Trouble booting Vista Ultimate x64 after using GParted

msv

New Member
#1
tl;dr I've resized my Vista partition with GParted, afterwards booting up gave me a blinking cursor after POST - followed Using GParted to Resize Your Windows Vista Partition :: the How-To Geek and after that Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki among other guides, and nothing works. Now I have another Vista install on a new ntfs partition in the freed up space, but still booting won't work, blinking cursor after POST.


More detailed version -

Over the course of the evening/night I've read a lot of things about GParted and restoring Vista's BCD/mbr etc., sadly though nothing seems to work. I haven't been able to get any further than a blinking cursor for the past 10hrs.

This is my setup, ms-1013 laptop with 120gb HD, which WAS 1 NTFS partition. Now I wanted to make room (about 25gb) for a linux partition, so I could use it for my studies. I was told it was pretty much harmless, and after reading this, I decided I'd go for it and use GParted(since Vista's shrink wouldn't give me more than 10-15gb space) from a Sabayon 4 r2 lite LiveCD.

All well and good, I moved the ntfs partition to the left and shrank it by 24gb (more or less), which was a succes. Upon booting, the cursor was blinking (not the error mentioned in the article, mind), so I went to the aformentioned guide and restarded my laptop, now with the Vista CD in it. Booted it up, repaired and restarded, but alas, still a blinking cursor.

After looking for a while I came upon this nifty guide, from this site even. Since I had already tried steps 1, 2 and 3, it was time for the nuclear holocaust step. Followed the steps, but it didn't work. There was one discrepancy though - del C:\boot\BCD didn't work for me. I didn't mind it at first, but after this failed I checked and noticed that the BCD file was write protected, no matter what. cmd.exe's dir command would only even find it when I'd specifically used the /a:s attribute to search for it.

After some dicking around, I opened another instance of cmd.exe, this time from the C:\ partition (via notepad). I found that only this allowed me to delete the BCD file. Me glad that it was finally working, I tried the tutorial again. Well, you can guess it, it still didn't work. Nothing more than a blinking cursor.

Then I decided I'd had it, and went to install Vista in the remaining space, so I might use EasyBCD to do all the immensely tedious work of trying different BCD setups again again for me. With that installed, I assumed it would at least show me the selection screen and allowing me to select the correct Vista boot, but no. Again a blinking cursor.

That was about an hour ago, and I've tried to remove the BCD from the C:\ partition and all references to it. Doesn't work either. I've also set D:\ as the default. So I don't know where to look anymore, I can only imagine there being something wrong with my MBR if it won't even show the selection screen.

I'm really getting tired from this, and it seems I've somehow screwed things up. I'm hoping people here can shed some light on this situation of mine, because I can't afford to lose the information on the drives, and reinstalling would mean an even bigger hassle (I'd need to download a 15gb Office version from school servers @ a measly 100-200kbps, among other things).
 
#2
Hi msv, welcome to NST.
Sorry to hear about all the troubles you're having with Vista. :frowning:
How about posting a screenshot of Disk Management from your working Vista (with all the partitions correctly labeled of course, so we can tell what partition contains what), along with the output of the following commands run from EasyBCD's Power Console in the "Useful Utilities" section:

Code:
MbrFix /drive 0 listpartitions
bootpart
Also, if you have not already done so, try the latest [thread=642]beta release of EasyBCD[/thread] which has more features added to it, and see if you still have the same issues (I'm assuming you tried adding a new entry to the BCD with EasyBCD from the working Vista, already?).

Cheers.

Jake
 

msv

New Member
#3
Also, how do I get the Vista's boot sequence to completely ignore the first partition and only use the one I've just installed(so I might try EasyBCD)? Besides deleting C:'s BCD file / defaulting the BCD to D:? Would following the steps in Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki and referring it to D: work?

Addendum:

Hi msv, welcome to NST.
Sorry to hear about all the troubles you're having with Vista. :frowning:
Thanks :smile: Yeah, it's a bitch, I really didn't expect so much trouble out of this.

How about posting a screenshot of Disk Management from your working Vista (with all the partitions correctly labeled of course, so we can tell what partition contains what), along with the output of the following commands run from EasyBCD's Power Console in the "Useful Utilities" section:

Code:
MbrFix /drive 0 listpartitions
bootpart
Also, if you have not already done so, try the latest [thread=642]beta release of EasyBCD[/thread] which has more features added to it, and see if you still have the same issues.
Sadly, the new install won't boot up, same issue as with the first - blinking cursor after POST. I haven't tried following the exact steps from the NeoSmart guide yet (using D), but I have tried changing all the references in BCD from C: to D:, also tried removing C:'s BCD and doing a bootrec /rebuildBCD, but only on the 2nd partition, which didn't work.
 
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#4
When you recover the Vista bootloader (either from the DVD's Startup Repair or from EasyBCD), the Vista boot files recreated will automatically go to the "active" partition, which should also be seen as "system" in Disk Management. So if D: is "active", the boot files would be recreated to that partition. So if C: is currently "active" instead of D:, you will need to set D: as "active" instead so the recovered boot files go to the right place. :wink:

To set D: as "active", boot from the Vista DVD, go into the Command Prompt, and type:

Code:
diskpart
select disk 0
list volume
select volume x
active
where the "x" is replaced with whatever drive letter your D: partition is seen as from the CD. And then simply run Startup Repair 2-3 times afterwards, which will hopefully get at least your new install to boot. And then once you're in that install of Vista, you can simply use EasyBCD to add a new entry to boot the old Vista (assuming there's not a problem with the "winload.exe" file, that is, on the old Vista).
 
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msv

New Member
#5
When you recover the Vista bootloader (either from the DVD or from EasyBCD), the Vista boot files recreated will automatically go to the "active" partition, which should also be seen as "system" in Disk Management. So if D: is "active", the boot files would be recreated to that partition. So if C: is currently "active" instead of D:, you will need to set D: as "active" instead so the recovered boot files go to the right place. :wink:
Aha, I was under the impression they were both Active. (setting partition 1 to Inactive made /rebuildbcd inoperable :S).

I'll try it now, report back in a few.

****in A! Setting partition 2 to active did the trick, now I at least have a chance of booting into vista so I can try EasyBCD. I'll repair and boot and report the progress.
 
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#6
Aha, I was under the impression they were both Active.
No, there can only be one "active" partition at a time per hard drive. :wink: By setting a different partition to "active" then the one that is currently set to "active", you make the other one inactive at the same time. :smile:
BTW, you can also use Gparted (assuming you have the Gparted LiveCD) to set the partition to "active", but I figured the other option would be simpler for you since Linux (and its associated tools) don't use drive letters for partitions.

Addendum:

****in A! Setting partition 2 to active did the trick, now I at least have a chance of booting into vista so I can try EasyBCD. I'll repair and boot and report the progress.
Good. :smile: Let me/us (the us being for the future posters in this thread:brows:smile: know how it goes.
 
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msv

New Member
#7
Damn, all my KINDER CHOCOLATE melted, I left em next to the vent. This really can't get any worse :frowning:

On a sidenote, I've got the new install booting up! Wooh, thanks for that. Trying to boot up the old install gave me a BSOD.
 
#8
On a sidenote, I've got the new install booting up! Wooh, thanks for that. Trying to boot up the old install gave me a BSOD.
Aha...so now we're getting somewhere. :smile: Mind explaining in detail what the BSOD says, i.e. the exact text? It could help us figure out where the problem lies.
 

msv

New Member
#9
Aha...so now we're getting somewhere. :smile: Mind explaining in detail what the BSOD says, i.e. the exact text? It could help us figure out where the problem lies.
I don't remember right now, I'll check in a few. Twas something in the sense of 02x00000, one/two lines in the middle of the screen. Never seen it before.

EDIT: Got it now - It's
Code:
*** STOP: 0x00000079 (0x..zeroes..3, 0x..zeroes..B8, 0x..zeroes..6,0x..zeroes..)
EDIT2: I think the BCD is still missing from the C: drive though, maybe that has something to do with it? Or is it not used at all because the partition is inactive?
 
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#10
Ok, so it seems this particular error happens when ACPI firmware settings are changed. From this article, possible resolutions include:

• A Stop 0x79 message occurs when the system is using out-of-date Ntoskrnl.exe or Hal.dll files. This can occur after manual repairs that involve copying incorrect files to the system. This error also occurs when using mismatched files, such as copying a multiprocessor HAL on to a system using a single-processor kernel (or vice versa). The kernel and HAL files for single-processor and multiprocessor systems are stored on the Windows XP Professional operating system CD using two different file names. For example, the single and multi-processor versions of the kernel, named Ntoskrnl.exe and Ntkrnlmp.exe respectively. Setup copies either Ntoskrnl.exe or Ntkrnlmp.exe to your system as Ntoskrnl.exe. In Recovery Console, you can use the Copy command to copy the correct HAL or kernel files from the CD to the appropriate folder on the hard disk.

• If you experience Stop 0x79 messages after changing firmware settings, restore the original settings used during Windows XP Professional Setup.

Because systems that use the ACPI HAL ignore IRQ assignments stored in firmware, you can only manually change IRQ settings for non-ACPI (Standard PC HAL) systems. Some x86-based provide the option to toggle ACPI functionality. To disable or re-enable ACPI, you must change firmware settings and reinstall Windows XP. Because of the numerous registry and system file changes required, you must run Setup again (an upgrade installation does not work).
Addendum:

EDIT2: I think the BCD is still missing from the C: drive though, maybe that has something to do with it? Or is it not used at all because the partition is inactive?
If it is, it doesn't matter, because C: is no longer "active", and your Vista boot files (including the "BCD" and "bootmgr" files) now exist on the D: partition (if they didn't already, that is...). :wink:
 
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msv

New Member
#11
Ok, so it seems this particular error happens when ACPI firmware settings are changed. From this article
possible resolutions include:
Hmm. I've replaced the winload.exe with the one from the Vista CD (in one of my many futile efforts), haven't reset that yet. I'll try that as well. Could that be the cause?

If it is, it doesn't matter, because C: is no longer "active", and your Vista boot files (including the "BCD" and "bootmgr" files) now exist on the D: partition (if they didn't already, that is...). :wink:
Makes sense.

I've just noticed - the drive letter of the new install has been changed to C:, where it was D: beforehand. This probably happend after setting partition 2 to active, right? Now it's scaring me because the install was proceeding on D:, I hope it won't stick to D: and mess up my C: install (install isn't completely over).

I'm doing another startup repair btw, but it's taking a real long time now - 5-10 mins already, first time it's taken this long.

Meh, now it's probably confused by the drive letter change, rebooting will screw up my old install, and I'll be left to format and reinstall everything, damn Murphy's Law :x

EDIT: I'll clarify the "install isn't over part" bit, since I've left that out. After setting partition 2 to active, I booted the new install and it went on with the general installation. At the final step I got an error message saying there was something wrong with the bootup sequence (something in that sense, sorry but I can't remember, should've taken better notice, but I'm tired). I rebooted and the installation just gave me the same error. So then I booted the Vista CD and now I'm doing a Startup Repair. Still going right now, think it's about 20mins? I've done this about 20-30 times this evening, but it never took this long. The HD light is flickering though, so it must be searching, hmm.
 
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#12
I've just noticed - the drive letter of the new install has been changed to C:, where it was D: beforehand. This probably happend after setting partition 2 to active, right? Now it's scaring me because the install was proceeding on D:, I hope it won't stick to D: and mess up my C: install (install isn't completely over).

I'm doing another startup repair btw, but it's taking a real long time now - 5-10 mins already, first time it's taken this long.

Meh, now it's probably confused by the drive letter change, rebooting will screw up my old install, and I'll be left to format and reinstall everything, damn Murphy's Law :x
That is perfectly normal. :wink: Drive letters are not physically attached to the partitions, rather it is just something a booted system calls them...therefore, it is possible for drive letters to vary between OSes in a multiboot. The standard protocol, I believe, is to have the first primary partition that is "active" on the first disk called C: when it is booted, and the rest of the partitions something else, so it is no surprise your new install of Vista is calling itself C: now, since it is now "active" instead of the other partition.
Startup Repair doesn't rely on drive letters, either, so no problem there. What counts is the partition that has the "active" flag on it.

Addendum:

EDIT: I'll clarify the "install isn't over part" bit, since I've left that out. After setting partition 2 to active, I booted the new install and it went on with the general installation. At the final step I got an error message saying there was something wrong with the bootup sequence (something in that sense, sorry but I can't remember, should've taken better notice, but I'm tired). I rebooted and the installation just gave me the same error. So then I booted the Vista CD and now I'm doing a Startup Repair. Still going right now, think it's about 20mins? I've done this about 20-30 times this evening, but it never took this long. The HD light is flickering though, so it must be searching, hmm.
Hold on...are you saying the new install of Vista has not even finished being installed yet? :wtf: In the first post, you made it sound like it was already installed, just wasn't booting. And then in later posts, you pretty much clarified that...so what gives? Is the second Vista fully installed or not?
 
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msv

New Member
#13
That's a relief. Startup Repair is still "Searching for problems" as of yet. Any idea on when this would be unreasonably long?

Addendum:

Hold on...are you saying the new install of Vista has not even finished being installed yet? :wtf: In the first post, you made it sound like it was already installed, just wasn't booting.
The install from the CD was done, but the installation proceeds after booting from the HD. That part wasn't done yet (and still isn't completely I believe), because I couldn't boot into it. Could well be messing things up, maybe.

I should've installed over the incomplete install again after I was able to activate the 2nd partition. But after trying to boot, it was already too late, the install was going.
 
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#14
Try booting into your new install again, and this time note what the error message says (if you even get an error message this time around).
 

msv

New Member
#15
I will. Startup Repair is still searching though, I'm wondering if it's actually doing anything. I could cancel and reboot, or wait, but it seems to be hanging (although the HD light is still flickering).
 
#16
Wait until it completes, then try what I just suggested.
 

msv

New Member
#17
Wait until it completes, then try what I just suggested.
Cool. I'll report back when I reboot. Thanks for the help thus far, you're doing good my man :joy:

Addendum:

I left the Startup Repair running this night, but it's still not finished. How is that right? It must be hanging, no?
 
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#18
I left the Startup Repair running this night, but it's still not finished. How is that right? It must be hanging, no?
Ok, if its still not done by now, then that indicates a serious problem. :wink: What disk are you using? A reinstallation DVD that came with your computer, or our recovery disk? If the former, you may want to try downloading ours, burning to a CD with ImgBurn, and try using Startup Repair again. There may be a problem with your disk.

You will find our recovery disk here.

For now, just cancel Startup Repair, reboot, and try to boot normally (i.e. with the HDD first in the boot sequence in the BIOS, instead of the CD/DVD drive). And then if it throws you an error again, then post here what it says.

Jake
 

msv

New Member
#19
I'm using my Vista Ultimate install CD, it's not a recovery disk.

I cancelled the search already, then rebooted into the new installation, and I got the same problem >
The computer restarted unexpectedly or encounted an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install windows, click "OK" to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.
This isn't the same as the error I got the first few times I believe.

So I booted into the CD again, and it wouldn't find any errors for the boot of the new installation. Then I tried it on the old one (which might have been a mistake), and it did find errors. I let it repair, and tried to boot into the old install - didn't work. After that I booted into the CD again, and, for the 2nd time, checked for startup errors on the old install - it found errors and was repairing them. I took a while, but it finished.

Then I tried booting into the old install, which surprisingly worked. The files are there, but I think the links to paths are all borked up - since the drive is now E: instead of C:. Also, It logs me into a temporary login, seems those are borked too. I installed EasyBCD and I ran it, but then it crashed. It does that every time.

I also tried to switch the old install's partition to active again. But upon booting, I had the same exact error I had in the beginning - just a blinking cursor after POST. And the CD's Startup Repair doesn't find any errors. So it's exactly the same as I had before the new installation. I switched it back again. (This was before trying to install/run EasyBCD and after the old install was able to boot again).

I'm now booting into the Vista CD and thinking of trying to go along with the install again, since EasyBCD will probably work when I can now install it properly (without having to switch the active partition in the middle of the install). I just hope the old install isn't FUBAR'ed and EasyBCD will let me fix the first partition's boot.
 
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#20
I'm using my Vista Ultimate install CD, it's not a recovery disk.
FYI, our recovery disk is basically a trimmed-down Vista DVD, which contains Startup Repair. :wink:
I cancelled the search already, then rebooted into the new installation, and I got the same problem > This isn't the same as the error I got the first few times I believe.

So I booted into the CD again, and it wouldn't find any errors for the boot of the new installation. Then I tried it on the old one (which might have been a mistake), and it did find errors. I let it repair, and tried to boot into the old install - didn't work. After that I booted into the CD again, and, for the 2nd time, checked for startup errors on the old install - it found errors and was repairing them. I took a while, but it finished.

Then I tried booting into the old install, which surprisingly worked. The files are there, but I think the links to paths are all borked up - since the drive is now E: instead of C:. Also, It logs me into a temporary login, seems those are borked too. I installed EasyBCD and I ran it, but then it crashed. It does that every time.
Ok, so at this point, you should have left everything alone, seeing as you were now able to boot into your old install of Vista, which from my understanding, is what you were trying to do all along, and is the whole reason why you tried to install a second Vista. :wink: As for the partition no longer being seen as C, but being seen as E instead, that is due to the "active" partition being changed, so your new install's partition is now "active" instead of your old install's.
I also tried to switch the old install's partition to active again. But upon booting, I had the same exact error I had in the beginning - just a blinking cursor after POST.
Ok, so no surprise why that didn't work, seeing as that is what you were having troubles with to begin with, so obviously any Vista boot files on that partition must be corrupt, so that is why they don' t work. So now what you need to do is set the new install partition back to "active", and then you should be able to boot into your old install again.
I'm now booting into the Vista CD and thinking of trying to go along with the install again, since EasyBCD will probably work when I can now install it properly (without having to switch the active partition in the middle of the install). I just hope the old install isn't FUBAR'ed and EasyBCD will let me fix the first partition's boot.
The old install is ok, if you were able to fix the boot for that OS after 2 Startup Repairs. :wink: The reason it isn't booting currently is as I just stated...the wrong partition is currently set to "active" (i.e the old install's partition). To fix it, you will need to set the new install's partition to "active" again.

Jake
 
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