Multi-boot on one menu?

#1
I added a new disk and installed Server 08, Win 7 and Ubuntu. I had an old disk with XP and Server 03, which I plugged back in after setting up the new hdd. The Server 08 partition is active, system boot. I copied ntldr and ntdetect to the boot partition and set up a boot.ini there. I added an entry for ntldr in the BCD menu using EasyBCD.

Everything boots fine, but I'm annoyed I don't have XP and Svr03 on the same menu as the other os's. I get a secondary ntldr menu with those two entries. I gather there's no way to have a single menu with all the os's on it, at least not with BCD.

Is there a good bootloader than can list every OS on one menu?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Hello kaborka, welcome to NST

I'm a bit confused in lack of information such as the bootloader that has primary control when you boot the computer, when you get a second boot menu and for which bootloader, and other important information such as config files/partition layout, but I'll try to help you with what you've provided.

Modify your boot.ini file if you're getting a a ntldr menu. If you're using grub as the primary loader provide your partition layout, EasyBCD's debug details, and your menu.lst for grub if you can find it (should be in the /boot/grub folder on your linux partition.

Now if Vista's bootloader is in charge and you don't want to get a second menu when you boot linux you'll need to change the timeout in your /boot/grub/menu.lst file so it boots the default.
 
#3
The Vista boot loader is in charge. The boot sequence for XP or Server 2003 is:
1) BCD boot menu
2) Choose entry for NTLDR
3) boot.ini menu
4) Choose between XP or Server 2003

The issue: Is it possible to eliminate steps 2 & 3 by using some 3rd-party bootloader?
 
#4
Yes, with a 3rd party boot manager, it is possible. Because you have the ability of making the partition you select to boot "active" at boot time, so you can boot each system individually, independent of any other OSes on the computer. As long as you have the boot files on XP's partition, when using a 3rd party boot manager, and make sure there is only one (working) entry in your boot.ini file, you will eliminate the NTLDR menu.

Jake
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
If you want to know how to get a really neat single menu boot using HnS, have a read of my thread. and the embedded link to an earlier thread.
 
#6
This sound cool. I recall there was a boot mgr that came with Partition Magic that could hide/expose partitions and use the loader in each bootable partition.

ROFL:
# All your boot are belong to NeoSmart!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
There are loads of 3rd party boot managers that will do this for you if you pay for them.
HnS is free, though it's not designed for this use directly, so you need to be pretty confident how it works because it's all done by manual customization of the menu.lst it creates in its normal hide Vista from XP design-use.
If you know grub, it's not rocket science, because HnS is a GUI designed around a grub core with a single design purpose, but being grub underneath there's a lot more you can make it do outside the GUI.
To get it to run each of the OSs independently as "system" themselves required a radical restructuring of my HDDs though, not just a menu.lst edit. It required cloning, reformatting, resizing and repair of all 4 OSs (and a reinstall of Ubuntu ultimately), but sometimes one just gets a Monkish neatness compulsion that must be followed.
This goes against my advice on these boards to other users "If it ain't broke..............."

btw # All your boot ...... is courtesy of Guru. I'm too old even to have understood the cultural reference till it was explained in another thread.
 
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