How to create entries for multiple OS?

#1
Hello,

I am not sure how to go about doing the following. Whatever I have read on the internet does not show any hints.

My disk 1 (as seen from windows 7, which is disk 0) contains win XP32 on D: (partition 1 disk 1) and winXP 64 on E: (partition 2 disk 1).
I have windows 7 on disk 0.

My boot menu shows "Earlier Version of windows". bcdedit shows the legacy OS loader and "ntldr" as the identifier. and "Windows 7".

When I select "Earlier Version of Windows" it takes me to another screen containing Win64 and Win32 which I can then select from.

Can I use EasyBCD to create three entries right in the first screen? Something like
Windows 64
Windows 32
Windows 7

The first two are based of ntldr.. How does one create two independent entries for each of them on the main disk 0 partition C:? Would the bcd file show both having ntldr identifiers and difference in partition? Does EasyBCD do this kind of a task? Sorry for asking before trying,. Just do not want to get into a mess.

I want to resolve this before installing linux on another disk. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
win2lin

Addendum:

Okay, unless something has changed I figure what I am trying is not possible. This is based on
Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
which says

"As a result of Microsoft's requiring NTLDR be used to load Windows XP, you cannot use the Vista bootloader to directly enter a Windows XP (and below) installation. Instead, you can only add an entry that displays the NTLDR boot menu from where you can choose which XP (and below) installation to boot into (assuming you have more than one). This is the reason you see two boot menus if you need to multi-boot Windows Vista with more than one "legacy OS."
There is no workaround for this behavior. If it really bothers you that much, contact Microsoft and ask them (nicely!) to fix this behavior. Good luck with that!"


So I guess I have to live with the two level menus?


Any input from the experts on the latest developments would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
win2lin
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
#3
Yeah, you can edit boot.ini to put another entry for the second XP in there.
 
#4
Thank you for your quick reply! If I use HnS and get it to run (hope it is not too difficult), is there a way later to include GRUB (after linux installation on a separate 3rd disk) in the winXP32, winXP64, Win7 list that HnS produces such that I can go from this list to GRUB and get back to HnS? What is the simplest way to do this (order) if this is my goal? I will proceed with linux installation based on what you advice as to the best method (order of tasks).
 
#5
Thank you for your quick reply! If I use HnS and get it to run (hope it is not too difficult), is there a way later to include GRUB (after linux installation on a separate 3rd disk) in the winXP32, winXP64, Win7 list that HnS produces such that I can go from this list to GRUB and get back to HnS? What is the simplest way to do this (order) if this is my goal? I will proceed with linux installation based on what you advice as to the best method (order of tasks).
Actually, HnS installs a version of Grub (Grub4Dos) which supports many (if not all) standard Grub commands. You can edit the menu.lst it generates to customize your boot menu if you want.
That way you only have one menu for all OSes.
 
#6
HI Coolname007, the boot.ini has the two entries already (due to installation procedure) and the bcd has the ntldr in place (again courtesy installation order) But I am stuck with the two level menus which it seems like is unavoidable unless I use hnS as Terry advised? But I am just wondering about whether to install linux first and have main menu contain "earlier version of Windows" WIndows 7, GRUB and then "earlier version of windows" taking be to winXP/winxp64, grub having a way to boot linux or get back to windows menu, and as a second step figure out HnS to see if it can remove the second menu without changing the win-GRUB-win functionality.

Please let me know what you think is the best strategy based on the features of HnS.
Thanks!

Addendum:

Actually, HnS installs a version of Grub (Grub4Dos) which supports many (if not all) standard Grub commands. You can edit the menu.lst it generates to customize your boot menu if you want.
That way you only have one menu for all OSes.
I guess then that will simplify all the problems! Will this method handle disk removal or corruption? (disk 0 C:- win7, disk1 D: winxp E: winxp64, disk2( yet to be done) linux) in which case I don't need the win-grub-win functionality.
 
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#7
HI Coolname007, the boot.ini has the two entries already (due to installation procedure) and the bcd has the ntldr in place (again courtesy installation order) But I am stuck with the two level menus which it seems like is unavoidable unless I use hnS as Terry advised? But I am just wondering about whether to install linux first and have main menu contain "earlier version of Windows" WIndows 7, GRUB and then "earlier version of windows" taking be to winXP/winxp64, grub having a way to boot linux or get back to windows menu, and as a second step figure out HnS to see if it can remove the second menu without changing the win-GRUB-win functionality.

Please let me know what you think is the best strategy based on the features of HnS.
Thanks!
I say install Linux (Ubuntu?) first, installing Grub to the Linux partition if the option is available in the distro you're installing. Next, boot into any version of Windows, run HnS and let it do its thing of hiding W7 from XP (I don't know how well it works through the GUI with 2 XPs though, need Terry's input).
Next, edit the menu.lst like mentioned in my last post, and add an entry for Linux (probably by copying the one over from the menu.lst or grub.cfg on the Linux partition, and then change it to point at the correct place, if Linux is on another HDD than Windows).

Addendum:

I guess then that will simplify all the problems! Will this method handle disk removal or corruption? (disk 0 C:- win7, disk1 D: winxp E: winxp64, disk2( yet to be done) linux) in which case I don't need the win-grub-win functionality.
If by "disk removal" you mean occasionally disconnecting the Linux HDD then reconnecting it later, possibly with the HDD in a different place in the boot sequence of the BIOS, then yes, as long as you have the Linux entry in your menu.lst using the UUID notation instead of the "root (hdx,y)" syntax. Otherwise, a different location for your Linux HDD in the boot sequence will likely fail the boot of Linux.
As for data corruption, it all depends on how well you take care of the HDD.
You should be fine disconnecting the Linux HDD as long as you're not currently booted into Linux when you do it. :wink: And you will want to probably unmount ("Safe Removal" in Windows) the HDD before you remove it.
 
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#8
I will be installing Fedora13. The suggested plan sounds good (subject to Terry's input) Does HnS have documentation to proceed along the steps you have mentioned? hope so :frowning:
Thanks again!
 
#9
I will be installing Fedora13. The suggested plan sounds good (subject to Terry's input) Does HnS have documentation to proceed along the steps you have mentioned? hope so :frowning:
Thanks again!
>.<
No, unfortunately not at this moment (probably due to it still being a beta).
Documentation for HnS is a good idea though, and I'll probably suggest it to CG in a PM.

Maybe I'll help write a tutorial or two on it here at the forums... :wink:

But the program is a pretty simple and friendly GUI program. Just download and run it, and follow the on-screen instructions to hide Vista (read W7) from XP, and you should be fine. Then proceed with the rest of my instructions.
 
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#10
Would you have any links that explain the uuid and hdx notations? Hoping that HnS comes with documentation. If not or even otherwise, would you have any prior posting on that acts as a good reference on use of HnS that includes the grub.cfg/menu.lst steps? Thanks..

Addendum:

>.<
No, unfortunately not at this moment (probably due to it still being a beta).
Documentation for HnS is a good idea though, and I'll probably suggest it to CG in a PM.

Maybe I'll help write a tutorial or two on it here at the forums... :wink:

But the program is a pretty simple and friendly GUI program. Just download and run it, and follow the instructions to hide Vista (read W7) from XP, and you should be fine. Then proceed with the rest of my instructions.
Okay! will give it a valiant effort. If all goes well, I will do my best to document the whole 3 disk scenario with all steps and forward it to you if at all others might find it useful.
 
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#11
Would you have any links that explain the uuid and hdx notations? Hoping that HnS comes with documentation. If not or even otherwise, would you have any prior posting on that acts as a good reference on use of HnS that includes the grub.cfg/menu.lst steps? Thanks..
HnS is basically just a GUI installer/configurer for Grub4Dos, and as such doesn't really need any documentation for the actual operation of HnS itself (though I admit it would be nice to have documentation on what it does).
The real work is done by Grub4Dos, and that's what you want to be reading the documentation of.

Yes, I have a couple of links (a few actually):

Grub4Dos documentation:
Grub4dos tutorial - Grub4Dos Wiki

Grub documentation:
GNU GRUB Manual 0.97

Grub2 documentation:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Grub2
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Just a note: HnS is *not* Grub4Dos. It's a modified version to which I've hacked a couple of new features in to support the functionality we needed.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3596
and the earlier 3 system version it links to might be of some help.
HnS boots multiple XPs straight out of the box from the top menu.
You don't need to edit boot.ini. Each system uses its own boot.ini. (It's only bootmgr that insists on having its own copy of boot.ini with all the XPs inside)
(HnS uses an old version of grub4dos (pre UUID), so its syntax is the legacy (hdx,y) format. I'm not sure how it works with grub2 (or if it does), because my 10.4 Ubu is one that's been updated from 8.04, not installed fresh, and still uses legacy grub)
 
#14
Hi Coolname and CGuru,
Thanks for the links and info!


http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3596
and the earlier 3 system version it links to might be of some help.
HnS boots multiple XPs straight out of the box from the top menu.
You don't need to edit boot.ini. Each system uses its own boot.ini. (It's only bootmgr that insists on having its own copy of boot.ini with all the XPs inside)
(HnS uses an old version of grub4dos (pre UUID), so its syntax is the legacy (hdx,y) format. I'm not sure how it works with grub2 (or if it does), because my 10.4 Ubu is one that's been updated from 8.04, not installed fresh, and still uses legacy grub)
Hi Terry,
Thanks for the link. When you say you are not sure about grub2, can I still install linux on 3rd hard drive first with grub on this hard drive and then run Hns to create 4 entries ? Only the back functionality from grub to hns is in doubt?
Thanks
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
HnS is designed purely to hide Vista (and W7 because it's effectively Vista SP3) from XP.
Run it and it will handle your 3 current systems automatically.
When you add Linux subsequently, there's no automatic provision. You'll need to customize the menu.lst yourself.
Whether the link from HnS grub4dos to grub2 is easy/hard is unknown (untried afaik).
Let us know.
At the worst, you'll just need to remove HnS, revert to bootmgr, use EasyBCD to boot to grub2 and put up with the 2nd level boot menu for XP.
If you get it working OK, you'll have the single level boot menu and you can post here to let anyone else interested know what was necessary.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#16
You can use HnS' grub to call the GRUB2 menu and its entries.
 
#17
Another option is to add Linux to the bootmgr menu with EasyBCD, so you'll be able to select W7 in the first boot menu, then come to another menu, where you can select Linux or W7.
True, it wont be just one single menu to boot all OSes, like it sounds like you want, but at least you'll have W7 hidden from the two XPs with the HnS grub, and you'll have entries to boot both XPs in the first menu, as well as one for W7 (though that one will bring up the second menu). And you can always set the default to W7 and the timeout to a really low number if you don't really want to see the second menu for that long, but still want to be able to boot Linux every now and then.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#18
^ that's true. Totally forgot about that option.e