Dual installed OS's and drives

OrlandoBillyBob

New Member
Everyone - I really appreciate the help in this wonderful forum. I am back to "normal", but I think that for the moment I am going to live with swapping the drives when I need XP. Thanks...BB
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
I fully understand your reluctance BB (as one of the earliest pre-beta testers, and the one whose system always seemed to break successive early builds), but even as you revert to the comfort of your "hard" dual-boot, can I ask for the favour of the screenshots I mentioned, to help us try to spot whatever it was that gave you problems.
HnS has been so stable and reliable for such a long time, that we don't get a lot of opportunity to detect previously unknown glitches, so anything that gives us new information could be very useful.

If, in the future, you feel game for another outing as a guinea-pig, I'll walk you through the installation, and we'll check (before booting) that everything is hunky-dory. HnS should be perfectly safe in any state as long as you don't boot the system, and if anything doesn't work as intended, it will remove itself when asked.
Even if the auto-removal didn't work, it's easy enough to manually revert.

Essentially all it's doing is putting those little null-file labels on the partitions and creating a menu (all new and harmless), but then of course it renames Vista's bootloader and steals the name itself. If anything goes wrong there, it's easy to spot (the 2 versions of bootmgr are quite different sizes) and a simple rename will ensure that a reboot picks up Vista as normal.

For the moment though, a bit more background information might be useful.
 

JonathanBritt

New Member
Okay, I have the same problem! I have 2 Hds, each with 2 Os's on. The first has XP and Win7, the other two flavours of Linux. I installed Vista Hide n seek on Win 7 to see if it would protect my system restore points, but when I rebooted I got the white screen of death with a flashing black line as described above.

The only way i could find out was to reinstall the XP bootloader which gets me into XP.. If I try and use Easy BCD to reload the Win7 bootloader i go back to the white screen again! I know I need to be in Win7 to get rid of HnS, but I can't get there!

Help please!
 

JonathanBritt

New Member
Yes I tried following that thread but my installation disc doesnt have bootsect, and though I can download bootsect I don't know what to do with it after that! My Pc has one DVD drive so the rescue disk is in that and it wont recognise a usb drive in recovery!

Addendum:

I dont know whether this is relevant but menu.lst vhns.xpm.gz are both on C (the XP drive) and Vista.C.HnS is on D (the Win7 drive)

Addendum:

Well I tried copying menu and vhns.xpm.gz to D and then used Easy BCD to construct a new bootloader and load it to the MBR and its white screen of death again!!
I notice above the correspondent tried renamin the vnhs files to *.old and that seemed to work for him, I shall try that next, after restoring the XP bootloader for the umpteenth time!!

Addendum:

Well that didn't work! Actually my DVD has bootsect on it in a folder called boot, but when I am in the recovery console it wont see that folder for some obscure reason.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Addendum:

I'm not sure my last post actually posted, if it did, apologies for this!

Addendum:

Okay, my last post didn't get posted! I couldn't get bootsect to work at all so i just omitted that line. Everything else seemed to work okay until I rebooted the machine and it went straight into XP, no menus, no choices at all.
I think I hate Vista HnS, sorry!
Now it is time for bed and I have run out of ideas. If you have any suggestions please do post them!
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If you understand how it works, it's fairly easy to sort out.
HnS UI.exe is just a gui which creates a custom grub menu.lst for you.
It places a null file on each of your partitions (e.g. Vista.C.HnS) just as a label which the menu.lst can use to locate everything for the purpose of hiding/unhiding as necessary. The .xpm.gz file is just the background image for the grub boot menu.
All of that is uncontroversial and does nothing but occupy a tiny amount of HDD space.
The "active" part of the process, is the final step, where it renames the "real" MS bootmgr (375kb) to bootmgr.hns and renames the Grub4Dos module (grldr, 185kb) to bootmgr, so that the MBR finds the "fake" bootmgr at IPL instead of the real one.
The fake bootmgr (grub) can do what no MS bootloader can, it issues the hide/unhide commands in the custom-built menu.lst, and then chains control to the "real" bootmgr(.hns), or to XP's NTLDR depending on your choice.
You can see which version of bootmgr is in control by looking at the size, and revert to standard MS boot by simply renaming the two. All of the other files are completely inactive when the MS boot is "native", and can be deleted at your will. (you need to clean them up before you try a reinstall, to avoid causing the Beta install process problems).
Incidentally, you don't need to use HnS at all, unless the MS hack doesn't work for you. (It didn't for me, but does for most)
 

JonathanBritt

New Member
Yes thanks for the explanation. I did in fact download a Windows7 rescue disk and some easy to follow instructions and after two passes through system restore I was (almost) back to normal. Of course I had lost my little addition to W7 which allows me to run an unsigned driver, I need that to see my 3rd HD with the data, but now i am back to normal and have de-installed VhnS. The moral of the story is "leave well alone"!!
 
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