XP won't Boot but Vista will...


So I've installed XP on a 30GB partition, problem is I can't access it. I've got easyBCD but when I add an entry I can't change the drive letter and the option is greyed out.

My drive layout is:

Disk 0:
C: Vista
D: Programs
E: Documents

Disk 1:
I: Backup and storage

As I said I can't change the drive letter on easyBCD to allow me to boot into XP. When I chose XP it gives an error message however I can boot into Vista fine.

I was told on another site to make sure the XP boot files were in the right drive however I am perplexed as to where they should go :smile:

Any Suggestions?


Hi nick, welcome to NST.
The option is greyed out to prevent it being altered to the wrong value. (a feature of later releases because of the countless thousands of times we had to explain that it points to the boot files, not to the OS. The boot files point to the OS)
Follow the instructions in the wiki, and copy the 3 XP boot files from the XP root to the Vista root ( from F:\ ...directly to C:\... not inside a folder).
If you can't see the files, go into folder options and unhide all system and hidden files and known file extensions.
Ok, I'll do that now, thanks for the help :smile:

I'm from Portsmouth btw


EDIT: Do I leave them zipped or should I extract them before plonking them onto the C drive?
Last edited:
edit the C:\boot.ini copy to change either the rdisk value or the partition value to point to the XP partition (depending on whether XP is on a different HDD or a different partition on the same HDD)



(I was born in Pompey - worked in North Harbour for 20 years))

The files aren't zipped - just drag copies over
Last edited:
Right I'm lost now :tongueout: I am on my Vista partition which is my main OS and if I try to just copy and paste the boot files I downloaded onto my C drive it asks whether I want to replace the ones that are there, do I just move them and replace?

I'm going to read through your wiki cos I'm quite confused.

EDIT: I'm a scouser :tongueout: but was still born dowm here and they are zipped unless I downloaded the wrong ones...

there's ntldrl and ntdetect in there :smile:
You've downloaded them ?
If they're already there then edit the C:\boot.ini to point to the XP partition.
It's safe to overwrite them (as long as we're just talking about the 3 XP files and nothing else), they should be the same wherever they came from, but they certainly shouldn't be zipped.
Yeah they were called Bootfiles.zip and inside there's ntldr and ntdetect

So I just rebooted and tried to boot into XP and it said ntldr is missing still, how do I redit C:\boot.ini to point to the XP partition? I've read the wiki and can't find the boot.ini...

Should I be looking for it where Vista is installed (C) or where XP is installed (F)?
Last edited:
The c:\boot.ini is what the C:\NTLDR uses to find where XP is lurking (Vista C:\bootldr chains to C:\NTLDR when you select XP from the boot menu). Make sure it points to the correct partition to locate XP.
Follow the troubleshooter and Rebuild boot.ini links from the previous link I gave you.
Result: It works, I put NTLDR and NTDETECT onto the drive where XP was installed and I am on it right now, only problem is my video drivers are taking an age to download so everything is nice and jerky :smile:

And thanks for pointing me in exactly the right direction Terry :grinning:
I had pointed you in the right direct at TF Nick. :tongueout:

You just didnt read the link i gave you. First line told you where to put those files in that link mate.

Nice to have you here at NeoSmart.
Lol i did but I was putting them into C: which wasn't where it was meant to go in my case :smile:

But thanks anyway, and it's nice to be here to, I thought somone had stollen your sig momentarily hehe.