What does easyBCD "point to"?

#1
EasyBCD is the greatest Vista thing I have every seen! Dual booting to vista\vista. I have an identical second drive which is updated nightly.

Both boot perfectly, thanks to the easyBCD menu.

I added\removed a few USB devices and rebooted, and lost both hard drives.

The error was:

missing file \windows\system32\winload.exe

Well, it was not missing, but the drive letters apparently got mixed up with my USB devices. It seems to be a common problem.

I fixed it, but have a question:

What does easyBCD point to?

In other words, \system32\winload apprears to be critical to load vista.

Is that what easyBCD points to? In simple terms, how does it work?

I want to understand this to avoid losing bootup again.
 
#2
Hi robertpri.
EasyBCD is a GUI alternative to the command line tool "bcdedit.exe" which is for editing the BCD file which Vista uses in place of the "boot.ini" file that XP uses, as well as having a lot of other cool features that have been recently added that make it more versatile for all situations. :grinning: What it does is allow easy manipulating of existing entries, as well as creating new entries (to boot Windows, Linux, or Mac OS).
The "winload.exe" file located at /Windows/system32 on your Vista partition is what Vista actually uses to *load* the OS. :wink: In other words, it is the Vista bootloader, just like the "ntldr" is the loader for XP.

Have a read of this excellent guide to better understand the booting process.

Cheers,

Jake
 
Last edited:
#4
Hi robertpri.
EasyBCD is a GUI alternative to the command line tool "bcdedit.exe" which is for editing the BCD file which Vista uses in place of the "boot.ini" file that XP uses [snip] The "winload.exe" file located at /Windows/system32 on your Vista partition is what Vista actually uses to *load* the OS. [snip]
Jake
Okay, good. So then, as I understand it [and will read your link] EasyBCD 'bypasses' vista's bcdedit.exe and goes straight to winload. Do I have it right?

Addendum:

If you disconnect these devices while you boot the computer, it should work again.
Or as I learned, add the USD device and boot. I've learned that it depends on what you do with USB things, and when. In my case, I had to 'add' a device and reboot to get it working. Best I can figure, the device was there when i booted, then removed it.

Later, a reboot thought the device "should be there" and looked for it. I don't pretend to understand it all, but I added my backup ext device, rebooted, and it worked.

Very odd
 
Last edited:
#5
Okay, good. So then, as I understand it [and will read your link] EasyBCD 'bypasses' vista's bcdedit.exe and goes straight to winload. Do I have it right?
No, not at all. :lol: The bcdedit.exe is what EasyBCD uses to edit the BCD file! Basically, it is the GUI version of the tool, but includes other features as previously mentioned. :wink: The winload.exe is used by Vista to load Vista, after EasyBCD has already been pointed to the correct partition's its on, if you're using multiple installations of Vista (as you are), from the BCD.

Cheers,

Jake

Addendum:

Or as I learned, add the USD device and boot. I've learned that it depends on what you do with USB things, and when. In my case, I had to 'add' a device and reboot to get it working. Best I can figure, the device was there when i booted, then removed it.

Later, a reboot thought the device "should be there" and looked for it. I don't pretend to understand it all, but I added my backup ext device, rebooted, and it worked.

Very odd
Check your boot priority/sequence in your BIOS, and see which drive is set to boot first. :wink: If its your external, then it sounds like your Vista boot files are on that drive for some reason (perhaps you had it first in the boot sequence when you installed Vista?). If that is the case, then you must have installed the second Vista on that drive, and that explains why you got that error. You must have disconnected the drive you installed the second Vista to!
 
Last edited:

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
Your backup drive shouldn't have anything to do with whether Vista can boot or not. Boot into Vista, disconnect any other drives except for the drive Vista is on, and use EasyBCD to re-install the Vista bootloader to the mbr. Manage Bootloader -> Reinstall the Vista Bootloader -> Write MBR.
 
#8
Thank you! I am slowly understanding. [very slowly]
No problem. :smile: The booting process is hard to understand at first, but you eventually catch on. :wink: In the meantime, have a read of that guide I gave the link to. It'll help expand your understanding.

Cheers,

jake