Windows Vista Multi-Boot Headache RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm having some very irritating issues with multibooting Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Ultimate (RTM).  I'll detail my setup process, every step of the way.

    1. Partitioning
    I format my hard drive, erasing all previous partitions.  I make three partitions.
    1) XP Pro (20 GB, NTFS) [Set to active partition during install]
    2) Vista (20 GB, NTFS)
    3) Storage1 (140 GB, NTFS)

    2. Windows XP Professional Install
    Next, I install Windows XP Professional, since I read you should install the old OS first when setting up a multi-boot system with Vista.  It is installed on the active, XP Pro partition.  The setup goes smoothly, and XP Pro boots.

    3. Windows Vista Ultimate Install
    Third, I install Windows Vista Ultimate.  The XP Pro partition is set to Active during this install process, as well.  The setup goes smoothly, though with no mention of multi-booting whatsoever, until the first point at which the system should reboot into Vista (after expanding files, I believe).

    4a. Attempted Boot - XP Pro Partition Active
    The system automatically reboots while going through the install process.  After this attempted reboot, I am left with nothing but a blinking line after my BIOS displays.

    4b. Attempted Boot - Vista Partition Active
    Frustrated, I try switching the active partition to Vista and reboot.  I get the message "NTLDR is missing.  Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to reboot." 

    5a. Vista Setup Repair - Vista Parition Active
    I try going through the "Repair" menu by putting in the Vista install disc and restarting.  As soon as I click Repair, it tells me it found a problem with booting (or something of the likeness) and asks me to restart my computer.  Note that it didn't yet get to the menu with "Command Prompt," "System restore," etc.  I restart, and still get the "NTLDR is missing" error.  I try the Vista repairs again, and it gets to the menu this time.  I tell it to fix Startup errors, but it doesn't detect any problems.

    5b. Vista Setup Repair - XP Pro Paritition Active
    I try making the XP Pro partition active and going through the Vista setup disc repair.  It tells me it can't find any problems.  When I reboot, I still get the blinking line, as opposed to the "NTLDR is missing" error. 

    6. File Copying - Vista Parition Active
    Finally, I try copying "ntdlr," and "ntdetect.com" from my Windows XP Professional partition into my Vista partition.  It tells me "hal.dll is missing," this time.  Hal.dll is in /windows/system32/hal.dll.  It is not missing, though the Vista version of hal.dll is slightly larger than the XP Pro version.

    I don't know where to go from here.  I'm stuck and running out of options... can anyone offer advice, please?  It would be highly appreciated.
    ~The Jimbo
    Friday, November 24, 2006 6:29 PM

All replies

  • I managed to make some progress.

    I marked "Vista" as the active partition and re-installed Windows Vista Ultimate.  I was able to complete the install and boot into Vista.  After getting into Vista, I used the "bcdedit" program from Command Prompt as the Administrator to make a copy of boot configuration for Vista, and edited it to work for Windows XP Pro, but it isn't working so well.  Here's the entry...

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier               {<Long ID number>}
    device                   partition=F:
    path                     \ntldr
    description              XP Pro
    locale                   en-US
    inherit                  {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice                 partition=F:
    systemroot               \WINDOWS
    resumeobject             {<A different long ID number>}
    nx                       OptIn

    When I boot now, I get the Windows Vista OS choice menu.  First on the list is Vista, and second is XP Pro.  When I choose XP Pro, the computer automatically restarts.  I'm pretty sure I don't have the "path" value set to what it should be, but I don't know what I should set it to.  Any ideas?
    Friday, November 24, 2006 8:49 PM
  • Hi Jimbo.

    I went through almost same terrifying experience. You can see my post in next thread http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=956957&SiteID=17

    I could manage to have 3 systems installed. One Vista and one is XP 64. The 3d - is the main system I have used - 32-bit XP is now in the middle of upgrade to Vista - I cant use XP as it already have rolled into some kind of temporary Vista depository and I cant start Vista as it fall through to BSOD.

    Please give me a shout if you would find a solution - I desperately need my old XP files back and also it would be nice to finish XP-Vista upgrade (as that Vista which is in working order is on a storage disc now and is a temporary solution).

    Friday, November 24, 2006 9:03 PM
  • Hi guys,i also have the same problem.I had installed Vista ultimate RTM in E: drive & Xp Pro in C: drive.
    Now i had formatted my E: drive & i only hav Xp but in my boot screen there r again 2 operating systems showing.What do i do to get rid of this screen & automatically start xp without selecting.
    Plz help me
    Friday, December 15, 2006 8:47 AM
  • i've been at this for almost 3 days solid now & am still worse off than I started...though, today i'm better off than I was yesterday...when I was about to throw both of my computers out of the window (and i've only been trying to install a dual boot setup on 1 of them...!!!)

    Sorry...but i'm just venting...no real solutions or help to offer, other than the bottle of exedrin that is sitting beside me!


    Wednesday, March 14, 2007 6:11 AM
  • i have found a problem when i boot my computer ntdlr is missing

    Monday, December 3, 2007 1:09 PM