Help urgenltly needed: XP/Vista/Grub

#1
Hi all,
I´m sorry for posting here, but I´m in a bit a desperate situation and don´t know how best proceed. I´m aware this surely is not a new thing, but I don´t dare trying things out without being sure what´s going on....

OK, what I originally had was a laptop with Windows Vista (Home), and I shrunk the partition to make room for XP, and I left room for installing Linus later on. Then I installed XP (so Vista was no longer in the boot menu), used the Vista DVD to recreate the Vista boorloader (so XP disappeared from the boot menu), and then in Vista I installed EasyBCD (1.7.2) and added the entries for XP as was described in a howto. This worked fine, and in the end I had a running XP/Vista Dualboot, with XP as default. This was some weeks ago.

Now I decided to try to install Linux (Debian) in the remaining, still unused disk place (of course I didn't change the existing partitions). I did not want to overwrite the MBR in this process, but I still decided to enter the "Install GRUB" option to see what it will find, in the expectation it will offer an option not to write anything into the MBR. Unfortunatly it did not, it only asked whether I want the new or the old GRUB (a yes/no question), I stayed with the old, and by doing that it wrote the GRUB MBR... the subsequent config options only found Vista as "other" operating systems, not XP. I first tried not to write the config data, but this ended in a non bootable disk - grub loader without configuration. So I decided to repeat that last step and accept the Vista as "other operating systems".

The result is a setup that starts grub, and is offering me Debian and "Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader)". If I choose Vista, I see a "Resuming Windows" screen that I never saw before (see [EDIT] below, I just found out this happened because I used the standby symbol of Vista instead of shutting down befire I started installing Linux and this seems having been sleep mode, hence Vista is not booting from scratch at the moment...), and then Vista shows up - but EasyBCD seems being skipped now. Vista looks fine, but the OS that I *really* need is XP - while the XP partition is still there, I don't seem to be able to boot from it. I tried adding grub settings in /boot/grub/1st.menu from Debian (by just copying over the Vista entry but increasing the partition number), but if I try to boot from it, grub just complains it doesnt recognize the partition:

root (hd0,4)
filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x7
davedefault
makeactive

Error 12: Invalid device requested

(actually if I choose Vista at boot time, the first 4 lines appear as well, but only very shortly, before the "Resume Windows" shows up, so that behaviour is probably normal and 0x7 is just standing for ntfs)

But the XP partition is still there, I see it from within Vista. I don't see the boot.ini file in the XP partition though, maybe that's why grub can't boot from it ( I tried telling Vista to show me all system files, and I see $RECOVERY.BIN for instance, but not boot.ini). Did easybcd somehow mess up with boot.ini, and maybe other files in the XP drive? Well it seems boot.ini/ntdetect.com/ntldr were all copied over to the Vista partition and removed from the SP partition, so copying them again to the XP partition might make the XP boot from grub work... not sure though. I understand the reason EasyBCD requires those files in the Vista partition, but I don't understand yet why those files were rmoved from the XP partition, so I don't dare to make assumptions what will happen if I copy them back to the XP partition....

Now how to continue... the problem is I don't want to overwrite the MBR without backing up what I have now, but I don't see an option to backup the mbr from easybcd... my main issue is getting back XP, in the worst case I can live without Vista.

Option 1: Manage Bootloader + "Reinstall Vista Bootloader" - then trying to reinstall EasyBCD. Would that work?

Option 2: "Uninstall Vista Bootloader (use to restore XP)" and hope XP will reboot afterwards? What happens with the grub stuff in the MBR - wll that just be cleaned away and is no problem for teh XP reboot?

Option 3: copying over all xp boot files (boot.ini, ntldr, ...) from vista partition to the XP partition and trying to boot from ut using grub... but maybe this messes up something with easybcd?

Or are there other things I could do? Unfortunately I have no floppy, otehrwise I´d had backed up the mbr in advance.

Any help would be highly welcome.... thanks!

klaymen


PS: Sorry the typos... I'm typing on an unusual keyboard on a notebook and I'm a bis desperate :smile:

[EDIT] I just found that the "Resume Windows" message is appearing because I turned off Vista by accident using the Off button in the startup menu - I assumed it would shut down Vista, but actually this obviously is a kind of sleep/hibernation mode, hence Vista resumes after Vista is selected in grub. This hibernation happened before I started installing Linux. Now the most obvious thing to do would be turning off Vista completely in the hope EasyBCD will show up after I choose "Vista" in Grub and then allows booting up XP. But.... maybe this won't work and even Vista won't restart anymore, maybe this "Resume" option is a last chance I have to fix something up from within Vista and I would mess things completely up by shutting down Vista completely... it would be an operation I can't reverse. So I'm currently tending to just resume Vista again and try to store the Vista MBR ("Reinstall Vista Bootloader" from Manage Bootloader), in the hope this will just remove Grub again and make EasyBCD work again (without linux, but that would be fine for the moment). After all the linux installation surely didn't change anything in the Vista- or XP partitions (after all those are ntfs, and I still see a BOOT folder that looks fine in the Vista drive), so I'd assume restoring the MBR (and "Reinstall Vista Bootloader" will do that, won't it?) should do the trick so I'd also be able to restart XP afterwards... is this assumption right, or too naive? :smile: So is it wiser reinstalling the vista bootloader, or shutting down vista?

Argh I fear nobody will understand that mess after reding thru all of it... maybe, as a sum up, this is what I think happened, and where I need advise:

- XP and Vista were installed dualboot using EasyBCD and it worked, free disk space was available on the single hdd
- I booted Vista to burn my install CDs for linux, and by "mistake" used the standby symbol instead of shutting it down (something like hibernation, a mode that restores teh vista session after rebooting showing "Resuming Windows")
- By mistake, the Vista MBR was overwritten by Grub during my try to add linux into teh still unused disk space; grub now didn't see XP, only Vista, so I can only boot up Vista and Linux now, but not XP, and I need XP
- If I try to boot Vista from Grub, the old Vista session is resumed because of above "mistake" - but I´m not sure if Vista would correctly boot if I shutdown Vista from within Vista (exiting the hibernation mode), so I don't dare to shutdown Vista properly.Leaving ista using the standby symbol and restarting works, showing again the "Resuming Windows". If I shut down, the best thing that could happen is getting the XP/Vista boot screen after th eGrub bootscreen, the worst thing would be nor Vista neither XP booting.
- If I "Reinstall Vista Bootloader" from EasyBCD from my resumed Vista session (teh most reasonable option I see), will that just remove the Grub MBR and make EasyBCD work again, offering me again booting up XP and Vista? Or will I mess up something different by doing that? I think I can safely assume Linux/Grub didn't change anything within the ntfs partitions, but does this suffice to make that fix work? I guess I wouldn't have more than one try.
 
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#2
Now I decided to try to install Linux (Debian) in the remaining, still unused disk place (of course I didn't change the existing partitions). I did not want to overwrite the MBR in this process, but I still decided to enter the "Install GRUB" option to see what it will find, in the expectation it will offer an option not to write anything into the MBR. Unfortunatly it did not, it only asked whether I want the new or the old GRUB (a yes/no question), I stayed with the old, and by doing that it wrote the GRUB MBR... the subsequent config options only found Vista as "other" operating systems, not XP. I first tried not to write the config data, but this ended in a non bootable disk - grub loader without configuration. So I decided to repeat that last step and accept the Vista as "other operating systems".
Hi klaymen. Welcome to NST.
If you're using Ubuntu, then there should have been an "Advanced" option where you specify where to install Grub, with a format like "/dev/sda1" without the quotes. :wink:
Vista looks fine, but the OS that I *really* need is XP - while the XP partition is still there, I don't seem to be able to boot from it. I tried adding grub settings in /boot/grub/1st.menu from Debian (by just copying over the Vista entry but increasing the partition number), but if I try to boot from it, grub just complains it doesnt recognize the partition:

root (hd0,4)
filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x7
davedefault
makeactive

Error 12: Invalid device requested
First of all, it looks like your menu.lst entry is mis-configured. You may want to post the whole menu.lst located at /boot/grub/menu.lst on your Ubuntu partition.
(actually if I choose Vista at boot time, the first 4 lines appear as well, but only very shortly, before the "Resume Windows" shows up, so that behaviour is probably normal and 0x7 is just standing for ntfs)

But the XP partition is still there, I see it from within Vista. I don't see the boot.ini file in the XP partition though, maybe that's why grub can't boot from it ( I tried telling Vista to show me all system files, and I see $RECOVERY.BIN for instance, but not boot.ini). Did easybcd somehow mess up with boot.ini, and maybe other files in the XP drive? Well it seems boot.ini/ntdetect.com/ntldr were all copied over to the Vista partition and removed from their origin, so copying them again to the XP drive might make the XP boot from grub work... not sure though.
You need to go into Disk Management, and check to see which partition is labeled "system" and "active". :wink: That will be the one that contains your XP boot files (as well as your Vista ones) in the root.
Now how to continue... the problem is I don't want to overwrite the MBR without backing up what I have now, but I don't see an option to backup the mbr from easybcd... my main issue is getting back XP, in the worst case I can live without Vista.

Option 1: Manage Bootloader + "Reinstall Vista Bootloader" - then trying to reinstall EasyBCD. Would that work?
Option 2: "Uninstall Vista Bootloader (use to restore XP)" and hope XP will reboot afterwards? What happens with the grub stuff in the MBR - wll that just be cleaned away and is no problem for teh XP reboot?

Option 3: copying over all xp boot files (boot.ini, ntldr, ...) from vista partition to the XP partition and trying to boot from ut using grub... but maybe this messes up something with easybcd?
The first option is the one you need to do in order to get Vista controlling the boot. XP's bootloader isn't forward compatible, so you can't use it to boot Vista.

Cheers.

Jake

P.S. You can check the links in my sig for more info on the boot process. The second link in the sentence where I said "Have a read of *this* and *this* to help you better accomplish your goal" is a thread where I describe the step-by-step process of multibooting Vista, XP, and Ubuntu.
 
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#3
Hi Jake,

Thanks a lot, after your reply I dared trying out option 1, and it worked (after I shut down the Vista session - that sleep mode is confusing), now I have my XP back, that's the main thing :smile: I guess setting up EasyBCD so it will also boot up Linux shouldn't be too difficult...

Cheers, klaymen

Addendum:

Hmm trying the grub part again... my problem now is that debian (it's not ubuntu) doesn't seem to offer the possibility to install grub at some other location than the mbr of teh disk, I see no way to enter a partition there and I´m using the advanced graphical setup... :frowning: And if I continue now, it will again be at the point where the Vista mbr will be overwritten.

Addendum:

ARGH!! That stupid debian setup did it again, befor I even installed the grub loader, the mbr was already cleared and rendered the system unbootable... I had no choice entering the whole process again and then install grub (note that the debian setup doesnt seem to allow you to install grub without cleaning the linux partitions beforehand and reinstall everything, which is pretty time consuming). But now I can choose Vista in the grub menu, and the easybcd menu shows up afterwards (offering XP as well), which would also have happened without having been in sleep mode initially. So there are now 2 boot menus, grub first and easybcd afterwards, but I can live with that - it's pretty confusing though :smile:
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
If you want one neat grub menu, open menu.lst and add in the following entry, specifying the correct disk/partition XP (or your XP boot files - boot.ini, ntldr, ntdetect.com... the partition marked System in disk management in Vista) is on for x and y:

Code:
title Windows XP
root (hdx,y)
kernel /ntldr
chainloader /ntldr +1
Now once you've verified that works correctly, make bootmgr's menu go away when you want to boot Vista by opening EasyBCD and setting the timeout to 0; make sure Vistas entry is the default.