XP/Vista dual boot XP won't start from Vista boot manager

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by newsnet, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. newsnet

    newsnet Guest

    Partitioned HDD originally with XP + Linux now XP + Vista + Linux
    (installed in that order) all three OS now work happily if booted
    separately with GRUB boot loader.

    Selecting Vista from GRUB (behaviour was same before adding Linux /
    GRUB) the Vista Boot Manager presents Vista and XP options but if I
    select XP option I am recycled back to the same Boot Manager option

    It is as if the Vista boot manager thinks XP is where Vista actually
    is and hence boots into itself again. Selecting Vista works as
    expected. XP previously failed with missing NTLDR error fixed with
    Easy BCD by selecting the "F:" drive for the legacy OS.

    It bugs me to see references to C: and F: in configurations when these
    are partitions that Windows renames at the drop of the hat, so below
    Vista's C: drive is XP's F: drive etc.

    Viewed from XP (partition 1) :-

    C: has ntldr, boot.ini etc
    F: has bootmgr and the /BOOT directory

    Running from XP :-


    Windows Boot Manager
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=F:
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    default {default}
    displayorder {default}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier {default}
    device partition=F:
    path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice partition=F:
    systemroot \Windows
    resumeobject {fd438835-b8b2-11db-a847-a1fa7ab7e25e}
    nx OptIn

    Windows Legacy OS Loader
    identifier {d2b28d04-b902-11db-ad28-001195c8bc7c}
    device partition=C:
    path \ntldr
    description Windows XP

    I would like to get Windows handling the two boot options properly for
    future use in dual boot situations without using GRUB.

    Any suggestions ?

    newsnet, Feb 12, 2007
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  2. newsnet

    Ridesy Guest


    Pop along to the Pronetworks forum and download the Vista Boot pro programme
    then post on their forum, as these guys no more about dual/multi boot issues
    with vista than anyone I know!

    It sounds like the BCD path needs editing to point at the same drive for
    both Vista and XP, but as I say these guys are much more knowledgeable than I.

    Ridesy, Feb 12, 2007
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  3. newsnet

    newsnet Guest

    thanks for the suggestion. I'm trying to avoid any more add-ons and I
    want to understand the fundamentals here.
    I have posted there but thus far the solutions suggested include
    measures like inserting CDs in drives and I'm not prepared to move
    from 3 working systems on the basis of hoping that something will
    happen to fix it :)

    Surely MS have a workable dual boot solution for XP and vista on one
    hard drive without having to use Open Source tools to manage the
    booting ?

    Personally I think anything referring to a drive letter is doomed to
    fail as these change from when you install off a bootable DVD to
    depend on which OS you're in ie "drive C:" is not uniquely defined as
    a specific device or partition on a specific disk, its like the OS
    saying "look there first, wherever "there" might be, and if its not
    there somethings changed and I can't help you" :) At least XP's
    boot.ini directly references drives, partitions etc.

    newsnet, Feb 12, 2007
  4. newsnet

    Don Guest

    I've seen similar questions answered with hints that ntldr is
    in the wrong root directory and needs to be copied/moved to
    another drive. But of course I can't recall the details.

    If BCD really means C:\ntldr then it might mean the first
    primary partition of the first BIOS hd -- or it might mean
    the root directory of your Vista, or ...

    I'd copy ntldr into every root directory you have on every
    hd until it works. Mine is on the first primary partition
    of the first BIOS hd, which contains *no* operating system
    at all, and yet it works.
    Don, Feb 12, 2007
  5. newsnet

    newsnet Guest

    Thanks for the thoughts, but I don't think that's the current problem.
    I went through a spell of the "ntldr not found" thing and that was
    solved by getting the right partition device for the XP.

    EasyBCD is a GUI editor for this latest MS creation. http://

    newsnet, Feb 12, 2007
  6. newsnet

    Don Guest

    Well then, what about holding down F8 while trying to boot XP?
    Don, Feb 13, 2007
  7. newsnet

    PhilT Guest

    no go, gets me to Vista. On more careful observation I see that selecting XP
    is triggering a reboot (POST screen etc) not just going back round the boot
    manager options.

    I'm following up your ntldr idea next, having found what looked to be a key
    fact late last night.

    PhilT, Feb 13, 2007
  8. newsnet

    PhilT Guest

    I have it fixed now. Thaks for the suggestion.

    The rules are that both the new Boot Manager and the old ntldr stuff have to
    be on the Active partition when the machine boots up. In my case that is the
    Vista partition which is the second on the hard drive. It was set to be the
    Active partition so that Vista would install into it.

    By copying ntldr, ntdetect and boot.ini onto the active Vista partition
    (where /BOOT bootmgr and the other Vista boot stuff lives) then XP will
    correctly reboot via the Vista moot menu.

    If my XP partition was the active one then perhaps the new Vista boot
    manager files would need to be on it.

    These three files can be removed from the XP partition and XP will still
    boot from Vista, but not directly with GRUB which is explicitly referencing
    their location on the XP partition, although I suspect it might work if I
    pointed it at the other partition - save that for tomorrow.

    So now everything works like it should.

    Originally I had an error "\ntldr missing or corrupt" which went away when I
    pointed the new boot manager at F: (which today has decided to be E:) to
    load XP but this didn't address the fundamental problem.

    With hindsight I didn't need the 3rd party utility as its partial fix was
    the wrong way to go.

    PhilT, Feb 13, 2007
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