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  1. #1
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    Windows 10 dual boot made XP invisible and inaccessible

    Warning -- This will appeal only to the case-hardened dual boot expert! I despair of search ever locating this answer because of all the irrelevant hits it produces.

    XP dual boot was easy to manipulate but win10 has made it so automatic that it has become impossible to fix -- that's OK, its really slow to make up for it...

    HD Boot shows me three Win10 options but no XP which still exists on the first partition of Hard drive. Partition is set as System and active but XP partition boots Win10 option screen with choice of any of three other partitions among two devices. I've run out of ideas... You?

    Objective was dual boot XP Win10 on HD, Windows required upgrade of Win8.1 in place (SSD)

    I have a partitioned hard drive and a somewhat flaky SSD. Original config was XP on HD with Win8.1 on SSD -- all windows versions are "Pro", XP was 32 bit, and so (I believe) was Win8.1 -- Win10 installations are 64bit.
    Partitions HD
    -TB1(XP) (Active & Boot) 'volume1'
    -NewW10 (System) 'v2'
    -W10ssdClone (System) 'v3'
    SSD
    -amdySSD (Active & Boot) 'v4'

    I installed Win10 Pro x64 from release ISO to upgrade win8.1 on amdySSD. Worked but amdySSD remained hardware flaky so I added partitions to HD (Partition Wizard) to install Win10 fresh and clone SSD to HD.
    Copy claimed success but W10ssdClone not found as boot option. Could not repair using W10 DVD.

    W10 Full install on NewW10 (after activating win10 amdySSD version somehow registers machine) "NewW10" booted OK, XP booted OK, amdySSD booted OK, ssdClone not found.

    Following a nearby lightning hit, nothing booted but DVD (neither HD nor SSD), but both win10 repair and install could manipulate files of all systems but not make HD bootable. CMD can see files on all partition HD and SSD.

    Tried another HD but it would not boot either, so I tried BIOS reset. Then ran w10 boot repair (nth time).
    - result -- NewW10 boots OK, W10ssdClone boots OK [v2] (first time ever an option [v3]), amdySSD boots OK [v4],
    -- Win XP is not found (previously "other operating system" [v1])

    W10 boot options are
    -Windows 10 Pro on Volume 2 (current default)
    -Windows 10 Pro on Volume 3
    -Windows 10 Pro on Volume 4

    Things get much more comical if I select the SSD (v4) from the options menu which obviates the dual boot menu for all subsequent cold starts, and BIOS boot HD selection goes to never never land until the third try which restores option menu. Meanwhile, W10ssdClone goes to black after password -- will not recover -- this since booting amdySSD.

    And don't you love how MS arbitrarily steals your system to install updates while you are attempting to make sense of something like this...

  2. #2
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    I must say at the start that I have no idea why your XP partition is invisible to the W10 boot option. That said, I am dual-booting W10 (IP) and XP, but using the XP MBR rather than the W10 one. When I tried just installing W10 (on a separate partn) with Xp visible, it took over the boot sequence (as I by then expected), and offered XP as an option (what your system is failing to do). However, I was disappointed by the resulting slowness, as you report: it seems that a substantial chunk of W10 loads before the boot options appear, and if one selects Xp, it goes back to the BIOS checks and starts again, this time running the XP MBR (I think). I guess it makes some temporary change to the MBR, but don't know. The upshot is that if one wants XP (as I do, most of the time), it all takes far too long.

    I failed to find a way to get W10 to boot from XP's boot options, so ended up using Grub4DOS (launched from XP's boot options) to offer the W10 boot - that way the default of Xp runs without user input. So this may be a way for you to get it working, even if its not a fix to the immediate problem. Without understanding much of what i was doing, I found the following GRUB commands would boot whatever was found on the required partition, in this case partn 3 of hd1:
    title Win-10
    root (hd1,3)
    chainloader (hd1,3)+1
    boot

    To identify which drives and partns were which (the order was not necessarily the same as seen by Disc Management in Windows), I used the GRUB FIND command:
    find (hd0, <tab> to list partns in drive 0
    find (hd0,0)/<tab> lists files/folders at root of hd0,0 etc
    To be sure which partn was which (as the root file contents were often similar, and to save drilling further down), I created empty txt files on each partn, named with my Windows drive letter. This worked a treat.

    If you can be bothered with the effort of trying GRUB, you should at least be able to find out if the XP partn is still bootable. I don't know how to do that starting from the W10 boot options. Alternatively, you would have to 'hide' the W10 partitions (various partition managers have this option, not something I have tried recently), and see if XP appears - and you may have to fix the XP MBR to get that to boot. You will need to do that to use GRUB4DOS anyway.

    Hope this helps, but if not I may have other unhelpful ideas to suggest - Martin
    Last edited by mngerhold; 2015-10-16 at 14:20.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mngerhold View Post
    Hope this helps, but if not I may have other unhelpful ideas to suggest - Martin
    Thanks! Your so-called "unhelpful" suggestions give me a new handle on the problem. Unfortunately I have a sudden distraction to deal with and the Grub approach is all new to me so some delay will ensue.

    I don't really know what Win10 has done to the disk. With the XP partition marked Active & Boot it must be intercepting XP at some exotic level (I see no recent changes to files on the XP partition). I take it that I should "repair" XP to restore its own MBR and then see if I can get Grub setup for any other partitions I want to enable. It will take some time to get back to you (fortunately neither XP nor Win10 are prime for me, its a case of maintain XP capability and experiment with Win10 while relying on a separate system).

    A separate thank you for the grub setup details -- thus it becomes tangible...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron1 View Post
    I take it that I should "repair" XP to restore its own MBR and then see if I can get Grub setup for any other partitions I want to enable.
    Yes, I think so. My notes of the fun I had when i first installed W10 suggest I found help here regarding resetting the MBR from inside W10 using Bootsect.exe, but I think that didn't work, and I had to resort to the XP recovery console and use XP's FIXMBR command.

    Although I have many other links to related stuff, I can't be sure which are helpful and which merely confuse (easily done in my case).

    When you have time to get back to this, any reply here will wake me up by email and if I can help further, I will try. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    You could always run XP in a VM under 10 - use the "unity" setting to gain seamless access.

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Windows XP and Windows 10 use very different boot processes. XP uses ntldr, and 10 uses bootmgr and BCD. An entry for XP can be edited into the BCD store and can be given a boot option.

    Your best bet is probably install the non-commercial Free version of EasyBCD in Windows 10 and get things sorted out there.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post

    Your best bet is probably install the non-commercial Free version of EasyBCD in Windows 10 and get things sorted out there.
    EasyBCD was too easy!
    • it found the XP settings automatically with the "add" button.
    • clear descriptions of new boot implications including UEFI are accessible in "documentation".
    • the boot selection is quick.
    • I used rename to make three meaningful selections for "Windows 10 Pro"

    I returned to make a donation (somewhat diabolical, I did not donate in advance and had to return to the download screen and re-register. They seemed to accept the donation without actually downloading)

    In XP I get an application error on explorer startup, indicating other problems to be sure, but boot loads my personal settings and displays the desktop background... and one of my three Win10 installations is also whacked!

    So between the lightning and recovery efforts I've made a real mess of things -- putting me back in old familiar territory...

    But at least I can boot! Many thanks bbearren!

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger djohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Windows XP and Windows 10 use very different boot processes. XP uses ntldr, and 10 uses bootmgr and BCD. An entry for XP can be edited into the BCD store and can be given a boot option.

    Your best bet is probably install the non-commercial Free version of EasyBCD in Windows 10 and get things sorted out there.
    EasyBCD is definitely the way to go, and will solve your problem.

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