Uncommonly Screwed Vista Dual Boot-Advice?

#1
Hi guys/gals, I have a tricky situation on my hands and could use some help.

Here's my setup:
-two hard disks; an 80GB IDE that I just managed to format and a 250GB SATA with Vista, completely intact, but inaccessible
-I have an XP Pro and a Windows 7 recovery disk to boot from

Here's what happened:
I had WIndows 7 (80GB drive) and Windows Vista set in a harmonious dual boot scenario. It worked wonderfully, until I got nostalgic and tried to install XP on the 80GB drive. Unfortunately, my XP disc had some physical damage, and a number of integral system files were unable to copy. I.E. the XP install failed midway.

As I am now terribly familiar, the Vista bootloader is different than that of XP, and now my Vista install does not show up. Further exacerbating the situation, if I start my computer with my Vista drive connected, the keyboard locks, I cannot boot into CDs (even though I set it as first boot priority in BIOS) and I get an error message saying there was a "disc read error."

So I booted into the windows 7 recovery disc and formatted the drive with the failed XP install. My line of thinking was that, with the failed install cleared from the drive, I could reinstall XP, boot into that, and get to my vista drive from there.

No such luck: when I try to boot the XP disc with just the 80GB connected, I get "Error: b0"
If I try to boot XP with the 250 connected, I get a different disc read error.

Essentially, I have a blank hard drive (though something seems to be wrong) and a Windows 7 recovery disc to work with. Is there any way I can use the Windows 7 command line to sort out this bootloader business? I CANNOT format my vista drive, much of the data on it is not backed up.

I want to either
-get rid of the vista bootloader entirely OR
-restore the vista bootloader

Any advice??? I assure you, it's much appreciated.

-lawrence
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Hello Lawrence, welcome to NST

IDE/SATA mixes should be avoided. Since you have a decent size SATA drive, just have the SATA connected. You can always use Vista's disk management to shrink Vista's partition and make room for XP and W7 if you want XP and/or W7 on the computer as well. If the SATA drive won't boot on its own now, boot from the Vista DVD with only the SATA drive connected to perform startup repair. Remember that even if the CD-rom is first in the boot sequence you still must press a key when it tells you to in order to actually boot from the disc. Otherwise, it'll just go on to read from the hard drive.
 
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