EasyBCD

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EasyBCD
File:EasyBCD logo.png
File:EasyBCD screenshot.png
Original author(s) Mahmoud H. Al-Qudsi
Developer(s) NeoSmart Technologies
Initial release July 4, 2006; 7 year(s) ago
Stable release 1.7.2 / April 8, 2008; 184798698 ago
Preview release 2.0.0.76 / November 2, 2009; 135291498 ago
Operating system Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008
Website Link

EasyBCD is a free program developed by the non-profit NeoSmart Technologies used to configure and tweak the new Windows Vista bootloader. EasyBCD can be used to set up dual-boots between Windows Vista/7 and previous versions of Windows, along with Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X.

Contents

Supported Operating Systems

EasyBCD modifies the Windows Vista/7 bootloader to add support for other entries. Windows NT, 2000, and XP are supported by chainloading NTLDR; DOS, Windows 3.x, 95, 98, and Me are booted via modified versions of IO.sys and the Windows 9x bootsector; Linux and BSD are loaded either by handing off control of the boot process GRUB and/or LILO or by using EasyBCD's own NeoGrub module (which is based on GRUB4DOS); and Mac OS X is loaded via the Darwin bootloader. [1]

Features

Bootloader

EasyBCD has a number of bootloader-related features that can be used to repair and configure the bootloader. From the "Manage Bootloader" section of EasyBCD, it is possible to switch between the Windows Vista and Windows XP bootloaders in the MBR (BOOTMGR and NTLDR, respectively) from within Windows by simply clicking a button. EasyBCD also offers a feature to backup and restore the BCD (boot configuration data) configuration files for recovery and testing purposes. [2]

In the "Diagnostics Center," it is possible to reset a corrupt BCD storage and automatically create the necessary entries for the current operating system, as well as search for and replace missing/corrupt boot files. This latter feature can be taken advantage of to install the Windows Vista BCD bootloader. [3]

EasyBCD can be used to change the boot drive, rename or change the order of any entries in the bootloader, and modify existing entries to point to a different drive. [4]

Windows

EasyBCD supports a number of different Windows entries, and can be used to install and configure the following:

  • DOS 6.x
  • Windows 95-ME
  • Windows 2000/XP/2003
  • Windows Vista/Server 2008
  • Windows 7

Depending on the version of Windows being added in EasyBCD, certain other options may be available. These include enabling support for unsigned drivers on 64-bit Vista installations, booting into safe mode, and disabling DEP/NoExecute. [5]

Windows PE

Windows PE 2.0 is supported under a separate module in EasyBCD. EasyBCD can boot into two different Windows PE 2.0 systems:

  • Compressed Windows PE WIM images
  • Windows PE partitions

EasyBCD supports booting into WinPE 2.0 WIM images stored on any local partition by providing the path to the WIM file. It automatically re-configures the BCD to add support for the WIM format. It can also boot into a Windows PE filesystem extracted to the root of a mounted drive letter.

Linux/BSD

EasyBCD can boot into Linux and BSD by one of two ways:

  • Chainloading GRUB/LILO/etc.
  • NeoGrub

The traditional chainloading method creates an image of the GRUB/LILO bootsector on the local disk and loads this image during boot-time in order to chainload the second bootloader which should already be configured to boot into Linux or BSD. [6]

EasyBCD also ships with NeoGrub, a customized build of Grub for Dos, which can be configured by editing C:\NST\menu.lst with the standard GRUB syntax for booting into the needed Linux or BSD partitions. [7]

Mac OS X

EasyBCD can chainload the Mac OS X Darwin bootloader in order to boot into OS X on another partition or physical disk. It doesn't require that Darwin be installed to the bootsector of the OS X partition. [8]

Awards and recognition

According to the NeoSmart Technologies website[9], EasyBCD is used and recommended by Microsoft, PC-World, PC-Magazine, Softpedia, PC-Welt, and dozens more.

In the words of Harry McCracken (Vice President & Editor-in-Chief of PC World): "EasyBCD impressed the editors with its functionality and usability. These are some of the most well-crafted services available - congratulations to EasyBCD!"

See also

References

  1. Mahmoud Al-Qudsi (2008). "Supported Operating Systems". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Supported+Operating+Systems. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  2. Mahmoud Al-Qudsi (2008). "Supported Operating Systems". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Supported+Operating+Systems. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  3. neosmart (2007). "How to install the vista bootloader on a windows xp machine". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/how-to-install-the-vista-bootloader-on-a-windows-xp-machine/. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  4. Mahmoud Al-Qudsi (2007). "Configuring the Bootloader". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Configuring+the+Bootloader. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  5. Mahmoud Al-Qudsi (2007). "Add and Remove Entries". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Add+and+Remove+Entries. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  6. Mahmoud Al-Qudsi (2009). "Linux". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Linux. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  7. various authors (see neosmart wiki page history) (2009). "NeoGrub". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/NeoGrub. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  8. Mahmoud Al-Qudsi (2008). "Mac OS X". neosmart.net. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Mac+OS+X. Retrieved 2009 07 29. 
  9. http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

External links

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