Dual and Multibooting with Vista

This site’s main aim is to understand Vista’s boot requirements,
particularly with regard to third-party boot managers and cloning.
Site Motief

Vista Quirks and Bugs
Vista's new Partitioning
Vista's MBR DIsk
Vista's Boot Files
bootmgr and BCD
Installing Vista
Cloning Vista
Drive Letter Problems
Vista Tested
Boot Managers
Vista Boot Floppy
The Multiboot Process
The Windows System
and Boot Partitions

Windows Seven LogoWINDOWS

Much of the Vista material on this site will apply to Seven, but there have been a few notable changes which can make some of the information here not applicable or not entirely safe for use with Windows Seven. See the new Win-7 page for current updates.


Windows World Logo

  Multibooters - July 2009.
This page last reviewed or updated - Dec 2010.   

Warning icon DISCLAIMER:
 The information on this site is offered in good faith and no responsibility can be accepted for misuse that leads to loss of data or damaged hardware. There are any number of ways that the slightest mistake in procedure could trash a system. If you have a mission critical OS that you cannot restore, or data that is not fully backed up, then you should not be experimenting with such things.

Info iconThis web site was never intended as a complete how-to guide on the subject of multibooting or cloning. The focus has been to publish information about Vista that was not seen elsewhere. Effort has been made to keep articles as non-technical and concise as possible.


Some of the kind things people have said about this site.

Thank you very much for providing excellent detailed and accurate information in a format that is easy to use. I have found exactly what I was looking for on your site.
Brilliant explanation which ties together things that have taken me years to half-learn…..Thanks to you I now know exactly why and how Vista screwed things up.
I just want to thank you for some very well written documents on understanding multi-boot environments. I must confess to having known a lot less than I thought I did.
Thanks for an insight into the whole boot process which we often take for granted. This has helped me to understand where my missing Vista and Xp installations went
Thank you for the wealth of knowledge about the disk id and bcd store.
It works ! You saved my live (winload error after a wrong ubuntu install with dual boot with vista) Thanks a million.
Thx alot for the effort u did giving this guide to the community! Serious, I learned a lot!
You've done a great job researching. Keep up the good work.
Hi! Just wanna drop you a note to thank you for publishing "Dual and Multi Booting With Vista" to the web. Thanks a lot!
Thank you for your hard work and thorough investigation. The insights you provide in these pages to the way Vista handles it partitions and booting is fantastic. Thanks very much for taking the time to do the write-up.
Thank you for your great guide for Vista cloning, especially for the tips to generalize the BCD and to change the drive letter of the system partition.
Nice write-up .. thanks.
Thanks for the info and web site, it has been most helpful. Particularly the info on BCD and bootmanagers.
Thank you for putting this site/pages up.
After a full day of trying a Vista Repair and using bcdedit.exe I was nowhere until I found your site using Google. I followed your instructions in the "DRIVE LETTER PROBLEMS" section and Vista is now working again! Thank You for your help.
Dear Sir: An outstanding contribution!

THANKS, thanks, thanks!!! I have been messing with vista cloning for months now and your pages about the bcd have detailed and provided many many missing puzzle pieces.

A fabulous resource and beautifully explained. Many thanks for you detailed explanations that clearly answer questions that have been unanswered for a long time.
Thanks and congratulations for your site, you are a real expert!
Your site is the most helpful and clear source to be found and very much appreciated, especially perhaps by those among us who have been sorely misled by MS loose terminology and sloppy promotional style.
I just wanted to express my gratitude for all your work and experience you share on this site. It was very helpful, helped me finally understand booting quite well and configure my machine to my taste and need. I very much appreciate. Thank you.
I followed your instructions to the letter and all the different bcdedit commands worked perfectly. Thnx for your well researched article. I now have a dual boot clone backup Vista system that lets me sleep better at night.
I would just like to type a big "THANK YOU", for making a hard MS subject understandable.
Hi Mr. McTavish: Your website is the best resource I found online to understand the various aspects of booting vista.
thanks alot! Your guide actually saved my marriage... Lol! Thank you :)
many thanks for your very clear and informative documentation of a lot of work and testing- being published for the sake of others!
One of the best written articles I have ever come across. I must comment on the brilliant style of the writer - straight to the point.
your multibooters documents are amazing and extremely helpful.
I will definitely be directing all my peers to you're incredibly helpful and knowledge site!
Your explanation of the cascaded MS way of handling multiple OS'es is a beautiful thing. That method scares me a lot. Too many dependencies for me. Some of the boot managers like GAG and Boot-US are elegant and simple and far more flexible in my book, but the MS explanation, again, is a work of art.
You guys are lifesavers.
I found very interesting the information that you provide in this web and helped me to solve several problems I had booting Vista.
Just to thank you so very much for your set of articles - so helpful in dealing with what appears to have become MS (and others) accepted practice of deceptive "you can't get there from here" support articles...... Oh for the precise and meaningful use of the English language!
Love your pages, really good stuff.
thanx i need to remove vista u saved me more headache.
thanks for a great resource!!
Just to say thanks for some great information on these subjects.
Despite your careful excuses like "not intended as how-to...", "no time to complete..." etc. I like to complement you for this excellent write-up. I am very glad that I found it, and it helped me solving a few Vista/XP dual boot problems.
brilliant articles! plenty of things that i never expected to know ;) i love to get things explained so well.
I would like to thank you very much for your extensive website on Windows Vista and the MBR information. We have been able to find out that Vista was no longer bootable because of the NT disk signature not being present.
Many thanks! I have searched for a fix to this issue for many hours, including Microsoft and Symantec (Ghost 8.0) TechNet and Tech support and your article enabled me to fix my issues, literally within minutes. Thank you again,
Thanks for taking the time to post what you've learned. Your explanations were clear, in excellent English, and the graphics were very helpful. Your info filled in all the gaps I had, and resulted in me being able to fix things on my computer and properly plan a dual boot Vista / Xandros Linux.
Hey, one absolutely top notch site.
I am being your fun since I first found this resource. Nice and very useful work. Go on.
Dear Authors, thank you! After i saw your site, my will to live returned :-)
I got flabbergasted. Among the bests explanations I've ever read. Carefully explained. Very well written. Very impressed.
Hi there - I just wanted to take a moment and thank whomever is responsible for this site - Your documentation helped us to figure out a painless Vista/XP dual-boot Ghost[tm] deployment solution for our campus - Many other websites were consulted in this process and yours was the one that provided almost all of the information we needed - Thanks again!
A clear and excellent resume - thank you.
Now, right as I'm going to bed, I stumble across your page. Wow! You sure chose the right ways to simplify things. I wish I would have found this first because I would have spent like 20 minutes learning the same amount that took me all night otherwise.
the information you have provided on this website is absolutely brilliant (and clearly presented!)
Excellent collection of facts. Saved my time and work nearly a dozen times... MORE! Thank You!
The information on your site is awesome, useful and much appreciated.
Thank you more that you can know.
This is definitely the best guide I've seen on the internet regarding multiboot. Awesome work!!!
......let me say that your site has by far the most detailed description of the windows boot process I have been able to find. Very informative...thank you!!!!
This is the best and most informative written page about multiboot infos........ on this page I can found REALLY ALL behaviors of multiboot issues from all aspects. Congratulation!
Great Site, saved my Bacon. Found the information I was looking for (for a long time), but only by chance. Your site has given me a greater understanding of multi booting. I'll have to go over it all a couple of times before I really got it! ;-)
I love you!!
Just excellent. Each and everything on the subject has been put before microscopically. THANKS FOR THE GREAT JOB.
Hello I think this site rocks and would like to commend you on a good job reviewing the multi boot loaders listed here.
In my humble opinion, there's a matter of style involved as well in leading people towards understatement....... In other words, I wanted to thank you for being far more right than it may appear at first sight.
I have to properly thank you for providing this excellent information. Without it I would still be with my hands in my hair, now it all works exactly the way I want to! Respect and big compliments!
To the author(s)........ Just wanted to say that the information you have provided here is nothing short of brilliant. So comprehensive and well written. I wish I had stumbled upon it much sooner in my travails with Vista/Win 7 cloning. Other technical writers should use this as a benchmark site.
These series of articles about multi-booting are a 'godsend'.
Thank you very much for you excelent work!!! Your site is what I looked for a long time. Once more, thank you!
Guys- you did a GREAT JOB of making all this information available and UNDERSTANDABLE for an experienced, but non technical or dos literal computer user. I read almost your whole site, and found it thorough, well researched, and quite educational. I know I'll be referring to it often. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Very clearly explained and thoroughly investigated. Many thanks, I learnt a lot.
I am tremendously impressed by the quality of your extremely clear and comprehensive article, coming as a response to my questionning about the boot mechanism of Xp-Vista-W7. I was in the dark. I begin to arrive in the light. Really.
Man, I've waited so long for someone to make this as clear as you've done! Thank you for thinking of those of us who spend a lot of time looking for guides like this, but hardly ever finding them.




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Copyright © 2007 - 2010

These pages are not guaranteed to be free of errors. I cannot offer support but if you can answer any of the questions on this site, or correct any mistakes, then please let me know by using the feedback form.   McTavish_January_2007
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