Triple Boot Scheme (Win8, Linux Mint, & Linux Debian) Does Not Work

#1
My 64 year old brain is stumped and needs help. I am trying to use EasyBCD 2.2 to set up a system in which I can boot up either Win 8 Professional (Win8), Linux Mint 14.1 (LMint), or Linux Debian (Debian) to boot up from an EasyBCD generated menu.

I can get the first two to do what I want just fine. But selecting the Debian option sends me into blinking_White_cursor_on_black_screen_land. I can not get the Debian install to boot from the EasyBCD option.

But I can get the Debian install to boot and run just fine if I reboot then quickly select the drive upon which it is installed by pressing the F11 key before booting continues.
Here is how my system is currently set up:

Disk 1[MBR] is an internal SSD drive which contains 3 partitions --
-----------
- 1st (labeled SYSTEM) NTFS format, 140.2 MB size (51.97 MB used), Status=System, Type=Primary
- 2nd (no label) EXT4 format, 103.1 GB size (103.1 used) LMint partition, Status=None, Type=Primary
- 3rd (no label) Linux Swap format, 16 GB size (16 GB used) Swap partition, Status=None, Type=Logical

Disk 2[MBR] is an internal SATA drive which contains 3 partitions --
-----------
- 1st (labeled D: NTFS format, 529.05 GB Size (323.38 GB used) my data partition, Status=None, Type=Primary
- 2nd (labeled C:Windows 8) NTFS format, 159 GB size (91.55 GB used), Status=Boot, Type=Logical
- 3rd (labeled E:BackUpImage) NTFS format, 9.76 GB size (5.89 GB used), Status=None, Type=Logical

Disk 3[MBR] is an external USB drive which contains only 1 partition --
-----------
- (labeled F:C Backup Files) NTFS format, 465.76 GB size (441.68 GB used), Status=None, Type=Primary

Disk 4[MBR] is a 2nd external USB drive which contains 3 partitions --
-----------
- 1st (labeled G: SEAGATE GOF) NTSF format, 255.56 GB size (664.91 MB used) spare storage, Status=None, Type=Primary
- 2nd (no label) EXT4 format, 193.7 GB size (193.7 used) Linux Debian partition, Status=None, Type=Logical
- 3rd (no label) Linux Swap format, 16 GB size (16 GB used) Swap partition, Status=None, Type=Logical

At this point my EasyBCD menu looks like this:
Entry Default
Microsoft Windows 8 Yes
Linux Mint 14.1 No
Linux Debian No

The settings code which generates that menu reads as follows:

There are a total of 3 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Microsoft Windows 8
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Microsoft Windows 8
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #2
Name: Linux Mint 14.1
BCD ID: {e34d53e2-5ec5-11e2-be7f-0002722426f6}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\AutoNeoGrub1.mbr

Entry #3
Name: Linux Debian
BCD ID: {cd230bc5-61e2-11e2-be90-0002722426f6}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \NST\nst_linux.mbr

The more detailed debug mode code looks like this:

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device boot
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {e34d53e0-5ec5-11e2-be7f-0002722426f6}
resumeobject {5a8a501c-5ecd-11e2-be80-806e6f6e6963}
displayorder {e34d53e0-5ec5-11e2-be7f-0002722426f6}
{e34d53e2-5ec5-11e2-be7f-0002722426f6}
{cd230bc6-61e2-11e2-be90-0002722426f6}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30
displaybootmenu Yes

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {e34d53e0-5ec5-11e2-be7f-0002722426f6}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows 8
locale en-US
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {5a8a501c-5ecd-11e2-be80-806e6f6e6963}
nx OptIn
pae ForceEnable
sos No
debug No

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {e34d53e2-5ec5-11e2-be7f-0002722426f6}
device partition=C:
path \NST\AutoNeoGrub1.mbr
description Linux Mint 14.1

Real-mode Boot Sector
---------------------
identifier {cd230bc6-61e2-11e2-be90-0002722426f6}
device partition=C:
path \NST\nst_linux.mbr
description Linux Debian

What do I do from here in order to be able to successfully select and run my Debian choice?

In addition to being able to boot Debian from the external drive I would also like to be able to boot other Linux distros housed on flash drives via an EasyBCD menu. But I can't find out how to do that either. Good tips will be appreciated.

Sorry for the long post. But I'm at my wit's end. And I think I have read most every post here.


For Those Who Might Be Wondering:

If you are wondering why Windows 8 is not installed on the SSD drive it is because the drive (about 120 Gb in size) is too small to handle all of the files Win8 insists be installed on the drive marked C:. Just installing Win8 and a very small number of Metro-like apps quickly ate up and exceeded the space available on that drive.

Disk 2 was speedy enough, so carving out a roughly 160 GB partition on it to hold Win8 and the apps I might need freed up the SSD Drive 1 to hold (a) the Windows System partition, (2) my new LMint partition, and (3) a 16 GB linux swap partition.

The rest of Disk 2 left plenty of space for holding a backup image and the rest of my stuff (data, pics, movies, games, etc).
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
That's all the space a new clean W8 needs.
I've no idea what apps you have that fill 140Gb.
Something is wrong.
Use a free space analyzer like "treesize" to find what's chewing up all the space. w8.JPG
 
#3
Terry --

Thanks for the "treesize" tip. I'll give it a try. But my real issue is why won't EasyBCD allow me to boot my Debian install? I'm thinking I'll have to give it up in favor of using Grub2 for my multi-boot needs.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
I won't give advice on grub2, since I stopped using Linux while it was still on legacy grub, but as far as I know, at present it's only possible to boot more than one grub2 linux by adding the additional ones to the grub.cfg of the first and running a two-menu boot if you want MS bootmgr to be in control.
I think CG is contemplating how to handle that in a later build but it's complicated by the fact that there are so many conflicting methods of grub2 boot implementation in the plethora of Linux distros.
But I'll leave him to confirm or contradict that, since it falls outside my purview.
 

YTee

New Member
#5
I'm having a pretty similar issue to Tim. Don't want to hijack your thread Tim, but I reckon if we solve one problem we solve both.

Two disks, one with Windows 8 and the other with both Windows 7 and CentOS 6.3.

On the second disk, I have managed to get a nice EasyBCD driven Windows Bootloader Menu and both Windows 7 and CentOS boot fine.

If I boot using the first disk, Windows 8 boots, but I just cannot find a way to boot CentOS using the bootloader on that disk. Like Tim, I just get a flashing cursor when I try.

Definitely seems like the problem is that the OS is on a different disk to the bootloader, but EasyBCD clearly does support that configuration (it works with two Windows partitions on different disks, for example), so I'm not sure what the issue is.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Are you using latest EasyBCD?