Vista/XP dual boot

#1
Bought an HP laptop with Vista 64bit preinstalled. Most of the programs I need to use on a daily basis will not currently work with Vista so (after imaging Vista) I did a clean install of XP. After finally getting all the drivers going and XP running the way I want, I would prefer not to go through that again.

My computer has two 100gb hard drives.
If possible, I would like to reserve the second hard drive for files.
I would like to partition the first hard drive and have Vista on one partion and XP on the other with a dual boot setup that defaults to XP.

I am capable of partitioning and imaging (via Acronis) just fine, but can't seem to get a dual boot working.

Step by step help would be greatly appreciated.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
1. Resize XP partition and create a new Vista partition (primary, NTFS) after it in Acronis.
2. Restore the image to the Vista partition
3. Install EasyBCD on XP.
4. Run EasyBCD in XP -> Diagnostics -> Recreate BCD Files.
Select the letter of the XP drive when it asks for the boot drive letter, then select the letter of the Vista drive (as XP sees it) when it asks for the Vista partition.
5. Add an XP entry in the Add/Remove Entries -> Windows section of EasyBCD

Good luck.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Topic moved
 
#4
Computer Guru said:
1. Resize XP partition and create a new Vista partition (primary, NTFS) after it in Acronis.
2. Restore the image to the Vista partition
3. Install EasyBCD on XP.
4. Run EasyBCD in XP -> Diagnostics -> Recreate BCD Files.
Select the letter of the XP drive when it asks for the boot drive letter, then select the letter of the Vista drive (as XP sees it) when it asks for the Vista partition.
5. Add an XP entry in the Add/Remove Entries -> Windows section of EasyBCD

Good luck.
Small hiccup at step 1....
If I create the partition as primary-NTFS, I am unable to restore the image as primary.
"Primary" is greyed out and my only options are "Active" and "Logical". I seem to be able to restore it as primary, however, if I leave the space after my XP partition unallocated.
This may be related to the fact that my images were created when they were the only things on the disk and are flagged by Acronis as Primary and Active.
We'll see how this works out...

hmm...
after step 2 I am unable to boot into anything
computer simply says "Invalid partition table..."
never seen that one before
any ideas?

ok, now both partitions are listed in Acronis as "Primary,Active"
I'm reasonably certain that's the problem as only one partion should be "Active" at a time as I understand it.
How to fix it though?

Only way I could see in Acronis to get rid of the "Active" flag was to change the Vista partition to "Logical" and then back to "Primary".

Now, when trying to boot, comp says:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Tried restoring ntoskrnl.exe from backup, same result

tried restoring 0 track mbr from backup, same result

Had to restore the entire XP partition.
XP works fine now, but I'm back to the same problem I had before writing this post.
When starting EasyBCD 1.6 in XP, I get an error dialog box stating "No valid entries found!
I can click past that box, and get into EasyBCD, but it doesn't seem to work properly. Trying to follow your instructions, I click "Diagnostics Center", click the radio button labled "Re-create missing/deleted boot files" and hit "Rescue my System!".
At this point, your instructions seem to indicate that I need to enter the drive letter for XP, but the program is clearly asking for the Vista drive letter. Regardless of which I choose, I get the same dialogue.

"Unfortunately, EasyBCD could not automatically detect the drive letter of your boot device. This can be caused by a non-standard MBR, use of a 3rd-party bootloader, or a failed Windows Vista install.

To proceed, please enter the letter of your boot drive below. The boot drive is identified by the presence of special files and folders like boot.ini, ntldr, and bootmgr. If you continue to see this error message, please run "Reset BCD storage" from the Diagnostics section."

Again, regardless of which drive letter I choose, I get another error dialogue "The directory is not empty." followed by "No valid entries found!" again.

I've been editing this post as I moved along, but I seem to be at a standstill here.

Any further input or ideas would be welcome.

Thanks
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Does the Vista drive have a drive letter?

When asked for the BOOT drive, select the XP letter.
When aksed for the Vista drive, select the Vista letter.

You may have to delete the folder called "BOOT" from your hard drive first.
 
#7
Computer Guru said:
Does the Vista drive have a drive letter?

When asked for the BOOT drive, select the XP letter.
When aksed for the Vista drive, select the Vista letter.

You may have to delete the folder called "BOOT" from your hard drive first.
As seen in XP the drive letters are as follows:

XP partition: C
2nd hard drive: D
Vista Partition: G

When you say delete the "BOOT" folder are you refering to the one on the XP partition or the Vista partition. I have been unable to delete the Vista one even with "Unlocker".
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
The one on the Vista drive. It can't be deleted if you boot using the Vista bootloader menu.

i.e. First make sure that your using the XP boot menu (bootloader management -> install XP bootloader -> reboot) then in XP use unlocker to delete the BOOT folder.
 
#9
hello, Im having trouble like this.
my partitions:
c: winxp (partition 1)
d: hd2
e: vista (partition 2)

i tried those thing u said and now everytime i open the easybcd i get this message:
"Unfortunately, EasyBCD could not automatically detect the drive letter of your boot device. This can be caused by a non-standard MBR, use of a 3rd-party bootloader, or a failed Windows Vista install.

To proceed, please enter the letter of your boot drive below. The boot drive is identified by the presence of special files and folders like boot.ini, ntldr, and bootmgr. If you continue to see this error message, please run "Reset BCD storage" from the Diagnostics section."

and then I select C: over and over again, everytime I open the easebcd, this error message appears and I select C: again.

my Overview look like this:

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader TimeOut: 5 seconds.
Default OS: Windows Vista

Entry #1

Name: Windows Vista
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

Entry #2

Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {5b40cbf2-0f04-11dc-aca2-000c55fbc5b2}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

any thoughts?

thanks in advance.

- yuri
 
#10
I forgot to mention, I only can boot Vista if I set Boot Priority to CDROM into BIOS AND insert the Vista's DVD on the drive.

So, if I set Boot to HardDisk into BIOS, the computer boots up the Windows XP without showing any options.

thanks, again.

- yuri
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Hi Yuri,

Open EasyBCD, go to the diagnostics screen
delete the "BOOT" folder from drive c:
On the diagnostics screen press "recreate bcd files"
re-add xP
 
#12
I bought a new computer with Vista preinstalled. I installed my old hard drive as a second drive (serial both) with XP on it. I followed the directions for setup. When I boot I get a first menu: Windows Vista
Windows

When I select Windows I get another menu: Windows XP Home Edition
Windows Default

When I select XP the system appears to reboot and returns to the first menu. Will not boot into XP. The second hard drive is drive H: and that is how I have it configured in Easy BCD.

My boot.ini:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

What am I not doing to make it work?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
Hi teslats, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Change
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
to
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
 
#14
Hi teslats, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Change
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
to
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
I changed the boot.ini per above, but the same thing still happens. I have been working with this problem for some time. No matter what I do it seems to lock into Vista from the initial boot up.