dual booting Wiin 8 and XP

New computer ..ASUS CM6870 Intel core i7-3770 Cpu -3040 ghz

It came with windows 8 preinstalled... so no setup disk... can do a refresh / recovery from harddrive... also does not have option to create recovery disks , it has option to create a backup drive to recover from.

Trying to setup dual boot with XP and know best way is install XP first then Win 8 but that is not an option since win8 is already preinstalled and no disk.
Have 2 hard drives one that win8 is on and new one for XP
Only way I could get XP installed is disconnecting win8 drive.
I can get both to boot up by either changing bios to AHCI for win8 or IDE for XP or disconnecting one of the drives.
I finally got EasyBCD to see XP in Win8 and add the entry but when I select it , it says NTDR is bad to rerun xp setup and select repair but when I try that I have to change back to IDE and only repair is thru recovery console .
I have slipstream the xp setup adding the sata drivers from ASUS...
I have tried to reinstall XP in AHCI with WIN8 drive attached and it saids it needs to write files to win8 drive and I need to create a XP part. I have did this on the win8 drive but it still keeps saying I need to create a XP part.
Help someone anyone please.
When in XP of course being in IDE it does not see the AHCI win8 drive other than when I go to manage and disk management and I can't do anything with it. protective mode.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Thanks Terry , you put me on right track to get both xp and 8 on same track with AHIC.. Closer to getting this done now... WIN8 is seeing XP and setting up menu for windows 8 and XP BUT only the Windows 8 selection works , Xp says Insert Windows disk reboot and select repair that the /NST/NTLDR file is missing or contains errors.
I can press F8 and boot up for boot menu and select XP and it will boot up , just every other time the mouse and keyboard locks up , not system , just mouse and keyboard , both is USB.
Boot menu does not work for Win 8 , if I select that it opens XP .
If I select CSM boot option from boot menu then I can select win8 and it will load.
I can not get Easybcd to work .... in win8 it of course sees win8 but not XP .... in XP it does not see Win 8
I have followed eascybcd notes to a tee and it just will not see win 8 in XP or see XP in win 8 so it will not setup the menu for xp.
Any further help ... anyone....??????


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Check EasyBCD > tools > options to make sure you are not working on the wrong BCD.
whether you are running EasyBCD from W8 or XP, it should be looking at the same "live" BCD, so the contents cannot be different unless you have EasyBCD set to be looking at some (inactive) copy of the BCD.
I have a similar problem:

I have installed Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows XP on different harddisks.
EasyBCD is installed in Windows 8. I can configure it to start either Win7 or Win8.

However when I try to add Windows XP as New Entry, EasyBCD tells me it can not find any XP
although I can press F8 and boot up for boot menu and select XP and it will boot up.

Can Terry be more specific about "....whether you are running EasyBCD from W8 or XP, it should be looking at the same "live" BCD" ?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Windows (all varieties from XP onwards) installs its boot files in the highest priority "active" partition it can find. That would normally be the active partition on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence. It does this regardless of where you tell it to install the bulk of the OS.
This design architecture ensures that a newer Windows installation will automatically dual boot with any pre-existing older versions, and means that there will normally only be one BCD regardless of the number of Vista/7/8 OSs.
However, if you don't follow this MS schema, e.g. if you install OSs in isolation one at a time on individually mounted HDDs, then the individual HDD must contain the OS and its boot files, i.e. each individual Vista/7/8 will have a BCD.
If you connect these HDDs individually, then each OS will boot using its own BCD, but if you connect all of them and use EasyBCD to effect a multi-boot, the BCD which contains the multi-boot details will be the BCD on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence. That's the "live" BCD.
If you installed EasyBCD with each OS and used it to tidy things up, then it will be looking at the BCD on that OS, which may not be the one that was actually used to boot the OS if you are multi-booting.
In that case, you will need to redirect EasyBCD to the "live" OS if you expect anything you change to be reflected in the boot menu.
Sry tween working day job and working on this computer I been a liitle slack on getting back here... still having same issue... easybcd is not being easy ... it does not see xp period .. I have tried cleaning partition of win8 and changing from gpt to mbr but when I used the recovery to put 8 back gpt came back...
Which also means that when I install xp with the win8 drive attached and when it comes up with ...must write to win8 disk and that I need to create an xp compatible partition on the win8 drive... if I do this, I have to do this while xp is setting up which will wipe out the win8 partition cause it only shows one unknown partition , the whole drive,,, can do this BUT I will need to readd win8 and when I do that using the recovery cause again it came preinstalled , it will wipe out the xp partition and put the win8 drive back with partitions it came with.
so... currently I have both drives using AHCI in Sata.... and I can F8 at boot up and select which ever drive , 8 or xp and boot up on it... BUT can not get a menu from windows OR easybcd .
Still open for any suggestions



ok here is where


ok here is where I am ...

I got menu to show up for both windows 8 and XP
windows 8 works
XP does not
xp menu says to load xp install disk and do a repair.... 0x000007b .. \nst\ntldr is missing or bad
since I have 8 on one drive and xp on another drive... they have different drive letters.
windows 8 is drive c:
XP is drive H:
when I go into windows 8 ,xp drive shows as e:
When easybcd setup xp it says path for boot is c: \nst\ntldr
When I reboot back into xp it is then H:
could this be the problem?
I have copied xp's ntldr to the nst folder on windows 8
I have created a nst folder on xp drive and added ntldr from easybcd and also tried with using xp's ntldr file after editing easybcd to point to the H: drive
I have shared both drive
I have un-hid all files ..even system files
and still get same error
I can F8 for boot menu and select the xp drive and xp comes up fine.

can someone please give a thought? or do I need to buy this program that won't work to get at least one of the many on here who has gotten it to work to help?


I can't change xp drive to c: being boot drive it won't let me but I did change it in windows 8 to H: drive so in above tests when I went into windows 8 my xp drive was h:drive and when I go into xp it is H: drive


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Disk letters aren't "real". They don't exist on the physical device or partition, and there are no letters in the BCD.
Disk letters are just virtual labels given to a drive from within an OS from a map in its own registry, created either during the OS installation, or as modified by you in Disk Management, or dynamically during the boot.
EasyBCD translates the unreadable UID contained in the BCD into disk letters for your easier understanding. It uses the same registry map as the OS it's running on, so it will see the same disk letters as Explorer does from whichever OS you are running.
Those registry maps are not in any way connected from one OS to another. The only way they will correspond is if you contrive (by the way you install the OS, or through Disk Management where possible) to make them do so.
It does not matter if disk letters appear different when you boot another OS. That's a consequence of the above and perfectly normal.
If you can see XP in your W8 BCD but have been altering it (don't change it !), then the chances are it will not boot.
Delete the XP entry, and add it again letting EasyBCD auto-configure it. Don't change what EasyBCD sets up.
If it appears wrong it's because you don't understand how EasyBCD is booting XP (has to boot XP), not because it's made a mistake.
You can read why and how here
Thank you very much for your detailed information.

I have experimented with changing the highest priority partition, but still encounter two problems (in different situations)

First : After booting I get the following error message :
File : \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file

Second : Whenever I try to add Windows XP with EasyBCD I get a message that no XP installation is found,although I can directly boot into it selecting it with F8



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The invalid digital signature message occurs when you try to boot W7/8 from Vista, or W8 from W7.
It's caused by an older version of boot manager not recognizing a newer version of boot loader as genuine.
If this happens when you change the BIOS boot sequence, it indicates that you have a Vista/7 bootmgr still sitting on another HDD.

If EasyBCD does not find a copy of XP, how did you install it ?
Did you use the standard name of Windows (or winNT) as the installation folder ?
EasyBCD looks for those two and also WinXP (added because so many people were using it as a non-standard name).
If it finds one of those, it checks the version number of ntoskrnl.exe in the \system32 sub-folder.
That's how it knows XP exists.
If you meet those conditions, what file system is the XP partition using ?
Is your W8 installation on an MBR or GPT formatted disk ?
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Somehow I managed that in the XP-Installation the Windows-Directory is named as Windows.1

I have tried to rename it to Windows, but then I cannot boot from it anymore.

Maybe I should reinstall Windows XP completely ?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
One step further worked, but still a problem:

I renamed the folder Windows.1 to Windows and could add an XP entry into EasyBCD
and afterwards renamed the folder to Windows.1 again.


The post
Windows XP cannot be added in EasyBCD
you gave me
says I should use EASYBCD > Tools > Edit Legacy Entries to edit the boot ini.
However in the German version of EASYBCD the Tools only shows me an "Easy Power Console"


Can I use this to edit boot.ini ? If yes, how ?
Would I have to edit the boot.ini in the XP installation, or the Win 8 installation ?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
like this.
It would be a good idea to change the German translation so that Werkzeuge wasn't used in both contexts.
Note that in the English version they are different.


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Mission accomplished. It works perfect now.

Thank you very much for your patience guiding me out of the thicket.

One final remark : Because there is a button "Nützliche Werkzeuge" I only opened this one and overlooked that there is a menu-item Werkzeuge​ containig differnt tools.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member