redundant, partially active, triple boot menus

#1
Dear NeoSmart members,

I am hoping you can help me in the mess I have been getting myself into...

In my enthusiasm to look into the new windows 7 ultimate 64-bit version I have recently installed it on my HDD (running in RAID 5) that already had windows XP professional and vista ultimate (both 64-bit) installed on separate partitions (~300 Gb each). After installing win7, it converted my bootmenu perfectly into a triple boot system. So far so good.

Because the 64-bit OS's seemed to cause a driver issue for one of my favourite applications I decided to remove the vista installation and replace it with a XP professional 32-bit version. After installation a completely new bootmenu appeared and windows 7 was no longer available. With easyBCD 1.7.2 I was able to restore the VISTA bootloader that returned my win7 entry.

However, the bootmenu is only working for win7 directly this time and looks as follows:
Win7
XP pro 64
XP pro 32

Win7 indeed starts windows 7, XP 32 causes a reboot and XP pro 64 gives me a second boot menu. This second menu is identical to the original bootmenu I had before I used easyBCD to restore the vista bootloader:
XP pro 32
XP pro 64
win7

The first two entries start the respective OS's and win7 in this menu causes a reboot.

I read on the internet (also this site) that the second bootmenu was to expected and that I can delete the rebooting entries in both bootmenus using easyBCD. However I would like to remove the second bootmenu alltogether and to get the entries activated in the first menu.

I have included the easyBCD settings below. The second bootmenu settings I could not find. (EDIT: I found it under "edit legacy entries" in easyBCD 2.0, attached below)

Thanks in advance for your advice and help!

Regards,

Peter

There are a total of 3 entries listed in the Vista Bootloader.
Bootloader Timeout: 3 seconds.
Default OS: Win7 64-bit

Entry #1

Name: Win7 64-bit
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: D:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

Entry #2

Name: XP professional 64-bit
BCD ID: {ab8194d4-2214-11de-ba2f-00235457de57}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR

Entry #3

Name: XP pro 32-bit
BCD ID: {ab8194d5-2214-11de-ba2f-00235457de57}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \NTLDR


EDIT: edit legacy entries information (second bootmenu)

[boot loader]
timeout=5
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="XP Pro 32-bit" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /noexecute=alwaysoff
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Pro 64-bit" /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=ALWAYSOFF
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Win7" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=ALWAYSOFF


How partitions are flagged is given in this screenshot:
http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/7105/systempartition.png
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Peter, welcome to NST.
Vista or W7, boot XP systems by chaining the XP boot loader/manager NTLDR.
This reads the file boot.ini (what you see in your legacy entries via EasyBCD tools).
boot.ini describes all your NT systems and there should therefore only be one XP entry in the BCD.
Use EasyBCD to delete the XP 32bit entry (add/remove entries) and rename the XP 64bit to "XP" or "XP menu".(change settings)
Remove the W7 line from boot.ini (edit legacy entries) because NTLDR cannot ever be made to boot Vista or W7 (it's not forward compatible).
I'm afraid you're stuck with a 2 stage menu whenever you want to use Longhorn bootmgr to boot multiple NT systems. It chains to the copy of NTLDR in the "system" partition, so you can't have multiple entries in the BCD (they'd all point to the same NTLDR, which reads the same boot.ini)
 
#3
Dear Terry,

Thanks for your fast reply. I had been searching the internet in the meantime and puzzled a bit using your tutorial threads here and came to more or less the same work around solution before reading your views on the situation. The two menu's are working fine. I used the easyBCD 2.0 beta version to automatically rewrite the second boot menu which deleted the win7 entry. I renamed them afterwards by editing the boot.ini file. For the first Vista bootloader I did exactly what you suggested.

I must say I learned a lot thanks to this great site and the wonderful software you develop.

Thank you very much!

Good luck with the site!

Regards,

Peter
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Glad you've sorted it.
There is a way to have only one menu if you use a different bootloader, and you might want to consider "Vista Hide 'n Seek" (HnS).
This will give you a single boot menu for your 3 systems and will also protect your Vista Restore Points from XP. (you were aware that XP "fixes" Vista's restore folders because it thinks they're "broken" (they changed the format in Vista, but XP doesn't know))
Each time you boot one of your XPs, it will destroy all of your Vista restore points unless you take some action to prevent XP being aware of Vista's existence.
 
#5
Hi Terry,

I must admit, I didn' t learn THAT much: I wasn''t aware that XP destroyes the VISTA restore points.
Do you happen to know if this also the case for Win7, the Vista OS was replaced by 32-bit XP pro?If it is I will give HnS a shot for sure!

Thanks again!

Regards,

Peter
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
Yes, W7's also affected as is any other future Windows release as a new format for restore points are being used that cause this problem when users dual-boot with XP or earlier versions of Windows. HnS should work fine. You'll need to mark W7's partition as a Vista partition in the UI by the way.