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Fix Dualboot Mbr


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Hunter_Thompson

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 08:30 PM

Hi Everyone,

Just been playing around with installing Vista and different versions of XP... Not ready for Vista yet, and I am trying to dual boot 2 installs of XP.

Now when I boot up, I am not getting the option of choosing what XP loads - it is like my MBR has no record of multiple operating systems, and does not allow me to elect the first XP install I did, it just defaults to the most recent one. I really would like to be able to get back that first XP OS as an option to boot to.

Thanks for any advice!

Hunter

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#2 dc3

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 10:17 PM

Did you install the two on different partitions?

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#3 Hunter_Thompson

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 12:12 AM

Can you install 2 OS'es on the same partition?

Anyway my config has both XP's on the same PHYSICAL drive but they each got their own partition (C:/ and E:/..... the C is not getting picked up on boot, and I load into E by default)

#4 dc3

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:22 AM

As I understand it yes you can actually install two operating systems on the same partition, I wouldn't begin to know how but have read that it can be done.

I have Windows XP home on one partition and W2k Pro on a second partition and when the hdd boots I'm given the choice or the two to use, if left to its own XP will boot. I take it yours doesn't?

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#5 Budapest

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:38 AM

I think you need to edit the Boot.ini file and include the second operating system. There is a Microsoft article that describes how to do this.

How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP

I think your Boot.ini file probably looks like this:

[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" /fastdetect
And after you go through the steps descibed in the article it will look something like this:

[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" /fastdetect 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
See also this site for more information.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#6 WinCrazy

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 12:08 PM

Hi Hunter_Thompson. You best install the second XP copy on another partition/volume. If your system does not already have another partition you will have to use a utility that will split the existing partition into 2 without destroying the data that is already there. I don't know if there are any freeware/shareware programs that will do this and preserve existing data. I use Acronis Disk Director to do these things. Partition Magic will also do this job.

Once your additional partition is set up, when you run the XP installation program again it will automatically detect the original installation and allow you to install XP again on the other partition. It will also automatically create a dual boot menu for selecting which version to boot to on each startup.

#7 Andrew

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:05 PM

I'm assuming that because the installation that isn't being detected is on drive C:\ that was the first installation and that the E:\ drive installation came after it?

It may be that your boot.ini file is just set to not show the selection screen. Doing as Budapest suggested should remedy this problem.

You can also manually force the selection screen to come up by pressing the F8 key just before Windows loads (same procedure as booting into safe mode). On the menu that appears, select "Return To OS Choces Menu" and press enter. If both installations are in the boot.ini file, you should see to options, both named "Microsoft Windows XP Professional" or "Microsoft Windows XP Home" depending on your version. You can select your OS from there (though which one is which is hard to say. You can give each installation a unique name by editing the boot.ini file and changing the "Microsoft Windows XP Professional" part.)

#8 Hunter_Thompson

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Budapest, thanks for the link and advice, I think this is what I need to do and will attempt this later today.

WinCrazy - I have Partition Magic (PowerQuest) as I really like it for creating and re-sizing partitions, but don't know how to use it to create a new boot menu?

I am going to backup an image of the important XP install before anything else happens, though. Don't wanna lose that OS, it is perfect for my audio editing applications....

Other applications I am getting suggestions to try is "Vista boot pro" and "easy BCD"....

Thanks again for the posts! Will let you know how it goes later today....

Hunter




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