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dual boot xp and vista.. not sure what to do

OK here is my situation:

I had one hdd with XP and Vista running successfully doing a dual boot on both OS'. For some reason Vista got corrupt and stopped working (I tried repair mode with the CD but that didnt work either) but it still appears in the dual boot menu options.
I bought another HDD and yesterday I connected it to my computer but it wasn't being recognized so I installed Vista onto the new hdd. Now when I restart with this HDD attached it misses the dual boot options and goes straight to the new Vista OS. In My Computer I can see my other HDD and its partitions.
I then formatted the Vista that didn't work using Disk Management.

I now have 2 HDD's one with working XP on and the other with working Vista on. I cant use XP when the new HDD is connected because Vista for some reason is taking priority. When I disconnect the new HDD I can then start up XP but it still has the old vista recognized on dual boot even tho I have formatted that vista partition.

Basically how can I swop out the broken Vista with the new HDD working Vista?
Another question I have is do I have to take out a stick of ram every time I want to run the Vista CD repair mode?
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shtoom
Asked:
shtoom
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1 Solution
 
LeeTutorretiredCommented:
If you are dual booting Windows XP and Windows Vista on your computer and due to problems are forced to repair or reinstall the XP partition, you may run into the problem described in this Microsoft article:
This MSKB article explains the problem:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;919529
Windows Vista no longer starts after you install an earlier version of the Windows operating system in a dual-boot configuration

The problem is that Windows Vista no longer uses the old boot loader used by Windows XP. When you reinstall XP, Setup overwrites everything from the MBR (the Master Boot Record), the boot sector, and the boot files, and thus loses communication with the installation of Vista, so you will only be able to boot into XP.  

Windows Vista uses a new Boot Configuration Database (BCD.)  This contains a boot menu and information about all operating systems installed on the computer.  In XP, the BIOS loads the Master Boot Record, which contains the partition table and some boot execution code that searches the partition table to find which partition is active and then passes control to its boot sector.  That boot sector loads a hidden file called NTLDR, which looks at the Boot.ini file to find which operating systems are installed.  But Vista, after the MBR and boot sector are loaded, then executes a boot manager called Bootmgr.exe that is hidden in the \Boot folder.  Bootmgr will look at the BCD file in order to determine what operating systems are present on your computer.

The article above gives information on how to use a program called BcdEdit to restore operation of both versions of Windows that you are using.  It also gives instructions on the correct way to install a dual boot system, and how to remove Windows Vista from a dual booting system.

This web page gives more information on the Vista boot loader and the BcdEdit utility:

http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=55153
Info on Vista's New Boot Loader

If BcdEdit seems a bit too complicated to use, you can try this free utility, called VistaBootPro:

http://www.vistabootpro.org/

Install it in XP and run it to restore your dual boot.

There is an online documentation for it here:

http://www.pronetworks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78186
VistaBootPRO 2.0 User Guide
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
I think you misread what I said.. XP is working fine....
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
I dont think you actually read what I posted at all..

When you say:
"http://www.vistabootpro.org/ 
Install it in XP and run it to restore your dual boot."

ATM when I disconnect the new HDD with working Vista on I get the dual boot screen with the working XP and the old/formatted vista partition is still being recognized. If I use that BCDEdit.exe from that link you provided will this remove the old vista from the dual boot? If yes how can I connect the new HDD with Vista on to dual boot with XP?

I am starting to think the best option for me is to format the new Vista installation and then install Vista on the old HDD so the dual boot will work again?

Not sure what to do but plain and simple I would like to know if it is possible to do what my first post question states (Basically how can I swop out the broken Vista with the new HDD working Vista?) before trying anything else..
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
You get the old non-working Vista installation as a boot possibility because its installation got rid of the XP partition's bootloader and replaced it with Vista's bootloader.  That bootloader knows nothing about your second hard disk with another Vista on it.  The new disk's Vista bootloader doesn't know about the XP partition on the other disk because you must have installed it without that drive connected.  VistaBootPro can be used to correct the Vista bootloader installed on your system partition (that is, the one with XP on it) so that you can dual boot both of them on separate drives.  I see now from a google search that there is a new version (3.3) of this program available at the developer's site, but it is no longer free.  The old free version, 3.2 is available here:

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/VistaBootPRO.shtml
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
Will this program pick up that my XP is trying to still load the old vista? Should I try and remove the old vista from dual boot first before I try this? Can this program remove the old vista from the XP hdd?

Thanks LeeTutor that makes alot more sense! I will try this when I get home tonight.

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willcompCommented:
Some questions. Was the drive with XP partition connected when Vista was installed on new drive? Does the new Vista drive boot without XP drive connected?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Boot into Windows XP - press start - run - type MSCONFIG - select Boot.ini tab and use check option to check boot paths. If it does not correct it then manually edit Boot.ini file and delete the corrupted Vista record from there.
RAM  stick - it is malfunctioning, replace it. Vista CD loads to RAM and if you cannot load it without removing the RAM stick then it is on the road to death.
I recommend you using Boot Manager to load your OSes as you want them.
Download Hard Disk Manager 2009 Demo and use Boot Manager from there. It is fully functional: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-personal/
As you install the product you will get access to menu where Boot Manager can be installed from. It will pickup XP and Vista located on two drives.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
@willcomp - No XP was not connected when Vista on new drive was installed. Yes the new Vista will boot without the XP drive connected. .. Should I just format new HDD and install Vista again with the XP drive connected? Will Vista then recognize the XP and do a dual boot?

@noxcho - interesting stuff. I might try what you said when I get home thats if my last question doesn't prove to be the best option?
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willcompCommented:
"Should I just format new HDD and install Vista again with the XP drive connected? Will Vista then recognize the XP and do a dual boot?"  --- Yes you should. The reason dual boot is not possible is because XP drive was not connected when Vista was installed. You now have two Vista boot loaders on two different partitions.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Question is asked to willcomp but I would like to express my opinion too:
If you simply reinstall it without hiding XP partition then you will get weird configuration when Vista puts its loader and boot files to XP partition. You want create correct dual boot configuration?
Then, this should be done this way:
a)Install XP
b)Boot from boot CD that can hide partitions (I know that HDM2009 boot CD can do this) and only then install Vista to second partition.
c)Boot from Boot CD again and unhide XP partition. Install OS selector that is coming with HDM2009 (there exist other selectors in internet) and use it to select the OS you want to boot from.
You can also delete existing Vista partition and copy the one from second drive and make Boot Manager pickup boths OSes. Personally I would reinstall both OSes according to steps I gave. As configured, take backups from boths OS and live in happiness =))
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willcompCommented:
When Vista is installed subsequent to XP, the Vista boot loader will provide dual boot capability. There's no need for any third party utilities except possibly VistaBootPro for ease of configuring Vista boot loader.
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skywalker39Commented:
If your interested you can do a dual boot from one single hard drive. You can use something like System Commander. Here's the link: http://eu.v-com.com/product/System_Commander_Home.html
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
@noxcho - that post kinda lost me? I dont want to install XP again when it is working fine minus the dual boot of the old vista..

@willcomp - Thanks for clarifying that. Should I remove the old Vista from the XP hdd before I format new HDD and install Vista again? If yes is there an application to do this? I read about bootfix but I am not confident about using it.

I think the best steps for me to take are:
1. remove old vista from dual boot (dont know how to do)
2. format new hdd with xp hdd connected
3. install vista on new hdd
4. dual boot works again?

hope this works/makes sense.. is step 1 needed?
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willcompCommented:
From your original question -- Vista has already been removed from old hard disk. If you are referring to entry in boot loader, VistaBootPro will remedy that. Install VistaBootPro in XP since Vista boot loader is on that partition. You can install Vista in partition on old disk or install on new disk after wiping disk.

Your sequence is basically correct. You can remove old Vista boot entry before or after installing new copy.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
cool thanks willcomp will let you know how I get on tonight! (am not at home atm)
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
When Vista loader is used be ready that your Vista will get lost in case of XP partition corruption. As a result you will be left with no OS. Your luck is that Vista got screwed this moment not XP.
Again, when installing Vista without hiding XP partition you get the simplest configuration where Vista boot files reside on XP partition overwriting XP native files. This is the fact.
Third party loaders are not invented as a joke - they are written to overcome this Window dumb dual boot configuration problems.
No need to reinstall any of your OS, install the Boot Manager and go on using the OS you want from BM startup menu.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
noxcho - bootmanager being VistaBootPro? do i install it on XP or new Vista hdd or both?
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willcompCommented:
The boot manager is Vista boot manager. VistaBootPro is a boot manager editor. Install VistaBootPro in XP as I previously told you. Pay attention!!
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
It should be installed on the drive that is connected as primary master drive. See what OS is installed there.
I am talking about Boot Manager from HDM2009Demo.  It is fully functional and you can test it.
Download and install it: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-personal/download.html
You loose nothing in this test.
Then run the demo version and select Advanced - HDM2009 - Tools - BM Setup Wizard.
When activated you will get the OS selection screen at restart where right OS can be selected to boot from. If your primary drive has XP on it then install HDM2009 there. If Vista then under Vista.
You dislike it - simply uninstall the Boot Manager and stick with solution suggested by willcomp. But be aware, OSes will use the same first partition as boot partition and its corruption will leave you with both OS unbootable.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
shtoom, any feedback?
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
sorry for the delay i had to wait till the weekend so i dont have work in the way

@noxcho - I will install HDM and see what happens.. I want to install it on XP but I cant connect the vista hdd at the same time coz then i cant use xp..

If HDM doesnt fix anything then i am going to install vistabootpro on xp then format the vista hdd..
how can i format the vista hdd while its connected? when its connected it boots into vista and skips xp.. Any ideas?
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willcompCommented:
Disconnect XP drive and boot from UBCD. Wipe Vista drive using DBAN. http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
When you boot your PC and get the screen where it suggests to press DEL to enter BIOS see what is the second key suggested to enter Boot Menu.
There you can select the drive you want to boot from and if XP installed drive selected you must be able to boot it (except the situation that installation was done the way I asked you beware).
Or just install Boot Manager and you do not need to change anything.
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willcompCommented:
@noxcho -- you imply that HDM will recognize and handle two separately installed OSes with different boot partitions. I've not seen a Boot Manager that would handle such a scenario. Third party boot managers usually need to be installed prior to OS installation or after first OS is installed.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
@willcomp, Boot Manager is a part of HDM, the HDM itself is needed only for the time of BM installation. I have looked the way it works. It installs into MBR and at start up searches the OS on all HDDs. When found you get the list of OSes, when you select the correct OS BM gives command to OS loader and since then the start process is taken by OS native loader. It can be installed under Vista and since then it must pick up XP without a problem even if your OSes are on different hard drives.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
hey guys i got some problems..
i reinstalled vista and i could see my xp64 hdd in my computer but it wouldnt dual boot now ive installed vistabootpro on vista ive added os drive d (xp64) and now i get this message:
Invalid BOOT.INIF file
Booting from C:\windows\
NTDETECT failed

what should i do?
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
i have upped the points up.. need to fix this asap!
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
im using the vista disc and i clicked repair now i am in system recovery options. It hasn't detected XP64 so i clicked load drivers and I can see the XP64 hard disk.. XP runs fine is i disconnect the vista hdd.. Why cant vista repair detect XP? I installed vista with the XP hdd connected.. In the load drivers options what should I select on the XP hdd?
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
ok so ive got into XP with vista hdd connected by pressing F8.. I can see the new hdd in my computer but theres no total size or free space its just empty?
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
hey guys i am getting this message when i select xp64 from the dual boot screen:
Invalid BOOT.INIF file
Booting from C:\windows\
NTDETECT failed

if i select vista it works but if i select xp i get the message above..

if i press F8 before the dual boot screen i can select the XP64 hdd and i can access XP successfully that way.. I would like to fix the above error and beable to launch both OS' from the dual boot screen.. Any ideas how to clean this up? Thanks
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
So are you now trying to use either the normal Vista boot loader to choose between operating systems, or are you using VistaBootPro, or this HDM boot manager?  And which disk is your "system" disk, as Microsoft calls it?  In other words, which one has the bootloader files on it?  (You can tell which one is the system disk by going into Disk Management -- DISKMGMT.MSC typed in the Run dialog box).  

I assume you mean "Invalid BOOT.INI file", not "Invalid BOOT.INIF file".  That is a hidden file that is part of the XP boot sequence on the drive containing XP.  It is a regular text file, so if you can set "show all files" on the View tab of Folder Options in Control Panel, you should be able to bring it up using Notepad and then copy its contents to your next comment.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
DId you reinstall Vista the way I had recommended you in my early posts? IF not then you did corrupt  loader again.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
@noxcho - yes i did reinstall vista as recommended. I had the XP hdd connected when reinstalling Vista and Vista didn't pick it up.

@LeeTutor - i think i am using the vista boot loader. I installed vistabootpro on vista and it detected an earlier version so i thought it worked.. I restarted and it gave me the options to boot into earlier version or vista but I get that error message "Invalid BOOT.INI file" when selecting earlier version..

FYI I have installed vistabootpro on both OS' now.. XP doesn't detect Vista but Vista detects XP? not sure what to do :/
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
You need to unhide the boot.ini file, look at it with Notepad, then copy its contents to a comment.  
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
boot.ini file from xp or vista? do you want me to paste it in here?
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
The Vista partition/drive should not have a Boot.ini file.  XP's drive/partition has it.  Yes, paste it here...
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
the file is Boot.BAK ? this is what it has inside:
;
;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
;
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Shtoom, though you did install Vista as suggested you missed one important thing - to load second OS you need third party Boot Manager like one from Hard Disk Manager I did recommend you earlier. Making Windows to boot TWO Oses from two separate hard drives is not an easy task, moreover I doubt that it could do the requested. That's why these Boot Managers are written.
Now, if you have time and patience please follow these steps:
a)Disconnect drive with Windows Vista installed on it.
b)Reinstall Windows XP 64bit onto single HDD.
c)Connect Vista installed drive and start either Vista or XP (depends on the drive priority).
d)Install Paragon Hard Disk Manager trial and activate Boot Manager. Restart PC and get the choice which OS to boot from.
You can configure it the way you want, either show the selection screen each time or boot the last loaded OS by default biding selection screen calling to F key.
Editing Boot file is not the smartest idea.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
That is not true.  Vista and XP can be installed on two different drives or two different partitions of the same drive and the normal XP or Vista bootloader can be used.  If XP is installed first, then Vista will replace the XP bootloader with its own and everything will work fine.  If Vista is installed first, then the installation of XP destroys temporarily the ability to boot into Vista since the XP bootloader replaces the Vista bootloader.  But a startup repair of Vista will reinstate the Vista bootloader.  

This page gives a very good tutorial on dual booting WinXP and Vista, with lots of screenshots accompanying the article:

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10877_11-6157570.html
How do I... Install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration along with Windows XP?

This page describes doing it with Vista installed first and then XP afterwards:

http://apcmag.com/5485/dualbooting_vista_and_xp
How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide

One problem with dual booting XP and Vista is that there is a bug in Microsoft's implementation of XP such that any time you boot to XP it wipes out Vista's System Restore points.  There is a registry workaround that can prevent this:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;926185
No restore points are available when you use Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 in a dual-boot configuration together with an earlier Windows operating system
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes installing one OS over another allows you make dual boot BUT removing the drive (its corruption, failure etc etc) will leave you with second drive NOT BOOTING too. Using third party boot manager and installation of both OSes gives a chance to make self reliable configuration that does not depend on another drive or OS.
If the issue I try to highlight to you is not important for you shtoom, then go on with LeeTutor's links.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
@noxcho - i dont want to reformat my xp 64 right now. XP is my main OS and i dont have alot of time to reformat it ect..

i will look at the links later.

all of this seems like a mission im not sure if i can fix this :/

cant i use vistabootpro to fix this?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Before you use Vistabootpro please try to activate the Boot Manager I recommended to you.
Also, if you leave only XP disk in system, does it boot into Windows?
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
@noxcho - yes if it is only the XP hdd connected it boots into XP successfully.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Then activate Paragon Boot Manager with both drives connected and let it start needed OS on selection. Boot Manager can be activated from Hard Disk Manager 2009 Trial. This BM is completely functional in their trial and uninstalling trial version does not remove Boot Manager.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
1. ok so install paragon boot manager on XP? what do i do in paragon boot manager?

2. installed hard disk manager 2009 trial and active boot manager using this program?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
1)If your XP drive master drive? In other words is it first booting HDD (check via BIOS)? If yes, then activate it in XP. If not then in Vista. The main thing you should pay attention to is - Boot Manager must reside in MBR of first booting HDD. In Boot Manager wizard you can specify the hidden mode or GUI mode of Boot Manager. Just look it though, it is quite intuitive.

2)Install HDM2009 - run it select Advanced Options - HDM2009 Suite - full range widow will open - press Tools - BM Setup Wizard. There select Normal Mode - apply.
No hiding is required. Restart system and check if you see Boot Manager window.
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shtoomAuthor Commented:
noxcho - that paragon program worked. It lets me choose which to boot at start up. When I select vista it then goes to Vista's boot manager window and I can select either xp64 or vista.. If I select xp it doesn't work but vista does work.
If I select xp from paragon it works.

So it kinda does what I want. It is not perfect but this is the closest I can get I guess!

Thanks for the help!
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