Inserting MBR with EasyBCD


Distinguished Member
Could you guys clarify how EasyBCD "Insert MBR" feature works?

I've an HD with 4 partitions with Win7, WinXP, Win2008 Server and Ubuntu installed respectively. I assume, OS installers placed MBR separately on each partition, so all 4 MBRs are there. Is that correct? Or each subsequent install erased previous OS MBR at the beginning of the whole drive?

Now, when I install EasyBCD, and select a default partition to boot from, and added other boot partitions to the boot menu, what next? Should I insert manually the MBR of the default boot OS with EasyBCD? What will happen with other MBRs? Anything at all will remain on each partition to show its bootable, or everything boot related will be stored on default boot partition in the Boot Store?

What's the difference btw EasyBCD and Plop in that sense? Plop won't change any boot records on any partition at all? EasyBCD is a great program, I really enjoy it, but what are the advantages of using it and messing up with boot records instead of using Plop only? For example, if I want to boot in a Virtual Machine guest from a physical bootable host partition, changed with EasyBCD to non-default bootable, how I can do that? Am I correct, that partition will have no MBR and can't boot on its own in a VM? Can I fix it without affecting the host's existing boot order?
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MBR is Master boot record.
There is only one master on any bootable device.
It's right at the start of the HDD in the first sector.
I suggest you have a read of this excellent guide for a fuller explanation

Thanks for the link - very interesting website, not only that page!

After such reading, I still have a few questions. When I select "Change Boot Drive" in EasyBCD, it will copy Boot Manager to a selected partition, make it active, and update references to other partitions in it? Will it update MBR IPL of the new drive? Can it correct PBR of each partition to make it independently bootable?

In what scenarios one needs to use easyBCD's "Install Boot Loader & Write MBR" feature? Basically, it will replace IPL and add selected Boot Loader to the active partition - when it was changed by next OS install?

How it all plays out, when a bootable physical partition is added to a virtual machine? From what physical partition its possible to boot in a VM?
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There's no "insert".
Install Vista/7 bootloader is for putting bootmgr back in control if XP has been installed after Vista/7 and regressed the boot.
Install XP bootloader is purely for use in the scenario where Vista/7 has been used as a trial (and taken over the boot as it must do, NTLDR being incapable of booting Longhorn OSs) and you wish to return to an XP only environment.