Install Vista bootmgr on XP machine

Discussion in 'Windows Support' started by TechPro, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. TechPro

    TechPro New Member

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    Hi, I was hoping someone could tell me how I could go about installing the Vista bootmgr on an XP-only machine without using EasyBCD from the Win XP environment. I have been using EasyBCD for a while now, but unfortunately I have run into a situation where It doesn't meet my needs. I would just boot into Windows Recovery Environment, but that would take far to long. I can do everything except rewrite the bootsector which I know EasyBCD can do. I have been trying to use the bootsect.exe which comes with vista but I always get an access denied error.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  2. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    Hi techpro, welcome to NST.
    You must own a copy of Vista to be able to use its bootmgr.
    EasyBCD can manipulate the Vista BCD from XP (if it exists), but it can't create it for you.
    If you own a copy we can advise how to install it, but we don't give advice on any subject which would help someone to do something in contravention of the MS EULA.
     
  3. Coolname007

    Coolname007 New Member

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    He already has Vista, Terry...at least according to the comment I mark in bold in the following quote:

    As you can see, he already owns Vista...;)

    -Coolname007
     
  4. PC eye

    PC eye New Member

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    Terry60 is correct there but for the wrong reason. It's an XP machine without Vista on it. But the EasyBCD tool cannot restore the XP mbr or rewrite the boot sector for the older version. You need to boot upto the XP recovery console to use the Fixmbr and Fixboot commands there not install the recovery console or BCD for the newer version. It won't work.
     
  5. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    I said "If you own a copy, we can advise..." precisely because it wasn't clear whether he did.
    Attempts to use other bits of Vista not-withstanding.
     
  6. Coolname007

    Coolname007 New Member

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    Sounds pretty clear to me! :lol:

    -Coolname007
     
  7. JustinW

    JustinW Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok to get this working...

    1) Make sure your XP partition is active
    2) Install Vista on a spare hard drive or partition as second, with your XP drive as the primary boot device. If you don't have enough room for Vista shrink XP's partition and create a new one during the installation.
    3) Use EasyBCD to add XP to bootmgr if Vista's installer didn't add it
    4) Test the entry to verify it is working
    5) Boot into Vista or XP and use EasyBCD to set the timeout to the time you want.
    6) From an elevated command prompt, use "bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes" This will cause the boot menu for bootmgr to display regardless of how many OS entries it has.
    7) Remove Vista's entry in XP/Vista with EasyBCD. Copy over bcdedit.exe unless you want to boot from Vista's dvd everytime to configure it.
    8) Reboot and verify bootmgr shows and that the XP entry is working.
    9) Delete Vista's partition or remove the drive you installed Vista to
     
  8. PC eye

    PC eye New Member

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    You forgot one item namely to see XP set as the default OS in the EasyBCD settings. Once XP is set as the default OS then you can wipe the Vista primary or remove a spare drive where VIsta was installed to. It's still a rather futile setup however since the EasyBCD can not be used to restore the XP mbr and boot information only the recovery console when booting from the XP cd can see that done if any problems come up.
     
  9. JustinW

    JustinW Super Moderator Staff Member

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    XP will become the default automatically if thats his only entry if Vista's entry is deleted with EasyBCD.
    But just so its not a problem, use: "bcdedit /set {bootmgr} default {ntldr}"
     
  10. PC eye

    PC eye New Member

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    You would want XP set as the default so the BCD doesn't default to Vista. The problem will be restoring the XP mbr or boot files in the event one gets knocked out. The repair needed from the recovery console will automatically null the other.
     
  11. TechPro

    TechPro New Member

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    Thanks for your replies and YES I do own vista. If this is against the MS EULA then I will have to drop the project, but I didn't notice anything about the bootmgr in there. I'm not a lawyer though.

    Unfortunately, I can't install Vista and then remove it. I need a manual way of creating the Vista bootmgr on an XP Only pc. I will try out some of these suggestions but remember that I can't use EasyBCD or install Vista or boot to CD/DVD. This is a complex problem and in order to do what needs to be done I need the Vista bootmgr on XP machines and I need to do this manually so that I can automate it via a script. I was able to install the Vista bootmgr on a XP machine by using EasyBCD which is great, but I need to be able to do this myself.

    If you can get this for me then I would happily make a small donation even. :)
    This is a really important project and I need to find a solution.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  12. PC eye

    PC eye New Member

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    The trouble with not being able to boot from any optical media means the bootmanager can't be installed through the Windows installer itself. You can't use the rebuild BCD option either. A usb optical drive or mounting an image on a virtual drive is probably the only other options there. But that also gets into other things.
     
  13. TechPro

    TechPro New Member

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    By following these directions:

    http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/how-to-install-the-vista-bootloader-on-a-windows-xp-machine

    I have been able to successfully install the Vista bootmgr by running EasyBCD on the computer and copying the C:\windows\boot folder on my vista pc to me xp machine and then clicking ok on the prompts. Once I am in EasyBCD I can simply restore my bcd from diagnostics and then I can boot using the vista bootmgr. However, I can't seem to do this manually with bootsect or bcdedit even when bcdedit shows valid entries it still boots with the ntldr boot manager.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  14. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    The wiki contains our official advice on this subject.
    In order to boot from bootmgr instead of NTLDR (if they're both available), you need to rewrite the MBR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  15. TechPro

    TechPro New Member

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    I have been using that method, but I can't use that method anymore.


    Addendum:


    I managed to rewrite the MBR, so I may be able to get it now.

    Now my problem is I can't modify the bcd store, I can only write the mbr. But, when I try to create {ntldr} twice it says it already exists even though I can't see it when I run bcdedit.

    The Windows Boot Manager says the file \Boot\BCD does not contain valid OS entry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  16. PC eye

    PC eye New Member

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    That's because you are not running VIsta in order to see the XP entry added in correctly. The advice earlier to setup a temp install on a second drive/partition and setting XP as the default OS would likely be the resolve you need there.
     
  17. TechPro

    TechPro New Member

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    I GOT IT, thanks to the wiki on this site and a few pointers from your posts.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  18. JustinW

    JustinW Super Moderator Staff Member

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    PC eye, the whole point is getting rid of Vista as outlined in the steps I provided after getting the bootmgr setup. Now what part of Vista would be booted if I told him to delete the Vista entry and its partition. None from my calculations...

    Whats that haft to do with anything? That's just stating the obvious... Haven't you heard of mbrwizard? Great little tool for situations like that.

    Now TechPro, the answer here is that it is not really doable without a Vista installation. Sure it could probably be done, but for that you'll need a computer you "can install" vista on and you would need to find someway to configure the bcd store correctly for the target computer, copy over the correct files to the correct locations, and get the mbr there up to snuff with the correct boot code.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009

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