[Download] Vista Hide 'n Seek BETA

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
You can either run the UI again, and omit the 2nd XP disk (you've realized "XP" points at bootable systems, "Vista" points at partitions to be hidden (can be multiple Vista systems, or just drives with Vista recovery folders which need protecting))
Alternatively, edit the menu.lst file and remove the section for the spurious extra XP boot entry. (you'll probably need to open notepad/wordpad with admin privileges)
 
You can either run the UI again, and omit the 2nd XP disk (you've realized "XP" points at bootable systems, "Vista" points at partitions to be hidden (can be multiple Vista systems, or just drives with Vista recovery folders which need protecting))
Thanks, that's what I ended up doing. I marked my Vista System and Program partitions and also the single XP System partition in UI.exe (leaving the XP Program partition and shared data partition unmarked).
 
When going for SP3 I saw that go on without a need to restart all over. The next build took care of that when moving up from #45 to #54. Instead of the need to manually delete the Bootmgr.HNS file I simply use the "start over" option. That will refresh drive/partition information as it goes along.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
OK, HnS seems to be wonderfully stable for once! 105 downloads and no complaints - looks like the time is about right to take it to the next level.

Next build will address the recently-discovered issue of Server 2008 corrupting restore points for 2k/XP/2003 by hiding their partitions from Server 2008 in addition to hiding Server 2008 from them. Vista will retain access to legacy partitions.

Details: [#HNS-16] Prevent Windows Server 2008 from deleting XP/2003 restore points - NeoSmart Technologies BugCentral
 
Hopefully that will be in beta form since time is starting to run out for people wanting to boot XP and Vista. More and more are looking at the 64bit editions of Vista simply to run 4gb or more of memory and get past the 32bit kernel not seeing over 3-3.12gb.

Increasing the amount of people using even the latest build will see if any other problems exist simply by raising the percentage of hits and misses in that sense. 105 downloads shows progress and is good news tp hear. Now imagine multiplying that 10 times plus seeing a far more extended variety of hardware combinations.
 
Did you also see the "how to repair install Vista" nonsense someone posted there? All you do is reinstall Vista which still sees the original WIndows, users folders rolled up into Windows.old and end up still having to enter the product key later or start all over to see Windows activated!

The HnS tool with the exception of one build has worked like a charm for not only protecting Vista's points but making a dual boot even easier seeing a simple one step solution rather then two when adding in EasyBCD. If you don't mind seeing the dos style command screen come up for a few seconds there's no delay as a second boot options screen comes up again later with a second tool in use.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
OK, new build.

Changelog:
* Pretty boot screen

I haven't implemented the Server 2008 thing yet - basically, no functionality or logic has changed; the only new thing in this build is a "pretty" boot screen.

I'd appreciate any feedback regarding the new boot screen - we all know I'm a coder and not a designer so feel free to criticize away :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Sorry CG, where's the link ?
 
It's on the first page of this thread and replaces Build #56. It also took Vista out here for some reason where even the Vista startup tool can't restore Windows. I just finished reinstalling XP in order to comment on how things were going with it.

The new look was great as opposed to simply seeing a dos command prompt appearance. But something knocked out Vista's bootmanager since that was listed in the startup repair report.

Upon a fresh reinstall of XP the Vista primary remained hidden showing that part of the new build was still doing the job well. Now it's simply a matter of trying to repair the current problem of not seeing Vista load or even the Grub4Dos screen but simply XP starting up.

Problem Signature :06 MissingBootManager
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Sorry, I haven't a clue as to what you're trying to explain?

Is HnS working or not?
 
After seeing #57 go on XP initially wouldn't load when selected following the steps for adding a new entry. I went to the recovery console to use the fixboot and fixmbr commands and suddenly XP decided to load but no longer seeing the HnS tool starting with the new Grub4Dos screen.

The next step of course was booting up with the Vista dvd to use the startup repair tool to no avail. Repeat attempts see the missing boot manager in the details there. The only access to the Vista primary now is with a live for cd Linux distro until something is working again.

Fortunately I back up things as I go along in the event of needing a reinstall or even a new primary after a drive wipe. Normally I would simply use EasyBCD in XP to see the Vista mbr restored but for some reason that won't run on XP seeing a memory reference error.

I've been seeing a list of unexpected problems with XP lately while none in Vista. XP was reinstalled to get around those and is still seeing them. The Vista primary continues to remain hidden from XP however while the Grub4Dos screen is not even seen following the post. XP starts loading right away.

I'm giong to download 1.7.2 again to see if I can get it going in XP to get the VIsta boot restored if possible.

UPDATE(on sour note): EasyBCD 1.7.2 was unable to restore the Vista boot information. Apparently it will have to see a reinstall. Build #56 went on without any fuss while the new Grub4Dos screen looked great over the typical dos look. Is there an edit for changng the background while still keeping the "Hide'n'Seek" lettering? Many will ask about that when seeing it.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
The problem is that you used fixmbr and fixboot - they replace the Hns/EasyBCD bootloader APIs with the XP ones.

To get your system going again, run EasyBCD in XP -> Manage Bootloader -> Reinstall Vista bootloader
That should get HnS to show at boot once more.

If you boot into Vista w/ HnS, you can then uninstall HnS via UI.exe

Addendum:

Is anyone here using HnS with multiple XPs?

If so, can you please post the menu.lst file generated from either build 56 or 57 (the newest one and the one before it) - I can't recall if a problem still exists or if its been solved!
 
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Look at the Update I edited in the last post. I've restored the Vista boot loader on previous occasions but apparently no go this time around. Apparently something made XP the default OS.

In order to get Vista running I had tp delete the primary and see a new one created and formatted since there was no progress despite repeated efforts there. Now to get the auto run when tossing in a driver disk working. I ended up reinstalling both versions and have to reinstall EasyBCD onto Vista to remove entries made while booted in XP before reinstalling Vista.

It's been a rather interesting night for sure! Once I get all drivers and softwares on I'll go for a second try at the latest build to see the outcome.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
CG, It works after a fashion, but there's something a bit disconcerting about it.
I ran 57 on a working 56 installation, selecting "start over" and it uninstalled 56 and gave me the selection screen. I pointed it at the correct drives and it began to process then suddenly rebooted, bringing me straight into Vista (my old Easy menu has timeout(0))
When I looked at menu.lst it was completely blank.
I ran 57 again, and this time I did "uninstall" and let it complete then "exit"
I ran it again and this time it auto-rebooted again later on in the processing, presenting me with the new white menu.
Selecting Vista failed trying to unhide (0,0), so I went into edit mode and deleted the unhides (I haven't run XP for a while so nothing's hidden anyway) and the boot completed into Vista.
In Vista I looked at menu.lst and it seemed perfect, so I thought the Vista.x.HnS files might be missing, but they were all present and correct, so I rebooted the machine and this time it came up with the menu and booted into Vista with no problem, except of course the descriptions are all your defaults because it never got as far as allowing me to do the final customizing steps.
Any clue why it's throwing random reboots into the mix ?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Can you post your menu.lst, Terry?
(the stock one it created)

Addendum:

If you have the log file, that should indicate what it was trying to do when the reboot occurred.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Here's the log
NeoSmart intelliLogger 1.0
Logging started on 19/08/2008 at 13:53 using log level Debug
13:53 Vista Hide 'n Seek 0.5.0.57
13:53 Boot drive: D:\
13:53 Listing drives involved in the procedure.
13:53 H as Unknown
13:53 G as Unknown
13:53 F as Unknown
13:53 E as Vista
13:53 D as XP
13:53 C as Vista
13:53 Beginning Install process.
13:53 Attempting to rename D:\boot.ini to D:\boot.ini.hns
13:53 Copying NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM to D:\
13:53 Creating boot.ini on D as partition(2)
13:53 Creating Vista entry in menu.lst.
13:53 Adding XP entry D to menu.lst
13:53 Renaming BOOTMGR, creating GRLDR on D:\
13:53 Updating the bootsector on all partitions.

and the menu.lst

# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta
# DO NOT MODIFY!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
timeout 30
default 0
splashimage=/vhns.xpm.gz
foreground 000000
background ffffff
title Microsoft Windows Vista
find --unhide /Vista.C.HnS
find --unhide /Vista.E.HnS
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
makeactive
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS
boot
title Windows XP [XP System (D:\)]
find --hide /Vista.C.HnS
find --hide /Vista.E.HnS
find --remap-root /XP.D.HnS
find --set-root /XP.D.HnS
makeactive
chainloader /ntldr
boot
# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hmmm, everything looks good there. "13:53 Updating the bootsector on all partitions." is the last step, though I should probably add a log event for "process completed successfully" to see if it's failing before or after it executes the bootsector update.

I haven't been able to reproduce your problem (as always, so that doesn't mean much) by installing Build 56 on a clean Vista/XP dual-boot then using the "startover" feature of Build 57.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
I've got Comodo firewall on Vista (ZoneAlarm still doesn't support x64 afaik), and I had to click a flurry of OK's on the 1st attempt as it queried all the HnS updates. I told it UI.exe was an installer 2nd time through and let it pass everything in "install" mode, so I suppose Comodo might be the trigger, but it's never happened with any other install, and twice with UI seems too much of a coincidence.

I'd stopped all other running tasks btw, except firewall and virus.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
HnS doesn't check for updates though.. does it? As a matter of fact, I don't think HnS even uses the web for anything - let me check....

/me checks

Nope - HnS shouldn't be accessing the web for updates or anything else, I never got around to adding the update checker code - can you see the details of the communication, what URI it was trying to access?

It seems build 57's copy of GRLDR may have possibly somehow been altered/corrupted on upload - though I don't see how that would have anything to do with a restart when running UI.exe

At any rate, here's build 58; I've improved the logging to show whether or not the operation was successfully completed.

Download Build 58