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Help! Triple Boot XP / OS X / Vista Blues


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I am just about to throw up. This must be the 7th time i try to install windows xp and subsequently install vista. I've been close on many occasions, but just can't seem to find a solution... Here is a list of some of my attempts (previously posted in another forum with no replies for a week and a half) :


"I've had Windows XP installed for a while now and partitioned my disk already using boot camp when i installed it. I'd like to install Vista now, but is there any way to simply add a fat32 partition (which can be later converted to NTFS) without totally backing up os x and creating three new partitions with the install disk? I've seen many triple boot solutions but they all require re-partitionning the entire disk. Any ideas?"


But then I found out:

"I resized my Macintosh HD using single-user mode and the resizeVolume command:


diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 167G


This worked perfectly and I was able to install Vista in the unallocated space (It created an NTFS partition)


However, when I try to boot windows XP, it loads a bit with the windows xp logo and blue progress bar, but suddenly gives me a very quick blue screen of death and then reboots. I can still boot into Mac OS X perfectly and Vista as well. I tried booting off my Windows XP cd to repair the installation, but it could not find it. I can access the XP drive from Mac OS X and from Vista. In Vista it is listed as D:\, and all the files are intact but possibly the change of drive letter could have confused Windows XP?"


To solve this I have also tried recovery console, doing fixboot /rebuild, fixmbr, fixboot... I've manually changed the boot.ini in OS X to partition(4) instead of partition(3), it does not work. So, I decided to use boot camp and restore my drive to a single partition, effectively destroying my vista partition in the process since it wasnt officially created by os x (I just created unpartitionned space to install on).


A different attempt:


"I've removed vista and xp, and created two new partitions with the resizeVolume command. I've started installing xp on the first partition, but once it gets to the point where it has to reboot into the more "GUI-type" installation portion, it gives me an error saying hal.dll is missing or corrupt. In os x, i access the windows drive and hal.dll is in fact there, so i try to replace it by copying it from my windows install disk again, doesnt work. I try copying it from another windows xp cd, thinking that one might have been scratched, still doesnt work."


I can not remove these partitions easily anymore since i haven't used boot camp yet to partition, so it thinks it has nothing to remove. Any ideas on how to triple boot? I've seen the tutorial where one completely removes all operating systems and repartitions from scratch at the beginning, with the fdisk partition scheme, but I don't have an external hardrive for easy backup and there has to be an easier way. Also, this method would force me to remove EFI, preventing me from getting future firmware updates and the like.

I just have to get XP to boot from partition 4, not partition 3... Oddly enough, even when I change this in the boot.ini, and try safe mode (where I can see what files its loading), its still loading from partition 3, where it eventually crashes since it can't continue loading the vista files and the ntfs filesystem.


As you can see, I'm in a very complex situation here and I've become very confused. I would appreciate getting some help on the issue. :)

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