[Not a Bug] Inconsisent rebooting

#1
I have upgraded to version 2.02.117, but problem persists. I see other recent threads with similar descriptions. One thing that would be helpful and save time for many is a user guide or manual. I searched the forum and site, but I did not find such a document.

I have a computer that has 2 physical hard drives. The partions are as follows:
Disk 0 Part 1 "XP Main"
Disk 0 Part 2 "W7 Backup 1"
Disk 0 Part 3 "W7 Backup 2"
Disk 0 Part 4 "Common Data"

Disk 1 Part 1 "XP Backup 1"
Disk 1 Part 2 "XP Backup 2"
Disk 1 Part 3 "W7 Main"

The main user of this system wants to keep bootable copies of XP and Windows 7 immediately available if one hard drive should fail. The configuration was created in this order"
XP Main was created by cloning an XP Home SP3 system from a smaller hard drive. This OS has a tool called BossBackup that can create bootable version of an existing partition. Using BossBackup on "XP Main", the "XP Main" partition is copied to "XP Backup 1" and "XP Backup 2" on alternate days. Windows 7 ultimate was installed on "W7 Main". This created a standard boot menu of Windows 7 and XP. Also using BossBackup on "XP Main", the "W7 Main" partition is copied to "W7 Backup 1" and "W7 Backup 2" on alternate days.
I then installed EasyBCD on the "W7 Main" OS and added the 6 bootable partitions to create a boot menu in this order:
"XP Main" (default)
"XP Backup 1"
"XP Backup 2"
"W7 Main"
"W7 Backup 1"
"W7 Backup 2"

Most of the time after booting into "W7 Main", the next attempt to boot in "XP Main" results in a reboot after the XP Welcome screen is displayed. Another attempt to boot "XP Main" is usually succesful until "W7 Main" is rebooted. This occurs even tough no copying of partitions has taken place since the last time I completely re-installed and reconfigured EasyBCD.

It seems that something is changed about how the XP OS boots when booting "W7 Main". I also need some advise as how to handle the copying of partitions and what affect that may have on EasyBCD.

What other info can I provide?

Thanks for all your effort in supporting the product and this forum. You have an amazing tool with a lot of potential.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Can you copy/paste the detailed mode contents of the EasyBCD "view settings" window, and attach a screenshot of Disk Management as described in the sticky thread
 
#3
Inconsistent rebooting (As requested)

Here are the settings:

There are a total of 6 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: {bcf8c22e-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Timeout: 15 seconds
Boot Drive: D:\
Entry #1
Name: XP Main
BCD ID: {bcf8c22e-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1
Entry #2
Name: XP Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c22f-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr2
Entry #3
Name: XP Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c230-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr3
Entry #4
Name: Windows 7 Main
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #5
Name: Windows 7 Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c22a-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #6
Name: Windows 7 Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c225-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: J:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Screenshot attached.
 

Attachments

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
IIRC, this isn't an EasyBCD bug but a Windows one.

i've seen it before on x86 machines with 4GB+ of memory and other cases too. Do you have 4GB of memory?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
You've also got all the XP entries pointing to the same partition.
Either there should be one XP entry pointing to D, where NTLDR uses boot.ini to locate the individual XPs (Ms design architecture) or you can use the new EasyBCD facility for multiple XP entries (easyldr), in which case each entry must point to the partition containing that OS.
 
#6
Thanks for your responses.

The machine has an AMD 64 X2 3800+ with 4 GB of memory.

I ran EasyBCD from the D drive "W7 Main". I manually placed the drive letter of each drive in the boot info, but the result was a D drive for each XP with a different entry in the NST folder. Also the C drive moves for each XP I boot, but all drive letters remain the same when I boot each W7 OS.

Should I be running EasyBCD from the C drive "XP Main" as it is the system drive? I just read that in the page with the "Sticky Notes" section.

Thanks again.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
You unticked "automatically detect..." from the XP tab in the "add new entry" page, and selected the correct drive in the dropdown, and they all changed to D: ????
(you didn't touch the scroll wheel while the dropdown was "live" ? That will change the selection)

Can you verify that by deleting and re-adding.

EasyBCD displays partition letters as seen from the system you're running. The BCD doesn't actually contain letters, just UIDs. EasyBCD translates them for your convenience.
They will therefore change between systems in exactly the same way as the letter assignments change if you view them in Explorer or Disk Management.
 
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#8
I readded the setting on "W7 Main" for the 3 XP partitions. Yes, all drives are D: Here are the settings:
There are a total of 6 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: {bcf8c231-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Timeout: 15 seconds
Boot Drive: D:\
Entry #1
Name: XP Main
BCD ID: {bcf8c231-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1
Entry #2
Name: XP Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c232-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr2
Entry #3
Name: XP Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c233-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr3
Entry #4
Name: Windows 7 Main
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #5
Name: Windows 7 Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c22a-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: E:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #6
Name: Windows 7 Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c225-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: J:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Then I booted to the "XP Main" drive and installed EasyBCD. When I started EasyBCD I discovered that the settings are already there and point to the C: drive for all 3 XP partitions. Here are the settings from EasyBCD on "XP Main":
There are a total of 6 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: XP Main
Timeout: 15 seconds
Boot Drive: C:\
Entry #1
Name: XP Main
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1
Entry #2
Name: XP Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c232-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr2
Entry #3
Name: XP Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c233-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr3
Entry #4
Name: Windows 7 Main
BCD ID: {bcf8c223-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: I:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #5
Name: Windows 7 Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c22a-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: J:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #6
Name: Windows 7 Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c225-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: N:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

I the deleted and added the 3 XP settings in EasyBCD on "XP Main" the settings appear unchanged except for each the BCD ID as shown below:
There are a total of 6 entries listed in the bootloader.
Default: {bcf8c234-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Timeout: 15 seconds
Boot Drive: C:\
Entry #1
Name: XP Main
BCD ID: {bcf8c234-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr1
Entry #2
Name: XP Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c235-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr2
Entry #3
Name: XP Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c236-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\easyldr3
Entry #4
Name: Windows 7 Main
BCD ID: {bcf8c223-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: I:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #5
Name: Windows 7 Backup 1
BCD ID: {bcf8c22a-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: J:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Entry #6
Name: Windows 7 Backup 2
BCD ID: {bcf8c225-9624-11df-b471-9ffbd5f12548}
Drive: N:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

I have attached the disk manager map from "XP Main" to show the partitions and drive letters.

Please let me know what else I can test or provide.

Thank you for your time in helping understand my issues.
 

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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Can you confirm that you did this (selecting L and M in your case), and that the entries did not use the letter you selected.
 

Attachments

#11
Hi Terry,

Yes I can confirm it. Just to be sure I did it again. All 3 XP partions point to the C: drive, but use different loaders in the NST folder.

As I said earlier, "XP Backup 1" and "XP Backup 2" were created from "XP Main" using a program called BossBackup. This was done from "XP Main" and thus copied the C: drive to the L: drive creating "XP Backup 1"; and then the next day, copying the C: drive to M: creating "XP Backup 2". Only after all drives were created was EasyBCD used to create the new boot menu.

Is it possible that some of this is caused by the fact that the source drive was C:?

Also, after recreating the boot menu, "XP Main" boots on the first try, but "XP Backup 1 and "XP Backup 2" go into a reboot after the Welcome screen. After I boot from "W7 Main", I am able to boot "XP Backup 1" and "XP Backup 2".

Thanks so much for your time to help me understand my situation.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
Go into "advanced settings" then under the basic tab, change the drive for each of the incorrect XP entries.
 
#13
I made the changes frpm the "XP Main" system. "XP Backup 1" and "XP Backup 2" will not boot due to missing \NST\easyldr2 and \NST\easyldr3 files. I copied the \NST folder from "XP Main" C: drive to the "XP Backup 1" and "XP Backup 2" drives (L: and M:smile:. The XP drives were cloned before EasyBCD was installed, so no \NST file existed at that time on the XP partitions.

Should I be using EasyBCD on the active partition "XP Main" or does it matter as long as I use the drives letters corresponding to the OS I am running?

Booting seems to be working on all partitions. I will do more testing and post another update.

Thanks again.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#14
Wherever you run EasyBCD, it's operating on the same BCD.
The entries only appear to be different.
The BCD contains no partition letters, just UIDs describing the HDD and the start position.
Since that would be unintelligible to the average user, EasyBCD translates it into the letter that the running system applies to that partition for convenience.
The letter will change from system to system exactly as it does in Explorer or Disk Management.

@CG
In this case of cloned copies, Easy2 seems to create an incorrect entry by default which can be altered manually to work. IIRC 1.7 or an early build of 2 did something similar with Vista entries.
Is this going to recur constantly ? because the cloned system is constantly being overwritten by the master every second day, presumably changing the NST folder to an incorrect version (pointing back to the master)
Perhaps a 2 level boot menu is the only solution in this scenario.
(C: containing NTLDR and a 3 entry boot.ini, being used to boot all 3 from the only constant OS)
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
I'm really lost here.

EasyBCD is *not* supposed to use the drive letters that the user picked. Those are internally used in the easyldr file, but in all cases easyldr* and ntldr will be placed in the NST subfolder on the boot drive or system drive.

Changing the drive in EasyBCD then copying the NST folder makes absolutely zero difference. The easyldr/ntldr file will be loaded just the same (even if from a different drive), and it will look for ebcd.00x or boot.ini from the boot disk, regardless of what disk easyldr/ntldr was loaded from.

So right now, you have the same exact configuration you did before changing the drives.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#16
Sorry if I've been misadvising then. That's the problem with such a new feature, as yet undocumented.
Are you saying CG, that it was always working as designed, that nothing was wrong ?
Best if I stop responding on multiple XP problems till I fully understand the new architecture !
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
I really need to update the documentation in the wiki! Actually, I've had to refer to the source code more than once because of how confusing its gotten with all the finer details.... so it would be helpful to all if I documented the easyldr method.

As for the current situation: EasyBCD was working as-expected, but I'm not clear on any bugs in the resulting behavior?

Addendum:

As usual, I just needed a prod to find the time to update the documentation.

Please check out Windows XP - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

It's been completely rewritten for 2.0 and has a number of very pretty diagrams/charts that I'm proud of :grinning:

It should clear everything up for once and for all.
 
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#18
Hi Mahmoud,

Thanks for your response.

First, as described in my previous response, when I changed the EasyBCD boot menu to hard code the drives of the 3 XP partitions, the 2 backup XP OSes (not on active partitions) would not boot as the NST folder containing the easyldr* files were not on those drives.

I agree that this did not change how EasyBCD and the boot sequence works.

After several hours of rebooting in different sequences I have concluded I still experience the inconsistent booting. If I boot "XP Main" it may boot up to 3 times correctly, but then without any changes it will begin rebooting during the XP Welcome screen. After that point, the partition will not complete a startup, but always will reboot at the XP Welcome screen. Sometimes restarting and selecting another XP partition from the boot menu will successfully boot that partition, and other times that partition will also reboot at the XP Welcome screen. When one of the other XP partitions successfully completes the startup, then most of the the "XP Main" will successfully startup (at least one time).

The same is true for the other 2 partitions, if one partition reboots at the XP Welcome screen, successfully starting another XP partition will usually allow the rebooting or "problem" partition to successfully startup at the next try.

I do not know how or what changes are made to an XP partition during startup at the XP Welcome screen, but the result is inconsisent rebooting.

Do you have any information on what happens during the time when the Welcome screen is visible? The reboot happens about 15-25 seconds after the Welcome screen appears. Then the screen goes black, a loud click is heard and the system restarts and goes to the boot menu.

I am still testing and trying to find a pattern to the situation.

Thanks for the effort you and Terry have put into this post.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#19
It's clearly not a EasyBCD bug - I've seen issues like this many times before (but spread over the years) without any successful resolution. Sometimes it has to do with the amount of RAM or other hardware odd incompatibilities.

This is just a thought, but try using Vista Hide 'n Seek. I'm on my blackberry and can't look up the link, but google it, it's a download here in the forums.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#20