Vista and XP Dual Boot Trouble



My computer has been running XP Pro for a long time. I have 4 drives: two SATA and two IDE. Some of the drives have partitions as well.

I created a new partition on an IDE drive and installed Windows Vista Ultimate yesterday. I used a program to create a dual-boot configuration. It worked fine, until one of the Windows Updates choked everything up.

I went back to XP, reformatted the drive partition, then re-installed. Now, I can't boot to XP. Per the instructions of the Microsoft tech, I unplugged all of the drives other than the one I was installing Vista to. This resulted in different drive letters for the drives on Vista than in XP. I tried re-aligning them, but that didn't help.

I tried unplugging my Vista drive, and got the message "Bootmgr is missing". If I leave the Vista drive plugged in and boot up, and select the XP option, nothing happens for a second or two, then it restarts. I'm still able to get into Vista.

I don't know if the new bootloader for Vista has corrupted my XP boot, or if the plugging/unplugging of drives affected the boot.ini. One MS tech recommended bootsect /nt52, but I'm not sure what that does. I had this working originally, and now I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas? Many many thanks!
Well, you've gotten me further than MS support has in a day and a half.

I had been running EasyBCD 1.71...I installed 2.0 and in fact it got me to the next screen, where it asks which XP installation I want to run (I had another XP install on another drive as a backup). One on F: and one on E:. I tried F: -- nothing happened. Maybe I'm not patient enough, but I waited at least a minute, and nothing happened. I could still hit numlock and capslock, but other than that, it just sat there. I rebooted and tried E: -- same deal. I rebooted and tried Safe Mode -- again, nothing happened. The machine didn't lock, it just didn't seem to do anything at all.

Any ideas of what I can try next? It seems like I'm headed in the right direction! Can EasyBCD build me new Boot.ini files? Thanks so much for your help so far!
Did you delete and re-add the XP entry in the BCD ?
The auto-configure of the "add" function recreates boot.ini in the right place and copies the other XP boot files there too.
If that's not working, please post a screenshot of your disk management and copy paste the contents of the EasyBCD "display settings" and the boot.ini on the "system" partition.
There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: Windows Vista
Timeout: 5 seconds.
Boot Drive: F:\
Entry #1
Name: Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #2
BCD ID: {3551045e-7bd9-11de-aca6-001731151c58}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR

And the boot.ini (F: drive)
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="SATA Main" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Backup XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

As you can see, I had some extra installs and a messy boot.ini, one was a backup installed on another drive.

Many thanks again!!!!!


  • DiskMgmt.JPG
    146.2 KB · Views: 4
That's not a BCD entry created by auto-configure, nor the boot.ini it created.
The "system" partition (where all Windows boot files are) is C:\ (Vista).
That's the boot drive, not F: so that entry in the BCD saying that F is the boot drive is wrong.
Boot from your Vista DVD and do "repair your computer" "startup repair" a few times.
Then use Easy2 to remove the XP entry and add it again. Don't try to change the drive, EasyBCD knows where everything should be to make the boot function. Let it auto configure the XP entry.
Terry60 --

Problem solved. I didn't have any luck doing the Vista reinstall; however, I changed the drive option to BOOT in Easy 2.0 and it automagically recognized it.

Again, MANY thanks. You were able to describe in two lines what no one at Microsoft, over two days, was able to make clear. Their advice included wiping every drive and doing complete re-installs of Vista and XP...your advice took 5 minutes and actually worked. Cheers!