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Help! I deleted my XP Boot Sector, then installed Vista (though unrelated).

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Help! I deleted my XP Boot Sector, then installed Vista (though unrelated).

Old 01-07-08, 08:26 AM
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Help! I deleted my XP Boot Sector, then installed Vista (though unrelated).

Saturday night I was deleting a lot of temp crap (gigs worth) on my F: drive (primary, XP install) and for some reason as I was backing out of the Applications folder I zapped NTLDR and its brethren. I should have known better, but I was being delete happy. Now before I had to a chance to reboot, discover my error and fix it.. (which is pretty easy, I'll get to that below) I installed Vista. Please save the lame MySpace "Vista sucks!" jokes because I'm actually really enjoying it.. but my intentions were to have a dual-boot system for legacy software (mostly games).

Obviously, without the boot sector files, Vista never picked up my XP install and never gave me the boot menu. So I did some checking and downloaded a program called EasyBCD which lets you easily fiddle with the Vista bootloader. That didn't detect my XP install so I forced it to, I added the NT/XP entry and pointed it to the right drive. I reboot, select XP and I get an NTLDR error. At this point I immediately remembered what I did the prior night. No biggie.. my XP CD is in the drive, I reboot.. copy NTLDR and NTDETECT and run FIXBOOT. Viloa, boot sector returns. However.. I'm still not able to boot into XP at all.

I also screwed around with the drive letters a bit.. I had two HDDs, one was C: and D: (old XP) and the other was F: and G: (current XP). I installed Vista on the C: and D: drive but made it one partition before I did so when I got into Vista, the F: and G: were now D: and E:. I reassigned them F: and G: in Vista just to keep what I knew going.. but I'm wondering if changing the old drive from two partitions to one is confusing my old XP system.

So.. any suggestions? If all else fails, the operating systems are on their own partitions so I can reinstall one or both with minor headaches (the XP setup is probably long due for a clean install anyway). But.. I'd rather just get what I've got running now and I'm pretty sure this should be an easy fix.. I'm just not finding it.
Old 01-07-08, 08:58 AM
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I have some secondary questions since I'm up in 'ere.

I grabbed the 32-bit version of Vista.. should I have gone with the 64-bit version? I have the processor for it but I recall asking about that in the XP days and was told that it wasn't worth it. Is it now? I got mine cheap but I don't think I'd mind putting it back up for sale if there's a true benefit to having the 64-bit version.

Also, let's say I just reinstall both OSes. I would really like to have my 300GB SATA drive as the first drive but my BIOS insists on making the 60GB IDE the first drive. That's why my current (botched) XP install in on the F: drive. My optimal setup as I see it is having the 300GB be C: and D: with XP on C: and having the 60GB be E: with Vista on it. What the hell do I need to do to get my BIOS to reorder these drives?
Old 01-07-08, 09:07 AM
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MySpace Vista jokes?
Old 01-07-08, 10:40 AM
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Just diffusing any random hate since Vista is (probably) not the problem.
Old 01-08-08, 08:46 AM
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Update: I removed the Vista drive and tried to boot from just the XP drive and got a "SYSTEM BOOT FAILURE" error. Great. So I boot off of the XP CD again and try some more boot recovery stuff.. after some more Google research I figured I should use the FIXMBR command along with the FIXBOOT, etc. Well, a warning comes up saying how it could potentially destroy all the partitions on the drive and I cancel out of that. I'd rather just reinstall at that point. I casually tell my girlfriend that I screwed it up so bad I'll have to reinstall XP or risk using FIXMBR if I could backup 200GB worth of junk. She then casually tells me she has a 500G SATA drive that hasn't even been opened at her mom's house. Nice. So I'll get to try the last possible fix and just do the reinstall if it fails.

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