Dual boot XP Pro & Vista

#1
I have had a disk drive problem when using my XP Pro. I have managed to recover the XP Pro partition and had everything up and working (took about a week) then decided to use EasyBCD to boot into Vista partition (on C:\ drive) everything seemed okay (wrote the redirection to Vista) and tried to boot.

However Vista won't boot and I can't therefore run EasyBCD and get the XPPro partition to boot. Is there any way to run EasyBCD from Ultimate Boot CD or from Pen Drive?
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
#3
Some success

Well that was a learning experience - I downloaded the torrent and created the ISO, booted from it and went through Command Line procedure (Vista Repair wouldn't work) so went through procedure to nuke boot loader and re-build it.

I now have Vista trying to re-boot but "blue screening". I went into Safe Mode, then tried Safe Mode with Command Line prompt. It's having a problem with \system32\drivers\crcdisk.sys (last entry before crash and re-boot). I then followed some threads about this and found their solution was to delete c:\windows\system32\drivers\sptd.sys - I've checked but I don't have that file. On other computers with Vista I seem to remember seeing reference to it at the bottom of the screen - Something like "Press F6 to load SPTD.SYS". It's possible that I have deleted it (previously) off my computer, so I will find this file and put back.

Any other thoughts?
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
Have you tried last known good configuration or tried a restore point? But since you are dual booting you might have lost your Vista restore points.
 
#5
It seems likely that the Vista Restore points have been trashed as the system can't find any when I use System restore. I think Vista creates Restore Points on a regular basis but I have only got the original Restore Point when I created Vista Recovery DVDs (2) on the DVD after setting up notebook originally. This was before I used GPartEd to set up different partitions on the drive and I don't want to do a factory restore (which I understand re-sets up the System Partitions - which would overwrite my XP Pro drive that I am trying to get back to as it has all my work and installed programs).
I would also prefer to be able to keep my registry (ie all installed programs for Vista if at all possible rather than re-installing operating system which loses al installed programs and all downloaded updates).
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
If you've been booting XP on a system where it can see Vista, then you've got no Vista recovery points.
XP thinks Vista recovery folders are corrupt (they're a new format) and resets them to be XP folders.
Then when you boot Vista, it sees the empty folder and sets a new initial restore point - but that's it . That boot (1st after the last XP boot) is as far back as you can go in future, and if you boot XP, it happens all over again.
If you manage to get Vista back, and you want to dual boot with XP, and you want to use system recovery, then you'll need to hide Vista from XP. See the thread about Vista Hide 'n Seek (HnS) in the Ideas and Wishlists forum.
Why did you download the Vista recovery ISO from this site if you've got a Vista Ultimate DVD ?
It only contains the recovery environment for OEM users with no bootable Vista medium available.

When you say that booting the Vista DVD and selecting "repair" didn't work, did you try it more than once.
MS instructions do state that you might need to boot the DVD and do the repair several times before it finally sorts everything out. (It took 2 tries when I repaired Vista's bootloader after installing XP on my system)
 
#7
Thanks for those comments Terry - Vista boots on C:\ and XP Pro on D:\. I thought they put their restore points on their respective drives, is that not right? There don't appear to be any Vista restore points on the hard drive (C:\ ?) at all (I think only on the DVD of the system at the point the Recovery DVDs were made). I'll check the Vista Hide n Seek thread.

I downloaded the ISO Vista recovery in the hope that it allowed some other options than the HP "generated" Recovery DVDs. I hoped that Neosmart-site's Vista ISO would allow a repair to the Vista operating system files (because it would not know the initial HP notebook partition sizes). So it wasn't made clear, to me, in the "Repairing the Vista Bootloader" section that the "repair centre" was actually the "Repair your computer" section of the DVD. I don't have a Vista Ultimate DVD - only an Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) which has XP (Pro I think) on it.
I still need to know whether there is an option to rebuild Vista operating system without re-setting the Vista (and XP Pro) partition (which will nuke XPPro I think).

THE MOST important thing to me right now is to find a way to get the computer to boot back into XP Pro on my D:\ drive so I can get on with some work (then I can come back and work out how to fix Vista - even if it means re-installing it). As I originally asked - is there any way of running Easy BCD (or something else) that will restore the boot back to XP Pro (on the D: drive)?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
System Restore on all windows OSs will put a restore folder on every drive visible, until you turn off the monitoring of every drive yourself, leaving just the ones you really need (where you install any apps and the sysres of course). Unfortunately, even if you tell XP not to monitor the Vista drives, it'll still screw with the folders on them. The only workaround is to hide Vista drives from XP.
If you're just trying to get XP working for the moment, then you don't need EasyBCD. It's for editing the Vista BCD. You can concentrate on getting your XP boot fixed, then when you're up and running, use EasyBCD to fix the dual boot.
Have you read the wiki XP troubleshooter
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Troubleshooting+Windows+XP
Your 1st post implies that you got XP working, but couldn't get into Vista. But now you're not able to get into XP either, right ?
You need to run a repair install on XP which will get that up and running, then use the Vista repair CD to fix the dual boot, then run HnS to protect your future restore points.
 
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#9
Thanks Terry - I didn't know about the recording of Restore Points on all drives - now I see the relevance of HnS and the hiding of the folders. Just a comment on that, wouldn't it be possible to make a backup of those folders (just like having backup FATs and partition table backup sectors) so that when you need to restore it could copy in the backups first?
You are correct I got XP working again and after tidying everything up decided to use EasyBCD to flick over to Vista, but it wouldn't load correctly and I couldn't get back to XP (using EasyBCD because I can't load ).

I will try a "repair install on XP" - which I presume involves using the XP Recovery Console and "repair" the D:\ drive? IF that gets me up and going on XP I'll be happy, and will then continue with the next steps.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#10
#11
i had the same issue with my dual boot. Get one going, it does not matter which one, either XP or Vista. Assuming you get XP going by rebuilding XP's bootcfg files, and get in there, you have to do two things if i remember correctly. first load easy bcd onto XP and use it to reload Vista's boot files, and reset that. you should then reboot, and it should take you into Vista. then reinstall BCD on Vista, and set up your dual boot system. at this point, you can set up your HnS.

if all you can get into is XP, then check to make sure that the Vista drive (C) is set to active. i found in one attempt, i could not get C to be set to active and was stuck in a continous loop of Vista start ups. i had to manually set C to active.

jat
 
#12
Alex - don't think I have upgraded to XP SP3 - thanks.
Jat I will try to get Vista going once I have a foolproof way of getting back to XP. So far I can't even do that. I can't run EasyBCD from Vista because Vista won't load. Can't run EasyBCD from another operating system boot (whether off XP boot disk or LiveCDs) because it needs to be installed (I presume). So I am left with trying to repair my XP setup so that it boots from the D:\ drive using XP Repair Console. Then I nreed to run Fixmbr and Fixboot from the command line prompt and hopefully that's going to be it.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
AJ, No you can't back up your restore points. They're all chained, and any broken link makes the whole process useless. (just from memory, back in the days of ME, where system restore was invented, I cloned an OS to a new HDD. The process was successful, though it was littered with error messages, which all turned out to be associated with failed attempts to recreate the recovery folder. I ended up with a working new system, but system recovery had no historic points.)

I'm a bit confused by your "use EasyBCD to flick to Vista, because I can't load it" ?
EasyBCD is just a tool to edit the Vista BCD.
There is another NST tool called iReboot, which can call one OS from another, but it only manipulates the boot process so you don't have to sit and wait for menus, and it can't circumvent a broken boot.
If your boot process is broken, there's no alternative to fixing it before you can do anything else.
 
#14
Terry what I mean by 'flick over to Vista' is being in XP PRO, running EasyBCD and altering the boot to go to Vista. Once I did that it wouldn't boot in Vista, and then I couldn't run EasyBCD (from Vista) but neither could I get back to XP Pro. I could not find any other way to run EasyBCD from any other operating system that I booted from the CD (because it appears EasyBCD can not run as a stand-alone program - is it installed and becomes part of the Registry? How does EasyBCD work under Linux?).

I ran XP Recovery and tried Fixmbr and Fixboot without success. I have just finished unning TestDisk and re-building partitions (from UBCD4Win) - currently no partition is bootable (which means I've at least got rid of Vista trying to boot).
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
Before your original disk problem happened, were you successfully dual booting Vista and XP ?
i.e. was the Vista bootloader doing the booting and giving you a menu choice of the 2 systems.
If so, then fixing XP would have been like installing XP after Vista and overwritten the Vista boot with XP's.
Repairing the Vista boot by booting the recovery ISO and selecting "repair", should have sorted your problem automatically (after a few tries at least)
How exactly did it fail ? Do you remember what happened ?
 
#16
Before disk problem I was able to move between XP and Vista easily, using EasyBCD, from menu.
At the time of the disk bad sector problem it was trying to boot into XP as usual. I recovered all the data from the original (failing drive) and copied it by sector onto a new (same type, same size, same manufacturer) drive, fixing bad sectors as it went.
However partition tables were corrupt and I had to re-build that (all data safe on drive and bad sectors recovered). Then I was able to boot into XP - the system needed to re-install CD/DVD drivers. I then tidied a few things up and the system was stable. I brought down email and generally tested system out.

Then I decided to check on Vista and used EasyBCD to switch. No problem until I tried to boot in Vista. It wouldn't load due to a problem (I think) with CRCDisk.sys. I tried the Vista Recovery program from both the backup System DVDs and the recovery ISO downloaded from Neosmart. Both repairs were unable to fix the problem (after running 8 or more times) and wanted to report the problem to MS but couldn't as there was no operating system or network connection.

Since then I have used the XP Recovery console and I have probably overwritten the Vista boot with XP's now as it is no longer trying to boot Vista (using FixMBR, FixBoot and BootCFG on the D:\ drive). It is no longer trying to boot into Vista, but I can't get any other boot either yet!!!!!
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
Can you use System Restore from the recovery disc?
 
#18
Do you mean the System Backup DVDs created as a backup for Vista? If so they have a Restore point for Vista way back a year ago. You will note Terry's comments that when XP is being booted it clobbers Vista restore points on all drives.

I don't want to run any recovery software that re-sets partitions as that will put the XP partition at risk.

Is there a way to disable the Vista boot and re-set to the XP boot loader? I have tried to run the XP recovery console and then run FixMBR [Devicename} (found using Map) and FixBoot D:\ but they haven't solved the problem. Vista is still attempting to load.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#19
You need to run fixmbr and fixboot both.
 
#20
Tried that about 20 times - says it has completed it (I use fixmbr [device name] to make sure it is going to the correct drive) after severe warnings..... Also fixboot d:\ to make certain that that is going to correct place.

I have just re-imaged the (output) disk drive (disk sector copy using ddrescue) and have checked partitions are okay. Vista will try to boot but will not get past loading drivers and ran a repair a couple of times but it is still not able to repair the problem and wants to notify MS etc. Then I tried the XP Recovery console and tried the fixmbr and fixboot a couple more times - still trying to boot into Vista.......

Is there any way to run EasyBCD from a Linux LiveCD or should I persevere with trying to get XP Recovery Console to fix the boot sector etc?