Replacing Vista with Windows 7 in Multi Boot


Hello, first of all, you guys rock. I have had more fun playing with multi boot and really appreciate your guidance. My traditional problem is I jump into something, muck it up, read half the instructions, muck it up again, start over, muck it up, then read all the instructions.

For this project, I will follow all instructions I promise so here goes:
I have a triple boot system, xp32, xp64, vista 64. I installed the OS's using hide partition tricks so each OS loads as C:. I am using Vista as my main OS. I am also using Vista Hide N Seek to manage which OS boots. I want to simply delete the Vista partition, and drop Windows 7 on it. I imagine the best way to do this would be to boot from the Windows 7 CD, and have it format the Vista partition, then run Easy BCD from there. Hopefully this won't mess with the other two OS. I also imagine when installing Windows 7, I should make the other two OS partitions hidden.

Please Advise
Respectfully :??

First, you should uninstall HnS from Vista (don't do it from XP because it will leave Vista's partition hidden and you don't want that). Then Grub4Dos (masquerading as "bootmgr") will no longer be controlling the boot, and the traditional Vista bootmgr will be back in charge.
Next, from Vista's desktop, insert the W7 DVD, and the installation program should start up. I believe, if I'm not mistaken, it'll give you an option to upgrade to W7 from Vista. So upgrade it, and then once inside W7, run HnS's GUI again, and tell it which partition is XP and which partition is W7 (or "Vista"). Once having done that, your dual-boot with HnS will be back in place, and you'll not have any more worries.

Use EasyBCD 2.0 to tidy up if you want, and delete any XP entry in the W7 BCD (since you don't want to be using that anyway, since it would be booting XP with W7 unhidden, and you'll lose the restore points).

If you're using HnS, then grub is the boot manager not Vista's bootmgr.
HnS works by pretending to be the Vista bootmgr, then chaining to the real Vista bootmgr when selecting Vista, or NTLDR when you select XP. (see here)
If you upgrade Vista to W7, then the false bootmgr (HnS's) will be replaced by W7 in mistake for the Vista version, breaking the HnS boot.

HnS doesn't alter the MBR, which (being Vista's) looks for bootmgr, so it renames itself to bootmgr, and renames the real bootmgr to bootmgr.hns, thus gaining control of the boot.

You should refrain from using XP for the duration of the W7 install
Boot Vista
rename bootmgr to grldr
rename bootmgr.hns to bootmgr

(this now puts the real Vista bootmgr back in control of the boot)

Upgrade Vista to W7
rename bootmgr to bootmgr.hns
rename grldr to bootmgr

(this puts your old HnS back in control, and the Vista selection will be booting W7
Edit menu.lst if you want to change the menu selection names))

If you want to do a clean install of W7,

Run the HnS UI.exe, and remove HnS completely
Boot W7 DVD and install it to the Vista partition
Boot W7, run the HnS UI again and redefine your systems

(you'll need to click the Vista option for W7)
At the final phase you can change the name in your boot menu from Vista to W7.
I don't believe I can upgrade from Vista. I purchased the Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Disk, which I believe is full install only. I do prefer a clean install anyway. The concern I have is the other two OS's. I ran Easy BCD to manage the boot of the images. I imagine after installing Win7 I need to run 2.0 beta, then test each OS, then Vista Hide N Seek.
You don't need EasyBCD.
Vista's bootmgr isn't booting XP, HnS is.
You don't need to add XP to the BCD, it won't get used.
HnS chains bootmgr (and the BCD) to boot Vista and W7
It chains NTLDR (and boot.ini) directly to boot XP, it doesn't go via the BCD.
If you were to boot XP via the BCD, then you'd be going via (unhidden) Vista, and therefore XP would see Vista and mess with it.
XP must be booted directly from HnS to benefit from the grub "hide" commands.
Having an XP entry in the BCD is both redundant and confusing.
Take another look at the logic in the link in my previous post.
You will still be able to upgrade from Windows Vista should you desire despite the fact you purchased a retail copy of Windows 7. For more information on the Windows 7 Upgrade, please go here:
When migrating from Windows Vista to Windows 7 you will have the option to select "custom" or "upgrade" install when prompted. By selecting the "upgrade" option, your documents and applications will follow and carry over through the install process. If you select, "custom" however you will be able to perform a clean install and all applications will have to be reinstalled manually -- documents will be moved to a folder entitled "windows.old".
For additional assistance with the migration of Windows Vista to Windows 7, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You are welcome to check the threads there and receive additional assistance and feedback.
Microsoft Windows Client Team
Well, this turned into a project. I did a clean install and things seemed ok. I was booting into Win7 no problem. I may have deviated from the plan though.

I ran Easy BCD and my two XP OS's showed. I was then installed Vista Hide N Seek. I was able to boot into either XP OS fine, but it would not boot into Win7. After some playing back and forth betwen Easy BCD and Vista Hide N Seek. Now, no matter which XP OS I choose, it boots into the same 1. I also tried to remove and re-install Vista Hide N Seek. Now, Vista Hide N Seek does not show. I have probably messed things up a bit.
Use a grub menu on another disk...this will run all linux installs and also detect the vista bootloader....then install win7 to any available partition. it will create its own bootloader with vista and win7 on it that you can add to the 1st grub menu
Ok so that's still HnS controlling the boot.
If you're not getting a menu you must have reduced the menu.lst options to one.
delete bootmgr (that's not the real one - it's HnS grub pretending to be W7)
rename bootmgr.hns to bootmgr (that's the real W7 bootmgr, renamed by HnS)
Don't boot the system till you've successfully completed both renames
When you reboot, it'll be a standard W7 boot.
Then run the HnS UI.exe again
flag your 2 XPs as "XP" and your W7 partition as "Vista"
(those flags merely tell HnS which partitions to hide and which they need to be hidden from, the names have no other significance.)
At the last phase of the UI.exe it gives you a chance to do cosmetic changes. At that stage you can rename the "Vista" entry in the menu to Windows 7, and give the XP entries custom names too if you want.
Just wondering on how to do the delete and rename. Win 7 says those files are in the custody of trustedinstaller and won't let me do anything.

Ah, silly me. I had to take ownership, then give myself full rights.
Last edited:
That's exactly why I keep a copy of Ubuntu handy. It gives not a fig for Windows permissions.
No Offense Terry, I appreciate your help, I just ran out of good.

Anyway, after doing the above steps, I was able to boot into one of the XP images through Vista Hide N Seek. The problem is, no matter which XP type I choose, it would only boot into the same one. Even worse, choosing Win 7 gave me a message that a hardware change prevented the boot, and it would take me to a F8 type menu. I finally sacked the entire XP32 partition and spread the allocation between the other two partitions. I then booted from my Win 7 DVD and did a start up repair. VHNS then worked properly for both OS's. I have given up on XP 32, and only needed it for certin things that did not work in XP64 and Vista 64 such as Divx7 and Handbrake. Now with Win7 XP emulation, I have no need for the full OS.

Thank You all for the help. I am now going to give up on this.