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.


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    Multibooters This page last reviewed or updated - Jan 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.


Site Map


Home Page

Vista Quirks and Bugs
 • Disappearing partitions
 • Third-party partitioning, imaging and cloning tools
 • SATA hard drives can be numbered out of sequence
 • Vista may unexpectedly take the C: drive letter as its own
 • System restore points
 • Vista prefers creating logical partition
 • You may see several primary partitions on a drive
 • Windows Setup [EMS Enabled]

Vista's New Partitioning Rules
 • Vista Partitions
 • Goodbye to Cylinder Boundaries
 • Mixing the Old With the New
 • More Hidden Sectors

Vista's MBR Disk Signature
 • Disk Signature
 • The Vista MBR
 • A Larger IPL
 • The Disk Signature and Drive Letters

Vista's Boot Files
 • bootmgr and BCD
 • Method of Operation
 • Moving Vista
 • There are GUIDs and there are GUIDs
 • BCD is Always Open
 • The Wrong BCD

Installing Vista
 • When is Dualboot Configured?
 • Drive Letters
 • The Changes Vista Makes to a Previous Windows OS - and How to Reverse Them
 • How to Install Vista and Avoid Changes to Other Operating Systems
 • Bootmanagers

Cloning Vista
 • Off Boundary partitions
 • Missing
 • Prepare the BCD
 • Other BCD Boot Objects
 • Missing
 • Don't be Fooled
 • Generalize a BCD while Working from a Different OS
 • Generalize a BCD From the Vista DVD
 • Re-Specialize a BCD
 • Manually Set the Hibernation Object
 • Hibernation and Third-Party Bootmanagers
 • Turning Hibernation On and Off
 • Backup and Restore a BCD with bcdedit.exe
 • Whole Drive sector-by-sector Cloning

Drive Letter Problems
 • Recovering From a Changed Drive Letter
 • Resetting the MountedDevices List

Vista Tested Bootmanagers
 • GAG
 • OSL2000
 • Boot-Us
 • BootMagic
 • Paragon Boot Manager
 • Acronis OS Selector
 • BootIT Next Generation

Vista Boot Floppy
 • Adding XP to the Floppy
 • Bootable USB Stick

Guide to the Multiboot Process
 • The Boot Sequence Programs
 • Dual-Boot Sequence
 • Multi-Boot Sequence
 • The Limitations of the Microsoft Bootmanager
 • A Smarter IPL
 • MBR Bootmanager
 • A Word of Caution About IPL Bootmanagers
 • Dedicated Partition
 • Inside a Curent OS
 • On a Floppy
 • Linux and Lilo or Grub
 • It's Not Logical

The Windows System and Boot Partition
 • System and Boot
 • Independent Windows Installs
 • You Say Tomato

Windows Seven
 • Installing Win7
 • Generalizing the Windows7 BCD
 • winload.exe is no longer missing
 • The ntldr Boot Object in the BCD
 • Windows Recovery Environment



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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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