Dualboot WinXP and Window Server 2008

#1
Hello. I have been through EasyBCD guides in an attempt to solve my problem but no matter what I do, EasyBCD doesn't help.

I used Acronis True Image software to copy Windows XP C: partition from DiskA and Windows Server 2008 C: partition from DiskB into an image (*.tib) file and then restored these two partitions from the *.tib file onto a third disk, DiskC. So DiskC now has a 15GB WinXP partition at the beginning of the drive and a 29 GB Windows Server 2008 partition immediately after that. I did not restore any MBR from the image *.tib file to DiskC.

I then removed DiskA and DiskB from the machine and left in DiskC as a single SATA drive. I turned on the PC and the machine booted into Windows XP normally. Great.

Now I wanted to set up my sistem to be able to show me a boot menu where I could select between this WinXP and Windows Server 2008. I installed EasyBCD in WindowsXP but the program reported an error saying something like "cannot find BCD storage" and asked if I wanted to load it. Since I had no idea where/what a *.BCD file was on Windows XP, I clicked NO and I was taken to EasyBCD but found out I couldn't do ANYTHING since every single option was grayed out. Even if I went to "Tools" menu and selected "Edit legacy Entries" I got an error saying that EasyBCD could not find any boot.ini file on any bootable partitions, or something like that. The boot.ini was located in root of WindowsXP C: drive so I don't know why EasyBCD was saying that nonsense.

Selecting "Write MBR" with "Install the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to MBR" didn't do anything either so the EasyBCD guide took me nowhere.

I then found a topic on another forum on how to actually fix a MBR. So I booted with my Server 2008 DVD, went into console and executed these three commands:

bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /RebuildBcd

I then rebooted the PC and again WindowsXP loaded automatically without any bootloader menu. But at least now EasyBCD started properly. Now I could finally add and delete entries.

You can see the pictures here: http://css.setti.info/~perplexer/easybcd/

The thing is, I have tried everything with EasyBCD, cleared BCD config, recreated it, tried it with different settings, but NOTHING worked. Everytime I reboot my PC, WindowsXP loads automatically and there is no menu shown.

So what in the world is wrong and how can I get this fixed ?

Thanks for the replies.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Windows 2008 is the longhorn system with the BCD.
It should be the controlling system.
Either make 2008 "active" and reboot, or use EasyBCD > Backup/Restore BCD > Change boot drive and point it to XP when it asks.
 
#3
Ok, I went to "Bootloader Setup" section in EasyBCD and in the "Create Bootable External Media" section I selected "Partition 2" where Win Server 2008 was installed and then clicked "Install BCD".

I then rebooted the PC again and this time I finally got the Windows Boot Manager to appear. I selected "Windows XP" there but then I got an error "NTDETECT Failed". I then copied over NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM from the XP partition to the Win Servcer 2008 partition as suggested in another topic, and that finally fixed it.

I wonder what exactly did that "Install BCD" do on that Windows Server 2008 partition ? Did it copy files to it or did it do something off the partition (somewhere in the MBR or something) ?

Anyway, I'm happy that I got it working now but I have to say that I found the EasyBCD documentation totally useless in my case since things didn't go as explained there plus most chapters are severely outdated describing and showing old EasyBCD app with old outdated menus and procedures that just don't match real sequence of events and possible errors (as in my case). The forum offered some better clues but overall I had to figure it out and put it all together myself.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
I said to use "change boot drive"
You're not trying to make a bootable flashdrive, so why pick "external media"
Sorry the documentation hasn't been updated yet, the final build was only officially released 2 days ago.
It'll take a while to bring 2 years of back entries up to date. There's not exactly an army of us here.
The support and detail is in the forums at present.
You did manually what EasyBCD would have done for you if you'd used the correct option.
 
#5
Well, again, what you suggested failed the same way as documentation's suggestions. I'm instructed to do something I can't do. Namely, I was not able to use the "change boot drive" option because EasyBCD gave me an "Unsupported Operating System" error message saying "This option is only available on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008". As I said, I was in XP because that's the OS that booted automatically, I had no other options to get into Windows Server 2008 at that time.

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the replies, it's just that there are tons of inconsistencies within the help one gets, and that makes it difficult to get things done and fixed properly.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#6
The documentation, 2 years of work cant possibly be updated in the documentation that fast. Well over 150 changes to the program not to mention 150 builds isnt something that we can just throw together in the documentation. We could have easily delayed the program another 2 months so we could update the documentation, but then it wouldnt have been relevant for the version that was available. So as you see, there is no easy way for 4 people to try and do everything that needs to be done all at the same exact time to have it ready for worldwide use within a couple of days.

Sorry that the documentation isnt updated for EasyBCD 2.0.1 just yet, but we are working as fast as we humanly can to get things updated and ready for the world.