Fix multi-boot -- XP Pro / Ubuntu 9.04 / Vista or Win7 (to come.)

#1
I recently updated my PC's hard drives to two (2) 1TB hard drives. The first one has my Windows XP Pro SP3 System Boot and storage partitions. The second one I planned up use for a multi-os boot set up. Currently, it has Ubuntu 9.04 but I will consider splitting it. My only problem is I am looking for a better "boot manager" than the plain old "grub" versions. I was "directed" to EasyBCD. Now I have a problem. How do I fix / replace the default "grub" install of HD0. I do believe that the Ubuntu is installed on HD1.

My new plan:

Sata 1 (1TB) -- Windows XP Pro SP3 (split in two -- Drive C and D -- hidden from Vista / Win7

Sata 2 (1TB) -- Combination of Ubuntu "desktop" (9.04 or higher??) / Vista or Win7. Vista / Win7 should not see Windows XP "drives."

What can anyone suggest?
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi sm, welcome to NST.
EasyBCD isn't a boot manager. It's a utility with a GUI for managing the Vista/W7 BCD, because MS has declined to provide anything more than the stone-age command line interface of BCDedit.

If you want to multi-boot Vista/W7 with XP, from your post I assume that you're aware of the need to hide the Vista/W7 drive(s) from XP to protect system restore. (you don't need to hide XP from V/W7 btw).
EasyBCD won't help you to do that, because it's not a feature of the BCD.

NST can provide you with a boot-manager (HnS) which will do the job, but it too is a custom version of Grub4Dos with a GUI to simplify the creation of the menu.lst for you.

You might find that the MS registry hack to XP prevents it from seeing (and corrupting) V/W7, in which case you can use the BCD for your boot, but the hack doesn't work on all HDD configurations, so you'll just need to try it and see.
 
#3
I have originally set up to dual-boot Windows XP Pro and a "desktop" Linux (Ubuntu 9.04.) When I started this, I got 2 1TB hard drives. Now, I would like to add either a Vista or Windows 7, making this a triple boot set up.

Now, I seem to have come up with a few "questions:"

1) I would like to be able to hide my "XP" partition from the Vista Windows 7. Would this be necessary??

2) Ubuntu 9.04 installed the GRUB boot manager onto the first hard drive (HD0) but the Ubuntu resides on HD1. My Windows XP Boot and "data" partitions reside on HD0. Can I fix this?

3) I have experienced boot managers LILO, Grub and commercial software System Commander. What is the difference that EasyBCD has?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
1) You don't need to hide XP from V/W7, neither of them will harm it.
2) The controlling boot manager will always be on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence (disk 0), That's not a problem if you want Grub to be in control.
If you don't want grub to take over the boot, use the advanced options during install and tell it to put grub on the Linux partition and leave the MBR alone.
You can put XP back in charge by doing a repair install of XP if you want to, but you'll need to customize boot.ini to be able to dual boot Linux. At least grub is clever enough to recognize XP and set up the dual-boot for you.
3) As I said, EasyBCD isn't a boot manager. It's a tool for managing the Vista (and now W7) BCD, which is the data store for the Vista bootmgr. You can install it just about anywhere, but it won't have any function until you install either Vista or W7 and use it to control the boot.
 
#6
I'm back! I am dumping my Ubuntu and will be setting up Vista Ultimate. My second hard drive is completely blank. How do I set up Vista onto my second drive and when do I consider EasyBCD?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
Just do a perfectly normal install of Vista, and when you've finished your customizing and are ready to dual boot, install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build on Vista, add an XP entry to the Vista BCD, and when EasyBCD offers to auto-configure the XP dual-boot for you, say "yes".