Dual Boot Xp and Vista problems...

#1
Hi all,
Im trying to set up a dual boot with xp and vista. Both OS’s are installed on separate drives. The problem I am having is getting both OS's boot files installed at the same time. Initially after I installed Vista (with xp already installed) xp would not boot when i disabled booting on the vista drive through bios. I ran fixboot off the xp disc and xp would auto boot. Disabled xp drive boot in bios and vista wont boot due to BCD files missing or corrupted. In Xp I went to EasyBCD and reset BCD storage and vista auto boots, now leaving xp with a similar ntdlr error. I run fixboot again and xp auto boots, again.I have 2 entries in Easy BCD (running from Xp) for xp and vista which correspond to the correct drives, as seen in XP. It seems to me that EasyBCD automatically installs the vista bootloader on the xp drive and possibly overwrites the xp boot…is this what its doing? If I restore backed up bootloader settings vista auto boots and xp needs another fixboot. Basically, If xp boots Vista wont and vice versa. Since xp was installed first, does that make the xp drive the boot drive for vista? I have no more ideas as everything I try ends up recycling me through fixboot for xp and then messing with easybcd to boot vista. There is never a dual boot screen. What should I do?
 
#2
The problem is easily repaired. The EacyBCD tool is intended for editing the Vista boot loader to see XP added in as an option. Since you installed Vista after XP you should have seen the option "previous version of Windows" shown on the screen right under Vista when first starting up.

Instead of leaving the default drive set for this in the bios you changed that to the XP drive which only sees the Windows installation while the boot files were placed on the drive where Vista was installed. That has to remain the default boot device in order to see both versions load when selected.

With the Vista drive set as default you now use EasyBCD to add XP in as a boot option by selecting the "add/remove entries" option seen there. You then select the drive likely D from the dropdpwn list as well as choosing the "NT/2K/XP" in the "type" dropdown list being type of OS.

You will need to verify that the ntldr, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini files are present at the "C:\" root of the host drive. Since those are hidden from view you go into the tools>foldeer options>view tab" in any explorer window to select the "show hidden files" as well as unchecking the "hide extensions for known file types" and "hide protected operating system files". With NotePad once those are visible you can confirm that the boot.ini file is showing XP on "rdisk(1)partition(1)" as both the default OS and under "operating systems" in the file there.

The "Fixboot" and "Fixmbr" commands used at the XP recovery console are not even needed to see XP load once all this is done correctly. Review the wiki on the EasyBCD tool seen at http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/EasyBCD+Documentation+Home
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
Hi crsnwd, Welcome to NST.
Stop repairing the XP boot, everytime you do it it destroys the Vista boot (it's not forward compatible).
Vista must be in charge. It's backward compatible and wil boot XP for you.
Follow the instructions in the wiki. You need to copy the 3 XP boot files into Vista's partition root, add an entry for XP to the Vista BCD using EasyBCD "add or remove", and edit the copied version of boot.ini to point back to the XP disk (change rdisk(0) to rdisk(1) in both places)
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Happy to help. Wish every problem was resolved so quickly.
 
#6
Don't we all! The information seen in the wikis will coach you through various things very well. But if you get stuck on something simply give us a good yell. "help! helps!" so one or more of us can. :happy: