vista xp dual boot tip

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by John, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. John

    John Guest

    After 5 hours of yelling and screaming at my computer and ms, of
    course the solution seems so obvious. It is, what I would consider, a
    bug, some might say a "shortcoming", but if you called it a "feature"
    I would have to argue with you. Modern BIOS systems allow you to list
    a prioritized list of hard disks in your boot sequence. Windows
    Vista's boot Manager (or winload.exe, I don't know) does not support
    this feature and there is no documentation regarding this anywhere
    that I can find. Basically, you _must_ have the hard drive that has
    bootmgr.exe on it be the first hard disk in the prioritized list,
    otherwise you will get an error saying "bootmgr is not found" and the
    boot sequence aborts. bcdedit.exe does not solve the problem, you
    _must_ configure your BIOS.
    John, Sep 4, 2007
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  2. John

    Bert Kinney Guest

    Hi John,

    The only way to effectively dual boot between Vista and WinXP without damage
    is to hide the partition each operating system is installed on from each
    other. This is not a bug but *is* by design. Microsoft made this choice long
    before Vista was release to the public. You would have saved yourself 5
    hours by posting this question here. The solution is to use a 3ed party boot
    manager such as BootIt NG to hide partitions. The following link will
    provide information on how to perform this.

    Dual Booting Windows Vista & Windows XP:

    Bert Kinney MS-MVP Shell/User
    Bert Kinney, Sep 4, 2007
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  3. This control by the hard disk at the head of the BIOS's hard
    drive priority list existed in the WinNT/2K/XP family of OSes
    and in earlier MS OSes. It can be used for multi-booting
    between OSes if they reside on different hard drives.

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 4, 2007
  4. John

    Kerry Brown Guest

    It is a problem with some BIOS'. It sounds like yours is one of the problem
    Kerry Brown, Sep 4, 2007
  5. John

    Andy Guest

    If you call it a bug, then you don't have a proper understanding of
    how the Hard Disk Boot Priority function is designed to work.

    In the days of IDE drives only, it was possible to change the order of
    drive enumeration by physically moving a disk from one cable to the
    other and changing a drive from master to slave. This is how one would
    set a particular disk to be the first drive, i.e., the drive that the
    BIOS boots, which is the drive that contains the active primary
    partition and becomes the Windows system partition, the partition that
    has to contain boot files such as ntldr,, boot.ini, and
    Boot Manager.

    With the addition of SATA disks to the mix, this is no longer
    possible, since how does one physically set either an IDE or SATA disk
    to be the first drive. A jumper on the motherboard could be used, I
    suppose. However, the Hard Disk Boot Priority setting in the BIOS
    setup makes it possible to easily change the enumeration order of all
    the disks.

    During Windows installation, Windows setup uses the enumerated disk
    order list to determine that the first disk in the list is supposed to
    contain the system partition, and drive letters are assigned to
    existing partitions on all of the disks in the order of their

    The Hard Disk Boot Priority isn't really a boot sequence list. The
    BIOS will only boot the disk at the top of the list, and if that disk
    is not bootable, you have failure.
    Andy, Sep 4, 2007
  6. This is mostly correct. But... my "old" Dell BIOS (born Jan 1999)
    and licensed from Phoenix Technologies, allows the Hard Drive
    Boot Order (i.e. Priority) to be set to allow *any* hard drive in
    the system to control booting. It has a default order that persists
    until the user resets it. The default order is:
    Master, IDE ch.0,
    Slave, IDE ch.0,
    Master, IDE ch.1,
    Slave, IDE ch.1.

    That means that the BIOS will look first at any device that is
    a hard drive that is Master and connected to IDE ch. 0 and
    has a valid MBR. If the above is True, it will pass control to
    that MBR. If the conditions are not all True, it will look for a
    hard drive that is Slave and connected to IDE ch. 0 and
    has a valid MBR. If the above is True, it will pass control to
    that MBR. Et cetera.

    But if one enters the BIOS by pressing Delete early in the startup
    procedure, one can adjust that Hard Drive Boot Order to any
    sequence that one desires. One can therefore make even the
    Slave hard drive on IDE ch. 1 be the controlling hard drive for
    bootup by either putting it at the head of the Hard Drive Boot
    Order list in the BIOS, or by making it the only hard drive that
    is connected in the system.

    In a strictly SATA system, the default Hard Drive Boot Order
    usually (as far as I can tell) follows the numbering of the SATA
    ports. In a mixed system, BIOSes seem to vary, and the
    default may include the old PATA drives followed by the SATA
    drives, or the SATA drives may have to be "enabled", thereby
    putting SATA drives ahead of the PATA drives. The mixed
    systems can be a puzzle, and there have been many questions
    here involving them as SATA became available on motherboards.

    Beyond telling which hard drive will get control for booting,
    the Hard Drive Boot Order also defines the meaning of "x"
    in "rdisk(x)" in the boot.ini boot menu file used by the
    WinNT/2K/XP family of OSes. That is, "rdisk(0)" specifies
    the hard drive at the head of the list, "rdisk(1)" specifies the
    next hard drive, etc. Thus, "rdisk()" can direct the boot
    loader (ntldr) to go to any hard drive in the system to find
    the OS folder. So although the hard drive at the head of
    the list may get control and the ntldr boot manager in its
    "active" primary partition may control booting, the boot.ini
    file may direct that the OS be loaded from a partition on
    another hard drive. (If you understand partition numbering,
    that partition can even be a logical drive in an Extended
    partition.) I expect that a similar Hard Drive Boot Order
    scheme and booting flexibility also exist in Vista.

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 4, 2007
  7. Now I'm sure it has been mentioned in one of the external links... or
    hopefully it has, but I've found this to work.

    Enjoy your new modified windows vista boot menu.

    much love
    PriceDoesntMatter, Sep 5, 2007
  8. John

    John Guest

    Thanks very much Bert! I have a couple more questions (if you don't
    mind). I was lucky enough to install the OSs on different drives, but
    the situation is a little more complicated. It is a mxed IDE\SATA
    config. Vista is installed on the sole partition of the master IDE (CD
    drive is slave). XP is installed on an SATA drive which is partitioned
    into a System drive (with XP) and a Data drive (which has My Documents,
    etc). I would like to use your solution to disable mounting the Vista
    drive from Device Manager on XP, but it turns out that the Vista drive
    is the C: drive and the XP drive is D: when I boot to XP. I'm afraid
    that disabling the Vista drive on XP will re-map the existing D: to C:
    on reboot which will screw everything up and require a reinstall to recover.


    1) Is this a ramification of an IDE/SATA mix? Would replacing the IDE
    with an SATA be recommended?

    2) How do I solve the problem of re-mapping of drives if I can only use
    the "disabling of the Vista drive through Device Manager" after XP is
    installed? (this questions assumes that the drives will be re-mapped if
    I disable the Vista drive in my current config, I haven't pressed the
    button yet :) )

    Again, thank you very much for your insights
    (btw, I retract my statement of a "bug", I obviously did not understand
    the meaning of the BIOS setting, or the complexity of the issue.)
    John, Sep 6, 2007
  9. John

    John Barnes Guest

    John, I don't think you understand what Bert said and linked to. Wait for
    clarification before you proceed
    John Barnes, Sep 6, 2007
  10. John

    Bert Kinney Guest

    You're welcome John.

    I would recommend using BootIt NG rather than the device manager approach.
    As a matter of fact I removed it from the site.

    Using BING both OS can be easily installed on one drive. Planing is the key.
    Mixing IDE and SATA is complicated. You will see what I mean here.
    BING will make this much easier stable solution.

    How large is the IDE drive XP is installed on?
    If there's enough room on the IDE drive, one solution would be using BING,
    create another partition and install Vista to it. And use the SATA drive to
    store data files both XP and Vista can access.
    No problem. :)

    Bert Kinney MS-MVP Shell/User
    Bert Kinney, Sep 6, 2007
  11. John

    John Guest

    Thanks for the warning. The two questions are really one with multiple
    perspective questions attached. The main question is:

    Will disabling a drive in the XP Device Manager result in remapping of
    the drives on bootup.

    This is important in my case as the XP install is on drive D:, even
    after bootup to XP, although ntldr is on C:, therefore bcdedit reports
    that ntldr is on device parition=C:

    On the other hand, I am not at all committed to either system partition,
    they are both fresh installs, I keep all my data on a separate
    partition. Although, the current XP system partition is a logical drive
    on the same physical drive as the data. The data must not be lost.

    Perhaps I should graph this:

    IDE master
    C: - Primary partition (Vista system)
    D: - Primary partition (XP system)
    E: - Primary partition (Data)
    IDE slave
    F: - CD/DVD drive

    BootMgr and ntldr are both on C:\

    Windows Boot Manager
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=C:
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    default {current}
    resumeobject {8acbe211-5a60-11dc-b1b4-9567c67b458f}
    displayorder {ntldr}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 30

    Windows Legacy OS Loader
    identifier {ntldr}
    device partition=C:
    path \ntldr
    description Earlier Version of Windows

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier {current}
    device partition=C:
    path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice partition=C:
    systemroot \Windows
    resumeobject {8acbe211-5a60-11dc-b1b4-9567c67b458f}
    nx OptIn
    John, Sep 6, 2007
  12. John

    John Guest

    Thanks again Bert, it seems we were both writing at the same time :)
    Not sure if you saw my response to John Barnes, which graphs out my
    situation in more detail. I'm thinking now, it's kind of irrelevant, the
    only reason I'm dual booting is that I've been waiting my m-audio vista
    drivers to be released and couldn't wait any longer. I don't intend to
    maintain this much longer. The two systems work fine as is, although I
    lose restore points in Vista until I get rid of XP.

    Thanks again,
    John, Sep 6, 2007
  13. John

    Bert Kinney Guest

    Bert Kinney, Sep 9, 2007
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