Monday, February 12, 2007


OSS to the rescue

EasyBCD restored XP to the Vista boot manager in a way that avoided the "corrupt installation" error, but left me with a situation where selecting XP just takes me back to the boot manager :-(

Stuck the Freespire ISO in the CD drive and rebooted, using Gparted to select either XP or Vista as bootable allowed a reboot into a working version of either, although the "front door" method remains broken. Added Freespire to the 3rd partition and the resulting GRUB menu offers me Freespire, Vista and XP as a triple boot menu - all of which work - RESULT !!! OpenSource rides to the rescue and allows me to boot into XP or Vista via a menu.

After checking out the sound card in XP (updating its drivers to identify exactly which version of Soundblaster Audigy I have) I was able to download 40 MB of Vista beta drivers for the sound card  - now we have sound output and the microphone works too.

Lessons learned :-

1. Check out each item of hardware and look for Vista drivers, don't trust the Vista system scanning tools they may give you wrong information about compatibility. Do this while you still have XP and can specifically identify the model and version of each component.
2. Don't use anything other than Vista to format the disk or partition Vista is going on - NTFS has "evolved" under Vista and most if not all of the 3rd party tools are currently broken.
3. If dual booting Vista and XP expect to be told XP is broken when it isn't. Keep the XP Setup CD in its box and fix the boot manager references with EasyBCD
4. Vista isn't any more complete than previous versions of Windows, within minutes I was having to download utilities to perform tasks that other Operating Systems do out of the box.

I'm still in information overload seeking a solution to the circular booting situation with XP off the Vista boot menu.


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