EasyLDR and EasyBCD 2.0’s New XP Support

At NeoSmart Technologies, we’re not just about making cool software that makes your life easier – we also like to share the how and why behind our work, to make things all the more beneficial for one and all. While the EasyBCD documentation has been out of date for a while now (we’ve been too busy working on the code and support), we’re making a real effort to bring things up to date.

We’d previously finished the tutorials for dual-booting Windows 7 with Windows XP and with Ubuntu 10 (complete with picture-by-picture steps!), but now we’re getting started on the real meat: the technical details of just what exactly is going on behind the scenes. The normal OS boot process is one of the most complicated parts of an operating system with just one OS in the mix – with multiple operating systems, each that works in its own way, things get that much more complicated, and it’s always good to have a nice, illustrated guide to refer to.

The first part of the updated documentation is now available in the form of an explanation of how a dual-boot between Windows Vista/7 and Windows XP normally works, plus a NeoSmart exclusive: EasyLDR and its support for multiple top-level legacy NT entries without needing to go through a second NTLDR boot menu, a long-awaited feature that was finally added with EasyBCD 2.0.

EasyBCD Documentation: The Windows XP Boot Process

EasyBCD 2.0 features a number of exciting new features, but some of the most technically interesting details lie in the improved Windows XP support. Besides the linked article which explains the mysteries of EasyLDR and how EasyBCD accomplishes top-level Windows XP support, a large amount of research went into the creation of BootGrabber.exe, a command-line application that we wrote to automatically configure everything needed to set up easyldr or ntldr, complete with automated detection of all Windows NT – 2003 installations on mounted disks, the generation of a corresponding boot.ini/ebcd.00x file, the copying of ntdetect.com and boot.ini to unmounted and unlettered partitions, and changing the active partition.

Hopefully another article will be added really soon to the EasyBCD documentation explaining the powerful command-line features available to users in BootGrabber.exe, which may be accessed via the “Power Console” under “Useful Utilities” in EasyBCD 2.0 and up.

4 thoughts on “EasyLDR and EasyBCD 2.0’s New XP Support

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Disk_Manager

    Cought up your blog, while running into a mess booting/ installing/ partitioning
    a mixture of XP, Linux on allready -with win 7- formatted drive.

    In between i was using, gparted, Part Magic, an for time saving purposes clonezilla.

    Ending up into: “Not these days”. UNFIXED and Incompatible.

    It might relate to the Windows 7 partition cheme gaving a alignment at the cylinderborder,
    too with a lot of “offsets” and a “new” size/sector” calculation cheme.

    Making gparted / testdrive saying: “partition can*t be outside drive” (or so).

    Keywords: (from msft)
    kbsetup kbtshoot kbexpertiseinter kbprb KB919529

    Hard Core Adventure Game, I think,
    if you enlight the bootprocess at all
    if i hope you can do too,
    get out a bytes and position of some mbr’s, bootsectors as well.

    If in a mixed partitioned disk …
    have a prayer from all boot related developers,
    that, that try to understand your graphs and follow them.


  2. Hi,

    I couldn’t find a direct contact link so I just wanted to tell you thanks for EasyBCD! I didn’t know about your updated help/documentation, but have used EasyBCD to dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10 on two machines over the last couple months. It was frustrating when I couldn’t figure out how to dual boot and I read a lot of documentation on both the Linux and Windows side, and in the end, the app that worked both times was EasyBCD. So I was happy to donate; I only wish I could have left a comment when I did that. Keep up the good work!


  3. Thanks also for EasyBCD. I am curious about bootgrabber, /list is interesting. It is nice to have bootsect.exe handy also.

    After installing Windows 8, then restoring my GRUB2, EasyBCD made adding my XP install on the second partition of the 4th disk much much nicer in terms of booting the entry in the BCD. That is, I like EasyLDR! I chainload the Windows boot menu from my GRUB2 menu in other words.

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