Vista HnS after Vista SP1

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#41
Saphire,
I notice something strange about your screenshot. Was it taken from Vista or XP ?
I take it your G partition is XP, but the screenshot doesn't show it flagged as "boot" (means there's a Windows folder on the disk.) According to the flags, the only Windows system on your HDD is the C disk on partition 3.
 
#42
Screenshot was taken from Vista. Of course I might have screwed up here - I took it after I tried Vista HnS, didn't work and I uninstalled it. I will reinstall latest build and retake the screenshot to see if the boot item shows up on G.
 
#43
I looked this over again and as far as I understand it, this is how should be per the Wiki article. As follows:
"The "Drive" option in EasyBCD for Windows XP and below does not refer to the drive with Windows XP on it, but rather the system boot drive with NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.INI"

As C has the original OS on it (Vista) then that is where the boot items would be, not on any other partition. Am I understanding this right?

Addendum:

I have a couple questions for you Terry if you don't mind while CG is trying to work on this Cmain thing. I'm just trying to understand a bit more about where the pieces are going when you use Vista HnS.

1. First thing is the bootmgr. Before I use HnS, bootmgr is 326KB, off of the Vista disk. HnS sets up another bootmgr called bootmgr.hns which is now 326KB, but there is another bootmgr which is 184KB., both on C. Is it because Vista uses the HNS bootmgr and the other one is for XP? (XP also shows bootmgr of 184KB on its partition)

2. menu.lst (I attached) Says under the XP section to remap and then set root to XP.G.HNS. But there is nothing in this folder. Is this a trick to make XP think its got the boot process or something similar? I think I read something on that in a thread here, can't find it though.

Saphire 199
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#44
The flags in dsk mgmt are not set by EasyBCD, but inform it.
"boot" means there's a windows OS on this partition
"system" means this partition contains the boot files
"active" means start with this "system" partition when booting (seems redundant, but there can be more than one "system" if you have OSs other than windows - like OSx OS2 linux)
The reason why EasyBCD can point at another partition when specifying XP, is when XP is not the "system active" partition. EasyBCD can see the flags so it won't let you force it to point at XP when it knows that XP's boot files must be elsewhere (on the "active" disk)
This does not mean that Vista is always the "system active" partition. On my system that honour falls to XP, and that's where I find my Vista boot files too
The larger bootmgr is Vista's. When you install HnS, it renames the Vista version to prevent it gaining initial control and puts its own fake Vista bootmgr in its place (the smaller one)
The new HnS bootmgr, masquerading as Vista's offers its menu and when you make your choice it hands control to the renamed Vista version or to XP's NTLDR after having made the appropriate hide/unhide actions.

Addendum:

I don't know about the XP.G.HNS. That's a feature of the latest builds which is not on my system because I backed out to an earlier version that I can get to work.
CG will forgive me I'm sure if I say my priority is a working system to hide my Vista restore folders, with debugging HnS being distinctly lower priority.
 
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#45
Thanks very much - just one question - it would seem that "system" would mean there is a Windows OS (or any OS) and "boot" would mean that partition which has the boot files. But you're saying its the other way around?

I agree with you on the earlier version of HnS. I don't mind uninstalling and going to the latest build to check out if I can run it now. And I really can't wait till iReboot fits in there! It was REALLY convenient to just go from one system to another - but I would rather have the security of being able to restore than convenience.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#46
Yes they are the "wrong" way round, but that's MS for you.
boot = windows
system = boot files
active = start here

It causes no end of problems. People say "I've put everything on the boot disk, and it still doesn't work" because they see that "boot" flag.
But we tend to use the term in its english language sense, and those flags have a specific non-intuitive meaning to the MBR
Here's the Vista Help item on the subject

What are system partitions and boot partitions?


System partitions and boot partitions are names for partitions or volumes on a hard disk that Windows uses when starting. These technical terms are only important if you have more than one operating system installed on your computer (often called a dual-boot or multiboot configuration).
The system partition contains the hardware-related files that tell a computer where to look to start Windows. A boot partition is a partition that contains the Windows operating system files, which are located in the Windows file folder. Usually, these are the same partition, especially if you have only one operating system installed on your computer. If you have a multiboot computer, you will have more than one boot partition. An additional term, the active partition, describes which system partition (and thus which operating system) your computer uses to start.
When you turn on your computer, it uses information stored on the system partition to start up. There is only one system partition on a Windows-based computer, even if you have different versions of Windows installed on the same computer. However, non-Windows operating systems use different system files. In a multiboot computer using a non-Windows operating system, its system files are located on its own partition, separate from the Windows system partition.
A boot partition is a partition that contains Windows operating system files. If you have a multiboot computer that contains, for example, this version of Windows and Windows XP, then each of those volumes are considered boot partitions.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#48
Yes, I don't know if that's relevant to the HnS code and could be causing a problem, but I don't imagine so since you have to point HnS at the XP system yourself.
I don't know why it's not set, but presumably it means that Vista is unaware of the XP system and would therefore not create an automatic dual-boot entry itself, like it did on my PC. (if you were not using HnS at all)
 
#49
ok, now I just went back to the earlier build of HnS and can't boot into XP. I get the "missing/corrupt hal.dll" message. In dual boot, this would be a boot.ini problem regarding the ARC path, but what about with Vista HnS? It's not like I have a heck of a lot of partitions, etc to mess with.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#50
It's still a boot.ini issue. Check the rdisk() value.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#51
HnS is putting in its own top level bootloader saphire, but after doing the hide/unhide, it's passing control to the Vista/XP bootldr/ntldr, so once they're in control, you'll still get all the usual symptoms decribed in the troubleshooter if you've not got your dual boot properly sorted.
You shouldn't even start playing with HnS until you have a perfectly functioning dual-boot with all the wrinkles ironed-out, then it should just gently slide on top and seamlessly protect your Vista restore points.

Do as Guru says, and check that C:\boot.ini is correctly pointing to your G partition.
 
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#52
OK, this is what I did. I uninstalled Vista HnS to check my dual boot. I can boot into either Vista or XP with no problem. I can go from one to the other. (Vista to XP, or vice versa) I reinstalled Vista HnS. This boots into Vista just fine, but I get the boot.ini error (hal.dll) when I try XP. You have the screenshot of my disk management, I only have one HDD (and 2 DVD/CD drives which shouldn't enter into this). I have no other flash drives, etc connected. Also as soon as I uninstall HnS, XP boots right up. I doublechecked the boot.ini before and after installation (just to be sure) and the C:\boot.ini file stayed the same. I have attached the file. One thing that does change and I don't know if this makes a difference or not is the G:\boot.ini set up by HnS. Everything looks the same except under operating systems it says ["Vista Hide 'n Seek: Windows XP" /noexecute=optin].
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#53
That boot.ini.hns you attached is the old (non HnS) boot.ini which has been renamed by HnS to stop it being used. It will have put its own copy for NTLDR to find. NTLDR will only recognize "boot.ini" (no other variations on the name). You need to make sure that the one called plain "boot.ini" is pointing at your XP partition.
As to why HnS is creating a boot.ini which points to the wrong partition, we'll have to wait for CG to determine. In the meantime, that's the one you should correct to get past the Hal error.
 
#54
OK, that made sense. So I found that this is what happened - HnS is creating the boot.ini file but placing it in G:\. So I copied this file into C:\ and voila!, booted into XP with HnS. Now the only thing is why did HnS not create the boot file to C and instead put it to G? Do I have a setting messed up somewhere? And I'm gonna try the new build with this as well, as if I'm trying to boot using HnS and I have no boot file that could have been the problem? Worth trying anyway.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#55
No, the cmain error has nothing to do with boot.ini

I ***may*** have fixed the cmain error though, can you please
1) download the latest build (hasn't changed)
2) replace grldr in that package with the GRLDR i've uploaded as an attachment to this post

then test it and see how it goes?

Thanks, man.
 

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#56
Sorry CG, didn't work for me. Just to be sure, I re-downloaded newest build, replaced the GRLDR file, ran HnS and rebooted and still got the Cmain screen. I put down the order to make sure I did it as you wanted.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#57
OK, I just had an idea.

Can you confirm that you do get the cmain() error with this version of GRLDR?

note to self:
Code:
revision 59
stock
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#58
Saphire,
just for my info, what did you need to do to get back into the system after the cmain().
I had to repair the Vista bootloader, back out HnS, clean up files, chkdsk, reinstall previous HnS and reboot.
Have you got a faster method ?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#59
Saphire, if the copy of GRLDR posted in post #57 does NOT give you a cmain() error, can you tell me if this one does?

note to self:
Code:
revision 59
ubuntu 2.6.24-19-generic x86_64
gcc 4.2.3
 

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#60
CG - GDLDR in post 57 gave Cmain error, confirmed.

Terry - As soon as I get Cmain..., I put in my Vista disk, press CTRL/ALT/DEL, boot into CD ROM, run Vista repair. This then boots the computer automatically once it repairs the boot errors into Vista. From there I run HnS, uninstall, then remove the HnS bootmgr file which seems to be left over from the above actions. From there, I reinstall the earlier build of HnS, copy the boot.ini file from G to C and I'm good to go. I don't have to restart, the next time I boot , Vista HnS is there and working (earlier version). Does this help?