New here...need help setting up EasyBCD


I have a new dual-boot system, XP Home SP3 on a WD Caviar 7200RPM 500Gb, and Vista Ultimate64 SP1 on a WD 300Gb VelociRaptor. I have so far been able to orchestrate the dual boot via BIOS by changing boot order of the two HDD's.
Each installation was done separately, XP months ago; Vista a couple of weeks ago--installed with the xp drive disconnected.
Now, I've installed EasyBCD, configured it based on the drive letters assigned while in Vista (C=Vista; F=XP). The only thing I'm unsure of is whether I have to use the "Reinstall Vista Bootloader" from the "Manage Bootloader" screen to enable Vista to discover the needed XP boot files? He**, does my question even indicate that I understand what's happening here and that I'm on the right track? Or am I missing something fundamental?:O:grinning:

Thanks for your help, gang!



Hopefully, this screenshot will help you help me.....
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Thanks for the reply, Mahmoud. I'm not quite sure how that link will help me. Not to be too literal, but I'm not going to install XP, it was there first. Then I added a second HDD, and loaded Vista on it. The Vista bootloader seems to be there, so I guess I don't need to reinstall it.
I'm thinking that I'm good to go as I'm currently set up; wondering why you advised deleting the XP entry? I am defaulting to Vista, so I don't quite understand why I would need to do all that setup in XP....can you clarify for me?
Vista doesn't "discover" the XP boot files Wera, It's very stupid and assumes they'll be in the root of the "active" partition, (where its bootloader is).
If you've installed the systems independently of each other, that's not going to be the case, and you'll need to copy the 3 XP files into the active root. The boot.ini which tells XP's NTLDR where XP is, will then need to be corrected. (It was right when the XP disk was being booted (probably rdisk(0)) but when you're booting from Vista, it's probably going to be rdisk(1) - Vista now being the (0) disk.)
If you don't plan on booting directly from the XP disk, this well also work:

1) Make sure is on Vista since it is the active partition
2) NTLDR and boot.ini should already be on XP's partition, but make sure they are there.
3) Change rdisk(0) in boot.ini to rdisk(1) under both the OS and default entries if XP is the second disk in the system or Vista considers itself as the first disk.
4) Add an XP entry in EasyBCD pointing to XP's partition. You should be good to go.

Otherwise follow Terry's solution. As long as you've made a copy of boot.ini and havent touched the orginal one on XP's partition, you should be able to boot XP using either drive.
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If you only partially copy the boot files and modify the original boot.ini in situ, then you won't be able to boot from the XP disk should the Vista disk fail.
If you copy them all to Vista and modify the new boot.ini, then the XP disk remains as-was and can still be stand-alone booted in an emergency.
Thanks to all of you for helping me out here. I just sent another user from another forum here so that he can do what I'm trying to do.
I'm still a bit uncertain, here, though. The linked reference states:
Once Windows XP setup has finished, it'll automatically boot you into the newly installed copy of Windows XP – note that you will not be able to boot into Vista at this point, nor will you see a boot menu option for it.

  1. Once in Windows XP, download and install the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework.
  2. Download and install the latest version of EasyBCD.
  3. Once in EasyBCD, go to the "Manage Bootloader" page, and select "Reinstall the Vista Bootloader" then "Write MBR" to get the Vista bootloader back.
  4. Once that's done, head on to the "Add/Remove Entries" page and select "Windows NT/2k/XP/2003" from the drop-down list, give it a name, then press "Add Entry" to finish.
  5. Reboot.
Based on this, I should be able to perform ONLY steps 3, 4, and 5 to get running, correct? Everything prior to that has already been done, right?
Also, if I need to make these changes manually, where/how do I get to these files? While I may have been peripherally aware of their existence, I have never needed to find or edit them before, y'know?
I ask, because, when I boot into Vista, I do get the bootloader screen, where I currently have to F8 to disable driver signing. (I have a pet monitoring program that is unsigned). And, when I change HDD boot priority in BIOS, XP boots on its' own just fine as it is set up now.
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The instructions you're quoting Wera, are for someone who has installed XP to a partition on the same disk as Vista, and has thus overwritten the Vista BCD. They are the instructions for getting the Vista boot back.
You've already got Vista boot on your Vista disk. All you need to do is copy the XP boot files to the Vista disk, correct the boot.ini entry, boot from Vista and add an entry into the BCD with EasyBCD to give you the option to boot XP from the Vista menu.
If you can't find the files, you've got system files hidden. Go to folder options and untick the two hidden file options.
They're in the root i.e. C:\boot.ini etc.
Bear in mind that booting XP when it can see Vista will overwrite Vista's recovery points. Read the sticky thread on HnS and you'll find the solution to that.
btw. (It will also automate your dual boot for you without the need to do anything else we've discussed in this thread)
You might want to read that before you do anything else
Biingo! Thanks, Terry! I knew I wasn't crazy! I was linked to info that didn't quite apply to my particular installation!
Now, just to be sure: You're saying that all I need to do is run HnS, and it will do the rest for me automatically??? AND preserve my Vista restore points? If so, that is the PERFECT solution for me!!
Forgive my apparent density here...
Thanks again, and anxiously awaiting your confirmation.



One further question, if you don't mind...
When set up via HnS, will I be able to boot from one OS to the other seamlessly using iReboot? By that, I mean I'm sure I'll be able to go from Vista to XP easily enough, but will I be set up to go from XP back into Vista? As in just click the other OS in iReboot and go, right?
And will I be presented with the Vista boot manager at every cold boot?
Thanks again for all your help. I'm learning a lot here.



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Hi Wera,
yes HnS has evolved over 56 pre-beta builds into something rather more than the original intention of streamlining the 2 stage Neogrub method of hiding Vista which was in use when I first came here. It's now a fully fledged boot manager capable of arranging your dual-boot for you and managing it from a single boot menu. (multiple different test-user configurations, one disk, two disks, Vista active, XP active, IDE/SATA mixes, all taxed the OS detection routines to the point where Guru was forced into writing an all purpose manager to overcome all the difficulties, and is now capable of not just adapting an existing dual boot, but creating one from scratch).
Unfortunately, the current release of iReboot predates HnS and cannot be used with it.
I too, await an HnS compatible build sometime in the future.
I think HnS is probably capable of correctly building your dual boot whichever order your disks are in, but for safety, if I were you, I'd make Vista the primary BIOS boot device. You must run HnS from Vista, so boot from Vista, download HnS, unpack it and run the UI.exe. Just tell the UI which disk is which and hit go. Use the other options available to give the systems any customized names you desire and set the one you want as default, and the menu timeout value, and that's it. When you reboot you should have your menu, and choosing XP should take you to a system which can't see the Vista disk (in disk management it will be there but "unknown"). When you boot Vista, turn off system restore for the XP disk and leave it just on the C:\ disk, and you should have sys res functioning properly on whichever system you run.
The boot menu you'll see is HnS's and though it hands control to NTLDR or bootldr to continue the loading chain, you'll never see menus from either because they're each single-choice so won't present one.
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Just confirming that HnS doesn't care what order the drives are in. Only requirement is that it's run from within Vista and it'll take care of everything else.
Awesome, gentlemen, just awesome!
I have now run HnS, and it has set up a near perfect dual boot for me. I now get the HnS bootloader menu directly after POST.
I say 'nearly perfect' because of one 'issue' that remains, though it's not a big deal by any means.
Here it is: After selecting Vista from the HnS bootloader, I am next presented with the Vista bootloader screen. I think this may be necessary, as I mentioned earlier, because I have to disable the driver signing requirement in order to successfully boot Vista. (Again, I have a 'pet' monitoring program (SensorsView Pro, to be specific) that doesn't have signed drivers. This leads to two more questions:
1) Didn't I see an option in EasyBCD to automatically disable the driver signing requirement? I'm sure I selected it during setup since I knew it would be necessary. So, did I miss anything in setting up EasyBCD or HnS that accounts for this?
2) If, indeed, I can have the signing requirement automatically disabled, how can (or CAN I) get rid of the Vista bootloader screen?
And thanks again for your patience. I'm very impressed with your support....I wish ALL hardware and software providers were as responsive! I certainly appreciate the time you have taken to help me get set up.

Oh, and thanks for the heads-up about iReboot.
And, on further thought, am I not using EasyBCD any more? I mean, is HnS now in control of the boot, rendering EBCD unnecessary? Light bulb moment?:smile:
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HnS is a boot manager. It hides or unhides disks and passes control on, to what are now lower level bootloaders for Vista and XP.
EasyBCD is a GUI for editing the BCD, which is still in charge of the Vista boot after HnS chains to it, so it still does what it always has.
You can still use EasyBCD to edit your 2nd Vista menu and change timeout to 0 so you won't see it any more.
I think the ability to set that "driver signing" option automatically in the BCD was removed by MS, so EasyBCD can't do it anymore either, but I'll leave CG to confirm or deny that.
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Thanks, Terry. I'll wait for his confirmation.
As I said, it's not that big a deal, partifcularly if I'll have to disable that 'feature' manually.
And, again, thanks for all your time. I now am not only using this setup successfully, I also understand why and how. For some reason, I need that :??:brows:.
EasyBCD still has the ability to disable driver verification from the "Advanced Options" page - however, Vista RTM + certain updates via Windows Update render the changes useless. Vista SP1 has these updates, therefore it won't work from there, either.
I bought a new Sony Viao NR385e/w Laptop with Vista Home Premium. It does not ship with a Vista disk. I shrunk the drive and copied my working XP to the new partition - yes including the hive config files and pagefile.sys etc. I installed Easy BCD through the Vista side of the computer. I copied the boot, ntdetect and ntldr to the root. I changed the boot.ini to point to the third partition where the XP is. When I select XP - it would go blank and reboot.

Easy BCD is working because I can F8 and get the XP boot menu. I disabled the automatic reboot there and I have a non-descript 00000007B blue screen error. I am thinking that the driver verifier.exe is causing it.

Since I DO NOT have a Vista disk - I am skittish about doing the in-place upgrade and being locked out because the SATA (and/or all other specialty types of) driver does not take in the in place upgrade or it fails for some other reason - then I am hosed with no way to get the Vista boot sector back because I have no disk and will have no working XP then either

I do not have any problem with manually adding the SATA device driver to the system32 directory (and any other drivers) and doing the registry entries manually if someone knows how it might be done from a CD boot disk or other tool. Right now since I have Vista still working I can just operate on the volume I am trying to boot to directly

I know about the Microsoft patch registry system, ( ) but I need to know where to plug in the drivers by editing the registry in a text mode off-line. I looked at the inf files and see the registry entry text there - but I am a loss as to any text registry editing method

Any ideas or known work a-rounds for this?

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EasyBCD still has the ability to disable driver verification from the "Advanced Options" page - however, Vista RTM + certain updates via Windows Update render the changes useless. Vista SP1 has these updates, therefore it won't work from there, either.
Thanks CG. As this Vista installation is from an SP1 disc, I will just leave the second boot screen there so I can run the driver requirement.
Will you be updating EBCD to re-enable this capability?