Multiboot XP/XP/Vista/Linux, all on 1 disc



I've read how simple the boot process is supposed to be but I am unable to digest the sheer volume of information and I have to admit that I am totally bewildered by it. For some time I have happily used GAG to multiboot two different installs of XP and Linux and it worked perfectly. But recently I needed to add Vista to the mix. Can EasyBCD do this without the multiple menus I now have?

Here's my (single) disc setup in Linux terminology:
/dev/sda1 NTFS 25GB Win XP copy 1
/dev/sda2 NTFS 15GB Win XP copy 2
/dev/sda3 NTFS 50GB Vista
/dev/sda4 Extended partition
/dev/sda5 20GB ext4 Linux root (/)
/dev/sda6 2GB Linux swap
/dev/sda7 NTFS 120GB common data area

GAG sits in the MBR and, when I chose Linux, it would send me to an install of GRUB2 installed on /dev/sda5.

I installed Vista and told it to install "alongside an earlier version of Windows." It overwrote the MBR so I could only access XP copy 2 and Vista, so I reinstalled GAG. I replaced the required entries in GAG but found that the Vista install had hidden the first partition with XP Copy 1 on it - so I had to unhide it to get it to run. When I choose the second copy of XP on /dev/sda2 from GAG I am taken to a new menu, added by Vista, from which I can access the required copy of XP and also Vista itself. (There is another entry here, to access Linux, but it fails to find the GRUB2 loader and returns with error 15.)

I added an entry in GAG to load Vista but t returns a message "BOOTMGR is missing. Press Cret-Alt-Del to restart."

Is it possible to have a simple menu system using EasyBCD that will take me straight to the chosen OS (except for Linux which needs to add entries to the GRUB2 menu when there are kernel updates)?

This is not urgent or important because I can access all the OS's one way or another. I have wasted hours trying to get it to work properly (and reinstalling things I've broken) and doing research, but I (as usual for me) seem to be the only one in this situation. There is little documentation on any boot manager which covers retrospective installation or on actually changing a boot manager.

If anyone with the necessary understanding of the boot process can help, I'd really appreciate it. I think I might need to use NeoSmart's EasyLDR, but elsewhere on this site I have read that I must choose between Windows Vista BCD or Legacy Windows NTLDR.... :??confusing....


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
EasyBCD can do all this perfectly. Just boot into Vista, install EasyBCD.

EasyBCD | Manage Bootloader | Install Windows Vista/7 MBR
EasyBCD | Add Entry | Windows XP (let it auto-detect)
EasyBCD | Add Entry | Linux | GRUB2


Hi Mahmoud

Thanks for the swift response! I will try this as soon as I can...

I will post the results here.