Overwrote MBR

#1
Here's what I did

1.Installed XP and EasyBCD
2.Created New Primary Partition and set it Active
3.Installed XP to the new C:\ partition and now can't get back to the old C:\ partition that has EasyBCD

What is the right way to install WinXP to multiple C:\ partitions?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi electro, welcome to NST.
If your system consists entirely of XP (single or multiple), you have no use for EasyBCD.
EasyBCD is an editor for the Vista BCD.
If you want to multi-boot XP, you just need to edit the XP file "x:\boot.ini" where x is your "active" XP partition, to add an extra entry.
You can use notepad or any other text editor to do it.
You can see what form it should take here in the wiki
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Rebuilding+Boot.ini
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Your saying your old C: partition. You can only have one partition at a time with the C: label. If you installed one instance of XP on C: and put another on C:, then that means you either did a repair install of your first installation or installed over it since you said you formatted it.

During the installation, you can partition chunks of the hard drive space for partitions, but up until the release of Vista, you could not format other partitions using the installation media other then the one you are installing Windows on. So it can be quite easy for a beginner to dual-booting to accidently allocate the whole hard drive for a Windows instance rather then partitioning it out for each of the systems you plan to install.

Before you even begin to install, you should consider the desired layout of your system's partitions and thier sizes. Then when performing the first install, go ahead and create the partitions, but make sure to specify to setup the amount you wish to allocate for each partition. Choosing the default well allocate the entire remainder of free space on the disk, which is not what you want since you need to install each OS on its own partittion.
 
#4
I created the Partition and set it active so it would get named C:\ and not some other drive letter. Problem is, I can't access the other C:\ partition anymore, but it still exists. I need a way to get back to that 1st partition. Both are NTFS
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#5
Hello Electro,

EasyBCD is for Vista ONLY.

EasyBCD is NeoSmart Technologies' multiple award-winning answer to tweaking the new Windows Vista bootloader.
You have to manully edit the boot.ini to add multiple installs of XP. EasyBCD can not help you with only XP isntalls.

Cheers,
Mak
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
Electro, If you have Vista bootloader on your active partition (you do know it's illegal if you don't own a Vista licence ?) it still won't make any difference at this stage when you have only XP systems.
When the Vista bootloader is told to select XP, it chains to XP's NTLDR, and it's still boot.ini that will select between multiple XPs. The only difference from what I said in my 1st post, is that you've got an extra step at the head of the boot chain (bootldr). The way you dual boot the 2 XPs is still by editing another line into boot.ini. You will have a 2 stage boot process with multiple XPs if you use Vista 's bootloader.
It doesn't matter that each XP calls itself C:\ (and the other x:\). In boot.ini you identify each system by its rdisk() and partition() numbers.
If you want a single boot menu, and you already have Vista's bootloader, you could look at HnS. (It's prime purpose is to hide Vista from XP, but it has the spin-off benefit that you can boot multiple XPs from its menu (yet another link in the chain, this time before even bootldr))
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#8
Electro,

As stated EasyBCD can only be used with a Vista install. It can not be used with only Windows XP. It is a Vista bootloader.

Cheers,
Mak