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Windows Vista Problem solving for the Windows Vista Operating System. Please remember to state which edition of Vista you are using - Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate etc. and whether you are using the 32-bit or 64-bit version if you know.

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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:06 AM
lk4jc lk4jc is offline
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Dual Boot XP/Vista Problems

Okay my computer has Vista Home 64-bit already installed. I set up a second partition when I installed it, in order to install XP on the other partition. After booting from the XP cd and beginning to install XP it stops. It gets done copying files, and it goes through the first restart, and after that it won't go any further. If I boot from the XP cd again, it just tries to start the whole thing over. And if I just let it boot from my HD nothing happens. I just get a flashing underscore. I popped in the Vista disc, and repaired the bootup folders, and now I get a dual-boot screen, but XP won't boot because it's missing the ntdlr file. Vista will boot fine after that though. Problem is, I've never even input my product key for XP so it's not completely installed, right ? So I guess my question(s) are that how can I get XP to finish installing, and then how do I repair the ntdlr file? Thanks for the help
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:38 AM
Murf's Avatar
Murf Murf is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Posts: 17,434
Welcome to CTH

Your problem is XP should of been installed 1st then VISTA. XP is over writting the VISTA boot record. That is xp is corrupting Boot (folder), bootmgr,Boot.BAK and Bootsect.bak

Copy bootsect.exe from the boot folder of your Windows Vista DVD and paste it into your Windows XP Windows\system32 folder

This pulls all Windows operating systems into the Windows Vista boot menu.

1. Install the previous version of Windows.

2. Log on to the older operating system and restore the latest boot manager by running the following command from the run dialogue box (fixntfs.exe will be in the \boot directory of the active partition which is usually C:\ Drive).

C:\boot\fixntfs /lh

3. Create a BCD (Boot Configuration Data) entry for the older operating system by specifying the following.

bcdedit.exe is located in the \Windows\System32 directory of the Windows Vista partition. To access bcdedit.exe from within Windows XP you need to use the Command Prompt (DOS Window) and point to bcdedit.exe.

Description is the description of the new entry for the older operating system.

bcdedit /create {legacy} /d “Description”

bcdedit /set {legacy} device boot

bcdedit /set {legacy} path \ntldr

bcdedit /displayorder {legacy} /addlast

4. Restart the computer in order for the changes to take effect.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 05:56 AM
KnotTubeRight KnotTubeRight is offline
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Great advice, can it be translated into non geekspeak? so a novice can understand?
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:41 PM
Murf's Avatar
Murf Murf is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Posts: 17,434
You bet:

1. When you dual boot windows operating systems, you always install the earliest system first. That is because when you install an operating system it installs a boot record to tell it where the operating system is located. e.g., You install XP on the second partition of a hard drive that has two partitions. When the computer boots the BIOS needs to know where is my operating system. The Master Boot Record, placed there when you install the operating system tells, in this case, hey BIOS I'm over here the 2nd partition of the hard drive. Bios find it and turns over the rest of the booting over to it..

2. When you install a second operating system, regardless which partition, which drive, it will over write this Master Boot Record. Now the BIOS is really confused when it boots and cannot find the operating system..what happens, generally it will refuse to boot up.

3. So installing an earlier operating system first, lets the current operating system modify the boot record with more current information. BTW: the Master Boot record (MBR) is always on the 1st sector of the 1st drive, generally the C: drive.

In a dual boot situation the last operating system installed will write a new boot record and will initiate a boot file that will come up and then you select which operating system you want to boot too. In previous windows, prior to VISTA this was done in a file called boot.ini.

In VISTA it is not done in the boot.ini, rather a file is generated called BCD or Boot Configuration Data. Not this is an simple explanation as there are more files affected.

Simply put:

This occurs because earlier versions of the Windows operating system are incompatible with the new Windows Vista startup method. Windows Vista uses a new Boot Configuration Database (BCD) store. This store contains a boot menu and all the information about operating systems that are installed on the computer. Therefore, a Boot.ini file that is from an earlier version of the Windows operating system cannot be used to start Windows Vista.

When you install an earlier version of the Windows operating system on a Windows Vista-based computer, Setup overwrites everything from the MBR, the boot sector, and the boot files. Therefore, the earlier version the Windows operating system loses forward compatibility with Windows Vista

In the case of this thread what happened is Vista was installed and the BCD was generated telling the BIOS where to find VISTA. You now install XP, which does not use a BCD, rather then the Boot.ini (yes other files, and now the BIOS is confused), as the BCD is there but also the boot.ini, so it's lost.

After reading my post I did leave some info out here is the correct way to do it.

1. Use Bootsect.exe to restore the Windows Vista MBR and the boot code that transfers control to the Windows Boot Manager program. To do this, go to (Start>Run>CMD) black screen comes up with flashing cursor then type the following command at a command prompt:

Drive:\boot\Bootsect.exe /NT60 All (<enter>)

In this command, Drive is the drive where the Windows Vista installation media is located.

Note The boot folder for this step is on the DVD drive.

2. Use Bcdedit.exe to manually create an entry in the BCD Boot.ini file for the earlier version of the Windows operating system. To do this, type the following commands at a command prompt.

Note In these commands, Drive is the drive where Windows Vista is installed.

Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d
"Description for earlier Windows version" (<enter>)

Note In this command, Description for earlier Windows version can be any text that you want. For example, Description for earlier Windows version can be "Windows XP" or "Windows Server 2003". Or you can put "My Windows, hands off" doesn't matter.

3. Now type the following:

Drive:\Windows\system32e \Bcdedit /set {ntldr}
devicpartition=x: (<enter>)

Note: In this command, x: is the drive letter for the active partition

4. Now type:
Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr (<enter>)

5. Now type:

Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast (<enter>)

(<enter>) means hit enter don't type it.....

6. Restart the computer

7. Pray that it will boot

OK, whew, hope that is a little simpler. remember always install the oldest O/S first and you will not have this problem.

Now as I read over this I think I even understand what I wrote I think.....

BTW: BCDedit is a hard program/file to manipulate, really took me awhile to learn how too. After spending several hours fiddling with it, I discovered a program that does it almost auomatically...go figure. So I use VistaBootPro.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 02:57 AM
Ishq's Avatar
Ishq Ishq is offline
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Murf you are very smart
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