In Need of help - unable to boot into XP


Hi, Ive recently tried to set my computer up into a dualboot with Windows XP and Windows Vista. I have 1 160gb Hard drive and I have 3 partitions set up on this hard drive.

One partition for XP, one for vista, and one for various applications.

I am currently only able to boot into vista, which is what i am in right now, because when choosing XP when booting, i get an error message saying Ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupted or something like that.

I have NTLDR, Ntdetect.exe and Boot.ini all on my vista partition which in vista is labaled as C:

This is what my boot.ini looks like:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(0)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

From left to right in my disk management window, on DISK 0 the partitions go D: C: then E:

What am i doing wrong? Dont i have everything set up correctly?

Thanks for the help in advance.

Thanks a lot for replying.

Do i change the partition setting to 1 under DEFAULT? or under under the Operating systems area?

Thanks again


Ok, i was assuming you meant set both of the Partitions to 1

So i did that and now my boot.ini looks like this

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

After doing that and selecting XP from the boot menu, I just get a black screen, theres no hard disk activity so I know its stuck there. But it does not give me an error message of any kind so that seems to be some progress.

Is there still something im missing?
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Ok thanks, I went there and saw that it says if you select XP and you just get a black screen ( which is the problem I am having) that means that you dont have in the root of the partition. But im looking in the root of my vista partition right now and i can see that its there.

So why is it still giving me a black screen?

EDIT: Sorry i also should've asked... Is My vista partition (C) my "active" partition? Meaning, do I have the files on the correct partition?
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Go to admin tools/comp mgmt/disk mgmt and see which of your partitions has the "active" flag.
That's where all the boot files for both systems should be.
Ok, I just took a look in there, and Vista (C) is definitely my active drive.
I have NTLDR,, and the Boot.ini i described in post 3 all in the root of that partition.
However when i select XP from the list of Operating systems, it still gives me a black screen even after leaving the black screen up for more than 2 mins.

Something still seems to be off.

EDIT: By the way, these files are also on the vista partition root:


To me it just seems like a lot more files than there needs to be. Could one of those files be conflicting with the 3 im supposed to need, and be causing them to not work properly?
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They're not the only files that should be there, though grldr sounds like it could be grub. Have you been playing around with linux ? I'm not a linux user so might be talking through my hat.
How did you achieve the dual boot ? Whose intructions did you follow, and which order did you install the OSs in ?
I Installed Vista first on one partition, then i installed XP on another partition, then i inserted the windows vista dvd and ran the repair. From then on out ive only been able to boot into Vista, while XP is only able to go to a black screen.

EDIT: ok i just deleted that file GRLDR and tried to boot XP again. I got the same issue as before, with the blank black screen.\
I read from Terry60's post that this is caused by not having NTDETECT in the root of the active partition.. but it is in fact there. Its filesize is 47Kb and im 100% sure its not corrupted because i JUST copied it from a working XP disc.
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From what you've said it should all be working fine, so obviously something's not quite as we're expecting it to be.
Can you post a screenshot of your disk management, your active partition root, and a wordpad/notepad display of boot.ini from the same root.
You don't mention using EasyBCD, though since you're here I've assumed you have it.
Could you post a screenshot of the view settings page too.
1) EasyBCD | Bootloader Management | Rewrite MBR
2) Please upload a screenshot of your "Disk Management" page.
Thanks again for your help guys.

The Active Partition (C Drive.. Vista) image

The Disk Management Window

A screenshot of the boot.ini file

And a screenshot of the View Settings page in EasyBCD

EDIT: And yes, I do have Easy BCD installed, but im clueless on how to actually work it.

EDIT 2: Ok, I went into EasyBCD and then into Manage Bootloader and then from there (with Reinstall the Vista Bootloader selected, because i assumed that was the one i wanted) clicked Write MBR.
Was I supposed to select Uninstall the Vista Bootloader(use to restore XP)? Or did i do it the way you intended?
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Unfortunately, no. Its just a plain black screen after restarting. The light on the front of the panel flashes for about 2 seconds showing that theres some hard disc activity, but then completely stops and it just says black.
DON'T Uninstall the Vista bootloader (thats for when you're scrapping Vista to go back to XP permanently)
I think I can see your problem now
You have XP in a logical disk inside an extended partition so it's definitely not partition(1) which we both assumed from your description of it being the 1st partition.
It will probably be 2 4 or 5 (depending on how Vista is numbering primaries and extended)
Try Guru's first advice, but change the partition value in both places until you find the right one that successfully boots XP
OK, your problem is that Windows XP is on a logical partition instead of a primary one.

You may not be able to boot into it without changing it back to a primary partition, but we can try...

Try this one:
and if it doesn't work:


Terry beat me to it :smile:
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Alright, first I tried Guru's solution which invole rewriting the MBR, like I said that left me with the black screen still. Then I went into the boot.ini file and change both partition settings to 2 and restarted. When i tried to load XP it said that NTOSKRNL.exe was missing or corrupted. So i went back into vista and changed both the partition settings to 4 and after trying to load XP i got a message saying this:

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

When i set both partition settings to 5 it gave me the exact same message as it did when they were set to 4.

Now this is the one thing that confuses me, when i'm picking the operating system to boot, obviously i have "Windows Vista" as one, but the other one is "Microsoft Windows Professional". Now im just assuming thats Windows XP, but is there something wrong there?

EDIT: Awesome! Its Fixed! You Guys had it right... It was just that the partition setting needed to be set to 3.
I would've never guessed that the partition settings were off in the boot.ini file though, so thats all thanks to you guys.
It just took a little messing around and some guess and check.

But anyways both operating systems boot flawlessly thanks again to you guys :smile:

One last thing and im sure its an easy fix... whats the easiest way to change the name of that "Microsoft Windows Professional" label it gives for XP?
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Just for the sake of completeness, try partition(3) and if that doesn't work, we'll have to think again.
Yes, i Did read my EDIT above :tongueout:
And it worked! :lol:


Ah, I probably shouldve looked around for myself before asking, but I found the spot where you edit the name of the operating systems, that was easy enough.
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