More dual booting Vista/XP questions.....


OK... first let me say I have looked in other posts all over the internets and while there are some related none actually meet my exact situation and I'm going nuts.

K, here goes. I have Vista Ultimate 64-bit and XP Pro on 2 separate drives. What I want is to have the BCD boot up and give me the choice between Vista on 1 drive and Xp on the other. Now, I manage to get this to work but by installing easyBCD to the XP install and copying BCD files and... well lets just say it works but not correctly. The Vista installation slows down once in place and it screws up the MBR.

I am no novice but if someone could just give me a step by step including which bios drive to boot and all in order I would appreciate it soooo much. I dont mind wiping both OS's and starting from scratch (in fact I'd prefer to). Just a clear order would be great i.e.- when to install each OS and what to put in easyBCD all in the order that will lead me to the end result.

(p.s.) I'd also want each OS to read itself as the C: drive while in it's environment.

I'm so sick of the trial and error and would love some help. Thanks!!
Do a startup repair of Vista if you cannot boot it. Otherwise, keep Vista's disk first in the boot sequence. There is no need to go copying the files over that are needed to boot Vista when you can just use EasyBCD to add an entry for XP pointing to the correct disk/partition.

If its really that you have already tried this and didn't get it working, it should really be XP's critical boot files that should be copied over to the root of Vista's partition.

Access XP's drive letter from my computer and go to Tools | Folder Options | View tab and select show hidden files and folders and uncheck hide protected operating system files then hit apply. You should now be able to see NTLDR,, and boot.ini. Copy these files to the root of Vista's drive and then try the existing entry again. If that fails, open the boot.ini file only on your Vista partition (not XP's... leave it the way it is!) You'll need to play around with the numbers in the ()'s immediately following rdisk until you can find the correct number. Since you only have two drives, this should really only be 0 or 1. If both fail to work, delete and create a new entry making sure you have selected XP from the drop-down.

This is the step I was missing... I was doing it backwards. It's all working great now.

But one more quick easy question. Now when I choose XP it gives me the choice of XP Professional or Default Windows. I went into the boot.ini and made sure there was only one choice (on both drives). It's still doing it. How can I delete that default choice? Is it in the ntdlr or ntdetect files?

Thanks again you were a great help!
Check that the "default= " line in boot.ini points to the same rdisk and partition as the main entry for XP.
If that's not the problem, copy/paste it to your next post so we can see the syntax.
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ok, here's my boot.ini

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

it all works great but when i choose xp from the os choices at boot it then gives me two choices

Windows XP Professional and
Default (WIndows) or (Windows) Default , i forget which one

i'd like it to just be the first xp option so it doesnt ask me and just starts when i pick XP at the bcd os choice menu
There's your problem, you haven't got a default line. (I'm surprised it boots at all !)
Add a line thus

[boot loader]

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

Perfect! Everything works great now thanks for your help guys. i'm gonna screw it all up by adding Ubuntu....

Just make sure you got your Vista disc handy. You'll need to recover the Vista bootloader after installing Ubuntu.