Vista Boots, but XP won't

I think that I have setup EasyBCD correctly and all of the required files are present for booting XP ok (boot.ini, NTDETECT and ntldr), but when I choose XP from the boot menu, the machine reboots and returns to the boot menu. If I choose Vista, it boots fine.

My boot.ini file is as follows:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=AlwaysOff
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer

I have looked through some other forum entries, but I am not sure whether mine is correct or not. This is the EasyBCD debug entry if it helps:

Windows Boot Manager
identifier              {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device                  partition=C:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default                 {eb34b48c-5e71-11dc-9706-e2ff4d007788}
resumeobject            {eb34b48d-5e71-11dc-9706-e2ff4d007788}
displayorder            {eb34b48c-5e71-11dc-9706-e2ff4d007788}
toolsdisplayorder       {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout                 30
Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {eb34b48c-5e71-11dc-9706-e2ff4d007788}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Microsoft Windows Vista
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {eb34b48d-5e71-11dc-9706-e2ff4d007788}
nx                      OptIn
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier              {8c2981a1-832c-11dc-b9b0-0015f2250448}
device                  partition=D:
path                    \NTLDR
description             Microsoft Windows XP
Are you able to point me in the right direction?

Many thanks:lol:


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Giffer, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

As it says in our Windows XP dual-boot documentation (Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki), the Windows XP entry needs to point to drive C:\, and that's where NTLDR and NTDETECT need to be.
Thanks for your reply.

I copied those files onto drive C (which is the Vista drive) and pointed XP to drive C in EasyBCD. I then rebooted and chose XP, which then said "invalid boot.ini file" and then the next screen said the following file was missing or damaged:

<windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

This file appears in both the XP and Vista System32 directories.

Any ideas



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
As it says in the documentation, you need to update your boot.ini to point to the right drive.
It's pointing to the wrong drive ATM.