XP partition no longer boots

#1
For almost 3 years I have used EasyBCD to multi-boot my main work machine at home (Vista 64, Vista 32, XP Pro, and Ubuntu). I have never had any problems, until now that is. Now, for some unknown reason, the XP partition will no longer boot. When I select XP, the HD LED shows no hard disk activity at all. Unfortunately whatever went wrong did so before my earliest available image of the hard drive.

I would very much like to recover that XP system (no, I didn't make system-recovery diskettes—I always put faith in my Acronis images but obviously there are only as good as the earliest available image!). Any suggestions about where to start would be greatly welcomed!

I downloaded the most recent version of the EasyBCD, installed it, and repaired the boot files with it but that didn't make any difference either.

If I try a repair install of XP will it make it impossible for me to boot my other systems, particularly Vista 64 and Vista 32?

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
If XP is on a separate HDD, check first that it's visible from Vista.
HDDs can "disappear" just because the connectors have become tarnished, and a series of disconnect/reconnects can clean them up and make things magically reappear.
If that's not the problem and you need to repair install XP, then disconnect the other HHD(s) first if possible to protect the other systems from regression to NTLDR boot.
If you can't avoid it because XP and the controlling Vista share a HDD, then you will need to repair the Vista boot afterwards.
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+with+EasyBCD
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+from+the+DVD
then add the missing BCD entries again.
 
#4
XP boot saga

Okay, here's where I met with this problem now. I finally managed to get my slipstreamed SP three version of the XP Pro install CD to recognize and repair my XP installation. To do this I had to disconnect all external drives of all types. Unfortunately, however, when I tried to reset the boot loader configuration from within XP using EasyBDC (I am using the new beta version, 2.1.0.129) I lost all the entries and hence was unable to reboot so I had to go back to my image from last night one more time.
Another thing that strikes me as curious is that I have the following NeoGrub entry and it does not get recognized so I presume that the NeoGrub MBR is not being recognized either.

Any ideas?


# NeoSmart NeoGrub Bootloader Configuration File​
#​
# This is the NeoGrub configuration file, and should be located at C:\NST\menu.lst​
# Please see the EasyBCD Documentation for information on how to create/modify entries:​
default 0​
timeout 5​
title: Boot XP, Hide Vista​
hide (hd0,0) #The Vista drive​
hide (hd0,4) #The Vista drive​
unhide (hd0,3) #The XP drive​
find --set-root /ntldr​
chainloader /ntldr​
title: Unhide Vista​
unhide (hd0,0) #The Vista drive​
unhide (hd0,4) #The Vista drive​
chainloader +1

I just went into BIOS and disabled the boot from external device and boot from USB options. Now I have no problem booting to XP. My best guess is that one of the recent BIOS updates enabled these settings.

Unfortunately, however, the NeoGrub code is not being recognized so I have no way of protecting the restore points in my Vista installations.

This has evolved into a very different kind of question but I'm equally puzzled by the new problem of failure to recognize my NeoGrub code.

Does anyone have any idea of what is going on?

 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
#6
XP on multiboot machine

Thanks Terry. I didn't know that.

The wording in the HnS description seems to suggest that it is for machines that have only a single version of Vista on them. I run both Vista 32 and Vista 64. So I guess I will try the registry hack and see whether that works for me or not.

Thanks very much for this!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
HnS should work with multiple XPs and multiple Vistas. But try the reg hack first.