The reason they are dependent is because the boot files for both are stored on ONE and the SAME partition, which is your ACTIVE partition. Vista setup determines to put the boot files on the active partition, which is usually the XP partition since it's active at the time of install.
I have come up with a way to boot the two independently with the use of a third "recovery partition." This recovery partition can be multi-purpose if you use BartPE. You can use it to boot XP and Vista, replace system files with patched ones, use disk management services to repartition, etc. (You can also use Windows PE or VistaPE as your recovery partition. You will have to add them to your BCD with bcdedit using the link in the last post about adding WinPE to HDD.)
The benefit of this setup is if you hose your third partition, you can boot XP or Vista by making your XP partition active again with a BartPE CD.
- Three partitions. I recommend 600 - 700 MB for your third partition, in case you add other plugins/programs.
- Grub4Dos file called grldr.
- PE builder for making BartPE.
There's no recommended system setup, but to give you an idea, here's my system setup. My XP partition on C:\ is the active partition, containing the boot files for Vista (C:\BOOT folder and C:\bootmgr). Vista is on D:\ and was installed from within XP. BartPE on E:\ is my recovery partition. If you haven't installed anything yet, then you may consider this setup.
- First, install XP to C:, Vista to D:, then BartPE to E:. Instructions for installing BartPE to a HDD partition can be found here: How to Install BartPE to Another Partition.
- The order in which you install doesn't matter for now. However, it is recommended to install XP first, then Vista, so you won't have to repair boot.
- If you are already dual-booting XP and Vista, then just install BartPE and continue.
- Make note which is your active partition if your setup is different. Check disk management. Remember, I'm assuming C:\ is active.
- Boot to your recovery partition.
- Copy Vista boot files from active partition to E:\ - Copy C:\BOOT folder to E:\ and C:\bootmgr to E:\.
- Rename E:\bootmgr to E:\bootmgrv. (You don't have to do this if you are using BartPE, but doing this allows you to keep this one and C:\bootmgr straight; so when you create your menu.lst you know exactly which one is being used to boot Vista.)
- Rename E:\ntldr to E:\bartpe. Note that this ntldr file should already be there and is not the same as the XP's ntldr.
- Copy XP boot files to E:\ - Copy C:\boot.ini and C:\ntldr to E:\.
- Rename E:\ntldr (the XP one) to E:\ntldrxp.
- Create your menu.lst entries. See below for example.
- Make E:\ partition the active partition.
#Boot Vista using E:\bootmgrv title Windows Vista (bootmgrv) find --set-root /bootmgrv chainloader /bootmgrv #Boot Vista using C:\bootmgr title Windows Vista (bootmgr) find --set-root /bootmgr chainloader /bootmgr #Boot XP using E:\ntldrxp title Windows XP (ntldrxp) find --set-root /ntldrxp chainloader /ntldrxp #Boot XP using C:\ntldr title Windows XP (ntldr) find --set-root /ntldr chainloader /ntldr #Boot BartPE using E:\bartpe title BartPE (ntldr) find --set-root /bartpe chainloader /bartpe(NOTE: this is not a complete menu.lst; just the entries for items.)
Reboot and grldr should load with your menu.
The great thing is you can load XP/Vista with the boot files that you copied to E:\ or the ones on C:\. You can have double entries in menu.lst and both will work. If your XP partition becomes corrupt, then you can use boot files on E:\ to load Vista. You probably won't be able to load XP since its corrupt, right?? Haha.
If Vista becomes corrupt, you can still load XP. If your recovery partition (BartPE) becomes corrupt, then you can load BartPE from CD, make C:\ your active and can load XP or Vista. Or you can fix your recovery partition the way it was. There are many possibilities with this. Good luck.
Edited by spacesurfer, 19 October 2010 - 08:52 PM.