Dual Boot Vista/XP w/XP on raid 0

Hello, I've tried everything with Easy BCD to get this to work and it's driving me crazy! I've read all the tutorials and all the FAQs but to my dismay I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. So here goes:

I installed XP after I had my Vista 32 Ultimate installed on my main drive C:
I did this by installing the XP onto a sata raid 0 I created with my ASUS mobo.
I set the drive with the vista installed on it as the first boot drive in the bios and the XP as the second.
I installed Easy BCD on the vista drive, added an xp entry and then restarted.
When the vista boot loader came up it gave me the two option I had set up. Selecting vista booted vista and when I restarted to try xp it went and said hal.dll was corrupt or missing please reinstall hal.dll or something. Anyone that can help please do before I go bald from ripping my hair out :brows:

Here were my setting in Easy BCD:

Note: "When I'm in vista the drive with xp shows up as D: in My Computer"

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 5 seconds.
Default OS: Windows Vista
Entry #1
Name: Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows
Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {a82127ce-c3ea-11dc-b407-001a92974197}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The Hal.dll error is something I've seen transiently while Beta testing another piece of software here, that is a symptom of boot files not being where they should be.
Have you read
which will explain where things should be.
The whole dual-boot thing is a bit "voodoo" as regards which partition/disk ends up as system or boot or active, depending on physical order on the disk, IDE/SATA mix, order of installation, method of installation (DVD boot or install from other OS) etc.
Someone with the time, resources and a patient nature could probably formulate a predictor based on experimental evaluation, but for the moment accept that it's hard to tell.
Admin Tools/Computer mgmt/Disk mgmt should tell you where your system active partition is.
Make sure it contains all the necessary boot files as specified in the guide above. (it's not necessarily your C:\ disk)
Did you let the Vista DVD perform a Startup repair after you'd installed XP ?
It would have done all this for you, then you could have used EasyBCD just to tidy up and rename things the way you want them.


Forgive my rudeness - Welcome to the forum dj
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Mak 2.0

Staff member
Hello djtrippusa and Welcome to NeoSmart. You were so close. The answer is in the Wiki.

Troubleshooting Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Right toward the bottom it gives you the answer on how to solve the hal.dll issues you will encounter.

Your note about Vista showing as C:\ and XP as D:\ in Vista is common. I have that setup as well. :wink:
Alright, thanks for the feedback and the links guys. I still cannot get it to boot xp but here is what I tired today after your feedback:

created a "BOOT.INI" file and stuck it in the C:\ directory along with the "NTDETECT" and the "ntldr"

My BOOT.INI looks like this:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center" /fastdetect

I chose rdisk(2) for XP becuase in the Disk Manager thing in vista it showed the XP drive as Disk 2.

Restarted and ... same problem. So I changed the drive letter for XP in Easy BCD to C: hoping to fix this and then upon restart I got this: ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt
Now I'm pretty sure that the files are on my active partition C: "a.k.a. the Vista partition on Disk 0" One interesting thing I noticed though was that in the Disk Manager for Vista all the Disks had an "Active status" not sure what to do beyond here. I'm usually pretty good at figuring things like this out but trial and error don't seem to be working here =\ Any additional feed back would be most helpful.

P.S. Trry60 your not rude =)

Mak 2.0

Staff member
In the Wiki it says that the ntoskrnl error is a result of:

This means the ARC paths in the [operating systems] section or the default entry in BOOT.INI is incorrect. Double-check that multi() and disk() are both set to 0, and verify that rdisk(x)partition(y) points to the correct partition where Windows XP is installed. Instructions on the correct configuration of boot.ini can be found here.
So to me that suggests that the numbering is off. Did you take into account that for partitions that the first number is 0 (Zero) not 1? IF so i would adjust accordingly and see if that helps at all.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Another MS complication is that you can't rely on the disk number necessarily in Disk mgmt.
I don't know if it's just because I have a SATA/IDE mix, but my disk0 (In the BIOS), my boot disk, the disk which contains both my systems, the one the boot managers call disk 0,and really is disk 0; is called disk 1 by disk mgmt. My backup disk which is not bootable and is disk 1 in the BIOS, is called disk 0 by disk mgmt !
The partitions are correctly identified there however.
So maybe you should ignore the disk 2 and try 1 instead.
Boot.ini is just an XP boot file. It's only called by the Vista bootloader if you've selected XP for your boot, so it's only supposed to describe the XP system.
Alright, Now when I go to boot XP I get a black screen and nothing happens. I moved all the XP boot files "boot.ini, ntdetect, and ntldr into the vista drive's C: root. I can't figure out why it does this becuase the wiki said if that happens then you need to put ntdetect.com into the root as well. I did this and still black screen. PLZ help!? Your guys have been great thus far. Hope we can figure this out soon =\


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
You moved or copied the boot files to C:\ ?

Mak 2.0

Staff member
I copied the ones from the zip file linked off the wiki... Is that the right thing to do?

BTW if you read my last post I said that I put the NTDETECT.COM in there already and it's still gives the black screen???

Mak 2.0

Staff member
Are you putting them in the root of the drive?

Mak 2.0

Staff member
Yes that is the root of the drive. It sounds as if the boot.ini might be off. Have you checked the disk and partition numbers to make sure they are correct? Remembering that partitions count starts with 0 (Zero) not 1.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
C:\ is the *wrong* drive for NTLDR and NTDETECT. They need to be on D:\ (the drive EasyBCD lists for the XP entry).
Alright, I followed the steps on frustrated's thread. His situation was the reverse of mine i.e. my XP is on Raid 0 vs his Vista on Raid 0. I can boot into both OS's just fine now however, when I select XP another screen pops up and gives me the choice for XP Media Center or default. If I choose XP Media Center it boots into XP no problem but if I select default it just sits there with a black screen... Is there a way to just boot into XP and bypass that screen or is that just how NTLDR works???