Can't boot secondary or tertiary Vista partition

IanH

New Member
#1
I recently replaced my existing internal disk with a new 1TB model.
Used Acronis True Image to transfer my existing partitions to the new disk.
- Which only worked partially.
I have:
Part 1 30 Gb VISTA primary
Part 2 30 Gb VISTA (Testing) primary
Part 3 900 GB Media extended logicaL
Part 4 30 GB Vista (Clean install) primary
My thinking is to have have multiple VISTA installs, with only one active yo avoid un-necessary drive letters, and a common media partition.
Anyway, I can boot part 1 with my main Vista partition OK.
BUT when I set either part 2 or 4 to be active, I simply loop back round to seeing part1 being booted and being c:.
Here's what disk management says about the partitions..

Vista C: boot, page, primary
Vista Test: primary
Vista Clean: system, active, primary

This is curious... why isn't vista clean c: and being booted?

Here's what EasyBCD says when I'm started from Vista as C: and active:
There is one entry in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 30 seconds.
Default OS: Microsoft Windows Vista
Entry #1
Name: Microsoft Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows
My thinking is to set Vista Clean active and then start Windows Vista DVD and use recovery to try and fix things.

Any suggestions or hints gratefully received.

Ian.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi Ian, welcome to NST.

Don't change the active drive, instead use EasyBCD to add an entry for each Vista installation to the boot menu.
 

IanH

New Member
#3
OK ... so when I go to add an entry, I only see drives with a letter assigned - which my other vista drives don't have.

I do see a BOOT option - what's this?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Vista Help on partition attributes

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.

In summary

"Boot" just means there's a windows folder on the disk.
"system" means it's the windows system with the boot information
"active" means it's the one of the "systems" with the boot (only for when one or more of the OS's are not Windows)
For a single OS, they're all the same disk
For a Vista/XP dual, one is S A and B and the other is just B
For a Windows/ Linux dual boot, both are system, only one is active.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
I think he's referring to within EasyBCD, Terry.

Ian, you're going to need to temporarily assign your drives a letter in order to use EasyBCD to configure the bootloader. Once you've added them with EasyBCD, feel free to remove the letters once more.