[Read Me!!] Correct Boot.ini Configuration for a Windows XP Dual-Boot


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
The Windows Vista bootloader cannot load Windows XP directly. Instead, it opens boot.ini, reads the list of legacy (pre-Longhorn) operating systems from there, and then loads them.

In order for EasyBCD to boot into Windows XP, you must have a properly configured boot.ini!!

The parameters that need to be changed are rdisk() and partition()... not disk() (at least in most cases)


Multi: the adapter the disk is connected to. Almost always 0 unless you're using a PCI card for a disk adaptor.
Disk: quite misleading, but should almost always be 0. Nothing to do with the disk it's actually on.
RDisk: this is the drive number that the OS you want to load is on.
Partition: the number of the partition on rdisk.

Multi, Disk, and RDisk numbers start at 0. Partition numbers start at 1.

To find the correct numbers for rdisk() and partition()...

EasyBCD | Add/Remove Entries | Linux/BSD
Look at the list of drives & partitions, and ID the one your XP is on.

Your rdisk() is the value that EasyBCD shows for that entry in the drive list.
Your partition() is the partition number that EasyBCD shows + 1.

Good resources:
EasyBCD's Windows XP Documentation
The Starman's Guide
Microsoft KB Article on Boot.ini