Boot Options with Win7 and Win XP

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#1
I have WinXP and Win 7 installed on separate harddrives. Presently I have been switching the wires in the case to boot the OS I wanted. I would like to setup using EasyBCD 2.0 beta so that I get an option of which harddrive to boot from.

First can EasyBCD do this?

If it can, what are the procedures to do this?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Yes.

Boot into Windows 7, download EasyBCD 2.0, install, run.

EasyBCD | Add Entry | Windows XP | Add

When asked, press OK to allow EasyBCD to auto-configure everything.

Reboot and test.

Good luck :smile:
 
#3
I appreciate the help, but after running EasyBCD there is an obstacle caused by the way I setup the partitions on the hard drives.

On both drives, I installed all my programs on D drive. When I boot into Win 7 with that wired as the 0 drive, it works fine, but when I boot to Win XP, it still sees the installed programs as being on the O drive when actually they would be on the 1 drive.

If I ever redo the drives I can do it differently to make it work the way I want by just installing all programs on the C drives.

Thanks again
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
You can change the drive letter assigned to the system.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Use Disk Management / Change letter to shuffle the disk letters on each system to look the way they used to do. It will let you change everything except the "system" "boot" and "page" partition(s), which are probably C:
Everything else, including your CD-ROM, flash drives, USB camera connection, card readers, etc, you can change to anything you want. The apps must be changed to the same letter as they were when you installed them, otherwise they won't work.
It's good practice to set these letters yourself whenever you install an OS, before you start installing other software, rather than let the system set default letters at boot.
As you can see, letting the system set letters dynamically seems to be stable but in reality the whole system can suddenly shuffle if you add a PCI card, or a new HDD, or even just recable things differently.
Luckily, since XP, it is under your control.
W95 - WME were a nightmare if you added a HDD, everything changed (and was not able to be changed back)
 

Reimar

New Member
#6
I would use the BIOS Boot Manager function for to choose the OS I like to start up.

Consult the manual of your MB for to find the F-Key in use. Mainly it would be F11 for most MB's or F8 for Asus MB's or F12 for Gigabyte MB's but could be F2 as well.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Reimar, that's what he's currently doing, but it's a highly not-recommended solution for many, many reasons.
 

Reimar

New Member
#8
Excuse me but I'm not with you on this issue!

The use of the BIOS Function has a huge advantage, it let me even boot form the OS on one HDD if the other isn't accessible anymore! In case you use a "normal" Boot Manager and that HDD which host that Boot Manager goes down, I'll have huge problems to get the other HDD up and running and even that isn't sometimes impossible at all!

All the system which we (my company and therefor I) having under contract allowed the use of the BIOS Boot Manager only within the last 3 years. In the time before we had quite a lot issues with Boot Manager Software solutions and not one since the use of the BIOS Boot Manager. And we handle complete IT-Departments with up to 2,350 Workstations.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
I guess it depends on how you configure your boot loader... and what tool you use for the job :smile: :grinning:

I've been consulted for the deployment of EasyBCD on huge enterprise environments, and they've all been great success stories.

If you do your booting right, the bootloader *shouldn't* be damaged.

The key is to realize that whatever you do, BIOS or no BIOS, you're *still* using the bootloader. You're not bypassing it by using the BIOS, only instead of having 1 bootloader to contend with, you have two. And you need to manage and configure both independently.

Whereas, boot from one disk and do it right, you have only *one* bootloader that needs to be configured and customized.
 
#10
First at all: I didn't talked about the Bootloader instead I talked about the Boot Manager, which is quite different!

Secondly: if using several HDD's with different OS's (installed on it's own HDD) and just ONE Bootloader on the Main HDD, while that Bootloader is configured for also to boot the OS's on that other HDD('s), what's happens if that Main HDD is failing and unable to start up any OS?

In the later case may it's a good idea to have min. the Main HDD running as RAID 1.

But use our way you don't need that, just hit the required F-Key while boot the computer, choose the OS/HDD you like to start and: VIOLA that just works.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't tell with any word that EasyBCD isn't good, which it isn't! But we would never use it because to be 100% sure that we are able to boot up our WS's even if the Main HDD fail.

And again: I talk about a Boot Manager.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#11
EasyBCD isn't a boot manager or a boot loader. It's a tool for configuring the MS Vista/7 boot manager.
If you choose not to let MS manage your boot you don't need it.
If you do use bootmgr, it's an invaluable asset.
 
#12
Terry, that's just ok. And we even didn't use any Windows Boot Manager because we use just one OS per used HDD and instead of any Software Boot Manager just the BIOS function. Which is for US the most secure way,backed by some years of experiences without a single problem!
 
#13
First at all: I didn't talked about the Bootloader instead I talked about the Boot Manager, which is quite different!

Secondly: if using several HDD's with different OS's (installed on it's own HDD) and just ONE Bootloader on the Main HDD, while that Bootloader is configured for also to boot the OS's on that other HDD('s), what's happens if that Main HDD is failing and unable to start up any OS?
Simple. :smile: In the case that you describe, you can still change the boot drive in the BIOS, and boot from any other HDD with its own OS, provided each one was installed with just that HDD connected, and/or the HDD each OS was installed to was first in the boot sequence of the BIOS at time of install, so whatever MBR/bootloader which the installed OS uses was installed to that HDD, and nowhere else.
In the later case may it's a good idea to have min. the Main HDD running as RAID 1.

But use our way you don't need that, just hit the required F-Key while boot the computer, choose the OS/HDD you like to start and: VIOLA that just works.
Yes, but you're still using the bootloader on the HDD you change to, to boot. :wink: If you have the MS boot manager configured with EasyBCD on the main HDD controlling the boot, then it wont take away your ability to still change boot drives in the BIOS should your main HDD fail. It only enhances your multiboot.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't tell with any word that EasyBCD isn't good, which it isn't! But we would never use it because to be 100% sure that we are able to boot up our WS's even if the Main HDD fail.

And again: I talk about a Boot Manager.
First of all, when one talks about "Boot Manager", one is usually referring to the boot manager file which handles the boot process of the OS, unless that person is incorrectly using that term (as you seem to be...). The "BIOS Boot Manager", as you called it, is not a boot manager. It is only a program in the BIOS which chainloads the MBR of the HDD set as the boot drive in the BIOS. The MBR of that HDD with then chainload the PBR (partition boot record) of the "active" partition on that HDD, which then loads the boot manager used to load the OS(es), which in the case of Vista/7, is the file called "bootmgr" stored in the root of the "active" "system" partition (according to Disk Managemt), which uses another file called "BCD" for storing the boot entries in your boot menu. Also, using EasyBCD to add entries to your main HDD's BCD after the install of all OSes (like previously stated) will NOT effect your ability to still stand-alone boot each OS, if they're each installed to their own HDD. So even if your main HDD fails, you will still be able to change the boot drive in the BIOS, and load the OS you want.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#14
To each his own, I guess :smile:
 
#15
I think you guy's didn't get it: The use of the BIOS Bootmanager Function did NOT place any file, config or whatsoever on any of the available hard disks! That also just means that you didn't even need to think about any configuration or so! And I did NOT neither need to change any boot order in BIOS!

The use of the BIOS function just gives you the ability for to choose that Boot Hard Disk you like to start up. And it's the most "clean" procedure available: NO config; NO extra settings; NO any extra software/program/application to install; etc. etc.! All together that could be named: Simplycity!!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#16
We know what a BIOS override is.
It's not a boot manager, it's an interrupt to the BIOS which enables a temporary change of boot sequence.
It's also not an option for the average user with fewer HDDs than OSs.
If you buy a PC with a 1Tb HDD and you want multiple OSs, it doesn't make sense to buy several extra HDDs with so much empty space already available.
I can understand it as a corporate strategy for the paranoid executive, but that's not of interest here.
We're providing software to manage a different strategy, one which costs nothing to the end user, for the app or for extra hardware.
 
#17
I think you guy's didn't get it: The use of the BIOS Bootmanager Function did NOT place any file, config or whatsoever on any of the available hard disks! That also just means that you didn't even need to think about any configuration or so! And I did NOT neither need to change any boot order in BIOS!

The use of the BIOS function just gives you the ability for to choose that Boot Hard Disk you like to start up. And it's the most "clean" procedure available: NO config; NO extra settings; NO any extra software/program/application to install; etc. etc.! All together that could be named: Simplycity!!
Well, duh, obviously... :brows:
The BIOS doesn't do such things. What put the file(s)/config(s) there is the installer of each OS. :wink:
My point is that even with your current setup (i.e. with each HDD with its own OS, and each one booting by itself when you put its HDD first in the boot sequence of the BIOS), you could still use EasyBCD to add your other OSes to the main HDD's BCD, so you get a boot menu to choose an OS from at startup. And like previously noted, this will NOT effect being able to put any other OS's HDD as first in the boot sequence (or select a different HDD by pressing a special key, which basically does the same thing anyway...), and still stand-alone boot it. It'll just enhance your multiboot by giving you more options.

But certainly...do whatever you want.
 
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#18
And here we go again: EasyBCD need to be installed on one HDD! Or am I wrong?! Something I wouldn't like! I mean installing extra Software!

And I also think that I wrote that I use the BIOS function to choose the HDD with the OS I like to startup!

I didn't wrote that I CHANGE the boot sequence in BIOS! Just use the required Hot Kay like F2, F8, F11 or F12 and point in the upcoming menu to that HDD!

That is also NOT a BIOS override! I didn't change anything in BIOS settings! Just use the available BIOS Function's!

I do understand that you guys like to have EasyBCD running as widely as possible because it's "YOUR" program! But that didn't means that everybody MUST run that program! And For my company and myself I wouldn't use it as Boot Manager. And the same applies to that Customer Companies for which we doing the IT-Service.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#19
You still don't seem to understand that EasyBCD is not a boot manager.
It's an app for configuring the MS Vista/7 boot manager.
It's used by people who've chosen to use bootmgr. That's why they're here.
You however don't appear to have any reason to be here, so I can't explain why you stick around beating to death a completely irrelevant point.
We all know there are a multitude of different methods of multi-booting, a plethora of third-party boot managers.
None of those are of any relevance in this forum, which only exists to assist users who've chosen to use Neosmart software.

Hitting a function key during execution of the BIOS generates an interrupt which offers an opportunity to temporarily override the stored BIOS boot sequence.

I don't know why to choose to argue with that statement. It's exactly how you run your systems !
I got the impression from your contributions in other threads that you were going to be a helpful addition to the community, but this thread smacks of low-level trolling, a practice almost completely absent from these boards, and we want to keep it that way.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#20
Ok Remiar, maybe a bulleted list well help.
  • EasyBCD is a Windows app, like MS Word is.
  • It can be installed X as many times as you have Windows installations. Its very light software. How light? Keep reading.
  • Did you know EasyBCD is pretty much portable? You don't need it installed to use it.
  • It configures Windows bootloader, but isn't the bootloader
  • Boot manager and bootloader are the same thing, they can be used interchangeably. The correct term for your strategy is the BIOS boot menu or device boot menu.
So basically your strategy is fine, but once you DO get all the drives booting on their own why not use EasyBCD on the main drive to configure the bootloader to boot everything? It isn't like its going to take the boot code away from the other hard drives, and setting this up saves you the trouble your strategy presents.

Now than, can you stop arguing with us in a thread you didn't even create? We're here to help out the OP, not carry on with a debate over personal preference.
 
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