List of ideas for EasyBCD

Discussion in 'Ideas and Wishlists' started by Clemente, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Clemente

    Clemente New Member

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    I greet youfromLima- Peru, the first thingisto congratulate you forthis greatprogram is of greathelp to manyof us.
    Here ismyshort list:
    1. EasyBCD version of multiplatform (Windows, Mac, Linux)
    2. Integration of iReboot in EasyBCD
    3. After installation, EasyBCD analyzes the system hard drivesbased on the information contained in the partition tables andcollects information on each operating system installed. It thenautomatically runs the program EasyBCD configuration, including operating systems detected in the EasyBCD menu.
    4. You can also add or remove other names of operating systems, modify existing names and icons for easier identification, add passwords, hide partitions, specify a newstartup delay or select a different default operating system.
    5. I think some will have used BootMagic see (multiple bootsoftware), I think you could add some options EasyBCDsoftware. Link BootMagic manual in Spanish
    (http://es.scribd.com/api_11797_LibrosDeLu/d/7177449/69-Establecimiento-de-contrasenas-de-BootMagic - http://www.ecured.cu/index.php/BootMagic)

    That's all, thanks for taking the time to read my suggestions.

    Translated with Google Translate:)
     
  2. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    BootMagic is a 3rd party boot manager.
    EasyBCD is not a boot manager.
    EasyBCD is an app to help you organize the Microsoft BCD
    Microsoft bootmgr boots your system, not EasyBCD
    EasyBCD is not active while your system is booting.
    It is not active after your system boots either.
    It only becomes active when the system is running if you start it.
    Even then, it doesn't do anything unless you tell it to.
     
  3. mqudsi

    mqudsi Mostly Harmless Staff Member

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    As Terry says, these features are mainly out of the current scope of EasyBCD. That's not, of course, to say that they can't/won't happen, just that they'd take much more time and would happen sometime down the road as a natural of evolution of EasyBCD rather than anything else.

    In particular:

    1) Not going to happen unless EasyBCD switches to GRUB-based instead of BCD-based
    2) Why? EasyBCD is intended for "one time configuration use" while iReboot is on a more consistent, every-day basis. It would help if you could provide a good reason.
    3) Very nice idea. EasyBCD currently does that for Windows XP, I could definitely see it expanding to cover all OSes.
    4) All that can currently be done manually via EasyBCD and the NeoGrub module.
    5) No idea what boot magic is or does, would need to research that before I say anything.
     
  4. biuro74

    biuro74 New Member

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    Volume chooser

    Hi,

    I've got 2 volumes: 2xHDDs in RAID-0 and SSD. All bootable. Win7 installed on both volumes, with multiboot (WinXP, Win 8 Developer Preview, 5 linuxes). As you might presume, big mess with MBR, EBR... Grub and bootmgr all together :) My system starts that way: GRUB2 menu and then direct MemTest/Linux boots, or Windows menu (EBR) that includes all Windows systems from 2 volumes.

    My suggestion is that EasyBCD would give an user a choice which drive is to be ammended. For example, now I've got such stupid situation - no matter which volume I boot from (RAID or SSD) and boot Win7 and launch EasyBCD, I always get one THE SAME boot menu to edit (from SSD).

    So please - one option would be nice: which volume (not drive, because of RAID volumes) is to be edited.

    Thank you
     
  5. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    EasyBCD > File > Select BCD Store ??
     
  6. biuro74

    biuro74 New Member

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    LOL, sorry then and thanks for reply :)
    But what "File" has to do with "Drive" or "Volume" ? :) IMO such volume switcher should have been exposed a bit better, like independent button in main window.
     
  7. mqudsi

    mqudsi Mostly Harmless Staff Member

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    OK. .
     
  8. biuro74

    biuro74 New Member

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    OK, I took a look at that option and I think it doesn't solve my problem, or I can't do that.

    File/Select BCD Store can only pick a file which *do* exists, whether my RAID-0 HDD volume doesn't contain any Boot directory to get any BCD file from.
    Boot directory on my SSD has HS attributes which can't be modified during system is booted from SSD. I can copy BCD file to another location and pick it then, but obviously it contains not that entries I'm looking for.
    Now, I can't understand at all a way, how was I able to change BCD menu entries which I cannot find now ? I mean I had to physically disable one volume to boot from the other and then I could change BCD entries.

    Let me explain, how I can see solving this issue, as it's complicated.
    It shlould have been an independent button on left-hand side named "change volume", "device switcher" or something similar. It cannot be just Menu/File option, as EBR has nothing to do with files, and EBR is to be modified as far as I know as not only files in /Boot are ammended. Clicking it should give an user a window with bootable volumes to choose and after picking a choice, appropriate menu entries should appear in ViewSettings, EditBootMenu etc. It might be an indicator like asterisk (*) telling the user which volume contains /Boot directory. Problem is - as far I've noticed behaviours in Windows 7 - the /Boot directory can be located on NOT THE SAME volume that contains EBR booting code. In simply words: having HDD & SSD you might have /Boot directory on HDD and boot system from SSD. Complicated.

    If I had a time, I would make myself to learn some code, find out specs and write some multi-platform tool to unify that mess, something like unified boot manager that includes all booting issues and replaces all of them.
     
  9. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    Remember EasyBCD is an app for managing the contents of the Microsoft Vista/7/8 boot manager's BCD store.
    It is not a boot manager in its own right.
    You are not even using that as your boot manager/loader. You are using grub2.
    Grub2 is in control, and nothing it does can be influenced by EasyBCD.
    Microsoft boot managers from DOS through to W8, all boot via the MBR. You cannot boot any Windows system from the EBR. Windows boot files must be in a primary partition.
    The Microsoft boot architecture is to put all boot files from multiple systems into the same partition, the "active" "system" partition in MS-speak (the "boot" partition to Linux).
    This means that normally, there is only one BCD, no matter how many Windows OSs you are booting through it.
    It is possible (by manipulation of the "active" flag during installation, or by using multiple independent HDDs) to install multiple Windows with multiple BCDs, and EasyBCD contains the ability to switch from the "active" (controlling) BCD to examine or edit the contents of the others. It is not a mainstream option because it is not normal for more than one BCD to exist.
    What you are looking for is a redesign of grub2 - not something we have any hand in, or a third-party boot manager.
    As I said previously EasyBCD is not a boot manager.
     
  10. biuro74

    biuro74 New Member

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    Thank you for reply,

    I presume this info is for all the people as personally I'm on the other level as many years ago I wrote boot-virus for C-128D in asm. Since then I was not interesting bootstraps, but it seems it's high time due to all that mess.

    Anyway, could you tell me please, how to read the other BCD store - which I presume - would contain my other Windows 7 bootmenu ? You know I've got 2x Windows 7 - one on SSD, one on HDD. Now, when I boot SSD I've got 3 positions in Windows7 bootmenu and the same is when I edit bootmenu with EasyBCD. When I boot HDD I've got 4 positions in Windows7 bootmenu and the same is when I edit bootmenu with EasyBCD. But.. BUT... problem is because I decided to boot from HDD, so HOW TO GET the bootmenu which is seen during booting from SSD ?

    Normally - you would answer: search /Boot directory on your SSD, wouldn't you ? The problem is I can find /Boot directory on my HDD, but it's NOT PRESENT on my SSD. Is that OK ? Probably you would say the HDD BCD store contains data from my SSD, which might be true as my last Win7 installation has been done with HDD being turned on, which probably had 1st active partition with existent Win7_for_HDD. So - can you answer, how to pick up the correct store in my case, please ? It's why I proposed independent button "volume chooser" which might include File/SelectBCDStore for two BCD locations, and just volume chooser functionalities - both under one GUI (I mean picking correct volume).
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  11. mqudsi

    mqudsi Mostly Harmless Staff Member

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    Perhaps you have another hidden partition on the SSD that has the BCD? You should post a screenshot of Disk Management.
     
  12. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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    You probably haven't got a second BCD (see previous reply). Unless you installed W7 to the SSD with the previous install invisible, the second install will not have created any boot files, it will just have added a second entry into the existing BCD on the HDD. That's how the standard MS install works.
    If so, when you boot the SSD, you'll see in Disk Management SSD = "boot", and HDD = "system"

    Disk Management flags have the following meanings


    "boot" = "this is the system you're running"
    "system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
    "active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
    "active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"

    If you want to have the boot files on the SSD too in order to speed up the boot process, you can use "Change Boot Drive"

    (Don't mean to be patronizing with the info provided but yes
    a) these threads do serve as a reference source for any future visitors, and
    b) we have no idea with a new poster what their level of expertise is, so try to cover all bases )
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  13. biuro74

    biuro74 New Member

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    Thanks again for reply and patience.
    I had more time to look at this issue beyond my irritation, so it's what I've got. It's exactly what I want: to change that second entry (I hope you mean "entry" = additional BCD store, or bootmenu positions; and NOT "entry" = just position in bootmenu regarding to appropriate system to boot) in the existing BCD. So as far as I can see it can be done in such way:
    * boot SSD
    * copy a BCD file from /Boot (discovered that /Boot directory is being made automatically, just-in-time by OS, so it's why I could find it on HDD having booted from HDD, and couldn't find after booting from SSD) anywhere with no "hidden" parent's dir attribute
    * Menu-File-ChangeBCDStore-pick that copied file (or LoadSystemBCD in case of swap to previous, system bootmenu) - AND WHAT ABOUT THIRD BOOTING VOLUME, IF ANY ?

    Don't you think it's a bit NOT-AUTOMATIC process, which could have been built-into EasyBCD ? Easy means easy :) So it would be really nice&easy to find the "volume switcher" button which would do everything listed above IN ONE STEP, with no further user action like copying files, knowledge about attributes, and presuming that bootmenu depends on "ChangeBCDStore" option ? I was Amiga fan with great intuition.library and GUI, so in my opinion that button would be more intuitive, or "easy" as EasyBCD name could suggest, wouldn't it ? There's no point in confirmation that MS does/names everything properly, because obviously it doesn't :)

    Thanks again,
    Martin
     
  14. mqudsi

    mqudsi Mostly Harmless Staff Member

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    Honestly, you can't use EasyBCD, regardless of how the UI is laid out, without at least a rudimentary understanding for the underlying architecture and design that MS employs in its bootloader. We try to make it simple in our documentation, but you'll have to read up some on what MS is doing out of the box.

    That said - You're not supposed to ever manually copy the BCD file - and the BOOT directory is only created once and never touched thereafter. (and by once, I mean one BOOT directory on one drive, regardless of how many different installations you have). I recommend reviewing the multibooters.co.uk website for an overview of how the BCD works (I need to work up something similar for our own wiki!).
     
  15. Terry60

    Terry60 Coastline Designer Staff Member

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  16. biuro74

    biuro74 New Member

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    OK. I think we don't understand each other. Maybe we will give a try one more time - to start it from the beginning, but now in different way.


    Let's imagine there are no impossible things, there are just undiscovered ways.
    Let's assume I've got bootable SSD and HDD, and I boot SSD. In fact I've got two WinVista/Win7 bootmenus - one on each drive. So when I boot SSD and start EasyBCD, I can ammend SSD's bootmenu. That's completely fine and 99,99% people uses this fact. But let's imagine I want to change HDD's bootmenu - so anyone would suggest me to boot PC from HDD and use EasyBCD. That's fine, too - but as you can presume, there are many ways to build your multiboot structure which couldn't allow you to boot Win7 from HDD, for example, when your HDD Grub bootloader points to everything else, but Win7, or is unusable due to some volume symbol changes :) Frankly and truly, it was a true story that pushed me to write my suggestion with "volume switcher".



    Let's say somebody cannot boot HDD to ammend its WinVista/Win7 bootmenu. But he can boot SSD. There are Win7s in both drives installed. So how to change HDDs WinVista/Win7 bootmenu once you booted EasyBCD ? Even if someone is so lazy and cannot unplug physically one drive, just for temporary booting (if bootmenus are fine) - he should have an opportunity to do this under EasyBCD, as the name "easy" suggests :) And it's a core of my writing.

    The problem is, I can explain it in two ways, but I don't want my post to be too long and impossible to understand. So I decided to give you second explanation, with examples, like case story.




    All things get complicated to beginners when they set up booting from HDD, and Grub loader points further multiboot process to SSD. I've discovered EasyBCD can show me TWO DIFFERENT entries listed in DEFAULT BOOTLOADER, depending on which booting way I choose, BUT FINALLY I BOOT WINDOWS 7 FROM SSD. For example:

    1. EasyBCD shows me 4 entries listed in bootloader, if I set up BIOS to booting from HDD → Grub located on HDD points to HDDs WinVista/Win7 bootmenu → that menu boots up Win7 from SSD
    2. EasyBCD shows me 3 entries (!) listed in bootloader, if I set up BIOS to booting from SSD → no Grub located on SSD -> WinVista/Win7 bootmenu boots up Win7 from SSD
    As you can see, I launch Windows 7 from SSD IN BOTH CASES. In BOTH CASES my C: partition is that SSD:Windows7 startup partition, so I can say – my boot partition is SSD's Windows 7 partition.




    Can you feel my issue now ? Depending on booting chain, but having booted THE SAME drive/partition, EasyBCD gives me DIFFERENT bootmenu !
    Now, all I propose – is to STICK any volume description (like Drive 1: Partition 1, which might be easy convertible to END-WINUSER-DESCRIPTION, sometihing like C: drive, of simply HDD bootmenu) to bootmenu content of which is to be ammended/shown on the right side in EasyBCD. In other words – I'd like to know, bootmenu of WHICH VOLUME I'm gonna to change, OK ? Does it make any sense for you ? Simply – I'd like to know, if I'm changing bootmenu which shows up during booting SSD, or HDD.


    The solution you gave me works, of course, but just in half. It's File-SelectBCDStore. But... beginners would to know how to show HIDDEN and SYSTEM files in explorer window (1) which fact allows them to pick up BCD file. And File-LoadSystemBCD swaps to original BCD store. Why it's so complicated ? My suggestion – volume switcher, is PERFECT for EasyBCD: by default, EasyBCD opens up default BCD store and identifies exact volume, showing its name in field “Volume:” for example. And Button “SWITCH” placed nearby opens up combo box with list of all volumes available (BCD stores; there are 2 in my cases). Without this, user DOESN'T KNOW which physical bootmenu he is going to ammend, unless there's ONE BOOTMENU (this 99,99% of users, I know). So this is it, what EasyBCD COULD do for users, being “easy” :) in my opinion, so if you don't agree please remove my post and forget multiboot/multivolume users, and I'm sorry for timawasting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  17. mqudsi

    mqudsi Mostly Harmless Staff Member

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    Biuro, I read your entire post and I understand what you're asking. Yes, I agree that it *can* be hard to use File | Select BCD Store if you're a beginner and don't have hidden/system files visible.

    I agree that this is something that can and would be preferable to have implemented. But simply: Having multiple boot menus on the same machine is highly not recommended, and all our guides and instructions are built around ensuring only one boot drive at any given time. It's not actually a limitation of EasyBCD or of EasyBCD's design, it's just how operating systems have worked for the past 30+ years (ever since IBM introduced PC-DOS with its MBR). Honestly, you should never have to (ever) change the BIOS boot order; but if that's something you'd like to do, we don't have a problem with that personally, and our software will support you and your use case (File | Select BCD Store), but we're just going to assume that you're an advanced user is all.
     

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