adding win 8 to easybcd 2.2

#1
When I try to boot into win 8 I get arrors. Its probably the way I have added win 8 that is the problem.

I have a system with XP, Vista, & 7 all installed on drive 0. This was the original setup with easybcd working fine.

I recently added drive 1 onto which, with drive 0 disabled, installed win 8. Then with drive 1 disabled I booted into XP and added win 8 into easybcd.

I then rebooted with both drive 0 & 1 attached, I tried to boot into win 8, error message. I can boot into the others okay. Drive 1 is accessible when in other systems.

Is it anything to do with the boot files on drive 1? eg bootmgr?

Advice deeply appreciated.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
#3

Yep I saw that while reading other posts after mine.

The effect of doing as you suggest, ie using the BIOS hdd boot choice to boot into drive 1 (Win 8) was three fold:

(i) started to boot in win 8 but response was slow to non-existent, hdd activity light solid on - in the end was effectively frozen.
(ii) warm boot after this, drive 1 no longer showed in BIOS, a cold boot was necessary to get drive 1 back.
(iii), all partitions on drive 0 were marked as dirty, requiring all 4 partitions to be chkdsk'ed.

So I guess I am back to square one.

Thank you for your suggestion.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Windows 8 doesn't play nicely as part of a dual boot, due to the clandestine nature of its "boot" process.
What it proudly calls "fast boot" is in reality a secret hibernation.
When you "shut down" W8, it marks all the HDDs as in-use and saves the system state in the hibernation file, then when you "boot" it actually resumes from hibernation.
If you allow another boot manager to get involved (like W7 on another HDD, or grub), it doesn't know what W8 did, and finds all the HDDs with the dirty bit set (still in use by W8), so has to spend half a day checking things out.
If you want to use W8 in a multi-boot without using the W8 bootmgr to control everything, you must turn off "fast boot" in the W8 power options.
That's why, when you use W8 bootmgr, and select another OS from the menu, it doesn't simply chain to the alternate OS, the way it does from W7 bootmgr.
Because the default "boot" isn't real; when you select another OS, W8 starts from square-one and you'll see the BIOS splash screen and get the boot menu for a second time.
Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8 - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
 
#5
Windows 8 doesn't play nicely as part of a dual boot, due to the clandestine nature of its "boot" process.
What it proudly calls "fast boot" is in reality a secret hibernation.
When you "shut down" W8, it marks all the HDDs as in-use and saves the system state in the hibernation file, then when you "boot" it actually resumes from hibernation.
If you allow another boot manager to get involved (like W7 on another HDD, or grub), it doesn't know what W8 did, and finds all the HDDs with the dirty bit set (still in use by W8), so has to spend half a day checking things out.
If you want to use W8 in a multi-boot without using the W8 bootmgr to control everything, you must turn off "fast boot" in the W8 power options.
That's why, when you use W8 bootmgr, and select another OS from the menu, it doesn't simply chain to the alternate OS, the way it does from W7 bootmgr.
Because the default "boot" isn't real; when you select another OS, W8 starts from square-one and you'll see the BIOS splash screen and get the boot menu for a second time.
Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8 - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
Terry, First I would like to thank you for your assistance, a great help and have it working, sort of. I found the power setting, had to search for it mind, as I didn't expect to find it under "what the power buttons do". Also had the change where the two drives were plugged into the mobo - initially with both plugged into master sockets, it always defaulted to drive 1 rather than drive 0; by changing it so that drive 1 was in a slave socket, it defaulted to drive 0 (win 7) - this is of course assuming I didn't select the boot device in the BIOS.

I would like to make a couple of recommendations - the procedure for multi-booting between win 7 & 8 is somewhat Heath Robinson. This is probably down to the machinations of Microsoft, but it would be good if we could make the transition between win 7 & 8 simpler.

Secondly, As you know Win 8 does freeze occasionally, and as you point out it then sets (apparently) the dirty bit on the partitions on the other drive, which is more hassle. Suggest a way to reset the dirty bit which doesn't involve doing chkdsk repairs on these partitions?
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
All Oss set the "dirty" bit when they have data sets in use on a drive. They will turn it off as a normal part of closing down use. It's the way that the OS knows there was an uncontrolled shutdown if it boots and finds any bit set. The consequence of an uncontrolled shutdown, like a power cut, is that a data-write could have been in progress at the time, and file(s) could be in a damaged state.
That's why the boot checks for file system errors, and corrects them if it finds any.
A web-search would probably reveal various ways to reset the bit manually, but you'd need to be 100% sure that the data structure was undamaged if you did that.
W8's problem, when multi-booting it, is as previously described. What the user assumes is a normal "clean" shutdown, is no such thing unless he/she prevents W8 from merely "pausing" in mid-session by removing that fast-boot option.
I wish you luck trying to persuade MS to change the way the system boots.
Their assumption (not just for W8), is that you will replace an old OS with a newer, or if you keep the older as a dual-boot, that the new OS will see it and replace its boot files with the newer ones.
All MS boot managers are designed with that assumption and will automatically dual-boot for you without the need for any 3rd party help like EasyBCD.
If you add XP to Vista/7/8, or Vista to W7/8 or W7 to W8, and hit problems, their response will be, "install them again in the correct order"
You can use EasyBCD to sort out the problems of all those scenarios described, but you do need to understand why you have the problem to appreciate what you need to do to fix it.
The philosophy of W8 is " you will do things this way from now on".
No amount of Beta tester feed-back that "this" way was unsuitable for a desktop PC, had any effect. Indeed, as each new build came out, they'd removed more avenues that were being used to circumvent their will, so good luck with your campaign to turn them around.
 
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#7
All Oss set the "dirty" bit when they have data sets in use on a drive. They will turn it off as a normal part of closing down use. It's the way that the OS knows there was an uncontrolled shutdown if it boots and finds any bit set. The consequence of an uncontrolled shutdown, like a power cut, is that a data-write could have been in progress at the time, and file(s) could be in a damaged state.
That's why the boot checks for file system errors, and corrects them if it finds any.
Hi Terry, Yes I am familiar with everything you say, except in the majority of cases the dirty bit is usually only set on the system drive/partition. In the last W8 freeze, all drives/partitions dirty bits were set. What I thought was surprising in the last freeze, I was running the W8 system rating/experience from within W8, when it decided to freeze, so had to force a restart. Where/when do you think the dirty bits were set on all drives partitions in this process (I know the drive 0 with xp/vista/7 is clean and was not directly referenced/used since the boot into W8)?

It seams to me that multi-booting with EasyBCD into W7 & W8 is fraught with complexities/problems, eg I am considering running the system from esata drives, and just disconnecting/reconnecting the systems when required.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
When you run WEI (click on the "view and print detailed.........information") it scans every device on the system. That's why they all have the bit set if you hard reset in the middle.
You seem to be under a misapprehension about the role of EasyBCD.
It is not taking any part in the boot process. It merely helps you manage the contents of the BCD.
The complexities are down to the described architecture of the MS boot process and its assumptions. If you depart from MS orthodoxy, then you will need to work around them.
Swapping-out HDDs; reconfiguring the BIOS; booting W7 from W8, not W8 from W7 are all workarounds; none more fraught than the others, though the last is at least a one-time fix not a continuing necessity.
 
#9
When you run WEI (click on the "view and print detailed.........information") it scans every device on the system. That's why they all have the bit set if you hard reset in the middle.
You seem to be under a misapprehension about the role of EasyBCD.
It is not taking any part in the boot process. It merely helps you manage the contents of the BCD.
Terry, You have much more experience of both W8 and Easybcd than I do, so I hope you won't mind if I ask a few questions.

When WEI froze, can we assume that W8 wouldn't just set the early bit on all drives/partitions before it decided to freeze, hence it must have set the bit prior to freezing, or more likely on rebooting. In my experience of other OS, it wouldn't necessarily set the dirty bit in this way; yes usually on the "live" system drive, but rarely on other drives/partitions as well. In my very limited experience of W8, it seams to set the dirty bit on all drives each time. In my view, this is a significant disadvantage, expecially in a new OS which is more prone to problems.

In yr opinion, is this a difference in way W8 operates or the way that Easybcd operates/facilitates in this more complex environment (workaround)? Or is my experience too limited to make this general observation, in yr opinion?

Hence the idea of swapping drives is much more appealing than just trying to add W8 to what I already have.

Thank you very much for yr patience.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
As far as I know, all Windows OS work the same way. If there's an open file on a drive, it sets a bit on the HDD (dirty is really a misnomer, it's really just indicating "in use"). When you shut down tidily, it resets that bit.
If the system crashes, that bit doesn't get reset and a subsequent boot interprets "in use" to indicate "possibly dirty because of an uncontrolled shutdown".
You were just unlucky.
"Fast boot" left everything "in use" expecting to resume from hibernation, which would have recognized the bit as "still in use".
Unfortunately you booted from an old version of bootmgr (W7's) which is not forward compatible (and which would have been upgraded to W8's had you installed W8 according to MS's orthodoxy). The W8 bootmgr would have recognized the situation for what it was and when you requested W7 as a boot option, it would have shutdown W8 cleanly and rebooted the PC into W7.
By rebooting W7 from its own bootmgr, it just saw "dirty" everywhere and spent an age housekeeping.
Your next problem with W8 crashing just happened to be whilst executing a program which benchmark read/writes to every device, which is why they all had the dirty bit set.
A crash in WEI on Vista/7 would have done exactly the same.
Most apps are only writing in a very few locations, and those would generally all reside on one drive, so a crash doesn't normally leave more than one or two bad drives.
 
#11
A crash in WEI on Vista/7 would have done exactly the same.
I hope you excuse me for replying to an old thread. I disagree that Vista/7 would have done the same.

If you use FAT it would, but NTFS is a "journaling" file system. It keeps a running log of changes to the hard drive so if Windows crashes, a reboot very rarely needs to do a checkdisk. In the last 5 years of running Win7 and XP I can remember only once seeing checkdisk run. In those 5 years Win7 etc. has had an improper shutdown countless times due to power failures, blue screens, or just plain OS hangs.

Win8 is a very nasty OS. Even installing Win8 screws things up at least when you have more than one bootable hard drive. Among other things, it changes the bootsector on drive 1 so if I tell the BIOS to boot from drive 1, it somehow uses bootmgr etc. on drive 0. When Windows runs, the partition on drive 0 where the boot files are is shown as the "system" partition. This means that if drive 0 gets sick, I can't boot at all. The main reason I have at least 2 hard drives and have at least one Win7 on each is so I can always boot up even if one drive gets sick.

I accidentally had a thumb drive plugged in today that would install Win8. When I powered on, up came the first Win8 installation screen asking for the desired language etc. I cancelled it, but don't you know, when I booted up Win7 it ran checkdisk.

I have come to the conclusion that I cannot have Win8 on the same computer with my multiple Win7 installations. I hope some guru can figure out how to defang Win8 so it could peacefully reside in a Win7 computer. I would gladly forego the fast startup if it would only leave the rest of my computer alone.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
See post #4
I successfully multi-booted XP/V/7/8 for several months without problems once fast-boot had been disabled on 8.
"fast boot" and "multi boot" just don't go together if multiple boot managers exist, only if W8's boot manager is alone and completely in charge.
I abandoned W8 and returned to W7 for other reasons.
I might give 8 a second chance when it becomes 8.1 soon, if and when it starts to look more like 7
http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-confirms-blue-to-be-free-for-existing-windows-8-users-7000015358/
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#13
Yes, Windows 8 Fast Boot should be disabled in a multi-boot scenario otherwise things wont work as they should.

Tutorial here: Fast Startup - Turn On or Off in Windows 8

You can stop Windows 8 from trying to be the boss easily enough by telling it that another operating system is the default, then that system's boot manager takes over.

(In my case I have Vista, 7 and 8, EasyBCD is installed in the default system, Vista, and I have iReboot installed in all for quick switching between).

Tutorial here: Startup Options - Choose a Default OS to Run at Startup in Windows 8
 
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