Tri-boot (Vista, XP, Wubi Ubuntu 8.10) problem [SOLVED]

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#21
You shouldnt have copied that. That is only a example. That is just there to show people what a boot.ini file looks like. It isnt a boot.ini that can be used.

Anyway you can post a screenshot of your disk management?

Did you change the number in both sections? If you look at hte boot.ini you see 2 places where the partition number is referenced.

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003" /fastdetect
That is from our example. From what it says on Microsoft.com the first section [Boot Loader] is the value that is incorrect with the error that you got previously:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.

Please re-install a copy of the above file"
Source Microsoft KB Article

So i would double check that. As it seems that is where you are having the issues.
 
#22
You shouldnt have copied that. That is only a example. That is just there to show people what a boot.ini file looks like. It isnt a boot.ini that can be used.

Anyway you can post a screenshot of your disk management?

Did you change the number in both sections? If you look at hte boot.ini you see 2 places where the partition number is referenced.



That is from our example. From what it says on Microsoft.com the first section [Boot Loader] is the value that is incorrect with the error that you got previously:



Source Microsoft KB Article

So i would double check that. As it seems that is where you are having the issues.
I copied it from there, because i could not boot into XP the normal way (even with the partition set to active), and so could not copy the files from there. And actually, i did not use the example from the "Rebuilding Boot.ini" page...i copied the boot.ini stuff from the "Manually Creating/Updating BOOT.INI" section of that page. So I don't understand why that would a problem... :S

Also, I did indeed change (every time) the partition number in both places (thanks to PCEye for mentioning that!:smile:). Anyway, i'll take a look at the Microsoft article, and also post here a screenshot of Disk Management, as requested...
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#23
The problem is that those are example boot.ini files. They were not working boot.ini files on any system. They are just examples of what the boot.ini looks like. They were never funcational and could be the source of why you cant boot.

You dont have to boot into XP to gain access to the drive. You should still be able to access it from Vista. If that isnt possible there is things such as Linux LiveCD's that can be used.

The reason i say that you shouldnt have used that is cause they were never a functional boot.ini secquence with those. They were just cosmetic. They were never meant to be used for production purposes. Not as far as i know.
 
#24
Ok...here's the screenshot.

As u can see looking at the screenshot, the partition that XP is installed on doesn't even show up in Computer Management. The partition, though, is 30GBs and is part of the "unallocated" space that u see all the way over on the right.

I'm not sure why it doesn't show it in Computer Management...perhaps this is due to the fact that I chose Fat 32 filesystem format for XP. Idk, but for whatever reason the partition does not show up Computer Management...

However, u can take my word for it though that it DOES exist! :smile:

Cheers!

The problem is that those are example boot.ini files. They were not working boot.ini files on any system. They are just examples of what the boot.ini looks like. They were never funcational and could be the source of why you cant boot.

You dont have to boot into XP to gain access to the drive. You should still be able to access it from Vista. If that isnt possible there is things such as Linux LiveCD's that can be used.

The reason i say that you shouldnt have used that is cause they were never a functional boot.ini secquence with those. They were just cosmetic. They were never meant to be used for production purposes. Not as far as i know.
I can't access the XP partition from Vista...that is probably due to it being Fat 32, instead of NTFS, but for whatever reason accessing XP from Vista is impossible for me. As for using the LiveCD...yes, that is what i planned to do if all else failed. I was going to try mounting the XP partition, using the Ubuntu Desktop CD, and looking to see if everything was in order in the XP partition...i.e. to see if any important files were missing, such as boot files.

I still don't understand how the boot.ini file referenced in that page could only be an examply, if it clearly states to copy the text to the notepad window, and create a boot.ini file from that...

But anyway, i hope u take a look at the screenshot, and perhaps can come up with something else... :brows:

Cheers.
 

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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#25
Your issue goes way beyond a simple file replacement. Your XP install was lost. That unallocated space means that there is nothing on that partition. IT isnt even a partition. It is just a blank section on the hard drive right now. Not even in RAW format.

You lost your XP isntall mate. Sorry.

You are going to have to use Disk Management to create a new partition there and reinstall XP. Then repair the Vista boot loader then do all the file moves again.

Vista can access and use FAT32 as well as NTFS. :wink: That isnt your issue mate. The reason it is impossible is what i stated above. It is gone.

You can copy and paste and it would. But it is only a example cause it isnt representative of every system. It is only a example cause it gives a specific drive and partition. Which will not match every setup out there.
 
#26
Your issue goes way beyond a simple file replacement. Your XP install was lost. That unallocated space means that there is nothing on that partition. IT isnt even a partition. It is just a blank section on the hard drive right now. Not even in RAW format.

You lost your XP isntall mate. Sorry.

You are going to have to use Disk Management to create a new partition there and reinstall XP. Then repair the Vista boot loader then do all the file moves again.

Vista can access and use FAT32 as well as NTFS. :wink: That isnt your issue mate. The reason it is impossible is what i stated above. It is gone.

You can copy and paste and it would. But it is only a example cause it isnt representative of every system. It is only a example cause it gives a specific drive and partition. Which will not match every setup out there.
hmm...that may be what it seems, mate, but it is not the truth...

I know for a fact that my XP partition still exists, and XP is in working condition on it. You want to know why? Because right after installing XP, i went back into Vista, and checked "Computer" and it did not show the drive that XP is installed on. Also when i was back in XP, i looked into "My Computer" there, and the Vista partition was not visible by XP...so its quite obvious to me that neither OS can read the other...at least when the filestystem type is Fat 32 on XP, and NTFS on Vista...

However, just to verify that XP still exists (and i'm sure it does), i'll go mount the XP partition with the Ubuntu LiveCD, and perhaps take a screenshot of what I see, so u can see i'm not making this up...

Cheers! :smile:

EDIT: the XP partition also shows up in BootIT NG...
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#27
Unless you hide the partition from Vista using HnS or NeoGRUB somewhere along the line the partition was lost.

Yeah after you installed XP it may have been there. But that doesnt mean that with all the messing with the boot loaders that has been done that it wasnt lost inbetween.

According to your Disk Management screen there is no partition at the end. It is roughly 32GB in size. Just like there is a 9GB partition in there as well that Disk Management is showing with nothing.

I am just going by what your screen shot is telling us. There is no data and no partition there.
 
#28
In other words what Makaveli213 is pointing out is that the drive is a real mishmash of a washup. While you pointing at XP being on a 3rd partition you neglected to partition and format the space inbetween Vista and XP for ubuntu. As far seeing XP on a Fat volume rather then NTFS is there any particular reason?

XP and Vista both can readily go on NTFS 5.0 primaries. Since no partition was created between the two versions you have the option of expanding the Vista primary into that space placing XP on partition #2 with a fresh install. ubuntu would then go on a 3rd partition created at the back of the drive once you partition and format a VFat partition for it there.

As for seeing things copied over like the boot.in file between partitions when Windows for some reason can't see onto another one one old article on how to use Knoppix live shows what you would be able to do with a live cd version of ubuntu. http://www.shockfamily.net/cedric/knoppix/
 
#29
Ok...here is the screenshots to prove my point, as promised. :smile: I was able to mount the XP partition, using the LiveCD, just like i thought...and i also managed to copy over to Vista the needed boot files from XP.

Here is what that boot.ini says:

Code:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
C:\="Unidentified operating system on drive C."
Hopefully someone can glean from all this what i now need to do, by way of editing this boot.ini file to point back to the XP partition.... :wink:

Cheers!
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#30
You're at the limit of 4 primary partitions, so you'll need to expand the 1st or2nd partition to include the unallocated space between them, delete the 4th partition, and reallocate it as an extended including the empty space after it. You'll then be able to create logical disks inside that new partition to put the Linux partitions on.
Remove the surplus 2 last lines from your boot.ini, and check that it's not full of spurious blanks. (It looks to me to have embedded blanks all through.)
You can copy/paste the example in the wiki. It's syntactically correct (spaces where they should be - none where they shouldn't), but as Mak pointed out, it's an example, not necessarily usable as it stands unless you are serendipitiously lucky.
It looks from your Linux screenshots that rdisk(0) partition(1) should be correct (in both lines) which should work once you've cleaned up the syntax.
If it doesn't, try 0 2 , 0 3 and 0 4 (one of them's got to work)
 
#31
If you had expanded the Vista primary into the unallocated drive space already suggested and created a new partition in the unallocated space at the back of the drive the boot.ini file would see...

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

and that would be it since XP would be on the second primary. You can install ubuntu on either a primary or extended volume while the live cd install will automatically create a primary for the root/system partition. Your drive would then simply see 3 primary partitions with ubuntu on the 3rd.
 
#32
If you had expanded the Vista primary into the unallocated drive space already suggested and created a new partition in the unallocated space at the back of the drive the boot.ini file would see...

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

and that would be it since XP would be on the second primary. You can install ubuntu on either a primary or extended volume while the live cd install will automatically create a primary for the root/system partition. Your drive would then simply see 3 primary partitions with ubuntu on the 3rd.
Thanks to u and Terry...but i would rather keep my setup (with all 3 OSes installed) as it is, and figure out some way to boot into all 3! :grinning:

Cheers! :smile:
 
#33
In order to see that done you first would have to create the root in the unallocated space between the two Windows primaries pointing the boot.ini to partition #3 for XP then unless you already which it looks installed ubuntu on the 3rd partition seen in the screenshot before.

When looking at that you see ubuntu following XP there where simply expanding the Vista primary would fill in the first gap of empty drive space. Moving the XP primary back to see that expanded would the second more time consuming option and require the 3rd party drive tool like GParted anyways.

All we can do at this point is direct you to the water while you have to decide whether or not to drink any.
 
#34
Side note: i think maybe the reason why the XP partition didn't show up in Vista Disk Management is due to XP not being in the MBR...i keep replacing other entries in the MBR (due to the 4 primary partition limit) with the XP one, but every single time i select the Vista boot entry in the BootIT NG default menu, the MBR keeps reverting back to its original state and XP gets thrown out of the MBR. :glare:

Addendum:

In order to see that done you first would have to create the root in the unallocated space between the two Windows primaries pointing the boot.ini to partition #3 for XP then unless you already which it looks installed ubuntu on the 3rd partition seen in the screenshot before.

When looking at that you see ubuntu following XP there where simply expanding the Vista primary would fill in the first gap of empty drive space. Moving the XP primary back to see that expanded would the second more time consuming option and require the 3rd party drive tool like GParted anyways.

All we can do at this point is direct you to the water while you have to decide whether or not to drink any.
What exactly do u mean by creating the root in the unallocated space? (btw, it is no longer unallocated space, i created an NTFS partition with it, which it was formerly anyway before attempting to dual boot, or tri-boot...it was a recovery partition for Windows before)

Do u mean somehow putting the boot.ini into the formerly unallocated space (now NTFS partition)?

I'm confused... :huh:

EDIT: and also, the once-unallocated space (now NTFS partition) is not loaded to the MBR...so i don't understand how that would affect the partition number in boot.ini, if it goes by the MBR...

Addendum:

Here's my updated boot.ini file:

Code:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
I changed the partition numbers back to 2 (and deleted the last two lines, due to what Terry wrote), since that's where (whenever it is that i can get XP to stay in the MBR) i'm going to have the XP entry. :nerd:
 
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#35
At this time an updated screenshot would be more of a help here since you have made changes. Initially it looked more like Vista was on the first partition until realizing this may be a preinstalled Vista with a recovery partition where the primary was moved? The image earlier was too small text wise to see whether or not that was something other then the Vista primary since your partitions are small to begin with.

The spaces now seeing new partitions will have a direct effect on the boot.ini file since you have added a new partition inbetween the first and second. As far as Vista not seeing onto any Fat volume this is why external drives coming with factory Fat partitions on them will have software needing installation there.

The boot.ini file is copied to the root of the Vista prmary along with the other two boot files. The entries in the mbr point to the boot loader on the default OSs primary namely Vista. The entry in the copy of the boot.ini file you edit shows the Vista loader where XP is located as far as partitions in order to then see the ntldr XP loader take over when selecting XP from the boot screen.

You posted before I could even reply here to indicate that the new partition in the unoccupied space will offset the previous configurations. One thing to do prior to posting the next image would be labeling the partitions according to what is on each. The image here shows how things look on the drives here in order to indicate what sees what except for the first drive where ubuntu is seen where? Still trying to get that labeled while booted in Linux.

 
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#36
At this time an updated screenshot would be more of a help here since you have made changes. Initially it looked more like Vista was on the first partition until realizing this may be a preinstalled Vista with a recovery partition where the primary was moved? The image earlier was too small text wise to see whether or not that was something other then the Vista primary since your partitions are small to begin with.

The spaces now seeing new partitions will have a direct effect on the boot.ini file since you have added a new partition inbetween the first and second. As far as Vista not seeing onto any Fat volume this is why external drives coming with factory Fat partitions on them will have software needing installation there.

The boot.ini file is copied to the root of the Vista prmary along with the other two boot files. The entries in the mbr point to the boot loader on the default OSs primary namely Vista. The entry in the copy of the boot.ini file you edit shows the Vista loader where XP is located as far as partitions in order to then see the ntldr XP loader take over when selecting XP from the boot screen.
I know its a bit confusing, and i apologize (i'll try to get that updated screenshot in a bit)...

My original factory partition setup was like this:

Dell utility partition (36 MB partition that a Dell utility tool was installed on...although this got overwritten when messing with LVPM)
Recovery partition (for Vista)
OS-2 (of course the partition that Vista was installed on)

The above is what the setup of my computer was like when i first got my laptop computer in the mail.

EDIT: do u want the screenshot of the Vista Disk Management, or do u want the screenshot for Gparted, back in the LiveCD session?
 
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#37
If you can grab a good screen in GParted that would be even better since that will show which partition is NTFS, Fat, or VFat for Linux. The original mistake was not realizing that the first was a factory there I think throwing everybody off a little due to the unallocated space from seeing the Vista primary moved while you were using the other tool.

If the VIsta primary isn't hidden from XP you could even post a second image of what is seen in the XP DM there while not necessary but could add detail. But if the XP and Vista primaries still see ubuntu on the partition inbetween then you would be looking at the rdisk(0)partition(5) entry in the copy of the boot.ini file pointing to the 5th partition by a simple count.
 
#38
The boot.ini file is copied to the root of the Vista prmary along with the other two boot files. The entries in the mbr point to the boot loader on the default OSs primary namely Vista. The entry in the copy of the boot.ini file you edit shows the Vista loader where XP is located as far as partitions in order to then see the ntldr XP loader take over when selecting XP from the boot screen.
ok...thanks for clearing that part up! :smile: I now understand that the entries in the MBR point back to the Vista bootloader...however, u lost me with the comment that the entry in the boot.ini shows the Vista bootloader where XP is located as far as partitions...i don't undestand whether u r saying that the boot.ini tells where the Vista bootloader is located in the MBR, or if u r saying that the boot.ini tells the Vista bootloader where XP is, in the actual partitions...in other words, the precise layout of the different sectors of the partition...me is confused! :huh:
You posted before I could even reply here to indicate that the new partition in the unoccupied space will offset the previous configurations. One thing to do prior to posting the next image would be labeling the partitions according to what is on each. The image here shows how things look on the drives here in order to indicate what sees what except for the first drive where ubuntu is seen where? Still trying to get that labeled while booted in Linux.
And how would i go about this "labeling" process? If only I could take a screenshot of what BootIT NG shows...it would probably help a lot! :wink:

Addendum:

If you can grab a good screen in GParted that would be even better since that will show which partition is NTFS, Fat, or VFat for Linux. The original mistake was not realizing that the first was a factory there I think throwing everybody off a little due to the unallocated space from seeing the Vista primary moved while you were using the other tool.

If the VIsta primary isn't hidden from XP you could even post a second image of what is seen in the XP DM there while not necessary but could add detail. But if the XP and Vista primaries still see ubuntu on the partition inbetween then you would be looking at the rdisk(0)partition(5) entry in the copy of the boot.ini file pointing to the 5th partition by a simple count.
Sorry about all the confusion...i understand what u guys' must be thinking by now! :lol: You're probably rolling ur eyes right now...

Anyway, about Gparted...my last screenshot of what was shown in Gparted was not enough? I'm pretty sure that it will be pretty much the same as before, only showing what was previously "unallocated space" as now a NTFS partition. I guess i'll just have to go ahead and do that then, though...

Additionally, the first partition (in both the MBR, and the actual disk) is no longer the same as before...it is now a 36MB Fat 16 partition for the EMBR (for BootIT NG), and as for the partition right after that (the one that was the RECOVERY partition), it is a blank partition...formatted as NTFS, and there's nothing on it.

The actual partition number (if u count from top to bottom, of course!:smile:) though for XP (not in the MBR though) is #6, not 5...
 
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#39
The mbr entry simply points at the boot loader for the default OS and where the boot loader for that is located at the very small space at the front of any drive. The copy of the boot.ini file on the other hand points out which partition has the actual XP installation on using the copies of the ntldr and ntdetect.com files to see XP load when selected.

For labeling while in Windows you would simply right click on the drive while in any explorer window or in the MyComputer to select properties and the general tab where you simply type in a name. The image here will show how that looks while in Vista. XP sees basically the same.



As far as the partition numbering that remains the same despite reformatting the original recovery partition to see that converted to a Fat volume and the second new one being NTFS there. The Fat is still partition #1 with the new NTFS seen as partition #2. VIsta is still the 3rd while labeling the MS partitions whether Fat or NTFS done probaby best in XP for the Fat volumes will clean things up a bit.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#40
You seem very confused Coolname, about how dual booting works. Talking about putting XP or boot.ini in the MBR etc ???!!!
I suggest you have a read of this excellent guide, so that you have a better understanding of exactly what you're trying to achieve.

(btw. IPL = Initial Program Loader I'm an ex-IBMer. We never said "boot the system" we always said "IPL it"