Already tri-booting xp/xp/vista; Would like to add win7


I have 2 HDs; the first has 2 XPs and the 2nd HD has Vista. I am now using EasyBCD 1.7 which is installed in partition1 of HD1 with XP. I have no problems, but would like to install win7 on the 2nd HD with Vista.

I plan to update to Easy BCD 2.02, but is it necessary? If I add Win7 to the OS list in EasyBCD1.7 will it work?
If I do install EasyBCD2.02 should I put it on the 2nd HD with the Vista and Win7 or can it go on the 1st HD with the XP OSs? If I put BCD 2.02 on the 2nd HD, will I have to remove BCD 1.7 from the 1st HD? Will I also have to change the XP boot.ini file that is in partition1 of HD1? If EasyBCD is put on the HD2, will I have to change the BIOS to boot off the 2nd HD?

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional - Install 1" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional - Install 2"/FASTDETECT /NoExecute=OptOut

Thanks for any suggestions
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Installation of Win7 alongside Vista should maintain your current BCD menu. If it doesn't for some reason, download the latest version of EasyBCD. Unlike 1.7 it is Windows 7 aware and can automatically setup the correct boot.ini if needed for XP. Should be able to install it on any of your Windows systems, as long as it can find the BCD without error.
Booting fails after win7 install

Thanks Justin, but it failed.

Win7 installed fine on HD2, after vista, and during the installation my current boot menu displayed, with an added entry for win7, during the reboots. When the installation finished a new windows boot menu displayed for only vista and an "earlier version of windows." The "earlier version of windows" only allowed access to the 2nd install of XP. The 1st install of xp had EasyBCD1.7 and the boot.ini file (a copy in my first post).

I tried installing Easy2.02 into 2nd install of XP, but it would not run. I installed it into the last available os, Vista (on HD2), and it showed all 4 OS:2 XPs, vista, win7, however when rebooted only the vista and the "earlier windows" are in the boot menu. I tried booting off HD2, but got a non-system disk error.

Let me explain my boot setup before installing win7. There are 2 hd with both XPs on HD1. The 1st install of xp (which is no longer accessible) had Easy1.7 and the boot.ini file which allowed selection between the XPs. Vista was the only os on HD2. The boot menu showed xp and vista, but when xp was selected a submenu displayed the 2 different installs of xp.

Now, instead of 4 os, I only have 2. I read and followed the instructions for installing win7 after vista, and read the instr for win7 after xp. I was concerned because of the 2HDs and the 2 older window OS. I'm sure the boot.ini file has to be in one of the XPs, because I had that problem before where i could only see one XP. Then I think EasyBCD has to be in the same os as the boot.ini. Is that true? Either way, I can't get it working.

I would appreciate any help with this.

EasyBCD can be wherever you want. It's just an app for configuring the Vista/7 BCD.
That's what's controlling the boot.
Look at the Disk Management flags (post a screenshot here if you need help - instructions in the sticky)
The MBR of the 1st HDD in the BIOS boot sequence, looks for the "active" primary partition and expects to find the boot files there ("system" flag indicates the boot files)
I assume that your XP used to be "system" and no longer is.
Paste the text from "view settings" and the Dsk Mgmt screenshot and we'll help you access all the systems.
XP & vista disk mgmt screenshots

This is a repost from Friday. I posted the screenshots friday evening, but this site was down @ around friday 10pm edt and all day saturday. Today my friday post is gone, so I'm going to try again.


I included the screen shots from both XP & vista and you can see that my vol labels are not consistent between the OSs. This is not causing my booting problems, but makes things confusing.

My boot files are on the 1st partition of disk0, which is my 1st install of xp that I can't boot into. The 2nd partition on disk0 has the 2nd install of XP which is bootable.
The 1st partition of disk1 contains vista which is bootable, and Win7 is in the 2nd partition and can't be booted.

A short description of the way my system booted before installing win7:
There were no boot problems when only one XP & vista were installed. When I installed the 2nd XP, the boot.ini file of the 1st XP was edited, so I get a submenu when I select XP from the main boot menu.

I'm not sure what text from "view settings" you want. In Disk Management, "view settings" in just to select the appearance of the display. Here is the boot.ini file from XP:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional - Install 1" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional - Install 2"/FASTDETECT /NoExecute=OptOut

I'm having a lot of problems uploading images so I uploaded these as Word files which may not be as sharp. Not sure what's happening, because I had no problem uploading these same images on Friday in the post that was lost.



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That's the EasyBCD default page "view settings" (in detailed mode).

btw. Disk letters are not volume labels, they're entries in the registry of the running system (virtual labels if you like).
Because of that, they are not consistent between boots in a multi-boot environment, and cannot be used to convey information accurately and easily in a forum post.
A real volume label (an entry in the partition table, physically on the HDD), can be made easily by right clicking > properties > general. any of your partitions in Explorer, and typing up to 32 chars (for NTFS) in the top box describing that partition. That information doesn't change with the booted system and will make everything clearer to yourself and others viewing the post.
It also prevents utter disasters when installing new OSs, when it can be impossibly difficult to see which partition you're actually about to overwrite if you don't label any of them.
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EasyBCD details and new Dsk Mgmt Pic

Thanks Terry. I put real volume labels on the partitions and uploaded a new disk mgmt picture.

I'm now able to boot into both XPs because I edited the XP2's boot.ini file. I changed it to look like XP1's boot.ini, which I believe the bootloader used before I installed win7. Still not able to see win7, though.

Below are the settings from EasyBCD2. There is an entry for a non-existent OS, Windows II, which I think was copied over from Easy1.7 during the installation of Easy2. When I added XP2 I had mistakenly tried to put an entry for it in the boot menu, not realizing it needed the NTLDR boot menu. I know things have changed in Easy2, so not sure why it didn't detect both XPs.


Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {ba2a70ac-270e-11de-a2a3-0018f3a28a59}
resumeobject {ba2a70ab-270e-11de-a2a3-0018f3a28a59}
displayorder {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30
resume No

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
device partition=C:
path \ntldr
description Earlier Version of Windows

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {ba2a70ac-270e-11de-a2a3-0018f3a28a59}
device partition=I:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {ba2a70ad-270e-11de-a2a3-0018f3a28a59}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=I:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {ba2a70ab-270e-11de-a2a3-0018f3a28a59}
nx OptIn

Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {ba2a70aa-270e-11de-a2a3-0018f3a28a59}
device partition=H:
path \NTLDR
description Windows II

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {1eafceed-6e59-11dc-b050-ae5f40d2f7b8}
device partition=F:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows Vista
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
bootdebug Yes
osdevice partition=F:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {1eafceee-6e59-11dc-b050-ae5f40d2f7b8}
nx OptOut
pae ForceDisable
sos No
debug No
custom:42000002 \system32\winload.exe
custom:45000001 2
custom:47000005 301989892


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Boot into Vista.
Turn on EasyBCD.
Use "BCD Backup/Repair" -> Reset BCD
Add a new XP entry, DON'T use the autodetect checkbox, manually pick the drive, and add. Do that for both entries.
Add a new Vista/7 entry, picking the drive of Vista as seen from within XP
Add a new Vista/7 entry, picking the drive of 7 as seen from within XP.
Things have got very confused there, and to be honest, I don't know why it's booting at all.
You only have one "active" flag (on XP1) but Vista Disk Management reports XP2 as "system" (where the boot files are) and simultaneously asserts that C (XP1) is the boot drive (where the boot files are)
Can you check each of your partitions (you'll need folder options set like this to find anything) and report which partition(s) contain a \boot folder and a bootmgr file in the root, and which partition(s) have a NTLDR,, and boot.ini.
I think the solution to your difficulties is probably as simple as flipping the "active" flag, but we'd best check where everything is first.


Hi CG, must type faster. You got in while I was nosing around.
Follow CG's instructions gidoro. That'll reset everything.
I was just trying to understand what's already happened and why, but CG's "start again" approach is probably fastest and simplest in the long run.
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Hey Terry,

Yeah, I got confused myself... but I figure, so long as the system is booting, resetting the BCD and adding everything _should_ fix stuff even if we don't know how/why :smile:
Nothing Now

Hi Computer Guru,

It didn't work and now can't boot anything. Get message to insert system disk to do repair, but at this point, I'm not sure which system disk.

Halfway through following your instructions I realized there was a problem, but continued because i had already reset the BCD. The problem is that from as seen in Vista, XP2 is on partition H, and from as seen in XP2, Win 7 is on partition H.

Also, when entering the XP entries, from as seen in Vista, XP2 on partition H would not take; when I viewed the settings it had reverted to partition C, alongside XP1. I tried entering the XPs from as seen in XP, but got message there was no OS on partition D.

Terry - Sorry I didn't follow your advise, but I was anxious to get my system fully running. After reading the addendum, I thought I could go forward with the reset. But I had the same questions as you about the flags. I had noticed that the active and system flags were in different OSs and didn't match the example in the sticky. Now I have nothing, because I was hasty.

I hope you guys can help. First, which system disk - XP?


PS - The disk managemnt is different in XP1, but does it matter since I was now using the boot.ini in XP2?
Disconnect the XP drive temporariiy
Boot your W7 DVD, run "startup repair" 3 times, (select the W7 system to repair)
reconnect XP, keeping Vista/7 HDD first in the BIOS boot sequence
Boot W7
Run EasyBCD
Add a Vista entry if the repair didn't detect Vista and put one there automatically,
Add a non-auto XP entry for each XP system
In each of the above "adds" quote the disk letter for the OS as seen by W7.
(There are no letters in the BCD, just UIDs. EasyBCD translates the IDs into the same letters which the running OS uses. i.e. EasyBCD will display different letters for the same BCD entries depending on which OS it's running on, just the same as you see in Explorer.)
There was no operating system for me to select during the repair process, but there was dialog stating that if the operating system was not visible to click Load Drivers to load the hard disk driver. Not really sure why it is asking for this, since it is already reading the HDD when I click the load drivers button, showing the partitions and directories. Wouldn't windows want a driver for the HDD controller, not the HDD?

Anyway, I tried but could not find the driver. I looked in the Win7 partition system32>drivers folder (among other places but driver folder seemed most logical) and could not find anything that would not cause the error message, "this file contains no info for your system." I even looked in the vista partition. Does the driver have to be for specifically for a Seagate Barracuda or can it be generic like the cdrom or floppy? Isn't windows really looking for the SATA HDD controller driver? That should already be there, but where? Any ideas where i can find this file? Or is there another reason why the Operating Systems aren't being seen? They are there.

Needless to say, the repair didn't work and get Non-System disk message when bios was pointed to vista/win7 HDD, as expected.

Would reinstalling win7 with the XP drive unplugged solve the booting issues? Then I could add the XP entries in BCD as you suggested.

Don't go to the "drivers" page.
If there's no system listed (did you remember to disconnect the other HDD ?), just click "next" anyway.
That will generally do the first repair, and hopefully the system(s) will magically reappear for the subsequent repairs.
I did click "next" and the systems did not show. I still continued through to "Startup Repair" and did it 3 times with the XP HDD disconnected. I followed your instructions as far as I could.

I guess I can try again, but what do you think about reinstalling win7? A new install should not corrupt my vista, which is what I'm worried about. Even though I have a backup of it, I don't want to depend on the recovery.

Are you absolutely sure you disconnected the XP HDD and not the Vista/7.
Mine are identical WD 500s and it's impossible to tell which is which visually.
An easy check is to do the opposite and see if your Vista and 7 appear.
If you're positive that you're right (the repair should be detecting both Longhorn systems, so a failure to find either is worrying !) and you decide to reinstall W7, make sure you disconnect XP during the install.
Your problems all seem to stem from the fact that W7 put the boot files on your XP HDD, and somehow that partition lost its "active" flag, so next time force it to keep the boot files on the same HDD by not giving it the opportunity to do anything else.
I still not finding an OS, but after doing the Startup Repair I checked the "Diagnosis and repair details" and the log always says the number of repair attempts is 1, even though I've tried multiple times. The root cause found is "the partition table does not have a valid System partition" and that it successfully repaired the partition table. It re boots and reloads windows again from the DVD displaying the install/repair panel. This repeats with no progress.

So I tried the repair using the vista DVD and got the same results, same error message.

Now, I'm thinking I might have problems even if I reinstall win7. Maybe I should investigate loading drivers? Not sure what to do next.

I sure it is the correct HDD, because when I was still able to boot, I labeled the partitions with the OS and could see them when I was looking for the drivers. I switched HDD anyway and a search for "windows installations" was performed on the XP HDD and no systems were listed there, either.

You don't have an active flag on that HDD.
Try using a bootable partition manager (you can find several free versions on the web), to set the active flag on the W7 partition and try the repair again.
Otherwise, use Install instead of repair (W7 DVD, not our disc) and reinstall W7 to its own partition.
You can even set the active partition with diskpart from the commandline on the bootable Windows 7 recovery CD.
The bootable partition manager, Partition Wizard 5.2, didn't work and I was still unable to do the Win7 repair after applying the "Rebuild MBR" feature. So I just decided to reinstall win 7 to its original partition with the XP HDD unplugged. (Didn't see CG's suggestion until after reinstalling.)

Win7 booted fine, but there was no option to select VIsta. I installed EasyBCD 2.0.2, plugged in the XP HDD when I encountered a problem and I don't know if it is a problem within Easy2. When I added the entries for the XPs and selected the partition labels, G and H, as seen by win7, they always reverted back to C partition when viewed in Settings. Automatically detect correct drive was unchecked. I didn't try to boot with these settings, knowing it would make my entire system unbootable again. (Win7 disk mgmt and Easy2 settings attached)

Why doesn't the Win7 bootloader see Vista, especially when only the Vista/win7 HDD was plugged in (and before EasyBCD)? Why is EasyBCD not accepting the partition letters for the XPs?

I hope there are some more ideas out there that might help my system boot all 4 OS.


A thought:
Before, when I only had the XP HDD and a Vista HDD, the boot drive was the XP HDD using Easy1.7. If I made the XP HDD the boot drive, again, would I muck up my system more?


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