XP will not boot

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After trying Easy BCD this evening on the XP instrallation of my quad-boot (XP,Vista, 7, 7 (all 32-bit)) system, it crashed badly. I'm sure it was my fault, and I've fixed as mush as I can on my own, but still need help.

I was able to repair the Vista installation, installed Easy BCD on it, and I've been able to fix all but one issue - I still can't boot XP (and that's a big problem). I tried XP repair but it locks up after restarting (sticks on a black low-resolution screen with an arrow/cursor I can move but that's it).

System screenshots are below. I can't replace some of the software on the XP installation so a complete install is out of the question. Is there a simple fix to this? Thanks.


  • Easy BCD Configuration.jpg
    Easy BCD Configuration.jpg
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Sounds like something is wrong with your XP, not the bootloader.
Try running chkdsk /f on the XP drive from within Windows Vista or 7.
Note: XP was working fine before Easy BCD

Action: Vista boots on C and assigns XP to D,. Run "cmd" do to D prompt, run "chkdsk / f" from D prompt.
Result: "Access denied as you do not have sufficienct privileges. You have to invoke this utility running in elevated mode."

Note: Home system. I never install administrator passwords.

Action: I also tried error-checking using the "Check Now" in D-Properties-Tools
Result: "Windows can't the disk while it's in use"
Action: Scheduled for check to be run next time I start computer, automatically fix file system errors and scan for recovery of bad sectors
Result: chkdsk ran, no problems reported, system booted to Vista.

Status: Tried to boot to XP but no change. (see image)


  • Easy BCD trying to boot XP.JPG
    Easy BCD trying to boot XP.JPG
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How did you make the entry for Windows XP in Easy BCD? Did you use automatically detect corect drive?

What I would do is delete the entry for XP. Make a new one and select automatically detect correct drive. Reboot and try that. If that doesn’t work delete the entry and make a new one using the option to assign a drive letter manually. Try all drive letters available.

If that fails I would install Easy BCD in the first Windows 7 and try the above procedure again.

It’s best to make a backup before messing around with things as fundamental as boot loaders and partitions. The program below could have made a copy of all the data on your drive. It also can make a desk so you can boot up and restore the data. Granted you’ll burn a few dollars for the DVD blanks.

Another last-ditch thought would be to make a partition after the second Windows 7. Install another installation of Windows XP there. That XP will probably pick up a boot option for the first XP. Of course this’ll probably break the ability to get into the two window sevens and the Vista installation. But if you can get back into the first XP you should be able load Easy BCD there.

Your problem probably relates to the order of the operating systems on your hard drive. Microsoft recommends loading operating systems from oldest to newest so each new one will chain load its boot loader and add on to what was before and pick up the older OS. If you’re going to go with Easy BCD as a primary boot loader for Windows I would recommend going in the order from newest to oldest. Also if you load Windows 7 first, Windows 7 makes a hidden 100 MB partition at the front of the hard drive. That’s where the boot files for Windows XP will end up.

I would write down each thing you try to so you don’t miss a step.

Macrium Reflect Free 4.2 build 3141

Easy BCD XP documentation:
Total Disaster. No Repair Possible.

Nothing worked. 100% disaster.

Now I know that when trying new thing there can be problems and a steep learning curve, but I'm pretty disappointed with this product. However, I'm willing to try again starting from scratch. I'm closing this post and starting another.
There's no real point in closing a thread and opening another, and normally I'd just merge them, but as it happens I've already answered the other one.
You seem to be under a misapprehension about the nature of EasyBCD from your last remark.
It's an app for manipulating the Vista/7 BCD without the need for command-line expertise using the MS alternative (BCDedit). It has acquired lots of extra bells and whistles over the years which enable it to support alternative OSs which MS never considers, but essentially it's still just an app.
It is not responsible for any part of the booting or the running of any of your OSs.
Having it installed, is like having regedit on your system. It does absolutely nothing until you execute it and use it to alter the BCD. Then it becomes totally inactive again.
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