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Vista installed on MBP - trouble with bootloader


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Finally I have done it, I installed Vista on my external hard disk, connected to my MBP.

It was a bit of a hassle and there are some problems left to sort out, but here is how I have installed Vista.


First of all I decided to install Windows XP via BootCamp on my MacBook Pro. This went fine, although I had to defrag the hard disk before BootCamp let me partition it.

So, then I installed Acronis Disk Director to change the partition status where I wanted to install Vista on, to 'Active'. It turned out that this wasn't necessary at all since it was already set 'Active'.

Then I did the following: I thought it should be possible to run the Vista installation from within Windows XP, so I started it. Surprisingly, Vista let me install on the desired partition (on my external SATA disk) without any problems, no more error messages, even the Sil 3132 driver was loaded automatically.

During the installation, the system was rebooting several times (which is normal). After the first time I got an error message, so I restarted the machine a second time, manually.

Then, the installation went on. The system rebooted again, this time I inserted my flash drive with rEFIt to choose what to boot. I continued the installation of Vista which still wasn't finished and needed to be completed.

After finishing the installation it rebooted my MBP once again and booted for the first time into the Vista desktop where it crashed like immediately causing another reboot (what a motivating beginning)!

I used rEFIt to choose to boot Vista and this time I got another error message during start up, caused by the Vista boot loader which detected that my HFS+ partitions weren't recognized and supported correctly by Windows. Luckily it continued booting and went right into the Vista desktop, this time without crashing - finally!

So the problems which remain have to do with this Vista boot loader which now always wants me to choose if I want to boot my previously installed Windows XP or Vista. Unfortunately choosing to boot XP causes an ntldr is missing error, though I can still run it through VMWare Fusion (yes, right on my BootCamp partition).

My question is if and how I can get rid of this nasty bootmanager, because it only causes error messages (it seems to be good for nothing)! Even when I am not fast enough (i.e. two seconds) it automatically chooses Vista to boot (which is, of course, resulting in another error message when I want to boot my XP partition under VMWare).

Can I use EasyBCD for this purpose or do I have to remove it under Windows XP? What is needed to be done so that both Operating Systems will still be bootable after all?


Actually I wasn't sure in which section of the forums I should post this. Windows, BootCamp or Virtualization, Emulation, and CrossOver. If you feel like it has to be moved, feel free to do so!

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Well, since nobody has the intention to answer, I wanted to elaborate the problematics a bit more detailed. Actually I have quite some questions about the usage of EasyBCD. I made some screenshots of the several options of the program:




As you can see, this screen capture shows the settings of my Vista bootloader. As I started the Vista setup from within XP on my BootCamp partition, I wonder why the entry shows:


Entry #1

Name: Earlier Version of Windows
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: Deleted Partition\
Bootloader Path: ntldr\


My guess is, because it is a BootCamp partition it says "Deleted Partition\" while in reality, under Vista the partition shows up as drive D:\.

I also think it is because of that that choosing to boot "Earlier Version of Windows" from the bootloader results in a ntldr error.


Then let's go over to the detailed view of the settings:




There I don't get it. Under the first point "Windows Boot Manager" there is an entry "device partition=D:" while below under "Windows Legacy OS Loader" another entry says "device unknown".

That is a bit confusing!


The next image shows the 'Configure Boot' settings of EasyBCD, where I can choose a drive under the 'Entry-Based Settings' as well as I can change the name from the bootloader entry, as you can see:




If we move on to the 'Manage Existing Entries' section you can yet see again both entries (Earlier Windows Version+Microsoft Windows Vista) and at the bottom I could add another entry. The image shows that I chose to add an entry for Mac OS X, though I wonder what would happen, if I choose to do so (note that I am using a MacBook Pro with Vista installed on a seperate externaldrive hooked up with eSATA). I would like to know if anybody tested this before I mess up everything.




As for the 'Advanced Options' I think it is best to back it up BEFORE applying any changes to it:




The 'Diagnostics Center' though remains quite mysterious to me, as I couldn't find out about the 'Repair OS X "HFS+ Partition Error"'. That sounds interesting since I get these nasty error messages during Vista startup (I'll try to make some screenshots of them). Maybe I can get rid of them by selecting this option in EasyBCD. Hopefully somebody could tell me more about that "HFS+ Partition Error".




The last screenshot shows what EasyBCD shows me when starting it from Windows XP, run in VMWare Fusion (with its BootCamp option). Since I cannot start the XP installation natively because of the ntldr error message, I tried this method, but I wouldn't even choose a 'Correct Boot Drive' to prevent messing things up, so I exited it right away.




I hope there are some (EasyBCD/bootloader) experts out there who can help me. I would really appreciate that.

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