What to do with EasyBCD before installing Windows 7

#1
I have Windows XP 32bit and Vista 64bit on a dual-boot. Easy BCD was installed and managed under Vista.

Now I want to install Windows 7 64 bit (if feasible, with the upgrade version but on a separate HDD), as I am unsure when I can get rid of Vista (also on a separate drive).

Everything is ready, but I would like to make sure what to do before (or after) I install Windows 7. I will end-up with a 3-OS multiboot. For now (maybe later I will decide to remove Vista).

I understand that I might need version 1.7.2

1) How do I upgrade to Easy BCD 1.7.2 ? Should I do it under Vista, now (before installing Windows 7)?

2) Once Win 7 installed, what will happen when I boot ? Will I still see only XP and Vista, then enter in Vista and Easy BCD to add the new OS ?

I want to ensure I will not end up unable to boot anywhere...

Thanks
Rob
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Don't use EasyBCD 1.7.2. Instead, use EasyBCD 2.0 beta from http://j.mp/EBCD2

You should be able to install Windows 7 and have it automatically boot into all 3. If not, after install 7, install EasyBCD in whatever OS and use it to add the missing entries.
 
#3
EasyBCD

Thanks for your reply.

Still wondering though ''how to'' go from Easy BCD 1.7.whatever to 2 without screwing everything ?

Or do I absolutely need to do it ? Do I nedd to do it *before* instaling Windows 7 ?

Thanks,
Rob
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
EasyBCD 2.0 is 100% backwards-compatbile with 1.x.

Just download 2.0 from http://j.mp/EBCD2 and install it over the existing version. No questions asked.

You don't need to do it before installing 7. As I said, you'll only need to use it if 7 doesn't auto-configure the triboot automatically.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Remember Rob,
EasyBCD is not the boot manager. It's a tool for manipulating the boot manager.
Its presence on the system (no matter which release or build) has absolutely no effect on the boot process.
Like any tool, physical or virtual, it only has any effect when you use it for a specific purpose.
In this case, as CG said, the W7 install should do everything automatically.
If it doesn't, then you can use EasyBCD to achieve the end result you want, or even just neaten up what MS did for you.
 
#6
Windows 7... again !

Ok, I did the upgrade to EasyBCD 2.0 beta and yes : it worked :smile:

Now : although this not 100% related to EasyBCD, I am wondering :

Since I hear different stories about Win7 upgrade (some say I can use the familypack upgrade to do a clean install, as long as I have a genuine licence (XP or Vista) but other say I will necessarily have to flush one of the 2 systems... leading me to 2 options/questions:

1)If I *can* use the upgrade for fresh (clean) install on a new drive (same computer, 2 genuine licences : XP Pro and Vista), I believe there's no question : Easy BCD 2 should see new OS and I should be able to add it there is Win 7 does not do it, right ?

2) If I *can't*, then I am faced with the Vista drive which is too small (lack : 9GB as per Win7 Upgrade Advisor). I have Acronis Disk Director installed under XP. Aiming to resize the adjacent drives on the basic HDD where Vista is installed (C:smile: and shrink the adjacent volume accordingly... Since Easy BCD is installed under Vista, do I risk anything if I (can) expand this drive under Acronis DD10 from XP ? (Hope I'm not too confusing...)

I just hope I can opt for (1) - just bought a new HDD for that purpose... And I don't want to spend another $140 on a full version of Win 7...

Thanks again
Rob
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
Do you want your new HDD to be first in the BIOS, with the controlling boot files installed on it ? Do you want W7 to call itself C:\ ?

The upgrade W7 can be clean installed onto your new HDD. You might need to prove your eligibility depending on exactly how you do the install (hence 1st question).

If you install to the new HDD from a running Vista then the W7 system won't be C:\

If you install from a booted W7 DVD with the old HDD connected, then W7 will be C:\ and it will install the boot files in the Vista partition, and the tri-boot should be automatic

If you install from a booted W7 DVD with the old HDD disconnected, then W7 will be C:\ and it will install the boot files on its own HDD. In this case you'll need to add entries for the 2 old systems yourself using EasyBCD.

In the last case you should also note that any version of W7 which includes bitlocker, will create a secret unlettered "system" partition on the new HDD if you point it at a blank HDD and let it do the formatting itself. If you don't want this to happen, you should partition and format the HDD yourself in the layout you want before you begin the W7 install.

Work out exactly how you want the final 2-HDD tri-boot to function before you start, and plan accordingly.
 
#8
Win 7

Terry, Thank you for your reply.

It does not matter to me that Win 7 be on a C: or boot log on this drive. As long as I can keep the 3 OSes in tri-boot, with EasyBCD to help.

So, in other words, should I understand that the only issue if I install to the new HDD (assuming - as you suggest - that I will have this location option even though this is an Upgrade version), would be that I would end up with a Win 7 OS on a X: drive or anything but C: ? (I do have Vista on a G: and it does not bother me... :wink:

Your second option : ''If you install from a booted W7 DVD with the old HDD connected, then W7 will be C:\ and it will install the boot files in the Vista partition, and the tri-boot should be automatic'' seems more appealing though, but please I'd like to clarify this : when you say so ('with old HDD connected'), you still mean that I can choose the *new* HDD as destination for installing W7, do you ? And you mean that even though it would install boot files in the Vista partition, all 3 OS would be working (booting) correctly, with no change to their settings, programs and files ? And that I still can use Easy CD ?

Thank you very much Terry.

(Pls : understand I do not mean to be rude or sarcastic in any way as I quote you above or repeat in details. It's just that I am a little unsecure (and confused from contradictions I have heard or read elsewhere). Thanks for your understanding.

Robert

Btw : just to stay on same wavelenght : I have 3 HDD (and more than one partition on each) . One HDD for XP Pro. One for Vista. And this new (empty) one for W7.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
The difference between installing from the booted DVD to an isolated HDD, and to a HDD which is one of 3 visible, is the fact that in the latter case, the install can see an existing Windows "system" partition.
It should therefore add an entry to the BCD you currently use for your dual-boot and automatically become a tri-boot.
Don't worry though. If it doesn't, or if you chose the former case, adding Vista and XP to the W7 BCD is very simple. (much more simple than creating the old dual boot with EasyBCD release 1) All of the manual intervention which was previously necessary is automated in 2.0.
What I'm saying is don't choose one route because you think it'll make it easier, choose the route that takes you to your preferred configuration. EasyBCD makes them all easy anyway.
 
Last edited:
#10
Success :smile:

Terry,
Just to let you know I finally went through the process. Thank you very much for your insights. I now have the tri-boot, and yes that was done automatically (just had to change names for my 2 other systems which reverted to ''earlier windows version'' so I wanted more obvious names when I boot.

Everything went smoothly.

Once again, thank you very much.

Rob