Vista Help Please!


Here is my dilema.

I have Vista Business installed on a machine that originally had an XP install. I think i did some kind of upgrade keeping the Windows XP install on one HD and installed Vista on another HD and had the system on dual boot for a while. Eventually i stuck with vista and never used XP anymore so yesterday i deleted the files on the XP drive. Now the system will not boot into vista. Obviously i have deleted something on the XP drive that vista was using but i don't know what or how to rectify the problem other than doing a new install which i am trying to avoid.

Any ideas?
Hi John, welcome to NST.
When you installed Vista, it found a Windows OS on the "system" partition of the 1st booted drive (XP) so it installed its boot files and folder there and the rest of the OS on your other disk.
You've now deleted the boot files with the consequences you have already discovered.
DON'T PANIC (in big friendly letters)
Make sure that the BIOS has your Vista HDD 1st in the HDD sequence (after floppy and CD if you have them)
Boot your Vista DVD, select "repair my computer" (bottom left), then "repair startup" from the next screen.
When it's finished, do it all again.
Vista might be capable of booting unaided at this time, or it might need a 3rd pass of the above.
(It only seems capable of fixing one thing at a time).
Hi Terry60

I did try the repair startup function and it never seemed to make any difference. When i click on "repair my computer" it comes up with a system recovery options window that should list drives, none are listed.
I click on next and then startup repair but like i said it does not seem to do anything.



Now it says bootmgr is missing which is a new message i have not had before, usually it says something else, i will keep trying.
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OK John, try disconnecting your 2nd HDD before you do the repair.
I have a SATA/IDE mix and a similar problem with me made Vista invisible till I removed the IDE disk. Then it was immediately found and fixed by the Auto-repair.
There's also been something similar reported by someone with 2 SATAs.
To avoid confusion, create a situation in which the disk you want the boot on is the only one attached until the repair completes.
Jobs a good un.

Terry, i cannot thank you enough. I did what you originally suggested over and over again and eventually the hard drive with the vista install on appeared and i was able to select it and then do the repair a couple more times. Then on reboot it just started as normal.

Its strange that you have to keep doing the restart repair over and over and it does not even mention anywhere that you have to do that.

It seems to be fixed now, thank you.


oops spoke too soon. it did boot to the user selection screen but with the vista dvd in the drive, when i took it out it failed.
Will try again.


OK without the Vista CD in the drive i get the following error message when trying to boot


With the Vista CD in it will boot as normal?

What do i need to do to correct this?
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It does actually say somewhere on one of the pages "you may need to do this more than once", but twice was enough for me, and 3 times has sometimes been quoted.
We did have one guy a few weeks back, for whom it took days !
Are you trying for his record ?
I can't think why it should take so many attempts unless it's failing to finish because of another error condition.
Each repair does give a log you can read to see if it thinks it was successful or not.
If you can at least boot with your DVD in the tray, life isn't too bad for the moment.
When you get into Vista (if it's only possible via the DVD), post a screenshot of your disk management and paste the output of the EasyBCD debug mode settings page.
We'll take a look and see if we can spot a cause.
Ok here is the EasyBCD debug mode settings page info

Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=D:
default {318be8ec-e4bd-11dd-9c9c-f0f2af863822}
displayorder {318be8ec-e4bd-11dd-9c9c-f0f2af863822}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {318be8ec-e4bd-11dd-9c9c-f0f2af863822}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Business (recovered)
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {2e4457f8-e483-11dd-afe0-806e6f6e6963}

and screenshot

Can you attach the screenshot (go advanced, and use the paper clip icon).
At the moment it's too small to read.
I can see that you're not rebuilding the boot files on C: with Vista, but on D: (whatever that is - I can't tell)
With a magnifying glass, I can see it's the disk 0
Did you set Vista 1st in the BIOS ?
If yes, disconnect D: temporarily while you repair the boot.
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I have 5 hard drives

4 SATA and an IDE i think


Drive D is the drive that used to have XP on it and i wiped that drive and started putting other files on there and using it for storage.

Drive C has the Vista/Windows Dir on it and it is the drive i want to boot from.
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Ok your bootmgr's still looking on drive d: for its files when your Vista install inside of Vista is on C:
Set your C: drive as active using disk management if it isn't already for the disk Vista is on.

From the command prompt:

bcdedit /set {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795} device partition=C:

Optional, but may help here would be to backup your data and delete the D: partition so there is no D: drive when you do the repair. Reboot with your vista dvd/recovery disc and do startup repair so the needed files are hopefully copied over to C: where they should be. Your entries from vista should really be indentified as {bootmgr} and {current}. Maybe it is just the debug view thats not showing it, but if Vista isn't calling these entries by these names than it usually isn't a good sign.
Both drives are already active Justin (they're all single partition disks)
It's finding the active flag whichever disk it looks at.
There's no need to delete the D:\ partition, just a temporary disconnect will do.
John, have you done what I said and put the Vista C: disk 1st in the BIOS ?
Your problem at the moment, is the "system" flag on the D:\ disk.
Repair will keep going there and trying to rebuild on that disk as long as it's the only "system" partition on the PC.
That's why I asked whether you've checked/changed the BIOS sequence yet.
If you'd completely formatted the D: disk, there shouldn't have been a system flag on it and the repair should have gone to the 1st HDD in the BIOS.
If you only deleted the files manually on D: without reformatting, the system flag would still be there and it's possible that the repair would go there anyway even if it's not 1st in the BIOS.
That's why I need to know what you've tried so far to diagnose the next step.
A certain method would be to disconnect D: before you repair so that it can't keep going back there.
I said that cause I thought D: was on the same disk at the time...
But yes, disconnect well do fine.
Another update.

I had put drive C as the first boot drive in the bios, or so I thought...

Turns out that drive C is one of a pair of identical drives (as far as i can see, I cannot tell the difference anyway) so in the bios I am not sure which one is which. Its the drive highlighted on this screenshot

I thought drive C was the drive with the 00YGA0 at the end of the number so I had that set to boot first in the bios.

I went through all the drives disabling them all and just leaving the drive C with Vista on and then i found out it was not the drive i thought it was.

I originally only deleted the files on drive D because i could not find a way to format it, the system would not let me.

At the moment i have all drives disabled apart from the C drive with Vista on. I cannot work out which drive this is in the bios so i don't know which to put first. I have tried both first and tried the Repair on startup function on both with no joy. It was also giving me another messaage that i had not seen before. It was asking if i had recently connected a device and if so to disconnect it?? or contact my system admin.
Drive C: will...
a) Be the first partition of the first device in the boot sequence in the BIOS
b) Be the first partition of the first device from which you boot from
OR in cases of Vista or later when there isnt an older copy of Windows involved
c) Be the letter of the system drive for the copy of Windows you have booted into

In regards to our instructions, they should be followed in accordance to how it appears from within Vista.
In this case your "system" disk is the only 200Gb, so it should be easy enough to temporarily disconnect it.
The BIOS should have the full serial of each disk I think, so you should be able to tell which of the 500's is the right one, but if not,don't worry.
If you've only got the Vista disk connected, then it's got to find that one first, and the BIOS should only be showing 1 disk anyway.
Did the repair work when you only had the Vista disk in the PC ?
Right, I managed to physically disconnect all the hard drives leaving the one 500gig drive with the Vista install on. I booted from the Vista DVD and did a repair and then it booted from the hard drive with no problems. I then connected all the drives back up and it booted fine, I then re-enabled them all again in computer management with no problems. End result, a working system!!!

Thank you to Terry60 and Kairozamorro for your help and suggestions, much appreciated.