Missing entries in not so easybcd...



First I had Xp and all was good. Then I installed Vista 32, and 64 in their own partitions on a separate drive. Then I may have imaged the 64 vista to a raid array. Then I replaced some of my hard drives and including the second one with Vistas two partitions which I cloned onto a bigger drive, and put in a new velociraptor array. What happened was that my new raptor array was loading the wrong partition. Must have had a registry contamination conflict. But the problem I have is that I can not half the time get my new partition entries to show up at boot even though easybcd lists them in the description list. What am I doing wrong?

PS: Had to do a vista cd repair to get the entry recognized...
Unlike the older versions of Windows like 2K/XP you cloned Vista from drive to drive. Vista needs a clean install whenever swapping drives. That will also see new entries made into the mbr for each edition on the XP host drive if you intend to continue using that as the default boot device.

The present entries seen in the EasyBCD tool are now invalid since you have to first make both editions bootable again by seeing new mbr entries created along with the boot loader installed on the host/boot drive. You may as say a clean install of both editions would solve the common problem where new entries into each BCD would then see results.

So then how would you go about adding the new partitions to the list?

Sometimes a new install is impractical as lets say my partition becomes corrupt and I need restore the image back in place with a tool such as acronis home which has an option to restore the partition and the mbr (not sure if I should restore both). Anyhow what worked for me here was to run the vista dvd at boot and click repair which found the hidden partitions. Still confused on Easybcd usage.

When adding an entry:

Do I check the new partitions corresponding drive letter in windows, then go into:
Add Entry : Vista/Longhorn drive X: - Save. ?

Do I have to go into the advanced section and click rewrite vista bootloader?

Do I have to click Entry based and set the drive letter again?

Does it matter from which partition I run Easybcd? Should I run it on the system or active

Thanks thats all the questions I can think of?
Using cloning software to image a partition, then restore the system to that point in time, is perfectly valid.
Using a cloned image to create a new system in a different environment is a completely different matter.
The clone contains a "memory" in its registry of the environment it was created in, and can be completely non-functional when placed in a situation where the partition layout is different.
That situation existed in 9x ME and XP, and is further complicated in Vista by the fact that Vista doesn't use the BIOS to locate partitions at boot time, but the disk IDs
Have a read of this very useful guide on the subject.
EasyBCD can be run from just about anywhere, but beware of the situation where you have created multiple BCDs (maybe through cloning). Vista is designed to run multiple copies of the OS through a single BCD, so you run the risk of altering a different one to the one that's actually in use if you have multiple copies.
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multiple bcds

So lets assume I somehow managed to get multiple bcds which would explain the difficulty getting my entries to stick at boot, how does one correct this?

In any case, regarding the disk id cloning confusion I am sure thats what has happened when I swapped hard drives. I believe I have corrected it when I ran the repair option from the vista install cd. The only reason I am running multiple OS's is becuase I like to test software out or test out my memory timings out without fear of damaging my main installation.

Also its a pain reinstalling the Vista. I just spent 24 hrs trying to get it right. Seems like my motherboard will blue screen if you forget to install the right driver or patch before running your first update. Not only that my machine requires removing 2gb of ram to even install Vista. So I like the convenience of just restoring a partition with acronis and using easybcd to see them.

But thank you for the link. I will check it out as soon as I can!

When going to install the 64bit edition you would need to remove 2 out of 4gb likely one 2gb dimm to avoid problems there. The 32bit edition however should go right on fresh. But a clean install of each to see a working triple boot with one main BCD is what Terry60 is pointing out there.

With multiple OSs spread across more then one drive I already know what a pain it can be from reinstalling each more then once to see custom setups. At the same time however I can perform repairs on any startup problems having seen a fresh install for each. Notthing runs better then a clean fresh copy of Windows however.

Well as long the image I make with acronis is restored to the same original drive number and partition number there should not be any problems. In my case its a pain to open the machine up and unplug two dimms and then put them back. What happened to me recently was that I changed two of my drive configurations with new hard drives and that must have confused things with easybcd. But I prefer to just do a fresh install, update all the patches and service packs, and then image that and restore it when ever I have to. But I hear what your saying....

Thank you.
It's a nuisance but when everything is done fresh the new images you create will be able to restore the system if needed at some point with the new configuration intact. That will make things much easier for you.