Dual boot Vista/XP with BCD

saphire 199

Distinguished Member
Hi. I currently have a Vista OS and want to dual boot with XP, majorly so that I can play all the games that I have a nightmare playing in Vista. I have been checking out several forums, etc to find out what I can before doing this. NeoSmart seems to me to have several utilities for doing this EASILY which I liked. My question is this - I have followed the threads for the BCD and the Vista HnS - I am not a highly trained pc guy, I do know my way around a bit, can follow directions - would using these two items be above my head or are these set up so that someone like me can take advantage of them? I would appreciate the info and your taking the time to answer.

Moved to correct area.

The utilties are setup so that even a beginner can use them. So being that you are someone who knows a bit about PC's you should be just fine. If not we are here to help.

HnS is mainly so that you dont lose your Vista restore points. If you are like me and do not owrry about them, you will not need to use HnS.
Make sure you read the wiki (link off the home page) and study the part about installing XP after Vista.
XP will overwrite the Vista bootloader, which you will then have to repair, by booting your Vista DVD.
If you don't have one, you can download the recovery portion from one of the links in the wiki (troubleshooting XP).
Have a good read before you start so that you have everything to hand before you suddenly find you need something and haven't got it. (eg Net 2.0 framework on XP is necessary to run EasyBCD from XP)
Thank you both, I'm going to give it a whirl after more reading of the appropriate forums. And sorry about where I put the thread, it was my "wish" to find something simple to do this, chuckle. I will definitely report back when done problem or no.

Saphire 199
Well, I did it. Here's a summary of what I ran into as it did not all go smoothly, but thank god for the little sort out utilities you put into your programs!

I think everything went smoothly up to the point of running BCD. (not the fault of the program I know) I reinstalled Vista bootloader, wrote MBR. When I went to "add/remove entries, I came up with an unhandled exception, which at this point I chose to ignore, not knowing what else to do. When I went to re-boot, it wouldn't - i kept getting message "bootloader is compressed" and "press ctrl/alt/del to restart". So I finally went back and reloaded XP, and uncompressed the file with the bootloader in it, (I don't know if I had to do that or not), went back and ran the diagnostic on BCD to reset the Vista bootloader. Then went to the add/remove entries. Everything went well, I rebooted and Vista booted up. Only problem now is that XP did not come up as a boot option when rebooting. What steps should I take to correct that? When I was in the "add/remove entries", I picked "windows NT/2K/XP/2003 from the drop down. I left the name the same. The drive letter was C:, which I could not change after I picked "windows NT/2K... Thank you for any help you can give - I'm almost there!

Thank you very much Makaveli. And for not saying that was pretty dumb of me. When I added the entry on BCD, and did not change the drive, I was telling the computer that I should always boot into Vista! (Drive C is the Vista drive) So I removed the entry, changed the drive to G (XP drive on my machine), then changed the name to XP, so I could tell the difference, and THEN added the "windows NT/..." from the dropdown list, added and saved, rebooted, and got both systems to choose from. Better yet, I added the iReboot (brilliant by the way) so now I am set to go and everything seems to be working nicely, except I have to run around and find all the XP drivers for my hardware. Thank you again. You guys are great. I have been to alot of forums ( a necessity when you have Vista and things aren't going right) and you guys are helpful, fast and you know what you're doing. Better yet, the software is easy to use and simple. I've got a few friends that work on computers, I gave them the site address cuz I was amazed at what I ran into here. Keep up the great work!

Saphire 199
Glad to have been able to help point you in the right direction.
Remember now you're dual booting that you effectively have no system restore in Vista. If you want to be able to use it, you'll need to protect Vista by hiding it from XP. If you don't want it you can turn it off and save yourself disk space and CPU cycles.
See the HnS sticky thread in Ideas and Wishes if you want to Hide Vista.
Also I see you're using iReboot. That isn't HnS compatible at the moment unfortunately, until HnS comes officially out of Beta status. If you're not going to use HnS, then check the iReboot thread again for the latest news, there have been 2 new builds today with new features, so it might be more up to date than your version, depending on when you downloaded it.
Saphire we are just glad to be of service. By all means give out the site address to others and have them stop by with questions, comments or concerns. We will gladly answer all questions and concerns and take all comments into consideration.

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