Can't view Documents and settings from another partition or dual boot Vista and XP

Posted on 2007-08-02
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a laptop that came with Vista preinstalled in C:. I added another partition and installed XP, which installed itself in C:, and put Vista in E:. I used VistaBootPRO to change Vista's boot drive to C: and all the things you are meant to try to make a dual boot system work, but can't get Vista to load up, I think it doesn't like to be drive E:. This is displayed in VistaBootPRO:

 Entry 1
Name:            Microsoft Windows Vista
BCD ID:            {default}
Boot Drive:            C:
Windows Drive:      E:
System Bootloader:      \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory:      \Windows

When I boot into Vista it tries to mend itself but it 'can't find the OS loader'. It goes through the same motions when I try to "Repair" Vista from the Vista CD. It wont change the Windows drive to C: unless I do a clean VIsta install (I guess).

That would mean losing my stuff in Vista.
Mostly I would like to get to the files in 'Documents and settings' but from XP Windows Explorer that directory is 'Access Denied' (and it's hidden). Other files in 'users' are there, but many are just missing from view from the other partition.

Is there way of making Vista boot? (Change the Windows drive?). Can I view/copy my files?
Question by:jimihendrix272
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    These two links should help you. The first one is most relevant if I understand your setup correctly.
    Each OS will see it's own partition as C:\ when properly configured in the bootloader.

    Author Comment

    Thank you Vallis, I have been using those links but so far it hasn't provided the answer.
    VistaBootPRO or the R section on the Vista DVD just doesn't repair the problem.

    Author Comment

    It's done! Thanks Vallis.
    I went over what I have done so far (this has taken 2 weeks to solve!) and looked at the help forum at VistaBootPro and this answer from:

    (Graham Massey)
    Vice President
    After booting in Vista DVD, go to CMD prompt in the repair section.
    Bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD

    If, as in my case, you get '0' Vista systems found, type:

    bcdedit /export C:\bcd_backup
    CD boot
    attrib bcd -s -h -r
    ren bcd bcd.old
    bootrec /Rebuildbcd

    Magic, Vista boots normally!

    To get the dual boot to work again, use VistaBootPro to add 'OS entry'
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Alan Henderson
    Thank you jimihendrix,
    That's useful information for me too.

    You didn't have to award the points, but it helps to make up for the times I've been robbed.  :o)

    Good that you're in business again.

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