Multiboot Vista, Longhorn (mebby), 2003, XP, & even 2000


just for demonstations matters i need to install a multi os environment ...

i tested easy bcd with the following setup :

primary partition with vista 64 on it ...
second logical 2003 32
third logical xp 32
fourth logical with xp 64

installed vista first and the added the oss'es

after recreating the vista bootsector i tried to use easy bcd in vista to boot into the different oss'es - well no matter which one i choose i will always end up with xp 64...

so i checked the boot.ini that is located on the primary partition (the one with vista and easy bcd on it) - it is an exact copy of the xp 64 boot.ini ....

so my question - why not using the boot.ini, ntdetect a.s.o. files that are residing on each of the logical partitions ???

cheers - ahab


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Ahab, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies!

In answer to your question: this is a limitation of Windows, as imposed by Microsoft. At the moment, there is nothing we (as in the EasyBCD Team) can do about this.

The solution:
Modify boot.ini on the main (boot) drive to include the entries for each of the "Legacy" Windows operating systems.

If you're doing a demonstration, why not make it all the more impressive and add Linux to the mix? EasyBCD makes it even easier to dual-boot Linux and Vista than Microsoft makes it to dual-boot Vista and XP!
hi guru,

well - the primary goal is to demonstarte some software in different m$ environments no idea if the developers are planning to go for any ux or lx or osx (which i personally like alot) ....

and dammit - it would be cool if the bcd loader had the ability to copy the necessary ntloader etc. files to the primary partition or smthg alike ...

thx for the tip of modifieing the boot.ini - i will check that out soon ...

cheers - ahab


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Ahab, I too am chasing my great white whale: the ability to load older versions of Windows from the XP bootloader without using NTLDR + Boot.ini and without any user intervention. Let's just hope the ending to my tale isn't also written by Herman Melville :grinning:
hi again,

well thats it :frowning: - seems like there is only ONE BCD and ONE ntldr/boot.ini os managable with the bcd loader - until acronis or some others find a way to do a work around ....

afaik the acronis bootmanaga copied all the necessary files to a hidden partition and replaced the ones on the primary active (mebby secondary active) one every time it booted ... but they have not published a vista compatible version yet ....

anyway thx for the easy bcd utility - at least i can fool around with 2 assumed contradictive m$ os'es at the same time.

and no, not Melville but maybe M$ will come up with a better/reasonable but as i anticipate probably even worse solution.

cheers ahab (a..... hab..... is even my real name)


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Ahab is a nice name :smile: (Where are you from?)

Anyway, I will be sure to let you know if I end up figuring it out :smile: