Thursday, July 28, 2005 11:50 PM bart

Windows Vista boot loader enhancements

Windows Vista uses a new boot loader to display the different OSes that are installed on your computer. After installing the Windows Vista OS in parallel with another OS, you'll get two menus. In the first you can choose to launch Windows Vista or to launch "some legacy operating system". When you choose the latter one, the old familiar boot menu is displayed. However, you can control this behavior by editing boot.ini manually:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows Longhorn" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /USENEWLOADER
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN

This is how my boot.ini file looked like immediately after the installation of Vista Beta 1. As the matter in fact, the new boot loader menu shows all of the entries that have the /USENEWLOADER switch. All other entries are accessible through the "legacy operating systems" menu option. So, I modified the file as follows

[boot loader]
timeout=5
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows Longhorn" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /USENEWLOADER
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /USENEWLOADER

Which is causing XP to be the default again (it's my second box also shared with other family members), setting the timeout to 5 seconds and sending the old boot loader menu off to early retirement :-). Much better now.

Update: I experienced a problem today, which I didn't had yesterday as far as I know :s (but it should have been there if the Windows loading process is still deterministic, lol :d). When trying to load Windows XP through the new loader, it stops with the error message it can't find winloader.exe in the system folder. So, I'd recommend to drop this trick for now (I'll try to find out more details about compatibility of loaders with older OSes), but changing the default to XP still is a good idea as in that case the timeout works very well (after twice 5 seconds the system starts Windows XP, twice because both the new and old menu use this timeout value). I'm starting the installation of Longhorn Server Beta 1 right now on the same box and will post about my experiences and boot load stuff with that OS later on.

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Friday, July 29, 2005 10:19 AM by TrackBack

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# re: Windows Vista boot loader enhancements, trusted boot

Sunday, August 07, 2005 4:25 AM by bart

do you know how to activate trusted boot ?

# re: Windows Vista boot loader enhancements

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 12:06 AM by bart

ALL you have to do is copy winload.exe from Vista windows-system32 to the other system32 of each partition that you wanna display it on new boot loader.

# re: Windows Vista boot loader enhancements

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 8:39 PM by bart

As above, copying the winload.exe file from vista's system32 directory to winxp's system32 directory works.

# re: Windows Vista boot loader enhancements

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:51 PM by Angel

Ok, my Vista beta is up and i removed the HDD where it was installed but I still get the Vista loader, how do I removing without damaging the XP instalation?