Windows 7 and XP dual boot - invalid boot.ini !?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by D-vious, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. D-vious

    D-vious New Member

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    Hi

    I got windows 7 running fine for a while now and ever since my XP did not boot anymore.I was not worried to much about it since i did not need it at the time.But now i really REALY need it,See i got all my Cubase projects in there and my cubase plug-ins al setup in XP and i need to get to the projects :*( Cry!! :)

    At first it did not do anything and using easyBCD did not help either.I cpoied ntldr and detect to the root of C: wich contains my XP and now it shows the bootscreen but hangs on a black screen.The thing is right before the bootscreen shows i see the text" invalid boot.ini" flashing by very quick.

    I am able to enter that winXP install in safe mode and i tried safe/vga mode as well wich works but thats all.

    Anyone have any idea how to fix this withouth destroying the XP install ?
     
  2. D-vious

    D-vious New Member

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    Bump*

    anyone?

    I still have not found a solution myself and i really need one.Re-installing the XP install is not really a option for me :(
    So if anyone has a few ideas for me to try it would be very much apreciated.
     
  3. ickymay

    ickymay New Member

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    what did you have on which partition and what was the order you installed everything ?
     
  4. D-vious

    D-vious New Member

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    Thank you for the reply ickmay.


    I had winXP running at first and Winvista.I formated the Vista partition during Win7's install.

    I have dedicated partitions for both winXP and Win7 ,they are even on seperate drives.I may have installed a few programs to the c: drives ofcourse but thats it really.
     
  5. gregrocker

    gregrocker New Member

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    The boot is automated when you install Win7 in a separate partition. It will make Win7 the default, meaning it will start it up after 30 seconds unless you hit enter to start it sooner, or unless you move to the other OS listed in the boot menu by using your arrow key and then hitting return. It is not clear from your post whether you are getting a boot menu with these 2 (or more) choices, but that is how you work them if you do.

    You can change the boot default by right clicking on Computer and choosing Properties>Advanced Settings>Startup and making sure both operating systems are listed in the dropdown menu and the correct one is set to default, and the default timeout is where you want it. If they are not both listed, or incorrectly labeled, I use Vista Boot Pro 3.3. trial to Manage or relabel them. It is easy to mess up if you don't study it carefully.

    A manual way to get both o.s.'s to show up correctly is found by googling the tutorial How to dual-boot Vista with XP (with XP installed first) since Vista boots almost identically to Vista. To get the best results, You need to install the o.s. in order of age, however there is also a tutorial by the same source on how to do the reverse.

    If you want to avoid risk altogether then use the Disk Management function by right clicking Computer>Manage, delete the second partition, create a new volume in that space, format and reinstall Win7 from disk. There is no reason it should not install correctly as the default top listing in your boot menu once you restart. You may have installed it wrong to begin with.
     
  6. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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  7. D-vious

    D-vious New Member

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    Thanks for the link dave but in my case it seems to be a bit more complicated.

    Gregrocker:

    My firts post may have been confusing.Here is a breakdown:

    1. I had XP and Vista on 2 seprate drives with a sucsesfull dualboot.
    2. I formated the Vista drive/partition wduring a windows 7 install.Since then i have not had XP working.

    3. Booting XP resulted in a instant error message 0xx0000 until i copied NTDETECT and NTLDR to XP's Root,Once i had done this i got the windows bootscreen but that ended up in a black screen just hanging there.Before the bootscreen shows up i see "invalid boot.ini c:\windows" flash by real quick tho.
    i am able to enter the WinXP install in safemode.

    That is basicly my problem right now.I just tried using the repair console and ran fixboot on the XP partition but no result.
    One thing that did spring to mind when i did that is that i had used a stardock program to alter my bootscreen on that XP it might have something to do with it but im not sure.


    I am a bit afraid to use the Fixmbr command since it warns me that it might cause the drives partitions to become inaccesible.


    Help !! :*( :)
     
  8. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    And do you have the files I mentioned in the other hread all present. They have to be. Also, it is possible you may have to manually edit your boot.ini
     
  9. greenarrow1

    greenarrow1 New Member

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    Back to XP Boot

    The bootsect command can be found on either the Windows Vista or Windows7 Beta DVD in the Boot folder. The first thing you need in order to perform this procedure is the appropriate DVD.

    Running Bootsect:

    You can launch the Bootsect command from a Command Prompt or by using the Run command. Since the latter is quicker, just press [Windows]+R to open the run dialog box. When the Run dialog box appears, type the following command line in the Open text box:

    X:\Boot\Bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force

    For example, if the DVD drive letter is D: you Run dialog box will look like this:

    D:\Boot\Bootsect.exe /nt52 All /force

    When you click OK, you'll momentarily see a Command Prompt window, and the operation will instantly remove the Windows Boot Manager system and its Boot Configuration Data from the boot partition. At this point remove the DVD from the drive, and you can then restart the system.

    When the system restarts, you'll see that the Windows Boot Manager no longer appears and the system boots directly into XP.

    Now that the Vista or Windows7Beta Windows Boot Manager is removed from yur XP system, you can use partition software to reformat the second partition, merge if back into the first partition, set up another dual boot configuration or use if some other way.
     
  10. D-vious

    D-vious New Member

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    Dave: Sorry i did not check that earlier.I dont seem to have all files there.

    I cant seem to find these on any of my drives in the root:
    Autoexec.bat
    Config.sys
    IO.sys
    Msdos.sys

    I also could not find the boot ini at first so i searched my drives and found a bootini.backup wich i renamed to boot.ini and placed them in the root of both os'es since it did not work by just placing them on just the XP drive (not that it worked after placing them on the root of the win7 install but it was worth a try)


    @Greenarrow

    thank you greenarrow but selecting and starting the XP install is not the problem.as i said i can select XP and try to boot and i am able to boot into it in safemode.I already removed the win7 boot using Easybcd but it had the same effect with the only difference being that i could no longer select win7 at startup.
     
  11. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    You might find them if you open the Windows Explorer - Tools - View and scroll down and untick "Hide protected Operating system" and select "Show hidden files and folders". You will get a warning message, which you can acknowledge - no sweat.
    Otherwise, here they are. You might, after you have been through this lot, that you need to edit the Boot.ini. But first run the Easybcd program again and you may get a pleasant surprise??
     
  12. D-vious

    D-vious New Member

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    (Sorry for the late reply i hadnt had time)

    I had "show hidden files" enabled.Thanks a lot for those files dave thats really awesome !! :razz:
    I will go ahead with these files and report the results tonight.

    Edit:

    I just openend the temp rar file you posted for me but it seems empty!? If the files are hidden i should be able to see them sonce i have "show hidden" enabled.But then again the rar files is 246B so there should be something there.

    Edit 2:

    I just doubleclicked on the rar file and i can see the files but not when i unpack them.My guess is that the "hidden" flag from XP differs from the "hidden" flag from Win7.

    I can see hidden files i hid using win7

    Curious.

    I wil try and acces them in the safe mode from XP.
    This is getting to be a hard case :)
     
    #12 D-vious, Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  13. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    We'll get there.
    I have unprotected the files. I had left a couple of important one out.
    Open and extract to your XP folder, and maybe to the oher one also.
    You must enable your windows explorer to see the sysetm files and the unhidden files.
    I am not sure why you cannt extract them. It works perfectly for me on my kids computer.
     
  14. rspairsr

    rspairsr New Member

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    Multi-Boot to any OP System

    Load in System Commander 9 on the first partition, and boot to any partition you choose after proper installation of the System Commander 9.
     
  15. leejosepho

    leejosepho New Member

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    I know this is an old thread, and the OP's problem seems to me to have been more than just something related to EasyBCD, yet I do believe I have some answers for anyone who might have an EasyBCD-related "Invalid boot.ini" problem in the future ...

    ... and I learned all of this the hard way while sorting it all out and getting my own system straight again:

    When EasyBCD adds an entry to make XP available via Win7's BCD, it alters ntldr in the XP (boot) partition and then adds an "easyldr" file of its own in a new folder named "NST" (and as the target of the new ntldr), and then boot.ini is actually no longer used at all (but will still be there after a bit of editing done by EasyBCD). My own case is a bit odd since Win7 is in the second partition of my third hard drive, but here is what I had to do to remove all traces of EasyBCD and get everything working properly again:

    1) Use the Win7 "startup repair" to gets its BCD straight again ... and for me, that first included using Puppy Linux to access my Win7 partition (and its boot partition) to find the files needed to completely replace its BCD with a default one;

    2) Find an original copy of ntldr (2008, in my own case) to replace the one modified by EasyBCD (and had been re-dated accordingly);

    3) Use the XP repair disk to run Fixboot to fix the boot sector for XP, and use Bootcfg /Rebuild to make a new boot.ini if you need one;

    4) Unless you were able to do the XP startup repair prior to doing the Win7 startup repair, run the Win7 startup repair again.

    One more thing that might be helpful to someone:

    Win7 can install itself on any partition in any drive and then boot just fine, but it can only repair its own startup if it is on the first drive in any system. Since it is on the third drive in my system and I cannot force my BIOS to see that drive first -- a PATA/SATA issue -- I simply disconnected drives one and two so I could do the Win7 startup repair on the third drive (with it being seen first since the others were completely absent).

    I hope some of the above might help somebody somewhere sometime!

    PS: If I understand correctly, the above-mentioned "Invalid boot.ini" error happens when the EasyBCD-altered ntldr cannot find its easyldr target and Windows then ends up just looking for a Windows folder anywhere so it can boot whatever it might find.
     
    #15 leejosepho, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  16. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I believe you may have gotten the wrong impression about some things.....Ntldr is not modified, boot.ini is. The Ntldr, boot.ini, and ntdetect.com files are placed on the active (Windows 7 System) partition. The NST folder you refer to, I believe, is used with a Linux install. When EasyBCD was being developed, one of the problems was being able to put the XP boot files on an unlettered partition, such as the Windows 7 small 100 MB one. And prior to version 2, this could cause problems.

    Some information that might help clear some things up.

    A Windows 7 install will put its boot files on the primary drive, which is set in the bios. It will then put the OS files on the partition you tell it to. It will even create an active partition on an empty drive to set up the boot. Once Windows 7 is up and running, the system will boot to the first active partition it comes to, and does not have to be on the primary drive.

    The Windows XP boot files have to go in an active partition, which is why EasyBCD installs them there. If you do the setup yourself, you would normally have to give the unlettered partition a letter, put the boot files there, with the correct boot.ini settings, then remove the drive letter.

    This can all be very confusing, especially if you were not sure of exactly how EasyBCD works, or if you used a version prior to version 2.xxx. The Disk Management window can be of great help in seeing what might be going on.

    If you want to provide info about your situation, we might be able to tell what was going on in your situation. Problems with boot.ini files normally involve not using the correct partition or disk number for the XP OS partition.
     
    #16 Saltgrass, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  17. leejosepho

    leejosepho New Member

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    About three years ago, and after having grown quite weary of dealing with modified boot loaders whenever anything anywhere had later gone wrong, my overall goal became that of being able to multi-boot Win98-Win2K-WinXP-Win7-Linux with each OS's original boot loader remaining completely untouched and available ...

    ... and today that is what I have. Using Grub4Dos to boot from my "USB_4_Boot" device (USB stick), here is my drive layout:

    drives.

    With my BIOS set to boot from my USB stick, here are my initial boot options:

    1) Win98 (via io.sys) on my second PATA drive;
    2) Win2K/XP (via ntldr) on any drive;
    3) Win7 (via bootmgr) on my SATA drive;
    4) Puppy Linux on my second PATA drive.

    Note: The above screen shot was taken in WinXP. Drive letters "C" and "E" are switched whenever Win2K or Win7 is running. Also, all drives are marked "active" so I can skip my usual boot routine whenever I might ever need or wish to go directly to any drive and allow whatever might be found there to run.

    To show you what I have said about ntldr being modified by EasyBCD, I am now going to go back and again use EasyBCD to add WinXP to my Win7's startup and then come back here with my report of changes made by EasyBCD. Here is what we have at this moment:

    ntldr_1.

    =====
    ;SATA0,3 WinXP boot.ini
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=8
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(3)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro" /fastdetect
    =====

    When I had used EasyBCD to add XP in the recent past, my "Option 2" above -- "Win2K/XP (via ntldr) on any drive" -- had stopped working ... and then removing the EasyBCD entry for WinXP had left me with the "Invalid boot.ini file" error that had ultimately led to my finding this discussion here in these forums ... and it was then after that when I finally figured out ntldr had been modified by EasyBCD (as evidenced by the fact that all original boot loaders worked well again after I had deleted ntldr and replaced it with an original copy from my XP installation disk).

    See you again soon!
     
    #17 leejosepho, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  18. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    Have you tried using EasyBCD from safe mode in Windows XP?
    If you can run the boot repair function from within Windows XP it might fix the problem.

    The weird thing is that you can boot into safe mode at all.

    That would seem to indicate that the problem is something that you are loading when you boot normally that you don't load when you boot into safe mode.

    Other then trial and error I don't know how you would figure out what that is.

    Mike
     
  19. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Very impressive setup. It does make for some confusing possibilities.

    Since Win XP gives some different annotations in disk management, I turned on my old XP machine to make sure I knew what they meant.

    Can I assume you always run EasyBCD from Windows 7?

    So XP in on the 3rd drive, 3rd partition. Windows 7 is on the 3rd drive, 2nd partition.. The Windows 7 boot files are on Drive ?...Possibly Drive 0 or if you loaded Windows 7 independently, on disk 2 (3rd drive).

    The NTLDR file on my old laptop shows the same file size are your attachment. I certainly cannot say the one included with EasyBCD is not different in some way, but if that were the case, replacing just the version of ntldr that works correctly with the one from EasyBCD should duplicate the problem...?
     
  20. leejosepho

    leejosepho New Member

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    Not sure whether you are asking me or the OP here, but easyBCD certainly can create a BCD even "from scratch", so to speak, and even from within XP, if necessary. In my own case, I was at a point where nothing at all would boot, so I began by using XP's "Repair Console" to get XP booting again ... and then used used EasyBCD as just mentioned. However, that particular drive had never had Win7's boot loader on it (since Win7 is not on my first drive) and XP's "Repair Console" could *not* again fix that drive later on after Win7's loader *had* been installed on that drive.

    Note: I believe EasyBCD *can* do that while running in Win7, and that can even be done from within XP if the earlier version of EasyBCD is used (where the latest version running in XP will *not* over-write Win7's loader with an XP loader).
     
    #20 leejosepho, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

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