2 hard disks both with xp

#1
I am in the process of rebuilding my system (xp media center) and the way I chose to do this was to unplug the old hard disk and buy a new hard disk and reinstall xp. After installing xp successfully, I added the Vista bootloader and EasyBCD 1.7.2. Everything works great! Now I have plugged back in the old hard disk and I would like to boot from either hard disk. (The intent is to eventually make the old one go away and use it for Linux).

Now here is the problem. The ADD/REMOVE Entries button is very confusing to me. If it was Linux on the second drive, the drop down menu on the Linux tab would let me pick hard drive 1, partition 1 as the location of the operating system. (which is where the second xp system is; partition 0 is the recovery partition). However, on the comparable Windows tab the drive selection is greyed out and is set to C:\. I added a "windows (old)" selection anyway. Then I went to CHANGE SETTINGS button and set the drive letter for "windows (old)" to G:\ (the location of the old xp files). Is this what I should do?
Thanks
 
#2
I am in the process of rebuilding my system (xp media center) and the way I chose to do this was to unplug the old hard disk and buy a new hard disk and reinstall xp. After installing xp successfully, I added the Vista bootloader and EasyBCD 1.7.2. Everything works great! Now I have plugged back in the old hard disk and I would like to boot from either hard disk. (The intent is to eventually make the old one go away and use it for Linux).

Now here is the problem. The ADD/REMOVE Entries button is very confusing to me. If it was Linux on the second drive, the drop down menu on the Linux tab would let me pick hard drive 1, partition 1 as the location of the operating system. (which is where the second xp system is; partition 0 is the recovery partition). However, on the comparable Windows tab the drive selection is greyed out and is set to C:\. I added a "windows (old)" selection anyway. Then I went to CHANGE SETTINGS button and set the drive letter for "windows (old)" to G:\ (the location of the old xp files). Is this what I should do?
Thanks
Hello sceptre. Welcome to NST.
The drive selection being greyed out when you create an XP entry is perfectly normal, and is for the sole purpose of preventing you from selecting the wrong partition (which you managed to still do anyway). :brows: The reason that its greyed out is because the partition that the BCD entry should point to is not the XP you are trying to boot partition's. Rather, its supposed to point to the partition seen as "system" and "active" in Disk Management on your first hard drive (as seen from the BIOS), and is the partition that's supposed to contain all your MS boot files. So what you need to do is reset the drive selection back to C: under Change Settings, and then hit the Save button, and exit EasyBCD. Now, that you have done that, open up the Folder Options in the Control Panel, and under the View tab, make sure the option "Show hidden files and folder" is selected, and the option called "Hide protected system files" is not selected. Next, open up My Computer, double-click on the C: partition to open it and browse its contents. Now, in the root of that partition, you should see three files that I will name:

boot.ini
ntldr
ntdetect.com

So double-click on the "boot.ini" file to open it in Notepad, and view its contents. Now change the rdisk( ) values (it will most likely be currently set to 0) you see to 1 instead in the line directly below the timeout line. Now copy and paste the following line to the end of your boot.ini file, under the entry beneath [operating systems]:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Older XP system" /NoExecute=OptIn /fastdetect
Note that the rdisk() value is 1 instead of 0 (as it is in your other entry) because it is on a separate hard drive than the "boot" drive (i.e drive 0), so you will be pointing it at the drive and partition your older XP system is on. Note: You may need to adjust either value depending on which partition your older XP partition is on that disk, and how many attached drives you have on your system. If so, then simply modify the rdisk(1) and partition(1) values in the second line under [operating systems] to point at the correct drive and partition your older XP system is located at.

Now reboot and test, and you should have a working dual-boot of both XPs.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
The boot.ini you need to modify with a second entry as described by Jake, is the one in your "system" root. (C:\boot.ini), not the one on the old G:\ disk. (typo now corrected)
Please read the sticky thread for details.
 
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#4
Got it Working!

Thanks 007 and Terry !!. After reading your posts, I edited the EasyBCD entries and the XP boot.ini file. I now have only one entry in EasyBCD that I assume points to the XP bootloader boot.ini. The boot.ini file now reads as below and I am able to boot into the new XP on C:\ or the old XP system on G:\. The drive designation switchs letters, of course, depending on which XP I boot into.

[boot loader]
timeout=20
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on G:\" /fastdetect

When I boot up, I get the Vista bootloader with 2 choices: Windows and Recovery Console. When I choose "Windows", I get a second XP boot menu with 3 choices:
Windows XP Media Center Edition
Microsoft Windows Recovery Console
Windows XP on G:\

It appears that the Vista bootloader and EasyBCD is actually doing nothing for me at the moment and I belive there is no way to avoid getting the second xp bootloader menu that controls the boot of all legacy Windows before Vista. Is this correct?

2nd question. Even though I only have one entry in EasyBCD, the Vista bootloader still gives me a choice for the Recovery console. How does it know that it is there?
 
#5
It appears that the Vista bootloader and EasyBCD is actually doing nothing for me at the moment and I belive there is no way to avoid getting the second xp bootloader menu that controls the boot of all legacy Windows before Vista. Is this correct?
Yep. That is correct. The XP boot menu you see comes from NTLDR, which reads from boot.ini, and so it is only after that the bootmgr passes control over to NTLDR, via the BCD, that that menu shows. So there is no way to bypass the second menu when you have multiple boot.ini entries. Of course, if you use a 3rd party boot manager to control the boot process, or even Grub (or Grub4Dos), it is possible to boot each partition directly, by setting the partition you select to boot to "active" (which is usually done automatically) status, and booting each one separately, meaning you only have one menu to get through. If you do that, though, you will need to have ntldr, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini on both XP drives/partitions, and both boot.ini files configured correctly for that system (and of course you would only need one entry in each boot.ini, or else you will still get the second menu, unless you set the timeout value in boot.ini to 0 so it boots the default entry immediately).
2nd question. Even though I only have one entry in EasyBCD, the Vista bootloader still gives me a choice for the Recovery console. How does it know that it is there?
I don't have any experience with having the Recovery console installed to the hard drive, and so I can't tell you why you see it in the BCD menu. Since MS designs their OSes to be backwards compatible, I'm guessing bootmgr can detect when the Recovery console exists on the hard drive, and automatically display a boot entry for it, but I don't know that for a fact.
BTW, since it sounds like you only have two XP systems installed, you really don't even need the Vista bootloader to dual-boot the two. Using the Vista mbr instead of XP's just increases the boot time, so the booting process is
BIOS>Vista IPL(in the MBR)>Vista PBR(partition boot record/boot sector on the XP partition of the boot drive)>bootmgr>BCD>ntldr>boot.ini>select either XP entry>the XP you selected loads
when it really could be (and should be)
BIOS>XP IPL(in the MBR)>XP PBR(partition boot record/boot sector on the XP partition of the boot drive)>ntldr>boot.ini>select either XP entry>the XP you selected loads
As you can see, the booting time would be quicker for either XP system if you use just the XP bootloader, because Vista's bootloader just adds two (unnecessary, in this case) steps. However, if you were thinking of adding Vista (or another OS) in the near-future, then I see why you may want to have the Vista bootloader in charge as XP's bootloader is not as capable (for one thing, it can't chainload Vista's bootloader).

Jake
 
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