Computer no longer multiboots

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Ken Springer, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Ken Springer

    Ken Springer Guest

    I hope no one gets upset with the crossposting, so if you reply, please
    reply/followup to all, not just the newsgroup you see this post in. Thanks.

    I've lived "dangerously" for a long time and never used any back up
    software. But I do things differently than most when it comes to
    storage of my data, so I've never lost any data matters, or to any great
    extent. Operating systems, well, that's another story! LOL

    The computer was dual booting XP Pro and Vista Ultimate, with each OS in
    it's own partition. XP was the first OS installed, with Vista installed
    later.

    I finally decided to test some backup software. Both XP Pro and Vista
    Ultimate come with MS supplied software to do this. I wanted to
    try/test these out before looking elsewhere.

    I started with XP, which messed everything up. LOL I read in MS's
    book, XP Inside and Out, that the XP system was flawed/bugged, and some
    files you would expect to be included in a system image might not be
    there. Had to try it anyway. <grin> Creating and restoring a system
    image destroyed the dual boot capability. I no longer get the screen to
    choose which OS will boot or allow for the OS to default to one or the
    other. In my case, the default was XP, and the computer now boots into
    XP only.

    All of the Vista files appear to still be there.

    As I understand the process, when Vista is installed as the 2nd OS,
    Vista replaces XP's boot.ini file, or at least supersedes it.

    I can simply reinstall Vista, I own a copy, but I just want to avoid the
    time involved to install and update. Only two programs were installed
    under Vista, and one of them was a utility that is also installed under
    XP. The other was a very old copy of dBase, so I'm not out anything in
    this regard.

    What I'd like to know is, does anyone know of or have a relatively
    simple yet easy way to restore the multiboot option without having to
    take the time to reinstall Vista?


    --
    Ken

    Mac OS X 10.6.8
    Firefox 17.0
    Thunderbird 17.0
    LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
    Ken Springer, Dec 1, 2012
    #1
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  2. Ken Springer

    MowGreen Guest

    Ken Springer wrote:
    > I hope no one gets upset with the crossposting, so if you reply, please
    > reply/followup to all, not just the newsgroup you see this post in.
    > Thanks.
    >
    > I've lived "dangerously" for a long time and never used any back up
    > software. But I do things differently than most when it comes to
    > storage of my data, so I've never lost any data matters, or to any great
    > extent. Operating systems, well, that's another story! LOL
    >
    > The computer was dual booting XP Pro and Vista Ultimate, with each OS in
    > it's own partition. XP was the first OS installed, with Vista installed
    > later.
    >
    > I finally decided to test some backup software. Both XP Pro and Vista
    > Ultimate come with MS supplied software to do this. I wanted to
    > try/test these out before looking elsewhere.
    >
    > I started with XP, which messed everything up. LOL I read in MS's
    > book, XP Inside and Out, that the XP system was flawed/bugged, and some
    > files you would expect to be included in a system image might not be
    > there. Had to try it anyway. <grin> Creating and restoring a system
    > image destroyed the dual boot capability. I no longer get the screen to
    > choose which OS will boot or allow for the OS to default to one or the
    > other. In my case, the default was XP, and the computer now boots into
    > XP only.
    >
    > All of the Vista files appear to still be there.
    >
    > As I understand the process, when Vista is installed as the 2nd OS,
    > Vista replaces XP's boot.ini file, or at least supersedes it.
    >
    > I can simply reinstall Vista, I own a copy, but I just want to avoid the
    > time involved to install and update. Only two programs were installed
    > under Vista, and one of them was a utility that is also installed under
    > XP. The other was a very old copy of dBase, so I'm not out anything in
    > this regard.
    >
    > What I'd like to know is, does anyone know of or have a relatively
    > simple yet easy way to restore the multiboot option without having to
    > take the time to reinstall Vista?
    >
    >



    Repair/rebuild BCD by booting with the Vista DVD -
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391



    MowGreen
    ================
    *-343-* FDNY
    Never Forgotten
    ================
    MowGreen, Dec 1, 2012
    #2
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  3. Ken Springer

    Paul Guest

    Ken Springer wrote:
    > I hope no one gets upset with the crossposting, so if you reply, please
    > reply/followup to all, not just the newsgroup you see this post in.
    > Thanks.
    >
    > I've lived "dangerously" for a long time and never used any back up
    > software. But I do things differently than most when it comes to
    > storage of my data, so I've never lost any data matters, or to any great
    > extent. Operating systems, well, that's another story! LOL
    >
    > The computer was dual booting XP Pro and Vista Ultimate, with each OS in
    > it's own partition. XP was the first OS installed, with Vista installed
    > later.
    >
    > I finally decided to test some backup software. Both XP Pro and Vista
    > Ultimate come with MS supplied software to do this. I wanted to
    > try/test these out before looking elsewhere.
    >
    > I started with XP, which messed everything up. LOL I read in MS's
    > book, XP Inside and Out, that the XP system was flawed/bugged, and some
    > files you would expect to be included in a system image might not be
    > there. Had to try it anyway. <grin> Creating and restoring a system
    > image destroyed the dual boot capability. I no longer get the screen to
    > choose which OS will boot or allow for the OS to default to one or the
    > other. In my case, the default was XP, and the computer now boots into
    > XP only.
    >
    > All of the Vista files appear to still be there.
    >
    > As I understand the process, when Vista is installed as the 2nd OS,
    > Vista replaces XP's boot.ini file, or at least supersedes it.
    >
    > I can simply reinstall Vista, I own a copy, but I just want to avoid the
    > time involved to install and update. Only two programs were installed
    > under Vista, and one of them was a utility that is also installed under
    > XP. The other was a very old copy of dBase, so I'm not out anything in
    > this regard.
    >
    > What I'd like to know is, does anyone know of or have a relatively
    > simple yet easy way to restore the multiboot option without having to
    > take the time to reinstall Vista?


    You've left out some details.

    Dual booting could be done with a single disk, with the two OSes each
    having a partition on that single disk.

    Or, you could have two separate disk drives, and put one OS on each.
    That's how I do it, for the simple reason either disk can be unplugged,
    and "nobody gets hurt".

    It probably doesn't make that much difference to the suggested repair
    step, but is something to keep in mind. When using two separate disks,
    you use the BIOS popup boot feature (press F8), to get a menu to
    select which disk to boot.

    When an OS boots, it loads a bit of code in the MBR (sector 0). In the
    case of Windows, that code checks the boot flag on the primary partitions.
    The MBR has a partition table with room for four primary partitions. The
    boot flag should be set on one of them. That helps the MBR code figure out
    which partition to load from. In the case of Linux, the Linux flavor of
    boot code doesn't look at the boot flag, just to show that the method is
    platform specific. The boot flag is there, but it isn't mandatory
    that something check it.

    The OSes use slightly different mechanisms. WinXP uses boot.ini. Vista
    uses BCD. Each has information, a table of boot options. A descriptive
    term for this, would be the "boot manager" that each OS has.

    When you install the more modern OS second as you've done, that allows
    the installer to do what it is supposed to do. It sees WinXP, makes note
    of the details, and then when the "boot manager" info is built in Vista,
    an entry for WinXP can be included. When there is more than one entry
    in a boot manager, there is a need to display the options during startup,
    which is when the boot manager is more apparent to the user.

    So what Moe is suggesting to you, is to use the Vista DVD to rebuild
    the BCD, just as the Vista installer did when you first installed Vista.
    Only now you don't have the advantage of the Vista installer, and so
    you'll be doing the steps manually.

    Then, once the boot process has a Vista boot loader in the MBR, boot
    flag marks a Vista related partition as active, the newly built BSD
    should present the two OS options. As far as I know, the files on the
    WinXP partition still matter, and even after selecting WinXP from
    there, WinXP could still be damaged in such a way that it won't come up.

    If you didn't have the Vista repair to work with, you might check
    the equivalent of "fixmbr" (bootsect?), to have Vista code in the MBR,
    "diskpart" to mark a particular partition as "active", Bootrec /RebuildBcd
    to rebuild the BCD for Vista's boot manager. You might also need to
    look at the WinXP stuff, if it's been damaged, but it probably
    hasn't, as WinXP was careful to look out for itself when this
    accident happened.

    If you think about it, a "cold metal restore" by the WinXP backup software,
    would assume (perhaps wrongly), that the MBR should be corrected, as
    the disk could be completely empty when the restore is done. The restoration
    software would have to be clever enough to see that Vista owns the
    disk, Vista code is already in the MBR, and not mess that up.
    Perhaps Vista backup software should "own" your system ? Using the
    method you've chosen, could well require Vista repair after WinXP restore.

    Paul
    Paul, Dec 1, 2012
    #3
  4. Ken Springer

    Ken Springer Guest

    On 12/1/12 12:10 PM, MowGreen wrote:

    <snip>

    > Repair/rebuild BCD by booting with the Vista DVD -
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391


    Well, that didn't work! That got Vista to boot, but no XP option. LOL

    I had forgotten I'd installed a free (commercial/paid version available)
    utility called Easy BCD in the Vista installation. I'd never
    experimented with it, but took a look. I discovered I could add menu
    items, so added XP, and I'm back in business. Everything seems to work
    as before.

    Now for the details of using the KB article...

    I first tried Method 1. For some reason, when it searched for Windows
    installations, it only found the Vista installation. There was no
    mention of the XP installation. Also, the Vista installation is on D:\,
    but the StartUp Repair said it was on F:\. WHAT?!?!?!

    Not wanting to make a bad situation worse, I exited Method 1.

    Method 2 was next. Step 7 says to type Bootrec /RebuildBcd and press
    Enter. The routine said 0 Windows installations were found. On to the
    bullets. The first instruction said the operation completed
    successfully. The second operation, renaming the file, said the file
    could not be found. Tried the rebuild command again, which is the next
    step, still failed. Exited Method 2.

    Method 3... After managing to type in all the commands correctly (LOL),
    I now had the BCD boot screen, but no option for XP. Booted fine into
    Vista, so at least I knew the Vista installation was sound.

    Thought I'd experiment, tried Method 1 again. This time, I selected the
    one Vista installation, even though it said F:\. It made some repair
    unknown to me, as it at least changed the text in the BCD menu. If it
    did anything else, I don't know what it is. Vista still booted.

    On to trying Method 2 again. Still failed, but this time, I tried all
    possible drive letters for renaming the files, plus left out the boot
    directory part of the entry, all failed. Vista still booted.

    Booted into Vista. Installed the current version of EasyBCD, and
    started playing. Added XP, sorry I don't remember exactly I had to
    input using the Add Entry menu, tested it. Had both XP and Vista in the
    BCD boot menu, both worked perfectly from what I can tell, and I'm a
    happy camper.

    Using EasyBCD, I tweaked the BCD entries to my liking, and all is well
    in computer land here.

    I am curious as to why the Startup Repair didn't see the XP
    installation. My thoughts are both the article and the Startup Repair
    routine assumes a Vista install only. Multibooting possibilities aren't
    considered. That doesn't explain the routine identifying the drive as
    F:\ and not D:\.

    One of the mysteries of Windows, I guess. <grin>

    So thanks for the KB link. While it didn't solve the problem, it got me
    into Vista, which got me to EasyBCD where I was able fix the missing XP
    entry in the menu.

    --
    Ken

    Mac OS X 10.6.8
    Firefox 17.0.1
    Thunderbird 17.0.1
    LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
    Ken Springer, Dec 2, 2012
    #4
  5. Ken Springer

    Ken Springer Guest

    Hi, Paul,

    If you've read my reply to MowGreen, you know I'm up and running. But
    will answer your questions anyway. :)

    On 12/1/12 1:02 PM, Paul wrote:

    <snip>

    > You've left out some details.
    >
    > Dual booting could be done with a single disk, with the two OSes each
    > having a partition on that single disk.
    >
    > Or, you could have two separate disk drives, and put one OS on each.
    > That's how I do it, for the simple reason either disk can be unplugged,
    > and "nobody gets hurt".


    In my case, both OS's are on the primary drive. I use the secondary
    drive for any data storage.

    <snip>

    > Then, once the boot process has a Vista boot loader in the MBR, boot
    > flag marks a Vista related partition as active, the newly built BSD
    > should present the two OS options. As far as I know, the files on the
    > WinXP partition still matter, and even after selecting WinXP from
    > there, WinXP could still be damaged in such a way that it won't come up.


    As I noted to MowGreen, the XP option was not available. But the files
    are apparently undamaged

    Needless to say, I'm done experimenting with the built in backup and
    restore program in XP Pro. I do have a file backup program installed in
    XP, but it doesn't do system images. If I had know that when I bought
    it, I probably would have skipped it. Now, I'll play with the backup
    and restore options in Vista, see how things go.

    Thanks for the information!

    --
    Ken

    Mac OS X 10.6.8
    Firefox 17.0.1
    Thunderbird 17.0.1
    LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
    Ken Springer, Dec 2, 2012
    #5
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