Cannot grab Win7 installation with EasyBCD


Distinguished Member

I want to have 3 OS on a second drive for emergency reasons.
What I did up to now is described here:
Three OS with BCD???

As the Win7 Installation was a 64bit (worked, but my older software didn't like it) I decided to install a 32bit version of Win7.
As already discribed in the link shown above I disconnected drive 0 & 1 for safety reasons and installed Win7 on the first of four partitions of drive2. (On part. 2 and 3 I intend to install Vista and WinXp, maybe also Win98).

Then I could start Win7 from drive 2. After that I reconnected the other 2 drives and started Vista (first OS on drive 0). With EasyBCD I tried to locate the Win7-installation which is from Vista-view on drive o: .
But I Got the same error-message like in the thread shown in the link above (...File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe, Status: =xc000428, Info: Windows cannot check the digital signature for this file.).

Now I tried to perform your hint in the thread starting Win7 from drive 2 and copy the BCD to drive 0, to start everthing from drive 0 and have a "backup-BCD" on drive 2 ....
But Win7 didn't start, neither from drive 0 nor from drive 2....

Means at the moment I cannot access the Win7 Installation at all, what coud I do?

Thanks for your help,

Have you changed the BIOS boot sequence to put the new HDD first ?

Yes, of course. But I managed to get Win7 starting again with help of the repair-features on the installation disk. At the moment I'm starting Win7, Vista and WinXP (dual boot with Vista) from drive 2.

Now I'm again at that point to bring the BCD to drive 0. But I don't now anymore how I did that, the EasyBCD Management Options can change the boot drive, I know. But do I have to do that from the Vista partition or from the Win7 partition, or can I do that from both...?

There is still another issue, as mentioned I have still two partitions left where I want install Vista and WinXP...
Can you give me hints how to do this or is it better to open a new thread....?


You can use "change boot drive" from anywhere that EasyBCD will run. The original boot files are not altered, just copied to whatever location you specify. That's why you must change the BIOS if the target location is a different HDD, because all the original files are still in place and will therefore continue to be used if the BIOS isn't changed.
In the case of changing to a different partition on the same HDD, the switch of "active" status to the new location, means that the new copies will be used, not the old ones.
Dual-Boot Guides - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
should help with your proposed new installations.
You can use "change boot drive" from anywhere that EasyBCD will run.

This seems not to be quite correct. I startet Win7 (drive2) with drive2 as first boot device. Then I started Vista (on drive0) from BCD drive2 . Then I choose "C" as new starting device (drive0) and set it as the first boot device in BIOS. With the result, that no system booted anymore...
Do not know what went wrong...
So I set drive 2 again as first bootdevice, repaired the BCD with the installation disk and was able to start Win7 after that. Then I configured BCD again and changed boot device directly from Win7 to drive I: (Vista from Win7 point of view). WinXP is on L: from Win7 view. But as WinXP is dependent of Vista (originally a Dual-Boot installation), there has to be boot info of WinXP on Vista-drive.... EasyBCD however was able to locate WinXP, but not to generate the correct entry.
This might be a bug in EasyBCD... or I made a mistake.
Anyways, after this I cold start Vista and Win7 from drive0, but not WinXP. From Vista however I was able to locate WinXP and the entry was generated correctly.

This seems to be the only way how to build up a triple boot in my case
I hope it won't be still more complicated when I'm going to add two more OS...

Is there a viewer available to look into .bcd backup files? This would be very usefull if one have several backups to see exactly what the contents are. Because it is complcated to use EasyBCD as viewer (loading an discarding the backups). The risk is high to choose the wrong backup...
You don't "build up" a multi-boot, chaining from BCD to BCD.
Set whichever HDD you wish to be in control as first in the BIOS, and the BCD on its "active" partition controls all the other OSs. Add an entry for any other OS which doesn't have one in that BCD.
All other boot files on any other partition/HDD will be ignored.
The only reasons why "change boot drive" wouldn't have worked, is if you got the letter wrong (you must point to the partition letter as the running system sees it) or if you pointed to a logical drive (only primary partitions can be bootable)