Run XP, Win7 & Ubuntu



I have a machine with 2 SATA drives and an older IDE drive - can boot from either SATA.

I have XP installed on one SATA drive (CMOS to boot from this one) and a copy of XP on another SATA drive - small partition I had been playing around at XP install time and never removed it.

I also have Ubuntu on the IDE drive. The Ubuntu install put GRUB on the main XP drive and I could choose to boot XP or Ubuntu.

I have now wiped the second XP drive and installed Win7 (unplugged the XP drive while I did it). This seems to have "broken" the GRUB boot, I can boot from the Win7 disc but if I set the CMOS to XP drive I get the GRUB error - possibly because the old 2nd XP has become Win7? I am currently booting from XP with the Win7 unplugged.

The Ubuntu is an old version and I want to reformat that drive and put a newer version on there.

Ideally I'd like to be able to select at boot time either of the 3 O/S's. What is the best option for all 3 to co-exist?

The only OS I need to preserve is the XP one - I have not used win7 yet so can reinstall if a differnet order is necessary.

Hope this makes sense - or am I dreaming?

Cheers - Dave
When you install a new Ubuntu, it will overwrite the Windows boot by default, and grub will become the controlling boot manager. If you don't want this to happen, you must use the "advanced" option during the Ubuntu install when defining the boot process. That will enable you to prevent grub installing to the MBR.
Both grub and W7 bootmgr (with EasyBCD's help) are perfectly capable of triple booting your OSs for you. You just need to choose which one you prefer.
Thanks Guys,
Looks like it is possible.

One question, given I currently have GRUB on the XP disk, should I (can I) remove that so the boot loader can be on the Win7 disk.
W7 bootloader is already on the W7 disk. Just put it first in the BIOS, install EasyBCD 2.0 from the link Justin gave, add an XP entry to the W7 BCD and let EasyBCD auto-configure when it offers.
Add an Ubuntu entry and point it to the partition where grub installed (tick the "grub isn't....." box if that's a different HDD to W7)
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Have downloaded and installed EasyBCD 1.7.2.
Wheen trying to run it I get:
Application was unable to start correctly (0xc000007b)
HI Jake,
Installed latest beta and got the same error.
Checking control panel in Win 7shows the .NET framework 3.5.1 box greyed (not ticked) and expanding this shows that the 2 "Windows Communication Foundation" entries not ticked.
Do i need to activate one or both of these?

Cheers - Dave


Oh - follow up question this should work with Win 7 64 bit which is what I am using??
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EasyBCD works fine with x64.
There must be a duff .NET framework on your W7 installation.
.NET 3.x is *not* required, but .NET 2.0 is.

Reinstall one or more .NET packages to make sure everything is correct.
Hi, Thanks for the quick reply. I found a thread on a Microsoft forum that said .NET 2 is included in .NET 3. But there was also info on how to check if your install has any problems in this area.

Since I am only at the stage of starting with Win 7 and have not moved any data or apps over to it yet I may wipe the Win 7 disk and start again. I'll then load EasyBCD as soon as I've done the install before I install any other Apps.

Last time I disconnected the XP disk for the Win 7 install, would it be a good idea to leave it connected for the Win 7 install?
Only if you want it to put its boot files on the XP partition.
Probably simplest for future upgrading (abandonment of XP maybe) to keep W7's boot files with W7.
Also, partition the W7 HDD yourself in the configuration you want before installing W7. If you let W7 do the formatting and partitioning itself, it will hide the boot files in an unlettered 100Mb partition.
OK will install with just Win 7 disk connected - I had that 100Mb partition problem last time , so I'll reformat the disk myself. Should be able to do it tonight.
Well its not really a problem with our latest build of EasyBCD which can handle the boot partition problem with Windows 7 automatically with the exception of a bitlocker enabled system, but yes, go ahead and format it before starting W7's installer with something like GParted if you don't want W7's installer setting up your boot files on a dedicated partition.
Just before I reformat my Win 7 disk, given that it seems that .NET 2 is included in .NET 3, I checked the .NET stuff using the .net verification utility netfx_setupverifier, it reported that .NET 2 SP2 was installed and working.

So could there be another reason why I am getting "The application was unable to start correctly (0cx000007b). Click OK to close the application".

To recap, I am running Windows 7 Professional 64bit and running as an administrator. I am trying to run EasyBDC version


Hi again, Not sure if this helps but I am currently in XP and I ran the netfx_setupverifier utility and it verified .NET: 1.1 SP1 2.0 SP2 3.0 SP2 & 3.5 SP1 were installed and working so same as in Win7 except for the 1.1 SP1.

Then I ran EasyBCD - just to see if it would run - and it did but it reported "boot configuration store could not be opened".

So - difference from Win7 is that there is .NET 1.1 in XP.
I can't see how I may have got a bad Win7 install - I just did the "vanilla" install to a blank formatted disk with the XP disk disconnected.

Am I the first person to have this problem?

Cheers - Dave
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Looks like XP doesn't have the drivers for the boot disk, therefore it cannot see the boot configuration in EasyBCD.
I didn't really expect it to fully work on XP but the fact that it fired up without crashing was the "test". So I'm still not sure why it's not working on Win 7 given that I seem to have .NET 2 and 3 installed in both the XP & the Win7 environments.

So in respect of XP versus Win7:
XP has .NET 1 and is 32bit and EasyBCD executes
Win7 is 64bit and does not have .NET 1 and EasyBCD crashes on startup.
I'll try it - I am still learning my way around Win 7, I haven't found a comprehensive Add/Remove Programs list yet. Where I see .NET it is just .NET 3 but the .NET verification tool is finding the .NET 2 components and giving them the OK.

I checked my ISP usage last night and I am getting near my monthly limit (we have overseas guests who have been makng a lot of Skype video calls) so I want to hold off doing a format and install as I will get the whole load of Win 7 patches again. So I may put the reformat/reinstall on hold until next week when my ISP billing month starts.

I did edit the Ubuntu GRUB loader last night and now I can put the XP drive first in the boot sequence and get the menu option to boot XP, Win7 or Ubuntu so I am OK boot wise for now but I do want to get the EasyBCD stuff fworking becasue I want to blow away the UBuntu build and reformat that drive to a larger partition and then install the latest Ubuntu.

Thanks again for everyone's help on this.