XP Pro & Vista Dual Boot BIOS Disk Priority?

#1
Hi Guys & Gals,

New to the forum and In serious need of some help before I acquire anymore hair loss! I've been searching forums endlessly over the past month but to be honest, my mind has completely backflipped with information overload and I'm quite confused.

I have previously successfully installed XP and Vista on 2 partitions on the same hard drive and the dual boot option worked perfectly. What I want to do now is have the same setup across 2 different SATA hard drives.

I have an old 500GB HD with XP on and a new 1TB with Vista on. XP was installed first with the newer drive disconnected and then I connected the newer drive to install Vista with the pre-thought that Vista would ‘find’ the other operating system on the other drive and automatically set up a dual option. However this didn’t happen. After a lot of reading, I then proceeded to use Easy BCD to manually add the XP entry in Vista’s bootloader and updated by re-installing the MBR. This worked however it only works when the 500GB XP disk is the #1 priority in the BIOS. When the newer 1TB drive is the priority, Vista boots but XP doesn’t. I cannot see the error message when XP boots because it comes up so fast and then the system reboots straight away.

I want the newer 1TB drive to be priority in the BIOS and allow both Vista and XP to boot. I’m not sure if I need to set things up differently or change my procedure when I’m installing the O/S’s (i.e. connecting or disconnecting a drive etc.) and which drive should be set up as priority at which stage in the BIOS.

I've seen comments in this forum and others about copying system files NTLDR ; NTDETECT.com and boot.ini. to the Vista drive but no idea how to do this (via the O/S, command prompt?), where these are located and where exactly these need to go on the Vista drive?

Any ideas how to make this work? Sorry if this has been covered already. Any pointers, link to threads, or exact breakdown of process would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

GW
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Use EasyBCD 2.0 latest build
Delete the XP entry.
Add it again, let EasyBCD auto-configure.
Don't change the XP drive.
2.0 will copy and edit all of the XP files for you.
 
#3
Thanks for that Terry..

I am presuming BCD 2.0 has improved support for dual booting on multiple drives then?

Can you also tell me:

1) Am I installing and using EastBCD in XP or Vista or doesn't it acutally matter?

2) For my curiosity - If I want the master boot to be on the newer 1TB drive which setup should I be installing XP and Vista on - HDD0 or HDD1?

GW
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
It's nothing to do with 1 HDD or multiple HDDs.
EasyBCD 1 simply set up the BCD entry for XP, but the positioning of the XP boot files and the correct contents of the boot.ini file had to be done by the user manually.
That was not easily determined, because not all of the information was visible to the end-user.
At my instigation, Guru started to develop a program to dig-out the information, so that we could advise users of the correct details instead of just telling them to determine them by trial and error (the quickest practical way).
As soon as he developed the code, he realized the middle-man could be taken out of the picture, and he put a routine into 2.0 to build boot.ini, then further routines to make sure the other XP files were put into the correct location too, in later builds.
EasyBCD (all versions) will run under any Windows, but only if NET 2.0 framework is installed first.
This pre-exists in Vista and W7, but not XP, so your best option is to run it from Vista
 
#5
Thanks for the info, taken on board.

With regards to the HDD configuration query - should the XP drive be connected to the MOBO first i.e. HDD0 or second after the Vista drive i.e. HDD1 or does this really not make a difference? Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, just want to be absolutely clear as i'm starting from scratch.

So in a nutshell, I install XP on one drive, install Vista on the other, then if Vista doesn't automatically 'locate' XP and create a boot menu then run the new EasyBCD in Vista and add the XP entry and the program will automatically do the rest - job done?

Cheers.


n.b. not sure if you are aware or not but the XP wiki guide doesn't seem to be working via the FAQ sticky.
 
#6
...should the XP drive be connected to the MOBO first
Makes no difference. Install them where you want.

So in a nutshell, I install XP on one drive, install Vista on the other, then if Vista doesn't automatically 'locate' XP and create a boot menu then run the new EasyBCD in Vista and add the XP entry and the program will automatically do the rest - job done?
I suffered similar "info overload" to your own, but EasyBCD appears to be quite foolproof! Jump into the pool!
 
#7
I suffered similar "info overload" to your own, but EasyBCD appears to be quite foolproof! Jump into the pool!
Haha - i'm trying but a cautious swimmer!! :lol:

One last question (hopefully).

Depending on BIOS priority, If I want to have both drives to proivde boot menus and enable me to boot into either O/S, then do I just download and use the BCD autoconfigure facility in both XP and Vista drives?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
The first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence controls the boot.
You want that one to be Vista.
XP's NTLDR cannot boot Vista.
When you run Easy on XP it's still the BCD on Vista that it's editing (it doesn't have a BCD)