Booting Problem

#1
I have this strange problem with EasyBCD.
Here is a short history.
I have 3 physical hard drives.
Disk #1 has WinXP Pro.
Disk #2 has Win7 Pro 64-bit.
Disk #3 has WinXP Pro (fresh install) I use this disk as a control/test.

July 2012 - new PC build with one hard drive and WinXP Pro.
December 2012 - Added second hard drive and Win7 Pro 64-bit (to be able to run COD Black Ops 2).
December 2012 - discovered EasyBCD and was successful in dual-booting.
May 2013 - added third hard drive to install fresh install of WinXP Pro.
May 2013 - successfully added 3rd entry in boot list.

Everything was fine until yesterday. I installed a new video card in my PC. I took the opportunity to clean the inside of my PC case, removing the hard drives to clean them and the drive bays. I removed the cables from the drives
(power and data). Unfortunately the data cables for the first two hard drives were identical (black) and when I put the drives back I must have switched them. When I booted the PC, it would only boot into the OS on the 3rd drive (WinXP Fresh Install, which had always been the 3rd choice in my boot list. No boot list was displayed. Realizing my mistake, I switched the data cables back to their correct drives.
I booted the PC again and got the correct boot list.

Here's the problem.
Items #1 and #2 work fine (WinXP Pro and Win7 Pro 64-bit). But when I select item#3 (WinXP Pro Fresh Install) the PC just reboots and shows me the list again! It will not boot from the 3rd hard drive.

What happened?

Below is the information listed in EasyBCD (run in WinXP Pro from first hard drive) Is this the correct place to look or should I be looking at the entries on my Win7 drive?

There are a total of 3 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: Windows XP Pro
Timeout: 30 seconds
Boot Drive: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows XP Pro
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
BCD ID: {527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
Drive: H:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #3
Name: Windows XP Pro Fresh Install
BCD ID: {527629ee-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1



If you need more information, please let me know.

I would appreciate any help you can give.

Doug
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
That looks all awry.
The first entry for XP should not have a drive address which isn't the boot drive,
The boot drive is showing as your fresh XP, which presumably is not the case since it's the latest OS.
Check your BIOS HDD boot sequence.
If you've been booting with drives disconnected (or differently connected), then the BIOS HDD boot sequence will have changed from what it used to be when everything was working.
Look on your three HDDs to locate bootmgr and the \boot folder (containing the BCD). You'll need folder options set to see them.
Set that to be the top of your BIOS HDD sequence, then boot W7 and post again with the contents of "view settings" (detailed mode) and a screenshot of your Disk Management if you're still having problems.
 
#3
Thank you Terry.
I will check the BIOS HDD boot sequence. I am assuming the first drive should be the WinXP Pro one (not the Fresh Install one or the Win7 one).
I will follow your instructions and report back.

Doug
 
#4
Hello Terry.

I did what you suggested. I selected the WinXP drive in the BIOS Boot Menu (entry 001CA).

The boot selection list did not change.

One thing I forgot to mention in my original post was when I select WinXP Fresh Install from the boot selection list and it reboots, if I then select Window & Pro 64-bit I get a black and white screen saying that I need to do a Startup Repair and I get 2 choices...

Launch Startup Repair (recommended)
Start Windows Normally


I wasn't sure what the first selection did and I was a little reluctant to try so I select the second one and Win7 boots normally.

Now for the BCD settings.


Windows 7.

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=D:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
resumeobject {527629ea-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
displayorder {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
{527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30

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

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {527629ec-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {527629ea-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
nx OptIn


And for good measure...


WinXP Pro
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 {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
resumeobject {527629ea-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
displayorder {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
{527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
{527629ee-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30
displaybootmenu Yes

Windows Legacy OS Loader
------------------------
identifier {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
device partition=E:
path \ntldr
description Windows XP Pro
locale en-US

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
device partition=H:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {527629ec-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=H:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {527629ea-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
nx OptIn

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {527629ee-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
device partition=C:
path \NST\easyldr1
description Windows XP Pro Fresh Install


Do you want the screen shot of Win7 Disk Management or WinXP?

Thanks.

Doug
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
From W7
 
#6
Here it is Terry.

D: is XP Pro.
F: is XP Pro Fresh Install.
H: is a WD External USB Drive.

I'm still a little hazy about how this works.
If I wanted to delete the XP Pro Fresh Install entry and re-add it, would I run EasyBCD from the XP Pro disk or the Win7 Disk?
I won't do anything until I hear from you.


Win7 Disk Management.jpg
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
From W7
Run EasyBCD "edit boot menu"
delete the XP entry
"Add new entry"
create 2 XP entries manually (not auto configure)
Select drive D for old XP
select drive F for new
Don't try to change anything when you see they both appear to be D.
It's a consequence of the fact that MS bootmgr cannot chain multiple copies of ntldr and it's all explained here
Windows XP - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
 
#8
When you say "delete the XP entry" are you referring to the old XP entry or the new "Fresh" XP entry?
Just want to make sure.

Addendum

I opened EasyBCD in Win7 and here's what I found...

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.
Path: C:\Users\Doug MacGregor\Documents\EasyBCD Backup (2012-11-24).bcd

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds
Boot Drive: D:\

Entry #1
Name: Earlier Version of Windows
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe


Only 2 entries?
When I boot my PC there are 3 entries displayed as previously explained.
Where is it getting these 3 entries from?
As far as I can see, it's getting them from the WinXP EasyBCD settings.

Now I am really confused.

Which ones does it use to boot and why am I changing the ones in Win7?
And more importantly...why am I not getting this?

Doug
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
As the second line is telling you, that's not the BCD. It's a copy of the BCD you've backed up into your User folder.
I assumed what you posted earlier was the real BCD and my advice was based on what was there, hence "the XP entry".
In EasyBCD, go to tools > options and remove the backup from the "always open this BCD" section.
Select the proper address of the BCD in EasyBCD > File > Select (D:\boot\BCD) and paste the contents of the "real" BCD here.
 
#10
Done.

Here are the settings from W7 EasyBCD.

There are a total of 3 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: Windows XP Pro
Timeout: 30 seconds
Boot Drive: D:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows XP Pro
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #3
Name: Windows XP Pro Fresh Install
BCD ID: {527629ee-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1

Now I see where the Boot Menu is coming from. Must have been a brain fart.

So to be clear, you want me to delete both XP entries and then create 2 new ones?

Doug
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Yes, EasyBCD re-configures the legacy boot files each time you add an (auto) XP entry.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
That's a BCD on your new XP drive !
Presumably there's another on one of the OSs which existed before it did ?
If W7 was added after XP (and XP was visible when you installed it), then the W7 boot files probably got installed on the XP drive (that's how MS makes its automatic dual boot work).
Check if there's another set of boot files on F.
To avoid this kind of confusion, you could if you wish, use
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
to copy the boot files onto the W7 drive (where they logically belong), change the BIOS HDD boot sequence to start at W7, then proceed as described in post #7.
After successfully triple booting from there (check that W7 is listed as "active" "system" and "boot" in W7 Disk Management), you can delete the bootmgr file and the \boot folder from both XP HDDs
 
#13
Now I'm really confused!

If I run EasyBCD from the first drive (the original XP installation, the one in the list labelled Win XP Pro) this is what I get...

There are a total of 3 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: Windows XP Pro
Timeout: 30 seconds
Boot Drive: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows XP Pro
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
BCD ID: {527629eb-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
Drive: H:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #3
Name: Windows XP Pro Fresh Install
BCD ID: {527629ee-364d-11e2-ac67-f7093ce050ce}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1



That drive contains the following files/folder in the root folder...

/Boot folder containing an /NST folder which contains a BCD file and BCD.LOG, BCD.LOG1, BCD.LOG2, and BOOTSTAT.DAT.

boot.ini
NTDETECT.COM
ntldr
bootmgr

The boot .ini looks like this...

;
;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
;
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT /USEPMTIMER


The 3rd disk which contains the XP Pro Fresh install has the following files (no BCD related folders).

boot.ini
NTDETECT.COM
ntldr

The boot.ini looks like this

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer


I'm reluctant to delete both the XP entries until I fully understand how this works for fear that I won't be able to boot into the 2 entries that are working (and the ones I use the most).

Can someone explain to me exactly what happened when I accidently swapped the data cables for the first 2 drives (Win XP Pro & Windows 7 Pro 64-bit)? Remember I said that after doing this only the OS on the 3rd drive (WinXP Pro Fresh Install) would boot without giving me a list.

I do appreciate all the help.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#14
Can you explain which OSs are bootable and how you get into them. (one boot menu or two e.g) and how any fail.
That BCD (it's the same one, the letters appear to change for the reason described here) looks quite wrong as I said back in post #2
 
#15
OK.
I just ran a booting test, changing the boot order in the BIOS.

Booting from physical disk #1 (original XP Pro) I get one Boot List showing XP Pro, Windows7 Pro 64-bit and Win XP Pro Fresh Install.
Selecting item #1 or #2 boots me into that respective OS.
Selecting #3 makes the computer reboot - does NOT load the OS from the 3rd disk.


Booting from physical disk #2 (Win 7) I get one Boot List showing XP Pro, Windows7 Pro 64-bit and Win XP Pro Fresh Install.
Selecting item #1 or #2 boots me into that respective OS.
Selecting #3 makes the computer reboot - does NOT load the OS from the 3rd disk.


Booting from physical disk #3 (XP Pro Fresh Install) boots me into that OS with NO LIST.

So if need be I can stay with my present config and change the boot order when I want to load my Fresh Install.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#16
Windows 7 partition is not "active" so you can't boot from there even if you make it top of the BIOS list.
That's why the behaviour is identical to booting from XP, it just skips to the next HDD till it finds an active partition, which presumably was XP.
i.e.
W7
XP (act)
XPF (act)

is identical to
XP (act)
W7
XPF (act)

as a boot sequence

If you'd put XPF after W7, then booting from the W7 disk would have resulted in the stand alone boot of XPF because it would have skipped to that one.
Here's a failsafe procedure for you. At no stage will you lack the ability to boot anything the way you're currently able to.

Put W7 top of the boot sequence. XP second.
Boot and choose W7 (it will have booted from the XP drive but forget that for the present)
In W7, run EasyBCD and use
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
to copy the boot files onto W7. Choose "C" as the target drive.
Boot again and select W7.
In disk management you should now see that W7 is no longer just "boot" (as in your previous screenshot), but also "system" and "active".

Disk Management flags have the following meanings
"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"

When you have verified that to be so, you can follow the instructions in post #7
Make sure that EasyBCD is operating on the new BCD on the W7 drive then your ability to boot from the XP HDDs as you are currently doing will be unaffected.
When you are able to boot all three systems through the W7 BCD, you can, if you wish to reclaim the space, remove the old \boot and bootmgr from XP.
 
#18
Hi Terry.
I am not ignoring you or your suggestions, I just haven't had the time to make any changes.
Now I have the time.
Here's what I have done so far.

Put W7 top of the boot sequence. XP second.
Boot and choose W7 (it will have booted from the XP drive but forget that for the present)
In W7, run EasyBCD and use
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
to copy the boot files onto W7. Choose "C" as the target drive.
Boot again and select W7.
In disk management you should now see that W7 is no longer just "boot" (as in your previous screenshot), but also "system" and "active".

So far, here are the results of this. To test the various boot sequences I selected the boot drive from the BIOS Boot Screen. So you should read the next list as "Booting From".

Original XP - Menu - Win7 OK.
WinXP OK.
XPF OK.

Windows 7 - Menu - WinXP - Just reboots.
Win7 - OK.
XPF - Invalid BOOT.INI - Booting from C:\WINDOWS - NTDETECT Failed.


So If I read this correctly, I should now follow the instructions in Post #7, from Win7 - delete both XP entries and re-create 2 new XP entries manually.


Just one thing...I am about to do a Fresh Install of Win7 on the XPF disk (overwrite) because I don't need that second copy of XP - a second copy of Win7 is more desirable.

This is why I want to get this right first.

By the way...Using my current BCD config, if I disconnect the XPF drive and try to boot I get a boot error screen saying it can't find \ntldr. I guess this makes sense because of what I originally told you in Post #1.

Once I get the current config right, I will disconnect the XP and Win7 drives and install Win7 on that 3rd drive (the old XPF drive).
I'm just hoping I won't have any boot problems after that.


Thanks Terry
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#19
Can you post a Disk Management screenshot from W7 and a copy of the current "view settings", so I can see where you've got to, without trying to work it out by back-tracking through 6 month old posts.
 
#20
Here you go Terry.

Also, as a result of my taking the first steps, my PC will no longer boot into my original XP if I don't touch anything (let it choose the default from the 3 entries listed). It just keeps re-booting. The only way I can get into my original XP is to select the actual hard drive from the BIOS Boot Menu. I also noticed that on my main BIOS screen (ASUS Graphical BIOS) where there are icons for the various boot devices and the boot priority, the first boot device is a hard disk and it is my Win7 drive. Not sure if this was always the case.

One other thing I noticed is that in Win7 Windows Explorer my current XP is on drive D: and the XPF is on drive F:, which is not what the EasyBCD Settings show. It shows the reverse of that.

Disk Management settings...
Disk0 is my Win7.
Disk1 is my original XP
Disk2 is my XP Fresh Install (XPF)

Thanks.
 

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