Saving Settings


Active Member
I am attempting to save the MBR and BCD Settings in the Tools > Options > Automated MBR Backup section but it fails to save a file. I created a folder with the default name shown and it still won't save a file.

My challenge is that I have a dual boot setup with XP on the first partition and Vista on the second. I now have a need to restore the XP partition from Acronis backup which will (no choice) reload the MBR. I do believe that I will lose the current dual boot setup and I am not sure how to get it back after I complete the rstoration of the XP partition. I think I need to run EasyBCD on the XP partition after the restore and load the BCD settings to restore the dual boot with Vista..correct?? If this is correct I need a BCD backup to work with.

On another note, I tried the online documentation but the page failed to load


Joe P
hmmm all of a sudden I can't get the mbr backup to work either :\

Anyway, first, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies!

Here's what you need to do to get Vista working after losing the MBR.
1) Get XP running 100%
2) Install EasyBCD on XP.
3) Use the "Bootloader Managment" screen to "Reinstall Vista Bootloader" in EasyBCD.
4) From the "Add/Remove Entries" page, add a Windows XP entry.
5) Reboot.

All done!
Before I get to the point of reinstalling the Vista Bootloader should I not save it somewhere, somehow? Before I go to the Acronis recovery of the XP partition, should I uninstall the bootloader on the XP or Vista partition? Regarding saving the bootloader, if necessary: First, what save option should I use and second should I save it on the XP partition or the Vista partition?

Sorry for making this so difficult but in the absence of documentation it is a struggle and I don't like to guess as to what to do because I sure don't like the outcome when I'm wrong!!


Joe P

Note: I still get a HTTP STATUS 404 when attempting to view the "Documentation" from the programs Help menu.
Believe me, I more than anyone wish thjat the documentation was up, but we're a (relativley) tiny non-profit organization, and most of our resources are begin focused on dev rather than docs.

Anyway, you don't have to save the Vista bootloader anywhere, the data remains safe in the BOOT folder on drive C: (or whatever your boot drive is...), the only thing that happens when you install XP is that hte MBR hooks for the BCD are overwritten by the NTLDR ones, and rendered useless.

The steps I outlined should take care of it all. Give me a holler if you still need some help.
Thanks for the information.

I would like to further clarify my configuration so I can be sure that you have the full "story". I started with a XP installation which I backed up with Acronis, then I partitioned the drive and installed Vista. So, XP is on the first partition and Vista is on the second...does that still remain correct that I don't have to backup the bootloader and the "information" I need to restore the dual boot is in drive C ??

Do you have any insight as to why the Automated MBR Backup does not work?

Many thanks for your time and effort,

Joe P


I checked the C drive and did not find a "BOOT" folder but there were two files in the root of C named, BOOT.BAK and BOOTSECT.BAK. Now if I am about to restore the C drive partition with XP, wouldn't the files needed to retain the dual boot configuration be destroyed??
OK,mbr restore won't help you there.
What you need to do:

1) Restore whatever you need to restore.
2) Boot from the Vista DVD -> Startup Repair -> Automated Repair
3) Boot into Vista (it will happen automatically).
4) Run EasyBCD in Vista -> Add XP entry.
I followed your instructions exactly and it was quite simple although not exactly as you detailed. The first option was just "Repair" and I never got the second option, "Automated Repair". Once I selected "Repair" I got a window which stated:

"Windows found problems with your Computer Startup options. Do you want to apply repairs and restart your Computer?"

I chose "Repair & Restart" and within seconds the system rebooted but unfortunately not into Vista but into XP. I then ran EasyBCD in XP and added Vista, saved the settings and rebooted but it only booted into XP. I then removed the XP entry in EasyBCD leaving only Vista and it still booted to XP. Here is the Overview and Detailed windows:

There is one entry in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader TimeOut: 30 seconds.
Default OS: Windows Vista (TM) Home Basic (recovered)

Entry #1

Name: Windows Vista (TM) Home Basic (recovered)
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

Windows Boot Manager
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
default {default}
displayorder {default}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {default}
device partition=F:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Home Basic (recovered)
osdevice partition=F:
systemroot \Windows

Here is the boot.ini from the XP partition:

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

Now what??!!


Joe P

Part Two:

I tried booting with the Vista disc again. After the Language, Time and Keyboard options I got a choice of "Install Now" or "Repair Your Computer" so I chose the latter, which gave me a System Recovery Window with an option to "Load Drivers" or NEXT. Then I got a "Choose A Recovery Tool" window and from the 5 or so choices I chose "Startup Repair". It ran and when finished the "Details" showed that the "Boot Manager is missing or corrupt" and the "Repair Action: File Repaired". Upon choosing "Finished" the system rebooted...into XP!!!
Hey Joe, glad to hear you got it working.
Thanks for the link, I'm reading up on this program now :smile: