Dual Boot Vista (installed 1st) to XP Reboots the machine


New Member
Hi, first of all, wanted to say thanks for the awesome software, I am really excited about being able to use it. Anyhow, after following all of your directions, I am ready to boot into Windows XP. However, once I select it from the bootloader, it blanks the screen and then reboots. I don't see anything, not even a BSOD. I don't believe it is a computer issue because I know I've had XP on this machine before Vista even existed.

Anyhow, background is I had Vista clean installed, then got XP installed on a separate partition, repaired my bootloader and then ran your software. Thanks in advance!

I'm having a similar problem.

I have 2 SATA hard drives, one with a working Windows XP, and one with a working Windows Vista 64. I can sucessfully boot to each OS by changing the hard drive boot order.

- When I boot to the XP drive, the XP install shows up as drive "C:\" and the Vista drive shows up as drive "F:\"

- When I boot to the Vista drive, the Vista drive shows up as drive "C:\" and the XP drive shows up as drive "F:\"

Pretty cool so far ^.^

However, I feel that I've researched this problem extensively and havn't had any luck finding the answer to questions that seem like they would have simple answers...

If anyone would be so kind as to indulge me:

1) Should it be possible to boot to Vista using the boot.ini? When I set the bios to boot to the XP drive first, it hits the boot.ini and shows

Windows XP Professional
Sloth Vista

Or close to that. Sloth Vista is set to rdisk(1)Partitian(1) and I know it's hitting the right hard drive because it brings up a ntoskrnl.dll error, unlike other combinations I've tried which don't work at all.

2) I have also tried setting my Vista drive to boot first, and configuring EasyBCD to add a windows XP entry. However, EasyBCD only gives me the options of booting to "C:\", "F:\", or "Boot" (havn't looked up what that is yet...)

This makes me concerned because when I boot sucessfully to XP (by changing the HD boot order), the XP drive becomes the "C:\" drive, but it's "F:\" when booting to Vista... Moreso since that when I attempt to set it to boot to "F:\" in easyBCD, restart the machine, and try to boot to XP at the bootmenu, it goes black and restarts. I can only guess that this has to do with the system being confused by the whole drive letter thing.

I'm stummped. It seems like the Vista boot menu should go by physical disk/partition location rather than just a drive letter, like boot.ini does.

Thanks for your help.

Hmm.. I got it figured out. Thanks a lot for your help. Especially useful was that boot.ini could not be used to boot up vista (even starting from windows XP).

First... I didn't know that my boot.ini file needed to be placed on my vista drive. I didn't get that from the wiki... maybe it's just me, but I found the wiki sort of hard to follow.

Then, once the boot.ini was in place, the boot path had to be changed - IE, you can't just copy your boot.ini from your XP drive and paste it on your vista drive and expect it to work, EVEN IF the origional boot.ini works in its origional form if you boot from the XP partition by changing the boot drive in your bios. So now I have a different boot.ini file on each drive, just in case the user ever tries to change the boot order.

That said and done, everything works great. Thanks again for your help! And I hope this clarifies things if anyone else gets confused.
The wiki does state that the boot.ini file had to be on your boot drive. So only you can determine what your boot drive is. For you it was Vista. For me it is XP. So to say that you have to have you boot.ini file placed in VIsta doesnt apply in all cases.

Troubleshooting Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

It is the first thing on this page. #1 says it all. Make sure the boot files are on the root of your boot drive. Yes it may seem confusing but each setup is different and therefor we can not say place it in Vista or any other specific place since it may not work on every system.

Yes the boot file would have to be changed. Cause the drive letters are not the same. When you boot into Vista is XP still read as the C:] drive? Most likely not. So that has to be changed to what Vista reads it as. :wink:

In the end glad you got it working. :grinning:
Actually, even if it is still read as being drive C:, you'll still have to change your boot.ini anyway. If you're booting from a drive, it becomes drive 0. So when you're booting from another drive and want to call that other OS, it's no longer drive 0 and you have to find out what to really call it.