dell 1721 multibooting



I just got my Dell and want to keep my existing partitions and ansl boot Xp and linux

The default system comes with 4 partitions
71Meg partition
recovery 10G
media 2G

The problem is that somehow dell has allowed all these to appear as primary partitions and installation of another OS is not being facilitated at all.
I would like to know how can I hide the Vista partition and set up XP.

I have tried deleting my media directory and then installing XP but what happened was I could see all the directoreis of both OS and that was not practical for me....I then found you site and started using BCD and went to the neogrub boot loader but I messed up my programming there and ended up messing up everything ....I am trying to recover a original Acronis backup I did and then would like to start over again and hope someone here can help me with a walk through....I have read numerous articles but seems that I am missing some critical stuff somewhere.
My installation will be an XP over a preinstalled VISTA......and would like to use neogrub for that unless you all suggest I use something else.

Thanks again
Hi nbrebel, welcome to the boards.
When you've recovered from your Acronis image, deleted the media partition, shrunk the Vista (I assume), installed XP and repaired your Vista boot loader (As I read your post, I'm gathering you've done all this before, so don't have a problem with anything up to here ?) - You want to hide Vista from XP to protect your Vista restore points ?
If so read the thread
about HnS (Vista Hide 'n' Seek) which should automate the process for you.
Thanks for the reply....
Did a acrois restore ...deleted media....shrunk vista ....made NTFS partition for XP....installed Hide n seek....told it who vista was....and let it know who xp was gonna be ...restarted .....booted from cd with Xp cd.....installed xp ....loaded fine.....lost vista ...load vista dvd ....start up fix...booted vista......saw the HnS boot manager.....went with vista ...OK.. restart ....chose XP...

nothing ....
warning unrecogonised partition table for drive 80.please rebuild it with fdisk tool(err=118)

Error 13:Invalid device request.

Do let me know where I messed up.....

"Computers dont spoil people spoil computers"
HnS is a tool to automate the process of hiding Vista from XP in a working dual boot situation.
It puts a top level bootloader in place to avoid the need for a 2 stage boot which is required to effect the same hiding process manually.
You installed it before you even had a second system, so everything subsequent will have been messing about with it, with fairly unpredictable results.
If you're still able to get into Vista, go back into HnS, and run it again. I can't remember (and I'm on XP at the moment so can't look) whether you'll need to uninstall/reinstall /rerun, but I think you can just "start over" and tell it again which drives are Vista and which are XP.
When it's run you should have a menu.lst file in your boot disk root that looks something like this
# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta

timeout 5
default 0

title Vista 64 bit
unhide (hd0,0)
unhide (hd0,4)
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS

title XP 32 bit
hide (hd0,0)
hide (hd0,4)
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chainloader /ntldr

# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!

Ignore my disk numbers - that's just my system - yours will be different
# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta
timeout 20
default 0
title Microsoft Windows Vista
unhide (hd0,2)
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS
title Windows XP
hide (hd0,2)
rootnoverify (hd0,4)
chainloader /ntldr
# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!

still does not help at all...awaiting some suggestions
You problem is trying to get the HnS workign before you got the dual boot working correctly. Can you dual boot correctly right now at all?
No cannot dual boot at all....

Hns enabled and I can only get into vista...xp gives me the abov error....

Another thing here is ...after this HnS dual boot is sorted out will I be able to still add UBUNT on the system...already made partitions for it but not sure how to get there ...

how do I fix what I have now?
Well you have to undo HnS. That is where we have to start. From there we will have to get Vista/XP working. then you can try HnS again.

Think that is where the problem is....

I will uninstall HnS.....and see what is hapening....
I am certain I will be able to get vista working but not sure how to fix XP without messing it up....
Hey terry.....

removed HnS ...xp went crazy...
Reinstalled Xp Xp to load....did a repair startup with vista to get vista booted....installed HnS and then still back to the same problem as before....

Just installed BCD and can boot into both OS's now.....but can see each and dont want that ....still want to be able to add Linux after I sort this out ...

What do I do next to get the Vista and Xp thing sorted?
Thanks again
If you've seen the "download HnS Beta" thread, you'll find a "Drive grabber" routine that Guru put there to debug failures in HnS (It's still in Beta).
I'm sure he'd want you to run it and post the o/p to see why you're having problems.
You can get it from here
Read the posts around number 100 in that thread if you have problems running it in a cmd environment.

If you could post the menu.lst that HnS created for comparison, that will help too.


Note to Guru
Should this be moved into the HnS thread now ?
Last edited:
I'd rather leave it here, it's getting hectic in that thread - at least this way I can keep a coherent view of the problem :smile:
well here it is

Disk #0, Partition #0, Type: Unknown
Disk #0, Partition #1, Type: Installable File System
Disk #0, Partition #2, Type: Installable File System
Disk #0, Partition #3, Type: Extended w/Extended Int 13
E: - GRUB partition #4
G: - GRUB partition #5
J: - GRUB partition #6
Disk #1, Partition #0, Type: MS-DOS V4 Huge
Which drive letter in the list above is XP?
And can you attach a screenshot of Disk Management (from Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management)
well I think it is supposed to be E ...
I went to disk management and not sure how to do screenshots....but found that the Xp drive is not a primary ....but seems to be a logical....
Did not check it after this last reinstall.....guess that would explain why I am messed up....

I am not quite sure why this time it is not a primary and would like to know what you suggest to do the partition magic does not work on vista and I have downloaded several copies of gparted live cd and they are all sending me to a blank screen after the HDA check.
Well, that would explain it....
XP doesn't really support booting from a logical partition.

I use Acronis Disk Director 10 myself, and highly recommend it :smile:
doing another reinstall...deleted all my partitions created in vista.....
not sure how I will be able to make new ones now with everyone installed...but will see....
gonna try this boot ...

will let you know what happens...
when I check the disk manage...still seeing that the Edrive is a logical.....

How can I get around this problem and have it set itself up as a primary.