[Download] Vista Hide 'n Seek BETA

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#1
Well, it's finally here!

First, I know it's rather overdue now but such is life. It's only thanks to the holiday season that I managed to get out now, even.

What it Does
Vista Hide 'n Seek is NeoSmart Technologies' solution to a host of complicated dual-booting problems that present themselves when multi-booting Windows Vista together with older versions of Windows. In particular, Vista Hide 'n Seek solves these two problems:
  1. Booting into Windows XP deletes any and all system restore points & shadow copies on Windows Vista partitions.
  2. If you have more than one copy of legacy Windows and are multi-booting with Windows Vista, you'll have to go through two menus to get into one of the legacy entries.
Vista HnS solves these by modifying the Vista bootloader to list all Legacy entries along with the Windows Vista entry in a single boot menu, allowing you to directly choose which OS to boot into.

More importantly, Vista HnS isolates legacy Windows entries from Windows Vista partitions while they are running, solving a lot of the more complicated problems that underhandedly present themselves in a typical XP-Vista dual-boot scenario.

VISTA HIDE 'N SEEK IS CURRENTLY IN BETA TESTING
IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS........... DON'T USE IT!

Anyway, it's not KNOWN to crash your PC or leave it bricked - but be careful nevertheless.

Usage Instructions:
1) Extract to a folder.
2) Run UI.exe
3) Depending on whether Vista HnS has been used before or not, you'll be prompted to either
a) Install Vista HnS, setting up your bootloader to hide Vista drives from XP installations
b) Remove Vista HnS, resetting your PC to its original, pre-HnS configuration.
4) Test it and see what happens.

NOTES:
We've written Vista HnS so that even in the worst of circumstances you should be able to get back
into Windows Vista, even if the XP entries in the Vista HnS boot menu don't work. Once back in Vista,
you can run Vista HnS again to undo all changes.

DON'T PANIC IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG!!!

Useful links in case of an emergency:
1) EasyBCD: Download EasyBCD 1.7.1 - NeoSmart Technologies - goes without saying!
2) Recovering the Vista bootloader: Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
3) Super GRUB Disk (GRUB on a CD, use it to issue unhide(x,y) commands): Linux - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

REPORT BUGS IN THE BETA THREAD ONLY.

Vista HnS is copyrighted by NeoSmart Technologies. You are not to re-distribute or host these beta builds on any other
site no matter what.

WE'RE NOT RESPONSIBLE IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG. YES, WE TOLD YOU SO.
Please keep all bug reports in this thread only.

Screenshots: A Peek at Vista HnS Beta - The NeoSmart Forums
Bug/Progress Tracker: Vista HnS at NST BugCentral

Last Updated: August 21, 2008 at 05:22 pm UTC
Current build number: 61
Download: Latest Build
 

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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Known Issues
None ATM
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#3
Okay downloaded it and first thoughts. Great but your icons for XP/Vista is gonna confuse people right off the bat. They look so close that you cant tell which is which.

I can see 1 looks good while the other looks more pixelated. So my first thoughts would be to either have them say Vista/Xp or make it more clear by using a Legend on which Icon is which. Okay just noticed that it says Vista or XP in the lower left hand corner. Maybe use a White font to make that easier to see? At first i didnt see that.

Also i noticed right away that the File and Help buttons do nothing as well.

The tool tip buttons 2 and 4 do nothing for me as well. I got about half way done and it stopped. I identified my drives (XP/Vista) clicked next and it wouldt go to the Finish Touches stage.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Tool tip buttons?

"Finishing Touches" does not work (that's the "next" button in the known issues - i'll correct it), but what does the status say? 4/4?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Also, the "one looks good" thing - I'm using the new Windows Flag for the Vista entry and the old XP one for the XP entry... blame the pixelization on Microsoft :tongueout:

I'm not sure why the text is not clear on your PC, here's how it looks on mine:
 

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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#6


Okay that is what i am seeing. those buttons are labeled tool strip buttons.

Dont mind the theme. It is Windowsblinds.

Yes as you see it does say stage 4/4.

Addendum:

I woudl have to say it is my Theme then. Since i am not using a stock theme. My bad.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
OK, it looks like everything is working on your PC. It installs (or uninstalls) by reaching 100%, but you don't see the "final touches" screen because it's not yet implemented.

At any rate, if you installed and rebooted, you would see the HnS boot menu instead of the Vista bootloader - at least, you should.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#8
After switching back to my Energy Theme (Media Center Style) it looks great. The buttons look great and teh Writing is clear as day. The images also look great as well. It was just my theme that affected it.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
I'll see what I can do (if anything) about making it legible on all themes..

Seeing as I'm on a coding binge, it's time to work on iReboot's UAC problem :smile:
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#10
Very interesting, but I think I'll wait for the final version, knowing my luck with these things in the past...!:S

I have XP or drives C and F (disk 0) and Vista on drive M (disk 1). EasyBCD is installed on XP drive C so where would I install this....if I dare try it?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
You can install it on any OS you like (XP or Vista), but removal should only be done from within Windows Vista or else the Vista drives would stay hidden!

I'd recommend holding of until it reaches beta though (basically once all the features are there) because right now it's a real bare-bones implementation for those that are absolutely dying for an automated solution.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#12
Good point, I'll wait, thanks.
 
#13
downloaded - and ran in Vista (nothing happened!)

Uninstalling - Stage 4/4 hangs there. Message Current Action: Fatal Error - no changes have been made to your PC.
Pressed Go Back Button
Get message - We've detected that you've already used Vista HnS to hide your drives before - which action would you like to take now? Pressed middle button, get message hns was not detected.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#14
Did you pick which drives are XP and which are Vista?
 

Sarge

Active Member
#15
I ran it on Vista and I it did work, but when I tried to boot into XP, it can't find boot.ini in XP partition. I go and unistall HnS and I get old Vista bootloader and still can't boot into XP, it says something about "hal.dll" is missing. Maybe Easy BSD can do something about this or what should I do?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#16
Sounds like boot.ini wasn't properly restored. Do you have a boot.ini.hns file on your drive somewhere?
 

Sarge

Active Member
#17
I'm searching all partitions right now, searching...

Addendum:

Search in Vista didn't find that file.

Addendum:

2 things came to my head, to put XP CD and in recovery console type "fix boot" and the other thing is to delete and re-add XP entry again. Dunno...:|
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#18
OK, you just need to change the contents of C:\Boot.ini to the correct values. Can you post it here?

EDIT:
the bootcfg /rebuild command should do what you need from the XP cd's recovery console.
 

Sarge

Active Member
#19
Oh Guru! I see there is "XP.E.hns" in XP partition. Does it means anything?
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#20
That doesnt matter. I already checked that. Check your boot drive, wheter it be Vista or XP. There should be a boot.ini.hns file there. Jsut remove the .hns from teh end of ti and there is the boot.ini file needed. I got this issue as well on my XP install and that is what i did to fix it.

If you dont ahve the boot.ini.hns file then you will most likely ahve to rebuild your boot.ini file.

Sorry Guru Sarge said it first. I was gonna tell you about that bug where when you try to boot into XP you get boot.ini file missing.