Dialog "Failed to add entry"

"EasyBCD failed to detect a valid version of Windows NT-2003 on the selected drive and was unable to continue".

The simple question is 'what constitutes a valid version of XP ?'
I have a partition with folders /Documents and Settings/ , /Program Files/ and /WINDOWS/ , and files boot.ini , ntldr and NTDETECT.COM - isn't that enough ?

I have a multi-boot multi-drive set up, and this used to work. Then I moved the physical location of the XP partition, keeping the same drive letter. Now EasyBCD won't recognise the OS, although Grub4DOS recognises it OK.

I can give a whole lot more detailed information, but the basic question is: what is it checking to come to that conclusion ?
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Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Dave,

It must have a drive letter (i.e. mounted) and a valid \WINDOWS\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
You can mount it, add the entry, and unmount it afterwards if need be.

Mak 2.0

Staff member
The physical location matters when it comes to booting with EasyBCD as well as the BCD. You say you changed the physical drive. That means that the boot.ini information has changed and that information needs to be modified in order for EasyBCD and the BCD overall to operate and boot XP properly.

It is checking the boot.ini information, which has changed, and therefor determines that the information provided by the boot.ini file does not match where it says XP is located to boot. If you look at a boot.ini file:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
The last line that says multi (0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1) completely matters in your case. Right now it is saying that XP is located on the very first drive installed on the system on the very first partition on that drive. Since you moved the physical location this information is no longer correct and therefor EasyBCD is correct in saying that there is no valid version of Windows to boot located where the file says there should be a valid version to boot.

You need to go in, modify your boot.ini file to reflect the changes made to the new physical location, then try adding the entry again using EasyBCD.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Mak, that should not be necessary as when adding a new XP entry with EasyBCD (versus trying to boot an old one), EasyBCD will recreate boot.ini
Thank you for those replies.
I had adjusted boot.ini's partition number when it didn't work the first time - although I would have thought that it would have been ntldr's responsibility to report that, not EasyBCD.

It turns out that copying the partition image must have failed part way through copying /WINDOWS and it didn't have a /system32 folder. Fixed that and EasyBCD now successfully adds the entry, and it gets through the boot sequence OK.

SOLVED thanks.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
No problem. Odd that your partition copying failed midway without alerting you.