Steps for multibooting

#1
Steps for multibooting with EasyBCD

Steps for multibooting with EasyBCD:

Introduction: EasyBCD is a freeware tool designed to make your life easier by allowing easy modification of your Vista/7 BCD (a task which can only be achieved with either it or the CLI tool "bcdedit.exe"). It is NOT a bootloader, but rather is a tool for modifying the Vista/7 bootloader. With EasyBCD, it makes multibooting with any OS (be it Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X) through the Windows bootloader a snap.

A few notes, however:

Since EasyBCD is designed to operate on the BCD (a boot file used only by Vista and up), you can not use it unless you have either Vista or Win 7 (which uses the same bootloader as Vista) installed on your computer. (There is one exception to this rule, i.e. putting the Vista bootloader on an XP-only system, without putting Vista itself on, but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial).

  • If you install Linux on a computer with Windows Vista or Seven, you will want to use the "Advanced" option during the installation setup to put Grub on the partition, so as to avoid overwriting the Windows MBR. If you end up overwriting it, however, you can either use Startup Repair on the Vista or Seven DVD, or EasyBCD->Manage Bootloader->Reinstall the Vista/7 Bootloader->Write MBR to get it back, and put Vista/7 back in charge of the boot.
Steps for dual-booting Vista/7 with XP:


If Vista/7 boots but XP fails to boot

Method 1 (Auto-configure with EasyBCD):​

  • Get EasyBCD 2.0 Beta, install, and replace any version of Easy that is already installed.
  • Open up EasyBCD, navigate to the Add/Remove Entries section, and delete any existing boot entries for XP there. Next, go to the Windows tab, select the “Windows NT/2k/XP/2k3” option in the Type menu, give the entry an appropriate name, and click the Add Entry button. Here a prompt will open up, asking you if you want to let EasyBCD automatically configure boot.ini for you, and create NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM in the root of the "system" partition. So accept the offer, and your XP should now boot perfectly fine.
  • Enjoy your multiboot! :smile:
Note: If for some reason at this point, XP does not boot, then perhaps the auto-configure of EasyBCD failed, and in that case, I will cover the manual method of getting it to boot as well.

Method 2 (Manual configuring/copying boot files):

If Method 1 failed for some reason, it will be necessary to perform all the steps manually that EasyBCD normally does by itself when you add an XP entry to the BCD:

  • First you should add an XP entry to your BCD if you have not already done so. Just open up EasyBCD, go to Add/Remove Entries, click the Windows tab, select the “Windows NT/2k/XP/2k3” option in the Type drop-down menu, give the entry a name, and click Add Entry.
  • Now that the new entry is added, navigate to the View settings section of EasyBCD, look at the XP entry shown there, and the Drive: it is pointed at. Next, open up Disk Management (Windows menu>Right click on “Computer”>Manage>Disk Management) and look at the “flags” on the partitions you see. Note the drive letter of the partition that is marked as "system", whichever one that is, and then reopen EasyBCD, and compare the drive letter of the “system” partition with the drive letter of the partition the XP entry is pointed at. If they are different, then go to the Change settings section of EasyBCD, and change the entry so it is pointed at the drive letter of the "system" partition. (Note: This step will very rarely need to be done, since EasyBCD usually automatically detects which partition is "system" and points an XP entry at it)
  • Now, at this point, you will need to copy over the "boot.ini", “ntldr”, and “ntdetect.com” files from the XP partition’s root into the root of the “system” partition. Before you can see those files, you will need to be showing hidden files and folders and have un-hidden protected system files. To do this, go to Windows menu->Control Panel->Folder Options>View tab, and you should see where you can do both of the afore-mentioned things. Now that you should be able to see those files, just simply copy them over into the root of the “system” partition.
  • You will now need to configure boot.ini manually. To do so, first right click on the boot.ini file ("system" partition version), select "Properties", and then untick the "Read-only" option. Now open up the boot.ini file itself by double-clicking it, and it should open in Notepad.
Your boot.ini should look something like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=1
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]



multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
  • Note the rdisk(0) and partition(1) values. That means this example boot.ini file is pointed at the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence (i.e. disk 0), and the first partition in the MBR partition table of that HDD (hence, partition 1). The count for the rdisk() value begins the count starting at 0, while the partition() value begins at 1. Your XP partition will likely be somewhere else in your system, however, and you should locate the values yourself, using the BIOS boot sequence and partition tools for reference. Sometimes it may be quicker to use the trial-and-error method, trying all the possible rdisk() and partition() values, until you find the right one. Whichever method you use, those values must be correctly pointed at the XP partition, or XP can't boot.
  • So adjust the boot.ini, save and close the file, then reboot and test the entry, and it should all be working the way it should (if you configured boot.ini correctly, that is; if not, you'll need to keep trying until you find the correct values to put in your boot.ini, like already mentioned). XP should now boot when you pick the entry to boot XP in the Vista boot menu, and Vista should of course boot when you pick the Vista entry instead.
  • Congrats! You now should have managed to get XP booting by manual configuration, though using EasyBCD's auto-configure feature is of course always the preferred way...:wink:
If XP boots but Vista/7 fails to
  • Read the section of our wiki that describes how to repair the Vista bootloader (both the MBR and the boot files) using either your Vista/7 installation DVD (if you have one), or the Recovery CD found at this link.
  • Follow the advice there. Your Vista/7 should now boot, but XP will not any longer.
  • Now boot into Vista/7, and install EasyBCD 2.0 Beta if not already installed.
  • Navigate to the Add/Remove Entries section of EasyBCD, go to the Windows tab, and add a new entry to Vista’s boot menu to boot XP, making sure to select the “Windows NT/2k/XP/2k3” option in the drop-down menu. Click on the Add Entry button to create the new entry.
  • When you get to the prompt asking you if you want to let EasyBCD autoconfigure boot.ini for you, and place NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM in the "system" partition for you, accept the offer.
  • If you have both Vista and 7 installed (or two-of-one), and one of them is not booting, then just select the appropriate option in the Type menu of the Windows tab of the Add/Remove Entries section of EasyBCD, point it at the correct drive letter of the Vista/7 partition as seen by the booted system, give it a name, and click Add Entry. You'll now be able to boot that system too.
  • You should now have a multiboot system. (If some reason, you don't, just refer to method 2 above, under "If Vista boots, but XP fails to boot").
  • Happy multibooting! :smile:
Steps for dual-booting Vista/7 with Linux:


If Linux boots but the Grub menu is the first thing you see

  • This indicates you either overwrote the Windows MBR with Grub, or perhaps changed boot sequence in your BIOS, to put your Linux HDD first, if you have a multiple-HDD system. Either way, this indicates you installed Grub to the MBR of the HDD, instead of to the bootsector of the Linux partition.
  • No problem. Just boot the Vista/7 DVD, select "Repair My Computer", select "Startup Repair", and run it (possibly 2-3 times) to put Vista/7 back in charge of the boot. Your other option (if you can boot into Vista/7 from Grub, that is) is to use EasyBCD->Manage Bootloader->Reinstall the Vista/7 Bootloader->Write MBR to rewrite the Windows MBR.
  • You'll now have your Windows MBR back, and should be able to boot into Vista/7 fine, but will no longer be able to boot into Linux (...yet).
  • Now install [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread] if not already installed, run it, go to Add/Remove Entries, select the Linux tab, and pick either Grub(Legacy) or Grub2 in the Type menu, depending on which version of Grub your chosen Linux uses.
  • If you picked Grub(Legacy), you'll need to point it the correct partition Linux is installed to, and select the "Grub isn't installed to the MBR/bootsector" option only if Linux is on a different HDD than the bootmgr and BCD.
  • Then just give it a name, and hit Add Entry.
  • You should now be able to boot into Linux from the Windows boot menu. Congratulations and enjoy your multiboot. :smile:
If Vista/7 and Linux are already installed, and just Vista boots
  • Download and install EasyBCD 2.0 Beta if an earlier version or no version is currently installed.
  • Run it, go to Add/Remove Entries, delete any existing Linux entries, then select the Linux tab, and create a brand new one using either the Grub(Legacy) or Grub2 option under the Type menu, depending on which version of Grub your chosen Linux uses.
  • If you chose the Grub(Legacy) option in the Type menu, then be sure to select the correct partition that Linux is installed to, in the Device drop-down menu, and to check the box titled “Grub isn’t installed to the MBR/bootsector” if Linux happens to be on another HDD than the one with the bootmgr and BCD. When you are finished selecting those things, and have given the entry an appropriate name, just click on the “Add Entry” button to add the new entry to your BCD.
  • You should now have a multiboot with Linux. Congratulations, and hope you found this tutorial useful.:smile:
 
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#2
In vista, how can i create a partion and set up the swap partition and then install ubuntu\kubuntu on another created partition and then when i remove that partition, how can i get rid of the grub loader with out fixing the mbr?
 
#3
In vista, how can i create a partion and set up the swap partition and then install ubuntu\kubuntu on another created partition and then when i remove that partition, how can i get rid of the grub loader with out fixing the mbr?
Hi dustydust4. Welcome to NST.
You can use Gparted on the LiveCD (System>Administration>Partition editor, while booted into a Live session) to resize one of your existing partitions, and create the swap and root partitions out of the free space you get back from the partition you resized. And then when you install Ubuntu, you need to remember to choose the "Advanced" option, and specify where to install Grub to, namely to the boot sector of the Ubuntu partition, instead of to the MBR. :wink: That way, Vista's IPL remains in the MBR, and doesn't get overwritten by Grub, meaning you wont have to put it back in the case that you want to get rid of Ubuntu.

Cheers.

-Coolname007
 
#4
Win 7 and XP dual boot

I'm following the instructions for Vista and XP dual boot, and Windows 7 boots fine. I can't get XP to boot. I have clean installs of Win7 on my C drive, and XP on a separate D drive.
In Win7 Disk Management, the XP drive shows as a healthy primary partition.
When I did a clean install of Win7, it created a partition without a drive letter on C of 200 MB, and in Disk Management it is labelled System, Active, Primary partition.
Drive C with Win7 is labelled Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition.
So, when I have EasyBCD create a new boot.ini, is it creating it in the new un-named partition? And do the NTDLR files need to be copied into this partition as well, or should they stay on D? I assume my entry-Based settings in EasyBCD point to XP in drive D, and that does all the drive pointing? Do I need to create a drive letter for that unnamed partion and move the XP boot info there, or leave that alone for Win7? Thanks for your help on this!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Windows 7 (I don't know why) will create a separate "system" partition if you let it install to a blank space. If you pre-format a partition for it, it will all go into the single partition.
Read point 3 in the sticky thread and you'll see that all of the boot files for all of your Windows installations need to be in the "system" partition. So give it a letter and follow the instructions about copying the XP boot files there. Use EasyBCD 2.0 Beta and it will configure the boot.ini to point back to XP for you and save you the bother of a manual edit.
 
#6
I'm following the instructions for Vista and XP dual boot, and Windows 7 boots fine. I can't get XP to boot. I have clean installs of Win7 on my C drive, and XP on a separate D drive.
In Win7 Disk Management, the XP drive shows as a healthy primary partition.
When I did a clean install of Win7, it created a partition without a drive letter on C of 200 MB, and in Disk Management it is labelled System, Active, Primary partition.
Drive C with Win7 is labelled Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition.
So, when I have EasyBCD create a new boot.ini, is it creating it in the new un-named partition? And do the NTDLR files need to be copied into this partition as well, or should they stay on D? I assume my entry-Based settings in EasyBCD point to XP in drive D, and that does all the drive pointing? Do I need to create a drive letter for that unnamed partion and move the XP boot info there, or leave that alone for Win7? Thanks for your help on this!
Hi Brinker123. Welcome to NST.
Like Terry said in the following quote, that 200 MB partition is a partition the Win 7 setup creates automatically, and contains the /boot/BCD and "bootmgr" files. Yes, you need to give it a drive letter, and copy the XP boot files there. Then, point the XP entry at that partition, have 2.0 Beta autoconfigure boot.ini for you, and XP should boot perfectly fine after that. :wink: If you have it create a boot.ini instead of copying the one from the XP partition, it should be placed automatically in the root of the "system" partition, namely, the 200 MB partition.
Windows 7 (I don't know why) will create a separate "system" partition if you let it install to a blank space. If you pre-format a partition for it, it will all go into the single partition.
Read point 3 in the sticky thread and you'll see that all of the boot files for all of your Windows installations need to be in the "system" partition. So give it a letter and follow the instructions about copying the XP boot files there. Use EasyBCD 2.0 Beta and it will configure the boot.ini to point back to XP for you and save you the bother of a manual edit.
Haven't I said all that in the first post in this thread? :brows: When it comes to Win 7, just read Win 7 in place of Vista, since they are basically the same (in regards to the booting process, anyway).

-Coolname007
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
Windows 7 (I don't know why) will create a separate "system" partition if you let it install to a blank space. If you pre-format a partition for it, it will all go into the single partition.
Windows 7 creates a seperate system partition if installed to a blank space so no pre-partitioning requirements are needed if the user decides to take advantage of bitlocker drive encryption.
 
#8
Thank all of you for your help. It works! The create boot.ini feature in 2.0 is a huge help. I can now dual boot in either Window7 or XP. Maybe in another year I can let go of XP, but I'm set for 2009. Cheers!
 
#9
Thank all of you for your help. It works! The create boot.ini feature in 2.0 is a huge help. I can now dual boot in either Window7 or XP. Maybe in another year I can let go of XP, but I'm set for 2009. Cheers!
Hey, Jeff, that's great news! :smile: Glad to hear your dual-boot process was so easy in your case. :wink: Let us know if you have any more problems.

Cheers,

Jake
 
#10
Once the message box pops up again, click on the link shown there to open up your browser at the page where you can download them from. Next, simply download those files from that page, and place them in the root of the “system” partition (as shown from Disk Management). .
Sorry, not seeing a link there. I really appreciate all the help though.
 
#11
Sorry, not seeing a link there. I really appreciate all the help though.
Sorry doyling. That part of the instructions applied to [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread] only when the auto-configure feature had not been updated yet to automatically create NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM in the root of the "system" partition. All you have to do now to get XP working is add an XP entry, let it auto-configure, and don't change where its pointed.

(I would remove that part of the instructions, but I can not edit my post, since I am a normal user at the forums, and CG has a time-limit on post edits)
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
If you copy/paste your original post to a new one Jake, and make any updates you want, I'll edit it into the 1st post when you're finished.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
OK Jake, I think that's alright now after a hiccup or two.
Check it and if it's OK you can delete your latest post.
 
#14
Why does it look different in the first post?
You didn't just copy/paste it into the first post?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
Yes, that was a "select all" /copy /paste.
I don't know why extra white space appeared, but I've been in again and removed some of it.
 
#16
Yes, that was a "select all" /copy /paste.
I don't know why extra white space appeared, but I've been in again and removed some of it.
And it looks like it also changed the color of "A few notes, however"...from black to red. :wtf:

EDIT: And there is still too much white space between
Steps for dual-booting Vista/7 with Linux:

If Linux boots but the Grub menu is the first thing you see

Addendum:

And could you change

Steps for multibooting with EasyBCD:

Introduction: EasyBCD is a freeware tool designed to make your life easier by allowing easy modification of your Vista/7 BCD (a task which can only be achieved with either it or the CLI tool "bcdedit.exe"). It is NOT a bootloader, but rather is a tool for modifying the Vista/7 bootloader. With EasyBCD, it makes multibooting with any OS (be it Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X) through the Windows bootloader a snap.


to


Steps for multibooting with EasyBCD:



Introduction: EasyBCD is a freeware tool designed to make your life easier by allowing easy modification of your Vista/7 BCD (a task which can only be achieved with either it or the CLI tool "bcdedit.exe"). It is NOT a bootloader, but rather is a tool for modifying the Vista/7 bootloader. With EasyBCD, it makes multibooting with any OS (be it Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X) through the Windows bootloader a snap.



(more space between the title and the introduction)

Sorry, lol, I'm a perfectionist...:tongueout::??:brows::grinning::evil::booyah::lol:
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#17
Wierd, I kept taking out white space till it looked right in the edit, then saved, and there was still too much.
How's that now after 3 more edits.
 
#18
That certainly looks better, but I prefer a consistent formatting scheme. :wink:

The amount of space between the "Steps for dual-booting Vista/7 with XP" and "If Vista/7 boots but XP fails to boot" does not match the amount of space between "Steps for dual-booting Vista/7 with Linux" and "If Linux boots but the Grub menu is the first thing you see". Could you backspace a line for "If Linux boots but the Grub menu is the first thing you see"? :tongueout:

Sorry...
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#19
Sorry Jake, that's the best I can do.
Like I said before, I kept editing out the space and it stayed steady.
I tried taking it out altogether, and extra whitespace appeared elsewhere out of the blue, first at the opening section, then in the middle of the boot.ini.
I've no idea what's going on with the wysiwyg editor, but it'll just have to stay like that till someone explains how I can remove it rather than just shuffle it randomly.
 
#20
Now it looks even worse..:frowning:
More space.

Oh well...thanks for trying though.