Dual installed OS's and drives

HP DV9000 with dual drive bays. Came with single 80G drive XP Pro. Purchased 320G drive and Vista Ultimate. Since I did not have the expensive drive caddy to install in 2nd drive bay, just replaced smaller drive and installed Vista as single drive system. So I have 2 drives that are both set to single C drives and are up and running as I want. Eventually bought caddy for 2nd bay and want to set up dual boot instead of physically moving the drives between the bays. I do NOT have the BIOS option to select which HD to boot from.

From everything I have seen and read, to do the dual boot, I needed to install one OS then the other. XP then Vista. Not my case. I have a full XP and a full Vista on seperate drives (with applications looking for C in each drive) and cant find process that applies to my case.

How can I make it work? I can make either physical drive the first by swapping bays, but whichever OS I boot, it needs to boot as the C drive for the installed apps to work. I will even accept a bootloader from a thumb drive if it will do the trick.

Hi BB, welcome to NST.
Should be easy with Easy(BCD).

Make Vista the disk in the boot bay.

Download EasyBCD to Vista.

Copy (not move) the 3 XP boot files (NTLDR ntdetect.com and boot.ini) from the root of your XP drive, into the root of your Vista drive. (If you can't see them, unhide sytem and hidden files and known extensions in folder options)

Edit the new copy of boot.ini on the Vista drive to change rdisk(0) to rdisk(1) in both lines where it occurs.

Run EasyBCD "add/remove entries" . Add an entry for XP (selecting the right OS from the dropdown) and leaving it pointing to the C:\ or "boot" entry for "drive". (you're pointing it to the XP boot files. The boot.ini you just edited will tell NTLDR where XP is located, not Vista's BCD)

That's It.

(you haven't changed a thing on the XP drive, so you'll still be able to stand-alone boot it in an emergency, by using the current drive-bay shuffle)

You are aware I assume, that booting XP (every time you do it) will destroy your Vista restore points !

If that doesn't bother you (some people never use system restore), then go ahead as above.

If you'd like to keep Vista's restore points intact , then ignore all of the above.

Instead Download "Vista Hide 'n Seek"
Run the UI.exe
Point to your Vista partition(s) (one click)
Point to your XP partition (two clicks)
That's it.
You now have a dual-boot Vista/ XP where each time you run XP, Vista will be hidden and its restore points will be safe.
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Thanks for the quick turnaround. The sys restore issue in Vista is discomforting as I still dont trust it from a startup blue screen perspective, so I will try the Vista Hide n Seek method instead. I appreciate the heads up.

Two Quick questions:
1/ Does it matter which drive/OS I should boot & run UI.EXE from (Vista or XP)?
2/Can I still read/write to both drives (C:\ and D:\) regardless which OS is booted?

Thank you again, and I enjoy the board. A lot of good folk out here.
You should run UI.exe from Vista. You cann't access content from Vista's drive while you are in XP, but both partitions should be accessible in Vista. For future importance, should you ever decide that you need to uninstall the configuration HnS has setup, it is important that you run UI.exe again inside of Vista.
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Got it. Already DL'ed and reading the 411. I notice the beta classification, but with sixty-some revisions, and all the help you have had over time, I feel really good about it. THANK YOU AGAIN!!! I will post an update once running in the proper configuration...bb
It should work just fine, though its still considered beta. Let us know if you have any problems.
You can create a partition for sharing data between XP and Vista.
Just make sure it has system restore turned off from both OSs.
(system restore only needs to be active on the OS drive and any other partition on which you've installed 3rd party apps for that OS. Turn it off for every other drive to cut down on unnecessary overheads).

HnS has been stable at that build for several months.
Guru's just been too busy to package it for release.
Installed and ran UI.EXE on primary Vista drive. Selected each drive with proper OS's and it reported that it completed task, but sat at on stage 4 for a little while. Got solid white screen now on reboot with dos type underscore cursor in upper left (line 1, character 1 - if you know what I mean). Not panicing yet...lol. Will look through other thread. On wifes computer now to research. Its been one of those weeks...
We had a case some time ago where UAC prevented the final step, renaming bootmgr to bootmgr.HnS, and grldr to bootmgr (thats how HnS takes control).
Check whether you still have bootmgr and grldr on the Vista root (and no bootmgr.HnS).
If so try renaming them yourself before you do anything else.
ok - put xp drive back in primary slot and kept vista drive out. boots into grub. totally lost at this point. please help. I do have USB/SATA adapter that I can put either disk on other computer to look at files, etc... I will do a crash course on grub in the event that I dont hear back from anyone soon. Will check back regularly and try if possible to post the log file for you from the vista drive. Still not panicing :smile:

Log file:

NeoSmart intelliLogger 1.0
Logging started on 1/31/2009 at 3:43 PM using log level Debug
3:43 PM Vista Hide 'n Seek
3:43 PM Boot drive: C:\
3:43 PM Listing drives involved in the procedure.
3:43 PM F as Unknown
3:43 PM E as XP
3:43 PM C as Vista
3:43 PM Beginning Install process.
3:43 PM Attempting to rename C:\boot.ini to C:\boot.ini.hns
3:43 PM Copying NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM to E:\
3:43 PM Creating boot.ini on E as partition(1)
3:43 PM Creating Vista entry in menu.lst.
3:43 PM Adding XP entry E to menu.lst
3:43 PM Renaming BOOTMGR, creating GRLDR on C:\
3:43 PM Renaming BOOTMGR, creating GRLDR on E:\
3:43 PM Updating the bootsector on all partitions.
3:44 PM HnS installation successfully completed. Happy dual-booting!


For some reason, the forum deleted what it though was a double post...FYI

Back on the vista drive now by using "repair startup" from vista cd. How do I get grub off the XP drive so it will boot normally? I want to get completely 100% b4 trying to do again.
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That looks pretty similar to my log

NeoSmart intelliLogger 1.0
Logging started on 13/01/2009 at 12:17 using log level Debug
12:17 Vista Hide 'n Seek
12:17 Boot drive: D:\
12:17 Listing drives involved in the procedure.
12:17 N as Unknown
12:17 I as Vista
12:17 H as Unknown
12:17 G as Unknown
12:17 F as Unknown
12:17 E as Vista
12:17 D as XP
12:17 C as Vista
12:18 Beginning Install process.
12:18 Attempting to rename D:\boot.ini to D:\boot.ini.hns
12:18 Copying NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM to D:\
12:18 Creating boot.ini on D as partition(2)
12:18 Creating Vista entry in menu.lst.
12:18 Adding XP entry D to menu.lst
12:18 Renaming BOOTMGR, creating GRLDR on D:\
12:18 Updating the bootsector on all partitions.
12:18 HnS installation successfully completed. Happy dual-booting!

except for creating 2 grldrs.
I was only aware of it needing to create one (on the "system" partition - In my case both OSs are on one HDD), but I'll leave Guru to comment on why it did that.
It seems to have worked, so I don't know why you got the boot time hang up.
Can you paste the menu.lst that it created on your Vista drive.

If it's not there, as Guru suggested, search for it and see if it's been misplaced somehow.
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# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta
timeout 30
default 0
foreground 000000
background ffffff
title Microsoft Windows Vista
find --unhide /Vista.C.HnS
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS
title Windows XP [E:\]
find --hide /Vista.C.HnS
find --remap-root /XP.E.HnS
find --set-root /XP.E.HnS
chainloader /ntldr
# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!


I also have a 0 (zero) K file XP.E.HnS on my E drive (which is my XP disk in bay 2)
FYI: the drive F above is the HP recovery partition on the XP drive. I left that blank when loading HnS.
My boot.ini from the XP drive is as follows:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Vista Hide 'n Seek: Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Still wanting to know how to get my XP disk restored to normal. Should I run the program from the Vista drive again and click the remove option?
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As you'll see from comparison with mine

# NeoSmart Technologies' Vista Hide 'n Seek Beta
timeout 5
default 0
foreground 000000
background ffffff
title Vista or Windows7 (64 bit)
find --unhide /Vista.C.HnS
find --unhide /Vista.E.HnS
find --unhide /Vista.I.HnS
find --set-root /BOOTMGR.HNS
chainloader /BOOTMGR.HNS
title XP 32 bit
find --hide /Vista.C.HnS
find --hide /Vista.E.HnS
find --hide /Vista.I.HnS
find --remap-root /XP.D.HnS
find --set-root /XP.D.HnS
chainloader /ntldr
# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!

That all looks perfect.
But you never even saw a boot menu ?


The zero files are just put around (there's one on your Vista disk too) by HnS to "label" the partition so that grub can use the find command to locate it. (early builds used partition and disk numbers, but hit multiple snags because of OS inconsistencies in assigning those values)


Everything in your posts looks like it should have worked perfectly. Do you have a vhns.xpm.gz on the system when you do a search ? (that's the HnS menu screen). I can't fathom why you didn't see it when you booted.


If it's important to you to get your XP system working tonight. You can fix it like you did for Vista, but in this case, boot the XP CD and do a "repair install" which should fix the broken XP boot.
However, if you can wait a little, Guru might want to see something on there before you fix it.

I'm sorry to desert you, but it's now 3:30 am and I must get to bed sometime.

Sorry you've had this bad experience.
It should be a doddle, and it all looks like it worked perfectly, but I can't see the fly in the ointment.
Guru (the author) might have a better idea when he next appears.
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"Do you have a vhns.xpm.gz on the system when you do a search ?"
-----Yes, on the vista C drive in the folder which I ran the program from and at root (C:\)

Not a problem on the timeframe. I too turned off the computer and went to sleep. Back on it now. Might try the repair as you suggested on the XP, but I did not think this was an option on XP...only vista. I am familiar with fixmbr when booting into the repair console. I will try that.

Hopefully when Guru returns, he will see it and say "oh yea...do this...no problem..." haha

Thanks for your help.
Have you tried re-installing? Simple question I know. Just trying to make sure we've covered all the bases here.
I wouldn't do a straight reinstall just yet. HnS is still Beta, and so isn't packaged as carefully as a proper release, so reinstalling with a partial previous install still about can get its knickers in a twist.
It's prudent to do a bit of manual cleaning first if we want to go that route.
I'm still trying to think of any reason why what should have been (and normally is) a simple quick procedure, should fail whilst saying it's finished, and leaving all the signs of being properly installed.
Just for completeness and to aid diagnosis could you paste up some background info like a disk management screenshot, and displays of the system roots to go with the log and the menu.lst we've already seen.
Do you have any AV or Firewall which would prevent manipulation of the boot.
I use AVG8 and Comodo which are both happy to allow HnS to take over (as long as I say "ok")
Well, I booted to command prompt from Vista CD and added ".old" after all HnS related files on my vista drive (menu.lst.old, vhns.xpm.gz.old, Vista.C.HnS.old), as well as doing the repair startup option. Vista now boots normally, and I can see my other drive. Is it now safe to delete these three files? Thereby purging the HnS mods. Anything else I need to do on this drive?

Have not tried to put XP in primary bay yet today because of super bowl, but will tomorrow. Other than fixboot or fixmbr, what else should I try if this does not work?
Well as long as you can boot XP/Vista you should be fine now. I'm not an HnS user myself so stick around for further advisement if you need help. MS has a registry zap for this purpose for XP, but it doesn't work for everyone and HnS is typically easier for the average user to run and forget about.

Have not tried to put XP in primary bay yet today because of super bowl

Dang those cards, was hoping they'd pull through. Oh well, good game it was for sure :smile: