Multiple Booting... Big Problem!

#1
This is my first time to post. I looked at FAQ but did not find an answer to my problem.

The problem I am having is getting my multiple boot system to work. I was directed to D/L EasyBCD. I did and still have the problem.

The history of my set up....... I have a home built Windows Desktop
PC.
I have 4 separate hard drives installed.
In the beginning last May........
I loaded XP on one drive first.
Next I loaded Vista on a second hard drive.
Last I loaded Windows 7 RC on a third drive.

All worked well. When I started up the computer by turning it on, the motherboard logo appears first, then the boot menu appears next (black screen with white letters) giving me the boot choice of:
Earlier version of Windows (XP)
Vista
Or Windows 7 RC. The Windows 7 RC was the default boot drive.
All of this worked well from May through October.

At the end of October I bought the Windows 7 PRO operating system.
Since I wanted to keep the other 3 OS in place on separate drives, I installed a 4th hard drive and installed Windows 7 PRO onto that drive. My intent was (and still is) to maintain a multiple boot system.

Well, what happened was the computer now boots up automatically into Windows 7 PRO without giving me the choice of booting from other drives. What happened??? I have found no help for the problem so far.

Under 'My Computer' all 4 hard drives are shown as well as the CD drive:
(C) Windows 7 PRO
(D) Windows 7 RC
(E) Vista
(F) XP PRO
(G) CD-DVD

If I go to:
'Right click' Computer......
Advanced System Settings....click on System Properties.... click on settings under System Startup and Recovery.........
The 'Default Operating System' is shown as Windows 7. Clicking the drop down arrow shows no other choice of OS.

Did I somehow lose the boot files for XP, Vista, and Windows 7 RC when I loaded the new Windows 7 PRO OS?
It seems that way.

I certainly will appreciate any help someone may offer. I thought D/L of the EasyBCD would help but the only operating system found is the Windows 7 PRO.
Thank you......
pg
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi pg, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Run EasyBCD.
Go to "Add/Remove Entries"
Under the 'Windows' section at the bottom of the screen, select the Vista drive, type in "Windows Vista" and add the entry.
Select "Windows XP" from the drop-down list here, type in "Windows XP" and click Add Entry.

Reboot and it should be working :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
#4
Comp Guru and Terry60.........
Thanks for the help guys. Easy to follow instructions
I D/L'd EasyBCD 2.0 and ran it.

Followed Guru's instruction to a tee and I now have the boot menu appear which gives me the choice of OS to boot from.
Earlier version of Windows (XP)
Vista
Windows 7 PRO.

The first time I chose Vista to open, but. the computer booted up in Windows 7 PRO.

Restarted after selecting Vista as the default boot up under Advanced Systen Settings.
Vista is now highlighted on the boot menu and I let it boot up.

It again booted up in Windows 7 PRO.

So I have made some progress in getting the boot menu choices to appear again, thanks to you guy's help, but it still boots up only in Windows 7 PRO.
Any ideas?
Thanks...... pg
 
#5
Sounds to me like you already have a working BCD on your other W7's HDD (or perhaps the XP or Vista HDD, if you installed W7 with either one, or both, still connected). Change the boot sequence in the BIOS to put that one first, and you'll have your original boot menu back. Then you can just add another Longhorn type entry in EasybCD to boot your second W7.
 
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#6
Coolname.......
Loading the EasyBC 2.0 made the boot menu to appear for the first time since I loaded Windows 7. But the box will only boot in Win 7.
I have tried to rearrange the Bios boot order before, but the result of that was the computer would not boot at all. Just a blinking white rectangle on the upper left of the black screen.

I will go back and try another boot order again, but I do not think that is going to work.
I had a perfectly functioning multi-boot system before I loaded W7. After that, the multi-boot was lost. The EasyBC gave me back the boot menu choice but booting in anything but W7 is still impossible.
pg
 
#7
Ok, I guess W7 replaced the BCD after all...
In that case, adjust the Vista entry in EasybCD to point at the Vista partition (instead of W7's). And delete and re-add the XP entry, letting it auto-configure (and MAKE SURE to not adjust the partition its pointing at under Change Settings...).
 
#8
Coolname.......
You were right, and I was wrong.
Just to make sure I explained my set up correctly:
I have 4 hard drives. Each HDD has an OS installed on it.
XP, Vista, Win 7RC and W7. I will assume Win 7RC is not going to be a part of the multi-boot system now that W7 is installed.

Anyway, I went to the BIOS boot sequence. The order I had the drives set at was:
4M
3S
3M
4S
CD-DVD
This order only allows the box to boot into W7, but it does boot up.
The 4M, 3S, 3M etc are what are shown for the 4 HDD's.

I changed the boot order to:
3M
4S
4M
3S
CD-DVD
The results were getting the message.....'Boot Manager is Missing. Press Contrl+ALT+DEL to restart. This just keeps looping with the same message. The computer does not boot up.

I then changed the boot sequence again to:
4S
4M
3M
3S
CD-DVD
Now this produced some results!
After the motherboard logo comes on and then off...... The boot menu appears for a very short time.
It lists the choices as: Rollback, W7, XP and Vista at the bottom of the list. (I had to speed read to see this)
The screen went into W7 boot before I could make a choice.
I restarted and was ready with my fingers on the down arrow and the enter keys.
The boot menu appeared again and I quickly hit DOWN ARROW (for Vista) and ENTER.

The machine boots up into Vista for the first time since putting W7 on there!
So I am clearly doing something wrong. The boot menu is set to stay on for 45 seconds before auto boot begins, but for whatever reason it allows me perhaps a second at most to make my choice of OS before it auto boots.

I will play around with it some more and see if I can make any progress. At least I have the boot menu which now responds to my choice, provided I am quick as a snake to hit the keys.
pg
 
#9
Ok...then you definitely have 2 separate BCDs and bootmgrs on there then. Evidently, the one you have set to a 45-sec timeout must be the other one. Start up EasyBCD in Vista (after first disconnecting the W7 HDD, which contains the partition EasybCD will see as "system"), and change the timeout to something long enough to select any of the entries in your boot menu.
 
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#10
Thanks for hanging with me on this one.
I am making some progress. (I think)
My last boot sequence that I described earlier did not work either.
It just did a boot....reboot....boot....reboot loop.

So I went back and set the BIOS boot sequence to what I had at the beginning. I was able to be quick on the draw and select Vista before it auto booted.
Once in Vista, I D/L'd EasyBCD 2.0 again to have on Vista Desktop.
I set the settings there and did a 'save.' Left the time at 45 seconds.

On reboot now the boot menu stays put (for 45 seconds) and I select Vista. It begins to boot up...........
H-mmm, it boots up into Windows 7 Evaluation (RC) for some reason. First time that has happened.

So I go back to EasyBCD again while I have the Evaluation Version of W7 and D/L EBCD version 2.0 to place on the Evaluation Desktop. Click the 'save' and reboot.

I get the boot menu again and select Vista. It boots into Vista.
Restart again and on the boot menu I select W7 Evaluation and it reboots into W7 Evaluation.

Restart one more time and select Win7 and it boots into Windows 7 PRO.

XP is also on the boot menu but it will not boot up at all.
I get the message 'Boot files are missing.' Needs \?????...(I did not get what it said, but it seemed to indicate a boot up file.)

But at least I now have all 4 OS listed in the boot menu. That is progress! I only wish I understood how that happened.

I will have to retry booting into the 3 systems again just to make sure it works. If all goes well with that, then only XP will be left as a problem.
Thanks again...... pg
 
#11
Did you accept the offer to auto-configure when you added the XP entry?
Delete it, re-add, and accept.
 
#12
Did you accept the offer to auto-configure when you added the XP entry?
Delete it, re-add, and accept.
THANK YOU Coolname!
You did it! I followed your directions and am now sending in this post using XP. So it seems like all 4 OS 's will now boot from the menu.

I could never have done this without you guys help and direction and EasyBCD. What a great thing!
Thanks again...... pg
 
#13
You're welcome.