Easybcd problems with win7 on 2 drives


I installed easybcd 2.1.2 on Win7 64bit drive1. I also have a second Win7 64bit drive2. I added two entries for drives 1 and 2 in easybcd with default drive 1 for 30 secs.
Some fault must have occurred since when I boot up it automatically goes to drive2.
I disable drive2 in the BIOS and reboot. Amazingly it still boots to drive2. So I can't get to drive1 to change the easybcd.
I reboot again and after BIOS completes I quickly press esc key (twice) and then see the two drive choices. I choose and get to drive1 where I delete the entry for drive2.
I reboot again and still with drive2 disabled in BIOS and not in the easybcd list it STILL boots to drive2 - unbelievable.
What on earth is happening?
I had also uninstalled easybcd and it still booted to drive2.
I have to physically open the m/c, undo screws to remove a cage holding the drives and physically disconnect the SATA drive and power.
Only then do I get to drive1. Reconnecting drive2 and rebooting it still boots to drive2. (All along drive1 is the default.)
Very serious situation. Can anyone help?
Is this a Dell PC ?
They have a very annoying habit of not allowing a HDD boot sequence change.
EasyBCD has no active part in the boot process.
It's just a passive app you can use to change the way the OS will boot in future. Uninstalling it has no effect on the way the BCD is configured, only using it to change the BCD will affect subsequent boots.
If you are unfortunate enough to be using a Dell, you will need to physically swap the SATA cables between the HDDs to change which one boots first.
Can you paste here the contents (detailed mode) of your BCD using EasyBCD "view settings".
Reply to Terry

It seemed to me what I had done was install easybcd on drive1, added two entries which appeared on reboot - but for some reason I may have deleted one entry and uninstalled easybcd - and then reinstalled it, then added an entry for drive2.
What I think then happened, as it was always going to drive2, I then rebooted and immediately after completing the BIOS I pressed the esc key and got a menu (for drive2 - which was a single entry after reinstallation). Accepting this took me to drive2. Rebooting and immediately pressing the esc key twice took me to a choice which allowed drive1. What I think is the case is that if you reinstall and add an entry it becomes the first menu choice after BIOS completes and the original choice after the first (new) installation gets pushed down as a second choice. This seems to accord with what you said about reinstallations don't affect things only their use.
However, I got into further trouble, because (I must have tried to fix the problem somehow) on one reboot it wouldn't - and came up with a msg saying there was an error for boot\bcd and to reinstall the original installation disc. I had no choice and on doing this the only choice I was then allowed was to Factory Reset - which meant a hard drive reformat, reinstallation of Win7 and all software. (I had physically disconnected drive2 SATA drive).
This all took quite some time hence the delay in my response.
After all this I then installed, with some timidity, easybcd 2.1.2, and accepted its default one-line entry for Windows 7, not changing it.
On booting it could only go to drive1.
Then I physically reconnected drive2 and booted up, wondering what would happen, and guess what?!
For some strange reason, although it displays the original default choice of the easybcd installation it booted to drive2!!!
Can the easybcd original choice be removed - in other words, totally start again?
I have an HP Pavilion h9-1029A desktop which came with Win7 etc.
So there it is?!
Thanks again for your effort. If you have any more ideas I'd appreciate them.
You haven't included "view settings". Could you please post it, and while you're at it, a screenshot of Disk Management.
You'll find help on how-to in the sticky if you need it
Reply to Terry 2

Hi Terry

In numerous manipulations with two hard drives, out of the cage which was out of the PC with screws removed etc and with plugging in cables and interchanging drive cables etc from the motherboard, I decided to give it a break and try maybe later.
The problem was perhaps compounded as I had unknowingly bought a Win 7 OEM System Builders DVD and although I installed it on drive2 it was meant to have a OPK (OEM Pre-installation Kit) - which I didn't know about and can't get. Therefore there were no Controllers (Ethernet, Network, USB etc) and one couldn't get on the Internet.
Hence I finally physically removed drive2 and put cage, with drive1, reassembling everything back into the case.

Easy BCD2.1.2 is installed on drive1 and below is the entry for

----- 'View Settings' --------
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.

Default: Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 2TB
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 2TB
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

I observe in easybcd that there is a screen for BCD Management Options (below)
If I uninstall easybcd the boot prompt will still appear.
Is it possible to totally remove easybcd and all prompts - as though one never had this software in the first place?
Does one use these Management Options - I am hesitant to try.

BCD Management Options
Reset BCD Configuration - this is radio-buttoned
Re-create/repair boot files
change boot drive

Finally you asked about Disk management. From what I see from System Information
Main HDD is C:
Recovery Disc is D:
There is some unlabelled drive called SYSTEM - Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) 100MB
CD-Rom is E:
CD-ROM is F:
G,H,I,J are USB ports (Disks 1,2,3,4)

I will have to take the PC to get techs to properly install drive2 (for which one has to pay) and then try again.
Sorry to have been this bother - but any comments would be welcome.

That "view settings" (not in detailed mode btw) doesn't show two W7 entries, so I can't see why they previously both went to the same place.
You still don't seem to understand the nature of EasyBCD. Uninstalling it won't change anything about your system or the way it boots. It's just an app to help you manage the BCD without needing to know the bcdedit command syntax. Like uninstalling your word processor won't restore changes to your documents, or uninstalling regedit won't fix a corrupt registry.
Only using it to correct any mistakes you've introduced into your BCD will fix them.
What's your current problem ? just that you're getting a menu displayed when you don't need one ?
If that's so, then you can tick the box to "skip the boot menu" in "edit boot menu", or you can reset the BCD and add the single W7 entry again.
You don't need the OPK to install Windows. That's for people who are building multiple PCs for sale to 3rd parties. My Vista says the same thing, and it installs the same as a full retail version (it IS the same thing, just comes with an ..OEM.. serial number which restricts it to the h/w it's first installed on and precludes it ever being subsequently moved to a different PC.)
Your problems finding drivers, are the normal stuff of a Windows install. If you're building the PC yourself, they'll all come with the mobo or graphics cards, but invariably need updating to the latest levels online.
Reply to Terry3

Hi Terry
I did have two entries in view settings, one for drive1 which you see, and another which I removed as I have also removed drive2 from the PC.
Yes, I have also tried "skip the boot menu" to avoid seeing the single choice (not a choice of course if there's only one).
Yes, I understand that by merely uninstalling easybcd this won't change the bootup process.
At a later time I expect to reinsert drive2 into the PC.
I had already installed W7 on drive2 despite no OPK. However, there are no controllers (ethernet, network etc) on it. Consequently I can't connect to the internet, and because of that I can't download necessary drivers.
I am unsure, in any case, what exact drivers I should be downloading and from where. Additionally, even if I downloaded such software I don't know how to install them.
I've used 'Driver Detective' software to download some exe files using drive1, which was a pre-installed HDD with W7 Home Premium for the HP desktop h9-1020a, which I'll transfer to drive2 later when its connected up.
I also thought of finding drivers on drive1 from Device Manager and transferring them to the corresponding dir on drive2 - but then how does one update or execute them, i.e. get them into the system? I have made 3 Recovery discs, as HP advises, in case of drive1 failure.
However, since these problems aren't related to easybcd I'd probably be going beyond the forum's aims to delve into them - and further, this may also be taxing you unnecessarily.
Easiest way to find them is to point to Windows\System32\DriverStore on the other working W7 when "update drivers" asks whether to look for them online or whether you have them.
Reply to Terry4

Hi Terry
The latest at my end is the following.
With access to only drive1 I made a new entry so that View settings now reads
There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 2TB
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\
Entry #1
Name: Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 2TB
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #2
Name: Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 1TB
BCD ID: {0624970c-3315-11e1-bdf4-001fc69f0d20}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
The second entry was in anticipation of re-inserting drive2 back in the PC.
This I did once more and booted up and saw 2 choices (which weren't the ones above)
Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium on SATA0
which, presumably, I had earlier entered in easybcd on drive2 in order to get to drive1=SATA0 (with the second choice).
Selecting this second choice, the PC rebooted and produced the same screen! - so clearly this second choice was recycling.
I could only take the first choice which took me to drive2.
In other words there was no way I could get to drive1!
But now, on drive2, I followed your advice about installing all the drivers from Device Store on drive1.
This was amazing!
It worked!
All drivers were installed and there were no yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager.
This was a godsend. Thanks a million!!
Then on drive2 I made 2 choices in easybcd (which I must have installed earlier), thinking I'd override the two previous choices and when I rebooted I saw 4 choices
Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium on SATA0
Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 1TB
Windows 7 SATA1
The last three just recycled and the first took me again to drive2.
I decided then to reset the BCD configuration, receiving a warning that with no entries the PC would not boot.
This was done with some trepidation, as I considered that in a last resort, I could always disconnect drive2.
Thus when I booted up I saw
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem
1. Insert your Windows installation disk and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."
If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
File: \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
Status: 0xc0000098
Info: The Windows Boot Configuration Data file does not contain a valid OS entry.
Enter=Continue ESC=Exit
By pressing ESC (or Enter), unbelievably, the first menu appeared!
Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 2TB
Windows 7 Home Premium + SP1 64bit 1TB
from which I could go to drive1 or drive2 from the first or second choice.
This is where I'm at, trying to figure how how to correct (or indeed remove) any trace of easybcd's configuration.
I've downloaded an Error file for 0xc0000098 but haven't applied it yet.
Something's wrong with drive2 booting.
How can one totally remove the effect of easybcd's confusing configuration.
I've also noticed that drive2 has a partition named SYSTEM (100MB) but no drive letter and is FAT, not NTFS - strange? Maybe this has something to do with it.
When drive1 is the booted drive it has drive letter C; it has a NTFS partition named HP Recovery with drive letter D - drive2 has drive letter E.
Certainly with all this I'll admit I don't quite know what's going on.
Sorry this is so long - I have tried rebooting numerous times with and without drive2.
Again, any advice would be appreciated.
Like Terry said, you're misunderstanding the role that EasyBCD plays. You can't "remove any trace of an EasyBCD configuration"
Check in the BIOS which HDD comes first in the boot sequence.
Make sure it's set to the one you want to be your major controlling system.
Remember that you've installed the W7s in such a way that each has its own BCD. Each BCD is quite independent, so you can add things on one and then if you reboot in a way that uses the other, all your entries will be magically invisible.
The normal boot architecture assumes that you will install a second W7 with the first visible, and it adds an entry for OS two in the BCD of OS one, creating no boot files on the second system.
When you are booting into your choice of OS1 by setting the BIOS, delete any spurious BCD entries and make sure that there are just two entries pointing to C and to whatever letter OS1 calls the partition containing OS2.

(You should be able to see the contents of the other (not in use) BCD by using File > Select BCD Store and when you compare the two you should understand why things have been seeming to come and go)
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Reply to Terry5

In the BIOS drive1=SATA0 and drive2=SATA1.
During all the correspondence and rebooting I have had SATA1 disabled, which puzzles me as to what's happening.
To see what happens I also disabled SATA0 and rebooted, expecting boot failure and indeed this is the msg it came back with.
So I changed it back to SATA0 (my main drive 2TB) as Enabled with SATA1 as Disabled. So drive1 comes first in the boot sequence, which is what I want to appear on screen first - presenting the two choices (of drive1 or drive2).
However, on rebooting the screen first displayed the long msg stating the installation disc should be inserted etc (my previous email). Then pressing the ESC or Enter key showed the needed screen with the two choices of drive1 or drive2 (also as in my previous email).
From Computer Management, Disk Management on drive1 it states
Disk 0: drive1 (C:smile: primary partition ~ < 2TB, NTFS; HP_Recovery (D:smile: primary partition ~ 13GB, NTFS; System primary partition 100MB, no drive letter.
Disk 1: drive2 (E:smile: primary partition ~ < 1TB, NTFS; no name, no drive letter, no file system, (EFI System Partition), 100MB.
From Computer Management, Disk Management on drive2 it states
Disk 0: no name no drive letter, 100MB Healthy (EFI System Partition); drive2 (C:smile:, ~ < 1TB, NTFS, Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition).
Disk 1: SYSTEM (E:smile:, 100MB NTFS, Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition); drive1 (D:smile:, ~ < 2TB NTFS, Healthy (Primary partition) ; HP_RECOVERY (H:smile:, ~ 13GB NTFS; Healthy (Primary Partition).
I was beginning to realize that each drive had its own BCD and am relieved that you also stated this.
Yes, I understand the invisibility you mention.
Easybcd is installed on drive1 but I've uninstalled it on drive2.
I dont't know how to delete any spurious BCD entries.
The two choices in View Settings of easybcd are drive1 which is C: and drive2 which is E: There are not two entries pointing to C:
OS1 (drive1) calls the primary partition on Disk 1 drive2.
I don't know what you mean by File > Select BCD Store.
On Disk0 main drive C: I use file manager Total Commander to see that C:\Boot contains a number of files (for different languages) and Bcd, Bcd.log etc. all of which came with the system when purchased (with 12 Feb 2011 file dates) so nothing has been changed here - so there are no spurious entries to delete - or did you mean something else? I can't see any similar E:\Boot on drive2 from here.

On Disk1 system partition e:\system the dir e:\boot shows similar boot BCD files etc as on Disk1 but the files bcd and bcd.log are current (to date) files. I've tried copying them but they cannot be copied - or deleted - and I can't do this from Disk0 as I cannot see this partition from there. So I don't know how to delete any BCD entries.
As I see it, the easybcd on Disk1 entries that are added/amended/removed are changes to the bcd and/or bcd.log files on Disk2 system partition e:

I have thought of either living with the present situation or taking the more disastrous step of reformatting disk0 and reinstalling W7 etc. and NOT installing easybcd - which presumably avoids the two successive screen appearances on booting and follows the normal architecture.
I guess by now I've given a pretty full description of the situation, but can you suggest anything further.
On another PC, I have 3 HDD's and only installed easybcd on the first ONLY, with 3 booting choices for each of the 3 drives. This works fine. I think that installing easybcd on Disk2 on this PC has caused difficulties for me here.
The advices you have given so far have been much appreciated.
Installing/Uninstalling EasyBCD has absolutely no effect.
EasyBCD is just an app for managing the contents of the BCD.
It takes no part in booting your system.
It doesn't produce the boot menu.
Everything you see when you boot your system is pure Microsoft..
Whether you add additional entries into your BCD by

a) Installing a new OS, in which case MS will automatically put one there
b) Using the MS BCDedit utility, which requires familiarity with command-line syntax
c) Using EasyBCD which gives you a GUI to avoid needing b)

the display of those entries in a boot menu is all down to the MS bootmgr program, nothing to do with EasyBCD.

EasyBCD is, at heart, a simple user friendly interface to BCDedit, a way to edit or remove existing entries in the BCD or add new ones.
It will operate on the "default" BCD (the one being used to boot your system), but is capable both of displaying and modifying entries in any other (non active) BCD which might exist.
Start it, click on "file" (top left) and you'll see what File > Select BCD store means.
Reply to Terry6

Yes, I do realize now that installing/uninstalling easybcd has no effect on the boot process which is conducted under MS.
However, I'm still puzzled how, on booting, the screen displays
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem
1. Insert your Windows installation disk and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."
If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
File: \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
Status: 0xc0000098
Info: The Windows Boot Configuration Data file does not contain a valid OS entry.
Enter=Continue ESC=Exit
I finally decided that I'd reformat the 1TB (drive2) and start all over again with reinstalling W7.
However, I made a fatal blunder in deleting a System partition and a msg stated that W7 could not be installed.
Since I don't know how to solve this, despite trying 'Repair your computer' and various other attempts.
I will take the PC and W7 DVD to an expert and get them to install it - they would know tricks that I don't.
I'll have to consider later whether I should also install easyBCD on drive2 when it's operational.
I cannot ask you to help me further on this since you have already spent much of your time on it.
I thank you very much for all that you have told me to date.
I may get back to the forum if I have further problems - but at least I will then be wiser.
You can safely install EasyBCD in as many or as few places as you like.
I use it on XP, Vista, W7 and W8, but it's only installed on my XP apps partition.
I simply execute it from that location by shortcuts from all the other systems.
That way, I don't have to reinstall it four times every time CG pushes a new Beta build.
There's no problem though, other than the time and space constraint, with installing it wherever you might want to use it.
As I said before, it's completely passive, and does no more by its presence (or absence) than having Notepad on the system (or not).
Since you seem to have got yourself into a few problems by a brave (if unwise) "suck it and see" philosophy, I'd recommend a careful read of this excellent tutorial on the details of multi-booting, and committing to memory these details of the actual meanings of the Disk Management flags, which are responsible for a great deal of confusion amongst novice dual-booters, due to MS's insistence on using the same vocabulary as the rest of the world, but with entirely opposite meanings.

"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"
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Reply to Terry

Terry, if you read this final msg, it is to tell you that, with help, I've solved all my problems regarding formatting of drives and installation of windows, and easybcd on various drives and PC's.
I have downloaded and will read (have partially done so) the excellent tutorial you mentioned. I was amused by the last part of the second sentence

Many guides or examinations are often overly technical and will just confuse the issue even further, or sap the reader's will to live.

Many, many thanks for all the help, time and perseverance you have given to a learner.