Can I modify the way my laptop will boot?

#1
Hi.
I know this is really a noob Q, but since playing w/ the boot is a sensetive thing, I'll go with "better safe than sorry"...
I just wanted to know:
A. Could I 'play' with the boot option after I install EasyBCD? I'll explain: I want to do a Dual-Boot of Win7, and Backtrack4. (I'll appriciate a guide for this propuse as well..:smile:). Thing is, I want my laptop normally to boot into Win. Just if the user will press a button during booting - then will be boot options for him - to boot either to Win or to BT.
Can this be done with EasyBCD?

B. I have Win7 Home Premium x64 right now installed on my PC. Can it be problem (donno, seens too many help-requesting-posts here with the title Win7 64Bit...:angry:)

TIA.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You can't do what you want with EasyBCD.
It is possible to write a custom boot manager routine which will have the action you desire.
Microsoft already does it with F8.
Hit it at the right moment and you get the extended boot menu, with all the "safe", "last known good..." etc etc options.
Your OEM might have done something similar, Fx takes you to the "factory reset"option for example.
EasyBCD just operates on the contents of the BCD, and if you create multiple options in there, you'll see them all at boot-up.
If you make W7 default, and your timeout very low (1), you'll get almost the effect you want. There will be a brief flash of a menu screen before W7 boots, and if, in that one second window, you hit one of the arrow keys, the menu timeout clock will stop and you can spend as much time as you want selecting the boot option before hitting enter.
 
#3
It is possible to write a custom boot manager routine which will have the action you desire.
Microsoft already does it with F8.
Hit it at the right moment and you get the extended boot menu, with all the "safe", "last known good..." etc etc options.
Your OEM might have done something similar, Fx takes you to the "factory reset"option for example.
Well, is it possible then for me to write also a custom boot manager, just like you said?
How can it be done? I'm ready to put really great effort, and learn it all from scratch, if it's only possible.

(I thought about solution like you offered, but I want to use more clean, neat one. Like just pressing a Fx to activate boot menu..)

TY for your answer.

Addendum:

I just came across this in my research about Dual-Booting:
"Due to a bug in Ubuntu 10.04+, the current steps are rather more convoluted than they used to be in previous versions, requiring the user to first give control of the MBR to GRUB2, and then use EasyBCD to put the Windows bootloader back in control. We have brought this issue to the attention of the Ubuntu developers, and hope to have it resolved soon."
(Source: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Ubuntu)

I just want to know - is this relevant also to installation of BT4? Since BT4 use Ubuntu as its OS.. So what should I choose at step 7 of the installation? Where should I install GRUB to?
This is my disk configuration, b4 installing BT:



I'll happy to know on which partiton to install GRUB.

BTW - If I'll find EasyBCD to be useful, I'm planing on translate it to Hebrew.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
#5
Thanks!!
You just gave me a whole new territory to investigate...
I LOVE this!

But still - I need an answer to my Q before - is it safe to install GRUB2 on the same partiton I'm installing BT4?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Sorry, I know nothing about BT4.
As a general rule, you should ensure that Linux is not allowed to put its bootloader where it wants to by default. Use custom or advanced options to put it in the bootsector of its own partition. (unless of course, you want grub controlling the multi-boot.)
 
#7
Ok. So the situation now is like this - I've installed BT4 on a free space I've set free from my D: partition.
Installed GRUB on the same partition that BT4 is installed.
Now windows boot up normally, and don't recognize the BT partiton (except for 20 MB partition, donno what it is, but NM).

I know that what I should do now is to install EasyBCD and add a boot entry.
But I'm tring to do what Terry told me is possible to do - to configure the boot in a way that hitting a button will take me stright to GRUB.
So... I've red the document that you reffered me to, Terry, but I couln't understand -
How can I know the GUID of the GRUB entry?
In the document there is an example of Windows Recvory Enviorment, but this is after its installed to the Boot Mangaer. Then, the command "BCDedit -enum {default}" will give you the Recovery GUID. But how can I know the GUID of GRUB boot entry?
I'll happy if some1 will eleborate in this subject. Few more lines, and I think I'm good to go...
Thanks in advance to anybody who's willing to help!
 
#8
Well, things got complicated..

I've just thought to give EasyBCD a shot, and installed it on my machine.
I've added an entry for BT4 (GRUB2, of curse), restart my laptop - and...dang! got to GRUB command line. (When you install GRUB normally to your system - it takes you to GUI menu to choose OS, or at least to BT4 command line, I think)

I've tried to change setting in 'Advanced Setting' from GRUB installed on C drive - to D drive or to BOOT - and got an error when restarting - "Windows cannot load" or something like this.

I think I need to figure out where exactly BT installed the GRUB to.
How can I do that?

TIA.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
If you know the path to BT4's grub menu file, that will also work.
 
#10
Ok, an update.
I changed the settings in EasyBCD from GRUB2 to Legacy Grub, and picked the partition I've installed BT and GRUB to. That does the trick. It's odd, since BT uses GRUB2 and not Legacy Grub, but it worked for me, so no more questions..
Now, I followed the instructions on the document that Terry linked to, and with a little help from another site, I've accomplished what I've tried to do so long. Now I can reboot, and got to GRUB menu, just by pressing F1 button. Maybe I'll post a step-by-step guide, if such will be wanted.

Thing is now, since I removed the GRUB entry from the boot menu (I don't want boot menu) - How can I know it even exist? I mean - I know it exist, of course. When I press F1 it takes me there, so of course it exists. But where can I find a documentation of it?
And also - I've got OEM boot configured by Samsung. Where can I find documentation on this also?

TIA.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
I'm not sure I understand your questions?
 
#12
Well, to make things simple:
How can I know there is GRUB installed on my laptop somewhere?

Since I've cancelled the boot menu, I can't find an entry of GRUB on the BootLoader, so where CAN I find it?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
I'd ask on the BT forums for the GRUB path, but otherwise you can mount the Linux partition in Windows with an EXTFS browser utility, and manually look for GRUB.
 
#14
I'll give you example of what I wanted to know based on these information:
In the procces that I just did (set special key to load GRUB during boot) I needed to know the GUID number, to know how to reffer it. Or like it's written in the document that Terry reffered me to:
Obtain the GUID for the **** element by using the following command:
Code:
[FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Courier New]bcdedit -enum {default}[/FONT][/FONT]
[/FONT]
I found the GRUB GUID through EasyBCD.
My Q is how can I find it manually, without EasyBCD?
TIA!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
You can analyze the output of bcdedit.exe yourself.
 
#16
I know, but when I installed GRUB and prompt 'bcdedit' in the command line - nothing seems to change. I had only the windows boot loader GUID, and that's all. No GRUB where showing. Only when I added the GRUB entry through EasyBCD - I saw the GUID of GRUB.
Now, could I have it done w/o EasyBCD?

Thank you for your patience.