helping dual boot vista and xp

#1
hello, i am trying to have a dual boot system with vista and xp.
i had xp installed in D and then i installed vista on C.
now i didnt have any boot loader, i just had vista, so i used the latest eastbcd trying to add xp to the vista boot loader, but it said i didn't have some files (ntldr), so i download them from the link and put them in d:\
now i do have a boot manager but when i do select xp (after i added it with easybcd) it gives a messege like "NTDETECT faild".
what do i need to do to have xp to work?

Addendum:

another thing to add is that i don't know if there is a boot.ini file in d:\ (if there should be)
i dont see it on vista even when viewing hidden and system files.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Guynaa, welcome to NST
go into admin tools/comp mgmt/disk mgmt, and determine which of your partitions is marked "active".
Make sure that the three XP boot files mentioned here
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Windows+XP
are all copied if necessary, to the active partition root (probably C:\ from your problem description)
follow the troubleshooter link from the above page and all these XP boot problems are described, with their fixes)
Read http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html for details of how the boot process works if you don't understand why you're doing any of this.
It is possible to have a valid bootable XP without a boot.ini file, because NTLDR contains a hard coded default, and if your configuration luckily happens to match it, the boot will go ahead.
However the dual boot you've created might not still match it, so you will probably have to create one if it isn't there.
There's a link to tell you how to do that too, in the wiki, if you need to.
 
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#3
thanks for the reply terry,
firstly as you thought C drive was "active".
as i said before i don't see a boot.ini file in C:\
i put the other files in there (C:\)
and im getting the NTLDR is corrupt message.
when i i added the entry intro easybcd after i chose XP i couldn't choose a drive (was greyd).
so i change it after i added it from "change settings" tab.
any way to fix this?
maybe i need to put a boot.ini there?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
It "greys" the option, to stop you pointing it to the wrong place. It knows where the boot files must be (the active partition). You're telling it where the boot files are, not the OS. The boot files locate the OS.
If you changed it, try changing it back again to C (or boot)

Addendum:

When you get your dual boot working, you are aware that booting XP will destroy Vista's restore points ?
If you use system restore, you'll need to hide Vista from XP to protect it.
Read the thread
http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?p=22055#post22055
where you can download the HnS bootmanager which will do the job for you. (incidentally, it will automatically set up the dual boot for you too, without all this messing about)
 
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#5
i change it back and now when i choose XP i get i get a "invalid boot.ini file"

Addendum:

btw i tried using hns but it resaulted in neither xp or vista loading so i using the vista CD to repair it and now i am in the same situation.

Addendum:

update:
i pit a boot.ini file in c:\ like this:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

and now i am getting a message saying windows couldn't start because hal.dll is missing.
is the boot.ini good? what do i need to do now?
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
The Hal error is telling you boot.ini is not pointing to the correct partition, otherwise it looks fine. If XP was there first, it could be in partition 1 despite being D to Vista's C, try changing it.
How did HnS fail ? were you using the latest build ? It's a very long thread with multiple build downloads (I'm not sure if all the old ones are still downloadable)
 
#7
i got it working, thank you very much terry!
i changed the partition(x) to 3 and now it al goes smoothly.
btw when i ran hns when i tried either xp or vista, it said something like "loading vista" and didn't do anything for 3 min.
dunno why it worked for me but my issue is solved.
thanks again.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
It sounds like you didn't correctly point HnS at the Vista and XP partitions. You know now that XP is P3.
Go into disk management and look at the graphic of how your partitions are ordered on the disk. Identify the correct partition for each system, then try running the HnS UI again.
Or you can just live with Vista losing its restore capability every time you boot XP.