Problems after restoring a Windows partition.

#1
I have two copies of Windows 7 on my computer. It's an Apple Mac and the only primary partition is my OS-X partition. Neither of the Windows partitions is a primary partition. They're both logical drives in an extended partition. When I first partitioned the disk this way (around 2 years ago) I installed EasyBCD on one of the Win7 partitions and I set everything up so I could choose which version of Windows to run using a boot time menu.

I back up my partitions regularly although I've never needed to restore a full partition until today (when I needed to replace the partition that contains EasyBCD). Of course, I hadn't taken into account that the restored partition would be given a new UID and therefore initially, I couldn't boot into it. Fortunately, I could still boot into the other Win7 partition and I was able to mount the newly restored (EasyBCD) partition as a temporary drive and then run EasyBCD.

After all this, I've now got my boot menu back and I can boot into either version of Windows. The only strange thing is that EasyBCD can no longer make changes to my boot menu. For example if I rename either of the menu entries and perform a 'Save', the new names don't have any effect. I still see the old names when I re-boot.

If this makes any sense, can anyone suggest what might have gone wrong?

Addendum

After experimenting with bcdedit I think I've condluded that neither EasyBCD nor bcdedit can access my system BCD store any more. I don't know where the system store is normally located but I guess it must be present because I see a boot menu when I start Windows and both the entries seem to work. I just can't edit them any more. Does that give any clues as to what's wrong?
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
In W7 whatever Disk Management marks as "system" is where bootmgr and boot\BCD are located. (They're super-hidden so you'll need folder options set thus to see them)
If EasyBCD > Tools > Options has some other location loaded, then the version you update and the one that's actually in use might not be the same.
 
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#3
Thanks Terry. I figured out how to view my system files and in fact, I eventually fixed the problem using bcdedit but I'm still mystified about where the system BCD store is actually located. It doesn't seem to be on either of my bootable partitions. Maybe if you don't have a primary partition that's bootable, the system store gets located somewhere else (in that small, invisible partition maybe?)

I soon realised that I couldn't find the system BCD store - not even when I was logged in as an Administrator! The only way to access it was to boot up from my Win7 install disk. I could then access the system BCD store by using bcdedit from a command prompt. But where the darn thing is located, I really don't know.... :frowning:

bcdedit isn't so bad once you get your head around it. It's sad that I can't use EasyBCD any more and from now on, I must apparently boot up from my install disk - but "c'est la vie !"
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
The BCD will never be on a logical drive.
All MS boot files have to be on the "active" partition, and only a primary partition can be active.

Disk Management flags have the following meanings
"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"


Look in the Disk Management flags and whichever partition is marked "system" when W7 is runnning contains the BCD. (It will be a primary)
 
#5
Thanks Terry. In that case, it must be located on the 200MB reserved partition since that's the one marked as Active. My only other primary partition runs OS-X and it isn't on that one (I've already checked). As is usual, the reserved partition doesn't have a drive letter. I wonder if that's why EasyBCD doesn't find the system BCD store?

The strange thing is that my actual drive layout hasn't changed. My Windows partitions have always been logical partitions and the reserved partition has never had a drive letter - and yet EasyBCD used to work. I wonder if re-installing EasyBCD would help?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
When you start EasyBCD it will use the BCD specified in tools > options (if there is one). Otherwise it will look in the active partition of the first drive in the boot sequence.
If it doesn't find a BCD there it will ask you to direct it to the BCD and give you an Explorer dialog to navigate to it.
Being a standard Windows "Open" dialogue, it will require the location to have a letter. (Explorer does not "see" unlettered drives).
You can remove the letter subsequently if you wish.
EasyBCD does not need it, but the Explorer dialogue does.
Once you've told EasyBCD where it is, it will continue to use it in future until you tell it to go somewhere else.
If you use File > Select BCD store, you can switch it to the BCD on system reserved. ( It will still need a letter to locate it, as above)
 
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#7
Thanks for the extra information Terry. I assigned a drive letter to the reserved partition and EasyBCD immediately found my system BCD store and could edit it. I then removed the drive letter (which did actually get removed) and I was encouraged to find that it carried on working! I then re-booted and it stopped working again. :frowning:

Still.... at least I know I can make it work by assigning a drive letter temporarily.

Incidentally, this site doesn't seem to send me email notifications when you reply to my thread. My email address and other profile settings seem to be correct so it's a mystery. It just means I might be a bit late with my replies but thanks for all your help with this.
 
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