Vista boot loader on first sector of partition?


Active Member
WELL, I have been messing around trying to get this system booting with a whole bunch of operating systems, and I think I have finally found a solution... NOW, the only problem that I am having is that I need to just boot everything from the boot.ini to I want to AVOID having the vista bootloader take over my system.

I dont currently have vista installed on the system, but I am looking to install vista and NOT install the vista bootloader on the MBR... is there a way to do this?

Say I already have vista on the MBR, is there a way to "copy" it to the partition that I want to boot vista from?

I hope the question is clear, but if I need clarification, let me know :smile:
Vista will not boot without its bootloader. So what you want is impossible. Vista does not recognize the boot.ini file and adding Vista to it wont do anything.
Vista will not boot without its bootloader. So what you want is impossible. Vista does not recognize the boot.ini file and adding Vista to it wont do anything.

I know that just adding a simple entry for vista in the boot.ini will not work... HOWEVER, there must be a way to trigger the vista boot loader from the boot.ini... I want the system to start from the boot.ini, but its fine if VISTA (and vista only) starts from the vista boot loader.

As for the other thing, is there a way to just locally install vista on a partition without it affecting the MBR or any other partitions on the system?

My current set-up is:

Partition 1 - Primary Partition (FAT32) With DOS
Partition 2 - Primary Partition (NTFS) with windows XP
Partition 3 - Primary Partition (NTFS) with NOTHING on it... want to add vista here
Partition 4 - Primary Partition (ext3) with Red Hat Linux on it

Right now I boot all 3 operating systems from the boot.ini and I want to get vista in there too. The reason I have all the primary partitions is because I wanted to have the cleanest possible drive structure because I use a duplicator machine to copy these drives quite often, and found that when I had all the stupid extended partitions created by vista and XP that the duplicator was not able to properly copy the drives...

I can try to get this set-up using the vista bootloader, but dont know if I will be able to get it going. I will try to just pop vista on this drive, but not too sure how things are going to work out. Hopefully vista wont add stupid extended partitions or anything like that on the drive...

SO... any other suggestions for what I could do?!?
The only thing you can do is have the Vista boot loader with the option to choose legacy windows. From there it will select the boot.ini and give you the options with the other 3. There is no way to trick the bcd to been seen in the boot.ini nor is there anyway to get around this.

Easiest thing is to add these entries to the BCD and use the Vista bootloader. EasyBCD can help with the XP and Linux. Not sure about the DOS though. That you might have to add manually. Sorry to say it but that is the only real answer. Vista is real picky in this aspect and there isnt any trick to make it been seen at all in the boot.ini.
Yep, Mak is right - you cannot install the Vista Bootloader to the bootsector, you must have it in the MBR.

Anyway, what's so bad about having the Vista bootloader in the MBR?
Yeah! All the hard work i have put into learning Vista and everything abou tit, along with the coding that i am trying to teach myself, is finally starting to pay off.:brows:

At least i do know what i am talking about for the most part. Feels good to be right about something.:??
lol - you really don't give yourself the credit you deserve, Mak. You're not an MVP for no reason, you know!
Hahaha, having a little "moment" up there now are we... :tongueout:

Anyways, the reason I dont want to have the BCD in the MBR is because I am using partition magic and Acronis Disk Director to set up the partitions, and what I am trying to do now is just have 4 primary partitions and have all the operating systems boot from that.

When I install vista to the MBR, it starts to register all these problems with the hard drive structure in Partition Magic (Even though everything works) so I am wondering if maybe this is the cause that is not letting the drives be duplicated properly...
The only other option i know of is to use your BIOS and the F12 key to choose your OS. That is if you BIOS allows for you to use it as a boot selector. That way you could leave the boot.ini alone and then use the F12 function to choose Vista. but i dont think you can then use all your HDD space among all drives.

I have noticed that Partition Magic does give issues with Vista. The way i got around it was after i booted into Vista i unlocked the hidden Administrator account and everything worked fine now. That could be a option for you as well.
Partition Magic is "deadware."

TBH, I don't even see why you need it if you are using Disk Director as well... PM hasn't been updated since ~2000 or so (no thanks to you, Norton!!!), and is incompatible with the new (slightly modified) NTFS version that ships with Vista.

I'm running 4 primary partitions on one of my PCs here, and Vista set to the bootloader/MBR, and it all works great. I'm also using Disk Director, too.... It's a good program.
Well i used PM as a last resort sicne Acronis had not come out with the new software around the time of Vista's relese. So i had to use it to create a new partition.

Like i said the hidden admin account has no problem accessing these partitions it is just teh account created when you install Vista that does. If you unlock the Hidden admin account you wont have to worry about this.

If you wish to do that..

Remember that cute "Administrator" account you see when you login to safe mode? That's the built-in administrator account that's installed by default, and disabled by default too, after a little digging-in I made this tutorial that'll let you enable and use this account in normal mode, and with a little other tweak, enjoying an XP-like administrator experience, while UAC is left ON (or off, it doesn't matter), but with no prompts or right clicks.

For Windows Vista Ultimate/Business/Enterprise:

1- Click Start, and type "secpol.msc" in the search area and click Enter. (You may receive a prompt from UAC, approve/login and proceed)
2- In the left list, choose "Local Policies", then "Security Options"
3- Set "Accounts: Administrator account status" to Enabled.
4- Set "User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account" to Disabled.

For Windows Vista Home Basic/Home Premium:

1- Click Start, and type "cmd" in the search area, right click on "Command Prompt" and select 'Run as Administrator".

2- In the command prompt type "net users Administrator /active'" (Note the capital "A" in Administrator) and press Enter, you will get a confirmation as "The command completed successfully".

3- Click Start, and type "regedit" in the search area and click Enter, navigate to: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Policies\System]
Double click on "FilterAdministratorToken" and set it to "0"


Now log-off, and you'll see new account named "Administrator" is available, click on it to login.

Now you are the master of your domain! I recommend if you're going to use this method is to apply it as soon as you do a fresh install of Windows, so you can simply delete whatever administrator you've created in the setup process, and make this one the "real" administrator for your PC, also you can rename this new admin account or change its password like any other account from "User Accounts" in the Control Panel.

A last note: Please apply this procedures only if you know what you're doing. Disabling security features in the operating system is not something recommended to the average Joe, and for sure I won't be held accountable for any damaging happens to your system or files resulting from running a full administrator account all the time.
the reason the I went to use PM was just to just make sure that there werent any logical partitions inside other logical partitions... I knwo if I just go and install the operating systems from Dos, to XP to vista then by the time vista is installed it will be put in a logical partition of the logical partition that XP is in... I thought that maybe this is why the duplicator wasnt workthing, and thus the reason I am trying to set up this drive again...

Maybe I should contact the manufacturer of the duplicator and be like "WTF, this thing is a piece of crap" because I am pretty sure that if this drive wont duplicate properly, then nothing will :smile:

Thanks for the help, and that tutorial for how to get admin account could be very helpful!

Now, do you know of any way to Disable the Vista DRM... I dont know much about it (or even what it is) but Its apparently causing some problems with some software that im trying to run...
Vista DRM is basically nothing. It is more hardware based then software. Unless you are talking about the UAC (User Account Control). Which in that cause just go to the Control Panel>User Accoutns and turn it off. Simple as that.
Yeah, stupid Slashdot-minded people accusing Microsoft of adding DRM all over Vista - in reality, it's just a single technology that isn't even worth mentioning (TPM integration into the OS) since it can't even be used if you disable TPM from the motherboard.