Doesnt boot into EasyBCD menu on powerup

OK, newbie alert. I used to be very familiar with GRUB and dual booting windows into linux and solaris x86 partitions but that was a very long time ago. Im afraid that Im proof that if you dont use it, you lose it.

Ive got an HP tower with 2 drives in it, one drive is XP and the other is Win 8. Ive unplugged the Win8 drive, and am working off the xp drive right now. Ive installed EasyBCD on the XP drive and want the XP drive to be my boot drive in the future. And Ive copied the Boot directory from a working Win7 machine into a C:\boot directory on the XP drive. The boot dir contents I used from the Win7 machine appear to be the same as one from a Vista machine, but if necessary, I can go get one from a Vista OS and reinstall it over what I have already added on the XP drive.

When I power up the machine, it appears to try to invoke the EZ boot menu but fails, and then goes right into the usual Win xp boot sequence. I think that its not recognizing my BCD file as valid, or some other parameter required to use EasyCD, and then defaults to the regular boot sequence (which thankfully still works!).

So the instructions I got (which appeared to be from a slightly older version of the tool - Im using version said on EasyBCD install it would find a BCD file for me, it didnt and so I had to hunt for it in the Boot dir. When I refer to the EasyBCD config (and when I installed it), I set the BCD path to be as follows:
(listing from EasyBCD)
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.​
Path: C:\boot\DVD\EFI\BCD​

Thats the only place I found a BCD file. Well, there was one in c:\boot\DVD\PCAT\BCD too. I cant recall messing with any other EasyBCD setting other than the setting for the BCD path. Here is the full listing of the Settings list:
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.​
Path: C:\boot\DVD\EFI\BCD​

Default: Microsoft Windows XP​
Timeout: 30 seconds​
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\​

Entry #1​
Name: Microsoft Windows XP​
BCD ID: {default}​
Drive: C:\​
Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr​

I have not attached the Win8 disk since I installed the EasyBCD software, I figured that I would get it to work first with one drive and then plug in the second one when the first boots correctly.

This dual boot thing has had me chasing myself since I tried adding Win8 to the original system, and it wiped out my WinXP, even after I tried to install Win8 in its own partition. (Actually, the Win8 install hasnt worked any where close to what Ive expected, it was that one time upgrade from MS that was supposed to allow me to make a boot CD but my option to do that on install was grayed out, so once I finally did get it installed, I used Reflect to image the Win8 Drive. A search in the MS forums showed that about a third of all upgrades done under this plan didnt allow the creation of a restore CD and MS support has been very silent on this.)

So I bought a new drive, unplugged the Win 8 drive, reinstalled XP on the new drive, and now plug in the drive I want to boot from and mess with the BIOS boot device on powerup. Messy but effective. Obviously thats a pain, so EasyBCD is needed here to be able to boot either OS without a hardware cable change each time.

Where to next? Please? I want the XP drive to be primary boot device (default boot device) and also need info on how to configure the Win 8 Drive once booting works with XP only. And I hate to say this but I will need step by step instructions, not high level concepts with boot theory.


OK, I reset the BCD configuration,and added an entry for WinXP. heres what Setting now says:
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.
Path: C:\boot\DVD\EFI\BCD

Default: Microsoft Windows XP
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Microsoft Windows XP
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr

When I boot, the message I get is:
Invalid boot.ini
Booting from c:\windows


here is the boot.ini file content:

; This boot.ini was automatically generated by NeoSmart Technologies' BootGrabber.exe
; Use EasyBCD from to manage your bootloader

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on C:\" /fastdetect


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
A bootmgr copied from Vista/W7 is not going to boot W8 anyway, so don't waste your time trying to get it working on XP.
Boot W8 (with XP connected) and use EasyBCD to add an XP entry (auto-configure).
If you want the XP drive to be the primary boot drive
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
after you've got the dual boot working from W8.
Don't forget to switch the BIOS boot sequence after making the copy. (or it just continues to boot from the original. This is a handy fallback strategy too, as problems with the XP drive can be circumvented with a BIOS override back to the W8 copy)
Last edited: