Dual-booting and multiple-hard drive woes


New Member

I'm having quite a hard time figuring out the solution to my problem. Basically, I'm trying to set up a Vista Ultimate x64 and XP X86 dual-boot, mainly because I need to run a program called 'SplitCam' and my printer (HP PSC 1317). Here are some screenshots to give you guys an idea of my current setup:


easyBCD and msconfig​

I've successfully installed XP on "Disk 1" on [partition] "X:". I've also successfully booted Vista back using its boot repair facility. Now, I can't boot up XP back. First error message I got was:

Windows Boot Manager has experienced a problem.
File: \ntldr
Status: 0xc000000f
Info: The selected entry couldn't be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.
I got that "fixed" by correcting the drive in which XP is installed in easyBCD - pointing it to "X:" and downloading fresh copies of "ntldr" and "NTDETECT.COM" as per your wiki suggested, and moved them to the root of drive "X:". Now, when I try to boot XP I get a different error which says:

Invalid BOOT.INI file
Booting from C:\windows\
I've then tried moving the "ntldr" and "NTDETECT.COM" files to my Vista root, but to no avail.

I really need to sort this out ASAP. Any help will be hugely appreciated.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Fark, welcome to NST.
You didn't need fresh copies of the XP boot files on XP, the old ones were fine.
Follow the wiki guide.
You need to copy (not move) the 3 files from the XP root to the Vista root,
change the XP entry in EasyBCD to point to C: (you're pointing the BCD to XP's boot files, not XP),
then edit C:\boot.ini (the new copy) to point to the XP partition. (Probably rdisk(1) partition(2) from your screenshots, in both places the address occurs)
Follow the troubleshooter link from the above link, and any XP dual-boot problems will be explained, with their fixes.
If my suggested address (1) (2) is wrong (you can't always tell from a Vista disk management display - XP boot.ini uses the BIOS addresses, Vista bootmgr uses Vista's numbers which don't necessarily agree), then play around with the combinations of rdisk from 1 to 5 and partitions 1 or 2 till you hit the jackpot.
It won't harm XP guessing incorrectly, it just won't boot !
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New Member
Hey Terrry,

Cheers for the reply. I'll try this as soon as I get home from work.


lol :grinning:

I'm not sure what really happened, but it seems to be working now. Here are the things I've done:

  1. I've changed the drive XP should boot into in easyBCD, which is "C:" (as per Terry suggested, *I think* :tongueout:).
    I wasn't able to follow the corresponding step, which is to copy the "3 files" from the XP root to the Vista root, because:
    • I wasn't able to find any file in the root folder/drive - all folders.
    • I already have "ntldr" and "NTDETECT.COM" inside Vista's root drive; both files were freshly downloaded from this site. (I "followed" the wiki, and to my understanding I needed to have those files in Vista.)
    Thinking about the next step, which is editing the "boot.ini" file in XP, made me think it'd be impossible because there wasn't any files in the root of my XP drive (they were mainly folders - Documents and Settings, Program Files, WINDOWS, etc...). I then decided that it was time to re-install XP.
  2. I then decided to reboot my machine. Thinking that XP will work from the new configuration, I chose to boot it from the OS selection screen. Not only it "looked" like it was booting, but it completely froze my machine.
    I then decided that it was "really" time to re-install XP.
  3. I popped in my XP install CD, changed the boot sequence to boot to the CD-ROM first, and lo and behold - it didn't boot from the CD-ROM, but it booted XP!!! I was able to get to the desktop, and sure enough, it was fully working.
  4. It made me think that it might have screwed up Vista, so I rebooted. I changed the boot sequence to boot from my main hard drive (Hitachi 1TB, where Vista is installed).
    Then I chose Vista from the selection. After choosing I got an error - sort of error that you get when you didn't properly turn off your computer. I then chose "Start Windows normally," then to my relief it worked too.

I can now go back and forth with either OS, but in order for me to do that I *have* to boot from my CD-ROM first, which is very odd :grinning: I'm really glad it's all sorted out.

Thanks for the advice Terry. easyBCD rulez! :grinning:
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
You need to edit the copy of boot.ini that's on the "system" "active" drive alongside the boot folder and the bootmgr, ntdetect.com and ntldr files, not the one on the XP partition. (ie edit C:\boot.ini).
It's obviously not quite right yet, you can't go through life needing to have the Installation disk sitting in the tray when you boot.
If you can't see the files on your XP root, it's probably because you haven't unhidden the system and hidden files in "folder options" (unhide the extensions for known filetypes too) .
Once you can see boot.ini on XP, copy it to Vista then edit the copy.