Help please, can independently installed Vista & XP be reconciled for dual-booting?

Hatch

New Member
#1
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum and dearly hope someone can help me.
I have an HP DV7 1003TX. I've been trying to dual boot it with XP for 2 months since purchase.

I have no Vista install disks otherwise I would do it XP first then Vista. I also have no success installing XP after Vista. I've slip streamed SATA drivers etc but still have issues.

I know I can install XP smoothly so long as only one Hard Drive is in the laptop (It has 2).

My question is after I install XP and re-attach the Vista Hard Drive is it possible to get dual booting working with Easybcd?

I know one problem is that the Vista install doesn't recognise the XP install.
Can I do anything via easybcd to resolve this? I guess this means creating bcd and boot.ini files etc from scratch, I have no problem with this and have spent a lot of time reading but really need some guidance if it's even possible.

Your help would be so very very appreciated.

Regards,

Hatch
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Hatch, welcome to NST.
1 You need to copy the 3 XP boot files ntdetect.com, NTLDR and boot.ini from your XP root (x:\boot.ini for example (where x is what Vista calls your XP partition) into the Vista partition root (C:\boot.ini e.g.)
2 run EasyBCD and add an entry for XP (it will "grey" the drive choice for XP because it knows everything must be where you've just copied it.)
3 Edit the copy of boot.ini you've just put in C:\ to point at the correct rdisk for your second HDD (probably rdisk(1) ). You can use EasyBCD/tools/edit legacy boot to do this.
 

Hatch

New Member
#3
Hi Hatch, welcome to NST.
1 You need to copy the 3 XP boot files ntdetect.com, NTLDR and boot.ini from your XP root (x:\boot.ini for example (where x is what Vista calls your XP partition) into the Vista partition root (C:\boot.ini e.g.)
2 run EasyBCD and add an entry for XP (it will "grey" the drive choice for XP because it knows everything must be where you've just copied it.)
3 Edit the copy of boot.ini you've just put in C:\ to point at the correct rdisk for your second HDD (probably rdisk(1) ). You can use EasyBCD/tools/edit legacy boot to do this.

Hi Terry60, thanks for your quick reply and for the warm welcome.

This sounds straight forward. Interesting, I'm now starting to understand the issues that I had with my HP.
Apparently the Vista install only works on the primary HD, so when I was installing XP (because it was the primary) it would always copy the windows files into the primary HD (vista) despite choosing a separate partition and in later attempts a completely different HD. This corrupted the Vista install (I saw boot.ini, NTLDR etc in the Vista root dir) and completely crippled the PC.

Each time this happens I have to recover the HP OS which takes hours because I don't know enough about repairing a Vista install (I could if I knew how do this manually by removing the HD and putting it into a USB caddy) and secondly b/c this corrupt Vista stops me from booting to CD and using a repair utility.

I'm back to the drawing board, and will reinstall both XP on Drive 2, and then recover Vista on drive 1. Then attach both drives and undertake your advice.

Fingers crossed on the 4th complete reinstall today.:scared:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
When you Install XP after Vista, there's no problem with it being pointed at a separate partition (or disk). Vista itself won't be corrupted, but its bootloader will be overwritten by XP's (which can't boot Vista). All you need to do at that stage is boot the Vista DVD and select "repair my computer" / "repair startup" (2 or 3 times) until Vista has regained control of the boot and should automatically recognize XP and have a dual boot set up for it (as Legacy Windows).
You can then use EasyBCD to tidy up and rename the boot menu entries if you wish.
 
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Hatch

New Member
#5
When you Install XP after Vista, there's no problem with it being pointed at a separate partition (or disk). Vista itself won't be corrupted, but its bootloader will be overwritten by XPs (which can't boot Vista). All you need to do at that stage is boot the Vista DVD and select "repair my computer" / "repair startup" (2 or 3 times) until Vista has regained control of the boot and should automatically recognize XP and have a dual boot set up for it (as Legacy Windows).
You can then use EasyBCD to tidy up and rename the boot menu entries if you wish.
Hi again,

The problem I encountered on numerous occasions with this HP was that:

When attempting to install XP after Vista, after XP had copied its files to the HD and then tried to restart, the laptop would freeze and stall at the HP logo, it would not load to bios (I'm not entirely sure I'm saying this correctly). It would not boot to CD, it wouldn't even prompt you with the "press any key to boot to CD...".
It would just stall.
"ESC" usually accesses the very limited HP bios options, in fact it even appears under the HP logo as above, but pressing ESC does nothing, you get no further than the HP logo, and certainly nowhere near the CD or any other boot device.

NB: I have no Vista install disks but did manage to download a Repair disk someone had compiled especially for those of us without Vista install disks.

It appears I'm maybe hamstrung by hardware issues I don't understand, because as a last resort on that early occasion I pulled the HD out of the HP and put it into my old Dell. Booting in the Dell I was able to boot to CD and I ran the Repair function to repair the Vista MBR etc, I did this a couple of times and I was finally able to boot smoothly and trouble free....albeit only in the Dell and with an HP install.

When I returned the HD to the HP....nothing, it still locked up at the HP logo.
My HP has actually just came back from repair, the technician said it was a faulty HD but this is untrue because it is again happening with the replacement drive.

The only way I find I can recover my HP Vista after a unsuccessful XP install is to remove the HD, put it into a caddy delete and format the OS partition and start again. The HP recovery disks will fail to boot unless I do this (it will boot in the Dell following boot repair and I imagine in any other laptop, just not this HP, not even after repair via the Dell).

On an early occasion with the first primary HD (since replaced by HP) I did manage to install XP, I don't know how it did, but it was slow and buggy and I decided to do a fresh install. After one HD replacement here I am.

4 hours later Vista is just about finished restoring, after, I'll take out the Vista HD, install XP on the other HD, connect both and then try to boot into Vista and enable dual-booting via Easybcd.....

Notes:
Using full legit XP PRO SP1 slipstreamed with SATA driver.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Do you have the laptop BIOS set to boot from CD before HDD ?
If you use a function key to override the boot and tell it dynamically to boot from CD, that will work once, but any system-induced reboot (like the install setup) will try to reboot from the BIOS boot sequence and will hit your HDD first, utterly confusing the process.
CD first (or floppy/CD/HDD if you have one) is the preferred sequence. It will have no effect on a normal boot if the floppy drive and the CD tray are empty, but will enable emergency recovery if your boot is totally borked.(and will allow seamless installs of course)
 

Hatch

New Member
#7
Do you have the laptop BIOS set to boot from CD before HDD ?
If you use a function key to override the boot and tell it dynamically to boot from CD, that will work once, but any system-induced reboot (like the install setup) will try to reboot from the BIOS boot sequence and will hit your HDD first, utterly confusing the process.
CD first (or floppy/CD/HDD if you have one) is the preferred sequence. It will have no effect on a normal boot if the floppy drive and the CD tray are empty, but will enable emergency recovery if your boot is totally borked.(and will allow seamless installs of course)
That's a good question, I'll check - if not you might've hit the jackpot.

One quick question;

The XP install is on a drive which had an unallocated 50gb partition followed by the remainder of the HD C: which had some files etc in it.
The unallocated 50gb is now E: and has the WIndows files, but the boot files, ntldr, boot.ini, config.sys etc are in the C:. I guess I should've changed drive lettering before I installed XP.
Is this a problem and can one manually reassign?

Cheers again Terry60

Addendum:

Hopes dashed?

Boot order:

USB Floppy
Internal CD/DVD Rom Drive
Notebook Hard Drive
USB Diskette on Key/USB Hard Drive
! Network Adaptor

This doesn't make sense does it that I can't boot to CD unless I have a valid XP or Vista or a HD with a blank partition...
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
If you look in disk management, you'll see partitions can have flags "active" "system" and "boot"
"boot" indicates the currently running Windows system
"system" indicates where the boot files are
"active" tells the Initial Program Loader in the MBR, which "system" partition to go to to find the boot files (there can be more than one "system" only if non-Windows OSs exist (eg linux, Mac.) If all your OSs are Windows, there will only be one "system" and it will also be "active".
Presumably when you installed XP to C:\, the "active" flag was already set on the other partition, which is why it installed the boot files there.
 

Hatch

New Member
#9
If you look in disk management, you'll see partitions can have flags "active" "system" and "boot"
"boot" indicates the currently running Windows system
"system" indicates where the boot files are
"active" tells the Initial Program Loader in the MBR, which "system" partition to go to to find the boot files (there can be more than one "system" only if non-Windows OSs exist (eg linux, Mac.) If all your OSs are Windows, there will only be one "system" and it will also be "active".
Presumably when you installed XP to C:\, the "active" flag was already set on the other partition, which is why it installed the boot files there.
Ok this sounds interesting, in light of this can one set these "flags" to avoid conflicts assuming this may be what's happening everytime I install XP?
Taking a step back...I believe your last comments were in relation to the XP install spread across C: and E: on the same physical HD, in relation to the corruption of the primary HD and its Vista install when I install XP is there anything I can do?
Like I said before, the Vista HD hangs following an XP install (I can't boot to CD to repair, and even when I do in my Dell this does not fix booting to this OS in the HP), when I access the files via an external caddy I can see XP boot files in the Vista root directory etc.
If this is just normal activity of the XP install (overriding the Vista boot manager etc) and this corrupts the Vista OS entirely, is there something else I can try?

Apologies if I'm repeating myself.

Regards,

Hatch
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
You need to go back to my first reply now. Copy the XP boot files from the E: partition on the XP HD to the "active" "system" partition root on the Vista HD, and do the rest of the stuff there.
If your Vista was working on one HD and your XP was working on the other when they were installed independently, then you should have no trouble adding XP to the BCD and dual booting.
 
#11
Sweet, that sounds like a goer! Thanks for your help. Fingers crossed I get it right this time.

Regards,

Hatch


Addendum:


Ok, I reconnected the Vista HD, installed easybcd, copied the 3 files across to the Vista root drive, added an XP entry in easybcd, and edited the boot.ini file and changed rdisk(0) to rdisk(1) for the 2nd physical HD where XP is loaded.

On start up I have 2 OSes Vista and XP.
When I select XP I have 2 choices again.

Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows (default)

Choosing the 1st results in a hal.dll error.
The second results in a white bar loading across the bottom of the screen, then freeze.

Hither to?

I've uploaded both a screen shot of computer management and a copy of the boot.ini with detailed(debug mode) info from easybcd incase it is useful.

Disk 0 is the XP install (F Drive)
Disk 1 is the Vista install (C Drive)

I've tried to boot XP with both rdisk(1) and rdisk(0) to no avail.
 

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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
Sounds like your second option in ntlder is correct, but there is something else wrong with XP (corrupted/missing files...) A re-install/repair install might be necessary for XP.
 
#14
Thanks for the advice guys, I guess that vista could've corrupted XP or I could have a corrupt XP install.
But it did run smoothly for several restarts before I reconnected the Vista HD.

Would one of you mind confirming my boot.ini in respect to my computer management? On my laymens view it seems counterintuitive that the XP is in disk 0 and Vista in disk 1.

@ Alex, I'll look into the Hal.dll information. Thanks again.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
XP was (or could still be disk 0) until you plugged Vista in. So that part's right. Go ahead now then and unplug Vista's drive to see if you can get XP to boot again normally. If not, a repair install might be best.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#16
I see Hatch that you have a logical drive inside an extended partition on your XP HDD. You describe in an earlier post that WIndows went in one partition and the boot files in another, but from the "active flag" I'd expect it to be the other way round from what you specified ?
That extended partition has a number, as does the logical inside it.
The HAL error is telling you that boot.ini is not pointing to the right partition.
Bearing in mind what I just said, and that you seem to have created them possibly not in their physical sequence on the disk, the partition number could be 1-4, so try editing boot.ini to try all combinations of rdisk 0-1 and partition 1-4 till you hit the jackpot.
Also, if the default line and the OS line in the boot.ini file are the same, you should not be presented with a second menu, so the boot.ini you posted doesn't seem to tally with your description. Are you sure you posted the correct one (from the Vista root).
And don't worry that disk management is showing XP as 0 and Vista as 1. I assume that your XP HD is IDE and Vista is SATA ?
Vista DM displays the former first, and gives it the lower number even though the BIOS has them the other way round. (This caused great trouble to Guru developing the HnS code)
Incidentally, when you get this working, XP will destroy your Vista restore points every time you boot it, so you might want to refer to the aforementioned HnS thread.
 
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#17
Thanks all for the comments and advice.

Firstly, a XP Repair install got the XP install up and running again.

After reconnecting the Vista drive, I was greated with a dual boot option (having previously set up one with easybcd before the XP install was corrupted) this time it worked!!!

All my issues are perhaps a moot point but to answer your questions Terry060:
After the XP install across two partitions I decided I wanted to tidy it up so booted to the XP Boot disk, deleted all the partitions, then formatted only a 50GB partition where I then installed XP, I left the remainder unformated hence the logical partition.

The screen shot is taken from the Vista console however I'm not sure with the Disk 0 and Disk 1 numbering whether I put the HDs in wrong slots. I intended to keep the Vista in the primary and then put the XP in the secondary slot, I actually have no idea if that is the case.

I did read up about the Vista-XP restore conflict, and made registry changes as per microsoft's support page. Is this likely to be a proper resolution?

At this point I'm pretty happy with the dual boot. I think although this method was a little more troublesome than perhaps just installing XP over Vista, it appears to tbe much quicker booting up. I'm also fairly certain this laptop provided quick interesting and particular issues (the I can't boot to CD after I've corrupted Vista situation) where other users hadn't.

I'm incredibly indebted to the great assistance here, especially from Terry060, and you'll no doubt hear from me once my graphics card is supported by a Hackintosh OSX and I can give tri booting a go.

Although this is resolved, any further comments, clarifications etc would be very much appreciated for the sake of knowledge.

Kind regards,

Hatch
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#18
Glad it's all working.
As to the MS registry zap, It certainly works for some, mostly like you, I think, with OSs on separate HDDs.
The only way to find out is try it. Go into sys res on Vista, set a restore point with a unique name, boot XP, come back to Vista and see if your point is still there. If it is, then no problem. (find out soon, before you do anything to the system where you might need sys res)
If it's gone HnS will fix you up. (and now you're all sorted it'll take about 2 minutes to do)
 
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