Can't boot


Been using easybcd successfully for several months booting xp or vista.

Wanted to increase size of xp partition, shring vista partition. vista disk management tool allowed me to do that at initial setup but now will only allow me to shrink the xp partition, not increase. It allows shrinking the vista partition, but will only allow me to use that space as a new partition, not allowing xp to grab it.

Installed Partition Magic 8 in xp, but when I tried to install it in vista it was incompatable so I removed it from xp. I never tried to resize the partitions. At this point I rebooted and could go to either OS.

Noticed that vista now would not recognize the XP partition as anythin but unallocated space. Would not let me assign a drive letter to it. Noticed that the partition was inactive. Warning that it should only be made active if there was an OS on it. Since XP was on there I made it active, rebooted to nothing. System sees niether OS.

I "think" all I need to do is make that partition inactive once more but am unsure how to get there from here. Any help would be massively appreciated. I tried to boot with "Cute Little Partition" software but it wouldn't because of LBA size mismatch.

Any suggestions? Thanks
Hello and welcome to NeoSmart Technologies, MrRudeDog.

"Active" status only designates which partition your PC should boot from - not which partitions contain a bootable OS.

To change the Active partition back to the Vista one, use the GParted live CD.

Once that's done and you can get back into Vista we can help you fix your original problem :smile:
Not totally sure how to proceed with the GParted CD, I found and used the included Testdisk Utility. It showed 3 partitions on the drive, recovery, vista, and xp. It reported a space conflict between the vista and xp partitions. Upon further inspection it said that it could repair the boot for Vista. I permitted it to do so. I tried to reboot but got the same results, no OS, continuous reboot.

Realizing (and fearing) that I must have done something wrong I rebooted the Gparted CD and this time scrolled down to where I could boot from a particular partition. It will boot this way to Vista, but not xp. Going back to the Testdisk utility it doesn't see the xp name on the partition but it still sees a conflict between vista and the unnamed partition.

Have I now done irreparable damage to my XP partition? I certainly hope not, I only kept the Vista to entertain my daughter.

Although I can force a boot to Vista using the GParted, I have no XP and still have a disk space conflict. The funny thing was that I was going to Ghost the hard drive this weekend on a new USB drive that I got for Christmas. Hindsight is over rated.

All help appreciated. TIA
Last edited:
Thanks Guru, I made C drive partition active and now the boot menu appears after POST and I can choose Vista. I'm missing some files to boot XP, and will scour this board for the setup. If I am successful, I would love to know how to go about resizing the partition. Thanks again.
That's great news, MRD!

All the XP-related files and instructions you need can be found in the wiki @ Windows XP - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

The only thing I can recommend at this point is either
1) Manual recovery of files from the unrecognized partition with a data recovery program (the only one I swear by is EasyRecovery Professional by OnTrack)
2) Use Acronis Disk Director 10 to delete and then find & recover the partition.

First is safer :smile: