Hey guys I'm pretty new here but have been reading / searching a lot. There is a wealth of information here; thanks for that. This is going to be a long post so sorry for that.
Here's the problem:
As the title states I can no longer boot into XP on my dual boot setup. I do still get the startup option to "select older version of windows" but when I do so, and attempt to start XP I get a black screen. No errors, or anything. I can't even boot in safe mode (I get a bunch of lines of code that eventually just hang).
My problem is similar to this thread
and so, I believe, is the solution.
I'm looking for advise before I start messing with boot files and really jack something up.
Here is a little background:
Been running XP on this machine for 5+years, it was an OEM HP Pavilion. I have since upgraded the hard drive to a 500gb seagate along with the case, power supply, and video card. When I installed the new HD I simply used seagate's software and cloned the existing drive, including the OS. Everything worked fine. I had successfully cloned drives C: (main system) and D: (OEM recovery partition) onto my new drive.
When installing Windows 7 about a month ago I followed this how-to
for the most part. However, I was out of DVD's so I simply mounted the image and installed through XP. That being said I have no DVD of either XP or Windows 7 to fall back on should my system stop booting completely.
Ok here when the problem started:
When I partitioned the 500gb drive to install Windows 7 I left quite a bit of space unallocated. I successfully booted between 7 and XP for a few weeks. Then, I assigned a drive letter (S: for storate) to the unallocated space using Windows 7 Disk Management utility. After doing so I was unable to boot back to XP.
This is what I have found so far:
Reading several similar (but different) threads here and googling everything I could think of I thought my XP Boot.ini
file may have been pointing to the wrong partition number and not booting properly. However, when I look under the C: partition through explorer there is no Boot.ini file at all.
I proceed to search the C: drive for said file and have come up with a couple interesting items. Boot.BAK
does exist under the C: drive and Boot.ini.backup
exists at C:\Windows\pss <-- (this "backup" is dated the same as my installation of Windows 7). These files both contain the same information.
I believe that XP is now on the 3rd partition when it was the 2nd one prior. Can someone please verify this from the pic below?
If XP is now the 3rd partition can I simply copy Boot.BAK,
change it to Boot.ini
and replace partition (2) with partition (3)??
What does the segment "/fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn" mean/do?? I have a good idea, but really just wondering if it needs to be changed.
Thanks guys for any input you may have. This forum is GREAT!