First time Dual Boot questions

#1
So tonight I decided to download EasyBCD. Here goes....

I had a 160gig hdd partioned. I had windows xp installed on one partition and on the other partion I have apps instaled, files, etc.

Recently I purchased another 160gig hdd for the purpose of installing Vista Ultimate 64bit. Basically just to learn more about it. At the time when I installed the new hdd, I had the hdd with with xp on it removed from my case.

So I installed Vista and all was well. I plugged my xp hdd back in. The only way to boot into a different OS was to each time change the hdd priority order in bios.

So tonight I downloaded and installed EasyBCD on Vista and was just having a look at the options etc. I changed an option, which I can't remember. I was just seeing what it does, but instead of cancelling I accidently pressed apply. How could I possibly have done that you ask?. Well I had command prompt opened behind it, which for some reason I clicked onto to close it. The x being in line with apply. I have a habbit sometimes of double clicking instead of single clicking. it's like a twitch..and then you know what happened. I cursed and thought crap what did I do. I will admit it's the most stupid thing I have done. I restarted the pc and it came to a black screen saying there was an error botting into windows.

my intial thought from here was to throw in the vista disc and repair. Upon trying to reapir an error appeared that mentioned that it was not possible to repair windows. I tried several times to no avail. So I restated and went into bios anc chose the xp drive. So now i'm currently on xp. So it looks like from here I will need to reinstall vista.

Now both hdd's are plugged in. So if i pop in the vista disc and boot on startup it should detected my other drive. So the option here would be to obviously reinstall vista on the current drive it's on.

Will this inturn automatically have an option on startup to boot from xp or vista? As the xp drive was in while vista was being installed, so it should have detected it and over written the boot file? If so would it just be a matter of booting into vista and just to renaming the XP boot up name. So when booting the name will be simple?

Now remembering I just used vista to learn about it. So should i just forget EasyBCD and reinstall vista then stick to dual booting from bios?

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Huy someguy, welcome to the forum.
I've got to go for a doctor's appointment, so can't hang around to help you at the moment, but don't do anything as drastic as a reinstall. Someone will be around to help you. I'll check back later.
Meanwhile try to remember exactly what option you accidentally clicked, and post any clues as to what it was/might have been.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Back again.
Try disconnecting your XP disk, then booting the Vista DVD and selecting "repair startup". You might need to do it more than once as it only seems to fix one thing at a time.
When Vista's booting again, you can use EasyBCD to add the XP boot entry. (only more carefully this time - did you click the uninstall Vista bootloader before ? - that's for removing Vista for those who want to go back to a single XP system)
When you run XP on a system where it can see Vista, it will destroy Vista's system restore points, so you should be hiding the Vista disk from XP. Look at the sticky thread about HnS, which will do the job for you.

Note to Guru.
In this situation - 2 independent OSs on separate HDDs, effectively 2 single boots. Will HnS create an automatic dual-boot without the need for adding BCD entries and copying XP boot files?
From my limited understanding, it should do. Wouldn't this be the ideal way for a new user to set up a trouble-free dual boot system ?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Yep, HnS should definitely deal with it. It doesn't look at any of the existing configuration files and figures everything out for itself - that's why it had been such a PITA to build and troubleshoot in the first place.

Download: [Download] Vista Hide 'n Seek BETA - The NeoSmart Forums

I've been considering adding an option to *not* hide Vista partitions so HnS could be used to create a straight-forward single-menu one-click-installation dual-boot and put to rest all the XP/Vista dual-boot problems we're seeing here, but that's getting dangerously close to what EasyBCD does..
 
#6
Thanks for the help guys. Sorry I took some time to reply. I' jjust having issues making it here. Just a known issue with my motherboard and BSOD's.

Anyways say I get everything working fine and I come to a point where one OS needs formatting or needs to be replaced. What would happen in this situation. Will it cause any issues to the boot process? For exapmple if the vista drive fails an I need to get a new hdd, but in the mean time I want to use XP? Will there be a problem or do I just boot into xp from the dual boot option upon startup and then when installing vista on a new dirve, would it be just a process of loading EasyBCD back into vista and just redo the boot otions?

Thanks again
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
If the Vista disk (with the dual boot) broke, then your BIOS should find the original XP boot on the other drive(if they're both in your BIOS boot sequence) and bring up XP without offering a choice. You'd need to make a new Vista installation and reinstate the dual boot on the new disk.
If the XP disk broke, your dual boot menu would still be there and Vista would boot fine, but an attempt to chose XP would fail once it tried to access the broken disk. A reinstall of XP on the new disk (with Vista disconnected) would bring back the status quo ante as soon as you reconnected the Vista disk.
If you didn't disconnect Vista before reinstalling XP, then XP would overwrite the Vista bootloader and you'd need to repair it.
Anyway - any future problems are best dealt with as they happen - there's always someone here willing to lend a hand.
 
#8
Well Vista finally managed to repair itself. So all is well. Thanks for the help guys, really appreciated. But to save you guys and myself the headahe, I think I will stick to dual booting by changing the hdd boot priority in bios as I don't use vista x64 often.

Thanks again :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
Don't let a bit of finger trouble scare you off. You said in your first post that it was a fluke double click which caused your problems. Just be a bit slower with your trigger finger. You're not going to do the same thing again.
If you download HnS to Vista and run the UI.exe, it should do everything for you, including protecting your Vista system restore, which you won't be getting at the moment and you might need in future.