Classic dual boot issue

Hi, everyone. I formatted my computer more than a year ago and planned to install XP and Vista on 2 separate units (respectively 250 and 320 GB). As I read everywhere, not only on this site, it's much more convenient to install XP before Vista because of some stuff I'm not pretending to know. Once Vista installed, it should recognize that XP is already installed as well and create a boot menu where I can choose whichever installed OS I want to boot, then, by using Easy BCD I might edit this boot menu by adding, removing or renaming entries and many other stuff that this software can manage.
The thing is: this boot menu never appeared: those 2 OSs seemed to remain 2 independent systems. The disk where Vista is installed has been set as default in the BIOS. Everytime I need to boot XP I need either to edit the default boot unit by entering the BIOS or press the key (in my case F11) to let the the quick boot list show up in order to be able to make my choice and select the temporary boot unit (for that session only).
So far I used XP just a few times, so really didn't need a menu. I recently installed some useful software on that system which reproposed this issue to be resolved by using this NeoSmart software.

As I tried to set this menu thrugh EasyBCD (before the last reset I mentioned above) it turned out that the computer showed an error screen in which said the bootloader (or some connected stuff) wasn't any longer retrievable. I'd need then to first backup both units before starting playing this tool if I don't know the exact commands to input, in order not to waste my operating systems which still seem to run without major issues (!).

Any hint on how to make this menu from my situation? On the attached documentation I read it's explained only how to start configuring a machine with nothing installed on it.

Thank you!


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Allegheny, welcome to NST.
Please read the sticky thread.
You need to boot with the Vista disk 1st in the BIOS, download EasyBCD 2.0 to Vista, use "add/remove" to add an entry for XP, accept the offer to auto-configure your boot.ini, and copy (not move) the 2 XP files it will specify from the XP partition root into the Vista root.
That should see you dual booting through the Vista BCD.