Multiboot problems after adding another hard-disk

#1
I had Win7,8.1 and 10 (all Pro versions) multi-booting well on my PC. Each OS lives in its own SSD, so had 3x SSDs plus a disc-based HDD 2TB for data storage.

I needed more space so added a 1TB 3.disc-based 5" HDD. To get the thing to fit I had to move the SSDs containing Win8.1 and Win10 - may have changed one or both of the SATA ports for these (the mobo has 10 SATA ports).

After that only Win8.1 would boot from the OS menu. I ran Easy BCD 2.3 and reset BCD config only to find then that no OS would load. Eventually I found if I set the SSD containing Win7 as the only boot device in BIOS/UEFI then I could boot Win7. I added WIn8.1 and Win10 to the EasyBCD boot menu but found that only Win7 would boot. The other 2 give an error about \system32\winload.exe being changed and said to disable signature verification (unsigned drivers) - not possible when Win8.1 or 10 are chosen and one presses F8 to bring up this option (the "Safe Mode" etc menu only displays if Win7 is selected, not the other two OSs).

In EasyBCD I enabled "Allow use of unsigned drivers on 64-Bit WIndows" for Win8.1/10 but it still does not allow them to boot.

Any suggestions?

TIA
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You can't boot a newer Windows from an older version (doesn't recognize the digital sig as genuine)
MS architecture only allows booting from the newest (W10 in your case).
If you reset the BCD EasyBCD warns you in big scary letters not to reboot without recreating your (now) missing boot entries.
I trust you didn't ignore the warning.
Set your BIOS to point at the W10 SSD and add entries for W7/8 to that.
 
#3
You can't boot a newer Windows from an older version (doesn't recognize the digital sig as genuine)
MS architecture only allows booting from the newest (W10 in your case).
Yes i remembered that I had EasyBCD in WIn8.1 only and it previously worked. I had to reset the boot sector of 8.1 before it would single boot, but then I was able to add 7 and 10.

If you reset the BCD EasyBCD warns you in big scary letters not to reboot without recreating your (now) missing boot entries.
I trust you didn't ignore the warning.
Yes I realise the significance of that now, but may not have at the time...

Set your BIOS to point at the W10 SSD and add entries for W7/8 to that.
Apparently Win8.1 is advanced enough that it will multi-boot 10. What you say makes sense but it is working with EasyBCD run from 8.1 ATM (and did for months previously without probs) and after this traumatic event I might leave it for the moment...
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If you are booting W10 from W8, then W10 must have taken control of the W8 boot partition, upgraded it to W10 spec (newer, bigger bootmgr module) and automatically added itself to the previously W8 (now W10) BCD at the time you installed it.
That's the way the MS setup architecture works.
Windows will always place the boot files in the "active" partition of the highest priority drive in the BIOS boot sequence.
I imagine that when you installed W10, you still had the W8 drive at the top of your BIOS boot list.
You should see that the W10 drive doesn't have bootmgr and a \boot folder in the root of its active partition.
 
#5
If you are booting W10 from W8, then W10 must have taken control of the W8 boot partition, upgraded it to W10 spec (newer, bigger bootmgr module) and automatically added itself to the previously W8 (now W10) BCD at the time you installed it.
Yes, Win10 was installed after Win8.

Would there be any problems if I uninstalled the Win8 EasyBCD (with just Win10 in the boot menu), installed EasyBCD in Win10 and added Win7 and 8 to the boot menu?

TIA
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
If, as I suspect, there are no boot files on the W10 SSD, then you can only boot W10 via the W8 drive until you make copies of the W10 boot files (currrently on W8) across onto W10's drive.
EasyBCD can help you with that
Changing the Boot Partition
Don't ignore the instruction to change the BIOS boot sequence after the procedure finishes, otherwise you'll still be booting from the copy on W8, not the newly made copy on W10.
You can check which OS is booted and where it was booted from by reference to the flags in Disk Management
they have the following meanings

"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
Incidentally "uninstalling" EasyBCD means nothing.
EasyBCD is not the boot manager. It takes no part in booting your system.
It's just a utility which you can use to modify the MS BCD while your system is running.
It's completely portable, so you can run it on W10 from the copy you installed on W7 or W8, or you can install it on any or all of your systems.
It's completely inert unless you start it and make changes to the BCD.
Then those changes become part of MS's boot process (until you change or remove them)