With a dual booting system, a Windows user can install more than one operating system on their computer and they can choose what OS to boot when starting the computer. Thus, dual booting configures exactly two operating systems on single computer and gives the user a chance to avail the benefits of both the operating systems. Since, nothing in this world is without flaws, it has also been observed that a computer which has dual boot renders various compatibility issues and at times the situation becomes so worse that we are unable to access data saved on various partitions of our hard drive. Therefore, to handle such a devastating situation of precious data loss, we need to opt for third-party partition recovery software.

Let us understand the above situation with some practical scenarios:Hard Drive Recovery

  • Suppose you have Windows Vista installed on your computer and to make it dual boot you have installed Windows XP on another partition. Thus, after making your system dual boot, Windows Vista became unable to boot.
  • Or you encounter the error message as “Disk read error has occurred” when you installed Windows XP on a system which has Windows Vista.

The above mentioned situations make your system inaccessible and result in a loss of a partition. However, to recover our precious data in such cases, it is recommended to understand the causes behind it first.


The obvious cause of encountering this issue is incompatibility of boot methods of both the Windows operating systems. Windows Vista employs a new Boot Configuration Database (BCD) which includes a boot menu and other information about the operating system thus the Boot.ini file which is from Windows XP cannot be used for booting up Vista. And Vista becomes unbootable.


Some of the methods to work around the above mentioned issues are:

  • In Windows Vista use Bootsect.exe to restore boot code and Master Boot Record (MBR). These two transfer the boot control to Windows Boot Manager Program.
  • In Windows XP, use Bcdedit.exe to create manual entry in BCD Boot.ini file.
  • Try to reboot your system.

If nothing works then only formatting of your hard drive and reinstallation of Window Vista can solve the issue. As we all know formatting and reinstalling an operating system ends up deleting all the data saved on formatted partition. However, you can restore all your precious data if you have a proper backup. But, in the absence of valid backup third-party partition recovery software you’re pretty much out of luck. Backup partition recovery software can recover data from formatted or deleted partitions thus they are the best choice for this situation.

Author Bio: Oliver is an enthusiastic contributor at Microsoft Help community and loves exploring everything about Tech. You can also find him on Google + & Facebook.