Vista Bootloader not present

#1
Ok, this is a bit of a long story so please bear with me. This is my situation:

I attempted to install Vista Ultimate x64 but couldn't find any way to bypass an error during the install process. After selecting language and keyboard settings I would be greeted with a message stating "Required CD/DVD driver is missing". I couldn't locate any drivers for DVD drives so I loaded the drivers for my SATA controllers with no luck. That was followed by "No new devices were found".

I currently have XP Professional x86 and x64 installed on separate partitions of the same drive. My solution to bypass the missing driver was to install Vista in VMWare and make an image of the disk, then apply that image to the partition that I've made for the installation. After applying the image to the partition when I reboot I'm still being directed to the XP bootloader.

My theory is that when applying the image to the partition, the fact that I chose to re-write only the data on the drive and not the MBR and track 0 is the reason for not seeing Vista's bootloader. I attempted to add the entry for Vista with BCD which is installed on XP x86 but still no luck.

First I would like to know what is the typical process for creating a Vista loader entry with BCD. I'm a BCD novice and thinking that I may just be forgetting a key element of the configuration.

If that doesn't pan out my plan is to re-apply the Vista image to the same partition, but include the option to re-write the MBR and track 0. How would I go about adding both XP installations to the bootloader for Vista after writing over them? Or will the Vista loader recognize both OS's by default even after having the MBR over-written? I'd really like to figure this boot issue out before loading my next OS which will be either Fedora or Ubuntu, if not both.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Well you could re-apply the image with the mbr, but that might mess up your partition table and cause you to lose XP and the other partitions. Your OEM's website should have a driver for your model. If it works just fine with XP's disc it should have worked fine with Vista's seeing how it is newer and should have better support, but I can't tell without knowing/seeing the disc drive's model and manufactuer.

Even though you're getting the error on install, try repairing the Vista bootloader (the simplest way to fix the problem at this point if it works). Instead of clicking "Install Now" at the welcome screen, click the "Repair my computer" link in the bottom lefthand corner, select your installation, and then select Startup Repair from the recovery options menu that appears after continuing.

Then you'll need to use EasyBCD to add an entry for XP, which should work, but if not post back with you're disk management screenshot and boot.ini file.
 
#3
I attempted re-writing just the mbr on the J: partition, where vista is installed, but had no effect (aside from assigning new letters to a handful of partitions). I still got the XP loader. I'm not worried about losing any of the XP installations since I have recent images for those as well. I've learned the hard way that it's not just smart to have a regular backup routine, but also very convenient in the event something goes horribly wrong.

I searched Samsung's site and placed a call to their support department which is entirely useless as I expected. Their reply was, "we are a hardware manufacturer, we don't provide drivers for our products". Which makes me wonder why they pay for a tech support department when no support is provided for what is seemingly a simple fix.
I did update the firmware for the drive but that also had no effect. The model is SH-S203B and the firmware version is SB04 if that is any help.

My next theory is that I should have over-written the mbr on the C: partition where XP x86 is installed. If that fails also I'll attempt to use the repair feature on the disc.

Update: Booted to installation disc, opened the repair options and it after searching it automatically repaired a problem. It said it replaced an incorrect identifier and rebooted. Went back into the repair options and tried to use the startup repair but when I clicked nothing happened. All other options seemed to work just fine. But, startup repair had no response when clicked. Even after the repair I'm still going directly to the XP loader. I'll post the screens in a separate reply.

Addendum:



 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Rick, partitions don't have an MBR.
The MBR is a separate section in front of all the partitions (effectively a dedicated partition 0, which is why Windows starts counting the real partitions at 1)
Each partition then has a boot sector at the front.
Have a read of this nice guide for a much more detailed explanation.
What you need to achieve is a replacement of the XP IPL in the MBR with Vista's version. This will then go to the boot sector of the active partition and look for bootmgr instead of NTLDR.
The wiki has a section on repairing the Vista Bootloader, which booting the recovery disk should have done automatically for you. I don't know why it didn't work (maybe something to do with Vista on a logical disk, I have no experience of that !), but there's a manual procedure using EasyBCD detailed as well.
Have a good read of the 1st link so you have a full understanding of what you're trying to do, and the wiki instructions should then be easier to interpret.
 
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#5
Under normal circumstances I would've remembered that it's the drive and not the partition that relates to the MBR but at 4 AM after spending a week trying to figure this out my brain doesn't function properly.

The install disc said that a successful recovery was made but I was still directed to the XP loader, not sure why. Most likely has something to do with the fact that the image I used had to be created in a virtual machine because it refuses to install any other way. When I went into the repair options and clicked Startup Repair nothing happened. All other options functioned fine.

I'll have to attempt the BCD resetting later, I'm currently in repair mode with one of my XP partitions after some experimenting this morning. I appreciate the help folks, thanx a bunch. I do see one recommendation that I haven't yet tried with BCD. I'll just have to hope for the best, luckily I'm already prepared for the worst.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
Is xp's disk first in the boot sequence? The repair might have worked, but only on Vista's drive. If so, make Vista's drive first in the boot sequence in the bios and see if it'll boot Vista straightaway.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
Did you try step four from our wiki on repairing the vista bootloader.... the oh my i'm desperate method from Terry's link?
 
#9
That is what I'm attempting now, having trouble with step one of that though. Not sure which letter the optical drive is using. When command prompt starts it begins at X:\sources. Thought X: would be the DVD drive but apparently not. I'm going with plan B and using the Recovery Disc torrent I've just downloaded.

Update: I abandoned the command prompt method and used the recovery disc torrent. Startup Repair did open with this disc and the first attempt claimed to make a successful repair with no errors. I did get Vista to load for a fraction of a second and that was followed by the lovely sight of a BSOD. Couldn't catch the error code there because it immediately rebooted when this happened. I attempted two more repairs and they weren't successful. I did copy the list of "Problem Signatures" from the results of that. Hopefully google will have answer, I won't hold my breath for MS providing a solution for those.

Problem Signatures:
1. external media
2. 6.0.6001.18000.6.0.6001.18000
3. 2 (first repair), 3 (second repair)
4. 131074 (1st), 262148 (2nd)
5. NoRootCause
6. Missing Boot Manager
7. 0
8. 1
9. WrpRepair
10. 0
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1033
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
X: is always the DVD you have booted from. So yes, it starts in the DVD's sources directory. If theres a command/other file you need from elsewhere use cd /d <drive>:\<path>
 
#11
When I tried cd \boot it said the path couldn't be found. I typed the full command for the first step and it said the command wasn't recognized.

Thanks for all the help guys but I found a solution and am now in Vista making this reply and have installed EasyBCD and added XP's bootloader successfully. I ended up abandoning the image from the virtual machine. Couldn't figure out a way around the BSOD since my eyes aren't fast enough to catch the error code.

Instead I made a second attempt at the "flat installation" method. Which is as simple as creating a partition for vista, creating a folder labeled "windows vista setup", and copying the contents of the install disc to that folder. Run setup.exe from there and all worked out perfectly. I made sure to make an image as soon as all systems said go.

Surprisingly I haven't ran into any kinks in terms of software compatibility or errors in my general operation, which goes only slightly beyond the average user. But I have heard gripes about vista's difficulty with of some of my daily tasks in XP.

PS - Anyone know what is a decent score on the "Windows Experience Index"? Mine shown 4.8 initially but after a reboot was bumped up to 5.0. Where does that rank? Average?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
The Windows score thing doesn't matter.... just some big idea to get PC users worried enough to go invest in expensive new hardware. If the computer is working as it should that is all that really matters.

To change to c:\boot from X:\sources you would use: cd /d c:\boot, not cd \boot. The /d switch is thrown in to specify you want to switch to a different disk/partition (drive) and C: must be in before \boot to tell it which drive you are referring to. In other words, it's not like linux where no drive letters are involved. But anyway, the important thing is that you fixed the problem and i'm glad you got it working. Welcome btw :smile:. Feel free to post if you have any other questions.
 
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