NeoGrub caused more harm than good

#1
I had XP 32 and Vista 32 in a dual-boot config on separate hard drives. In order to keep XP from deleting my Vista restore points and shadow copies, I found out I could use NeoGrub to hide Vista from XP. Following the directions here: http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/hide-vista-partition-from-xp/ exactly, when I rebooted, there was no Vista option at all, just XP and Windows Memory Diagnostic where Vista used to be (with Windows Memory Diagnostic also in its usual place at the bottom). I noticed this in EBCD before restarting, but attributed it to the new NeoGrub way of booting, which I didn't really understand beyond the above blog's description. The Vista drive was also successfully hidden from XP by NeoGrub, so I can't access it except from the Vista install DVD. I installed EsayBCD in XP hoping to fix everything there. I removed the Memory Diagnostic entry and added Vista back in, but still got the same autochk error when loading Vista. Apparently, EasyBCD in XP also did not detect NeoGrub already being installed--the configure button for it was disabled.

The Vista DVD attempted to fix the boot problem, and it did add a "Vista (recovered)" entry to the boot menu, but instead of getting to the desktop after loading Vista, I get the error, "autochk missing - skipping AUTOCHECK." The computer waits there for a little while, then reboots. Is there any way to fix all this without reinstalling Vista?

Addendum:

Update:

I tried installing NeoGrub from XP--no help. In fact, I get no boot menu at all anymore--XP boots automatically. From EasyBCD:

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
displayorder {4beb9cb9-b8c3-11dd-933f-0019b945fb01}
{4beb9cba-b8c3-11dd-933f-0019b945fb01}
{4beb9cbb-b8c3-11dd-933f-0019b945fb01}
timeout 30

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {4beb9cb9-b8c3-11dd-933f-0019b945fb01}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
path \NTLDR
description Microsoft Windows XP

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {4beb9cba-b8c3-11dd-933f-0019b945fb01}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (recovered)
osdevice partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {bcfcd38e-be36-11dd-9cbe-806e6f6e6963}

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {4beb9cbb-b8c3-11dd-933f-0019b945fb01}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
path \NST\NeoGrub.mbr
description NeoGrub Bootloader

Also, when I set up NeoGrub in Vista, I used the Linux tab to figure out what to set (hdx,y) to. Since Vista is the boot partition (I thought), I set them all to (hd0,0).
 
Last edited:
#2
It depends on what type of drives you have in as well as what NeoGrub is seeing as HD0, 0. EasyBCD itself can restore the Vista mbr from XP with the restore Vista mbr option. I've had to use that here as well as booting up with the Vista dvd for the startup repair tool.

Installing XP to a second drive won't prevent the loss of Vista's restore points if the Vista drive is left plugged in and XP is then seen as D. What was done here for a working dual boot between two drives was first unplug one drive or the other depending on which version was being installed or reinstalled. Once XP saw a separate stand alone installation simply copying a few boot files over to the Vista primary and a quick edit of the XP boot.ini file saw both versions available.

NeoGrub wasn't installed from EasyBCD but the HnS tool itself. Review the HnS thread seen at http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1341 for not only the HnS builds available there but a look at the steps advised for differing dual and multiboots.

Here once a desktop shortcut was made for the HnS tool and EasyBCD is then downloaded and installed the NTDETECT.com, ntldr, and boot.ini files are copied over the edit of the boot.ini file will see "rdisk(1)partition(1)" rather then the default "rdisk(0)partition(1)" and simply saved with the "all files" option to see the copy of the original overwritten. Then you simply proceed to add the XP entry in with the add/remove entries option seen in EasyBCD.

The thing to remember when XP is installed after Vista Vista will no longer load being replaced by XP at first. You then use the automatic startup repair tool found in the repair tools section on the Vista dvd in order to restore Vista's boot information. The restoration option seen in EasyBCD is the alternative even when installed in XP.

Here for seeing a working installation of one Linux distro on a 3rd ide drive since XP and Vista both are on a pair of sata models NeoGrub seen in EasyBCD will be seeing an install on the Vista drive in order to add the distro into the current dual boot. Hopefully that may solve another problem seen at the end of the thread posted earlier.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
ripoff, I jsut got done reading your other thread. If the issue has been resolved or still needs troubleshooting, please post in one thread. We monitor all of them, so any questions you may have should be answered should one of us have advice to offer.
 
#4
One other thing to add is that NeoGrub is installed on the Vista primary when planning to add a Linux Distro into the mix. You check the GRUB isn't installed in bootsector box however when adding in the entry with EasyBCD. Otherwise NeoGrub isn't installed at all when simply planning a dual boot of Vista with an older version of Windows.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
I came here over a year ago with your problem (see my first post).
The instructions you followed were incomplete (and are now redundant). See the links in Guru's reply to my post, to the correction for the instructions you followed.
That method of hiding Vista was a temporary expedient, giving a clunky 2-stage boot, and has been superceded by Vista Hide n' Seek (HnS), which you can find in the link PCEye gave you.
The Manual workaround the 2 stage boot mentioned by Andre at the end of my thread is essentially what HnS will do for you automatically.
 
Last edited:
#6
Better see the problems I've been running into with HnS following a clean install of Vista for correcting another hardware related problem and even downloading a fresh copy of the latest build to see the same. I'm still waiting for CG to have a look once he has some free time again.

As far as EasyBCD even the first 1.5.2 release last year worked like a charm for seeing XP added into Vista's BCD. Like I was saying before I'll repeat the problem there was seeing NeoGrub installed into the boot sector on the XP drive while it is only installed on the Vista primary when planning a dual boot with a Linux dstro.

CG's advice seen on the other thread on checking off the "GRUB isn't installed to bootsector" box is what finally saw ubuntu successfully triple booting here along with the already present VIsta/XP dual boot.



When looking at the next here you'll note that the first hard drive(ide type) is unlabeled. The cursor points to the root partition and also mount point for ubuntu 8.10 64bit.



ADDITIONAL INFO:

I forgot to mention the page on how to repair and even replace the Vista boot files as well as seeing the Vista mbr repaired can be seen at http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+with+EasyBCD
 
Last edited:
#7
I should have written this right away, but for future reference, my drive configuration is:

HDD in slot 0 (as marked inside computer) - Vista
HDD in slot 1 - XP

I forgot to mention the page on how to repair and even replace the Vista boot files as well as seeing the Vista mbr repaired can be seen at http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+with+EasyBCD
I contemplated using this method to try to get things back to the way they were before--dual-boot working, and without NeoGrub--but since both Vista and XP see themselves as C:, and the Vista drive is now hidden from XP, I wasn't sure if it would work. There seems to be a lot of good advice here, I'm just not sure which method is the simplest thing to do first to just be able to boot Vista again. I'll worry about hiding Vista from XP later. I apologize for my lack of knowledge about these things--I'm new to altering the boot process.

ripoff, I jsut got done reading your other thread. If the issue has been resolved or still needs troubleshooting, please post in one thread. We monitor all of them, so any questions you may have should be answered should one of us have advice to offer.
I only just updated that other thread so that future viewers would know how I fixed the problem--it's unrelated to this. I had the dual-boot working fine until I tried to hide Vista from XP.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
From the neogrub boot menu, choose the edit option at the bottom of the screen, then when you choose XP, edit the hide command which is preventing you getting back to Vista. Change it to "unhide" and let the boot complete.
You'll then be in XP with Vista visible.
Then boot again and choose Vista. Not being hidden by the last XP boot, it will now be available for a boot without the autochk error, and you'll be back in Vista.
Then download and run HnS.
 
#9
I would have done that already, but I get no NeoGrub boot menu at all since I installed it from within XP. I also made sure to configure NeoGrub (in XP) to "timeout 10" instead of 0, but still get no NeoGrub menu.

I noticed that I have boot.ini, ntldr, and ntdetect.com on my XP drive, which I believe is wrong (from what I learned setting the dual-boot system up to begin with). Could be why I'm booting directly to XP.
 
Last edited:
#10
You wouldn't see any NeoGrub menu come up since it was installed in XP instead of in Vista the version it was geared for to start with. When HnS was working here I plainly saw the NeoGrub boot menu and cleared out any entries made in EasyBCD setting that to 0 seconds and keeping Vista as the default OS in the essentially Grub4Dos boot menu eliminating the need for seeing two boot screens appear and still being able to select XP with the display time however reduced from 30 down to only 3 seconds before Vista would load as the default there.

As far as the boot.ini file that is XP's own boot loader file seen there. When setting a dual boot like I pointed out earlier you copy that and the other boot files over to the Vista primary and then edit the boot.ini file itself to point at the drive XP is installed on. With EasyBCD alone you san easily see a working dual boot in practically a minute's time once both versions are on and running properly.

The HnS tool is used mainly to hide Vista from XP while booted in XP. Now that I have ubuntu added in and seen as a working option in the Vista boot screen I can clear off Build #61 to see if one of the older builds will work again here. The problems I ran into can be seen on the last page of the HnS thread seen at http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?p=26670#post26670

Hopefully I will have a favorable update to add in here if one of the older builds simply works like it seen prior to running into the problem shown on the thread there.
 
#11
Thanks for all the responses. To be clear, though, I still can't boot into Vista, and that's all I'm concerned about right now. I clicked "Remove NeoGrub" in EasyBCD and got the Vista (I think) boot menu back (still no NeoGrub boot menu, not even for a split second). When I choose "Vista (restored)", the loading bar appears for a several seconds until I get the same "autochk missing" error, after which the computer restarts after a brief BSD. I've run the Vista Startup Repair from the DVD multiple times--it says it can't repair the problem and just asks me to send info to Microsoft. The Vista HD is still hidden from XP. I would try either of the options in EasyBCD->Diagnostics Center->Vista Diagnostics, but since both Vista and XP see themselves as C:, I don't know if this will fix things or make them worse. I CAN however see the Vista HD in the Storage snap-in in Computer Management, but I can't assign it a drive letter or open it in Windows explorer.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
You need a partition manager capable of flipping the "hidden" flag on the partition.
I think gparted will do the job for you and you can download a free copy from the web (but I don't have it, so can't guarantee that)
 
#14
Hope you don't have to use it again? :S I use GParted live regularly here for a partitioning tool for both Windows and when going to add on a Linux distribution as well. It's an effective tool to keep onhand especially for those that want to run more then one version of Windows or other OSs!