Multiple XP installations - only one shows

Terry, I truly appreciate the long explanation. I do realize that drive letters don't exist before Windows loads. I've been using them for the sake of convenience, but maybe it's been causing some confusion, instead. Let's define three drive letters and use those letters from here on in for clarity's sake.

1) C: - first partition on disk 0 - my active partition
2) G: - contains WinXP (as noted earlier, other XP installations exist on other partitions, but I almost never use - G: is where I boot into 99.9% of the time)
3) L: - contains Win7 (becomes C: under Win7, but we'll refer to it strictly as L: )

C: is a leftover from the days when I still used DOS! Not physically, of couse. Many drives have come and gone in the meantime. But for a long time, I retained the layout (including limiting that partition to 2GB so it would be accessible by DOS) as a security blanket, so that I could get at my data if Windows failed. Today, it's just what I described it as: a leftover. But 2GB isn't enough to install Windows in. Thus, as the first partition on disk 0, it's the active (boot) partition, but doesn't contain Windows.

Now, let me clarify my question regarding my "lost" partition. Again, I used drive letters to try to make myself understood better, but here, too, did not succeed. There have to any number of people who install Win7 on a partition other than their boot partition. For example, before they install Win7, they boot from C: into WinXP, which is located on C:. They then install Win7 on D:. (I'm using drive letters as the user sees them from WinXP.) When he boots into Win7, Win7 changes D: to C:. And if Win7 does what it's doing with me, the original C: doesn't get assigned a drive letter, and it's lost to the user. It seems impossible for even Microsoft to do something like that to so many people.

I don't understand your suggestion that I install EasyBCD in Win7. Won't the entries all point to L: (again, C: under Win7)? If they will, then when I reboot, those entries won't be found, because my boot drive is C:. Or will EasyBCD realize that "C:" (L: ) isn't the active partition, and know to point the entries to the unlettered partition?
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What about the current entries - the ones that aren't showing on the boot menu? Should I delete them in EasyBCD under XP before booting into Win7?
Either my system is very odd or EasyBCD is very buggy. And since my system normally behaves quite well, I have to think it's the latter.

Since you said it didn't make a difference (the conclusion I myself had arrived at), I decided not to delete any entries before installing under Win7. I was curious to see whether EasyBCD under Win7 would show anything different, though there was no reason to think that it would. I installed EasyBCD under Win7, and it showed all my entries, including the ones that weren't showing in the boot menu. There seemingly being no difference between EasyBCD under Win7 and EasyBCD under XP, I decided to try redoing the entries under XP.

I regret not documenting every step, because after half a dozen reboots and fiddling with EasyBCD, I no longer recall clearly what happened when. First, some more entries showed, and then all the XP entries showed, but Win7 didn't. And the first and second reboots/fiddlings resulted in additional entries for XP on G: in the boot menu (showing 2 and 3 entries, respectively), even though I'd only added one (total) in EasyBCD. And at some point, EasyBCD showed two entries for XP on G:, even though I'm absolutely certain that I never added a second one. And when I booted into XP on G:, I instead found myself booting into a different installation of XP on a different partition, despite the fact that I'm positive that I specified G: in the entry.

At this point, I still have not succeeded in getting an entry for Win7 to show in the boot menu. In addition, a number of entries are showing drive L:, but I didn't add or change any entries under Win7! Overview and Detailed modes will follow.

What I'd like to do now is start all over and then add one entry at a time, rebooting each time to see whether all is developing as it should. How can I get rid of all EasyBCD entries and get back my original boot menu: Windows 7 and Earlier version of Windows? Will simply deleting all EasyBCD entries automatically restore boot.ini and Windows 7's loader? Let me remind you that when I first installed EasyBCD, and it came up for the first time, it showed me the two existing boot menu choices: Windows 7 and Earlier version of Windows. I deleted Earlier version of Windows and added the XP entries. When I rebooted and Windows 7 didn't show in the boot menu, I deleted the Windows 7 entry and added an entry for Windows 7. Did my deletions of those original boot menu choices get rid of them irretrievably?

Overview mode:

There are a total of 7 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: Microsoft Windows XP - G
Timeout: 10 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\
Entry #1
Name: Microsoft Windows XP - G
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1
Entry #2
Name: Microsoft Windows XP - J
BCD ID: {7a57ce0d-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
Drive: L:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr2
Entry #3
Name: Microsoft Windows XP - F
BCD ID: {7a57ce0e-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
Drive: L:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr3

Detailed mode:

Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {7a57ce13-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
resumeobject {7a57cdfc-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
displayorder {7a57ce13-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 10
displaybootmenu Yes
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {7a57ce13-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=C:
path \NST\easyldr1
description Microsoft Windows XP - G
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {7a57ce0d-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=L:
path \NST\easyldr2
description Microsoft Windows XP - J
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {7a57ce0e-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=L:
path \NST\easyldr3
description Microsoft Windows XP - F
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {7a57ce0f-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=L:
path \NST\easyldr4
description Microsoft Windows XP - T (J)
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {7a57ce11-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=C:
path \NST\easyldr1
description Microsoft Windows XP - Q (G)
Real-mode Boot Sector
identifier {7a57ce10-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=L:
path \NST\easyldr5
description Microsoft Windows XP - P (F)
Windows Boot Loader
identifier {7a57ce14-951c-11e0-85ed-cec351410c4e}
device partition=L:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows 7
locale en-US
osdevice partition=L:
systemroot \Windows
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I explained in my previous post. Once I saw that EasyBCD under Win7 also showed the entries that weren't being displayed in the boot menu, I concluded that there's no difference between EasyBCD under Win7 and EasyBCD under XP.

While I don't believe that I'd get different results with EasyBCD under Win7, I'd try it your way just to make you happy. However, as I wrote, I haven't been able to get an entry for Win7 to show in the boot menu.

I don't appear to have any options other than to start from scratch. Please guide me.
Terry, Computer Guru, I need some guidance. I can delete all my EasyBCD entries, but I'm concerned that I'm going to end up without a boot menu altogether and not be able to get into Windows at all.

Please advise.

doniel, I'll be honest with you: I'm thoroughly and completely confused about your setup. Note, I'm not saying I don't know the solution to your case - I'm saying I don't understand your case any more.
I don't think you need to know my setup. At this point, I simply want to start over, meaning I want to eliminate all EasyBCD entries, and get back to my original, pre-EasyBCD installation boot menu, which consisted of Windows 7 and Earlier version of Windows. Deleting all the EasyBCD entries is simple. What I need to know is how to ensure that after I do that and reboot, there'll still be a boot menu and a way to get into Windows.
Can you start by going back to post #9 and getting the screenshot. W7 preferred because it gives an explicit list of flags, but XP will have to suffice if you can't get into W7.
What happens when you add a W7 entry ?
You can always get back to square 1 by using the W7 DVD and using "startup repair" three times to recreate the boot files.
Terry, thanks very much for responding. I truly appreciate it.

Looking at Disk Management in XP came as a total revelation. C: (as defined earlier in this thread - the first partition on disk 0) is not flagged as active. I'm at a total loss to explain it. C: is where my boot files are located. (There's a \boot folder on C:, but not on the two partitions that are flagged as active.) A screenshot is attached.

When I add a Win7 entry, the boot menu just ignores it, as has been happening with various entries from the start.

Do you want to keep troubleshooting, or should I do as I suggested: delete all EasyBCD entries, get my original boot menu back and try again with EasyBCD under Win7?

Edit: Why is the quality of the attachment so poor? As you can see as it begins to load, it's sharp and crystal clear. Then, when it finishes loading, it's impossible to make out the details.


  • XP Disk Management.jpg
    XP Disk Management.jpg
    546.1 KB · Views: 7
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The MS bootmgr boot menu only displays a limited number of entries on a page (easily enough for most people).
Have you scrolled down to look for W7 ? (you can also change the display order in EasyBCD "edit boot menu")
Just click on the attachment to enlarge it.
XP does not display all flags like Vista/7. "system" implies "active"
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Eureka! It never occurred to me that the boot menu display was limited to six items at a time. Scrolling down did indeed reveal Windows 7.

This case is resolved and closed.

Terry, Computer Guru, I'm deeply grateful to both of you for all the time you put in working with me. Thank you both!