Can EasyBCD Enable Dual Boot of Win7/OpenSUSE Across Two SSDs??

Hi all. I used EasyBCD many years ago, and when I ran into problems with my latest dual boot exercise, I remembered to check back here. Hopefully, you guys can help me find a solution, as I am not having much luck on the OpenSUSE side.

I just upgraded my system so I have two SSDs as boot disks and two HDDs for data drives. I installed Windows 7 on one SSD and once that was working, I connected the second SSD and installed OpenSUSE 13.1 to that SSD. Both OSes are working fine, but the only way I can boot into one OS or the other is to change settings in BIOS. Neither OS is apparently aware of the other. I guess I was hoping that OpenSUSE would recognize that Win7 was already on sda, even though it was installing Linux to sdb. The good news is that neither OS clobbered the other, so that was a relief...but having to go into BIOS every time I want to change OSes is a pain.

So, I'm hoping that EasyBCD can enable dual-booting after the fact. Can I install it now that both OSes are already installed and running on separate drives?

Fingers crossed!


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Just add a Linux entry to the W7 BCD (grub2) and it should locate Linux automatically and configure a dual-boot for you.
Thanks Terry. In OpenSUSE the Boot Loader program tells me that I have a GRUB2-EFI boot loader. Does that make a difference?
Also, I went ahead and installed EasyBCD. When I select that Linux tab it shows me four partitions on the SSD that OpenSUSE created. They are 156MB, 8GB, 20GB, and 84GB, in that order. One is a swap file and the other the main partition, but I'm not sure what the other two partitions are. In any case, which partition should I select in EasyBCD?
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If it's grub2, you don't specify anything. EasyBCD will find it.
Ok, I'm moving incrementally forward. I let EasyBCD find the Linux partition automatically and rebooted. It then presents the Windows Boot Manager upon boot and gives me a choice between Windows 7 and Neosmart Linux. If I choose Linux, it flashes up some text and ends up in grub4dos and presents a grub> prompt. The only way I can find out of that is to type "reboot" and start everything over again.
So I went back into EasyBCD and looked at what it had "discovered automatically" - it seems it was trying to start Linux from one of my HDDs (data drives). So I changed it to look in the first partition on the Linux SSD, saved the boot loader, and rebooted. Same result - takes me back to the grub> prompt.
Am I closing in on the rabbit here?
Here are some images from my situation - maybe this will help clarify things. First, here is the layout from my Win7 Disk Manager:


As you can see, I removed the drive letters from the Linux partitions on Disk 2, as this SDD is essentially invisible to Win7 and the drive letters were just adding clutter. Would this have an impact on EasyBCD's ability to recognize the Linux boot sector?

Here is what my EasyBCD settings look like now:


And here is the list of drives and partitions that EasyBCD sees:


Still not able to get it to do anything other than drop me into grub4dos and give me the grub> prompt.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
That dropdown only appears with grub 1 (legacy).
Select grub2 and EasyBCD will find it automatically.
Don't worry that it points to C. That's not linux, it's just the location of the NST folder containing the first link in the chain.
No, I chose grub2...I just showed you the partitions for info purposes. All it does is dump me into Grub4DOS. Not finding the drive with Linux.
I don't know what I am missing. Nothing I do seems to make a difference. I get the bootloader screen, but selecting "Neosmart Linux" only goes to Grub4DOS...never picks up the OpenSUSE partitions.
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
OK then.
I'll leave you to find advice from a current Linux user.
(I stopped when Ubuntu still used legacy grub, so more contemporary Linux knowledge is required)
One last point
Do ensure that you're using the latest version of EasyBCD
Linux is a moving target.
Newer releases architecture changes require accommodating in the code with new builds of Easy.
An old release won't be current.
I'm using - just downloaded a few days ago. So do you think the differences in OpenSUSE 13.1 are something that EasyBCD does not recognize? I was really hoping this would provide a solution. I can't be the only person running Win7 and OpenSUSE on two separate drives, am I?
I'm beginning to think the issue is that Win7 is installed MBR and Linux is installed UEFI on separate disks. EasyBCD simply doesn't see the grub2-efi and OpenSUSE doesn't see the Win7 installation (os-prober returns no volumes found). I'm looking into reinstalling OpenSUSE 13.1 as MBR rather than EFI.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
That is almost certainly the case, as EasyBCD doesn't specifically handle mixed MBR-UEFI scenarios. While booted into an MBR Windows installation, it is difficult (though certainly not impossible) for EasyBCD to ascertain whether the Linux entry you selected is UEFI or MBR, and relies on the Windows configuration.

Question: since you're booting Windows as MBR, why do you need OpenSUSE as EFI?