In Need of help - unable to boot into XP

Sorry didn't keep reading long enough.
The one possibility I thought most unlikely turns out to be the way MS does it
The Vista partition must be 1, extended 2, logical 3, dataprimary 4.
You can never second guess how MS code anything, though it always seems to turn out to be the most illogical !

Glad you found the right option in EasyBCD, that's what it's there for.
I have an issue very similar to this thread:

My laptop came with Vista preinstalled on drive C
I have installed XP on logical drive D
Right now I cannot boot into Vista, only XP.
Can I use Easybcd in the XP installation to setup Vista's bootloader without having to reinstall Vista? Or do I need to reinstall Vista and use Easybcd there?

What I have so far--
I have the boot.ini file (which I copied from the system startup and recovery tab in the my computer properties section):

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

I also have the and the ntldr files in the Root directory of C (active drive)

The question is do I need to reinstall Vista or can I run Easybcd from XP to create Vista's bootloader?

Thank you guys!
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You don't need to reinstall Vista rouge,
You just boot the Vista DVD and select "repair startup" when offered. It will reinstate the Vista bootloader, which should automatically detect your new XP and create a dual-boot entry.
Hi Terry, the Vista DVD is a set I made myself from the recovery program in Vista. Do you know if this DVD or the recovery partition will allow me to repair startup?
You won't do any harm by booting it to find out whether the recovery environment is there. You have to tell it to start an installation, so it can't happen by accident.
If your DVD doesn't work, you can download one from this site that will.
I'm not doing as well as hoped here. I tryed my Vista recovery dvd, but there was no option to repair startup-- only "restore to factory settings". Then I tryed the Vista CD you mentioned from this site, and that wouldn't work either:
"The version of system recovery options is not compatible with the version of windows you are trying to repair." So I used my Vista recovery dvd to reinstall Vista.
After a reformat and install of vista the message on boot is:

NTDLR is missing
press ctr+alt+delete to restart
and I am forever stuck in this loop. :x

Any suggestions? I have a headache.


OK, so I copied the Ntdlr, NTDETECT.COM and boot.ini files from my XP installation to the Vista installation via the XP recovery console. I can now boot into XP. HOW do I boot into Vista? If I use the Vista DVD recovery disks I only get the option to reinstall everything. I am back to square one.

Can I use EasyBCD in XP to build Vista's boot loader?

This is really a pain. :smile:


I tried using EasyBCD in XP. All seemed to go well while I added the XP settings, but I STILL cannot boot into Vista.


What if I delete the ntldr, NTDETECT.COM and boot.ini files from the C: drive. Dare I chance that my laptop will boot into Vista and then I can run the EasyBCD from Vista and also copy back those three files to boot into XP as well? Dare I?



What I don't understand is why does Vista's bootmgr still look for ntldr when I reinstalled Vista erasing all copies of the previous files? I thought Vista didn't need the ntldr file to boot, only XP did. If this is the case, why does Vista still look for it to boot? Shouldn't reinstalling Vista write over all the current files with the ones it has on the recovery disks?
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Have you downloaded the correct version of the Vista recovery ISO from this site ?
There are 32 and 64 bit versions and you need to use the correct one for your version of Vista
Vista doesn't use NTLDR or boot.ini for its own purposes, but it passes control if you request an XP boot, so they have to be there for the dual boot. On a single Vista installation they don't exist, but Vista recognizes the XP system if it was there when Vista was installed, and creates an entry in the BCD.

When you use your recovery disk, is it reinstalling Vista, or just restoring an image taken after factory installation. ?
If it's restoring the Vista partition, and the bootmanager is on the XP partition, then you'll need to fix the bootmanager, even if you've just done a Vista recovery.
Which of the partitions is marked "active" in disk management ? That's where the bootloader is.
The restored Vista partition may have a perfect single boot setup, as per factory original condition, but that won't be the bootloader that's being used if the other partition is "active".
I used the 32 bit version, because for some reason I believed that to be the correct version although I'm not entirely sure nor do I know how to find out.

The installation disks are something that HP has come up with. Some propietary conconction I'm sure. It has two different selections which both restore the system to original fractory settings (System Recovery and Factory Reset).

When looking at Disk Mgmt through XP (I cannot boot into Vista) D: is marked as the boot drive and C: is a system drive although when I was able to boot into Vista I recall Vista was marked as "active".

Shouldn't Vista be able to boot from the C: drive even with XP installed (if that is where the bootloader is)? I really don't want to have to install XP again. This would be the third time in one week. If C: is not set as 'active' how can I make it active? Also wondering why I don't have that boot screen that shows both installations. *pouts*


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Thanks for your help, Terry, I am downloading the other version of the ISO file. It looks like I grabbed the wrong one. :??


YAY! I'm into Vista...
Shall I run the EasyBCD program within Vista and add XP to the bootloader? That's certainly what I want to do, but after all this I am a bit gun-shy. :shame: I don't want to make any more mistakes from this point on...


20 minutes after my previous post I went ahead and ran EasyBCD within Vista. The bootloader is working great and I can boot into either Vista or XP!

Now, should I install Vista HnS? Can it run ok alongside EasyBCD?

For this answer, I shall wait.
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Glad you're sorted now rouge, sorry I wasn't around as you were having a one-sided conversation, but you managed fine alone it seems.
By all means go ahead and protect your Vista restore points by downloading and running HnS.
Leave EasyBCD there. When HnS is successfully managing your boot (you'll see its boot menu first) and you chose Vista, it will hand control to the BCD and you'll see the boot menu you've got now.
You obviously don't want to chose Vista twice every time, so when you're in Vista, use EasyBCD to set the timeout to 0 in the second menu and you'll not see it again (though it's continuing to do the Vista boot invisibly).
HnS hands control directly to NTLDR itself when you choose XP, without going via the Vista BCD, so you don't need to be able to make a choice in the BCD (unless you have 2 Vistas)
Leave the BCD dual boot options there though (even though they're not being used when timeout is 0 ) because if HnS ever gets removed (Vista SP1 clobbered it by replacing the bootloader e.g.) you'll still have your dual boot options there as a backup by making timeout non zero.
Yep. You need to use HnS if you'd like to use Vista's system restore feature, because otherwise XP will delete all of Vista's restore points every time you boot into it.

HnS was designed to play nice with EasyBCD from the very start.
Either or, you won't be accessing it from XP and at the same time it has no restore points that need protection.
When i used HnS on the Vista installation, it transfered control to the bootmgr as desired, but then when trying to boot into XP it looked for the XP boot files on the c: drive and then the screen went to black. It is doing a great job of hiding Vista (C drive) from XP, but now I cannot boot into XP. I figure I need to use EasyBCD to change the XP settings. Just need clarification plz :smile:
XP troubleshooter in the wiki.

After choosing to boot into Windows, I get a black, blank screen.

This means that NTLDR was found, but NTDETECT.COM wasn't. Grab it here

There's another thread at the moment where HnS, on a previously functional dual-boot, misplaced the boot.ini.
You seem to have lost NTDETECT which I thought HnS puts everywhere (or did on the earlier builds).
You won't do any harm by putting a copy of it in both partition roots.
See if that fixes the problem.
ntldr and are both on the vista and xp boot partitions. Should the boot.ini file be in the XP partition also? Do I need to change the xp entry to Drive D:?

the EasyBCD settings are:

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 10 seconds.​
Default OS: Microsoft Windows Vista
Entry #1
Name: Microsoft Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows
Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {efd02c99-3cad-11dd-9049-001e37e26909}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR
You can't change the XP entry. Since 1.7 EasyBCD "greys out" the choice because it looks to see where the boot files have to be and puts the correct location in for you. (too many people in the past pointing at the wrong place, not knowing about "active" partitions presumably)
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i have all three files on both boot partitions, now when loading from HnS to the Vista bootloader i get a new message.

check out the picture i've attached.

I cannot boot into XP now, but i can boot into Vista



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