How-To: Hide Vista Partition from XP!


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One of the biggest problems that faces dual-booters is data corruption on many different fronts. While using proper dual-boot techniques and going by the book can avoid most forms of data corruption, there are some things that you can’t just work around, especially if it’s considered a “feature” by Microsoft… One such “feature” is that those dual-booting Windows XP and Windows Vista will find that every time they boot into XP, they’ll lose all their Vista system restore points - because XP “intelligently” detects them as being corrupt XP system restore profiles. So much for painless dual-booting. Even Vista’s “Complete Backup” feature is decimated by the very existence of XP on the same computer - and having them on separate hard drives doesn’t help!

Unfortunately, there is no solution to this. Microsoft acknowledges the issue - but provides absolutely no hint, clue, or even whiff of a hotfix though it would seem that this isn’t something difficult for them to patch. The advice has been to either not dual-boot at all, run XP in a virtual machine, or else encrypt the Vista hard drive - a feature that has more bugs than the rest of Vista put together. But don’t worry, we have a (free and easy!) solution for you!

1. If you don’t already have it, download and install EasyBCD.

2. Run EasyBCD and go to the “Add/Remove Entries” screen.

3. Delete any and all “Windows XP” entries in the list you see. Simply select them, and press the delete button.

4. Click the “NeoGrub” tab, and select “Install NeoGrub” from the screen.

5. Once NeoGrub is installed, hit the “Configure NeoGrub” button.

6. Notepad will open, and you’ll be presented with the NeoGrub configuration file, called “menu.lst” NeoGrub provides a bunch of very nifty options that will help us hide the Vista drive from Windows XP, in a very safe, simple, and straight-forward manner. Copy and paste this code over the existing menu.lst file. Replace everything:

# NeoSmart NeoGrub Bootloader Configuration File
#
# This is the NeoGrub menu.lst file, and should be located at C:\menu.lst
# Please see the EasyBCD Documentation for information on how to create/modify entries
# http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD

default 0
timeout 0

title Boot XP - Hide Vista
hide (hd0,1)			# SET THIS TO THE VISTA DRIVE
# Optionally repeat the above entry for all the Vista drives
chainloader (hd0,0)/ntldr	# SET THIS TO THE BOOT PARTITION
boot

# Optional section
#  If you include this section, you will see a second bootloader menu!
title Boot XP - Unhide Vista
unhide (hd0,1)			# SET THIS TO THE VISTA DRIVE
# Optionally repeat the above entry for all the Vista drives
chainloader (hd0,0)/ntldr	# SET THIS TO THE BOOT PARTITION
boot

Read “Drive Letters and Numbers” to figure out which (hdx,y) sequence you need to use. Hard drive and partition counts start at 0. Tip: You can see a full list of drives and partitions by going to the “Linux/BSD” tab of the “Add/Remove Entries” section in EasyBCD.

7. Save it, and exit notepad.

8. Optional: Go to the “Configure Boot” screen and rename the entry from “NeoGrub Bootloader” to “Windows XP” or another name of your choice.

9. Exit EasyBCD & reboot to test.

Original Article: http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/hide-vista-partition-from-xp/ (reproduced with permission)

EasyBCD Download: http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

NeoGrub Documentation: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/NeoGrub

This should take care of the problem with Windows XP deleting the System Restore images for Windows Vista and shadow copies on Longhorn Server. If you have multiple Vista partitions, you will need to repeat the hide/unhide lines for each.

Hope this helps!

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