Dual Boot: boot.ini queston - also Vista swaps drive letter on partitions

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Jamie Hunter [MS], Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Hey Holiday, not directly my area, but I can give you some quick answers...

    Vista uses a new database called "BCD" to contain boot configuration data
    and a whole new architecture for booting using a brand new boot component
    called "BOOTMGR". It never tries to understand "boot.ini" or how to boot an
    earlier version of windows. When you select the "Earlier Version" option, it
    runs NTLDR, and uses that to boot the earlier version of Windows.

    Regards BCDEDIT, it's a command line editor. You should use this in an
    "elevated" command prompt (right-click on the "Command" icon and click "Run
    as Administrator"). If you type "BCDEDIT /?" it lists all the options, and
    how to get more information on it's use.

    Regards drive letters, there have been lots of problems in the past where
    applications expect "C:" to be the volume that contains the OS. Vista
    shuffles drive letters around to help such older programs work. It's bit me
    on occasion, until I got used to it. One thing that helps is to utilize the
    ability to label volumes.
    Jamie Hunter [MS], Oct 12, 2006
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  2. Jamie Hunter [MS]

    Holiday Guest

    Holiday, Oct 12, 2006
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  3. A much easier way is to use VistaBootPro, which can be installed on Vista
    and/or XP, and allows for easy editing of the BCD. You can obtain it from:

    Mike Bernstein
    Mike Bernstein, Oct 12, 2006
  4. If you need to get rid of Vista quickly (for an update, for example) you can use
    the Windows Xp Recovery console and fixBoot to restore the old boot.ini system.

    [I was unable to install Vista RC1 and RC2 until I did this, since I had a boot
    from Beta 2 there... ]

    Word of caution: Should you have your main OS on the partition flagged as Bootable
    Vista might do some 'fun' with it, at least that is what happened with my XP64bit.

    Safest thing is to use your BIOS to select 2 Boot Drives and alternate between
    them depending on what you want to run, that way you avoid the hassle altogether.
    [Thats what I am going to do next update... As well as backup up.. often..]
    Terje Alexander Barth, Oct 13, 2006
  5. Jamie Hunter [MS]

    Holiday Guest

    I setup a dual boot on a SATA 160GIG hard drive.
    Loaded XP and had it set up a 60GIG partition.
    (left the rest unpartition for now.)
    Got all drivers loaded and running smoothly.

    Then boot up on Vista CD and had it
    partition the remaining 100GIG.
    Got is setup and running.

    Reboot, boot manager comes up just like it's suppose
    too. One thing though. The selections are:

    1. Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
    2. An Earlier Version of Windows

    An earlier version of windows?? Can it not tell
    which one it is by looking in boot.ini ?
    Anyway I figured I'd edit the boot.ini and change this myself.
    Vista wouldn't even let me access it even though I am an
    administrator. So I reboot to XP and tried to edit boot.ini ,
    but apparently Vista no longer uses boot.ini
    I saw this in the boot.ini:

    Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
    Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.

    So I now need to find some documentation on BCEDIT.
    Is BCEDIT just a text editor? Which file is it editing?
    Any resources on the net to explain all this?

    Now get this. I was confused when trying to copy files from
    one drive letter to another in XP. Booted to Vista and the
    folder was not there. ?????

    Come to find out that when Vista boots, It swaps the second
    partition's drive letter to C and XP's to D
    That can be a mind F**k if your not careful.

    Holiday, Oct 13, 2006
  6. Jamie Hunter [MS]

    Holiday Guest

    WOW just noticed my time is wrong... That's the second time I've had
    to correct it. (or going to)
    Holiday, Oct 13, 2006
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