Important Information if using Easy BCD with Non-Vista Windows

#1
Run BCDEDIT /EXPORT "<path>\<file>" from a command prompt before you start using EasyBCD, it gives you a backup copy of the BCD before you start messing around...

Ok, so a bit of background...

We all know that Vista, Win 2K8 Server and Windows 7 are basically the same animal, right? Unfortunately not all software does and Easy BCD has a (tiny) blind-spot in this.

I was using Easy BCD today to remove my old Win XP partition and OS from my laptop - I had to use Easy BCD as Win XP was on the System Drive and I needed to update the BCD and MBR to use the Win 2K8 partition instead of the default.

I found the instructions here and followed them. Reclaim Disk for 2nd Boot Option - The NeoSmart Forums So far so good.

Then I rebooted and ran Easy BCD to delete the WinXP boot entry and I got the message
"Valid BCD Registry Not Detected..." Easy BCD invited me to re-writ it (see my last post in that thread) and specified that I *had* to have Vista on the box.

Since I wanted to use Easy BCD I went ahead and it asked me some questions and rebuilt the BCD and MBR as Vista. Not so good as I'm on Win 2K8!

Still the system was up so I went back to the forums and found this thread: valid BCD Registry not Detected - The NeoSmart Forums

That chap had to rebuild his system & that had me worried as 1/ this is a work laptop (!) and 2/ I don't really want to spend all of tomorrow rebuilding it.

Fortunately I had a backup I made earlier and I was able to load that instead, using Easy BCD, and re-apply the settings I'd changed, re-write the MBR again and all is now well. I've done another BCDbackup just to be safe and so far everything is working fine.

ALWAYS have a backup! And remember that when Easy BCD says it will write you a VISTA BCD and MBR, it means EXACTLY THAT.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi timwb,

I believe most (if not all) your concerns are addressed in [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread] - did you give it a try?

You can backup and restore BCD settings from within EasyBCD via the GUI as well :smile:
 
#3
Guru

Many thanks - I was using the 1.72 release, not the 2.0 beta which does indeed address most of this...

Further update (for what it's worth to anyone else trying this out there).

Having gone through the above process and got the system to a point where it would boot off the New W2k8 install, I then deleted the old WinXP partition and restarted - BIG mistake!

I got a message on boot saying the BCD was missing required info and suggesting I recover via my OS install disk. So I parked the system for the night and came back to it at work this morning.

Using my OS disk I was NOT able to repair as it failed to see my existing install. After some time messing around with iaahci drivers and SATA boot options I decided the best way to proceed was to install a NEW W2K8 into the empty space (as a new partition) and then boot that.

Doing this I got the system back. Then I installed and ran EasyBCD 2 (beta) and added a BCD record for the 'real' W2K8 on it's drive.

NOW I could boot the copy of W2K8 I wanted and log in. So then I (again) deleted the partition with the copy of W2K8 I didn't want and created a NEW EMPTY PARTITION instead.

Now all is well.

So what went wrong? I think that, when I removed the original WinXP partition, the disk controller re-numbered the remaining partitions and so the BCD record referred an incorrect partition ID for boot.

Creating a new [partition (however small) on the right part of the disk forced a re-number again and corrected the BCD.

So now I have a single-boot laptop running W2K8 server, which is what I need., and am just now running TruCrypt to encrypt it.

...
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Most likely, the XP partition you deleted carried the "system" flag. i.e. that's where all the Windows systems installed their boot files (not just XP).
There's a guide in the wiki. You're not the first person to accidentally delete all his boot files !