[Toughie!] Yet another Vista/XP dual boot problem..
I followed that absolutely outstanding guide on Dual Booting Vista and XP with Vista already installed. Top notch guide IMO.
For me it wasn't exactly the same method though, I have three SATA hard drives and I was installing Xp on a partition on the third disk.
XP installed fine (I had to call in to get them to activate my pro key again..annoyingly I've installed it too many times..) but I ran into problems when installing the Motherboard drivers. It's the weirdest thing but XP sees my hard drives as removable media. Like when you plug in an external hard drive or an mp3 player it displays the little "safely remove hardware" icon in the taskbar but lists all three of my hard drives.
First a little bit of system info:
CPU: AMD Opteron 170
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI
Ram: 1 Gig OCZ
Video Card: Dual 6600GT in SLI
Drive 1: WD Raptor 10KRPM 40Gig -- Has Vista Installed on it (Drive C)
Drive 2: Maxtor 200Gig Storage Drive (Drive D)
Drive 3: Seagate 500Gig Sata 2 Drive, partitioned twice:
400 Gigs (Drive G) Storage
100 Gigs (Drive H) XP Partition
My motherboard has two sata contollers.
An SiL 3114 Controller (Not used)
nForce4 SATA2 Controller (All three drives plugged into this)
How the problem surfaced:
After everything was installed, I popped in the CD that came with my Motherboard to install all the drivers (for USB, Onboard Audio, Secondary LAN..)
The first one it tried to install was the nVidia Chipset drivers. It apparently got installed properly, told me to reboot the machine and it would continue with the rest..but upon restarting the machine the install program started up again and froze. I killed the process and tried again..things just kept freezing.
At some point during these re-attempts and resets the machine started up and the hard drives appeared as well, plug in drives as indicated by the "safely remove hardware" icon in the bottom corner.
Now nothing works. It turns on, I can open the start menu and task manager, but as soon as I try to access something like the control panel or any of the hard drives through My Computer, Windows Explorer stops responding and I can't reset the computer (even through task manager..the only thing I can do is manually press the reset button).
I figure the drivers were installed incorrectly and I kept trying to get to "Add/Remove programs" but I can't because Control Panel causes the lockup.
I tried to install the latest copy of the drivers that I downloaded from Gigabyte's website but every single time I opened the installer it said that it detected another Microsoft Installer running and to either close that one or cancel the install. There was NO other installer! Nothing! No process! I couldn't update the drivers!
I booted the machine in Safe Mode and tried uninstalling the software. I think it worked because when I rebooted into safe mode the second time, Windows didn't recognize many components (those that I guess were identified by the drivers).
I tried installing the latest version while in Safe mode. It worked, but when I boot regularly there is STILL the little icon in the corner and everything locks up when I open My Computer or try to access anything.
What should I do? I wish I could get back to square one. I tried rolling back everything (System Restore) but I had the same problems anyway.
Ironically enough, at the moment Vista seems to work better on my machine than the XP that worked perfectly for two years..