Ruined my Vista by trying to dual boot with XP

Hey guys,
Yesterday I tried installing XP home on my laptop which already has Vista premium installed.
I have two partitions - one is C: which contains Vista and the other D: which is where I installed XP Home.
Everything went fine during install - XP loaded up and booted. I then used the Vista recovery console to restore Vista's MBR.
However upon doing this Vista still would not boot. I then edited the Boot.ini, still no luck. So, looking around this site I found a few guides on how to restore Vista and boot properly using commands in CMD.
This however did not work and I receive an error stating that a file within the "System 32" folder is missing named "Hal.dll".
I then used Linux live cd to remove XP Home and tried the steps above again but I still receive the same message.

I am now stuck - no XP, Corrupted Vista installation and my only hope now is Ubuntu.

Is there any way I can compltly restore Vista?
Hi Imhotep, welcome to NST.
Have you booted Vista's DVD and done "repair startup" several times ?
It takes generally, two or three iterations before it finally fixes everything. (Clunky design - only seems capable of doing one thing per boot).
The Hal error is an indication that boot.ini is pointing to the wrong partition. There's nothing wrong with hal.dll, it just can't find it.
Sounds like you just weren't patient enough repairing Vista's boot (it does warn you you might need to do it more than once), then messing around with boot.ini (It has nothing to do with Vista - It's just for XP), also stopped XP booting.
Hi Terry,
I will continue trying with the Vista repair cd, I edited the boot.ini file as the instructions I had to install a dual boot were to add an entry so that XP would be recognized. Unfortunately it didn't work and just kept booting into XP, so I decided to remove XP - that's when my laptop stopped booting.

I shall try a few more times and post the results here.


I tried using the startup repair tool on the Vista recovery CD again a few times and get the following message:

Startup repair could not detect a problem

Boot status indicated that the OS booted successfully.

However I still cannot boot into Vista, when I try the same message returns saying Hal.dll is missing or corrupt.
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I thought the hal.dll missing was an XP error. I've not seen it on a Vista boot
What exactly did you do when you used command line entries to fix Vista's boot. It appears that you aren't pointing Vista to the correct place to find its files.
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I used the following commands to fix Vista's boot record:

bootrec.exe /fixMBR
bootrec.exe /fixBoot

Boot.ini was edited using the commands:

[FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]bcdedit -set {ntldr} device partition=C:
bcdedit -set {ntldr} path \ntldr
bcdedit -displayorder {ntldr} -addlast
bcdedit -set {ntldr} description "Microsoft Windows XP"
Thank you - I will give that a go and post the results here.

Fingers crossed.


I tried the steps outlined in the guide linked to, I attempted this twice but unfortunately it does not restore Vista. I receive the same error message. It does however remove the Grub Loader.

I'm not too sure if it has something to do with the fact that I receive a few errors when entering the commands in the guide (step 3 and first part of step 4):

d:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force

returns the message

d:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
del c:\boot\bcd

returns the message

could not find c:\boot\bcd
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

returns message

Scanning all disks for windows installations. please wait, since this may take a while...successfully scanned windows installations. Total identified windows installations: 0 the operation completed successfully.
Any ideas as to why this is happening? I have completely removed the XP installation and now Vista is the only OS on my laptop as I am running Ubuntu off a live CD.
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Those errors suggest, you're not addressing your Vista partition or your CD drive with the correct letters as the recovery environment sees them. Try the command dir x:\ (replacing x with c d e f etc, till you locate the correct letters.
You should be able to see the Windows folder and the stuff you normally see in explorer, when you've hit the correct letter for Vista, and you should see the boot folder on your CD drive.
then if you do "dir x:\boot" on the drive with a boot folder you should see the bootsect.exe inside.
That's the letter you need to use to execute the command.
I ran those commands, changing the letters each time to get access to the boot folder. Unfortunately whilst I can find the boot folder I can't see the Bootsect.exe file. It is not in the c:\boot folder or the e:\boot folder (CD drive)

Is it supposed to be in the c: (physical) drive where Vista is installed?

What can I do if it is missing? I fear it may have been deleted or moved.
Terry, both bootrec and bootsect need to be run; one to fix the MBR and the other for the bootsector. Depending on which of the two (if not both) has been damaged, then you may or may not get away with not running one of the two commands.