Help Setting Up Multiboot


I have played about with various multiboot options, with quite a bit of frustration. EasyBCD looks like it will do what I want, but I would be grateful for some pointers on the best way of setting up.

What I want is a Quad Boot system. XP (main OS), XP (for audio work), Vista and Ubuntu. The last three I am quite happy to install from scratch, the main OS I want to work from as it is now (it is backed up with Ghost).

I know from experience that Vista will install BCD on the first partition, which at present is my main XP one (seems daft to me, but there you go).

I have partitioned ny main disk with three primary partitions, for XP, XP and Vista, and intend to have Ubuntu on a logical partition.

So my question is, what the best way of going about this? Should I alter which partition is active before installing an OS? whats the best order of installing (Vista first or last). If I install Vista, will installing Ubuntu screw up the MBR? and will EasyBCD allow me to boot everything? I know I have to have Vista installed before I can use it. Is it best that Vista is the first partition / active partition ?

Any guidance would be most welcome.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hello and welcome to NeoSmart Technologies! :smile:

You can either install them
XP, XP, Ubuntu, Vista (preferred)
XP, XP, Vista, Ubuntu (easier)

If you do the first, you'll have to tell Ubuntu to install GRUB to the bootsector and not the MBR. If you do the latter, you should automatically have a working system, but you'll have two boot menus.

Hope that helps.

before I start, should I just leave the first partition as the active one? I noticed in an earlier attempt that if I set the third primary partition as active and install vista, then BCD gets installed there, it doesn't notice that a previous version of XP exists, and if I try and boot XP, it wont without resetting the MBR.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
No, you shouldn't have to do that :smile: