Dual boot Vista/XP, finishing touches

#1
Hi, I'm back with a couple questions. Original post is here:
http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1915.

Things are going fine with the overall dual boot, I just was wondering about a couple things, as follows:

1. When I boot the computer, the grub commands flash on screen and then a window (in DOS) that says Windows Vista. Only says Windows Vista. It gives me 30 seconds to choose (between what I don't know!) and then automatically goes to the next screen which is the dual boot options. Questions:
a. Is this a normal procedure?
b. How do I shorten this 30 seconds of time, which is just too long. I thought I saw a thread on this earlier when I was researching dual boot, but could not find it.

2. I have read the threads on XP knocking out the Vista restore points. When I look in my VSS drive, I do see the ISO files stored there.
a.I am assuming that these are the factory restore files and that as such can be used to do a complete restore back to factory condition?
b. I have not installed the HnS program as yet as Terry warned me about HnS vs. iReboot. Is this now sorted out? I read the latest on the thread a couple days ago and was unsure whether this is no longer an issue? And if sorted out, what is the best thread to follow to add the HnS now that I have iReboot installed?
c. Also, as Terry pointed out, do I really need these restore points? I AM constantly adding/removing programs and apps and this was a nice feature just in case something went amiss.

3. When I boot into Vista, I get a pop up that says that Windows has blocked the startup program (iReboot). I thought this was Windows Defender, but see nothing there that this program is blocked. I am in normal start mode, although I have had to do some clean boots to install drivers for a sound card. How do I unblock iReboot?

I know that's alot but is everything I could think of to make things smoother. Thanks for your help on these.

Saphire199
 
Last edited:

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
1.) Just repair the Vista boot loader it should get rid of GRUB.
2b.) No. HnS is still in Beta and until it goes final the problem will still be there.
2c.) Restore points are a personal preference thing. If you do not use them and do not think you will. Then i wouldnt be to bothered by losing them. I know i am not.
3.)[Download] UAC-Free iReboot BETA - The NeoSmart Forums

Uninstall your copy of iReboot and install the UAC Free edition.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
Mak's right about Vista restore points being personal preference, but remember when he says he doesn't use them that you're getting advice from a man who sometimes reinstalls his OS 2 or 3 times a day just to prove a point !
I wouldn't be without them. My philosophy is to get the system clean and stable, and have way of undoing any change that negatively impacts on system stability (without resorting to reinstalling everything I've done since the day I first got the system the way I wanted it)
I think they're one of the only good things to have come out of Windows ME, and they've saved my life on a number of occasions (forgive the hyperbole).
I love iReboot, and miss it a lot, but I'd rather be protecting my Vista integrity than saving 1 minute when I boot XP.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
I have not installed my OS 2 or 3 times a day!! That was jsut a bad day with lots of crashes to Ubuntu. :tongueout:
 
#5
Well, Terry, I think you are right. In fact, I just had to use the restore when I was trying to fix the bootloader. I don't know what I did wrong here, but here is what is happening. First of all, from the beginning, I installed the Vista HnS before I even did the dual boot or used Easy BCD. I figured, hey, if it's going to hide things, I should be on the safe side. Then I did the dual boot (with a few complications that i got sorted out thanks to you guys). Then I installed iReboot. With all this, I am not having a problem (except for the UAC thing which Mak has already answered) in getting from one system to another. I am not having a problem booting from scratch and picking one system or another. I am not having problems that I can see with the running of any processes or apps and even in the event viewer am not getting any weird warnings or errors (except if I do something dumb). I just did a system restore, back to two days ago cuz when I tried to fix the bootloader something happened (more following), so my system restore seems to be working ok. (By the way, after the dual boot, I went and turned the system restore back on, seems to be storing points with no problem.) So am I lucky or is there a problem that is going on behind my back that I am using both together and not having any problem?

OK - now onto other things - The one thing I am trying to get sorted out is when I boot from scratch here is what happens:

DOS screen comes up, prints about 6 lines of text inside a box that is picture-frame size in relation to my screen, takes about a second. Then I see Windows Vista and XP which stays up for about a second. Note: I think that this screen is somehow connected to Vista HnS, as a). remember I told you that I installed this BEFORE I did the dual boot, and since I did not have XP at the time, it would only list Vista and would stay there for 30 seconds, unless I hit enter, and b). I went and ran Vista HnS again after reading Terry's post and deciding to go with restore instead of ease of use. I changed settings so that appropriate OS was noted in appropriate drive (ie-changed type till all correct) then I put the delay to 1 second. Now what happens when I boot is after the 6 lines of text, it flashes Windows Vista/Windows XP for 1 second, then goes to another screen where I can choose between Windows Vista and Windows XP, which stays for 5 seconds and defaults to Vista. So the settings I made in Vista HnS were reflected in the second screen, adding XP and reducing the time out from 30 sec. to 1 sec.

Now what I would LIKE is this:
1. Getting into Vista HnS settings without having to un-install/reinstall HnS to change the time out to 0, which should get rid of that screen popping up at all?
2. Getting rid of the first screen (about 6 lines of text) so that it goes right to a screen offering me the choice of Vista/XP. I tried to repair the bootloader per Mak to get rid of this and that didn't go well. (I am assuming this has something to do with grub as I do see that word flash on the first screen with the lines of text, but it flashes up and goes pretty fast, just so you know) Anyway, to repair the bootloader, I went to article on Troubleshooting XP, which seemed to suggest to use Easy BCD, and went to the manage bootloader option and reinstalled the Vista Bootloader. The I tried to reboot. Got message "cannot find boot file, press Ctrl,Alt, Del to restart". Well, I've been there before, so I put in my Vista recovery disk, booted from that and used the System Repair to repair the error. That worked fine, had everything back to normal - but I still have that screen with the lines of text popping up. So I either did something wrong, didn't do enough or something but there I am back at square 1.

I apologize, I know this is long, and I appreciate you bearing with me to sort this out. I tried to give plenty of info, so as much as possible you see what I am running into. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

Saphire 199
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Saphire, thanks for all your feedback.

Number 1 is already on our to-do list, the entire UI needs some work before it gets out of beta stage. The current problem is that the people for whom HnS doesn't work don't bother sticking around to get to the bottom of the problem. I can fix the problems so long as I have some way of testing if the fixes get the job done or not, but if people don't tell me what's wrong HnS will remain in Beta stage forever.

Number 2: Can you please explain what 6 lines you're talking about?
 
#7
Guru, thanks for your reply. I will definitely be sticking around long enough to see this to the end. To me, I think that you guys are doing pioneer work in making it so that people have a CHOICE with their operating systems, using the one or ones that best suit their needs. And making this as effortless as possible to ALL users.Too many times I see the almighty dollar at work in giving us OS's that are not quite up to snuff (for one reference, your own findings on the Vista code in relation to the UAC). This site is doing work that helps everyone, and makes the whole computer scene a better place to be around! And I definitely will be donating to the cause before the May 30 deadline. (Just don't expect alot as I'm broke as hell! :scared: )

Ok, nuff about that - as to the lines of text, it will take me a couple days to get the info together as I'm not gonna sit here and turn my computer on & off 32 times so I can read it all and write it down, hope you understand.

Saphire 199
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
I'm a little confused by your post Saphire.
HnS is to hide Vista from XP which will overwrite Vista's restore points each time you boot it, if it can see Vista.
Before you installed XP it had no useful function, and would just have added a second boot menu when you don't even require one until you've a choice to make.
It creates a file menu.lst in the root of the active system disk, with the timeout controlling the first of the boot menus you see. When you select Vista (or it defaults), you will then see Vista's BCD menu, the timeout of which is most easily controlled through EasyBCD. If you select XP, HnS hands control to XP's NTLDR, which uses boot.ini (which previously might also have had several entries and a timeout if you have more than 1 XP).
The point of HnS (as well as the vital hiding - which was achievable less elegantly using Neogrub) is to supersede both of the Windows boot loaders and leave you with a nice single boot menu. (the first one)

Edit menu.lst timeout to something greater than 1 to give you time to see the choices and use EasyBCD to set BCD's timeout to 0 to get rid of the second menu.
You cannot use iReboot, because it will not return you to the Master process (HnS), which you must use to correctly assure the hide/unhide is carried out properly. iReboot doesn't know about HnS yet and will take you to the Vista BCD or NTLDR directly, and without the proper hide/unhide commands the results are unpredictable (or predictably not good !)
 
#9
Thanks for the reply and sorry about the confusion. When I was writing down all that stuff, I was thinking that someone was going to write back and say what the heck are you saying? Anyway, your answer did help. I'm just a novice guy here with all this stuff so it takes me a little while to fully get what is happening - you know going from the stage where you are just following instructions to the point where you actually understand what you are doing.

Yes, the install of Vista HnS was not needed before I did the dual boot. Was an error on my part. I was so afraid to lose the restore points as there are times when I use it.

I now get the order - as you say, HnS sets up a second boot screen which appears first in the sequence. I went to the menu.lst and changed the time out to 10. The second boot screen can be modified using easy BCD. I changed the setting there to 0. Now when I boot, I get a 10 second chance to choose between systems, then the other boot screen flashes (way less than a second, but it does come up) and it boots into what I chose as the OS. One question, for understanding - when I changed the menu.lst, does that automatically change the boot.ini file as well?

ok - now on the screen that comes up at the very first - I see items listed like " finding NTLDR", "find grub menu.lst", "halt" etc. What is this, what process does it have to do with and is it supposed to be there? Just wondering as I don't remember seeing it before I started all this.

I took your advice on the iReboot and uninstalled it. I like it, but I am not prepared for unpredictable results! Will have to wait for the point where these two (HnS and iReboot) are able to work together.

Saphire 199
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
OK, the screen you're referring to is just there temporarily, mainly so if you're an advanced user and you manage to get HnS totally borked you may be able to recover your system without resorting to using Super GRUB Disk. It will be gone when the beta is over for sure :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#11
Glad you've got things working Saphire, and are getting the hang of how HnS works now. As you are one of the intrepid Beta testers, you're seeing a load of (ultimately) spurious diagnostics. (think of it as a privileged look inside HnS which future mere users will never have) My build is too early to have them, as the problem they are there to debug didn't happen to me.
As to boot.ini. If you look in the root you'll see the original lurking under an assumed name, and the functional one is a creation of HnS with a timeout(0).
I only have one XP, but HnS is capable of booting a choice of several, in which case, my understanding is that HnS puts copies of the XP boot files (its version) on each system to hand control to, rather than the NTLDR way of handling multiple XPs with several entries in a single boot.ini. (that would require a second boot menu of course)
Guru will correct me if that information is wrong.

(note to CG - Can HnS boot several Vistas ? I have it hiding 2 disks, but they're for one system and there's only a single Vista entry in the menu. Would it detect a Windows folder if there were 2 bootable Vistas and create 2 menu options ?)
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Most unfortunately not, Terry.. Ultimately Vista needs to be started from the Vista bootloader and XP needs to be started from NTLDR. With NeoGrub and some sleight-of-hand on boot.ini we can fake the latter, but the Vista issue is out of the question.

So you'd have a two-level menu for getting into Vistas :frowning:

(re your description of how HnS works: spot on!)