MBR-Vista and XP on 2 HDDs prob

  theShivers 16:33 28 Aug 2008

I bought a new PC with pre-installed Vista basic on it. For various reasons, I bought a 2nd HDD for Windows XP Professional. It went too well. I installed the 2nd HDD, then XP, and at bootup I could choose from the Boot menu which OS to boot to. It wasn't perfect (sound and drivers missing from XP) but it was working. I decided I wanted a flash OS menu at bootup rather than me having to press F12 (because I'm an idiot), so I loaded VistaBootPro 3.3, and in a couple of clicks, my PC didn't know what it was; the MBR was so messed up, I couldn't get into either OS. Cutting a very very long story short, I've now got Vista on the original HDD again and going straight into it when firing up, and the second HDD is formatted so blank, and not plugged in like a useless beached fish.

When I plug in the 2nd HDD, I get the 'NTLDR is missing' screen. Pressing F12 to try to boot to the original HDD with Vista doesn't work either; the PC starts to boot up then goes into a loop that never gets past the DOS screen. The MBR can't cope with the 2nd HDD - I've obviously completely messed it up and it can only cope with 1 HDD going straight to Vista. How can I get it to where it first was; recognising Vista and XP on the 2 HDDs?

Much appreciation in advance for any advice as I've exhausted any meagre knowledge I have of the MBR.


  jimv7 19:07 28 Aug 2008

Not having tried it, I understand that you install xp first and then vista, vista will then sort out the boot ini.

  Zeppelyn 19:22 28 Aug 2008

OK so you have Vista on HDD 1 and XP on 2 with neither booting.

1. Boot from the XP cd and sccess the recovery console and copy the files boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com to the Vista drive i.e.

copy x:\ntldr c: (replace with letter for your XP drive and also c: if Vista not on c:

2. Boot from Vista DVD assuming you have one and at install screen select repair computer which is in bottom left of screen. From there select start up repair and let Vista do its stuff, may need 2 attempts.

3. Download EasyBCD from click here. When installed choose Add/Remove Entries from left menu and select Windows NT/2K/XP as type then click Add Entry.

Should now all work, come back if you hit a snag.

  theShivers 22:00 28 Aug 2008

Thanks alot Zeppelyn - will give that a go - fingers crossed! Seems to tie in with jimv7's suggestion.

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