Cannot get Vista to boot

Duck

New Member
#1
I have XP and vista installed on one hard disk. I cannot boot vista. I tried using easyBCD to restore the vista boot loader, and tried the vista DVD to restore it. Both times I just boot straight into windows XP with no boot loader options at all even though I tired setting them all up in easyBCD.

XP is in the 1st partition (but it was installed after vista). Vista is in the 2nd partition. Really at a loss how to fix this ???
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi duck, welcome to NST.
You tried the Vista DVD but it just booted into XP ?
If I'm correctly interpreting what you said, it sounds like you don't have CDROM set to boot before HDD in your BIOS.
Your BIOS splash screen (the first thing you see when you power-up) should say somewhere on it, how to enter the BIOS setup (hit "del" on my ASUS mobo, Function key on some others)
Get in there and make sure that CD is set to boot before HDD, then follow the link from point 4 of the sticky thread to fix the Vista boot.
 

Duck

New Member
#3
Hi, I mean to say I have booted off the vista DVD to do a restore of the bootloader. It seamed to do its job, but after a restart it just goes straight to windows XP with no boot menu and no chance to get back into vista. In easyBCD, it showed a vista option with "(restored)" or similar on the end of the name, so that's why it looks like the vista DVD did do somthing.

It is very puzzling why it doesnt work. I tell you exactly what I did may help...

Blank hard disk. Formatted 3 partitions, 1st is 4GB and I installed windows XP on it. 2nd is 18GB and I installed Vista on it. 3rd is 15GB and I put most my files on it. Dual boot is working here with the vista install detecting the earlier version of windows. Windows XP went wrong and best thing to do was to reinstall XP on the 1st partition. I reformatted the 1st partition as part of the install. Now I can't get back into vista. It's still there on the 2nd partition. I'm not even sure if I have restored the vista boot loader. I used easyBCD to rewrite to the MBR and it said it worked so I don't see where I am going wrong ??
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Can you post a screenshot of your disk management display and paste the output from EasyBCD display settings in debug mode, but first try the DVD boot /repair sequence again. It generally takes at least 2 , possibly 3 passes before it fixes everything.
 
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Duck

New Member
#5
I tired the DVD boot repair twice. 1st time it made some changes and restarted, 2nd time I was able to click on startup repair option but it couldnt fix it.

Here is the screenshot...



Addendum:

Sorry I think you wanted a screenshot like this...

 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Everything looks OK. XP is your "system" partition (where all the boot files should be) and the BCD says that's where bootmgr is (as it should) and that Vista is on D: seen from XP (as it should).
The only explanation for booting directly to XP, is if the PBR on your system partition is looking for NTLDR instead of bootmgr (ie XP is still in control) and the BCD is being ignored.
Try booting the DVD and "repair your computer" / "startup repair" again (3 times is not unheard of) It's a very stupid process and can only seem to change one thing at a time.
The EasyBCD "manage bootloader" / rewrite MBR should have achieved the same thing (you did have the radio button set to reinstall Vista not Uninstall Vista ?)
 
#7
From EasyBCD's Power Console in the "Useful Utilites" section (while in XP), run:

Code:
bootsect.exe nt60 /force C:
That will put Vista's PBR on the "system" partition (the XP partition - C ), in case Terry's hunch is correct, and you have XP's PBR currently on the partition instead (which seems likely). Which OS did you install first? Vista or XP?

Cheers,

Jake
 

Duck

New Member
#8
Tried booting off the DVD to for startup repair. This tool doesnt even see windows XP, only Vista on D: but it says it cannot repair as its incompatible. This is crazy as it's the exact same disk I used to install Vista. XP still boots after I restart the compter.

Tried using EasyBCD's Power Console as you described. Didn't get any messages saying if it worked or not. Restarted PC but still no luck.

Tried using easyBCD to reinstall the Vista boot loader again. Still just boots into XP.

Coolname007, I installed XP first, then vista (dual booting worked at this point). But I had to reinstall XP and now cant get vista to boot up. I dont even get a menu to chose the OS so I'm guessing the vista boot loader doesnt get used at all.


When I installed Vista on D: did it put some files for booting on the C: ? C: got reformatted when I reinstalled XP so could this be the reason it's not working? Still don't understand why easyBCD can't reinstall the vista bootloader. It's going wrong somewhere. I could reinstall everything yet again, would it have been better to put Vista in partition 1?

Addendum:

Just noticed from easyBCD debug mode... I dont have any "\bootmgr" on C: but I do have the NTLDR file on C:
 
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#9
Tried booting off the DVD to for startup repair. This tool doesnt even see windows XP, only Vista on D: but it says it cannot repair as its incompatible. This is crazy as it's the exact same disk I used to install Vista. XP still boots after I restart the compter.

Tried using EasyBCD's Power Console as you described. Didn't get any messages saying if it worked or not. Restarted PC but still no luck.

Tried using easyBCD to reinstall the Vista boot loader again. Still just boots into XP.

Coolname007, I installed XP first, then vista (dual booting worked at this point). But I had to reinstall XP and now cant get vista to boot up. I dont even get a menu to chose the OS so I'm guessing the vista boot loader doesnt get used at all.
Alright, I guessed as much. :smile:
When I installed Vista on D: did it put some files for booting on the C: ? C: got reformatted when I reinstalled XP so could this be the reason it's not working? Still don't understand why easyBCD can't reinstall the vista bootloader. It's going wrong somewhere. I could reinstall everything yet again, would it have been better to put Vista in partition 1?
Yes, Vista put its "bootmgr" and "/Boot/BCD" boot files on C, your XP partition, because it was the "active" partition, and that is why it is "system". :wink:
Addendum:

Just noticed from easyBCD debug mode... I dont have any "\bootmgr" on C: but I do have the NTLDR file on C:
You need to go into your Folder Options in the Control Panel, and the View tab there, you need to select the options called "Show hidden files and folders", and "Unhide protected system files". :wink: Then you will be able to see your "bootmgr" file, along with the /Boot folder. Ok, so I now know what the problem is. Go into the Power Console again, and run the following command:
Code:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
This will unhide the boot menu if its hidden.
You can also change the default OS to be booted in the "Change Settings" section of EasyBCD from XP to Vista if you want. Now reboot, and you should see the boot menu.

Cheers,

Jake
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
Its your default identifier ({xxx-xxx...}) for the "default" value under the boot manager (first) entry. I don't know whats its pointing to, cause the identifier doesnt match XP or Vistas according to your screenshot. Click "Change Settings" in EasyBCD, select Vista's entry where it says "Default OS" and hit the save button.

If you reboot and find it'll boot in Vista now but won't give you a menu as before, open a command prompt and force it to always display a boot menu:

Code:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
 
#11
Nope! I don't have the bootmgr file in C:\

I know I didn't delete it so don't ask me where it's gone lol

I do have the "Boot" folder in C:\ with that "BCD" file inside it.


I typed that command into the power console... it completed successfully but I rebooted and still the same happens. Windows XP only and no boot menu. I tried setting the default OS to Vista as kairozamorro said but still only XP comes up.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
You don't need to delete your BCD file. Just go to change settings and select your Vista entry as the default OS than click save.
 
#14
Nope! I don't have the bootmgr file in C:\
Are you sure? :wtf: Did you make sure to unhide the protected system files first before checking? If its truly missing, then that explains at least part of your problem. :wink:
 
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#15
I am very sure it's not there.

Now that I understand the difference between a system and boot partition, I was thinking of having an extra partition that is only 8MB big as partition 1 (this can be the system partition). Then 4 GB for XP (partition 2), and 18GB for Vista (partition 3). The idea is that both XP and Vista could be reinstalled as needed in the future without this problem of loosing these vital files. Would this be a good idea?
 
#16
I am very sure it's not there.

Now that I understand the difference between a system and boot partition, I was thinking of having an extra partition that is only 8MB big as partition 1 (this can be the system partition). Then 4 GB for XP (partition 2), and 18GB for Vista (partition 3). The idea is that both XP and Vista could be reinstalled as needed in the future without this problem of loosing these vital files. Would this be a good idea?
Creating a new "system" partition is not a good idea, unless you make sure to copy all the important boot files for all your Windows OSes into it, and to set the partition to "active" afterwards so your system knows where to find them after you move them. :wink:

The "bootmgr" file missing problem definitely needs to be fixed before you will be able to boot into Vista. Try running Startup Repair a few more times from the DVD to see if that helps, as well as the "Reinstall the Vista bootloader" option in EasyBCD from XP.

Cheers,

Jake
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
Resetting the default in command prompt so its pointing to your Vista entry:

Code:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} default {5cd0171d-0f2c-11de-b6e8-c1b4aaea74d9}
If you still only get XP, than cool's right. You will need to startup repair, though you can also re-install the Vista bootloader to mbr under Manage Bootloader page in EasyBCD.
 
#18
hmmmm can easyBCD put this "bootmgr" on the C:\ for me? I'm guessing if it could, that would be breaking some sort of copyright. The repair bootloader off the Vista DVD and in easyBCD is not working for me, so... I think I will just have to reformat the whole system and start again. This time I will make a new 8MB system partition. That way should be better in the long run. I will install windows XP first again. Will it know to make this 8MB partition the system partition?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#19
One more thing to try...

Reset your bcd store under Diagnostics Center. You may need to re-add your XP/Vista entry.