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Can't dual boot XP after installing Vista?

By gnusmas ยท 5 replies
Feb 1, 2007
  1. Hi,

    I recently installed Vista x64 on a computer that already had Windows XP SP2 installed on it.

    I have two physical SATA2 drives
    On has XP x86 and the other has Vista x64.

    But now i can't boot XP at all and the option isn't available in Vista's Startup and Recovery either

    How can I fix this?

  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I have yet to attempt this, but Vista doesn't use a boot.ini like previous versions of windows. It uses BCD (Boot Configuration Data) and you need to deal with that with bcdedit.exe. Apparently thats an ugly process, so it seems that VistaBoot is the best way around that, its got a nice gui interface. It looks like you should be able to get your XP back with it.
  3. gnusmas

    gnusmas TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the tip SNGX1275

    I tried it from two different angles (from XP and from Vista) and although the program installed and was able to run flawlessly inside XP this wasn't the case inside Vista as the program kept telling me that i didn't have Vista installed or that I had an irregular drive configuration.

    Ignoring this error box I click Continue and the program starts without a glitch but when I add a OS from within "Manage OS Entries" and reboot I can see both OSs but when i choose XP instead of Vista I get an error message telling me that "ndlr" is missing and therefore OS, in this case XP, is unbootable.

    The only way I managed to get XP to boot was if I physical disconnected the Vista HDD (This worked only prior to reinstalling the Vista Bootloader).
    Then I would be able to boot and what I noticed was that when I'm inside XP my C: drive is where XP is installed and when I reconnect the Vista drive it boots straight to XP.

    Next what I did was boot from the Vista disk and use the "Repair Computer" function to access Vista. Now my C: drive contains Vista?!? (I think that the problem lies with both Vista and Xp using the letter C for their primary drive which makes no sense to me.

    Then if I reboot it boots straight into Vista without asking which OS i want to boot from.

    So what i did at this point was use VistaBoot and and reinstalled the Bootloader then after rebooting I did have a choice between both OSs but when I choose XP i get the NDLR missing error.

    My guess is it has something to do with the weird floating C: drive issue.
    What i don't understand is why Vista mysteriously installed on the C: drive when i specifically asked it to install and a separate blank HDD using the drive letter D:

    I'm lost ...and my hope is that I haven't lost you while trying to explain this :)

    Thanks for your time
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    On a dual boot, VISTA has to be installed first, does it not?
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    No. Vista just has to be installed to a Primary partition I think. But if you google for dual booting XP and Vista the first few links (I didn't check any others) tell you how to do it, and they have XP installed already.
  6. fredoliver

    fredoliver TS Rookie

    Load the XP CD and boot from the disc and use the 1st recovery option. Then select the number that identifies your XP install and hit enter, and it will have the C:\Windows\xxxx\xxxx Dir for you to then fix the boot record which is the problem. Then type fixboot/enter and then y/enter for yes and it will fix the boot record for the XP SP2 install.
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