Another install gone bad...

#1
I'm dual-booting XP Pro and Vista. XP Pro is installed on one drive; Vista crashed the other day and I reinstalled it on my second drive the same way I did when I first purchased it (I had boot problems then, too, but somehow managed to fix everything with Easy BCD without really knowing how I did it). Anyhow, booting without the Vista DVD in the drive brings up the XP boot menu. Both OSes are listed there but selecting either one results in a reboot. Booting with the Vista DVD brings up the Vista boot menu. Both OSes show up here also, but only the Vista entry works; selecting XP leads back to the XP boot menu where selcting either entry results in a reboot. The result is no way to boot into XP and the need to have the Vista DVD in the drive to get into Vista. I've spent the better part of two days trying everything I can think of and have tried Easy BCD to change the settings but I haven't got it right yet. The contents of the boot.ini file from the drive that Vista is on are:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[boot loader]
timeout=10
Default= multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The boot.ini in the root of the XP drive is:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
;
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you help? I'm fairly computer savvy, but the Windows boot processes are like black magic to me...

P.S. I tried changing the HDD boot order in the BIOS, but no luck; same problems.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi ssilvi,
Guru, the author of all the wonderful boot aids on the site, doesn't appear to be online at the moment, but when he arrives will fix your problems in an instant. Let me welcome you on his behalf and point you to a couple of threads that might help you figure things out for yourself in the interim.
http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1203
is Raul's background primer on Dual-boot
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Troubleshooting+Windows+XP
Is a description of how to fix most XP boot problems in the Neosmart wiki
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#3
Welcome ssilvi to NeoSmart Technologies.

Troubleshooting Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Read up on the documentation in the Wiki. To me it sounds as if you are missing the NTLDR and the NTDETECT files on your boot drive. Which should be the Vista drive. Which in turn is casuing this reboot problem. Placing these files from your XP install to the root of the Vista drive (Just inside the drive itself not within a folder) should help you resolve this reboot issue.

To find these files open My Computer, then click Tools>Folder Options>View Tab. In the View tab you will want to uncheck the following boxes:

Hide proptected operating system files. It will say that it is recommended thta this is on. Which is correct but for our purpose we need to see them. Also you will want to make sure that the Show hideen files and folder option is also checked.

From there go to the root of your XP drive. Find those files mentioned above and copy them to the Vista drive. the do the opposite of what i said above to hide the files again restart and see what happens.

Addendum:

Well if you think the boot.ini has some issues go and rebuild it.

Rebuilding Boot.ini - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Just a tip. Vista doesnt use the boot.ini at all. It just uses the BCD. It is a totally new and independent boot loader from that of the XP days. So there shouldnt be a Vista entry in the boot.ini. But there should be a entry for XP in the BCD.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Welcome to NST, ssilvi.

Like Mak says, you need to make sure NTLDR and NTDETECT are there, but your boot.ini needs to be re-configured for sure as well.

Boot.ini should just have the single entry for XP, meaning you need to get rid of that Windows Vista line. That entry (and the "default=" line) should point to the XP drive, but boot.ini, ntldr, ntdetect, etc. should all be located on the boot drive; which may or may not be the XP drive itself.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#5
You have to mess with your boot.ini settings. You say that XP is on the first disk and that it is on the first partition? If so then the partition should be 0 (Zero) as the partition count starts at 0 (Zero) and not 1. that could be where you are having the issues.
 
#6
OK, I've almost got it. I can boot without the Vista DVD and go right to the Vista boot menu which displays Vista nd XP. Selecting Vista takes me to Vista; selecting XP brings up an error message: "Invalid boot.ini file. Booting from C:\Windows\". After a few seconds, the system reboots. Her are the contents of my boot.ini from the root of the XP drive. My system is configured with XP on HD0 and Vista on HD1; both are single partition drives.

;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
;
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

Here are the contents of the BCD file according to EasyBCD:

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 10 seconds.
Default OS: Windows Vista Ultimate

Entry #1
Name: Windows Vista Ultimate
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {490f66d0-c3d5-11dc-b6a4-b5b49935a1cb}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR

Finally, here is the output from the 'bcdedit' command:

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=D:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {4f13084e-c3bc-11dc-b0a2-806e6f6e6963}
displayorder {current}
{490f66d0-c3d5-11dc-b6a4-b5b49935a1cb}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 10


Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista Ultimate
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {1804e43e-c3db-11dc-ac0a-806e6f6e6963}


Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {490f66d0-c3d5-11dc-b6a4-b5b49935a1cb}
device partition=C:
path \NTLDR
description Microsoft Windows XP


Why is XP listed in the Real-mode Boot Sector section? There never was such a section before the Vista re-install, and why doesn't this section show up in EasyBCD?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Well, it does - "Real-mode Boot Sector" is something that EasyBCD added - that's how EasyBCD (on a low-level) interprets and commands the bootloader.

Anyway, that boot.ini error is telling me that you have boot.ini on the wrong drive right now.

Boot.ini should be on drive D:\ according to the info you posted above.
 
#8
Whew! I finally got 'er done. My successful configuration is:
1. On my XP drive, which I assume is rdisk(0), I have NTLDR, NTDETECT, bootmgr, and a BOOT folder. I'm not sure if all these need to be present here.
2. On my Vista drive, which I assume is rdisk(1), I have the same files as above, but with a boot.ini file added, the contents of which are:

[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\windows
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

I'm curious, though. Do NTDETECT and NTLDR need to reside on the XP drive for the boot to work?

Again, thanks to Guru and the others who pitched in. Your time is greatly appreciated.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#9
Yes. Those files NEED to be there in order for XP to boot. They are manditory XP boot files.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
I'm curious, though. Do NTDETECT and NTLDR need to reside on the XP drive for the boot to work?
(emphasis added)

No, not the XP drive but the boot drive. NTLDR loads the Windows files from the XP drive, but NTLDR itself is loaded from the boot drive.
 
#11
What I meant to ask is this: I understand that NTDETECT, NTLDR, bootmgr, and boot.ini all need to be on the Vista drive for the boot to work. Do they all also need to be on the XP drive? If not, which ones need to be there? I see there's a folder on the XP drive called TEMP_BOOT containg NTLDR, NTDETECT, and bootmgr. When I tried to move these files to a different location (to see if they were necessary for boot), it said that bootmgr was in use and couldn't be moved.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
No, the files only need to be on the boot drive. They're unnecessary elsewhere.