switching xp & vista


Hi. Sorry for the noob question, but the Wiki is down--

I seem to have successfully gotten Vista 64 on one drive and XP Home on the other, but it appears that the only way to switch is to go into Easy BCD and repair the boot records for Vista (or delete them to get XP), then reboot.

Is that the way to switch operating systems? Is there supposed to be a simpler way to switch? iReboot doesn't seem to work for this (I selected Vista but the reboot was still in XP).

thanks in advance,

- Frank
Hi Frank, welcome to NST.
If your OSs are on separate HDDs, you must put the Vista drive before the XP drive in your BIOS boot sequence (Vista has to be in control - XP cannot boot Vista ).
You must then copy NTLDR, ntdetect.com and boot.ini from the XP root into the Vista root, edit boot.ini to point correctly at the XP HDD (probably rdisk(1) instead of 0 ), and use EasyBCD to add an XP entry into Vista's BCD. (it will "grey" the drive choice for XP because it knows it must be in the Vista root. Don't try to make it point at the XP disk, it's the boot files you're pointing to and they, in turn, point to XP)
If your OSs are in different partitions on the same HDD, then the boot files must all be in the one marked "active" "system" in Disk Management, and the boot.ini edit will not need rdisk to be changed but partition(x) must point to the XP partition.
When Frank made his post the Wiki was indeed malfunctioning, but everything should be OK now.

Thanks to everyone that sent me a message letting me know, and sorry about that! :smile:
dual boot question

Thanks for your help. Oddly enough, when I rebooted (didn't copy any files) the Vista boot menu came up. Things seem to be working as expected.

I've got a couple of questions, though--

I understand that system restore points get destroyed when dual booting. Is that right? Do I have to hide the Vista partition with Neogrub (http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/hide-vista-partition-from-xp/) to prevent this still?

Also I rarely will use XP. I tried to set the boot menu countdown timer to zero, but it still flashes by on the startup screen. Is there a way to remain in Vista and just fire up XP on the occasion I need it (so that the boot menu isn't even loaded)? I guess-- can I hide the XP partition (it's on a 2nd hard drive) from Vista?

thanks again,

- Frank
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The link you mention, using Neogrub, will give a clumsy 2 stage boot process and has been superseded by Vista Hide 'n Seek (HnS) which will automatically set up your dual boot and do the necessary hiding when you boot XP, in a simple, one level, boot menu.
The simplest method if you, like me, use Vista most of the time, is to set timeout to a small finite value, so that it doesn't unduly delay your normal boot, but still allows a nimble-fingered interception to gain access to XP.
You cannot use iReboot with HnS yet unfortunately, as it pre-dates HnS and is awaiting a future build with HnS compatibility.
You could use iReboot in the way you describe, to go directly between OSs without a visible menu, but not in a way that will protect your Vista restore points.
You don't need to hide XP from Vista. Vista is fully backward compatible and will do no harm to XP. XP however sees Vista's differently formatted restore folders as "corrupt" and "fixes" them for you. You'll need to hide any partition containing software you've installed on Vista, (if like me you don't put all your 3rd party apps on C:\) as well as the Vista partition itself. (because system restore might need to back-out a software installation responsible for breaking your system)
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