Problem with bootloader or Vista...not sure which


Ok I've installed Vista and XP a few times now to try and fix a problem I have. I originally upgraded my XP to Vista when I recieved the Vista RTM from my college. However it still wasn't very stable and I ended up having to reinstall both operating systems a number of times to make it finally work. Then once it was stable I removed XP from the computer. SInce that time I have been unable to format my drive that had XP as it sasys it is a system drive and can't be formatted. Further more if I don't have said drive hooked up and try to boot to my Vista drive, I get a cannot find NTLDR message. I have tried multiple ways to fix this problem and researched it on the internet quite a bit but to no avail. My computer must boot through my drive with XP on it, then it loads my Vista bootloader and things are good from there. What I don't understand is why it is looking for NTLDR in the first place as it should ignore NT's bootloader in favour of Vista's should it not?
Hi David,

Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies - and sorry about the earlier registration problems!

To answer your question: that NTLDR message your seeing as a "canned" response to no bootloader found, probably something MS didn't bother to change.

Your solution:
Remove the XP drive. Set the Vista drive to the master (by switching cables or from the BIOS).
Boot from the Vista DVD.
"Repair Options"
Select Startup Repair.

That should do the trick. You can now stick your XP drive back in (as a slave) and format the hell out of it :smile:
Hmmm, ya good point...I'll read better next time I post. :smile:

I kind of figured that might be the case...have to wait till I get a DVD drive to read my Vista DVD again?
OK, there's another possibility if you do not have a DVD drive.

Get the latest beta version of EasyBCD (see the stickied thread).
EasyBCD | Useful Utilies | Power Console

mbrfix.exe /drive 0 fixmbr /vista /yes
mbrfix.exe /drive 1 fixmbr /vista /yes
bootsect.exe /nt60 ALL /force

Copy bootmgr and the "BOOT" folder from the XP drive to the Vista drive.

Add a new Vista drive in EasyBCD (Add/Remove | Windows | Vista) entering the XP drive-letter as the letter for the Vista drive.

Switch your XP and Vista drives around (preferrably not inserting your XP at the moment).
Boot. At the bootloader select the new (xp-drive) Vista entry and boot from it.

Should be ok. Lemme know if that works for ya.
OK now when I boot from my D: drive (Vista) I get BOOTMGR is missing, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart, still boot fine from C: (XP hopefully soon storage) drive. I can see Bootmgr in the boot folder of D: idea? I think we're getting closer! :grinning:
This is what BCD says for my bootloader now. Boot manager should be on D: should it not?

Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {876cb93a-3037-11dc-85af-940af4fc9461}
resumeobject {876cb93b-3037-11dc-85af-940af4fc9461}
displayorder {876cb93a-3037-11dc-85af-940af4fc9461}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 5

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {876cb93a-3037-11dc-85af-940af4fc9461}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows Vista
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {572bcd56-ffa7-11d9-aae0-0007e994107d}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=D:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {876cb93b-3037-11dc-85af-940af4fc9461}
nx OptIn

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier {1d8688e1-3008-11dc-ba7c-00173162a1b0}
device partition=C:
path \ntldr
description Microsoft Windows XP
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OK - this step is a tad riskier, but *should* do the trick (note that your lack of a DVD drive makes it a hell of a lot more complicated than it needs to be - and adds this risk to the mix).

bcdedit /set {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795} device partition=D:

Another (better) option is to delete all the non-boot files on the XP drive (like "Windows," "Program Files," "Documents and Settings," etc.) and then copy all the Vista files to that drive.

At this point, you'll have the Vista drive as storage, and the (old) XP drive will become a Vista drive (by using the newly-created option in the bootloader).

Of course, all of this depends on the size and speed of the drives (basically, if you like Vista's drive more than XP's) - it's all up to you. It's just an option if you need it.

Do you (at the very least) have a CD-ROM drive you can use to boot into the XP recovery console?
From there you can move all the Vista files to the XP drive more safely (no files will be in use).
Yes there is a CD Drive on this computer, I'm not running that far back in the stone age. :smile:

The Vista drive is a lot faster than my old drive I have XP on so I'd like to keep it set up the way it was. I am likely going to go out and buy myself a DVD drive shortly as I'm going to need it soon for a lot of things I want to get.

But basically my problem here is/was my MBR is all screwed up and didn't know where to look for what? Likely because of the multiple reinstalls of Vista and XP?

And thank you, it's simple but still has a certain look about it that I really like. It was originally an AIM buddy icon actually...but I made it bigger and now it's like that :smile:
No, your MBR is just fine.
However, it is configured to load bootmgr off of the drive that used to be C:\, and if it can't find that drive it won't work.

Doing the bcdedit command I posted above should reconfigure it to load Bootmgr from the Vista drive instead.
Still the BOOTMGR is missing error when I try to boot from D and C drive still boots fine as usual. Now BCD shows Boot Manager is on Partition D though instead of C