Reinstalling Windows Vista

#1
So I currently have a computer that is dual booting. My partition table is: Volume 0 - Recovery (R: ), Volume 1 - Vista (C: ), Volume 2 - XP (D: ). Of course, that's looking at it from the Vista end. In XP, the XP volume shows up as E: (ugh). So I started on this computer with Windows Vista and Dell MediaDirect. Took off DMD, and installed XP, using the guide provided in the EasyBCD wiki. It works great.
Now, I have my XP set up the way I want it, and want to reinstall Vista to start fresh, as it were. But, the XP's boot info is stored on the C: drive, the Vista partition. So how can I reinstall Vista without screwing up XP's boot info and thus my dual boot? Or is there a way to do it and screw everything up, but then fix it? I'm fine with fixboot and fdisk/mbr... But if EasyBCD can do it, great!
Any ideas?

-Steven T.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Vista (and its bootloader) are backward compatible with XP, so it should recognize the XP partition and automatically give you a boot entry for it, which you can tidy up with EasyBCD.
Just don't tell it to install Vista over XP !
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Hi Steven, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Backup C:\boot.ini to a really safe place (post a copy here if you like!).
Boot from the Vista DVD, and format drive C:
Install Vista.

Once in Vista, install EasyBCD. Copy NTLDR and NTDETECT (download them from the link in the wiki) to C:\. Re-create C:\Boot.ini from the backed-up file. Use EasyBCD to add a new XP entry - it'll be ready to use. Walla!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
You have to enable the viewing of hidden files and of operating system files.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Untick "hide system files" in folder options
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Easier option:
EasyBCD | Tools | Edit Legacy Entries

That'll bring up boot.ini in a text editor where you can copy it to a safe place.
 
#8
Here's the boot.ini from EasyBCD. Vista must be hiding it from me....

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


Somehow, this doesn't seem right....
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
What doesn't seem right?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#11
If you've got the system set to see hidden and system files, you should have one or two ghostly desktop.ini entries visible on your desktop. If you can't see them, you can't see the boot files either.

boot.ini is an XP file only
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Is this just for Windows XP? Because they're both partition 4, with no sign of Vista. So did Vista not add on to boot.ini, just XP to the MBR?
That's because Windows Vista doesn't use boot.ini to boot. It uses something called the BCD storage (or BCD registry) to determine where to find Vista installations, and what properties to assign the bootloader entries.

EasyBCD takes care of all that for you, acting as the interface between the older NTLDR/BOOT.INI subsystem used by XP and earlier operating systems and the newer BCD storage.
 
#13
Update: I had EasyBCD installed on both my XP and Vista partitions, so after I reinstalled Vista, EasyBCD on my XP retained my settings, so I was able to boot into both without making any changes.
BUT
I think it's because I didn't format, I just pressed the Install button after running the Vista CD from inside of Windows.