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Vista Multi Boot with Multiple System partitions

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Vista Multi Boot with Multiple System partitions

Postby MadMrMax » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:16 pm

I've got XP and Vista installed each on its own System partitions.

(i.e. viewing the partition info in Disk Management in XP shows that its partition is the System partition, while viewing disk info in Vista shows that its partition is the system partition.)

I had this same config on a different machine when both partitions were XP, but I'm having problems with the Vista partition since it no longer uses the "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)" approach to identify the drive but instead uses the drive letter (why did they change this?).

The main reason I do this is so that when I'm in a specific OS it thinks that it is on the C drive. I change between OSes currently by changing the Active flag on the partition. I used to be able to use a boot manager that would provide me a prompt (before XP even booted) that would change the partition's Active flag for me

I'd like to make it a bit easier with Vista but it doesn't like the boot manager.

With my current config, is there a way to use Vista's BCD to boot between XP and Vista and keep each OS to think it is on the C drive?

Thanks

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Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:35 pm

The importance of drive letters is exaggerated...

It is more important to try and ensure that XP and Vista have compatible drive/partition structures :yesnod:
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Postby MadMrMax » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:44 pm

JabbaPapa wrote:The importance of drive letters is exaggerated...


Exaggerated or unnecessary? Drive letters change, but partition numbers don't. The partition that drive "C" is depends upon which partition is active (and thus which OS is active). If I only had to specify the partition/disk info and no drive letter it works.

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Postby MadMrMax » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:48 pm

Upon further reading maybe you were saying that I shouldn't care about drive letters. I have a preference, but it is the software that I use that cares the drive letter. It is a build environment for my work -- it is setup for the "C" drive as the system drive on all machines (lame, maybe, but that is what it is).

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Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:52 pm

There are cases where partition numbers will not be the same in XP and Vista, either where there may be hardware issues or where logical partitions may be "sandwiched" between primary partitions.
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Postby MadMrMax » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:57 pm

JabbaPapa wrote:There are cases ...


Ok, I agree. Back to the question at hand: Can I use BCD to configure booting where the two OS's think that it is the "C" drive when I boot into said OS?
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Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:00 pm

If you wish both XP and Vista to use the C: letter, clean install XP first, then boot from the Vista DVD to clean install Vista in another partition.

Usually, both Windows versions will see the system drive as C: :yesnod:
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Postby MadMrMax » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:05 pm

JabbaPapa wrote:Usually, both Windows versions will see the system drive as C:

Thanks. I think I should clarify -- I don't care (it's ok as an end-result) if both versions of Windows see the system drive as C:, what I care is that the C:\Program Files and C:\Windows directories are specific to each version of Windows.

For example, when I boot into XP, C:\Windows should be XP. When I boot into Vista, C:\Windows should be Vista. :-?

Does BCD support this?
Thanks for your help!

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Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:15 pm

BCD not only supports this, it positively engenders it :P

Most of us geeks I guess prefer to control which drive letters go where, but clearly for some software that either needs or "needs" to reside in C: , the LH/Vista pre-boot environment can be a positive boon, by forcing Windows to use C: .

Hmmm ... there is one thing, if you want both XP and Vista to use the C: letter you should ensure that XP is installed first, and to partition 1 of drive 0 ...

BTW (although you haven't asked) VistaBootPRO does NOT affect drive letters allocation by Windows ;)

Anyway, whatever drive letter is used, the drives remain completely separate, provided the above precaution is taken...
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Postby NT50 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:23 pm

From what i have read you have Windows XP on one partition and Vista on another partition. You install Vista by booting to the DVD or you would not have C: for XP and C: for Vista.

In order to get your boot manager back to boot between XP and Vista. You will need to boot to the Vista DVD and do a "Repair my Computer". This should get your boot load back. you can then boot into XP and run VistaBootPro and in the top menu Run Diagnostics and clean up the BCD Registry. This will add any existing entries back into the BCD Registry so you can figure out which ones are correct. If you have any problems with this just let us know and we will be more than happy to help.

The actual bootloader sometimes fails in VBP due to not being able to write to the beginning of the HDD. However, on the flip side it is also dangerous sometimes to use the /force command with bootsect.exe. So the dilemma has always been safety of the users hardware instead of software. It is alot easier to repair the software vs hardware.


I think this is what you are wanting, I THINK......

Let me know
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