Multiboot Vista/XP


I'm trying to set up a multiboot system with Vista x64 and Windows XP SP2. Here's what I've done so far...

1. Set up Vista x64 on a SATA drive
2. Installed another IDE drive
3. Changed the boot sequence to that drive and installed XP
4. Changed the boot sequence back over to my SATA (Vista) drive
5. Edited my boot loader to 'see' the IDE (D:smile: drive.

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier {ntldr}
device partition=D:
path \ntldr
description Windows XP SP2

What I'm getting when choosing the "Windows XP SP2" option is a black screen and then a reboot.

What can I do to get the bootloader to 'see' the \ntldr file on D:?
Did I really mess things up by the way I did this installation?



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hey Mike,

I'm afraid you did :wink:

You're supposed NOT change the boot drive order (ever!).
Install XP
Install Vista.

Will work:
INstall Vista
Install XP
Use EasyBCD from XP to reinstall Vista bootloader

Install Vista
Switch primary drive
Install XP
Switch primary drive
Add XP in EasyBCD.

Hope that helps :smile:

Now you have two options per our documentation @
You can either reinstall XP with Vista set as boot drive,
or you can edit your boot.ini file by hand to make it work.
Thank you! I think I'll just shrink and create a new partition on the first drive and insall XP there!

Hopefully that will go smoothly. :crazy:

Hi Guys

This is very similar to my situation, but with a further complication. I bought a preloaded Vista machine last week to replace a dead in the water Win XP system. Vista didn't startup clean and stalled during installation. I finally got it running (with no help from Microsoft)
I thought I might hook in my smaller XP hard drive to transfer files across, so I used disk boot priority to select which system I booted up.
It then became evident that Vista was very resistant to many of my older programs, so I thought I had better try a proper dual boot setup. So just before I loaded Easybcd, I thought I might try a restore with no format on the Vista drive, just to be sure there were no gremlins in there. I backed up my files as advised and then triggered the restore. Big mistake. It resored OK and removed all executables from the vista drive, even the ones I had installed. Unfortunatey, it also removed every executable from my XP drive. About fifty programs down the gurgler. I tried a boot up but got "NTLDR missing" So I ran easybcd from Vista and set up for both. XP still wouldn't run and NTLDR still missing. So I swapped boot disk priorities, booted to XP/SP2 startup disk and reloaded XP/SP2 on the smaller drive. The programs were still there but the desktop had gone. I havent lost any data yet, but I am about 49months behind with McAfee updates!
What I really would like to do is partition the big Vista drive and load XP to start with. Then format my small drive and load Ubuntu.

What I get on boot up with the small disk priority is options of two Microsoft Windows.Iether gets me into XP
If I boot up on the big disk priority I get options of Microsoft Windows Vista or Microsoft Windows. Vista works XP doesn't.

I have easyBCD under Vista and can run it, If only I knew what I was doing!

I just tried to load easyBCD under XP only to find startup gives "Setup failed .NET 2.0 framework not found"

I tried going in to the console but get offered any of four Microsoft windows to select for repair and none respond to what I remember the admin codes to be.

I assume I have a corrupt Boot.ini file on the XP drive, but I have trouble finding it on this separate drive.


Bobthequill :frowning: