'n Seek
6:00 PM Boot drive: C:\
6:00 PM Listing drives involved in the procedure.
6:00 PM Beginning Uninstall process.
6:00 PM Reverting BOOTMGR on C:\
6:00 PM Access to the path 'C:\BOOTMGR' is denied.
6:00 PM Cannot create a file when that file already exists.
6:00 PM Removing menu.lst from C:\
6:00 PM Attempting to revert boot.ini.hns, XP.ID.HnS, & Vista.ID.HnS on C:\
6:00 PM Deleting NTLDR and NTDETECT from C:\
6:00 PM Re-creating NTLDR and NTDETECT on C:\
6:00 PM HnS has been successfully uninstalled.

NeoSmart intelliLogger 1.0
Logging started on 5/30/2009 at 6:00 PM using log level Debug
6:00 PM Vista Hide 'n Seek

Every time I run the UI, I only get the uninstall. It never uninstalls it completely. Is there any way I can manually uninstall it?

Anyone else have issues after upgrading or installing VISTA SP2 (I went from SP1 to SP2)?

Or any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
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