Win XP/Win 7 still boots thru 2 boot menus


Greetings! I only installed EasyBCD yesterday. I read the guide before installing, I'm fairly sure I configured EBCD properly, and I can't see any new posts that describe this small irregularity. Actually, I'm quite satisfied with the results except the process still boots through two menus. Here's my original, pre-EasyBCD boot menu: (Partitions 2 and 3 are logical drives.)

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Win XP System" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Win XP Trials" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Win XP Studio" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

I then created another NTFS logical partition for Windows 7 (I know, I know, why logical…), installed it without a hitch, but didn’t like the two-layer menu necessary to get to XP. (The one you show on the EBCD website.) I still wanted my XP "System" partition to be the default at boot-up (I'm just exploring Win 7 at this point.)

That's when I discovered EasyBCD. My understanding of it's operation was that it would shortcut through the 2 menus and let me select my default OS at boot. Well, it did. Sorta. Now the boot menu at startup offers the 3 XPs and Windows 7, but it still leads to a second (ntldr, maybe) menu. On the first menu, Drives "D" and "E" (partitions 2 and 3) are listed but you can't boot them. But they
boot if selected from the second boot menu. Another thing - my Recovery Console is no longer listed on either menu.

- Windows Vista/7 bootloader is written to the MBR.

Here's the overview of my settings:

[FONT=&quot]There are a total of 4 entries listed in the bootloader.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Default: Windows XP System[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Timeout: 5 seconds[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Boot Drive: C:\[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Entry #1[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Name: Windows XP System[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]BCD ID: {default}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Drive: C:\[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Entry #2[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Name: Windows XP Studio[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]BCD ID: {f22867c1-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Drive: D:\[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Entry #3[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Name: Windows XP Trials[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]BCD ID: {f22867c2-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Drive: E:\[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Bootloader Path: \NST\ntldr[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Entry #4[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Name: Windows 7[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]BCD ID: {f22867bb-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Drive: M:\[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe[/FONT]

…and here's the detailed view:

[FONT=&quot]Windows Boot Manager[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]device partition=C:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]description Windows Boot Manager[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]locale en-US[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]default {f22867c4-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]resumeobject {f22867ba-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]displayorder {f22867c4-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] {f22867c1-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] {f22867c2-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] {f22867bb-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]timeout 5[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]displaybootmenu Yes[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Real-mode Boot Sector[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]identifier {f22867c4-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]device partition=C:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]path \NST\ntldr[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]description Windows XP System[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Real-mode Boot Sector[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]identifier {f22867c1-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]device partition=D:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]path \NST\ntldr[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]description Windows XP Studio[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Real-mode Boot Sector[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]identifier {f22867c2-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]device partition=E:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]path \NST\ntldr[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]description Windows XP Trials[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Windows Boot Loader[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]identifier {f22867bb-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]device partition=M:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]path \Windows\system32\winload.exe[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]description Windows 7[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]locale en-US[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]recoverysequence {f22867bc-07e8-11e0-b498-f997aebb65d2}[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]recoveryenabled Yes[/FONT]

Everything seems to work great except for the 2 menus. A simple solution? or one that probably won't be worth the bother?

(Sorry about the bold font - I was trying to separate my comments from the attached settings info.)
Thanks for your response. The details I posted are from EBCD 2.0. You didn't say that you saw any errors in my settings. Where is my error occuring? Is there a dialog that would show it? I can send a screenshot, if helpful. The thing with the 2 menus is, the first is EBCD's - no doubt. It's obviously doing it's job...but the second looks like it's ntldr-generated. There's nothing in the documentation to deal with that. This is not the 2-layer menu in Win 7. And it's not the menu that used to load. Maybe a screenshot of boot.ini would help you to help me. And how do I get EBCD to list my Recovery Console again?

How do I get reponses to alert me through my e-mail?
Explained in the link CG gave you.
MS restriction of only one XP entry in the BCD for MS NTLDR, necessitates a second (ntldr) menu for multiple XPs.
Use the "not automatic" option when you add multiple XP entries and you'll use NeoSmart's customized XP loader which circumvents the restriction and allows multiple XP entries in the W7 BCD.
Jay, I know the linked wiki article is a bit on the long side, but you really should read it all the way through. I didn't mention that you have any errors in your config because you don't. As the linked document explains, there's two different ways of adding an XP entry in EasyBCD - the first is just click and go, and it'll use NTLDR to boot into one or more XPs. The second requires you to manually and explicitly select the partition for each XP, but will go through our own EasyLDR instead of NTLDR, which does not show you two menu screens.

You can subscribe to email alerts for replies by following this link: The NeoSmart Forums
Since I posted last, I've had a serious problem develop - I'm booting into XP with a rescue CD right now. When the system wouldn't boot a couple of mornings ago, I attempted to use Recovery Console to repair the filesystem - that seems to be the stock advice around the web. I've never had to use it before and all it did was immediately start to setup for a clean install. No option to repair. By the time I understood what was happening, it had made a lot of changes to the file system. All the partitions are there, but EasyBCD says the data store is inaccessible. No attempts to repair the MBR have been successful. I'm sure that it's the Windows 7 boot menu at bootup, but it offers XP and Recovery Console only. Neither of which will boot.

Obviously, some part of EBCD is still directing things, but I can't navigate through these documents nor can I configure without help. Can someone talk me through getting back to square 1 so I can configure EBCD correctly? If this should be a new thread, please advise an easy way to do this. Thank you.
Jayell, it *really* sounds like you overwrote your old install.... are you sure that's not what you did?
Hi CG! It does sound like it, but I think it's a bit more complicated. I'ts still my original XP "System", although there has been a few file changes. Everything is here - all my programs and most of my settings are intact. I did have to re-install a couple of drivers but even that went simply. That's why I'd like to persist and start EBCD from the start. I really believe that bootup is the only irregularity. Every utility I've used to locate partitions, MBR, etc say they're all there and intact. I see there's still a ntldr, boot.ini and in the C root. Can we give it a try? To uninstall/reinstall/reconfigure EBCD? Thanks for your help.


Got it! I just kept plugging away at the guide, reading posts of others' solutions, then trying to configure. I guess this will sound graceless, but I really do think you could do a better job of making the guide clearer for the technically-challenged . Still, I donated...I appreciate the fact that there's not a lot of other options to multi-boot these different OS's. Thanks for trying, anyway.
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Technically, that wouldn't be the correct manual for me, CG. As my first post states, Win 7 was the last OS I installed. (Interestingly, the link to "Installing XP before Vista" at the bottom of the Windows XP page has no info on it.)

Thanks for your interest in my opinion. Everyone seems to have a different way of learning. I'm sure many users would support the manual just like it is. And sometimes, a user will create a guide that's addressed more to a beginner level, having that perspective, himself. There may even be one out there right now.

I think I found it easy to get "lost in tabs" navigating through the many links to other links in the documents. A more lineal sequence with all menus on one page would have helped me. (I do understand the problem for you here – there are just so many partition and OS configurations possible.)

Some of the text (including the links to other parts of the guide) is very small (I'm a senior) and hard to see. Can be a factor when you're stretching your brain.

The sequence of diagrams depicting the various boot sequences is, of course, very helpful. I learned a lot there. But it does get harder to follow after "The Mechanics of NTLDR and EasyLDR". Can't be helped, I guess….just complicated, by nature.

I would liked to have seen one page where all 7 EBCD dialogs were discussed. There were EBCD dialogs that I never did see dealt with in my journey through the guides. The potential results of guessing at their configuration can really foul things up.

Your site represents a gigantic amount of work, all of it an attempt to make installing, configuring and using your program simpler. I think, though, for some of us, not nearly as simple as we're led to believe. I don't like to think of people being discouraged from using a great program like this simply because they feel that it's just too complicated. And there's the challenge for the Guide authors. Thanks again CG, hope this was worth the page space.
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For "Vista" you can read "W7". They use the same bootloader.
That's why EasyBCD uses the term Vista/7 everywhere, and why most of the relevant wiki articles also refer to Vista/7.
Sorry if every reference hasn't been updated in every article, but there is only one man producing this free product and all the supporting infrastructure, and just three of us, globally spread beneficiaries of his work, who ever lend a hand to help with support.
There's 4 years worth of back documentation and 4 part-time people supporting 82000 registered users, who use this forum to request support for every known OS and hardware problem (oh yes, and EasyBCD too).
There's just not enough manpower or time to go back through every piece of information published in over 4 years, and modify it continuously to keep in line with the hundreds of subsequent builds which might have caused some of it to need revision.
The "advanced" tabs of EasyBCD are provided for the convenience of experienced dual-booters, who know what they are doing and why. An A-Z guide of all the facilities might be a desirable feature, but it could equally easily cause increased "experimentation" with disastrous effect, so maybe the "here be dragons" effect of not publishing what all the features do, has a desirable outcome of keeping the inexperienced user at arm's length. (My own preference would be for CG to make all the advanced tabs drip red, accompanied by blood-curdling sound effects and dire warnings, while the edit and add tabs play soothing music and gently stroke the user's brow, but what notice does he take of me !)
Terry, I think there was a slight misunderstanding there... I was referring to the fact that the guide-page that CG was pointing me to dealt with installing XP after Vista/W7....not that Vista wouldn't apply to me. I appreciate your detailing of the huge task involved in presenting this important tool to the public. If I haven't expressed my appreciation for it before, I do now, sincerely. It sounds as though the guide is a work in progress and, given the time, will improve to the point where you'll all have a little more free time as the repetitive questions you answer in the forums become fewer. Good luck!