Noob to EasyBCD and Win7 needs dual-HDD dual-boot advice

#1
I've never needed (or wanted) to dual-boot, but now with a couple of new SATA HDD's and a fresh Win7 install package I've cloned my OLD C: drive (with 32-bit XP Pro on it) to one of the new SATA drives (using Acronis) and plan on installing 64-bit Win7 on the other new drive.
I've read a lot of threads with horror stories of mistakes or sequencing problems when setting up a dual-HDD dual-boot system and would like to try to avoid as many as possible. Should I remove my XP drive while I install Win7 or should I leave it in? Which drive should EasyBCD be installed on? XP HDD in SATA1 or SATA2? Win7 in SATA1 or SATA2? etc. I can follow the software's instructions during an install & I don't feel the need to "customize" from the default settings (reading threads leads me to believe that a lot of noob's can't resist the urge to "customize")
I've been involved in computing since 1977 but have no experience with EasyBCD, dual-boot, 64-bit or Win7 & I'd like to do it right the first time.
Thanx,
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Steve, welcome to NST
My advice

1) Pre-format your new W7 HDD with the partition layout you want before you install the OS. (this will avoid W7 playing "hide the boot", which it does if you point it at an empty space and let it do its own thing) Give your partitions sensible labels so you're not trying to guess which one you're supposed to be installing into
2) Disconnect XP HDD during the W7 install
(this will prevent W7 adding its boot files to XPs - the default behaviour of a newer Windows seeing an older one already installed, and will leave the XP disk completely unchanged. This means that in the future, should your W7 HDD suffer a catastrophe, you can fall back to a plain XP single-boot by just putting XP 1st in the BIOS)
3) Install W7 to the partition you created (identifiable by your sensible label)
4) Reconnect XP, set the BIOS to boot from W7, then Boot W7
5) Install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build (not 1.7) on W7. Add an XP entry to the BCD, accept the offer to auto-configure. Don't change the XP partition drive letter- it knows what it's doing.
6) Reboot - choose XP from the W7 menu
7) in XP run this registry hack to prevent XP from corrupting W7's restore points.(set W7 and any partition containing W7 installed apps offline). Check that XP can no longer access files and folders through Explorer on the W7 partition(s). Set XP system restore "on" for its own partition and any partition containing apps installed on XP, "off" for all other partitions.
8) Boot W7, set system restore "on" for the W7 partition and any partition containing W7 installed apps, and "off" for all other partitions. Set a manual restore point, give it a unique name.
9) Boot XP
10) Boot W7, check your restore point still exists.

You should have a tidy dual-boot with XP single-boot emergency fallback capability and no corrupting cross system interference.
It doesn't matter at all which SATA channel each disk is attached to. The most convenient and tidy cable run should dictate.
Just ensure that the BIOS boot sequence is set to pick CD before HDD, and in the HDD sequence, W7 before XP, regardless of which SATA channels they happen to be attached to.
 
#3
...Check that XP can no longer access files and folders through Explorer on the W7 partition(s)...
hello, i have followed your instructions to the letter, problem i have is that both Win7 installation and WinXP can see each other's drives.

setup i have is 2 HDD each having one primary partition dedicated for OS, and one or more logical partitions for other data.

what i would like is to hide only the primary partitions for other operating system, and allow logical partitions to remain visible.

i remmeber few years back using powerquest bootmagic, that had option to sellect individual partition(s) that are hidden for each operating system. is there a simmilar option for EasyBCD?

ty in advance
 
#4
i remmeber few years back using powerquest bootmagic, that had option to sellect individual partition(s) that are hidden for each operating system. is there a simmilar option for EasyBCD?

ty in advance
No, because EasyBCD is not a partition manager, or boot manager. It is a tool for manipulating the Windows bootloaders, that's it. To hide your OSes from each other, when one boots, you can use a 3rd party boot manager, such as Terabyte's BootIT NG (this tool I use myself, btw, and its great). Enough said.

At any rate, you can also use the free Hide N Seek software offered on this website, though it is still in beta. It is very easy to setup, and doesn't require much knowledge on partitions, etc. You just tell it which partition is XP, and which one is W7. Problem with that is, though, you can only hide W7 from XP, not XP from W7. But that's not really a problem, since technically, you don't NEED to have XP hidden from W7. W7 doesn't mess around with XP's restore points. Its the other way around.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Hi papa, welcome to NST.
The registry hack doesn't prevent you seeing the W7drive from XP Explorer, but you shouldn't be able to expand it into a folder/file list and access any data.
If it's letting you see the contents of W7, and you're positive that you offlined the correct letter(s)
(the W7 OS and the W7 apps partitions as seen by XP, not what W7 calls them) , then you can always use NeoSmart's HnS to hide Vista/W7 from XP
 
#6
thanx, got confused by the quide saying 'make sure" Xp can not access win7's drive. thought that ment windows explorer not seeing certain drives...

anyway, ty for quick reply