Win 7 / XP dual boot problem

#1
So, I have XP pro. I got Win 7 Ultimate and installed it on a different partition. Boot loader sees Win 7 and sees "an older OS". I select the other OS and it gives me an error of "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: Windows\System32\Hal.dll ". I know about EasyBC, but I don't want to use it because I need to know how to fix this type of stuff manually (network admin here).

I found a reference on how to fix this if using XP ("Invalid Boot.ini" or "Windows could not start" error messages when you start your computer), but I am unsure if this will over-write the MBR and then make Win 7 unusable.

Does anyone know how to fix this issue and get Win 7 pointing to the correct partition via manually (non 3rd party tools).
 


#2
Hey WhiteDragon.

The issue happens because after installing Windows 7, in certain scenarios, the XP boot.ini file tries to load XP off what is now seen as the incorrect partition or drive.

To fix it, you need to edit XP's boot.ini file to look for the correct partition. If it is currently set to 0, try 1 and vice versa....

There are many pages to be found if you Google, about what the different setting in boot.ini mean, if you need to look that up.

Good luck...that being said, I never used EasyBCD 2.0, but I believe this fixes it somehow automatically....like you said you didn't want to do heh heh.
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#3
It's probably looking at the wrong partition from within the boot.ini file. Use notebook to open the file boot.ini on the boot drive. You should see a line in there along these lines:

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

Try altering the number in brackets after the word "partition" from 1 to 2. Depending on how your have your partitions defined, this is likely to solve the problem but you may also have to try other numbers, perhaps 3 etc until it finds it.
 


#4
Hey WhiteDragon.

The issue happens because after installing Windows 7, in certain scenarios, the XP boot.ini file tries to load XP off what is now seen as the incorrect partition or drive.

To fix it, you need to edit XP's boot.ini file to look for the correct partition. If it is currently set to 0, try 1 and vice versa....

There are many pages to be found if you Google, about what the different setting in boot.ini mean, if you need to look that up.

Good luck...that being said, I never used EasyBCD 2.0, but I believe this fixes it somehow automatically....like you said you didn't want to do heh heh.
Thanks for your help. Yeah I don't like to take the easy way, unless I have to, until I know how to do it. This way I know what is going on. Tools don't all ways work down the line.
 


#5
It's probably looking at the wrong partition from within the boot.ini file. Use notebook to open the file boot.ini on the boot drive. You should see a line in there along these lines:

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

Try altering the number in brackets after the word "partition" from 1 to 2. Depending on how your have your partitions defined, this is likely to solve the problem but you may also have to try other numbers, perhaps 3 etc until it finds it.
This is always the fun part. 3 hard drives with 8 partitions total...
 


#6
Well, the drives should be in the order bios sees them. The first would be 0, second would be 1....etc...

So at least you can narrow down the drive that way, to how it should be set.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#7
Two things you might take a picture of using the snipping tool and attach with the paperclip.

The Disk Management Window and try to mark the partitions so we can tell what they are.

Open an administrative command prompt and type bcdedit. Maybe there is something there that could help.

As was mentioned, the Boot.ini file tells where the XP install is. The partition and rdisk are important. But in reality, that should not have changed if all you did was install Win 7 after XP and did not change the drive order in any way.
 


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