Dual boot 2 Win7 partitions, want unused one to be hidden - How?

#1
I am brand new to EasyBCD. I have multi-booted WinXP/Win98/ DOS before but have not yet multi-booted since starting to use Win7. Now I want to boot 2 different Win7 partitions. The 1st one was installed onto my hard drive and boots up as Drive C. I made an image of that original Win7 partition (using Acronis True Image) and restored the image onto the same hard drive as my originally installed Win7. I made this 2nd Win7 partition HIDDEN since when I boot from one boot partition I want it to boot as Drive C and the other to be invisible (hidden)

When I go into EasyBCD and try to add the hidden Win7 partition I don't see how to do it. From looking around the FAQ and forum I am getting the impression that EasyBCD may not be able to see hidden partitions. Is this really the case? because if so I think it prevents me from doing what I want to do. I used to be able to do this kind of thing with WinXP by making sure the boot.ini file was properly configured - I hope there is a way to do this with EasyBCD. Thanks for any help.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You have to tell EasyBCD where the second OS is. If the first OS can't see the second it doesn't give it a letter by which you can address it.
How do you mean "hidden" ?
The "hide" bit in the MBR Partition Table is not something that any MS boot manager manipulates. If you wish to switch that on and off dynamically you'll need to use a boot manager like grub.
Do you just mean that you've removed the disk letter of the other system so that it's invisible to Explorer ?
If so, simply give it a letter until you've added the BCD entry. Then you can remove it again. (The BCD doesn't contain any letters, just UIDs. EasyBCD translates those into letters (as seen by Explorer) for convenience when it talks to you, and you must speak to it in the same language to tell it where the other OS is located.)
 

Adi_d

New Member
#3
Can EasyBCD automatically hide non booted partitions ?

You have to tell EasyBCD where the second OS is. If the first OS can't see the second it doesn't give it a letter by which you can address it.
How do you mean "hidden" ?
The "hide" bit in the MBR Partition Table is not something that any MS boot manager manipulates. If you wish to switch that on and off dynamically you'll need to use a boot manager like grub.
Do you just mean that you've removed the disk letter of the other system so that it's invisible to Explorer ?
If so, simply give it a letter until you've added the BCD entry. Then you can remove it again. (The BCD doesn't contain any letters, just UIDs. EasyBCD translates those into letters (as seen by Explorer) for convenience when it talks to you, and you must speak to it in the same language to tell it where the other OS is located.)
I have too more bootable partitions on two HDDs. I'd like that EasyBCD hide some of them automatically when I'm booting from another partition. It should be possible by setting up EasyBCD. When I'm booting from another partition, I'd like that EasyBCD hide and unhide automatically other partitions according the setup. Is it with EasyBCD possible ? If yes, how ? Did I right understand that this is possible with grub but not with EasBCD ?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
EasyBCD is not a boot manager.
It's helping you you control the action of the Microsoft Vista/7/8 bootmgr.
No MS bootmgr is provided with the capability to manipulate the MBR partition table hidden bit.
You can adapt this technique
Quad boot Vista, XP, W7 and Ubuntu using HnS to protect system restore points from XP
to hide everything from everything else if you wish, but it's only necessary to hide Vista/7/8 from XP, not the other way round.
 

Adi_d

New Member
#5
Thanks Terry, as you see I'm a quite "tabula rasa" :huh: I'm happy to understand more now. Thank you once again !

I used before with Windows XP a boot manager who did what I want: Paragon Partition Manager 7.0.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Most 3rd party boot managers can make use of that bit, but for reasons best known to themselves Microsoft have declined to use it. (though they do respect it, if set)