Dual booting XP and Vista-Invalid Boot.INI

#1
I've set up the bootloader with EasyBCD. My vista partition is on C drive and my XP partition is on D drive. I can boot vista, but when I try to boot XP I get the following messages:

"Invalid BOOT.INI. Booting from C:" flashes for a moment, and then the following appears:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."

I restored the hal.dll using http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/restorehaldll.htm but that didn't fix it. Then I tried to follow http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/repairbootini.htm

but that didn't fix it because when I entered C drive in the recovery menu, it told me to enter the admin password, and when I entered none(the default, since I didn't set one) it told me that it was wrong.

When I entered D drive in the recovery menu, and asked it to find windows installations, it told me that there were none.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Unhide hidden files and protected operating system files in folder options. Go to "Computer" and look at the contents in XP and Vista's drive. Make sure that both of them have ntldr, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini. Copy any files needed from one partition to another until both drives have all three files. Post your boot.ini/disk management screenshot if you are still having problems.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
Read the wiki troubleshooter and you'll see that a HAL error is not a problem with hal that you need to fix. "missing or corrupt" is the key. What's really happening is that you're looking in the wrong place because your boot.ini is not correct, therefore it can't find it, hence "missing". (a problem with catch-all MS error messages)
 
#4
Unhide hidden files and protected operating system files in folder options. Go to "Computer" and look at the contents in XP and Vista's drive. Make sure that both of them have ntldr, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini. Copy any files needed from one partition to another until both drives have all three files. Post your boot.ini/disk management screenshot if you are still having problems.
Where do I get boot.ini from, and can these three files be located anywhere in the drive as long as they are in both drives?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
They should be on at least one of the drives. You need to unhide hidden and protected operating system files in order to see them in folder options. You need to copy them to the drive that doesn't have them and fix boot.ini if you are still having problems.
 
#6
Vista can't find any entries for boot.ini, in either drive. I have both the XP and Vista retail CDs. I have the other two files on both drives. Can these three files be located anywhere on the two drives? How do I fix boot.ini?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
They must be in the root of the active drive. Read this
 
#8
Vista can't see the XP drive

I have a working dual boot right now, thanks! But Vista can't see the Xp drive, is there any way I can help it?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
Open disk management in Vista and verify that the XP disk is visible. Assign it a drive letter and it should appear in "Computer".
 
#10
Thanks, that fixed it. I still have two last problems with XP: I can't stand by and whenever I try to shut down, I get a message saying "Windows XP you can shut down your computer now" instead of shutting off on its own. I might be missing drivers but I don't know which ones. The laptop is a Toshiba A200 PSAE3C-TH108C. The driver site is here.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
Download the latest drivers from the site (especially the one for your chipset). Check your hardware by going to device manager so you know what to download or select your model (the website should allow you to select your model and view all of the drivers pertaining to any hardware that may have shipped under that system).