Devastator HnS Problems

I've installed Vista to C: first
Then installed WinXP to D:
Then ran a repair so that I can get back into Vista

Installed Hns, and set the appropriate drives.

Rebooted with the loader into Vista - OK
Restarted and rebooted into Vista again all Ok

Rebooted with the loader into XP - OK (Vista Hidden)
Restarted and rebooted - no Loader menu came up it went straight into WinXP with no option to go back to Vista.

Checked with GDisk and the C: is marked hidden and D: is marked active.

How can I get it so that I get the Loader coming up always after restarting from within XP so I can back into Vista?

Here is my Drive Grabber output:

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 Partition

Here is my menu.lst output:

timeout 30
default 0

title Microsoft Windows Vista
unhide (hd0,1)
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS

title Windows XP [WinXP (D:\)]
hide (hd0,1)
rootnoverify (hd0,2)
chainloader /ntldr

Any other info needed please let me know..

Would really like to automate going back into Vista from XP...
Last edited:
Can you post the menu.lst that was created by HnS, so we can see what's happening.
Devastator, restore the Vista bootloader (Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki) and run this command from EasyBCD's power console in Vista:

bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
Then try HnS again. I think you've hit a bug where if the XP partition is active, instead of loading HnS it'll load NTLDR directly if the XP bootsector is present instead of the Vista one.

Superb, this is all now working as it should.

2 Questions:
1. What does this command actually do, novice summary only :smile: lol
2. Is there anyway I can rebuild XP and get it so that my main XP Drive shows as C: rather than D: (Would I need to hide the Vista Partiton 1st and then build XP) or is there another way. If I did this, would this method I've used using Hns and this Bootsec.exe command still work to get me the dual boot (with Hidden Vista in XP)?

Thanks, appreciate the help :smile:


Any ideas on the 2 questions in the post above?
Last edited:
No idea on the 1st question, wait for Guru
2nd - You probably could force XP to fresh install as C as long as it couldn't see Vista already; and if you're just setting up without months of cusomization to protect, it wouldn't be too difficult to experiment and find out if it's important to you.
Personally - I prefer what I've got. Vista is C and XP is D no matter which is booted (likewise all my other letters -dvd - flash - ext HD - camera - backup IDE are mapped identically in either boot)
I find that less confusing than having one OS as C or x and the other as C or D depending on whether it's booted or not.
I've never found XP to have any problems thinking of itself as D:\
Last edited:
Yeah, I feel the same way as Terry... In the long run you'll find it a more natural setup.

As for what that command does:
By default, Vista partitions will search for and load \bootmgr to run the OS.
On the other hand, XP partitions will search for and \ntldr to load the OS.

HnS intercepts call to \bootmgr, so you need to convert XP's ntldr search to a Vista-compatible one for bootmgr.

*Flagged as a bug*
Next build will run bootsect automatically before doing anything else.


Bug link: [#HNS-9] HnS should update partition's with Vista's bootsector - NeoSmart Technologies BugCentral
Last edited:
Thanks, I was just setting up so I got everything as I wanted with
Vista as C:
XP as D:
and took a backup to USB Drive using Acronis.

Tried out the following (before I saw your replies):
Vista C:
and it worked using the bootsect command above.

But you are both right it doesn't quite feel right, I've decided to restore my original Vista C:, XP D: setup.... doh

Thanks for your help.
lol - live and learn, I guess :wink:

Mind sharing what steps you used to make XP C:\ ?
Despite my personal preference, you'll find a lot of posts here asking that same question - I'm intrigued as to which method you used.
lol - live and learn, I guess :wink:

Mind sharing what steps you used to make XP C:\ ?
Despite my personal preference, you'll find a lot of posts here asking that same question - I'm intrigued as to which method you used.

You need to have a Dos boot disk or USB :wink: with a copy of gdisk.exe on it.
You can download Gdisk from here: Rocky Mountain Tech Team: Boulder and Denver's Computer and Network Support Company

This is what I did:

Installed Vista to a 40Gb Primary partition.
From within Vista created a 15Gb Primary partition straight after the Vista partiton.
Used my USB/Dos Boot Disk with Gdisk on to boot to a command prompt.
Ran Gdisk to Hide the Vista partition. All command can be found here:
Switches: GDisk and GDisk32 for Norton Ghost 2003

Booted from the XP CD and installed XP as normal, choosing to install XP to this 15Gb partition I'd just created. When XP install was finished.
Used my USB Boot Disk with Gdisk on to boot to a command prompt.

Ran Gdisk to Unhide the Vista partition.
Ran Gdisk to set the Vista partition as Active.

Booted into Vista
Installed Neosmart Hide and Seek (Hns) choosing Vista as C: and XP as D:... (Trust me it works), in the further Tweaks section I Renamed the XP boot menu entry from "Windows XP [WinXP (D:smile:]" to Windows XP [WinXP (C:smile:] just to tidy things up :smile:

Installed EasyBCD
Launched EasyBCD and went to Useful Utilites > EasyBCD Power Console and ran the following command (as supplied by yourself-may not be needed after the bugs been fixed):
bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
Job Done
You now have:
Vista C:
XP C: (with the Vista partition hidden)
and you can use the bootloader menu to switch between the two. :tongueout:

Hope this makes sense and helps someone out. I personally went back to Vista C: and XP D: as I found it better with my drive numbering scheme.
Last edited:
The question everybody asks Guru, is more "How can I change the drive letter of the system I've already installed", rather than this technique of forcing the letter of choice by careful planning before installation.

It's always better to have a clear plan of what you want to achieve before you start, and take steps to mitigate any attempt by MS to thwart your intentions.

Nevertheless, I think that Devastator's post is worth a link from the wiki, as a beautifully clear and concise exposition of how to manipulate the logical configuration of the installation.

At least in future, we'll be able to say "No - But this is what you should have done " when asked if we can zap the active system's letter.