One very funky solution...


EasyBCD 2 build 76 helped make it happen.

I had seven Vista/Win7 bootmanager entries altogether having run Vistaboot Pro 3.3 several times over the past two years, working with Vista and XP, and also with Vista and Win7 after getting rid of XP over a year ago. Most recently, I installed Win7 64bit Ultimate to the second blank partition of one of my two SATA drives, the first drive dedicated solely to my mature primary Vista64 OS partition. The first partition of the second drive was for file storage only.

After installing Win7 64 bit, I noted eight boot selections upon bootup. Six of them wouldn't actually boot at all, being named either Ramdisk or Windows Recovery. When attempting to boot one of those, I'd get a stop error, and would hit enter to get back to the boot menu.

The new Win7 installation booted fine, but for some reason the Vista64 partition would no longer boot - gave a "hal.dll file missing or corrupt" error message. I'd have to reboot, leave the selection on Win7, and boot into it. I tried the Repair options available when booting the original Win7 or the Vista installation DVDs to no avail. Bootrec.exe with the various switches from the command prompt didn't help either, with the bootrec /fixboot command returning a "parameter" error. I could have gone deeper, but not being familiar with the commands I figured I'd better not.

Booted back into Win7 and tried Vistaboot Pro, but the various "working" selections gave exception errors asking me to either quit or continue the application. Continuing after an error would just show the spinning circle cursor icon, with no further activity apparent.

I finally used the EasyBCD2 Diagnostic/Reset BCD storage function - pointing the utility to the Vista64 drive F: that was giving the "hal.dll" error message. Well, that left me with a system that wouldn't boot at all! No, this was a good thing - often if things are really broken they're easier to fix! At least now I could make sense of what was happening. Rebooted with the Win7 installation DVD, selected Repair your Computer. This time the automated System Repair option worked, recovering the Win7 and Vista64 boot options without presenting the annoying Ramdisk and Recovery boot listings from earlier.

Thanks for listening, and for the outstanding tool!