Vista/XP duel boot + strange behaviour


New Member
Hi everybody! I'm I've recently installed Windows Vista to my machine and have been trying to get it to duel boot with my existing XP install but it's not quite working right, hopefully someone here can help! :brows:

In a nutshell, my machine has 3 HDDs labeled (from Vista) as C: (Vista install), D: (File storage) and E: (XP install). When I first installed Vista I had problems getting it to boot at all, it gave me an MBR error whenever I tried to load it, unless the Vista DVD was in the drive. During this time I installed EasyBCD to try and solve the problem, but with no sucess. However, I did get Vista and XP duel booting during this time.

After a while I noticed the bootloader had been installed to D: instead of C:. I'm not sure if this is default with a Vista install when a non-system drive is availiable or if EasyBCD did that or indeed if C: has a faulty boot sector or something (I got it as spares and repairs from a friend, but found it seemed to work perfectly well). Anyway, I changed to BIOS to boot from D: and my problems seemed to be solved (no more MBR errors and I didn't need the Vista DVD to load).

However, since fixing that, XP no longer loads from the boot manager and just displays a blank screen until reset, although if i boot directly from E: then XP loads normally. I read the troubleshooting guide which pointed to NTDETECT.COM as being either missing or corrupt. There was a copy of this file on E: but I replaced it with the ones provided by the guide anyway, which didn't make any difference at all.

One thing I have noticed is that when I add the XP entry to the bootloader via EasyBCD it doesn't let me specify the drive it's installed to and defaults it to C:. I tried leaving it like this to see if it maybe wanted a reference to the the boot drive as it would be on the booted OS (i.e. E: on Vista = C: on XP) but that gave me a different error saying it could not boot due to missing or corrupt files in the /ntldr directory.

Also, I'm not sure what my settings for things like the BCD storeage should be. I'm pretty sure it's not standard procedure to install the bootloader onto a non-bootable drive with no OS installed and EasyBCD often tells me it can't determine the letter of the boot drive when it loads. I usually select C: (even though technically it boots from D:smile: as selecting a different drive sometimes wipes my settings a leaves Vista as booting from D:, which doesn't work and requires a repair with the Windows disk.

I'm pretty stumped for ideas on how to get XP loading again. If anyone can make sence of all that then any help would be greatly appreciated! :smile:

Not sure if you need to know or not but here's the EasyBCD boot overview.

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 15 seconds.
Default OS: Windows Vista Home Premium

Entry #1

Name: Windows Vista Home Premium
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

Entry #2

Name: Windows XP Professional
BCD ID: {8cc014fe-574e-11de-92e1-001167ab2308}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR
Hi dashood, welcome to NST.
The sticky thread (point 3) will explain where all the boot files have to be.
Get EasyBCD 2.0 instead of 1.7. Delete the XP entry, Add it again and let 2.0 auto-configure the XP entry for you.