Dual boot two HD's - after having one unplugged?

#1
Is it possible to dual boot XP and Vista if both of these OS's were installed on seperate drives at different times => e.g. XPSP3 was initially installed on one HD and then I added a new HD and installed VistaSP2 with the XP HD unplugged? I know that is a "no, no" (as the boot manager doesn't get updated etc..) and I can dual boot via the BIOS (switching the drive order).

However, I am wondering if EasyBCD or another method/process is available to get these two drives to talk to each other so the dual boot option is availble "on screen"?

FWIW - I did it this way for a reason, but just wanted to see if it is possible to modify :smile:

Thanks for any suggestions.

Also, the disks are identical 15k SAS drives.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi PTree, welcome to NST.
Put the Vista disk before XP in the BIOS boot sequence.
Boot into Vista with both disks connected.
Install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build on Vista
Add/remove entries
Windows Tab
Type - select XP from dropdown menu
Click "add Entry" (all other options "grey" deliberately - Easy knows what to do.)
Accept the offer to auto-configure the XP boot.
Reboot - select XP from your new menu
On XP, run this registry hack if you value your Vista restore points.
Check that XP cannot open files on Vista through Explorer.
If the hack didn't work and you still want to protect Vista from corruption, take a look at HnS
 
#3
Hi PTree, welcome to NST.
Put the Vista disk before XP in the BIOS boot sequence.
Boot into Vista with both disks connected.
Install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build on Vista
Add/remove entries
Windows Tab
Type - select XP from dropdown menu
Click "add Entry" (all other options "grey" deliberately - Easy knows what to do.)
Accept the offer to auto-configure the XP boot.
Reboot - select XP from your new menu
On XP, run this registry hack if you value your Vista restore points.
Check that XP cannot open files on Vista through Explorer.
If the hack didn't work and you still want to protect Vista from corruption, take a look at HnS
Hi, thanks Terry. I performed the steps above and upon boot up, the option for XP did show. However, when I selected XP the system paused for a second and then just rebooted? I selected XP again and the same thing. I then selected Vista and it booted into that fine. I attached a pic of the EasyBCD "View Settings".
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
can you set your folder options like this, and check the contents of the C:\ root for NTLDR, ntdetect.com and boot.ini.
If they're there, copy/paste the contents of boot.ini to your reply.
If not Use EasyBCD / Tools / Edit legacy entries to locate boot.ini and paste that instead.
 
#5
can you set your folder options like this, and check the contents of the C:\ root for NTLDR, ntdetect.com and boot.ini.
If they're there, copy/paste the contents of boot.ini to your reply.
If not Use EasyBCD / Tools / Edit legacy entries to locate boot.ini and paste that instead.
Yep all three files are there (on the Vista drive). The boot.ini is as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=20
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on E:\" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on F:\" /fastdetect


Of note - the F partition is not needed and has an old copy of XP64 which I don't use etc... I can blow this away if that helps :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Well, nothing's gone wrong with EasyBCD then. Everything's correct and in the right place.
That XP entry you select from the BCD, chains to C:\NTLDR (which is there). C:\NTLDR reads C:\boot.ini (which is there and correctly describes your 2 XP systems)
What should happen is that NTLDR displays the 2 XP choices in a second menu, from which you select the one you want, so the problem is with the XP boot process.
If you boot from the XP HDD in the BIOS, do you get an NTLDR boot menu with 2 choices ? Do they both boot ? Which one is default ?
 
#7
Well, nothing's gone wrong with EasyBCD then. Everything's correct and in the right place.
That XP entry you select from the BCD, chains to C:\NTLDR (which is there). C:\NTLDR reads C:\boot.ini (which is there and correctly describes your 2 XP systems)
What should happen is that NTLDR displays the 2 XP choices in a second menu, from which you select the one you want, so the problem is with the XP boot process.
If you boot from the XP HDD in the BIOS, do you get an NTLDR boot menu with 2 choices ? Do they both boot ? Which one is default ?
Hmm, I'll boot into XP and see. I removed the XP64 entry awhile ago (well before this Vista drive was added) and the boot.ini info on the XP HD is this:

boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="32 bit Windows XP Professional 3gb limited" /fastdetect /3gb /userva=3000 /SOS
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="32 bit Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /SOS
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="32 bit Windows XP Professional 3gb" /fastdetect /3gb /SOS
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

Of note. When there was just one HD which had XP 32bit, I resiszed the partition so I could install XP 64bit (thus the two partitions). The dual booting between those worked fine, but couldn't use the 64 for various reasons, so I got rid of the 64bit entry etc..
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
If you're never going to use that 2nd OS, then delete the line from C:\boot.ini and see if XP boots OK from the Vista Menu.
 
#9
If you're never going to use that 2nd OS, then delete the line from C:\boot.ini and see if XP boots OK from the Vista Menu.
Thanks again for your time :smile:

I tried that but it didn't work. Sooooo here is what I did. Forgive me if I made this more complicated:

1. I blew away that 64bit partion + resized it so now there is only one partition on the XP 32bit drive.
2. I moved the disks on the controller so that the XP disk is "0" and the Vista disk is "1"
3. Booted into both systems just for good measure (via BIOS). All is good
4. Booted into Vista and removed the dual boot entry for XP and blew away the three files at the root of the Vista disk (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect). Rebooted back into Vista - all is good.
5. Ran the Add/Remove entry step again (to add Win XP) and accepted the auto configure message. Rebooted
6. Tried to go into XP and this time it gives me "cannot find /ntldr" error.

Attached are the updated EasyBCD View settings, Disk mgmt (from Vista) and the boot.ini entries from the root of the Vista disk:

[boot loader]
timeout=20
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on E:\" /fastdetect
 

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#10
If you're booting from the Vista disk (i.e. with the Vista disk as disk 0 in the bios boot sequence), then the rdisk(0) values in your EasyBCD-configured boot.ini should be changed to rdisk(1)s instead.
 
#11
If you're booting from the Vista disk (i.e. with the Vista disk as disk 0 in the bios boot sequence), then the rdisk(0) values in your EasyBCD-configured boot.ini should be changed to rdisk(1)s instead.
In my last pick of disk mgmt, Disk1 is the Vista disk. So in the BIOS it is 1 and that is was is first in the BIOS boot order => Disk 0 is XP, Disk 1 is Vista
 
#12
Yes, I'm aware of that, but the disks often display different in Disk Managment then the actual order of the disks in the BIOS. So can you confirm the XP disk is really first in the BIOS boot sequence? You'll need to look in the BIOS itself, and not rely on the Disk Management to tell you the disk values or order.
 
#13
Yes, I'm aware of that, but the disks often display different in Disk Managment then the actual order of the disks in the BIOS. So can you confirm the XP disk is really first in the BIOS boot sequence? You'll need to look in the BIOS itself, and not rely on the Disk Management to tell you the disk values or order.
Thanks, I didn't know that.

I checked the BIOS and Disk 0 is XP and Disk 1 is Vista. The boot sequence is Vista first.
 
#14
If Vista's first, then you will definitely need to change the rdisk(0) values in your boot.ini to rdisk(1) instead. Also, please post a screenshot of the root of Vista's partition, with hidden files and folders shown and protected hidden files unhidden in the Folder Options of the Control Panel.
 
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#15
If Vista's first, then you will definitely need to change the rdisk(0) values in your boot.ini to rdisk(1) instead. Also, please post a screenshot of the root of Vista's partition, with hidden files and folders shown and protected hidden files unhidden in the Folder Options of the Control Panel.
Tried again, but no go. Just to clarify, Disk 1 (in the BIOS) is Vista and is first in the boot sequence.

Here is the boot.ini of Vista:

[boot loader]
timeout=20
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on E:\" /fastdetect

Also, this is the root of Vista pic as well as a pic of the MountedDevices hive from the XP drive. I just thought of this as well, the Vista flavor in question is 64 bit business. I don't think I mentioned that previously and apologize if that is throwing a wrench into this.
 

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#16
What exactly happens now when you try to boot XP with Vista first in the boot sequence?
What is the error message?
 
#17
What exactly happens now when you try to boot XP with Vista first in the boot sequence?
What is the error message?
The message is as follows:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware change maybe the cause.

File: \NTLDR

Status: 0xc000007b

Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the app is missing or is corrupt
 
#18
Weird...
That should not be happening since NTLDR is in the Vista partition root.

Are you positive that Disk 1 in the BIOS is Vista and not XP? How do you know?
 
#19
Weird...
That should not be happening since NTLDR is in the Vista partition root.

Are you positive that Disk 1 in the BIOS is Vista and not XP? How do you know?
In the BIOS is lists a Fujitsu and a Hitachi drive. The Fujitsu is the 140GB and the Hitachi is the 70GB. Vista is on the Fujitsu. I'll double check again. :smile:

Addendum:

The BIOS boot order reads:

ID01 Fujitsu
ID00 Hitachi

Would it make sense to "re-write" the MBR and delete all the XP entries, reboot and try again? I dunno.
 
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#20
Wait. When you try to boot into XP normally while booting from the Vista disk (i.e. with the boot sequence like it is now), what happens exactly? Do you get to a boot menu, choose to boot into XP, and then the error message comes? Or does it try to boot XP by itself, and fail with the error message?