I already have Vista and XP on different harddrives



I am runnng Windows Vista as my main OS, but I have installed XP on my harddisk number 2. When I need to boot into XP I enter BIOS and change the boot order of my harddisks. Can I use EasyBCD to set up a boot menu on one of the harddrives where I can choose which OS to boot into?


Yes you should be able to add the XP boot to the Vista bootloader thru EasyBCD. Then when you boot you should have the option to boot between Vista and XP.
I need to do this manually? If yes, exactly where do I find this boot.ini, and should I look for it on the Vista or the XP drive?
It'll be on the XP drive, but you need to copy it to the Vista drive, along with NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM


That's all explained in detail in the documentation link above.
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They're already there?
No need to do so. Probably the boot.ini on the Vista drive is also correct.

Add an XP entry in EasyBCD and see what happens.
Ooopps. My bad. ntldr and ntdetec.com are already there, but boot.ini is not.

Boot.ini on my XP disk look like this:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

So I guess I need to copy boot.ini from the XP disk to the VIsta disk. Exactly what fo I need to change?

My Vista disk is C: and my XP disk is D:

After copying the boot.ini to C: witout editing it EasyBCD now shows:

Name: Windows Vista
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows
Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {dba379af-88b8-11dc-9fe4-001617468263}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR

Does this look correct?
You don't risk anything.
There is no way for me to know, from my position, if your boot.ini is correct.

You simply give it a shot. Either XP boots, or it doesn't. If XP doesn't boot, scoot back into Vista and mess around with boot.ini some more :smile:
Ok, I think I'm almost there. After changing the "partition(1)" settings in boot.ini to "partition(0)" I now get to the gamiliar Windows XP start/boot menu. However, when trying to boot XP I get the message "bad or missing hal.dll". Anyone got a suggestion? :smile:
Put the partition() back the way it was and change rdisk()

You changed the order of the drives not the partitions, so partition() isn't what you need to change. rdisk() only.
Doh...I screwed it up :frowning:
Silly me tried to use the repair funtcion, and I am no longer able to boot into Vista. When trying to boot into Vista I get a message saying something like:
"Bad or missing winload exe. Status: =xc000000f".

I am writing this from XP after booting into XP using BIOS to switch boot disk. From XP I can see that the winload.exe exist in the Vista Windows directory, so I guess Vista for some reason tries to look for the Windows directory on the wrong harddisk. Anyone know if there is a file I can edit to tell Vista to look in the correct \windows directory?


Never mind, I figured it out: I had different boot drive and system drive. Now it works as it should. Thanx for your help :smile:
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