View Full Version : boot.ini and Vista

28-04-2010, 11:11

I have a peculiar problem I encountered last night.

I was installing XP as a recovery console on a Vista system.

Then I was happily writing the respective entries into the boot.ini in order to start Vista from the boot-menu.

Then I restarted, choose Vista and naturally ... I got a blank screen.

Today I researched a little bit and understood that Vista is not using the boot.ini anymore, but a BCD - boot configuration data, which can be accessed by the BCDedit.exe.

I currently don't have the time to dig deep into this topic, hence I am just asking:

Is there a quick and dirty way just to boot Vista from the boot.ini ?
or do I have to manipulate the BCD from the command prompt of my XP system ?

P.S. No spam please from any wise guy who just want to say that "Ubunta is better than Vista" or stuff like this. My wife wants to use Vista, so this what she gets...

28-04-2010, 11:47
so basically you cant boot to windows anymore? don't if last known good is an option if you alter/corrupted the mbr.

i think what you need to do is to boot from the win vista cd and select the option of the system recovery and start from there. dont know if this what are you looking as an answer.

28-04-2010, 11:57
As far as I know you need Vista installation disk to restore possibility to boot into Vista. Then you should use bcdedit to organize dual-boot for Vista and XP.
No more boot.ini in Vista and Win7.
Description in Russian is here:

28-04-2010, 15:36

you misunderstood.

I can happily start XP from the boot.ini, so I have full access to the system with the help of my XP installation. So I am just asking whether it is possible for me now to write the boot.ini in a certain way so that I can start the BCD for Vista from the boot.ini.

The other option would be to try to edit the BCD from the XP command prombt.

28-04-2010, 15:47
But you can't start Vista, right?
The solution proposed is to restore normal Vista boot with Vista original installation CD, and then use BCDedit to create entry for already installed XP. I'm not quite sure that Vista is capable to start from boot.ini at all (boot.ini is element of older OS, so compatibility should go from up to down, not vice versa).


28-04-2010, 18:07
you did it backwards, you had to install first xp then do the dual boot upgrade with vista. so if everything fails, backup and reinstall in that order. sometimes its easier in the long run doing the obvious option to avoid wasting time.

29-04-2010, 09:59
Hi guys,

ok, I digged and found the solution.

See, the only issue was to edit the BCD from XP.

There is a small nice freeware called VistaBootPro 3.3 (make sure you search for version 3.3 as this the last free version !) which is basically a GUI for the BCDedit.

This app runs in Vista AND XP.

Hence with the help of this freeware you can easily create a Vista Boot Menu in 5 minutes.

All problems solved.

You know, this is what I love about windows. It is not as user-friendly as Mac, but you can do ANYthing you want, if you are willing to invest some time for research and the learning curve is much less steep than the one for Linux - especially as most Windows apps are GUI based !

29-04-2010, 10:51
You can also use EasyBCD, have a look at this (http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Installing+XP+After+Vista) - This gives you the instruction of installing and running from WITHIN XP. I have used it before many times, so PM if you need a hand with it.

29-04-2010, 11:35
2 opag78:
Congratulations, and thanks for tips. Any data about Win7 - does VistaBootPro 3.3 support it? It seems to me I'll bypass Vista in my life as I did before, going from W4W 3.11 to WinNT 4.0 w/o Win9x.

29-04-2010, 12:46
2 opag78:
Congratulations, and thanks for tips. Any data about Win7 - does VistaBootPro 3.3 support it? It seems to me I'll bypass Vista in my life as I did before, going from W4W 3.11 to WinNT 4.0 w/o Win9x.

I have used EasyBCD on Windows 7 to dualboot with OSX on a netbook.....Windows 7 is essentially just an optimised version of Vista though with better drivers from most hardware providers, better User account Control, simplied UI, and will work on what would be hardware too underpowered to run Vista......I am really liking the unified drivers that some hardware vendors are supplying for things like printers, and mostly automatic downloads of these drivers through windows update when you plug the hardware.

A simplified view of Windows 7 I know but essentially the truth.