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Stupid bootloader

Last response: in Windows Vista
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April 25, 2009 2:46:35 PM

I messed up my boot loader, pretty bad this time. My laptop had Windows Vista preinstalled onto it. Since everything runs very slow, I decided to put on Windows XP and have a dual boot. I attempted to use easybcd, which at first seemed to fix my boot loader for Vista.

After using easybcd to try to fix my boot loader, every time i try to boot into XP it gives me the error NTDLR cannot be found, press any key to restart. Is there ANY way to fix this?

Thanks in advance..

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April 26, 2009 3:10:44 PM

That's easy.

Gimme some info. How many partitions or drives are on the laptop? Where is each os?
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April 28, 2009 1:01:54 AM

Windows Vista is on C partition, and Windows XP is on the D partition. There is one 250gb drive. There are 3 partitions total, except the extra is hidden from view, because it's for system recovery. In initial windows installations, that hidden recovery partition appears as drive F. The disk drive is drive E. The laptop is an Acer, if that helps.
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April 28, 2009 12:32:04 PM

Easy way:

Option 2: Starting the Windows Recovery Console from the Windows XP CD-ROM
If you have not preinstalled the Windows Recovery Console, you can start the computer and use the Recovery Console directly from your original Windows XP installation disc. If your computer is already in Windows and you want to add the Windows Recovery Console as a startup option, go to the next section "Adding the Windows Recovery Console as a startup option."

1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD drive and restart your computer. If you are prompted, select any options required to start (boot) from the CD.
2. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Select the repair or recover option by pressing R.
3. If you have a dual-boot or multiboot system, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
4. When you are prompted, type the Administrator password.
5. At the command prompt, type

FIXBOOT D:
FIXMBR D:
FIXBOOT C:
FIXMBR C:
EXIT

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

Admin password is empty by default. Press Enter when asked. Upon reboot, let me know how it goes. Describe what you see. You should see a menu of Vista & XP to choose from. The wording will be different from mine. If all good, consider it solved.
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April 28, 2009 11:24:34 PM

n3f0ur said:
Easy way:

Option 2: Starting the Windows Recovery Console from the Windows XP CD-ROM
If you have not preinstalled the Windows Recovery Console, you can start the computer and use the Recovery Console directly from your original Windows XP installation disc. If your computer is already in Windows and you want to add the Windows Recovery Console as a startup option, go to the next section "Adding the Windows Recovery Console as a startup option."

1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD drive and restart your computer. If you are prompted, select any options required to start (boot) from the CD.
2. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Select the repair or recover option by pressing R.
3. If you have a dual-boot or multiboot system, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
4. When you are prompted, type the Administrator password.
5. At the command prompt, type

FIXBOOT D:
FIXMBR D:
FIXBOOT C:
FIXMBR C:
EXIT

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

Admin password is empty by default. Press Enter when asked. Upon reboot, let me know how it goes. Describe what you see. You should see a menu of Vista & XP to choose from. The wording will be different from mine. If all good, consider it solved.


Didn't seem to help. This made it so neither operating system started. Windows XP said it was missing "start dll's" and vista flat out didn't start, it froze at a black screen.
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April 29, 2009 1:43:31 PM

If you have Vista setup disk, boot it up and select repair.

Do you want to start fresh or dual boot or rescue both systems? The last one is the hardest. May not be worth the effort. If you have data to back up, you can use any modern Linux live CD to back up data to USB drive/stick.
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April 30, 2009 7:58:46 PM

n3f0ur said:
If you have Vista setup disk, boot it up and select repair.

Do you want to start fresh or dual boot or rescue both systems? The last one is the hardest. May not be worth the effort. If you have data to back up, you can use any modern Linux live CD to back up data to USB drive/stick.


i do have the vista disk, and hitting "repair" fixes the bootloader, for vista. so I can use the computer, and yeah i'll definitely need to back it up.

my biggest concern with starting new is...

vista came preinstalled with the laptop. i can use magic jelly bean finder to get the key for it, but would it still work? i don't see why it wouldn't, but I just want to make sure.
also, we only have one license for office '03 left, would microsoft's activation recognize it's the same computer, so I can put office on another computer? this is my school computer, i really need office for it.
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May 1, 2009 11:21:36 AM

To get the Vista key:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls...

Also, this product key is printed on a label on the bottom of the laptop. Or a side of a desktop.

For Office:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls...

As long as there isn't any core (cpu/ram/mobo/hdd/etc) hardware change, Vista will activate.

Now if you still plan on dual-booting, XP should be installed 1st, then Vista. Not the other around cuz XP doesn't recognize Vista.
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May 2, 2009 3:25:00 PM

n3f0ur said:
To get the Vista key:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls...

Also, this product key is printed on a label on the bottom of the laptop. Or a side of a desktop.

For Office:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls...

As long as there isn't any core (cpu/ram/mobo/hdd/etc) hardware change, Vista will activate.

Now if you still plan on dual-booting, XP should be installed 1st, then Vista. Not the other around cuz XP doesn't recognize Vista.

Thanks for these, this is how I will do it.
XP first, Vista second. I've literally tried everything to fix the damn bootloader, to no avail. Oh well at least I still have my stuff as a backup. =/
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May 3, 2009 12:56:27 PM

here is a article from the windows secrets new letter that should be of help.

Make your computer dual-boot Vista and XP

By Scott Dunn

It's getting harder to buy a new computer with Windows XP installed and — after Microsoft stops selling XP on June 30, 2008 — it will become nearly impossible.

Fortunately, you can have your XP cake and eat your Vista, too, by setting up your system to boot between the two operating systems.


Add an XP option to your new Vista system

If a new computer arrived in your recent past, or you plan to buy one in the near future, chances are it will come with Windows Vista installed. Although some manufacturers still give you the option of getting XP on your new system, that option is likely to dry up for most consumers later this year when Microsoft stops selling Windows XP.

If you're not ready to dive into Vista all at once, there is an answer: set up your Vista computer to dual-boot between Vista and XP.

In this article, I'll tell you how to make your PC give you a choice between Vista and XP every time you start up. In a separate article coming soon, I'll give you some additional tips that save disk space on a dual-boot system.

Although some sources, such as Computer Shopper Magazine, advise that you need an add-on product like VistaBootPro to dual-boot, you can accomplish the same thing without any additional software other than the two operating systems.

Before starting, make sure you have your Windows XP install discs ready as well as your Windows Vista DVD. In addition, it's a good idea to make a complete system backup before beginning an operation like this.

Once you've laid that groundwork, you're ready to go to work:

Step 1. In Vista, click Start, type diskmgmt.msc, and press Enter. Click Continue if prompted by User Account Control.

Step 2. Right-click a drive and choose Shrink Volume. Specify the amount to shrink, which in this case is the amount you want for your XP partition. At a minimum, you'll need around 2.5GB for XP Pro SP2. I suggest you select a larger partition to leave room for updates and other files that may need to be on the same drive as XP. Because I wanted a 5GB partition, I typed 5000 (representing 5,000 megabytes) in the available box. Click Shrink.

Step 3. Right-click the newly available area and choose New Simple Volume. Follow the steps in the wizard to assign a drive letter now, or wait until the next step. When prompted, check Perform a quick format to format the volume with NTFS.

Step 4. When the wizard is done formatting the new volume, you can assign or rearrange drive letters as needed. For example, changing drive letters may also put your CD/DVD drive in a more logical order.

To do that, right-click a volume or the CD/DVD drive and choose Change Drive Letters and Paths. If a volume hasn't got a drive letter yet, click Add. Otherwise, select the drive icon in the dialog box and click Change.

If you're rearranging the letters on existing drives, you may need to change the drives in a particular order. Or you may need to give a drive a temporary letter (such as Z) to free up a letter for another drive; you would change the Z drive to something else later. Make your selection and click OK. Repeat for other partitions or drives until you have the order you want.

Step 5. When you're done with your partitioning chores, exit Disk Management. Insert your XP disc into the drive and restart your system, booting from that disk.

Step 6. Follow the steps to install XP. When asked for the target drive, select your new partition and press Enter. Because you already formatted this partition with NTFS, you can skip the formatting step. At the appropriate screen, arrow down to Leave the current file system intact (no changes) and press Enter. Continue the installation process until it's finished and XP has started.

Step 7. Your system now boots to XP, so we'll need to do some fixing to set up a boot menu. Insert your Vista DVD and restart the computer from it. Click Next in the first screen.

Step 8. Don't click Install when prompted! Instead, click Repair Your Computer in the lower-left corner.

Step 9. When the System Recovery Options dialog appears, make sure Microsoft Windows Vista is selected and click Next. In the next dialog box, select the Command Prompt option at the bottom.

Step 10. In the command-prompt window, type the following commands and press Enter after each one:

bootrec.exe /fixMBR
bootrec.exe /fixBoot

Step 11. Close the command prompt and click Restart.

Step 12. When your computer has booted into Vista, click Start, type cmd.exe, and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to make the command window open with elevated privileges. Click Continue, if prompted by User Account Control.

Step 13. Type the following commands in the command window, one at at time, pressing Enter after each one. After each command, you should get the response, "The operation completed successfully." A response of, "The specified entry already exists," is OK, too. If not, retype your command to make sure you've entered it correctly. If Vista is installed on a drive other than c:, change the first command below to use the proper drive letter. The curly braces around {ntldr} in each command must be typed exactly as shown:

bcdedit -set {ntldr} device partition=C:
bcdedit -set {ntldr} path \ntldr
bcdedit -displayorder {ntldr} -addlast
bcdedit -set {ntldr} description "Microsoft Windows XP"

That's it! The next time you restart your system, you should be see a prompt that will let you choose between Vista or XP. Select the one you want and press Enter.

How to customize your boot menu

When you start your dual-boot system, the menu will appear for a few seconds. If you don't press any keys, eventually Windows Vista will start. Fortunately, you can change this if you don't want Vista to be your default operating system. You can also customize the waiting period before the default kicks in.

Here's what to do:

Step 1. Click Start. Type systempropertiesadvanced and press Enter. Click Continue, if prompted by User Account Control.

Step 2. Under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.

Step 3. At the top of the dialog box, select the operating system you want to start by default.

Step 4. In the box to the right of Time to display list of operating systems, specify the number of seconds for the options to stay on screen. Click OK.

Microsoft provides documentation of Vista's bcdedit command and its parameters in an article in the Windows Vista Technical Library
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May 7, 2009 1:23:49 AM

THANK YOU!!! WORKS PERFECTLY!!!
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!