EasyBCD "cannot detect Windows XP" error

#1
Hello.

Thanks for the great program. Originally I had a dual boot system with Win 7 and Win XP. Worked great. Then installed Win 10 and expanded to a triple boot system. Worked great. I decided to uninstall Win 10 which completed ok, but I can no longer boot to XP. See the screen capture. Please advise.

Thank you
 

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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Is your XP partition mounted and accessible, as per the dialogue?
 
#3
I can see all the files on the respective drive with Windows explorer and when doing a chkdsk from a command prompt. I honestly do not know how to tell if a partition is mounted.

Thank you for any assistance.
 
#4
I search the web for instructions on how to mount a drive but they are quite vague. So how about a little guidance on how get the XP installation to become visible to EasyBCD.
Thank you
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
What is the output of

EasyBCD | Power Console

bootgrabber.exe /tlist
bootgrabber.exe /bootcfg
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Can you try

bootcfg /v /vv

Instead?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Oops, that should be

bootgrabber /bootcfg /v /vv
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Hmm, it would seem to be not detecting *any* Windows installations at all.
I'm assuming this is from within XP and not from within Vista/7/8/10? Is this a 64-bit installation by any chance?

On Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, can you please install this hotfix from Microsoft, reboot, and see if EasyBCD detects your Windows now?
Download: WindowsServer2003.WindowsXP-KB942589-x64-ENU.exe
 

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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
OK, and (sorry, one last time) the output of

bootgrabber.exe /v /vv /bootcfg

Also, what directory is Windows XP installed to? (e.g. C:\Windows\)
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
Now that is weird. It's reporting a successfully found Windows 2k/XP/2k3 on Drive 1 Partition 1, which according to your /tlist output is drive F:\ (this is correct?)

It seems some other error is causing bootgrabber.exe to fail with an exit code other than 0, which EasyBCD misinterprets as no XP detected.
From your btfg.txt, it's encountering error STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED (0xC0000022) when it's trying to create boot.ini on your boot drive.

The full path it's attempting to create is \multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Boot.ini, which according to your /tlist output corresponds to drive C:\

Can you check if a C:\Boot.ini exists, and if so, what the ownership settings on it are? Who is the owner of the file, and who has read/write privileges to it?
 
#16
That was it. Somehow boot.ini was deleted from C:. I also had to reset the permissions on C:. Easybcd works fine now. Thanks for your patience and persistence in helping me solve this issue. How do I mark this thread closed?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
No need, we keep the threads open should anyone have a useful comment to add at any point.

I'm glad you were able to fix the problem. BootGrabber actually has code to take ownership of files before creating/overwriting them; I know for a fact this code is used when copying/creating NTLDR and NTDETECT. I'm not sure if it's being called for boot.ini. If it's not, it definitely should be. Let me look into it!
 
#18
Apparently (based on my case) boot.ini does not have the ownership transfer provision. If you can verify that it does not have this feature maybe it would be a good future modification to make. Let me know what you find out.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#19
Yup, the code isn't used for the boot menu file.

Question: your boot.ini was gone and it was the permissions on C:\ that were the problem? EasyBCD's code doesn't even handle that case, actually. It's more for cases where the file exists but cannot be overwritten because someone else (usually "TrustedInstaller") has ownership.

I don't believe "normal" operations would result in a C:\ without write permissions - not that it's a reason to avoid implementing this feature, just a mitigating factor.

Thank you very much for helping us narrow down this issue. Sorry about the bootcfg commands - as you can see from the copyright line in the output, I haven't touched that code in five years! It's aged fairly well and without complaint, though now we have reason to dive in there and make changes once more!