Add Entry buttons/dropdowns Greyed Out in Beta build.

#1
Hey all,
I'm running a UEFI/GPT disk ... I installed windows 1st on it (i see partitions for 100MB and 128MB respectively for Windows 7 boot loader, and its special extra 128MB partition it installs)...
Then installed Ubuntu Linux 14.04 onto separate partitions onto the same drive (/boot, /, swap, and /home partitions).
I then came back into Windows to use EasyBCD to add the linux /boot partition to the Windows boot loader so I can dual-boot... but it messed up ... a Linux entry was added but I couldn't boot into linux when i restarted my computer (i guessed that maybe I pointed to the wrong partition when setting up the partition).
So I tried to delete the old linux entry in EasyBCD and reinstall the linux entry ... but it wouldn't save the new Linux entry when i restarted my computer many times even though I kept doing 'Write to MBR' and the bottom of the app said it was successful ...
It finally saved (not sure what i did different... might have reinstalled the EasyBCD software)....
Linux still didn't load, and even Windows wouldn't load with its basic entry i didnt touch! ... (I had to go into the Windows DVD, go to the Repair functionality, and do various options to fix the GPT boot partition after EasyBCD messed up the bcd... I used basically diskpart and bcedit command line tools to get Windows loading again)...

I just downloaded the Beta to see if that works with the GPT/UEFI disk better than the 2.2 version i was using before. The 'Add Entry' and dropdowns on the linux/mac/NeoGrub tabs are greyed out... Just curious if thats a bug, and if so I can help debug it if you want me to work with the developer of EasyBCD to check into it?

Thanks!,
Arian
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi Arian,

Unfortunately, the behavior in 2.3 is not a bug, it's by design. Microsoft has locked out the ability to chainload another bootloader from the BCD when loading via EFI, and if EasyBCD detects that you're currently booting via EFI it will disable these options - to prevent the very problems you described with the earlier version.

There are some options available for us if we want to make EasyBCD 100% EFI compatible with all its featureset, however they would imply bypassing or replacing the Windows bootmgr efi bootloader entirely, which is a matter of some concern given that EasyBCD is (as its name implies) a BCD-based solution.
 
#3
Gotcha. Well I got a win7/ubuntu14.04 DualBoot setup by running a BootRepair iso.
It seemed like the defaults it sets up were pretty good... but I went Advanced to see if the default settings it picked were good. On that one tab where you pick the GRUB partitions:
It pointed to my /boot linux partition automatically (believe thats GRUB);
It pointed to my / main linux partition automatically; and
it pointed to my Windows 100MB /efi/boot/ partition automatically.
I just turned off the 'SecureBoot' option since I knew I had that off in my BIOS.
I got at least a GRUB dual-boot loader up and running (hoping it doesn't get overwritten by something like windows7 update?).

I'm wondering what BootRepair actually is doing to get a dual-boot screen up? ...
Is it also modifying the 100MB windows EFI/ESP partition that holds the BCD info like EasyBCD?
or did it completely put GRUB onto that Windows 100MB EFI partition and GRUB now completely took over my system? (kinda weird to me since I thought GRUB is already installed to the /boot partition which BootRepair recognized so Im hoping it didn't copy GRUB2 onto that tiny 100MB partition, plus i still see Windows Boot Manager as a separate entity in my BIOS boot order so maybe it didn't get overwritten? yet how does that GRUB boot manager 'win' vs the Windows one if its installed in a totally separate place?).
Note: in the BIOS i see boot order: ubuntu and Windows Boot Manager. and the ubuntu (grub?) boot manager has an entry for Windows Boot Manager in case I want to boot from the ubuntu boot manager into Windows.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Yeah, GRUB2 is probably installed to the EFI partition as an extra bootloader and set as the default in the EFI NVRAM.