Moving The Bootloader



Up to recently I have been using EasyBCD 1.7.2 for all my Dual Booting needs - Vista Ultimate 64-bit and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

Last week though I could no longer boot into Windows 7 - some endless Startup Repair/Rebbot loop.

I rarely booted into 7 anyway so decided to set about researching how to delete Windows 7 and then expand the Vista partition.

Vista was installed first although originally I had installed XP first followed by Vista, but then deleted XP with help, following which Windows 7 was installed.

I figure the bootloader is on the Windows 7 partition as when I deactivated that partition recently, I had to use DISKPART to reactivate it using the Windows 7 Installation Disk in Command Line Mode, as the system on rebooting didn't recognise any bootable media. So by deactivating the Windows 7 made the MBR/Windows Boot Manager disappear.

Before I try again, I figure that I need to trnasfer the MBR/Windows Boot Manager and/or the Bootloader to the Vista partition.

I have therefore uninstalled EasyBCD 1.7.2 and installed the latest version 2, build 105.

It's settings are a little confusing so before I set about doing anything, could someone please tell me exactly what I should do? I presume I select the Booloader Setup menu then select the correct partition - in my case C rather than D but then what? Do I "Install BCD" and/or "Write MBR"? Or have I got the wrong version of EasyBCD installed as I have seen reference to "Change Boot Drive", but do not seem to see this anywhere.

Help would be appreciated.


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Hello Computer Guru: Please can you help on how to do something in EasyBCD2.0
My system is working fine, but I would like to change the active primary drive. Currently the original system was Win XP (sata physical drive 1) this has these boot files on: boot.ini, bootmgr,, ntldr and the usual stuff and this drive is marked as primary active in acronis director. Physical disk 2 is just pure data.
Physical disk 3 is the new disk and it contains Windows 7 and is just marked as primary in acronis, no boot files here just the usual autoexec.bat, config.sys , hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys stuff. All systems are 32 bit.

I want the change my active partition and boot files to the new win 7 disk. I think I can do this with easy bcd 2.0. But can you guide me through the steps please, so I dont screw up and end up with no boot!
Same instructions as in CG's previous post.
Point the "change boot drive" to the W7 drive letter when it asks.
Then change the BIOs to boot from the W7 HDD before the XP.
Just select the drive in EasyBCD and hit "change boot drive"

Then go into the BIOS and set the Windows 7 disk as the boot disk. All done.
Thanks done that, bootmgr now copied to Win7 drive, but the same files are still on the XP drive, should I just leave them there. Also acronis now marks both system drives as primary active is that ok. M

(2) It now doesnt allow me to boot into win xp. When I take that selection it just reboots the machine, win7 ok though. What do I need to edit, new bcd text below:

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #2
Name: Windows XP SP3
BCD ID: {ce88abad-7c15-11df-b364-c660dac5f08b}
Drive: Z:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR

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Yeah, it'll keep the XP files there. They're harmless.

What you need to do now is delete the XP entry in EasyBCD, and add a new one. When it asks if you want to auto-configure everything, press Yes.
Thanks new entries:
There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #2
Name: Windows XP Pro SP3
BCD ID: {f238194e-8554-11df-b0bd-0013d3c2a64e}
Device: boot
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR

Both drives booting OK.

Acronis is still showing both drives as active primary, should I take the active flag off the XP drive, and also as no drive is showing as z:\ now can I remove the drive letter of the other system (non active) so each booted up system doesnt see the other one. Or should I leave well alone. M
IT makes no difference. Active only matters on the boot disk. On other disks it has no meaning.
"active" is the flag that tells the MBR on that HDD which partition to go to for the next stage of the boot process. There's one on every HDD (and probably on your flash-drives too) It only has any significance on the drive you're actually booting from.
"system" is the MS flag that means "this is where all the boot files are"
"boot" is the MS flag that means "this is the system that's running at this moment"

(yes we all know it's crazy - take it up with MS !)

Don't remove system letters. You'll probably end up not being able to find the boot files when you need them.
On XP, run this MS registry hack. It will protect your Vista/7 restore points from corruption by XP
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Thanks for the advice. Yes I know about the registry hack regarding system restore. It doesnt work for me unfortunately. And looking at the Windows7 forum, it doesnt work for a number of people, the reason of course remains a mystery. This is a brilliant forum :smile:
The hack didn't work for me either, that's how I arrived at this site three years ago nearly.
As a result I use HnS
Terry, If I use HnS 1. Is it ok with windows 7. 2. should I remove the previous system restore registry hack. Currently the amazing thing is that Win7 restore points get deleted even though my WinXP system restore is TURNED OFF (I use ERNT for that one). Strange. 3. Will it mess up my BCD2.0 boot files. Mike
I experimented for days before eventually finding the cure here Mike.
Turning off SR, stopping the service, etc, etc. Nothing works except stopping XP from being able to see a Vista/7 SR folder, and the MS hack (which works for most people) didn't do the trick on my config either.
You can leave the hack on XP. It won't do any harm. It either works or it doesn't.
On each system you must turn SR on for the OS partition and any partition where you install apps for that OS, and off for all other partitions. It follows that you cannot install apps on a shared partition, but you can share data between the OSs.
Run UI.exe from the download location of HnS, mark W7 OS and apps as "Vista" (those partitions will be dynamically hidden). Mark XP OS(s) as "XP". (the hiding takes place when any XP partition is booted - HnS will also enable you to boot multiple XPs from the single boot menu, unlike bootmgr).
Leave shared partitions (and XP apps) unmarked.

Some background here

Once HnS controls the boot, you will get a boot menu to select W7 and XP.
"XP" hides W7 and boots XP by chaining directly to NTLDR
"W7" unhides W7 and chains to bootmgr.
You will therefore see a second boot menu (the EasyBCD one you set up)
You no longer need this option (if you were to choose XP it would boot without hiding W7 !!!)
You can use EasyBCD to set timeout to 0 or remove the XP entry, either will remove the redundant second menu.
Hns offers you the opportunity in the final stages to edit names etc in the 1st menu, and to call EasyBCD in the last step to get rid of the 2nd menu.
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Thanks will try it over the weekend when my mission critical stuff is finished. Do I assume that this will not destroy any work done by EasyBCD 2.0, it just changes the existing MS boot screen. M
Well, it adds a bootscreen before EasyBCD's boot screen. You can then remove any redundant EasyBCD entries if you so choose.
The logic is here. (ignore the blue bit - that's not part of the standard UI, just a description of how to manually customize the HnS output to add Linux into the mix for a previous user)
It works by inserting a customized grub4dos before the MS boot manager(s) which masquarades as bootmgr.
It renames the "real" bootmgr to bootmgr.hns, and renames itself to "bootmgr" so that the standard MS MBR/IPL finds HnS when it thinks it's running normally.
The extra inserted step does the hiding and unhiding of partitions according to your instructions in the UI.exe, and then chains to the real MS bootmgr and NTLDR as appropriate.
Because it chains NTLDR directly from grub, you don't need to have a dual-boot choice in the BCD for XP.
The MS OSs are still being loaded by their normal manager/loaders, but HnS makes use of grub's ability to hide partitions, which MS neglected to make a feature in their boot process.
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Pity you couldn't patent the idea and flog it to M$ and retire :smile:


Thanks for the technical detail Terry. A couple of points, if I used acronis director boot select would that still give me the system restore problem? And why doesn't bcd incorporate the HnS program, wouln't this make matters simpler? M
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