Reinstalling XP with Vista repeatedly fails

#1
Once upon a time I had set up a dual boot PC with Windows XP and Windows Vista. Things worked fine, except, over time, it took longer and longer for the dual boot OS selection menu to appear. Sometimes I would have to leave the machine on for 5 minutes or more before the "Choose operating system" menu appeared. Then yesterday, the OS menu (which afters right after the BIOS start up is complete) stopped appearing altogether.

Using a Windows DVD, I booted to recovery mode and discovered that the XP drive had numerous disk errors. I ran CHKDSK and fixed the drive, but still no OS menu appeared. Then I used the Vista DVD to boot from, and went to a command prompt and typed:

Bootrec.exe /FixMbr
Bootrec.exe /FixBoot
Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

I rebooted, and hurray! the OS menu appeared! I could now use it to boot/switch to Vista. Great! But, choosing "XP (Earlier version of Windows" simply caused the PC to reboot itself and go into a reboot loop.

I then got out my XP install CD and did a "repair" install. The XP Setup/Installer launched and copied the necessary files, then alerted me that it needed to reboot the PC. So it rebooted, and the OS menu appeared, and I choose "XP". I then saw the XP logo with the progress bar, then the screen changed colors as if it was displaying my Desktop background, along with a mouse cursor, but that's it. XP never got any further. XP wasn't going to load. I tried multiple reboots, and tried multiple times to reinstall/repair XP, but always with the same results.

At that point I downloaded and installed EasyBCD to the Vista OS. And that is where I currently am.

Here's some info about my PC:

1 physical drive, 2 partitions

Drive D: (System, Active, Primary partition)
Drive C: (Boot, Page file, Crash dump, Primary partition)

Drive D: XP
Drive C: Vista

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader:

Default: Earlier version of Windows
Timeout: 20 secs
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Earlier Version of Windows
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

The boot.ini file has:

[boot loader]
timeout=1
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Any suggestions on how to get XP reinstalled and running alongside the currently working version of Vista?

Thanks.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
#3
Thanks, but two of the three solutions assume that you can boot up to XP. The third solution, "Kawecki's Trick", seems like a long shot, but the problem is, who these days has a bootable 3.5" Windows 98 rescue disk? All my W98 3.5" floppies have lost their magnetic integrity due to age. They are impossible to boot from. I searched my Windows 98 CD, and fdisk is not available on the disc.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
You could try rearranging the physical order of the HDDs/channels so that the devices are detected in a different sequence.
The problem arises when the letter assigned dynamically, clashes with the registry entries from the letter assigned at the OS install.
If you can luck-in to a config that assigns XP the same letter as before, it'll come up.
Then make sure that you follow good practice and explicitly assign letters to all of your partitions/devices, so that you're not subject to the vagaries of boot-time dynamic allocation.
 
#5
You could try rearranging the physical order of the HDDs/channels so that the devices are detected in a different sequence.
But there is only ONE physical drive in question, so how could I possible "rearrange the physical order of the HDDs"?

If you can luck-in to a config that assigns XP the same letter as before
And how I supposed to luck-in to such a config?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Sorry, should have re-read the OP.