Windows XP upgrade to Vista Home Premium disaster


Dear Computer Guru and members:

I'm an oldie, not terribly computer savvy, but my grandkids are not terribly impressed with me...

I have been battling now for over a month trying to find a solution to my specific problem. I decided to upgrade XP Home to Vista Home Premium. Something went wrong and on succeeding, it crashed after I had activated it. Well, without thinking, I reinstalled it, but of course, my XP no longer existed. It would seem that I did a "clean" install which Microsoft didn't like and I had 30 days to activate it, or else. I was advised that "or else" meant, buy another, or another activation code. I also saw that the upgrade facility on my Vista disc had been deactivated.

Microsoft Australia simply advised me to reinstall my XP and that Vista would do the right thing. So, I got out my original XP SP2 disc and decided to reinstall it, to show Microsoft that I wasn't cheating. I have a 250 gig hard drive, broken down into 4 partitions. I started to install XP. Once it got to the stage where it rebooted to finish its work, it couldn't access the drive to do so.

I have used Easy BCD and Vista Boot Pro 3.3 and followed instructions shown on various forums, but nothing seems to work.By this time, the 30 days had gone and I had to again reinstall Vista. I have sufficient space in my four partitions to install Windows XP on one, upgrade it to Vista and then install XP on another partition to dual boot. I'd like to do this because I will personally use XP with my favorite "older" programs which Vista rejected and the kids can use Vista.

Mr Guru, please, in words of one syllable and appreciating that my knowledge of various aspects is limited, can you advise me how to solve this. Why, o'h why, did I decide to upgrade????


Ron OZ
Hello Ron, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

First things first: don't despair, don't worry, and don't feel bad about yourself. No one ever got anywhere without plenty of trial and error and some help from the community :smile:

With regards to the failed Windows XP setup: This is a Windows Vista/XP Bug, and not your fault.

Assuming you can still boot into Windows Vista, get in there.
EasyBCD | Bootloader Management | Uninstall Vista Bootloader

That most likely will allow you to install Windows XP in peace.

(BTW, VistaBootPRO was built on source code stolen from NeoSmart Technologies and is completely bug-ridden)

If that doesn't work, just post back and we'll try something else.
Hi Mr. Guru
Thanks, but I'm afraid that didn't work, my XP disc is still trying unsuccessfully to get back in and complete its job! What will be the result if I uninstalled/formatted my Vista partition - would that get rid of the errant bootloader and let XP do so from scratch?

Incidentally, I am using an XP disc issued with my MEDION computer, but I also have an application and support disc which is associated with it, containing original software which I haven't been game to touch. I'd like to use that software eventually in an XP partition, but need to upgrade to Vista first...

Any other advice appreciated...

Ron H. OZ

it couldn't access the drive to do so.
Does this refer to the CD drive? Or the hard drive?

Do you get any specific error messages? If you have any, that would really help.
The hard drive, I've kept Vista on c: but loaded XP onto another partition with plenty of room to upgrade to Vista when I am able. I'll worry about dual booting XP after I have solved this, perhaps...
OK, boot from the XP CD, and when you see a blue screen that says something like "PRESS 'R' TO ENTER RECOVERY CONSOLE" press 'R' to enter.

Once there, type this in:

It'll ask you to verify that you want to do this - yes you do :smile:

Reboot and attempt to install Windows XP once more from the CD. Make sure to choose to format the XP partition that was created during the last failed setup.

Good luck.
My apologies for mistake yesterday. There was an error message:

The following error message comes each time failed second access attempt by CD:

(after unsuccessful reboot) On black screen:

Back later with todays...

"Couldn't open drive multi (0) rdisk partition (1)
NTLDR Couldn't open drive multi (0) rdisk 0 partition (1)"


Thank you Mr Guru, I followed your Recovery Console instructions to the letter, everything went AOK I thought, it told me that it had competed its task, but still refused to access the hard drive partition and finalise install! Same two messages on the black screen as before. I am having a problem, aren't I ! How on earth the average user is expected to solve these Microsoft Vista quirks is getting beyond me... Thanks for your attempts to date, though...
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OK, thanks for providing me with the error message this time.

Can you verify that you were install Windows XP to the first partition of the first drive? That's where XP thinks it's being installed, and it is possible that it isn't correct though.
Mr. Guru, a little more info you may be appreciative of.

A bit late at night, but I've had a very productive period on my main concern, activating an updated version of Vista Home Premium. For all your work, I owe you the courtesy of advising todays developments in case others have the same problem as myself, in losing the Vista Home Premium upgrade facility for reasons not necessarily their own (like myself) and failing to get support.

I had a go at Microsoft Australia today and suddenly I was advised that in order to reactivate the upgrade of Vista Home from XP SP2, I would need to reinstall the Vista upgrade disc twice. The first time, in boot fashion, using the Vista upgrade disc and the second time, not in boot fashion but by simple install from disc placed in the DVD/CD chamber. First install, from the boot, put the activation numbers/details into the area required, the second install leave blank. Lo and behold, on completion of this solution, the fully updated upgrade was ready and working! Why was I not advised of this a month ago, rather than told to simply reinstall XP?? Would have saved a helluva lot of heartache! Perhaps it is not supposed to be common knowledge but I feel strongly enough after losing a month of my life at my age, to not give a damn about advising your good selves!

I still cannot put XP into a partition booting for dual boot, but any further info which might help, would be appreciated. Meanwhile, I'm having a nice drop of cabernet sauvignion with my dinner, tonight, to celebrate!! (The upgrades are currently hurtling in...)


Thanks again.
That certainly is interesting - thanks for sharing it, I'm sure it will come in handy in the future.

Mind if we start over with regards to the Windows XP thing?
1) A working Vista install
2) Create a (primary) partition for Windows XP with a partition manager like GParted.
3) Boot from the Windows XP CD and tell it to install to the partition you just made
4) Run EasyBCD in Windows XP (after installing .NET 2.0) and go Bootloader Management | Reinstall Vista Bootloader
5) EasyBCD | Add/Remove Entries | Windows XP | Add Entry
6) Reboot and enjoy.

Please use the latest version of EasyBCD to do this.
Mr. Guru, I also have a questions concerning an upgrade to Window's Vista from XP, but I really have no idea what I'm doing. When I installed Vista, I did it right from startup when all I really wanted to do was upgrade my computer from XP. But when I installed XP, all of my previous files were gone - all my music and pictures and important stuff like that. I did find some of my pictures somewhere called windows.old a few days ago but haven't been able to find it again since. My computer will start up without the disk, but it keeps shutting down and asking me to install Windows Vista again so I have to leave the disk in all the time. When I really would like to do is go back to my originial XP but I'm not sure if I can just undo the Windows Vista once it's on here. Also since I bought my computer with XP on it already I never had an activation code for XP so I don't know if I can go back to it without the code? I'm so confused and if you could help me at all I'd really appreciate it! Thanks, Tina