XP/Server 2003 Bootloader issues

By PuzZah
Apr 8, 2009
  1. Hi,

    I've been setting up a dual boot combination of Windows XP SP3 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 and run into some issues. The issue in short is that Windows Server is selected from the bootloader manually (XP is the default) and then the screen goes black. The splash screen does not appear or anything. The computer remains on but does nothing. Prior to installing XP, Server 2003 booted fine. I suspect this may have something to do with the long trail of issues I've had while installing the two operating systems. I will detail it below to give you an idea of what I've done in the hope that it might point out an *obvious* underlying issue.

    • Installed Windows XP onto partition 1.
    • Installed Server 2003 onto partition 2.
    • Discovered partition 1 had bad sectors, used chkdsk /R to *fix* bad sectors.
    • Didn't use the machine for a while, forgot Server 2003 password so reinstalled on partition 2.
    • Reinstalled Windows XP on partition 1 now that hard disk issues have been resolved.
    • XP now boots, so I configured it as I wanted, rebooted to go into Server 2003 and came across the black screen problem.

    I don't really want to have to reinstall either operating system, particularly Server 2003 as it's configured as I want it now.

    I'm not at home at the moment so can't grab a copy of boot.ini to post until later this evening but in the mean time if anyone has any suggestions I can try when I get home that'd be much appreciated.

  2. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    This is my boot.ini file. Presumably I can just delete the bottom entry as it points to a partition which no longer exists?

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Standard" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Standard" /fastdetect
    Edit: Came across this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314503 which looks like it may be the problem.


  3. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I've not had any luck fixing this.

    I've tried the recovery console and running fixboot and fixmbr with no luck. What I've noticed is that if I try and run safe mode now it begins to load but hangs on various different drivers. Since it gets as far as loading drivers I'm beginning to suspect it isn't a bootloader issue. I haven't got the names of the drivers with me at the moment as I'm at work but will post them later on.

    If anyone has any suggestions that'd be much appreciated.

  4. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I just thought I'd update this now that I've found a solution in case anyone comes across this with the same problem.

    Apparently, the issue lies with XP being _slightly_ older than Server 2003 and replacing necessary files. This means that Windows XP needs to be installed first or the problem will occur.

    "The installation of Windows XP replaced a few files that are neccessary to
    be able to boot into Windows Server 2003. What you have to do is repair the
    Windows Server 2003 installation, or replace the files ntdetect.com and
    ntldr with those on the Windows Server 2003 CD (the first option is the most
    simple one to do). "

    So simply browse the Server 2003 CD, then in one way or another copy the aforementioned files into the root of whichever drive/partition contains the boot information. For me, it was partition multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1), my Windows XP partition. When you paste the files in, it'll ask to overwrite- say yes to both and the problem should be resolved hopefully.

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