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Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

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Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby EllisF » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:30 am

I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I have two computers. I recently set up a dual boot system with XP Home and Vista Business on Computer 1. Everything worked smoothly. (Both are 32-bit OSs)

Yesterday I attempted to set up a dual boot system on Computer 2 using XP Pro and Windows 7. In this case the XP Pro is 32-bit and the Win 7 is 64-bit. (The computer manufacturer's tech support said there should be no problem with this.)

Step 1. Create a second primary partition (using MiniTools Partition Wizard). The HDD is 300GB. I allocated 100GB to XP and 200GB to the second partition where I planned to install Win 7.

The partitioning appeared to go smoothly, but when I tried to install Win 7 the installation failed and I got an error message that said:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>system32>\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

This computer was given to me along with a “reinstallation disk,” which I discovered does not have a Repair option. In the end, I was forced to reinstall Windows XP. However, when that was finished I was left with a weird situation. When I turn on the computer it acts like a dual boot system and goes to the “select OS screen.” Only the two selections are both Windows XP. When I boot from the first XP, things work normally. If I try to boot from the second XP, I get the error message telling me I have a missing or corrupt file.

At that point, there were two partitions – one had Windows XP installed on it; the other, larger partition, was empty. I used PartitionWizard to eliminate the second partition and return the first partition to 300GB. That went smoothly.

However, the dual boot screen still exists.

Does anyone have an idea of what went wrong? Is there a way to fix it or will I have to reformat the hard drive and begin all over?

System:
Intel Quad Core Q6600 2.4ghz
Currently 2GB of DDR2 RAM installed (2GB waiting to be installed)
300GB HDD
Windows XP Pro 32-bit
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

The computer was manufactured before Windows 7 came out, so the onboard graphics and sound have to be moved to installed cards with Windows 7 drivers. Otherwise, the Windows 7 upgrade adviser and the computer manufacturer both said the computer should be able to run Windows 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit).

(Note: I have DualBootPro, but I’ve no idea how to use it. I tried reading the “Help” file and it didn’t. I tried opening it to have a look and I received a warning that I hadn’t backed up my BCD Registry. When I tried to do that it told me;
-DualBootPRO was unable to save the backup to the -specified location. Some problems may include -insufficient disk space (NO), unauthorized access (No?), and/or a corrupt file (Is this the infamous “hal.dll?”)

DBP then asks if I want to open the error reporting screen, but when I click OK/Yes nothing happens.

My computer knowledge is simply inadequate. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby yeshuas » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:22 pm

First don't worry about the warning message about backing up, that DBP gives you, it sounds like you have a clean install of XP anyway.

You can use DBP to get rid of the extra XP choice in the boot menu, and the the boot screen should no longer come up until you reinstall Windows 7.

Once you have DBP running, go to the OS tab and highlight the extra XP choice, (hopefully you should be able to differentiate it from the valid XP, it should show a partition letter other than C:) then delete it.
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby EllisF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:39 am

Thank you for your response, veshuas.

I guess this is why I haven't got a clue about DualBootPro. When I first opened it, I did what I usually do with new software and browsed my way through the various options.

There is nothing displayed under the OS section. There is nothing displayed anywhere that I can find, except when I click on Tools and select Legacy Editor.

This is what is displayed there:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS.0
[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

(Note: I inserted the line spaces to make it easier to read and differentiate between the two entries.)

It seems likely that one of these is the clean install and the other is the non-functioning install, but here I'll add some information that I didn't include in my original message. When the dual boot setup failed and I ended up with one normally functioning partition and one empty one, I went back and removed the second partition, leaving me with a single 300GB partition.

However, when I started the computer, I got the same dual boot select screen, even though there was no second partition and a second installation couldn't exist. My assumption was the boot record had to be "revised" to reflect the current state of things. However, I can't find anything that seems likely to help -- and my unfamiliarity with DBP is at the heart of my problem.

Back to DBP -- I usually am able to work my way through unfamiliar software, but, honestly, this seems like the least intuitive program I've seen in a long time. That is partly, if not completely, because I'm not informed about boot records and how they work, but given that no option shows any operating system information (except the legacy editor shown above), I'm at a loss for where to begin.

When I select Boot Information this is what is displayed under Overview:
_________________________________________________
There is currently 0 OS(s) installed on your system.
The current boot timeout is: 0


Default OS:
_________________________________________________

Now, clearly that is not the case, since I'm using the XP installation to access this site and type this message.
_________________________________________________

Displayed under both Detailed and All:

The boot configuration data store could not be opened.
The system cannot find the file specified.

_________________________________________________

I don't know what to make of that, especially since I've never seen a normally functioning system's display.

_________________________________________________

When I select Operating Systems absolutely no information is displayed. There is also nothing displayed under Advanced Settings. And all I get when I click on Diagnostics is a tone signifying (more or less) failure to do anything.

Perhaps you can see why I'm at a loss. Even if the two entries displayed by the legacy editor are the two iterations of XP Pro, there is no way to differentiate between the two, and I have no idea if deleting one entry would have any effect on anything.

Ignorance is definitely not bliss.

________________________________________________

So far, your advice got me past ignoring the Care Center warning -- and it's good to know I can just ignore that. However, when I try to go further, I'm stumped.

One last note -- deleting the second partition had no effect on any of this. This is what it was like before and after the deletion, so none of this seems to be a product of my removing the second partition. My expectation was that I'd remove the second partition, fix the boot record, and then start the process all over, hoping for better results the second time. (And then I thought -- the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. So, I decided to ask for help before proceeding.)

I assume I could fix all this by reformatting my hard drive, but as I'm sure you know, the process of installing an OS and all the necessary drivers and OS updates (service packs and all), as well as everything else takes hours. I'd like to avoid that.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby yeshuas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:11 pm

Please post an image of your disk management screen, I think you can remove the entry for the XP install that is showing as being on the (2) partition but like to make sure.

Left click start menu, then Right click on my computer, then from the fly up menu left click manage, then left click disk management. Upload a copy of that image to photobucket or one of your preference, then post an image here
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby EllisF » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:12 am

Thank you again for your help.

I just read your reply and I was on the way out the door. When I come back I will post the information you've asked for.

(Since the one XP installation is working fine, this isn't a crisis that demands I drop everything else. I appreciate your patience with the delays, but I really have some other things I must attend to first. Thanks again. I shall return.)
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby EllisF » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:22 am

Sorry, this started as a quick note and I ended up describing everything in Disk Management.

Veshuas, I haven’t had time to upload the Disk Management image, but I took another look, and I realized I should have told you this initially – there is no sign whatever of a second XP installation in XP’s Disk Management report.

Upper Pane – shows the C: drive and and a small “Recovery” partition.

Line 1:
C: Partition Basic NTFS Healthy (System) 294.56GB 246.93 83% Fault Tolerance NO Overhead 0%

Line 2:
Recovery: Partition Basic FAT32 Healthy (Unknown Partition) 3.5GB 972MB Free Space=26% FT=NO OH=0%

This computer was given to me and it came with a “recovery” feature. Access to recovery came as an option before XP was loaded. I never had any reason to use it, but since the dual boot failure it no longer appears before the OS select screen and I don’t see any obvious way of accessing it. It may be that this recovery feature was in lieu of providing an OS disk that included the “Repair” function that retail OS copies have. It isn’t much good to me now, since getting to it is a problem. But, ideally, when this mess is finally cleaned up, I would hope that the following would happen – push “ON” button; access to Computer Setup (BIOS, etc.); access to Recovery; OS select screen; and finally, Desktop.

That takes care of the upper pane. There is no sign whatever of a second XP installation or a D: partition.

Bottom pane, each card reader is given its own drive letter – E, F, and G. All are listed as having “no media.”
Disk 2 (Removable E: ) No media
Disk 3 (Removable F: ) No media
Disk 4 (Removable G: ) No media


And finally:
CD ROM 0: (it’s a DVD burner)

When there is a disk in the DVD drive, it is also listed in the top pane (between the C: and Recovery). Then, its listing appears as:

Line 2 (between C: and Recovery):

Disk Info (I: ) Partition Basic__UDF__Healthy__5.88GB__0MB__0%__FT NO__OH 0%

This was silly – I could have uploaded the image in less time. Anyway, I think this serves the same purpose. If anything isn’t clear, I can upload the image later today (Sunday).
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby yeshuas » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:55 am

I really would like for you to post the image when you can, before you do that, do this;

Go to the start menu, and in the search box type folder options, then from the selections choose folder options, on the view tab place a check in the "show hidden files, folder, or drives" and a little ways down, uncheck "hide protected operating system files". Then do the image thing, thank you.
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby EllisF » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:39 am

OK, I just registered with Photo Bucket, and I've uploaded the jpeg.

However, I have never used Photo Bucket before, so you'll have to tell me how you find a photo I've uploaded. What information do you need from me?
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby yeshuas » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:51 am

Here is a guide on how to post an image, merely substitute Photobucket where it says image shack

how-to-post-an-image-at-pronetworks-t112572.html
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Re: Failed attempt to set up Dual Boot system

Postby EllisF » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:21 pm

Disk Management Unhidden.JPG
Disk Management Unhidden.JPG (157.76 KiB) Viewed 2659 times


I hope this works. From what I could see the other instructions didn't really apply to what I was seeing at Photo Bucket.

I had already saved the screen shot to my computer as a JPEG. The compose window offers the option of attaching a file. I attached the JPEG and when I viewed "preview" the screen shot appeared.

Let me know. As always, thanks for your attention.

(PS This time the Recovery partition appears as "healthy" but an "Unknown Partition.")
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