Moving EasyBCD from Vista to W7 multiboot

#1
I have had Vista multibooting with Linux for some time, with EasyBCD installed on the Vista partition and managing the process. Added a partition on the HD and installed Win7 on it. Now, I have 3 entries at boot-up - Win 7 (by default), Vista, and Linux. This happened by the EasyBCD in Vista having a third entry for the new Win7 installation. I plan to eliminate the Vista partition eventually, so I would like to install EasyBCD on Win7 and have it managing the multi-boot process instead of the EasyBCD installation in Vista. How do I safely do this?
Thanks
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You can safely install EasyBCD anywhere. It's just a tool, and has no effect on the system unless you use it to alter some aspects of the BCD.

The important thing to check, in Disk Management, is the position of the "system" flag.

If W7 is "system", then it's already controlling the boot, and you can happily format Vista out of existence and delete the Vista entry from the BCD

If however, Vista is "system", then you'll need to recreate the boot files on W7 after you've destroyed Vista. You can do that reasonably easily by booting the W7 DVD and doing multiple "startup repair"s until W7 boots unaided.
Then use the latest build of EasyBCD 2.0 to add a Linux entry to the W7 BCD.
 
#3
The Vista partition is indeed the "system" partition. Is it necessary to destroy that partition to transition the boot process over to the Win7 partition? If I install EasyBCD onto the Win7 partition and uninstall it from the Vista partition, and "save" the same configuration under Win7, will that suffice? How do I change the "system" flag to the Win7 partition - use a partition tool within Vista or Win7?
Thanks in advance
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
The "system" flag is an indication of where the boot files are.
You can't move the flag, but you can move the files.
EasyBCD is just a tool for managing those files, moving it won't change anything.
Whatever commands you issue from W7 with EasyBCD will still be operating on the Vista BCD, because that's "system".
When you do the multiple "startup repairs" I mentioned, in the absence of the Vista "system" (boot) files, all of the files will be recreated from the DVD onto the "active" partition, which will then acquire the "system" flag.

Windows won't let you delete, or move the files yourself because the BCD is a peculiar "always open" file (and MS is very proprietorial about that kind of thing).
If you were to use Linux to move them (it doesn't give a fig for Windows permissions and ownerships), it still wouldn't work, because the BCD contains UID references to where everything is located which would all be incorrect. The broken BCD would require the same "startup repair" to straighten everything out.
 
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#5
Sorry to be dense, but to clarify, are you saying that it is necessary to delete the Vista partition before I will be able to get Win7 to manage the boot process?

If I don't, then when I try to get Win7 to "recover", it will simply be manipulating the boot files on the Vista partition, if I understand you correctly.

So I guess at some point, I need to decide to dive in and not look back (short of reinstalling Vista afterwards, which may not be an option for me, since I had an OEM installation which will "recover" the hard drive, thereby killing the new Win7 installation).
 
#6
Hi jeff,

Boot into 7. Go to Folder Options and make sure Hidden files are showing.

Copy and paste bootmgr and the pale yellow boot folder from the Vista partition onto the 7 partition.

You will get a message bcd is in use and can't be copied - skip it and copy the rest.

Open an elevated command prompt and type: ( assuming 7 identifies itself as C when you are booted into it - otherwise, use the appropriate letter instead)

bcdedit /export C:\Boot\bcd

press enter.

Mark the 7 partition Active, then Restart.

7 is now the system partition and all the bcd entries are exactly as they were.

No need to destroy the Vista partition - you will still be able to boot into it , as before. If you wish to delete Vista partition in the future, you can do so.
 
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#7
I followed your instructions. First reboot, black screen, could not find NTLDR. Inserted Win7 install disk, rebooted, ran repair of Win7 installation, reboot.
Now Win7 is active, boot, and all the other good stuff.

SIW2, you rock!:brows:
Thanks
 
#9
Hi jeff,

Boot into 7. Go to Folder Options and make sure Hidden files are showing.

Copy and paste bootmgr and the pale yellow boot folder from the Vista partition onto the 7 partition.

You will get a message bcd is in use and can't be copied - skip it and copy the rest.

Open an elevated command prompt and type: ( assuming 7 identifies itself as C when you are booted into it - otherwise, use the appropriate letter instead)

bcdedit /export C:\Boot\bcd

press enter.

Mark the 7 partition Active, then Restart.

7 is now the system partition and all the bcd entries are exactly as they were.

No need to destroy the Vista partition - you will still be able to boot into it , as before. If you wish to delete Vista partition in the future, you can do so.
My vista partition is on another drive, so I think I will have to make another partition on the vista drive active in order to switch the system flag by marking the 7 partition Active.

Getting ready to try your suggestion.
 
#10
Think you may need another step or two to do that.

Assuming Vista HD is first in the Bios boot order - the Bios will start the mbr code on that HD , if you have an active partition on it.

Either Make the HD containing 7 first in Bios boot order, or make sure all the partitions on the Vista HD inactive ( use diskpart or 3rd party partition manager ).

You might also need to write mbr to the HD with 7 on it - depending what you had installed there before.

Startup repair will do it, if it is the first HD in Bios boot order ( or at least the first HD with an active partition )
 
#11
But when he deletes the Vista partition...

Not sure about this (but that's why I'm asking).

Seems like this will work until he deletes the Vista partition.

say the Vista partition is partition1 and the W7 partition is partition2.

When he deletes partition1, won't partition2 become partition1 and the bcd file no longer boot correctly to W7?
 
#13
Not sure about this (but that's why I'm asking).

Seems like this will work until he deletes the Vista partition.

say the Vista partition is partition1 and the W7 partition is partition2.

When he deletes partition1, won't partition2 become partition1 and the bcd file no longer boot correctly to W7?
No, because the BCD uses a unique GUID to identify the partitions, and doesn't rely on the MBR partition table the way the XP boot.ini does.
 
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