Change Vista's 'System' partition / move BCD boot manager?

BeeVee

Active Member
What I want is to get rid of OldSys altogether, forgive me if I did not explain clearly enough. Right now, the system is dependant on OldSys. I cannot boot from NewSys. I just rebooted to check things and here's what I did:

1. Shut down;
2. Unplug the OldSys drive;
3. Started with Vista DVD, went to Startup Repair, got the message that nothing was wrong as I previously posted;
4. (copied the log text and tried to start pedit, a dos text editor I found and copied to the root of C:. When I tried to run it in the Vista DVD's command line was told that pedit could not be found despite it being there when doing a dir and using a complete path, so no log text to post here);
5. Tried rebooting with only NewSys connected and with the DVD tray out so that the Vista DVD would not be seen - Not a System disk message, had to switch off;
6. Plugged OldSys back in and started the machine, went into BIOS and made sure NewSys was first in Boot order;
7. Not a system disk message;
8. Changed OldSys back to being first in Boot Sequence, back here.

B
 

Coolname007

Distinguished Member
6. Plugged OldSys back in and started the machine, went into BIOS and made sure NewSys was first in Boot order;
7. Not a system disk message;
8. Changed OldSys back to being first in Boot Sequence, back here.

B
Are you absolutely positive that the HDD that you called "NewSys" in the BIOS is actually NewSys's drive? Please verify that that is the case.
Also, Terry has a good idea. Post a screenshot of Disk Management as an attachment to your new post by scrolling down the window which shows the new post area, and using the "Manage Attachments" feature to attach the screenshot to your new post.

EDIT: And it is possible that your NewSys's partition is not marked as "active" on that HDD. If that is the case, then you will need to mark it as active by right-clicking on it in Disk Management, and clicking "Mark as active".
 
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BeeVee

Active Member
This is the root problem that I am trying to resolve. Please believe me that I have tried a whole bunch of stuff already... :wink:

B
 

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Coolname007

Distinguished Member
Hmm...so your NewSys partition is marked as active. ???
So frankly, I don't understand why your NewSys wont boot by itself when it is first in the boot sequence in the BIOS. :wtf: Can you try putting it first again, and see if you get that same message? The only other thing that I can think of is perhaps your BIOS can not access your Newsys's HDD for some reason, and so can't start up the boot code in the MBR of that drive. Or it has a corrupted MBR.
Try running this command from EasyBCD's Power Console on the Useful Utilites page:

Code:
MbrFix.exe /drive 1 fixmbr /vista
The command will need to be run while your OldSys drive is still first in the boot sequence in the BIOS, or you would need to write "drive 0" instead otherwise. That should put write a new Vista MBR to that HDD, just in case there's a problem with the one already there. You could also run this command as well:
Code:
bootsect.exe /nt60 C:
which will write a new boot sector to the NewSys's partition.
 
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BeeVee

Active Member
Hi Coolname007,

I really appreciate all your efforts here, but still no go I'm afraid. :frowning: One of the steps I followed before was to use Bootsect, the only thing I haven't tried was the /force switch, which seems a little... extreme. I think the solution still lies in understanding why I get that error when I try startup repair and I need to find a way of running a text editor in DOS or piping the clipboard to a file.

B

Addendum:

Here's an interesting thing that I keep forgetting to mention. Because of my various attempts I have a boot menu now that offers me the choice of booting from one or other partition, and choosing NewSys *works* at that point. It's only if NewSys if the only drive available it doesn't.

B

Addendum:

Just tried disconnecting the OldSys drive again to see if any of the changes made have affected anything. Still did not want to boot, but when I booted from the Vista DVD and went to repair, it found two Windows partitions, but had an "unknown location" for the second since it was the missing OldSys. Still trying to find a way of copying the log results into a file.

B
 
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Terry60

Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
Have you tried the fixmbr on the newsys drive ?
The symptom "not a system disk" suggests there's no MBR on the drive, but the "startup repair" should find and fix that.
If for some reason it won't do it automatically, try the manual command. (disconnect oldsys, boot the DVD and enter the recovery console instead of "startup repair")

(you don't have a BIOS setting to prevent the MBR from being altered as an A/V measure ?)
 
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BeeVee

Active Member
But the image I posted shows that Startup repair *doesn't* work. I don't have security on the bootblock at all, but fixmbr is the command to use in the console?

B

Addendum:

Bizarre. Unplugged OldSys and booted from the DVD. It found only one boot device (NewSys, instead of NewSys and OldSys), but with problems that it was going to fix. It opened a console window and did something but the content appeared and the console window disappeared before I could do anything, but I did see the word "fail" :frowning: So, went into the next screen, chose Startup Repair, and again a console window appeared. Again this disappeared almost immediately that there was text in it so I couldn't see what was going on, and it then posted a message saying that the Startup Repair had cured the fault and that I sould try to reboot. I tried, it didn't work (replace system disk), so I booted back into the Vista DVD and this time back to normal (both boot drives in the initial list, even though OldSys wasn't attached) - Startup Repair couldn't find a problem and fixmbr doesn't exist. In a fit of desperation, I tried Bootsect'ing again and even tried it with the /force switch, but it made no difference. I still had t reconnect OldSys to get back here to post.

B
 
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hnyman

Member
Hi hnyman,
Would this be right then, for your method?
Code:
bcdedit /export C:\Boot\BCD
bcdedit /store C:\Boot\BCD /set {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795} device partition=C:
bcdedit /store C:\Boot\BCD /set {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d} device partition=C:
bcdedit /store C:\Boot\BCD /set {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c} device partition=C:
bcdedit /store C:\Boot\BCD /enum all /v

VistaDVD:\BOOT\BOOTSECT /NT60 C: /FORCE
My identifiers are different to yours however. Here's my BCDedit enum:
Yes, that looks correct (but of course, before running the commands, you have to first copy all the (hidden) other files from BOOT folder and bootmgr file.)

One comment regarding the different GUIDs: You have to run the command for those GUIDs where the partition points to the wrong partition. It is the Windows Boot Manager, Windows Memory Tester and Windows Legacy OS Loader, which point to S: on my system, and which you would need to adjust.
As you have two Vista OS's, you will have two "Windows Boot Loader" items, one for C: and one for D:. You should maybe leave them intact in the first phase. Later you can then remove (through Vista) the unnecessary D: after the C: fully boots. So I think that those two quoted GUIDs in your message are to be left there unmodifed.

Hmm...so your NewSys partition is marked as active. ???
So frankly, I don't understand why your NewSys wont boot by itself when it is first in the boot sequence in the BIOS.
In Vista BCD environment it won't boot, if there is no properly configured BOOTMGR system including the BCD store (which can't be copied as a file as it is an open database, it can only be exported through BCDEDIT command). That is the main difference compared to older DOS/NT boots.

(Vista decides the "System" status based on the disk, where the BOOTMGR used in current boot is located.)
 

Coolname007

Distinguished Member
But the image I posted shows that Startup repair *doesn't* work. I don't have security on the bootblock at all, but fixmbr is the command to use in the console?

B

Addendum:

Bizarre. Unplugged OldSys and booted from the DVD. It found only one boot device (NewSys, instead of NewSys and OldSys), but with problems that it was going to fix. It opened a console window and did something but the content appeared and the console window disappeared before I could do anything, but I did see the word "fail" :frowning: So, went into the next screen, chose Startup Repair, and again a console window appeared. Again this disappeared almost immediately that there was text in it so I couldn't see what was going on, and it then posted a message saying that the Startup Repair had cured the fault and that I sould try to reboot. I tried, it didn't work (replace system disk), so I booted back into the Vista DVD and this time back to normal (both boot drives in the initial list, even though OldSys wasn't attached) - Startup Repair couldn't find a problem and fixmbr doesn't exist. In a fit of desperation, I tried Bootsect'ing again and even tried it with the /force switch, but it made no difference. I still had t reconnect OldSys to get back here to post.

B
Try this:

Make sure OldSys is disconnected, and NewSys is the first HDD in the boot sequence in the BIOS.
Boot your Vista DVD (obviously your CD drive will need to be first in the boot sequence, but make sure NewSys directly follows it), open up the Command prompt, and type the following commands:

Code:
bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
Perhaps that will help.
You could also try running Startup Repair at least once after that, as well, since it sometimes takes a few passes to fix everything (especially if your BCD store on NewSys is phucked up). From your latest experience with Startup Repair, it sounds like your problem is almost fixed, since it is now at least recognizing the fact that there is a problem, and it offers to repair it. So maybe running it another time will achieve the longed-for results. :brows:

Addendum:

In Vista BCD environment it won't boot, if there is no properly configured BOOTMGR system including the BCD store (which can't be copied as a file as it is an open database, it can only be exported through BCDEDIT command). That is the main difference compared to older DOS/NT boots.

(Vista decides the "System" status based on the disk, where the BOOTMGR used in current boot is located.)
I am aware of that, but I would have thought the new BCD on NewSys would be configured correctly, and even if there was a problem in it, it would have been fixed by the last attempt of running Startup Repair with the OldSys drive disconnected. :wink: Also, just FYI, it is possible to boot from a partition which is not necessarily marked as "system" by Vista, because it has another BCD/bootmgr on it, and is marked as "active" (especially, if, as in his case, the partition is on another hard disk). I have seen that many times. The "system" flag itself does not actually effect the boot, it is the boot files the "system" partition normally contains that makes all the difference, and which partition is marked as "active". That is why it was puzzling that his NewSys was not booting with the OldSys drive disconnected, the NewSys drive first in the boot sequence in the BIOS, and his NewSys partition marked as "active" which also contains a BCD (assumedly configured correctly) and bootmgr...:wtf:

Jake
 
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BeeVee

Active Member
Okay, back from trying again and this time with a bunch of images for you showing the logfile that I can't get any other way.
 

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BeeVee

Active Member
And then here's a shot of the console after I had performed the two bootrec operations, and then tried bootsect.

B
PS. Please excuse the ridiculous size of these screenshots :frowning:
PPS. It still doesn't work. I still get the "read error, replace system disk and Ctrl Alt Del" message.
 

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Coolname007

Distinguished Member
Could you also post a screenshot of your BIOS boot sequence with the NewSys drive first, and then one of the error message screen you get when attempting to boot with the NewSys drive first?
 

BeeVee

Active Member
Sure, here are the screens (and this time I've reduced them more! :joy:smile:

B
 

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Coolname007

Distinguished Member
Ok, so your BIOS boot sequence is only showing one HDD, called "[SATA:3M-Hitach]". The only other device shown there is your CD drive. So which drive is that? Your NewSys drive or your OldSys drive? You must have disconnected the other one.
I'm assuming when you tried to boot from it, you moved that drive all the way to the top, so it moved the CD drive down? Otherwise you may want to try it again with your NewSys drive all the way at the top, just to be safe.

Also, have you checked the other settings in your BIOS, to see if its allowing access to your NewSys drive? Some BIOSes have something called "USB emulation", I think, that when disabled, will not allow booting from external HDDs.

EDIT: Select that option called "Boot from Other Device [No]" and change it to say Yes instead! That may be what's the problem.
 
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BeeVee

Active Member
Hi,

Yes, I disconnected OldSys for that screenshot,but it's the same result if I move NewSys up the boot sequence and the Boot from other devices relates to USB keys and so forth. I shall try again, with both drives connected, but NewSys at the top of the list, and Boot from other deives switched on just in case though (I've tried so many combinations I forget :smile:)

B
 

Coolname007

Distinguished Member
Ok, that should do it then. Once you turn on Boot from Other Device again, and move NewSys up to the top of the list again, I believe it should boot. :smile: You should leave OldSys disconnected for the first test of that theory, and see if it boots or not.
 

BeeVee

Active Member
Nope sorry, no joy. :frowning: Oh well, back to the drawing board (easier to deal with than silly old computers... :wink:)

B
 

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