Dual Boot Problem


O

OldGuy

some time ago I set up a dual boot.
It worked for a while.

Desktop PC
Win XP Pro on C:
Data on D:
Win 7 Pro on E:
C: and D: are on one disk.
E: has its own disk.
All are visible on My Computer

Used EasyBCD2.2 to set up.
checked to give a startup selection.
Did dual boot for a while then never again.

Now it will not dual boot.

Says Boot.ini is bad.
but I searched all drives and cannot find Boot.ini.

Tried to redo using EasyBCD and it says it did a rewrite but seems it
did not.

BIOS shows the default boot on the C: drive.

It always boots to C: (WinXP) and always complains that boot.ini is
bad.

Suggestions please.
 
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W

...winston

OldGuy wrote, On 12/19/2013 2:10 AM:
some time ago I set up a dual boot.
It worked for a while.

Desktop PC
Win XP Pro on C:
Data on D:
Win 7 Pro on E:
C: and D: are on one disk.
E: has its own disk.
All are visible on My Computer

Used EasyBCD2.2 to set up.
checked to give a startup selection.
Did dual boot for a while then never again.

Now it will not dual boot.

Says Boot.ini is bad.
but I searched all drives and cannot find Boot.ini.

Tried to redo using EasyBCD and it says it did a rewrite but seems it
did not.

BIOS shows the default boot on the C: drive.

It always boots to C: (WinXP) and always complains that boot.ini is bad.

Suggestions please.

You need to specify how you installed Windows 7
- with or without the XP Pro drive connected.

See NOTE below!

Background Info:
- On plain jane XP only system the System (booting files) and Boot
volume (Operating System-Windows) are on the same partition. One a
plain jane Win7 system the System and Boot volumes are on different
partitions.

If you installed Win7 on E with the XP drive (C:) connected then all
System files for both operating systems boot managers reside on the XP
drive (C:)
- XP uses boot.ini but Win7 does not (it uses bootmgr) ***and Win7
bootmgr controls the dual booting of both operating systems***
- NOTE: Before doing anything it would be prudent to visit the
EasyBCD forums and review the how-to's of rebuilding both XP and Win7's
system files. It may also be necessary to run FixMBR on XP before using
EASYBCD (a variety of articles are available on the net explaining
Fixmbr). Likewise running Fixmbr will negate the dual boot system files
used for Windows 7 until Win7 bootmgr files are restored/rebuilt on the
XP drives System Volume thus allowing Win7 to handle the dual boot process.


If you installed Win7 with the XP drive disconnected then you'll need to
provide more info on how you did that and what you used EASYBCD for (at
that time).
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
some time ago I set up a dual boot.
It worked for a while.

Desktop PC
Win XP Pro on C:
Data on D:
Win 7 Pro on E:
C: and D: are on one disk.
E: has its own disk.
All are visible on My Computer

Used EasyBCD2.2 to set up.
checked to give a startup selection.
Did dual boot for a while then never again.

Now it will not dual boot.

Says Boot.ini is bad.
but I searched all drives and cannot find Boot.ini.

Tried to redo using EasyBCD and it says it did a rewrite but seems it
did not.

BIOS shows the default boot on the C: drive.

It always boots to C: (WinXP) and always complains that boot.ini is bad.

Suggestions please.

+-----+----------------------+----
| MBR | C: WinXP C:\boot.ini |
+-----+----------------------+----

+-----+----------------------+----
| MBR | E: Win7 (BCD based) |
+-----+----------------------+----

In the BIOS, you can select either drive for booting.

If you select the first drive, the boot manager menu only has
WinXP in it. The boot.ini should not have needed to be edited
and it should still be working. Unless something has meddled
with it.

If you select the second drive, EasyBCD should have changed the
BCD information, so two OSes show up

Windows 7
WinXP

and the BCD will then cause the WinXP partition to boot
to the desktop, if you selected the second entry.

C:\boot.ini is a hidden file, which will cause a bit of a
problem for you. This would have worked, if WinXP was
actually booting (access via System control panel). Since
your WinXP is broken, you can't really do this.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022

If you're in Windows 7, the drive letter of the WinXP drive
will not be C:\. It'll be something else. You must figure out
that drive letter first. In the following example, I'm pretending
it is drive M:.

In Windows 7, type "cmd" in start, right click it and select
"Run As Administrator". That is to elevate the Command Prompt
window so all commands run as if an Administrator-like account
is running them.

You can start with a "dir" command

dir /AH M:\

where the /A thing says "look for hidden files". The boot.ini
should get listed. To look for Hidden and System, you could
try something like this.

dir /ASH M:\

Now, use the attrib command. Record the values for boot.ini

attrib M:\boot.ini

Mine reports

A SH M:\boot.ini

Now, nullify the offending SH part with this command

attrib -s -h M:\boot.ini

Verify again, that the SH part is gone.

attrib M:\boot.ini

Now, you can try notepad.

notepad M:\boot.ini

Save and exit, when you've made your changes.

Now, put back the SH part. The second command,
is so you can review that it is back at the
original set of attributes (System & Hidden).

attrib -s -h M:\boot.ini
attrib M:\boot.ini

That doesn't explain what to change or correct in
there of course. It's probably the path (ARC) which
is screwed up.

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

If you were to run the WinXP installer CD, and boot
to the recovery console, you could also rebuild the
boot.ini. Which automates the repair. If you read
the description though, it prompts you for information,
so it appears to be a nuisance. If I could think of
another way to get the ARC path, without that command,
I'd give it to you :)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291980

bootcfg /rebuild

The EasyBCD command should primarily be concerned
with the BCD on the Windows 7 drive. That's why it is
called EasyBCD. While anything is possible in software,
and it could be designed to edit boot.ini, I don't
think that is its purpose. For boot.ini, there is
Notepad. Assuming you can figure out how to get
the attributes into a state, that Notepad can open it.

HTH,
Paul
 
O

OldGuy

Thank you both for the response.
I have not had a chance to persue your thoughts but have a few
additional questions.

Is there a way to tell what was done first: XP or Win 7 ?
I.e. is there a dated file someplace that would give me a clue.
All was installed in 2011. My memory goes back to 2013, oh, that's
now.

As I said, this all worked until something mucked it up. Probably some
windows update.

The computer has been on the shelf for a year without me once looking
at it. The problems were back then, not just recent. I use this PC
for long stays at remote places. So I do not look at it until I need
it: right now! Oh well.

It has an MCI MS-7696 motherboard installed in a low profile case.
i.e. all the plug-in boards must be low profile which limits what I can
plug in. Fortunately a serial I/O board was avaialbe so I could play
with MIDI. MCI has others too that I am considering.

This MB has USB3 ports that did not work with XP.
The Blue-Ray drive went dead.
I just now installed updated drivers for the MSI MB and now USB3 is
working with XP Pro.
I opened the case and wiggled the Blu-Ray drive connectors and moved
the SATA cable to a different port and now the Blu-Ray is working.
Hooray.

I just finsihed, (it almost finished me) installing 64 Windows updates.
Yikes! I'll bet there are more lerking.

Making progress.

I really do not want to have to reinstall all of it again.
 
O

OldGuy

So right now I go into the BIOS and change the boot drive and I can get
to Xp or Win 7 that way. Wish I could figure out how to get that boot
menu back.
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
So right now I go into the BIOS and change the boot drive and I can get
to Xp or Win 7 that way. Wish I could figure out how to get that boot
menu back.

You'll be doing it from the Win7 OS side. As Win7
boot manager, would know how to work with both BCD
based OSes as well as boot.ini based ones.

EasyBCD should have known how to do this. Or, find
a recipe using bcdedit (the Microsoft tool).

BCDedit is command line based. It's fine as long
as you find the right recipe page, as it's quite
powerful, and all you need is good working examples
to do it. EasyBCD would have been easier, had it
worked.

*******

If you boot the recovery console (command prompt) from
the Windows 7 disc, there is a different tool you can use
there. Click the "Bootrec.exe options" here, to read the
details. Note the elaborate procedure to save the BCD,
in case the rebuild doesn't go well.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

One problem with that procedure, is the backup procedure
assumes the boot files are on C:. As shipped, my Windows 7
laptop was a two partition installation, C: containing
the system files, and SYSTEM RESERVED containing the boot
files. SYSTEM RESERVED also doesn't have a drive letter. Which
would make the above references to "C:" rather comical. So be
careful not to take the instructions too literally.

The reason Windows 7 has two partitions, is in support of
BitLocker, the encryption tool. In order for Windows 7 to boot,
you can't encrypt everything. As a result, Microsoft put
the boot files on SYSTEM RESERVED. So that all of C: could
be encrypted. BitLocker is not supported on all versions
of Windows 7. If you know for a fact, you will never install
Ultimate via an Anytime Upgrade, then use BitLocker to protect
all of C:, you can "convert" Windows 7 to using a single partition.
It'll involve moving the active flag to C: (so the Microsoft
first stage know where to look). And there is also some more
command line Voodoo to complete the transition. I did the
procedure to my laptop, knowing that BitLocker is not currently
in usage, and BitLocker will never be used here.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=409

There's really no reason to be dabbling in that, unless you
really need to free up a primary partition. But if you had applied
that in the past, and now everything was on C:, the recipe
in KB927392 would make more sense to you.

An alternative way to do BCD work would be:

1) Backup C: and SYSTEM RESERVED, with Macrium Reflect Free.
Have a Macrium emergency boot CD available, in case of
trouble.
2) Do the bootrec /rebuild from the recovery console, as
I think there is sufficient context (active flag position
plus available boot folder), for bootrec to do its job.
It's a single command, and then, cross your fingers :)
and reboot.

Using step 1 there, bypasses the need to cook up a means
to do the protection of BCD when repairing. The Microsoft
recipe is intended to keep files around if there is trouble.
If you back up the "critical" partitions of C: and SYSTEM RESERVED,
that's all the protection you need. Simply restore, if you
cook the thing.

And this assumes the total file content on C: is reasonable.
If you have a terabyte of music files on C:, perhaps running
a backup isn't all that clever, as it would take three to five
hours. I know some of my Windows partitions here, take ten minutes
or so to backup, so I can suggest a backup as an easy means out
of a dilemma. Some people will have a much larger partition, and
then finding room (and time) for the backup, isn't all that easy.

It's not the size of the partition that counts. If you have a
terabyte partition and 26GB of OS files total, then it's not going
to take that long to run a backup. It's if you have a terabyte
partition and it's 98% full, that'll take a while.

Paul
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, Paul <[email protected]>
writes:
[]
You can start with a "dir" command

dir /AH M:\

where the /A thing says "look for hidden files". The boot.ini
should get listed. To look for Hidden and System, you could
try something like this.

dir /ASH M:\

Now, use the attrib command. Record the values for boot.ini

attrib M:\boot.ini

Mine reports

A SH M:\boot.ini

Now, nullify the offending SH part with this command

attrib -s -h M:\boot.ini

Verify again, that the SH part is gone.

attrib M:\boot.ini

Now, you can try notepad.

notepad M:\boot.ini

Save and exit, when you've made your changes.

Now, put back the SH part. The second command,
is so you can review that it is back at the
original set of attributes (System & Hidden).

attrib -s -h M:\boot.ini
attrib M:\boot.ini
[]
Shouldn't that be
+s +h
the second time, if you're putting the attributes back?
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"When you go in for a job interview, I think a good thing to ask is if they
ever
press charges." - Jack Handey
 
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P

Paul

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
In message <[email protected]>, Paul <[email protected]>
writes:
[]
You can start with a "dir" command

dir /AH M:\

where the /A thing says "look for hidden files". The boot.ini
should get listed. To look for Hidden and System, you could
try something like this.

dir /ASH M:\

Now, use the attrib command. Record the values for boot.ini

attrib M:\boot.ini

Mine reports

A SH M:\boot.ini

Now, nullify the offending SH part with this command

attrib -s -h M:\boot.ini

Verify again, that the SH part is gone.

attrib M:\boot.ini

Now, you can try notepad.

notepad M:\boot.ini

Save and exit, when you've made your changes.

Now, put back the SH part. The second command,
is so you can review that it is back at the
original set of attributes (System & Hidden).

attrib -s -h M:\boot.ini
attrib M:\boot.ini
[]
Shouldn't that be
+s +h
the second time, if you're putting the attributes back?

Only if you're clever enough to catch typos :)
Which I appear not to be.

Maybe that's why I'm recommending verifying the results :)

Good catch.

Returning your boot.ini to normal again...

attrib +s +h M:\boot.ini
attrib M:\boot.ini
A SH M:\boot.ini <--- expected result that is printed out

HTH,
Paul
 

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