Vista XP dual boot chicken and egg problem


New Member
Chicken and egg problem:

1. New laptop with Vista installed, worked fine, printer drivers, network and internet access, etc. NO Vista CD available (this is important).
2. Partition drive.
3. Installed XP OEM Version purshased from Amazon. Have CD. Only later did I realize the OEM version has no network or printer drivers.
4. XP is now the default boot. XP cannot "see" SATA mode controller, and therefore cannot see the partition to boot. On startup, edited Setup and changed from AHCI to "Compatible" (whatever that means).
5. XP now boots, but with no network connectivity i.e. useless.
6. Installed dotnet1.1 from XP in the hope of installing EasyBCD.
7. I edited the boot.ini file in the C drive and added two lines for Vista, one with partition(3) other with partition(4). Three OS choices now appear. Selecting Vista with partition(4) boots XP, selecting Vista with partition(3) generates an error message: <windows root>\System32\hal.dll is missing or corrupt. It isn't missing or corrupt, I can see it and it bitcomps just fine with my other Vista machine. This could be due to Step 4 above.

1. I basically have a useless laptop, on account of my boneheaded assumption that XP would come with the appropriate drivers. The manufacturer is no help i.e. we don't support XP on that model.
2. Forget the dual boot idea, I'll be happy if I can get Vista up and running (and who would have ever thought that :smile:
3. Resources: (3a) only dotnet1.1 (3b) no network on this laptop, all software will have to be put on a CD and installed/copied.

Given those (admittedly tight constraints) any suggestions on how I can get this laptop back to booting with Vista? I don't care if I delete XP since its useless to me anyway without any drivers.

(1) What version of EasyBCD will work with dotnet1.1 and fix Vista?
(2) can this be installed/downloaded on computer A, copied onto a CD, and transferred to computer B?

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New Member

First you should get hold of your master cd,s from you manufacturer if they did not provide them with the laptop.They will charge you after warrenty runs out around £50
these discs or dvd will be needed at a later date if you want to clean install (out of box) but i understad are no good for repair (vistape)
borrow, beg a friends vista disc and do a start up repair
If you can get iternet access I googled "Vista_Recovery_Disc" and got an iso that will boot as far as repair but lacks the files to install its onnly 120mb so fits on a cd
Read the moderators sticky , Xp uses ntldr, boot ini in boot sequece vista uses bootmgr, boot loader. so adding vista in boot.ini will not boot vista
good luck
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Hi nik. Welcome to NST.
The problem you're having currently is because XP's IPL is in the MBR, and not Vista's. :wink: To fix this, will need to use Startup Repair 2-3 times from our Recovery CD ( found here >> Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download The NeoSmart Files ) to put Vista's back into the MBR instead. Next, once you're in Vista, use EasyBCD from there to add an entry for XP in your Vista boot menu (after first copying over the XP boot files, boot.ini, ntldr, and and placing them in the root of the "system" partition, as shown in Disk Management). Use EasyBCD [thread=642]2.0 Beta, Build 53[/thread] though, as it has an automatic boot.ini configurator built-in to make the process simpler. :smile: