With EasyBCD only Vista will boot - Help

ok, I went to system restore in XP and I turned off system restore monitoring on both Vista drives and on Vista under system protection system restore only the first C system drive is being monitored. thanks that could have been a mess. I guess I should be all set for now?
 

Terry60

Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
Unfortunately, if XP can see Vista's folder(s), it will reset them even if you've turned off XP's sys rest on the drive(s). (I know this from experience, I tried all this last year and ended up at this site when none of the googled Microsoft "workarounds" did anything on my system)
You'll still need to hide the drive(s) with a Vista restore folder from XP. You can try googling and using the registry hack from MS to hide the Vista drive(s). It's not hard to do, and some people have success with it, but it had no effect on my setup. Maybe with separate physical disks (I have both systems on one HDD), you might find it works.
If it doesn't; come back here, download a copy of HnS, run it, and it'll set up a new bootloader to do the hiding/unhiding dynamically at boot time for you.
You're only safe (sys rest wise) when you can run explorer under XP and it can't see the Vista disk(s) at all.
In disk management they'll be present, but "unknown", without a disk letter.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
If you don't desire to access Vista's partition when you have XP booted, can't you just remove the drive letter assignment for Vista's partition in computer management to solve the problem? After all, XP does remember even after rebooted what partitions do not have letter assignments.

Personally, I do not see the system restore problem as a big issue because most applications well make a restore point for you before installing. It is best to test the application immediately following installation to assure that it is in full working order. However, this could be a problem if you had to reboot and accidently chose XP at boot time.
 

Terry60

Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
It's not a workaround suggested by MS kairo, so I guess it wouldn't work.
Wouldn't it be nice if you knew immediately after installing new software that it had done something nasty to your system, but if that was life in the real world, you'd only need an uninstall anyway.
Unfortunately sometimes, you only find out that a new piece of software borked your OS, when you realize that it's broken something else, at the time you come to use the broken piece.
Or more likely, your system goes t*ts up, for no reason that you can see, and system restore to a day or two ago, before you'd been experimenting with something, and when everything was nice and stable, is a lovely comforting way out of a bowel-loosening dilema.
I'm not saying it happens a lot, and some on this site,like Mak, never bother with it and are prepared just to recreate their system from scratch at the drop of a hat.
I just like the reassurance that it's there, as a belt and braces way out of what would otherwise be a long reinstallation and customization process.
You just have to make up your own mind how important it is to you.
I grew to like it, when it saved the day for me several times in ME (where it was invented), though I did resent the amount of HDD space it used. Nowadays with massive disks costing mere pennies, it's an inexpensive insurance policy.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
No kidding... I'm experiencing it first hand at the moment! I'll try the vista restore workaround I suggested myself on my laptop and see what happens.


Addendum:


Well here's the results:

1) I booted into XP and took away the letter assignment for the Vista partition
2) Created a test restore point in Vista
3) Went back into XP (Partition's letter assignment is still not present)
4) Went back to Vista to find that all restore points were gone!

I know from experience with working with EasyBCD and bcdedit that letter assignments are present for partitions even before booting when using Vista's bootmgr. This is because the device and partition properties are essential for creating working boot entries in Vista's BCD store. I am starting to think that it is because of this that XP is screwing up Vista's restore points. For example, consider the following:

XP - Drive C: (When booted in XP, D: elsewise on Vista)
Vista - Drive C: (When booted in Vista, D: elsewise on XP)

Because Vista is C:, but then made D: when XP is booted, XP well first find Vista's drive as C: since it thinks it has always been C: itself. Therefore, the reassigning of drive letters could be the reason.

In my situation, though I have no letter assignment for the Vista partition under XP, it is still not fixed because Vista's bootmgr is still first loaded and makes Vista's parition the C: drive until I pass control over to XP.

But then, you also haft to consider why this is occurring in the first place. For instance, any Vista install by default well use C: for its letter assignment (at least while its booted). Previous versions of Windows could care less. In a dual-booted system, if you were to install 2000 Pro to drive C: and XP to drive D:, they would be the same from either operating system. Unless you change the drive letter assignment for Vista's partition in Vista, bootmgr and Vista itself well always assign the Vista parition drive C:.

Because GRUB doesn't use drive letters in it's boot entries, it may be possible to use it in a workaround as the primary bootloader and avoid the whole issue of Vista's parition being C: prior to passing control to XP. (I'll haft to try this later :grinning:)

Just some food for thought I suppose. I think i'll change the drive letters up a bit in Vista and see if I get different results.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
Well I've done some experimenting now on my theories and here's the results:

1) You cannot change the drive letters for the Windows system volume while booted into any version of Windows and cannot change any Windows system volume inside of Vista.

Because of this, I couldn't test out changing the drive letters... :frowning:
I suppose you could change them using a boot cd maybe, but that would prob. create undesireable results within Windows.

2) Try passing control to ntldr from GRUB to boot XP since GRUB doesn't use drive letter mapping in its entries.

In my paticular system configuration, I booted Vista's bootmgr first, passed control to GRUB, and then used GRUB to chainload NTLDR. XP still wiped out Vista's restore points. My conclusion is, that while the solution could possibly be resolved using GRUB, it was loading Vista's bootmgr first that caused the problem. Because of this, if anyone is using GRUB as the primary bootloader in a XP/Vista multiboot configuration, I would love to hear from them as to wether or not they are even having the restore points issue.

CONCLUSION:
So in conclusion, unless GRUB can work the way I proposed, then HnS is the best answer to the problem. It just simplifies it long enough for a time in which we really won't be using Legacy Windows much longer.
 
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