EasyBCD 2.1.2 Helped Ruin My Bootloader

IIllytch321

Active Member
I did upload C's BCD in post #5, but I've attempted other bcdedit, bootrec,and bootsect 'this and that' in cmd since, so it's not a wonder anything would've changed. And I only would see two version then of C's BCD, and one of F's.

Rewrote the MBR, will give it a rip just to see if there's any changes.

I'm really blown away by how Ubuntu wouldn't load unless my Win7 disc was in the drive, heh, Twilight Zone stuff.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Honestly all bets are off with UEFI. I do not know if Ubuntu is UEFI-ready (though I do not think it officially is). You would be best off enabling BIOS emulation mode and not using UEFI at all, as very few software can handle it.

EasyBCD build 172 fixed some UEFI incompatibilities when it came to getting the entry listing. It still won't write to GPT volumes or their bootsectors (or at least, I haven't tested that functionality nor coded it with that in mind. If it works, then it's a miracle).
UEFI could explain a lot of the odd behavior you're seeing in this thread. For instance, if Ubuntu doesn't load correctly from a GPT volume, using the CD/DVD's bootsector to bootstrap BOOTMGR first could trigger the BIOS emulation and get Ubuntu working. I don't know.

EasyBCD 2.2 Beta Builds
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
Well ultimately Windows worked before, so I'd like it that way again, not having to emulate an old school BIOS, although I don't think my current BIOS supports it, anyway.

Please note that EasyBCD does not currently support the following:
  • EFI without MBR emulation
  • Dynamic disks
EasyBCD does, however, support RAID 0/1/5 and EFI with MBR emulation (most PCs).

I didn't happen to notice this, oh, well. So does this mean that this program did something to my motherboard, that my motherboard itself is reprogrammed or something? If that's the case, would clearing the CMOS or flashing the BIOS do anything, as a last resort?

Or should I test the beta because I haven't much to lost at this point? If I do, what do I do with it exactly? Is THIS page just as useful with the beta?
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
Oh, so what's the problem then? I reinstalled Windows and it didn't boot correctly, used a completely different hard drive that had nothing to do with anything and it still didn't boot correctly. What am I supposed to think this program did? If one uses a completely different hard drive what is one supposed to think? The only other common denominator is the motherboard is it not? What else is there that an operating system could possibly have access to and change?

Could you please just give me one last message of hope and perhaps try to make sense of this for me before I shoot myself in the face with a potato gun.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
The EFI is located on the motherboard and it reads EFI bootloaders from the hard drive. While EasyBCD does not communicate with the mobo EFI, the OS (probably) does.

Anyway, I skimmed through the past posts and your BCDedit output does not look like you're using UEFI to boot. Either the bcdedit is misconfigured or your motherboard is actually booting in BIOS emulation mode anyway.
I'm lost reading the previous points - can you just summarize your problem as it currently stands?
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
I myself forgot what all the steps I did to get where I'm at now are exactly, but I'll try from memory:

But what started all this is I only had one HDD and one OS (Win7) installed on it. I installed EasyBCD 2.1.2 and added a Win7 entry to the boot menu (doesn't matter that it was a stupid choice, just that I did it). But when I clicked on "Add Entry" nothing seemed to happen, so I did it again, same response. I exited the program and it prompted me with something like "If you exit you will not be able to boot anything". I didn't think much of it basically, and rebooted. I was granted with three options to boot from (not verbatim):
1. Windows 7 Home Edition;
2. Microsoft Windows 7;
and 3. Microsoft Windows 7.
I surmised that the latter two were created in EasyBCD. If I chose either of the two EasyBCD created, it would do a quiet reboot, no errors or anything. When I booted from the first option, it would give me a message to the tune of "Select proper boot device; insert proper boot media".

I frantically thought to myself various things, and began to reinstall Windows 7 after much meditation, erased the whole HDD and started fresh (all my beautiful data gone; a humbling experience, again whether or not I should have done that doesn't matter, just that I did) It installed fine, logged on, installed some drivers, rebooted. Same error message, but this time no choice of OS, just that message. I thought maybe I fiddled with the boot order, so I checked it and all was fine, aside from one detail: there used to be "Windows Boot Manager" I could choose to boot from, which was what it was always set to boot to first, not my HDD. I believe the order ORIGINALLY was:
(Note: I don't remember which choices had "(UEFI)" after them, but I'm sure I remembered at least one of them used to, possibly the "Windows Boot Manager")
1. Windows Boot Manager
2. HHD at location 0
3. DVD at location 1
But NOW it looked something like this:
1. HDD at location 0
2. DVD at location 1

I didn't know what to do, so I installed Win 7 yet again, this time staying on and not rebooting. This time, I believe, is where I found this forum and posted (also posted on another to no avail). I read through and tried, eventually, all six of these possibilities, and none of them worked. I then began to fret very much and lose much of my morale. I did notice though, through these steps, that the only possibly way that I found out to be able to boot my OS, is to have the Win 7 installation DVD in my DVD drive while I was booting. It would read the disc and say "Press any key to boot from DVD" but I wouldn't, and Windows would boot successfully.

That is pretty much where I'm at now. I tried a variety of my own permutations and takes on the Windows bootrec, bootsect, and bcdedit commands, all to no avail. But I'm still able to boot with the DVD in the drive (this only beings me a quasi bit of comfort).

The really odd thing to me was when I removed this HDD, put in a completely different HDD, and installed Ubuntu 10.10 on it. It installed fine, I fiddled around trying to get my graphics drivers installed, then rebooted. The same error occurred. At this point I started thinking very bad thoughts, I will not be explicit in their detail, for they were not for the faint of constitution. It was at this point I decided to, because things weren't making any sense to me whatsoever, put in the Windows 7 disc in the DVD drive as I booted Ubuntu. It worked just like it did with Windows 7.

I am here now, asking for help hoping I don't have to get a new motherboard, given I flashed an older BIOS and it didn't help, and then flashed the then current BIOS and it didn't help either. I'm also studying the bcdedit command very thoroughly to try something perhaps I didn;t try before. I didn't clear the CMOS, but I did read about VRAM (which was described as "non volatile", which I think means it stores itself there, even after a reboot or something) in the motherboard storing information about the bcd or something, thinking maybe clearing it could help as a last resort. I don't want to be taboo here or be offensive in any way, but maybe another software could fix what EasyBCD did somehow? I'm running out of ideas.

Addendum:

Thanks for sticking with me, by the way.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
what EasyBCD did somehow?

I don't think you understand - EasyBCD *can't* do any of what you're explaining. Especially if you've swapped out the hard drive. EasyBCD only exists as a Windows application. It knows nothing of the UEFI bootloader (*I* know next to nothing of the UEFI bootloader, and I'm the only one that's written EasyBCD code). It isn't a bootloader by itself, it only configures the Windows bootloader.

If you can only boot with the DVD inserted, then in plain and simple terms either
a) the BIOS isn't configured to boot from the hard drive
b) the hard drive does not have the MBR installed correctly

At this point, I'm leaning heavily towards option A. You need to go through your BIOS settings with a fine-toothed comb and make sure it's loading the correct hard disk, and then ensure that the correct partition is set as active on that drive, that the MBR is written to that HD and the bootsector is written to that partition.
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
No, I don't understand what's going on, but I do know for an absolute fact that this happened after and only after I used EasyBCD. So as a layman in that sense I think it makes sense for me to blame the software.

So aside from setting the boot order in the BIOS correctly, which I really can't because the "Windows Boot Manager" is gone (although I do have the HDD which Win 7 is installed on as the first boot device), what else am I to do, step by step, if you would be so kind?

For example, what partition exactly should be set as active (I have three partitions on this HDD: in Windows' Disk Management F is active, system and primary; C (which is where Win 7 is installed) is boot, page file, crash dump and primary; and D is just primary), how exactly do I do that (in Disk Management just right click on specified partition and click "Mark Partition as Active"?), how do I properly set up the MBR on this HDD (should I use EasyBCD's "Write MBR" under "BCD Deployment" and/or windows command prompt as "bootrec.exe /fixmbr" or something similar?) and how do I write the bootsector properly to the correct partition ("bootsect /nt60 all" in command prompt and/or EasyBCD's "Re-create/repair boot files")?

I'd greatly appreciate it.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
If you're insisting EasyBCD is the source of the problem, then you're not hearing me out. EasyBCD does not exist after you format and certainly not after you switch hard drives.
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
What am I suppposed to think? I understand that it in itself couldn't exist after I format everything and switch HDDs, but it must've done something somehow to something somewhere in order for this to be this way. I recently built this system and nothing has been done to it to cause this kind of issue. The only thing that makes any sense is EasyBCD. I'm sorry but unless you come up with something that I can understand that's what I'll blame as the ignorant fool I am for now.

Now if we put what's to blame behind us, because whether its EasyBCD to blame or a witch from three hundred years ago, this is still messed up. And if you could give me some steps to try to restore things to normal, I'll follow them. If not I'll stop posting here and try to figure something out on my own. My mind is fragile coming here and finding nothing has helped after this many posts, heh.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
So aside from setting the boot order in the BIOS correctly, which I really can't because the "Windows Boot Manager" is gone (although I do have the HDD which Win 7 is installed on as the first boot device), what else am I to do, step by step, if you would be so kind?

Look, I advise you to take an hour to read on how everything in your computer comes together to boot up a system. Multibooters, Vista Dual and Multibooting - Home Page is a good start.
Reason being that the Windows Boot Manager has nothing to do with the BIOS, and comes after it. It doesn't matter what you have or don't have "installed." You need to enter your motherboard configuration and check what I told you.
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
Did you really read through my posts?

. . .there used to be "Windows Boot Manager" I could choose to boot from, which was what it was always set to boot to first, not my HDD. I believe the order ORIGINALLY was:
(Note: I don't remember which choices had "(UEFI)" after them, but I'm sure I remembered at least one of them used to, possibly the "Windows Boot Manager")
1. Windows Boot Manager
2. HHD at location 0
3. DVD at location 1
But NOW it looked something like this:
1. HDD at location 0
2. DVD at location 1

This "Windows Boot Manager" thing was in the BIOS, right next to my HDD and DVD drive, don't ask me why or how, but it was, and always was since I first booted up this system. It was never part of a dual boot situation; I've only ever had one OS installed on this HDD since I got it new. It ("Windows Boot Manager") seems like it's supposed to be there, for whatever reason. However Windows boots up, I don't know, but I do know that before I used EasyBCD, it was always there, and was always set to boot first.

You need to enter your motherboard configuration and check what I told you.

What, this?

You need to go through your BIOS settings with a fine-toothed comb and make sure it's loading the correct hard disk, and then ensure that the correct partition is set as active on that drive, that the MBR is written to that HD and the bootsector is written to that partition.

And again, I asked this:

So aside from setting the boot order in the BIOS correctly, which I really can't because the "Windows Boot Manager" is gone (although I do have the HDD which Win 7 is installed on as the first boot device), what else am I to do, step by step, if you would be so kind?

For example, what partition exactly should be set as active (I have three partitions on this HDD: in Windows' Disk Management F is active, system and primary; C (which is where Win 7 is installed) is boot, page file, crash dump and primary; and D is just primary), how exactly do I do that (in Disk Management just right click on specified partition and click "Mark Partition as Active"?), how do I properly set up the MBR on this HDD (should I use EasyBCD's "Write MBR" under "BCD Deployment" and/or windows command prompt as "bootrec.exe /fixmbr" or something similar?) and how do I write the bootsector properly to the correct partition ("bootsect /nt60 all" in command prompt and/or EasyBCD's "Re-create/repair boot files")?

If it is too much to spell out and walk through for me, then just tell me that you don't want to, and I'll stop coming here. It's starting to become a kind of goose chase. I do appreciate any help, by the way, but I'm human and get frustrated at times.

Addendum:

I don't know if this matters, but I have an ASUS Sabertooth 990FX with an updated 0901 BIOS.
 
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Terry60

Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
I've downloaded and read the User Manual for your mobo (very flash !) and apart from being much more up to date with mouse support et al, It's still similar to the Phoenix BIOS for my ASUS mobo underneath.
I can't see anywhere that there's any mention in the BIOS boot sequence for anything other than the device type sequence, and the internal sequence within device types, nothing at all about "Windows boot manager", which would be a rather strange option for a BIOS that doesn't yet know what OS it's about to launch into, and I can't see any reference to any kind of firmware pre-installed rapid-boot type facility.
Since you mentioned that you'd tried old IDE devices, flashed the BIOS etc, it's possible that you've got something in the BIOS awry. Have you tried resetting the CMOS or resetting the BIOS to all default settings ?
As CG has tried to explain, EasyBCD updates the BCD or the boot sector in an installed Longhorn OS, or at most replaces the MBR on its HDD.
It does not touch (cannot) anything in your BIOS, no matter what type it is.
If you have reinstalled W7 from scratch onto an empty system and it doesn't boot, that should be enough to convince you that your problem cannot be related to any Windows app not yet installed.
I refer you to Chapter 3 page 1 of your mobo manual where it says that any changes to the BIOS may result in a failure to boot, and goes on to advise the action I mentioned above, detailed in 2.2.5 and 3.9
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
Try using EasyBCD's change boot drive and setting it to C:
Will do and report back tomorrow.
Untitled.jpg
It probably won't mention it Terry, but it was there. It seemed to be purely Windows related, as if it was integrated after Windows was installed. I thought it was weird, too, never seen it in XP, but I did have a 32 bit version, and didn't have a UEFI powered board. I've read some things about the UEFI being able to recieve commands from the OS, and vice versa. So if a program would manipulate it before the program was uninstalled, the modification would still be there I gather, even if you would format everything. I'm not well read enough though so you can say I'm talking out of my &*# that's fine, heh, but I will be in the near future, it seems I'll have to if I want to fix this. I did find this video though, maybe it's proof that such a program could interact with the UEFI, but I haven't watched it all the way yet, just bits and pieces.

Boot variables, stored in NVRAM, indicate the paths to the loaders.
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - "Wikipedia"
Non-volatile means it'll still hold the information even if the power is shut off, so if a program modifies the UEFI, it could stay that way, even between completely different HDDs. Again, I'm not well read enough I feel, but it's an idea, right?

I never did anything myself in that enviroment that would have caused this to occur. Yes I modified some things, but nothing that I didn't understand. But as a last resort yesterday I took out the battery and jumped the "clear cmos" pins (as stated in 2.2.5 of my mobo manual), still no go. I will say that after I did that I had to do a generic "repair" from the Windows disc, though. Weird things were coming up in the boot order, things that really didn't make sense - it was messed up, heh. \

Note: after the battery was uninstalled and the clear cmos pin was jumped, would pressing the power button and holding it in help clear any extra charge from the capacitors with regards to the cmos being completely drained? I did not do this when I did it, but maybe I should do it again and clear the capacitors, too? Good idea, neutral idea, or bad idea?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Your hard disk is not formatted as GPT, it's in normal MBR style. This isn't something EasyBCD did - this has to do with how you formatted (or didn't) the drive before installing Windows.

I can understand how the UEFI firmware might list "Windows Boot Manager" - but that will never happen if the disk is in MBR mode. UEFI requires GPT partitioning of the disk.
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
Then how can I/Windows format it in the GPT format? I know I asked Windows installation to format the drive, and I'm pretty darn sure it was a complete format, but I'll reinstall Windows again after I get home from work, and after I reboot first and see if the changing of the boot drive to C helped.

Is there a special way to get Windows to format it in a GPT format manually? Is there a way the original "boot" portion of the disk couldv'e been left untouched even after I chose a full format? How do I ensure that this wouldn't happen again when I choose to reinstall it again?

Be back in about seven hours. Thanks, again.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
You must format to GPT before installing Windows.

This is done by pressing shift + F10 at the setup screen when booted from the CD, then using diskpart to format the disk in GPT mode.
 

IIllytch321

Active Member
Well, I used "diskpart" to convert the entire cleaned ("clean"ed the disk first, took maybe a minute, then to make sure I "clean all"ed the disk, took about 3-8 hours(I was sleeping through it)) disk to GPT, created a EFI system partition then a MSR partition (as was stated as a prerequisite for installing Windows from numerous locations in the web) then created a new partition from the rest in the actual Windows installer. Windows said that I could not install windows on this disk given it is in GPT format. Reconverted back to MBR (in "diskpart" I couldn't even make an EFI partition under MBR format), installed Windows, and I'm back here with the same problem; nothing fixed.

Is there any way to convert only a portion of a disk to GPT, then the remainder to MBR? Is there a way to trick "diskpart" into doing it? Or if you think I'm completely using "diskpart" incorrectly could you help me out with some pointers or something?
 
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