Weird problem: Dual Boot installation

By Techdre ยท 6 replies
Jul 25, 2006
  1. Hello Guys/Gals

    I ran into a weird problem installing a Dual boot for a friend. OK I am trying to Dual boot Windows XP and XP 64bit on seperate hard drives.

    first the system has 2 SATA Hard drives on a Nvidia Controller non-RAID

    He wants both hard drives partitioned, XP32 on the first drive on a 40GB partition and the rest of that drive a Primary partition free space. XP64 on the second drive on a 40gb partition with the rest free space

    Drive 0 C:\ XP32
    Drive 0 D:\ NTFS Freespace
    Drive 1 E:\ XP64
    Drive 1 F:\ NTFS Freespace
    G:\ DVDRW Drive

    (To make a long storry short)

    I can only boot XP64 if I have the OS CD in the Drive. I get a ntoskrnl missing error if I try to boot without the OS CD in the Drive

    (The long story)

    The installation and configuration of XP32 went smoothly I partition the free space in Disk Manager and formatted it NTFS and left the second drive un-partitioned. I then Rebooted to the XP 64 CD and started the installation and got to the partitioning step and ran into my first problem.
    I created a partition of about 40gb but XP64 gave it the drive letter F: which I did not want I figured that it was putting the DVDRW drive before the XP64 installation drive....

    I canceled the installation and booted into XP32 and created a 40GB Primary partition on the seconded drive and formatted it NTFS and arranged the drive letters in the Disk manager. Rebooted to the XP64 CD got to the Partitions
    OMG...:-0 now the XP64 installation drive letter is D:\ and the free space on the 1st drive is E:\

    I thought I would trick the installation process I rebooted into XP32 deleted all the partitions except the C:\ . Booted to the XP64 CD and created the partition on the second drive and it gave it drive letter E:\ :cool: ( I was dancing for joy ) I went through the installation no problems got to the Desktop and Windows saw

    C:\ XP32
    D:\ DVDRW
    E:\ XP64

    I went into the Device manager set the DVD RW to Z:\ and created a partition on the first drive free space and partitioned the free space on the seconded drive and every thing is happy :) I rebooted and XP64 came up everything still good. ( Yeah!!!! I did it )

    I stared to load drivers and had to reboot during the reboot I got

    Weird problem......

    NTOSKRNL missing or corrupted :=( I reset the system and got the same thing. I thought that the drivers that I installed corrupted the installation so I booted to XP32 to view the files and sure enough the ntoskrnl was there in the system32 folder in XP32 and XP64. I scratched my heard for a few sec. OK I have to reload XP64 I put the XP64 CD in the drive and rebooted the system as it was rebooting I went to the rest room cause now I was here for awhile ....LOL I got back and the system was in XP 64 and the Nvidia chipset drivers that I installed where there and the drive letter where in the right order. I rebooted and XP64 booted up no problem at this point I a totally confused, well the only thing that changed was that I inserted the XP64 CD. I removed it and tried to boot XP64 and got the NTOSKRNL ERROR again. Put the XP64 CD in the drive reset and it booted
  2. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    thats cause there no active partition on that drive
    you may have put a system there but it was no made active
    install acronis or paragon some disk manager and make it active
    then use a 3rd party boot manager to run
    this will shut off one or the other as you need
    be careful with boot managers they have a tendency to screw up partitions
    they will not show them, may need to give them new drive letters stuff like that

    thats my story
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Here's an actual dual boot guide to x64 and 32-bit XP. Just a random find I thought might be of some use.

    Sounds like you've had some trouble. LoL!

    Just so you know, this how I might have tried it.
    • Fire up the XP-32bit install
    • Delete all previous partitions
    • Create your system and storage partition
    • Format the system partition as NTFS during the XP install
    • Once XP installs, format your storage partition as NTFS. System should be C, Storage should now be D.
    • Reassign your optical drive letter (just in case) to Z
    • Fire up the XP x64 install
    • Delete all previous partitions
    • Create your system partition and your storage partition
    • Format the system partition during the install
    • Once XP finishes installing, format your storage partition as NTFS. System should be E, storage should be F.
    • Reassign your optical drive letters appropriately

    That should give you what you want. Now onto your problem.
    I've never seen this happen before and this is a good one! :) For whatever reason, your boot loader is attempting to load from the CD. This should be a straight forward fix. 'ntoskrnl' tells us your boot loader is working. The NT boot loader uses C:\boot.ini (Or root of the boot drive) as information to load Windows. We'll need to fix this file.

    • Boot from your XP CD
    • Go through the normal process up until the option to "Press R" for Windows recovery appears. Our goal is get into the Recovery Console.
    • After several seconds, you should now be in a command line interface.
    • Login to your primary installation of Windows. This is typically the install on Disk 0, Part 0, but it will be whatever drive you have assigned to be the default boot drive in your BIOS or RAID BIOS.
    • Type bootcfg /rebuild to start a search for OS installs. It may take a minute or two.
    • You will recieve prompts for the versions of Windows installed. Choose Y for each one you'd like to be present in your boot loader.
    • You'll be prompted for a 'load identifier'. This is the name of the discovered OS, so type whatever you'd like to name the OS.
    • You'll be prompted for OS load options. Type /fastdetect for each of these times
    • Once your boot.ini is rebuilt, everything should boot without the CD. You may have duplicate OSes on startup. You can solve this later on under System Properties > Advanced > Startup and Recovery> Click EDIT. Remove the 'extra' settings (this is boot.ini by the way)

    Best of luck.
  4. Techdre

    Techdre TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply guys


    (there's always a BUT when your start off with a compliment)

    No Joy

    The C:\ Drive is Active XP Pro boots with no problem

    I rebuilt the BOOT.INI as posted it added the new entries but the same problem with the new entries. Here is the boot.ini as it is now

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP 64" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP 32" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Well, that was my best guess. :\ The above entires look good to me, by the way.

    XP Pro boots fine, but x64 doesn't... Hmm...

    I don't know this as fact because I haven't had much experience with x64 (left a bad taste in my mouth), but what I'm thinking is the 32-bit Win boot loader (ntldr & ntdetect) probably can't start a 64-bit kernel (ntoskrnl). This doesn't explain to me why you need a CD to start it, but let's try replacing your boot loader with the 64-bit version.

    Get back into the recovery console with your XP x64 CD. Type the following commands:
    cd c:\
    attrib -s -h -r
    attrib -s -h -r ntldr
    ren ntldr ntldr.bak
    ren ntdetect.bak
    copy X:\i386\ C:
    copy X:\i386\ntldr C:
    *X = Your CD's Path
    attrib +s +h +r ntldr
    attrib +s +h +r
    The idea is to replace your existing boot loader files with the 64-bit versions. Once you finish up, restart the computer and it should work. If it doesn't, perhaps you need to issue the fixboot and/or fixmbr commands as well, although I'm unsure of the reason why you would have to. This would just be a 'grabbin at straws' technique, in case all else fails. ;)

    And if that doesn't work... Well, you've got me stumped.
  6. Techdre

    Techdre TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After a few more days I gave up......... :-(

    Then I had to slap my friend into submission but he turned around and came to the understanding that his configuration was the issue. So now the installation is as follows

    Drive 0
    C:\ Win XP Pro 40gb
    D:\ Win XP 64 40gb
    E:\ free space 30 somthing GB

    Drive 1
    F:\ Free Space 250gb

    Works like a champ

    Thanks Rick and Sam
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    "Then I had to slap my friend into submission but he turned around and came to the understanding that his configuration was the issue."

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