Multi-boot and EasyBCD

#1
:shame:
I do not expect anyone to understand the above, it is just background and I have tried so many things that I cannot provide the details. Here is the background:
I have one Vista SP1 and two WXP SP2 installed. I was having problems with the WXP installations as follows; I was able to select and boot one of the OS partitions with a boot program, but not with another. I uninstalled every OS manager, and installed one only. I could just boot Vista with this other partition manager.
I tried to configure Windows Pro, uninstalled it, and installed EBCD because I understood hat it was easier to configure.
So, the easiest part follows;
I installed EasyBCD, and tried to follow the directions. I configured it to start one of the three OS.
I am getting an error message in the WXP partitions: boot.ini could not be found or it is corrupted". I do not think that it is corrupted because I was able to load the partitions with one of the boot managers.
Now my question: Does EasyBCD have a backup I could use? Or should I just uninstall EasyBCD and hope that the original boot is restored back to that of Windows? Where is uninstall?
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
EasyBCD is for management of the Vista bootloader. Not XP.

What you need to do is edit your boot.ini to include both XP installs. The rdisk and partition numbers will change for this info. From there repair the Vista bootloder. Add a Entry for XP. Make sure that the boot.ini, NTLDR and NTDETECT files are on teh boot drive and done.

You will have 2 boot menus. 1 for selection of Vista/XP and then a menu for the 2 XP entries.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
You'll ned to copy the three XP boot files as detailed here, into the Vista partition root, and edit the boot.ini as Mak describes. (follow the links from the above page and you'll find how to do that too)
 
#4
It could be that I have too many boot.ini files. But the way I am trying to set it, only one OS partition is loading at a time.

I followed the directions in EBCD to add/remove entries.
I thought that boot.ini for Vista was no longer used.
The order I originally installed the partitions was as follows:
first I installed WXP SP2, then another WXP SP2 (this one does not matter, I intend to merge the two WXP partitions) and if Vista permits, I would like to upgrade them to a second Vista installation. I know that this is not straight forward, this is why I am trying to fix the partitions first.
I would like the following:
How do I revert EBCD actions?
How do I uninstall it?
Bearing in mind my configuration, what are the exact steps to follow in configuring EBCD?
I have only changed EBCD configuration for adding/removing entries. I would like to go back.

Addendum:

EasyBCD is for management of the Vista bootloader. Not XP.

What you need to do is edit your boot.ini to include both XP installs. The rdisk and partition numbers will change for this info. From there repair the Vista bootloder. Add a Entry for XP. Make sure that the boot.ini, NTLDR and NTDETECT files are on teh boot drive and done.

You will have 2 boot menus. 1 for selection of Vista/XP and then a menu for the 2 XP entries.
How do you do the above?
 
Last edited:

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#5
The boot.ini controls Windows XP's boot. But you can only have 1 boot.ini file. You can not have 2 boot.ini files in the root of the boot drive which is what is needed. So basically what you need to do it open each of hte boot.ini files in notepad. From there copy the contents of hte 1 boot.ini file, just the last line, and paste it under the last line of the other last line in the other boot.ini file.

From there save that file and copy that over to the Vista Drive and place it in the root.

This is the file that will allow for dual boot of XP. Then just add a entry for XP. Copy over the other 2 files (NTLDR, NTDETECT) and test it out.
 
#6
:|
Thanks, I looked at Easy bcd because I could not load any of the WXP partitions and was hoping that it would automate the procedure. I know that the WXP partitions are there, but the boot.ini contents may be wrong.
Can you tell me, how EBCD can help to fix the problem? I need to undo EBCD changes, and then uninstall it.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
EasyBCD does not edit boot.ini. Its job is to work with Vista's bcd store.

If a second boot menu is appearing from the entries pointing to your XP installations, then EasyBCD has done its job. It is just a matter of modifying boot.ini to point to the correct location(s) to the windows directories from there.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
Rosita, have a read of this illustrated guide. It will help you understand what is happening in a dual-boot process. The chaining of one bootmanager to another, which one is in charge of doing what, etc,etc.
EasyBCD, btw, is just a GUI for the Vista BCDedit utility. Neither of them is a bootloader. They're both just tools for editing the way the Vista bootloader works.
NTLDR (the XP bootloader) is still in charge when you select XP from the Vista bootloader's menu, and it gets its information on where to find the 2 XP systems from the boot.ini file which sits in the Vista partition root along side NTLDR, ntdetect.com and the Vista boot folder and files.
Once you've ensured that all those files are there in the Vista root and edited boot.ini to point to your XPs, everything will work fine.
 
#9
>.< Good Guide.
I lost the Vista partition today while trying to fix the problem with WXP boot. I was fortunate to get it back from the Windows console.

I really do not need a lot of changes to get boot.ini problem solved. It has been suggested that I edit the Vista's boot.ini file so that it includes the 2 WXP installations. Can you tell me how can I do that and what do I need to change? As I said, the WXP partitions were installed first.
Also, do I need boot.ini files in the WXP partitions. I think I do. And what should the boot.ini contents be?

I am well aware that Easybcd is not a boot manager. But I was expecting Ebcd to facilitate the resolution of the problem. That is, to make the process easier. I do nto think that so far it has helped. In fact, since I first ran it, I managed to lose the WXP boot.
My purpose when coming here was to find a way to at least reverse the changes I've made in the EBCD configuration and to learn how to uninstall it.
 
Last edited:

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#10
Okay first. EasyBCD is easy to use. It is simple as jsut clicking a few thigns and being done.

2nd. You dont edit the Vista boot.ini cause it doesnt exist. Vista uses teh BCD. Which EasyBCD was created to modify easily. If it wasnt for EasyBCD the screen you would be looking at and trying to modify would look like this:



It has been fully explained in all of our documentation on how to modify the BCD. You add a Single XP entry to the BCD. From there you copy the XP boot file to the Boot drive if needed. Those files being the NTLDR, NTDETECT and boot.ini file. If you have multiple XP Entries you edit the boot.ini to include both XP Entries.

Which will in the end give you 2 bootloaders. The Vista BCD which will show Vista and XP. After selecting XP you will get the option to choose which XP you want to boot to.

The boot.ini contents dont have to be on the XP Partitions. They have to be on the BOOT Drive. The Drive that BCD uses to boot from. The Drive that EasyBCD points to when you add a XP Entry.



You will notice that under where Guru changed teh name to Longhorn 4074 it shows the C: Drive. That is where the boot.ini files show be located so when that entry is selected it will load the boot.ini for that entry.

Installing XP after Vista on a seperate HDD. - The NeoSmart Forums

Read thru my posts on this topic. I have gone very in depth on what the process is.
 
#11
1. I have 1 boot,ini in each WXP installation. Do I delete them if and when I am able to get to the WXP partitions?
2. How do I change Vista's boot?
As things are now, EBCD only shows the 2 WXP, and Vista is not listed. What do I need to see in EBCD configuration ?
How do I uninstall EBCD? Or get the defaults back to what they were before I installed it? Or to workable situation?
Here is the EBCD configuration, the 3 files mentioned in this forum are in the WXP root.
Entry #1
Name: Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (recovered)
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows
Entry #2
Name: WXP SP2
BCD ID: {53caa0f8-601a-11dd-834e-c553d4a5da79}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR
Entry #3
Name: WXP Test
BCD ID: {53caa0f9-601a-11dd-834e-c553d4a5da79}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR
 
Last edited:

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#12
1. No you dont have to delete them. But you can if you want.
2. How so?

Add a Vista Entry. See if that will get you the Vista selection. Go to the Add Entry and add a Vista entry. From there go to Manage and click the Write MBR.

See if that gets you the Vista boot. But if you are doing it from XP it might not work. You might have to Repair the Vista bootloader.

Repairing the Windows Vista Bootloader - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

To uninstall EBCD just go to Add/Remove programs and remove it.

To get the defaults back before you installed it you will need to either Repair the Vista bootloader, or use the XP CD and do a fixboor, fixmbr. But that will not allow you to boot to Vista.

You need to get the Vista bootlaoder fixed. If repairing the Vista bootloader only gets you the XP entries then you need to add a Vista entry and see if you can boot to it.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#13
I think this calls for a screenshot of your disk management console and so we can get a better idea of where the files need to be/how to fix them so that XP works.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#16
The files to boot XP (ntdetect.com, ntldr, and boot.ini) need to be on Vista's partition. COPY them there if they are not already there. I'm assuming WXPAP is your XP partition. If not adjust accordingly. Ensure that ntdetect.com is also at the root of XP's partition. Add an entry in EasyBCD if it doesn't already exists that points to ntldr on Vista's partition. Edit boot.ini's XP entries so that they point to ...rdisk(0)partition(5)... under both [operating systems] as well as the default line under [boot loader].
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#17
Justin, that's not the XP partition. (and if it were it would be r(0) p(6) -(the extended would be p(1)))
Rosita. this is the problem with opening several threads for the same problem, the information is spread all over the place , and the advice contradictory.
 
#18
I have a boot.ini in the VIsta root. As I have said, Vista is not a problem, but I thought that Vista looked elsewhere for Boot.ini. Also, it has changed name.
Is it suppossed to be there?
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#19
Vista only looks at the boot drive for the boot files. It doesnt search the system for all boot files available. There is only 1drive on every system that is dedicated to booting. That is where the boot information is and where it is found by the boot loader.

If it is supposed to be there depends on your system. From the screenshot the Vista drive is the boot drive. Which is where the boot.ini, NTLDR and NTDETECT files should all be located. These are all the files needed to boot into XP.

As i stated previously you will have to edit the boot.ini file for XP to multi boot. Guru will be able to give you exact instruction on how to edit the BCD for multiple XP's if it is even possible to have multiple XP entries on teh loader.
 
#20
I have read the docs but still have problems. The WXP installations are getting rocky. It would help to get some general directions based on the information I posted. Something that will boot one of the WXP installations, and be able to go back to booting from Vista. Then I should be able to go from there.