Serious problem with partition table after VISTA re-install

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by AlexFrederiksen, Oct 20, 2007.

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  1. AlexFrederiksen

    AlexFrederiksen Registered Member

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    I have come across a serious problem.

    Some background first:

    I have installed 2 XP's, and 1 VISTA on my hard drive in 3 difference partitions( 1. XP PRO, 2. XP PRO, 3. VISTA). I set each partition active under installation, so that all OS have C: drive as there system drive.
    All worked fine until I did some changes.

    I wanted to change my Vista installation from a 64 bit to 32 bit installation, so I booted the VISTA install DVD with the vista partition as active. ( the 3rd one). I installed VISTA, and everything was fine. But I forgot to hide my XP partition, so VISTA made a standard dual boot with XP and VISTA.

    Okay, I then tried to remove this, but suddenly my VISTA can still boot, but my XP fails. When I start up VISTAI can see the drives of all partitions, and in DD I see everything fine. Therefor I thought I just had to make a fixmbr with the XP installation with the 1. partition (XP) set as active.

    But when I boot the XP CD I can not see my partition table. It just shows one big drive with no partitions making it impossible for me to use the fixboot tool..

    Can someone help me in this situationo_O as mentioned, everything seems fine when I boot into VISTA, but not when I boot with the XP cd... I have also tried to disable OSS, and with DD boot disk making sure the XP partition was active.

    Please help o_O
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Alex:

    If Vista is booting then there is no need to do a fixmbr -- your MBR is fine.

    I'm not positive of this but I think that when Vista installed and set up a dual-boot installation with the visible XP partition, then it probably moved the files needed to boot XP into the Vista partition.

    If you look at the files in the XP partition do you see boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM, and ntldr in the root of the partition? You can use DD to look for these files. If you use Vista to look for them then don't forget to enable "show hidden files and folders" and "show protected operating system files". If these 3 files are missing, copy them from your Vista partition into the XP partition and try booting into XP again.

    If this doesn't work then what error message do you see when trying to boot into XP?
     
  3. AlexFrederiksen

    AlexFrederiksen Registered Member

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    Hi k0lo.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Investigating your comments, you discovered the following:

    No boot.ini, ntdetect.com on the VISTA partition (3rd partition called C: when booted in VISTA), but on the 1st partition (called D: when booted in VISTA).

    So the thing is that both XP and VISTA uses the 1st partition to boot, and I can confirm this, since trying to boot the "old" XP partition, VISTA tries to boot, but stops after a while. When I try to start VISTA after wards, I tells me that it did not start correctly the last time, and ask es to be started in safe mode.... Sorry that I did not mention that the "old" XP partition starts VISTA as well.

    I really hope you can help.

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  4. AlexFrederiksen

    AlexFrederiksen Registered Member

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    Investigating your comments, you discovered the following: --> should have been "Investigating your comments, I discovered the following:"

    :p
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Alex:

    I see. So the boot files got all tangled up in the first primary active partition. That makes sense. Then perhaps the entry in boot.ini is incorrect for booting XP. What partition number does boot.ini reference for XP?

    Perhaps MudCrab or one of the other regulars can chime in on how to untangle things.
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Alex,

    You might take a look at this thread: OSS and the windows dual boot screen. It deals with a similar problem.

    This is what caused the problem. Once Vista takes over the booting, I don't think it even uses XP's boot.ini file. All the booting information is stored in the BCD file.

    As I've said before in various posts, I always recommend that an Entire Disk Image backup be created before any of these types of changes are made. It's usually much quicker and easier to restore the image and try again if something goes wrong than to try and "untangle" it manually.

    ---

    You may be able to do this as another option:

    Uninstall OSS.
    Fix each OS, one at a time by setting that OS partition as Active and the others hidden using DD.
    For Vista, boot to the Vista DVD and do a boot repair.
    For XP, boot to the XP CD and use the Recovery Console to do a boot repair.
    (You may need to reinstall OSS from the DD CD after EACH OS is fixed. Let it recognize the new OS, set the properties so they're correct and then deactivate OSS before proceeding to fix the next OS. This will allow OSS to capture the MBR for the particular OS.)
    Then boot the DD CD and use DD to unhide all the partitions. Apply the changes.
    Reboot to the DD CD and reinstall/reactivate OSS.
    Hopefully, it will find all of your OS's and setup menu entries for them (if not already setup).
    Make sure to edit each OS menu entry's properties to hide the other OS's partitions and set the current OS's partition as Active (if not already set).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
  7. AlexFrederiksen

    AlexFrederiksen Registered Member

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    Hi k0lo and MudCrab.

    Sorry that I could not reply you faster, but I lost my ISP connection, and was first now able to restore my WAN.

    Based on the information you have gave me, I found a solution on the problem.

    I booted up VISTA and used the EasyBCD to remove VISTA boot files. This is the option under advanced in EasyBCD. Then the XP boot worked again. The VISTA entry in OSS was now gone.

    I then booted up with DD, and hided all XP partitions, and set the VISTA partition to active.

    I then booted up the VISTA DVD and made a bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot.

    I rebooted the computer, and now VISTA worked again.

    I then booted with the DD disk and activated OSS. Worked fine, but no VISTA entry. I then booted up XP - with VISTA partition not hidden, and uses XP to copy ntldr and ntdetect.com and boot.ini to the VISTA partition. I then changed boot.ini to reflect that the VISTA partition is the 3rd.

    Reboot, and bingo, VISTA entry was there, and it now works perfect. I did of cause hide the VISTA partition again on the XP entry of OSS.

    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP :D
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you had done a standard Vista boot repair, then I suspect that OSS would have recognized your Vista installation without you needing to copy the XP boot files into the Vista partition. In any case, it's working now.

    Thanks for posting back with your solution.
     
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