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Is there a way to have all boot options on 1st screen?

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 12, 2011 12:25:17 PM

I have a multi-boot setup which currently has Windows 7, Win XP Pro 32 bit, and Win XP Pro 64 bit. Prior to installing Win 7, all boot options would show on the first screen, regardless of how many I had. Since installing Win 7 yesterday, however, I get only two options on the boot selection screen:

Earlier Version of Windows
Windows 7

Is there a way to force the system to show all three options on the first screen? Win 7 is not my primary OS, so having to select "earlier version", then select the XP option I want is a pain.
a b $ Windows 7
December 12, 2011 12:53:00 PM

This is simple, but initially may be a hassle.

1) I'm not a lover of software boot menus as problems in one OS can corrupt others.
2) Most systems have a Key to hit during post to bring up ALL bootable drives.
3) This is what I do for my multible boot systems. Disadvantage - Requires a seperate HDD for each OS.
.. Remove all HDDs EXCEPT the one I'm install the operating system on. Install the operating system.
.. When installation is complete. Remove that HDD and move on to Installing the next OS by plugging in only that drive. ECT
.. Set Boot priority to Most often used OS. When I whant to run a different OS, I just hit the key to bring up the Boot menu (F12 in my Gigabyte MBs, and F11 in My Asrock MB). Note (a) this Does not change boot prioity, so a reboot will automatically reload most often used OS. (b) The drive that is booted to will be the "C" drive. (c) NO software boot manager.
December 12, 2011 1:06:26 PM

This is a simple setup issue - lookup a tutorial on boot.ini - this is the startup file windows uses for the menu. There are a ton of guides out there explaining what you're trying to do.
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December 12, 2011 1:06:53 PM

In Xp it was
Control panel
System
Advanced
Startup and recovery
hit the botton that says "to edit startup options file manually"
this opens the boot.ini that allows you to change what displays in the boot menu.
I dont know if it is the same on windows 7.

December 12, 2011 3:00:08 PM

That works if you have only XP or earlier installed. Unfortunately Win 7 no longer uses boot.ini, it uses something called BCD, and so editing boot.ini does nothing. And since it takes over the boot process once you install it ...

I tried going into Win 7 and changing the boot order so it selects the "Earlier Versions ..." first in the hopes it would expand them, unfortunately it did not.

I am researching BCD to determine if it will let me do it ... & how to go about it. I don't really want to play with it & risk accidentally messing something up if I'm not sure it will work. I've already lost several days trying to get my multi-boot system back up & multi-booting.
December 14, 2011 4:48:44 AM

Hi,

There is a way to add Windows XP Professional 32-bit and Windows XP Professional 64-bit to your startup boot menu. You will want to utilize the command prompt and follow the steps outlined in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article. You will want to focus on the steps described in the "resolution" area of the website. You can change the description of "earlier Windows version" to any text you like. You will also want to repeat those steps for each version of Windows XP you are adding to your boot menu.

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team -- IT Pro
December 14, 2011 11:09:16 AM

winoutreach5 said:
Hi,

There is a way to add Windows XP Professional 32-bit and Windows XP Professional 64-bit to your startup boot menu. You will want to utilize the command prompt and follow the steps outlined in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article. You will want to focus on the steps described in the "resolution" area of the website. You can change the description of "earlier Windows version" to any text you like. You will also want to repeat those steps for each version of Windows XP you are adding to your boot menu.

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team -- IT Pro


Jessica, Thank you, but I already have them on my boot menu, just not on the first screen. What I want is to have all three on the first screen, not to have to select the "earlier version windows" option to get to the other two on a secondary screen. I do not even want to see the "earlier versions ..." option at all. Renaming it won't do what I want.

What I want on the initial screen:

Windows Media Center Edition
Windows XP Pro x64
Windows 7

Also, in case I have missed something, I don't see the link to the knowledge base article you're referring to.


Best solution

December 16, 2011 3:32:18 AM
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Allana_99a1 said:
Jessica, Thank you, but I already have them on my boot menu, just not on the first screen. What I want is to have all three on the first screen, not to have to select the "earlier version windows" option to get to the other two on a secondary screen. I do not even want to see the "earlier versions ..." option at all. Renaming it won't do what I want.

What I want on the initial screen:

Windows Media Center Edition
Windows XP Pro x64
Windows 7

Also, in case I have missed something, I don't see the link to the knowledge base article you're referring to.


Oops! Sorry about that. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919529 <-- The link. Following the steps in the link provided WILL allow you to have all 3 on the first screen. You simply have to add them accordingly. You will want to repeat those steps for each version of Windows XP you are adding to your boot menu.

Keep us posted on your progress!

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team -- IT Pro
December 17, 2011 1:23:10 PM

winoutreach5 said:
Oops! Sorry about that. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919529 <-- The link. Following the steps in the link provided WILL allow you to have all 3 on the first screen. You simply have to add them accordingly. You will want to repeat those steps for each version of Windows XP you are adding to your boot menu.

Keep us posted on your progress!

Jessica
Windows Outreach Team -- IT Pro


That took care of it ... Thank you! Though I will admit that I chickened out & used EasyBCD to do the actual changes. Having just spent 2+ weeks rebuilding after 2 separate HD crashes, I'm a bit wary of playing with command line utilities right now.
December 17, 2011 1:23:29 PM

Best answer selected by Allana_99a1.
a b $ Windows 7
December 17, 2011 4:37:06 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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