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Windows Thread, Multi-boot - will I ever learn? in Technical; I've got my primary work laptop which I use as a sort of mobile troubleshooting platform and because it was ...
  1. #1
    contink's Avatar
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    Multi-boot - will I ever learn?

    I've got my primary work laptop which I use as a sort of mobile troubleshooting platform and because it was originally a Vista machine I installed WinXP by dint of sheer cussedness and a lot of driver searching through Sony forums.

    Anyway, push came to shove and I duplicated the hard drive onto 200Gb (from the 120Gb original) and installed Win7 Ultimate on a new partition in the extra space... It all worked really well but I had one niggle in that the VistaBootPro settings left over from my Vista/XP days weren't defaulting to XP but Win7 instead.

    So, in a fit of "efficiency" I opted to run VistaBootPro in XP with the intention of changing the default.

    Now, I can't be sure but everything goes bright blue (on my internal mind monitor) because VBP shoved up the usual "Your BCD is not backed up" prompt and I thought I'd better make a backup to ensure I didn't suffer any nasties if I messed something up..

    ... erm...

    ...tap, tap, tap...

    It crashed, froze... died...

    At this point I was up to my eyeballs with the need to get upstairs and relieve a very tired wife with the baby (can't believe he's 10 weeks already!! ) and I just left the laptop running... 2 hours later it's time for bed and because nothing has changed I just hard kill XP with the 4 second power routine and pack up for the night... That was about 5 days ago so I'd forgotten about this when I tried to boot up my XP image and got the BSOD with no error shown long enough before it rebooted again...

    I then proceed to dig out a copy of the Hiren boot disk and check partitions, and then things start to snowball... The culmination of this was a non-booting disk... a knackered MBR and quite probably some other mistakes made in the MFT in Vista...

    I won't bother with ever stupid mistake I then proceeded to make but here's a tip to help save you from a similar situation.

    If you find (as I did) that the WinXp is not responding to the repair approach (ie: your WinXP bootable disk won't find your XP installation) DO NOT PANIC..

    - Get your Win7 bootable installation disk and boot up into repair mode
    - Choose the CMD prompt option in the list
    - Run CHKDSK /R [driveletterforXP]:
    - Go make dinner/tea/whatever... this is going to take a while

    Once this is done:
    - try booting again and see if you can now reach your XP installation

    If not..(which obviously I can't because of the MBR problems)
    - boot using your WinXP bootable CD and head through to the point where it detects you XP install and ask if you want to repair it... Go for it.

    I've no idea if this will work as I hope it will but if nothing else I know I have my old disk drive I can replace or re-use as before...

    Oh and whatever you do... DO NOT USE the old version of Vista Boot Pro... (ie: 3.3 or older).. There's a new Win7 version (costing $9.99) which should avoid a lot of the grief I went through...

    Good luck...

  2. #2

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    a great FYI thanks :-D

    I do have one question however, how come you wasn't running virtual environments on 1 set host rather then multi boot?

    Can get a little resource hungry, but at least if one system crashes you host OS should remain intact

  3. #3

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    The easiest way to fix that in a hurry would be to chuck the 7 install DVD in and let it run an auto repair after the checkdisk has run. This should automagicly restore the MBR and boot loader and also recover the boot settings for the OSs - well at least Vista and 7 but probably XP as well. The auto repair function on that is really good and has saved me lots of time and hassle in the past.

    Good luck with your laptop recovery.

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