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Windows Unable to Dual Boot - Caught in a Loop

Discussion in 'Software' started by itsonlydanny, 29 Aug 2010.

  1. itsonlydanny

    itsonlydanny What's a Dremel?

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    Hi there,

    I very recently reinstalled Windows XP Home 32-bit - having had a dual boot set-up with XP as the default OS and Vista Ultimate 32-bit as the other OS. If my memory serves me right, I had installed the OS's the 'wrong way round' - ie, installed XP after Vista after a botched attempt to do it the 'right way round' (ie, Vista after XP). After an initial panic, Vista Boot Pro 3.3 came to the rescue and everything seemed fine.

    However, after the re-installation of Windows XP I 'lost' my Vista boot-up - and VBP 3.3 could find nothing. So I booted up from my Vista Ultimate system disc, clicked on Repair, it found Vista (though, curiously, it thought it was on drive "G"), got the message "root cause: Boot Sector code for system disk partition is corrupt", clicked on Fix/repair start-up ("successfully", apparently), re-booted, etc. At first, it appeared that I was back to a dual-boot situation - as the Boot Manager screen appeared. But when I selected XP I got an error message - "\ntldr" is missing.corrupt, etc - and it asked me to put the system disc back, re-boot and do another "repair" (but it was obviously referring, confusedly, to the Vista Ultimate disc, not the XP disc).

    Anyway, using VBP 3.3 on the Vista 'side of the computer' I re-installed the Legacy System Bootloader - ie, I uninstalled the Vista Bootloader. However, almost inevitably, this resulted in the disappearance of the Boot Manager screen and I booted straight back into XP. Once there, I fired up VBP 3.3 and reversed the Bootloader sequence - ie, I reinstalled the Vista Bootloader (and hence uninstalled the Legacy Bootloader). Alas though, that had absolutely no effect and I just booted back into XP again.

    So, I re-booted again from the Vista system disc, clicked on Repair and so on. With the same result - unable to load up XP from the boot screen manager, so went back into Vista: and from there reinstalled the Legacy system Bootloader, thus enabling me to load up XP again but also denying me access to the boot screen manager or Vista again.

    And so on and so on - caught in a loop. Do you think there is anyway out of this loop, or cycle, short of reinstalling Vista all over again? I am very reluctant to do so as I have a lot of unfinished/half-finished games on Vista and seriously don't fancy reinstalling - and starting them - all over again.

    Anyway, I currently having four Hard Drives, one of which is divided into three partitions - with XP ("D"), Vista ("E") and "F" (full of games, music, etc). The other three Hard Drives are on on "C", "X" and "Y". Yes, I tried to re-letter/re-assign my XP system disc to "C" with Partition Magic - but the consequence of that was that I was totally unable to boot into Windows at all, and had to reinstall XP yet again!

    Presumably, I have some seriously messed-up boot files, MBR, etc.

    Any advice or help would be most appreciated :D.

    By the way, here are my Tech Specs:

    XP Home+Vista Ultimate (32-bit) \ Intel E6750 @ 3.47 \ Abit IP-35 Pro \ Antec 900 Ultimate Gamer \ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro \ 4gb Corsair Twin2X2048 XMS Xtreme Performance (800mhz) \ XFX 8800GTS 320mb \ Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer \ Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB \ Samsung Writemaster SH-S223Q \ Corsair CMPSUHX 620w PSU \ 24" Acer X243H \ ZyXel P-660RU-T1

    Thanks,
    DANNY
     
  2. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    Sounds to me like you've mad a little bit of a mess.What you need to do is get in to vista then install a program called easy BCD, you can the use tis to reinstall the boot loader and rewrite the MRB and the delete all the old crap. If this won't work the only option is to reinstall everything , starting with XP first.
     
  3. itsonlydanny

    itsonlydanny What's a Dremel?

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    So Vista Boot Pro is no good for this situation?

    Thanks,

    DANNY
     
  4. Gryphon

    Gryphon What's a Dremel?

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    It sounds like VBP replaces the vista boot loader with its own... what easy BCD does is just add a proper entry for your xp install to the vista bootloader. It sounds like VBP should work, but as it isnt, try something else :)

    another alternative would be to make a little 4Gb partition and install a linux distro on it (ubuntu would be nice an easy). This would install the GRUB boot manager, that will automatically detect both vista and XP, and allow you to chose between them at boot. You might find you like ubuntu too :)
     
  5. wejjy

    wejjy Minimodder

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    I did pretty much the same a while ago and easy BCD saved the day, I would recommend it highly!
     
  6. itsonlydanny

    itsonlydanny What's a Dremel?

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    Yes, BCD saved the day for me as well? I had to select 'Repair/Fix' boot drive quite a few times on both the XP and Vista side of the computer - and do quite a few reboots, etc. But, as if by magic, the Boot Manager Screen re-appeared again, even if it did show four OS's to choose from (two XPs and two Vistas), two of which were unsurprisingly dud.

    Hail the genius BCD!

    Regards,
    DANNY
     

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