I already have Vista and XP on different harddrives

ErikX

New Member
Hi,

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?

Thanx!

ErikX
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
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.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
However, since you're currently "dual booting" by changing the drive order around (highly not recommended), your boot.ini will not be correct. You'll need to update your boot.ini to point to the right XP drive.

Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
 

ErikX

New Member
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?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
It'll be on the XP drive, but you need to copy it to the Vista drive, along with NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM

Addendum:

That's all explained in detail in the documentation link above.
 
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ErikX

New Member
Should I overwrite the existing ntldr, ntdetect.com and boot.ini on my Vista disk with the ones from the XP disk?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
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.
 

ErikX

New Member
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]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[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?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Yes.
But it all depends on if your boot.ini configuration is correct or not.

Please read the documentation at Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki It describes exactly what you need to change in boot.ini.
 

ErikX

New Member
Hm...how do I know if it's correct? Do I risk my system not booting up if it's incorrect?

Thanx for all help so far :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
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:
 

ErikX

New Member
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:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
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.
 

ErikX

New Member
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?

Addendum:

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:
 
Last edited:

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
You're welcome :smile:
 
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