Need some advice as regards Windows OS dependence and if computer won't start.

Hi folks,

Although a long term computer user I am trying to get to grips as to whether my different Windows installations depend on each and for example whether a corruption of XP would lead to the other Windows installations unable to boot.

I have 2 large disks in my computer and Disk 1 (according to computer management) has all the OS on it.

Here are the entries copied from EASY Bcd copied from within a (windows 7 New) installation with additional information in brackets for each OS alongside

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

Default: windows 7 new
Timeout: 5 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: D:\

Entry #1
Name: Earlier Version of Windows XP
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr (system, active, primary partition)

Entry #2
Name: Windows 8
BCD ID: {12660139-10a6-11df-87ec-caed900c25c4}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe (logical drive)

Entry #3
Name: windows 7 old
BCD ID: {12660136-10a6-11df-87ec-caed900c25c4}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe (logical drive)

Entry #4
Name: windows 7 new
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe (Boot primary partition)

1 If xp which is the active primary partition was to become corrupted
would it follow that some of the other windows OS wouldn't be able to boot?

2 is there a better way so as to prevent this or any other tips?

I do have Acronis backups of every OS and have found EASY Bcd invaluable for pointing towards a partition when problems do arise but as I don't understand the bootloader path and what OS depends on what, would be very grateful for any info as regards my particular setup?

Thanks very much for any help in this.

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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Multibooters, Vista Dual and Multibooting - A Guide to the Multiboot Process
will show you how the boot process works.
1) Yes. All Windows from XP onwards will install their boot files on the "active" partition whether or not that is the same location as the rest of the OS. This is the MS architecture to make multi-booting automatic. If you lose the active partition, the other OSs have no boot files. They can however each be repaired by booting the installation DVD and selecting "repair my computer" > "startup repair" (multiple times)
Recovering the Windows Bootloader from the DVD - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki.
If you wish to dispense with XP, you can use EasyBCD to copy the boot files elsewhere first
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
before getting rid of it.

2) If you set the target partition "active" as you install each OS, it will place the boot files with the rest of the OS and each OS will be totally independent of the others. They can only be booted in this state by switching the active flag to the next desired OS before shutting down the booted version, not a terribly convenient state of affairs, but easily rectified by picking the newest OS and using EasyBCD to add entries for each of the others to its BCD.
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