Aids for selecting entries

#1
I would wish to be able to select myself, which installation to choose.
Background: After spending my system a new SSD drive, I put Windows XP and Windows 7 on it, but left the old installations on the hard disks as fallback possibilities. For about 2 years I booted from grub2 into 2 different bcd menues, from which I could either choose Xp or Win 7 (bdc 1 had Xp as default option, bcd 2 Win 7; from both files I could also boot the old installations). I remember that I spent a lot of time to configure the booting menues, until they worked as planned.
For some reason the first bcd file stopped working (message about bad boot.ini file), the second one works fine. Now I tried to repair the first bcd and encounter a lot of troubles. It would really help a lot, when EasyBCD would tell one, which installation (like /dev/sda1 in Linux) is selected as Win XP system drive and where the corresponding boot.ini file should live. It would also avoid many tries and errors, if EasyBCD could tell, which drive is used (the hint, not to select the drive or partition oneself didn't resolve that problem.) If EasyBCD finds more XP installations, it could let the user select, which one to choose.
I will have a closer look at the different boot.ini files, which are sitting on several partitions; the one on the new XP drive looks fine for me.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Windows XP
EasyBCD will do everything for you, including locating XP if there's only one XP.
If you want to boot multiple XPs from a single BCD without a second (NTLDR boot.ini) menu, the MS code can't cope with that scenario.
Neosmart's EasyLDR can do however.
Just point the manual XP BCD entries at the disk letter of each XP system as seen by the OS from which you are setting up the entries.
Don't then alter what EasyBCD sets up (you'll think it ignored you - it didn't)
Read the above link for how it all works.
 
#3
Thank you very much for the valuable answer and the informative link, which contains the informations, I have been looking for!
I will try out your recommendation today evening.
I had managed to set everything up two years ago; but suddenly one of the bcd configurations stopped working last weekend. (Today I got suspicious, that my son could have caught some malware while browsing with Windows XP; there were some strange ini files in the Windows folder, pointing to some dlls in his Temp folder. But running G-data virus scanner didn't give any warnings. And if that suspected malware is the reason for the trouble, I wouldn't understand, that the second bcd configuration works fine for the same windows installation.)
For now, I would be satisfied with starting the XP version on the SSD disk:
My SSD has 2 partitions, sda1 with XP, sda2 with Win7.
According to the old setup the bcd on sda1 starts Win7 by default and works without any trouble, also when starting XP, while that on sda2 it should start XP by default, but now is only able to start Win7.
Trying to start XP from sda2 gives an error about a bad boot.ini file and "ntdetect failure". Even playing around with the entries in boot.ini didn't make any difference. I had thought, that ntdetect.com should reside on the XP partition; but if I understand the linked page correctly, the ntdetect.com from the system disk - in this case sda2 - should do the work. This would of course explain the different behaviour of the two bcd installations.
As far as I remember my attempts two years ago, the disk order might also not be the expected one, depending on the Bios boot order.
Could it be, that if the primary boot drive is sdb, that this drive is seen as disk(0) during the boot? Unfortunately I know of no possibility to debug this process. If the booting doesn't work, one has to try another boot.
PS.: I guess, that the real solution for the problem would be to get rid of XP. But we have some old hardware and programs, which don't work in newer environments.