Vista won't boot anymore in a dual boot with XP

dsa44

New Member
#1
Here is the situation. I have a HP laptop with 2 hard drives. The first hard drive with Vista Home Premium preinstalled is on C: and there is a hidden partition D: which has the HP reinstall volume.

I added a second hard drive containing the XP installation and used EasyBCD to create the dual-boot. It has been working just fine for a couple of years until yesterday when the boot failed. The bluish "aurora borealis"-like vista splash screen pops up briefly, then nothing but black screen although mouse pointer still works.

After many reboots and chkdsk, I can now boot into the XP installation just fine, and can see the Vista disk just fine from XP. (Not a hardware issue).

Can't boot into Vista. I have tried the Vista startup repair options, which at first found errors and "repaired" them. Still won't boot.

When I run the startup repair option again, it does not find any more errors.

I cannot get into vista safe mode.

I cannot do a system restore (none found).

From the startup recovery options...command prompt, I ran bootrec /scanos, and it did not find a vista entry.

I would like to "repair" vista and keep all programs and data intact without having to do a clean install.

What if I used the vista install dvd (actually a "anytime vista upgrade" dvd) and clicked the "upgrade" option? Would it see the current vista installation and install over it with everything intact, or would it do a clean install? Any other options to try to repair the vista boot? What if I tried to rebuild the BCD? Would it ruin the entry made by EasyBCD and trash my ability to boot into XP which I can do just fine?
Thanks, DSA
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Upgrading won't fix a broken OS. You said you ran chkdsk. Was this done on the Vista disk? In order for startup repair to find Vista its disk usually has to be first. Is Vista's disk first in the boot order in your BIOS?

Your issue actually sounds more like the KSOD problem. This and/or this might help fix that.
 

dsa44

New Member
#3
Those links didn't help.....

Upgrading won't fix a broken OS. You said you ran chkdsk. Was this done on the Vista disk? In order for startup repair to find Vista its disk usually has to be first. Is Vista's disk first in the boot order in your BIOS?

Your issue actually sounds more like the KSOD problem. This and/or this might help fix that.
By "Upgrading", I was hoping it would be like a repair install as in the old XP days. I would upgrade vista over itself, and since it would think it was an upgrade, it would keep data intact.

Vista is on the boot C: drive. I ran chkdsk directly from the command prompt after booting from the vista dvd.

The first link you had suggested was not applicable, as my registry already had the correct settings.

The second link was encouraging, but when I tried the sticky key trick at the black screen, all it would do was beep at me. I could not see the sticky key box at all.

Any other thoughts?
Thanks
 
#4
Backup

you can try to backup any sensitive information from the vista drive if you can boot into xp
and the just upgrade or reinstall if you cannot find any solution.
 

dsa44

New Member
#5
you can try to backup any sensitive information from the vista drive if you can boot into xp
and the just upgrade or reinstall if you cannot find any solution.
Yes, I have already booted into XP and backed up all important data. Since it is a Western Digital drive, I am running their "lifeguard" program to seek for and repair any issues before I have to reinstall vista.

I am assuming that once I reinstall vista on the boot C: drive, it will wipe out the current BCD info created for the dual boot, and I won't be able to boot into XP. I would then need to run EasyBCD again from the new Vista and recreate the dual boot. Hopefully, it will still see my XP install??
Thanks
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
The Vista install should dual boot with your existing XP automatically.
Even if it doesn't, EasyBCD 2.0 will add the XP entry and auto-configure it for you in a matter of seconds.
 

dsa44

New Member
#7
The Vista install should dual boot with your existing XP automatically.
Even if it doesn't, EasyBCD 2.0 will add the XP entry and auto-configure it for you in a matter of seconds.
Here is my worry... the boot c: drive which contains the vista install and HP's hidden partition shows non-repairable errors with Western Digitals Lifeguard tools and I think I must replace the drive completely.
So I will replace it with a blank unformatted drive, which will not contain any boot files, such as the hidden "boot" folder, ntldr file, boot.ini, etc.
The remaining drive will still have the XP install, but I don't think it will boot, as the boot info, as I understand it, lies on the corrupt C drive which is being removed.
I plan on installing either Vista with the HP-provided recovery disks or trying Win7.
Since they both seem to use the same boot mgr, I thing it would be a similar process. But how would I get the dual boot to function again with XP? Do I need to salvage some hidden XP boot files to transfer to the new C drive after the Win7/Vista install? I can't afford to reinstall XP as well, too many programs and settings to configure.
Thanks, DSA
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
EasyBCD will do anything needed, for you.
Don't worry. If the XP install is good, EasyBCD 2 will find it and set up everything needed to boot it.
 

dsa44

New Member
#9
EasyBCD will do anything needed, for you.
Don't worry. If the XP install is good, EasyBCD 2 will find it and set up everything needed to boot it.
Great....as soon as the new drive arrives, I will clean install Win7 (or Vista), install EasyBCD 2, and let it find the good install of XP. I will post the results. In the meantime, I may play around this weekend with low-level formatting the corrupted drive with bad sectors to see if I can make it live again...muhaha!
Thanks, DSA
 
#11
All is not ok

Well, I wish I could say it all went uneventful. Here is the scoop.
New hard disk install as primary 1st disk c:
Clean install of Win7 on new drive and installed drivers...ok so far so good.
Win7 working nicely.
Used EasyBCD to create the dual boot with XP on secondary drive. EasyBCD found it ok and created the boot info.
Rebooted and got the boot menu....great! Went into XP and seemed ok.
Rebooted back into Win7...again so far so good but the restore points I created are gone. A known problem for which I planned on using Vista Hide n Seek later.
Rebooted again.....uh oh. Chkdsk said the XP drive needed to be checked, so I let it. Then over the next 3 hours it went thru all the files with something like "Replacing invalid security id with default security ID". It must have gone thru hundreds of thousands of files on my XP drive.
When I woke up in morning, it was at the Win7 login, and logged in ok.
I thought I would now try the Vista HNS, but when I ran ui.exe, it complained that it could not find a Vista anywhere on machine. I even tried running it as adminstrator. I thought this would work with Win7 as well.
Rebooted back into XP, and now the start menu and taskbar are missing. Not hidden, but missing. The keyboard start button or cntl-esc do not work. Other icons on desktop seem to function.
Should I try a repair install on XP now?
Thanks for reading my long post and taking an interest.
DSA
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
As for XP, should be fine. Do Win+R and type in explorer.exe followed by enter. That bring up your taskbar?

As for restore protection, try this method first. If it doesn't work we'll instruct you on using HnS with a W7 system.
 
#13
Windows key + R brings up run box and explorer.exe simply opens "My Documents" folder. I can navigate the folder, but still no task bar or start button or start menu. I think there is something fubar in xp now.

If I try a repair install, it will probably mess up the dual boot? If I can successfully repair XP, I would guess I would boot back into XP, and run EasyBCD from there to create the boot loader for the Win7 install.

Thanks, DSA
 
#15
Unfortunately, both the start button and taskbar are missing. The windows key does not function. Cntl-Esc does not bring up the start menu either.
However, I am able to bring up the control panel and under Performance and Maintenance, I hit system restore and get error message....:"System Restore is not able to protect your computer. Please restart your computer and run System restore again." (Of course restarting does nothing for this).
Can't think of anything else to try other than attempt a repair install, unless you have any other suggestions.
Thanks, DSA
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#16
To launch system restore from run type rstrui.exe followed by enter.

Addendum:

Ok, reboot and after selecting XP hit F8 > Safe Mode. Attempt system restore from there.
 
Last edited:
#17
To launch system restore from run type rstrui.exe followed by enter.

Addendum:

Ok, reboot and after selecting XP hit F8 > Safe Mode. Attempt system restore from there.
No luck. Firstly, run dialog box can't find rstrui.exe. I found it manually in system32/restore folder, but when executed, gives same error message ..."not able to protect your computer. Please restart"
Second, when I enter safe mode, it asks if I would prefer to run system restore....Great, I thought!, but no, gives same message about not being able to restore and try a reboot, same as I posted in last message. I think this is install is hosed. Is there any other way to try to force a restore?
Again, thanks for your time
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
Ok, XP repair install is best short of re-installing. You can easily put W7 back in charge with EasyBCD > Bootloader Setup > Re-install Vista/7 bootloader to the MBR > Write MBR.
 
#19
Thanks for all your help, but I have about had it with this system.

I attempted a repair install of xp only to get the error during the install of "setup cannot copy the file: driver.cab" I tried at least 6 different xp cds. I don't think it is my cdrom drive, as I just installed Win7. I am about to give up.

The only thing I can think of to help salvage the xp install is to copy the i386 folder off the cd to the hdd, create a dos boot cd and boot from that, and hope I can then find my D: drive and run setup from there.
Fortunately Win7 can still see my XP disk and I can get the data off, Just a pain to reconfigure it all.
Regards again, DSA