Easy BCD not working


I have a problem getting Easy BCD to work with a quad boot system - one MacOS Snow Leopard (on its own hard drive), Windows 7 (64) and Windows XP 32, on two separate partitions of another hard drive, and finally, an older installation of Windows XP 32 on another separate drive. All the hard drives boot fine if they are the only ones connected in the machine, and I have successfully used EasyBCD to the dual boot Windows 7, Windows XP using the windows 7 bootloader fine, and it also let me add the second Windows XP installation on the additional drive, the windows 7 bootloader allows me to choose that as the boot disk.

And it almost works fine when I add the Mac drive. If I add the MacOS drive at boot0 to that setup, the 3rd party mac style bootloader on that disk comes up fine, with nice graphics, which then allows me to choose either the Mac boot, or any of the windows installations. If I select the Mac drive at that point, it boots fine, and if I select any of the windows installations, 3rd party mac style bootloader goes straight into the Windows 7 bootloader, and it gives me the choices I had previously set up without the MacOS disk being present, and if you select Windows 7 from the options posted, it will boot to that fine, but the problem occurs if I try and select any of the XP installations, they fail, giving me the boot.ini not found error.

To fix this problem, I first tried boot to my Windows XP install disk, and rebuilding the boot.ini file (while the Mac drive was attached) and it saw 3 Windows installations in the first step when you choose which one to log into, one gave me a password error (which is the Win 7 versions I think), and I logged into the XP installation that was on the other partition of the drive shared with Windows 7, and rebuilt the boot ini - it only saw one of the two Windows XP installations when I asked it to rebuild the boot.ini, which it said it did successfully.

Then I tried booting again, 3rd party bootloader to win 7 bootloader to Windows Xp, but it still failed. So then I tried booting to the Windows 7 drive, with the MacOSX drive still connected, and then using EasyBCD to fix the problem. I installed the beta, but it does not find the Win 7 boot record with the Mac drive connected, so I manually loaded the backup of the one I originally setup without the Mac drive connected (which had worked fine with the Mac disk not attached.)

EasyBCD only showed a single Window 7 installation in the boot menu loaded manually in this way (despite the fact that the boot loader in Windows 7 shows three entries at boot time) and I could not use EasyBCD to edit the bootloader at all to add the Windows Xp installations however, as EasyBCD insisted that there were no valid installations of XP present, despite the fact that there were in fact two standard installation present, one on a partition on the same drive as the Windows 7 installation, and a second XP installation on a separate drive, also with standard file names for the folders of the installation.

This setup might seem overly complex and redundant, but in fact it is one of practical necessity - I like to have the two legacy XP installations with old software on them, along with Windows 7 now for my current work, and my email and Mac stuff dating back many years on the Mac partition, so it would be really great if I could get it all working properly.....

My current solution is to simply disconnect the Mac drive when I need to boot to any of my XP installations, but surely it is possible to get this to work properly, as it seems to be just SO CLOSE to working, although EasyBCD seems to have a total meltdown when faced with this setup....
Have you tried making a MacOS X 10 hard drive the third hard drive?

Where are the boot.ini file for Windows XP located?

How do you set up your partitions. Are they all primary?
Answers to questions"

Have you tried making a MacOS X 10 hard drive the third hard drive?

No. Snow Leopard works best when it is the primary, in fact, a number of basic Mac functions won't work otherwise.

Where are the boot.ini file for Windows XP located?

There is no single "boot.ini" file. As I said in my original post, all three drives, two of which have xp installations, boot fine when they are the only drives in the machine. Hence, there is a boot.ini file on both drives with XP installations. After adding the Mac drive did not work, just for good measure, I've tried manually adding a boot.ini file to the EFI partition (ExFAT formatted and hidden) of the Mac disk, and on the Snow Leopard part of the mac disk (which is formated with Mac OS Extended) by copying one or other of the boot ini files on the drives which work, and altering them with various settings, hopefully in a logical way, working through the various possibilities, but none of the ones I tried worked. I suspect maybe though you have pinpointed a possible cause of the problem in that the XP installations are looking on the Mac drive for the boot ini and not finding one which works. I've tried to follow the directions on line here for making one manually, but I have failed, obviously.

How do you set up your partitions. Are they all primary?

No, the Mac disk is Mac formatted, so clearly it cannot be marked as primary, but both the Win 7 partition of the drive with the XP partition on it is primary, and the thrid hard disk with my old XP full installation on it is primary also.