Error: No Valid Entries


At one time EasyBCD worked flawlessly for me. I installed it, was able to boot to either XP or Vista, and had no problems...

UNTIL I reinstalled Vista! Now when I start the computer and choose the "XP" operating system at the boot menu, I got the "can't detect the NT..." error message.

So... I attempted to run the EasyBCD program, and immediately received an error message "No Valid Entries."

Therefore I attempted to add the two entries (XP and Vista). However, this wasn't possible. I'd add one system, then the second, which would cauase the first to disappear. I tried as many permutations as I could think of to no avail. Sometimes I'd get duplicate entries. (Two XP's or two Vistas for example).

This fiddling around had the effect of making the computer unbootable. So, I used my Vista installation disk to repair the startup so that at least I can use Vista.

Additional info: I can't find a boot.ini file anywhere on any of my partitions. I did paste the NTDETECT file to my C drive but this didn't help.

At this point it would be helpful if I could follow some 1,2,3 steps to resolve the problem(s). I'm sure these steps exist on one of the current threads... but which one?

Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Try reading thru that. This will give all the important info on how to add XP to your setup.

How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide | APC Magazine

This will also help you out. Dual boot guide with Vista installed First.

The definitive dual-booting guide: Linux, Vista and XP step-by-step | APC Magazine

Also here is all the Dual Boot guides for reference so that you can check any of them out see if any of this helps you.
It is no problem. If it works or doesnt work just stop o back and let us know. If it doesnt we will help you get it working. :wink:

Thanks. Before I reset the Vista Bootloader let me give you the latest:

Last night I used the Vista disk to "repair" the startup. So now Vista boots fine.

And, at bootup I get the menu I want: XP, or Vista.

However, when trying to boot to XP... I get an error "can't find <windows root>system32\ntoskrnl.exe"

I looked in the XP system32 directory and saw that the file was already there. Nevertheless I decided to overwrite it from the XP disk.

Unfortunately that did not help... the same error message pops up when trying again to boot into XP.

So... should I still follow your instructions to reset the Vista bootloader? Or do something else?
thanks again for your help!
Last edited:
Try a repair install on your XP. That should fix that error. But you might have to fix the Vista Bootloader after you do the repair isntall.
If you would read the XP documentation, you'd find that error and its resolution explained in full.

Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki


Try a repair install on your XP. That should fix that error. But you might have to fix the Vista Bootloader after you do the repair isntall.

That is not likely the problem - sounds like a misconfigured dual-boot, and the resolution in the Wiki should take care of it.
Last edited:

still no progress.

I read the Wiki article but did not see a resolution to the problem. (did I miss it?)

So I read the "introduction to dual-booting" article linked at the bottom of the page, which says:

1. Restore Vista bootloader.
2. Set up Vista bootloader to give you an option to boot XP.

Restoring Vista bootloader will boot into Vista, you won't have an option to boot into XP untill you set it up which is where EasyBCD comes in. Once you restore Vista bootloader with EasyBCD or bootsect.exe -NT60 C: you will be able to reboot into Vista. Here you can run EasyBCD to set up an entry for XP. EasyBCD will edit the BCD file and add an entry or XP. The next time you reboot you will have an option to boot Vista or XP and you are set.
that I need to first restore the Vista Bootl

So, even though I could already boot into Vista, I followed the procedure and used EasyBCD's "reinstall the Bootloader" feature.

Then I rebooted back into Vista, went to EasyBCD and used the "add/remove entries" feature. When I did this (to add XP) the Vista entry disappeared (as it had before).

I rebooted but had to use the Vista installation disc to boot.

Once I got back into Vista I opened EasyBCD and got the "no valid entries" error message which I referred to at the beginnning of this thread. The "Manage Existing Entries" box is empty.

Should I now go back to the "recovering the Vista Bootloader" help page and use Option 3 (recreating all files from scratch)?

Please note again, per my initial post, that I can't find a boot.ini file anywhere on my computer.

If it helps, I have one drive with 3 partitions. Vista is on C, and XP is on E.

Thanks again!
From this page: Troubleshooting Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

Troubleshooting Windows XP said:
ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.

Please re-install a copy of the above file"

This means the ARC paths in the [operating systems] section or the default entry in BOOT.INI is incorrect. Double-check that multi() and disk() are both set to 0, and verify that rdisk(x)partition(y) points to the correct partition where Windows XP is installed.
You will have to create a boot.ini file on your PC. This is why XP is not booting. The boot.ini file is crucial to XP and not having it will cause you to not be able to boot into XP.
The instructions on the main Windows XP page in the EasyBCD documentation should suffice to help you create your boot.ini file. Follow the links at the bottom of the page if you're still having trouble (particularly vlaurie and starman's links).

i do appreciate all the help, but i'm not there yet. I'm not a programmer and not accustomed to playing around with, or attempting to understand system files.

Since i had no boot file, I created one:

[boot loader]


default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS XP

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

C:\ = "Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

This of course does not work. Hopefully someone can tell me what to write. Vista is on C, D is for files, and E has XP. I assume those are partitions 1, 2, and 3.

And EasyBCD still says "no valid entries found."

When trying to start from scratch, I attempted to delete the boot file from C. However Windows won't let me. Even after using the cmd prompt and deleting "boot" it remains in the file directory in explorer (altough it disappears from the cmd window).
Actually the partitions start at 0 (Zero) not 1. So they would be 0,1,2 not 1,2,3. So you are close. Try switching it from 3 to 2 and see if that helps.
EasyBCD will continue to say no valid entries until you reset your Vista bootloader - it has nothing to do with boot.ini.

As mak says though, try partition(2).

OK, the latest:

1. I edited my boot.ini file (and placed in the C drive). It now says this:
[boot loader]


default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS XP

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

C:\ = "Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

2. I rebooted but was unable to get into XP. The message indicated missing or corrupt XP installation, so I inserted the XP installation disk and chose the "R" option. However all this did was give me the E: Windows direcotry. Not knowing what needed repairing, I decided to simply reinstall XP.

3. XP installed successfully, however of course I was no longer able to get into Vista. So I Used the Vista disk to repair the startup.

4. Once I did this, I tried to boot into XP (the boot choice was there for me). However once again I got the same error message... missing or corrupt system.

5. I went to EasyBCD, and per last post, reset the Vista bootloader. I rebooted, tried XP again, same error message.

6. I booted into Vista, opened EasyBCD, and again receved "No Valid Entries" message at startup.

7. If this helps, I am still unable to delete the boot folder on my vista machine so taht I can recreate it from scratch. I can't seem to get permission and/or it says "file already open."



Yes, I had already done that, and had no problem getting back into Vista.

The problem remains with XP. After reading another thread I see that Dell has a hidden partition (FAT). So on a hunch I changed the boot.ini file to partition 4.

Now I have a very strange result: THe initial bootup screen gives me three choices (vista and two xp's). Vista works. One of the xp's doesn't work. the other xp sends me to a SECOND bootup screen showing THREE Windows XPs. If I choose either of the first two, I get into XP. If I choose the third, I get error message.

Obviously (I think) I need to clean up the whole XP bootup, but where is this info stored?

And/Or... should I change the boot.ini to drive 3?