Multibooting Ubuntu with easyBCD

scot

New Member
#1
I tried to install my O/Ss to avoid losing them all should the main one fail. To this end, I installed Win7, Win10, WinXP and Ubuntu14.04 on individual drives, when each was the only drive connected in my PC at the time. I then installed easyBCD2.3 on the Win7 drive and reconnected all the other drives. From the Win7 viewpoint, Win7 is on 'driveC',Win10 on 'driveF', WinXP on 'driveE' and Ubuntu on 'drive0,partition1' (partitions 1 is Root<ext4>, 2 is Swap and 3 is Home<ext4>).

I added Win10 in easyBCD, via "Add New Entry" (don't understand why "EasyBCD Boot Device" shows up there, instead of the Win7 drive), and tried adding WinXP and Ubuntu by both manually and automatically selecting their drives. Either way gives the same "View Settings" details below:-

--------------------------------------------------------------------
There are a total of 4 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Windows 7 Pro 64bit
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: F:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows 7 Pro 64bit
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #2
Name: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
BCD ID: {1cd331cb-ce7b-11e5-831b-50e549e729b0}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #3
Name: Windows XP Pro 32bit (IDE)
BCD ID: {1cd331d5-ce7b-11e5-831b-50e549e729b0}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr

Entry #4
Name: Ubuntu 14.04 64bit
BCD ID: {1cd331d6-ce7b-11e5-831b-50e549e729b0}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\AutoNeoGrub3.mbr
----------------------------------------------------------------------

I am delighted to say that all the Windows O/Ss can be accessed from the easyBCD "system selection" window. Unfortunately, selecting Ubuntu just gives a screen with the following details:-

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Try (HD 0,0) : NTFS5 : No any 3
Try (HD 0,1) : NTFS5 : No any 3
Try (HD 0,2) : invalid or null
Try (HD 0,3) : invalid or null
Try (HD 1,0) : ext2
----------------------------------------------------------------------

I have tried deleting and re-entering the Ubuntu data in easyBCD several times (deleting the "AutoNeoGrub3.mbr" file from the NST folder in Win10 before each new attempt).
I select the "Linux/BSD" tab and the "GRUB 2" option and add the new Ubuntu entry, for all attempts,
I end by writing the "Windows Vista/7 Bootloader" to the MBR on the "Bootloader Setup" page (the WinXP O/S can still be selected successsfully when I start the PC), and reboot the PC...

My qualiifications are "monkey see, monkey do", so can anyone stop me going round in circles......please?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You have to boot Windows from the latest version (W10) because only its bootmgr recognizes all other BCD-type Windows boot loaders (winload.exe) as genuinely signed by MS.
W7 has no knowledge of W10 and will think its signature is invalid.
"EasyBCD boot device" tells you where EasyBCD stored the files it uses to locate all the non-BCD OSs (XP and Linux)
Don't use "write MBR" when doing routine BCD tasks.
It's an advanced function for repairing broken-boot systems to which you still have access.
Just add entries and click the "add entry" button. That's it.
Writing the MBR undoes everything else you just did.
 

scot

New Member
#3
For 3 years now, since I started trying to multiboot, Microsoft has been making a happy man very old. Now easyBCD, mqudsi and Terry60, have made an old man very happy. Thank you so much.
I tried reinstating Ubuntu without writing the MBR - nothing changed. Then I removed the Win10, WinXP and Ubuntu entries, selected "Ignore that menu", and installed easyBCD onto the Win10 drive (without writing the MBR) - it worked perfectly!
Of course, Microsoft then decided to inform me that my Win 7 system was not legitimate and refused to boot it fully. Fortunately, using the start-up Repair facility on my (fully licenced) DVD fixed that. Microsoft would have left Hercules a broken man.....
I can now multiboot Win10, Win7, WinXP and Ubuntu. Thanks again for your help - easyBCD is a wonderful product.
 

scot

New Member
#4
UPDATE:-
My system has been rock-solid for the last month.

If anyone wants to include Windows XP, my salvation was to put it on an HDD fed from an auxiliary SATA driver, set to IDE. The other systems are on SSDs fed from the main SATA (Intel) driver, set to AHCI. (I had no success whatsoever with all sorts of permutations using F6 preinstall floppy drivers).

EasyBCD has transformed multibooting. All you need is 1.Persistence. 2.EasyBCD, 3.The terrific EasyBCD Forum

Thanks again.