Recovering Inactive XP Partition alongside Active Vista

Simple Life


In preparation of upgrading to Vista, I had two copies of XP on my home PC (Professional for work, re-installed Media Edition as qualifier for Vistia Upgrade) - both on different primary partitions on one hard disk. Using Partition / Boot Magic to switch the active partition so that each version of XP booted as drive C: (and the other was marked as inactive). All worked great - could boot between the two and everything was fantastic.

Unluckily for me a couple of sites I read, implied that bootmagic was fine with Vista (I've since found ones that say otherwise) - so I upgraded the media edition to Vista, which also all went well. But now I can only boot straight into Vista. If I use disk manager I can see the old XP partition, but it is marked as inactive. I don't have the option to make it active, nor can I assign a drive letter.

I've downloaded VistaBootPro briefly last night, changing the boot options, I managed to get XP to start booting, but then got stuck in a loop with ("Unable to find autochk.exe - Skipping autochk"), which after displaying the machine reboots. In the end I followed some instructions on booting from the Vista DVD and repairing the bootloader and now I'm back to my original state of booting straight into Vista and not being able to see the partition.

Ideally I'd like to get my dual boot configuration back again, in that I can boot into XP (which becomes C: as the vista partition is inactive) and also boot into Vista (which becomes C: as the XP partition is inactive). But I'm a bit stuck, how do I get the active partition to switch and that works for both Vista and XP.

Edit: Sorry, forgot the important bit, can I use EasyBCD to do this, if so how?

Any ideas?


- Paul
Hi Paul, welcome to NeoSmart.

As you've found out the hard way, VistaBootPRO is no longer the good program it used to be, and is now highly unstable, unreliable, and b0rks your PC.

The good news: EasyBCD can fix it :smile:

In EasyBCD 1.6 from Vista, delete any and all XP entries.
Create a new XP entry.

AT this point, XP entry will try to boot from the boot drive - the one with the "BOOT" folder, which is most likely the Vista drive. If the Vista drive already has NTLDR and, well and good. If it doesn't - copy these files to the Vista drive from the XP drive. they're in the root partition.

Now XP should boot - if it doesn't that means that Boot.ini is not configured correctly. Just open the boot.ini file in the Vista drive and modify the partition number from 0 to 1.
That's great news, thanks for the quick reply. At work, so can't try it out just yet but that sounds just what I need. Will let you know if it works (i.e. I've understood you and applied the steps correctly!)

Hi, I had a multi boot with win7 on partition D and win XP pro on C.
I wanted to format the XP because I was not using it and unactivated it using fdisk.exe. When I restarted, it's showing the message: Disk Boot failure, Insert system disk and press enter. I dont have a system disk. Please help me. I have XP x32 and win7 x32.

-thanks in advance for all your help