Slightly confused (hdx,y) sequence .


First, I would like to say that I did try to read some of the instructions, including the "Drive Letters and Numbers" section of that section, and also some posts here at the forum. But I'm still a bit hesitant to go on with the 'fix' of "How-To: Hide Vista Partition from XP with NeoGrub!".

Part of the problem is that I had someone else set up my dual-boot configuration, so I'm not sure what software was used and how they went about doing it.

PLUS, I've got 4 partitions in just one drive, which left me a bit confused as to the right drive letters and numbers sequence to use.

What I CAN tell you is that I believe Vista is the primary boot OS (is there a way to find out which OS is the primary boot device?), and that I've got 4 partitions on one single drive. Further, when I boot into Vista it reads....... Vista (c) , - XP (D), - XP (E), ...and..., Vista (F).

Could someone help me with how to go about and set the correct (hdx,y) sequence on the "NeoGrub Bootloader" for my specific configuration?, And finally hide the vista partion from XP (I want to keep those precious restore points in vista).

Thank you for your time, much appreciated.

PS: By the way, at start up, I am given the choise to boot into Vista (which is highlighted and boots to automatically, or "Earlier version of Windows".

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In Windows do this

Start>Right click on Computer>Manage>Disk Management

Take a screenshot and upload it ot Photobucket or Imageshack and post it here. Or just attach it to a post.

That way we can tell you which is the Primary drive.

It is nice that is what it reads in Vista. But i can bet that the other Vista and the 2 XP's read it all different.

I would suggest you go to the Ideas and Wishlist forum and read up on the HnS application. Also known as Hide and Seek. This will hide XP from Vista and allow you to keep your restore points. I belive this is easier to accomplish what you want then going thru NeoGRUB.
As Mak says, the Neosmart approved method of hiding Vista is now via HnS not Neogrub.
You won't, unfortunately, benefit from a single level boot when using it (its main superiority to the Neogrub route), because you've got 2 Vistas.
Your boot files btw are on the drive marked "system, active" which can be any of the systems regardless of which one is C:\, or which one is the default (if you let the boot choice timeout).

(I'm assuming your C and F Vistas are separate systems ? - If like me you have 2 Vista disks (one for 3rd party apps) but only one actual OS, then your HnS boot menu will be a neat single level - the 2nd level (BCD) can be left to default with a 0 timeout)

(HnS will put the multiple XP systems in the top level boot menu. Again I'm assuming you have 2 OSs. If they are 2 XP disks but only one OS, then you only need to specify which one is the OS to HnS, not the second if it only contains non-XP software and/or data)
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Hi again, I'm really sorry I'm only getting back to you both this late, it has been really crazy at work latelly, I hope you'll be able to continue with your help. It's a real pain having to loose all your restore points in Vista.

As suggested by Makaveli213, here is a screenshot of my "Disk Management within Vista.

If I understood correctly, I am to forget NeoGrub and use the HnS application to hide vista from XP, right?

Will I be able to use this fix even with 2 Vistas??

It's funny, from what I can gather in my disk management, the boot files are on partition C:, but 'system active' is marked in XP partition D:. As I mentioned before, Both OSs are on ONE single drive, "Disk 0" (according to disk management). So, my C and F vistas are NOT in different systems, right?

I have yet to read up on the HnS application and try to figure it all out. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have on how to go about with this setup.

Thanks again, take care.


Okay from the looks of that screenshot XP on D:\ is the boot drive.

Yes you should really use HnS to hide XP from Vista. I am not sure if you can use multiple Vista's or XP's on it. That would be something to ask in that thread.

They are on teh same drive but different partitions. I dont understand what you mean by different systems though. They are on the same system but operate independly from each other.

HnS is simple. Run it. LAbe each drive as either XP or Vista and run the tool.
As Alex says, leave NeoGrub and its configuration and download a copy of HnS. It supports multiple XPs and multiple Vistas and shouldn't require any manual configuration.
I see from your screenshot that although you've named your disks as if they were 4 systems, that only Vista C and XP D contain Windows OSs. (the "boot" tag indicates a bootable OS not the boot files - "system" indicates the partition with the boot files, "active" means the "system" with the boot, for cases when there are more systems than just Windows on your hardware (OS2, Mac, or Linux e.g.)
You can run HnS and it will give you a nice single level boot.
Tell it that Vista C and Vista D are Vista, and that XP D is XP. Leave XP E unspecified (you only call it XP if it's a bootable partition)
You will then get a boot menu giving you a choice of Vista or XP. When you boot Vista all the disks will be visible. When you boot XP, the 2 Vista disks will be hidden. Use EasyBCD to set timeout(0) on the Vista BCD, then you won't get a second (unnecessary) Vista boot menu.
In Vista, set only the 2 Vista partitions to be monitored by system recovery. Don't let Vista keep restore information on the XP partitions, because they'll be corrupted, which will probably destroy Vista's ability to recover its own partitions.
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Alright, I think I'm beginning to understand somewhat. Thanks all of you for the swift reply, and help.

"Tell it that Vista C and Vista D are Vista, and that XP D is XP". - Right, my vista F: is named
vista D, and that's the one you're (Terry) telling me to let HnS know is vista, right?

Are HnS and EasyBCD different softwares that need to be installed separately or are they a single one but with different functions??


Yes, Lucida.
When you tell HnS that something belongs to Vista (even if like me the second partition is just 3rd party software installed to run on Vista), then HnS will generate the hide commands to hide all those Vista partitions from XP. So you need to tell it all the partitions that Vista is keeping restore folders on (thats the system obviously, and anywhere you install other software for Vista (because restore will back out any software that might have caused a problem leading to the restore))
You tell it which partitions contain an XP system and HnS will generate a boot entry for that system. You don't need to tell it about a partition that contains XP apps or data, because there's no equivalent in XP to the need to hide Vista's recovery folders. Vista won't do any damage to the XP system.
You could rename the partitions to make it more clear exactly what's on them, but that's just my picky Monkish nature I expect.
Sorry to take so long replying. I've been busy all afternoon watching my home town team (Portsmouth) win the FA Cup Final, so I've not been on the web for a while.


I am, of course, making assumptions about what's on your Vista D. If it's where you install software, you'll need to monitor it in system recovery (and hide it). If you install all your software on the Vista C with Windows and just keep data for Vista on Vista D, then you won't need to monitor it with system recovery, or hide it either. Remember, the whole point of the exercise is to hide Vista's recovery folders but the only way of doing that is to hide the whole partition that contains one.
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Thank you, I really appreciate your time explaining all this.

I just keep data on Vista D: , no software, so no need to tell HnS to hide it then, got it.

I've got only a few more questions before going ahead with this fix: - Why is there a need for EasyBCD, what function does it perform that is different from HnS? And, in this process of hiding Vista from XP with HnS, where/when does EasyBCD come in?

Much appreciated.

PS: Good luck with your team.

EasyBCD is an editor for the Vista BCD, written by Guru because the MS BCD editor is written for oldies like me who remember DOS commands. (GUI ? What's that ?) It makes manipulation of the BCD a doddle for users who aren't familiar with the command line interface.
HnS came much later for the purpose of neatening the process of hiding Vista. It was possible using Neogrub inside EasyBCD, but not an elegant solution. The way it works is by surplanting Vista BCD as the top level bootloader and then handing control down to BCD for Vista, or to NTLDR (without going via BCD) for XP.
You only need to use EasyBCD, once HnS is in use, to Edit the BCD timeout to 0. (When HnS hands control to BCD, you'll still see a second boot menu (Vista's) which you don't need any more (unless you've got multiple Vistas to chose from), so setting the timeout to 0 will mean that though it's still actually doing the Vista boot, it's doing it invisibly and not delaying your whole boot process with spurious extra menus.
It's becoming all clear (I can see the light, lol).

Does it matter which one I install first, HnS or EasyBCD ? The edit to the BCD timeout, can both be done before and after the HnS fix, or is there a particular order of things ??

(I, kinda, promise these will be my last questions)

Again, thanks.

Don't set the timeout to 0 till after you've run HnS, and you're satisfied it's all working as you expect.
When you've booted both systems sucessfully and you can see everything's as it should be (or can't see Vista from XP to be more precise), then you can remove the BCD menu by timeout 0 as a final clean-up.
Do it any earlier and you'll lose the ability to dual boot (Vista's is the only menu in town till HnS takes over ! )
You can install EasyBCD any time. It's just a tool for manipulating the BCD and will just sit harmlessly on your system when you're not actually using it to tinker with.
HnS, technically, isn't installed at all. When you've downloaded it, you just execute it from the folder that you extract the downloaded RAR file into. (It's still in Beta test phase, so doesn't have a conventional installer yet)
When you execute it, it will create the files that take over the boot process and modify or rename others (people sometimes refer to this as installing HnS, but it's not really)
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With this much help, and clear instructions, it should be a breeze to get this fix done. Thanks for all the help. I'll let you know how things are progressing.