Looking for Tester Who Can Dual-Boot Between Windows and PC-BSD

We’re looking for someone who can test the EasyBCD page of the Handbook. To do so, you’ll need an installation of Windows and PC-BSD.

I’ve verified that the instructions work if you check the “Install PC-BSD bootloader” in the disk setup screen during PC-BSD installation. What needs to be tested is if the Windows boot loader can still find PC-BSD if that box is not checked during the PC-BSD installation. Please leave a comment posting your results and I’ll finish up this page of the Handbook to indicate whether or not this box needs to be checked.

Share This Post:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • Slashdot

Written by dru. Posted in handbook, testers

Trackback from your site.

Comments (24)

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dru Lavigne. Dru Lavigne said: Looking for Tester Who Can Dual-Boot Between Windows and PC-BSD […]

  • December 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm |

    I’m in the process of writing a Window 7/PC-BSD dual-boot howto. I’ll take note of this and let you know before the week runs out.

    • December 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |


  • Yurkis
    December 23, 2010 at 5:42 am |

    Seems it is not work for XP 🙁

    • December 23, 2010 at 6:44 am |

      Yes, I suspect that EasyBCD needs to find the FreeBSD boot code in order to work. Can anyone test on Vista or 7 to see if it fails as well?

      • Krishna
        January 3, 2011 at 11:15 am |

        I installed PCBSD 8.2b1 on a primary partition without checking the “install bootloader” option in the installer and easybcd managed to find and add the partition to the Windows 7 boot menu. Now, I’m able to dual-boot Win7 and PCBSD.

  • Dave Dolloff
    December 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm |

    I used PCBSD for almost a year beside Win7, and if the box is not checked, it will NOT find it. 8)

    • December 26, 2010 at 5:33 am |

      Do you remember which was installed first?

      • Dave Dolloff
        December 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm |

        Yes, I had Windows 7 installed first….I ran them side by side until I switched to completely PCBSD in September

  • Skull Fire
    December 23, 2010 at 9:14 pm |

    im relativly new to both open source bsd and linux. For the past few months i have been experimenting with both, including dual booting and dual booting with disk encryption. i have multiple hd’s and usually run 2 os’s per hd with a spare hd as storage. i disable/enable hd’s depending on which systems i want to play with. about a month ago i installed pc-bsd 8.1 64bit. prior to the install i had windows 7 on 1 primary partition plus a boot partition. i cant remember exactly, but im 95% sure the pc-bsd handbook said not to enable the boot loader. iv gone back to check and its sayes “enabled”, but maybe the handbook was edited, im not sure. i do know i installed 2 partitions for pc-bsd, 1 for swap and 1 for /. i seem to remember thinking that i am not installing /boot and with easyBCD maybe i dont need the box checked. Anyway the install and use of easyBCD worked so well that i tried to do the same for sabayon linux. but in linux if the box was unchecked i could not get linux boot with EasyBCD. Im in the midst of scrubbing a hd now. when it finishes i will run the same set up as above to see, i also will try the 8.2 beta 64bit after that. i’ll post results in 1 or 2 days.

  • Skull Fire
    December 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm |

    …another thing i remembered. Sabayon uses the fedora installer. when you reach the boot loader screen you need to leave the box checked, but you need to click the “change” button to change from the default /dev/sda to /dev/sda3 or which ever partiton the /boot was on. The idea being not to overwrite the mbr of windows, i think. anyway i’ll give both 8.1 64bit and 8.2 beta 64bit a run and report back in a day or 2.

  • mato
    December 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm |

    winimage.combtw, are you aware of BootPart ? — it’s very simple yet effective tool i’ve been successfully using on different setups for years —

  • Skull Fire
    December 25, 2010 at 11:52 am |

    i have run the same setup as i mentioned above, but with different results. . .
    First i install windows 7 on 1 partition, but a 2nd partion is created for the boot sector when you run windows.
    Second i install PC-BSD on 2 partitions, 1 swap and 1 for /. I leave the box unchecked for bootloader(i am now certain i did this on my first install a month ago). After installation i reboot.
    When the system restarts it loads right into windows with no options to load PC-BSD (this was the same as my prior install).
    After windows loads i install EasyBCD and set options to have PC-BSD in the boot menu.
    i restart, but this time pc-bsd will not load. I tried a few different options but the same result.
    I thought maybe i remembered my past install incorrectly. so i reinstalled PC-BSD again. this time i checked the box. after install i reboot.
    now i have a bootloader screen from PC-BSD (i didnt before)
    one the boot loader screen it asks me to choose F1, F2, F3 , or F4 for the system i want to boot. i can see the 4 choices are my 4 partitions. of the 4 choices it will only load on F4 which is where / is installed for PC-BSD. Adding a check to the bootloader box must have resulted in the mbr or boot sector for windows to be overwriten.
    I am very certain i did not have this problem before, nor have i seen this boot screen from PC-BSD before.
    my first installation was flawless. Zero problems. Once EasyBCD was installed the only boot option screen i saw was from windows.
    The only difference between the installs i did was the version of EasyBCD. I think the problem may lie there. This version of EasyBCD ( different than my first install a month ago. I dont know the previous version of EasyBCD i had, but i am going to try and find it.
    When i find it i will run the above setup again and post results, hopefully in a day or 2.

  • Skull Fire
    December 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm |

    I believe i have found the previous version of EasyBCD i used. I believe it is 1.7.2
    the reason i noticed is i followed the directions on thier wiki. it mentioned using the add/remove button. well the new versions dont have that button. the new version have an add button and an edit button. the wiki i used is here:
    i plan to do a total reinstall of windows7 and PC-BSD using EasyBCD1.7.2 and leave the bootloader box unchecked. I’ll report back with results probably tomorrow.

  • December 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm |

    linuxbsdos.comI just installed Windows 7 and PC-BSD 8.2 beta in a dual-boot set up. I made sure to leave the boot loader box unchecked during installation of PC-BSD. Modified the Windows boot menu using EasyBSD, adding an entry for PC-BSD.

    Had no problem booting into PC-BSD.

    See a couple of images related to the installation at

    • December 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm |

      EasyBCD, not EasyBSD.

    • December 26, 2010 at 5:38 am |

      Can I include these images in the wiki?

      Is the first image from the Advanced Settings button?

  • December 26, 2010 at 7:27 am |

    Yes. The first image is from the Edit Boot Menu tab

  • Skull Fire
    December 26, 2010 at 9:16 am |

    I have also gotten it to work again leaving the box unchecked. but i was must have been mistaken about using a previous version of EasyBCD, because i could not get version 1.7.2 to work under various conditions and installs.
    i finally got EasyBCD 2.0.2 to work on PC-BSD 8.1 64 bit leaving the box unchecked, but i have a few variables to work out. It would not work in certain install configurations of either the type of partitons created on the hard drive, or the file system (zfs/ufs), but im not sure which is the problem yet.
    i plan to re-install and check some of these variables to find which variable is the problem.

    finid, could you post your partition setup and which file system you used ?

    • Skull Fire
      December 27, 2010 at 9:40 am |

      After a few days of testing with multiple installs i have come up with the following results.
      First a few notes. A hard drive can have only 4 primary partitions. Im new to bsd so maybe my terminology is a little off. For dual booting with windows 7 we begin with the windows installation. this uses 2 primary partitions, a boot sector and the main install partition. that leaves 2 primary partitions available. However PC-BSD partitions can be divided into what is termed “slices”. This would be similiar to extended partitons or logical partiton groups in other operating systems such as Linux.
      During the PC-BSD install using its installer you will arrive at the “disk” screen. On this screen you begin to setup your partition. By default, “auto partition” is selected. Even with this selected you can manually create and delete and edit the existing partitions and/or freespace. In fact you can only add,delete, or edit primary partitions here.
      You need to change the default “auto partition” to “custumize disk partitions (advanced)” to actually set your mount points(/, swap, user, etc). Also on “custom disk partitions (advanced)” you can only add,edit, and delete “slices”, not primary partitions. You can add, edit, or delete multiple “slices” on one or multiple primary partitions. You also set file system type here (ZFS or 1 of the UFS types).
      To dual boot with windows using EasyBCD 2.0.2 you can leave the bootloader box unchecked in most configurations.
      The only problem is if you use 2 primary partions in which “swap” is the first created partiton. in this case the bootloader box must be checked to be able to boot PC-BSD. I dont recommend this though as it seems to eat the windows files for boot.
      Its ok to use 2 primary partitons and successfully use EasyBCD 2.0.2, but swap MUST be the last partition, assuming a user wants swap on a primary partition.
      In all cases where i install PC-BSD on one partition and swap on a “slice” using EasyBCD2.0.2 worked with leaving the bootloader box unchecked.

      • December 27, 2010 at 9:51 am |

        Thank you for your comprehensive summary!

  • Skull Fire
    December 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm |

    All of my previous posts in this blog were based on dual booting from 1 hard drive.

    I have begun trying to dual boot from from 2 hard drives. windows installed on 1 hard drive and PC-BSD on another hard drive. i start with the windows install first.

    After 2 tries i did NOT have success leaving the bootloader box unchecked combined with using EasyBCD 2.0.2
    I plan to experiment more and I’ll post the results as i get them.

  • Skull Fire
    December 30, 2010 at 8:44 am |

    Trying various configurations i have come to the following conclusions:

    Dual booting on one hard drive leaving the bootloader unchecked works using EasyBCD 2.0.2 installed on windows, but swap needs to be on the last partition or on a slice.

    Dual booting from two hard drives you need to enable the check box for the bootloader. Also set the hard drive that PC-BSD is installed to as the first available hard drive to boot in BIOS. The PC-BSD boot screen will allow you to select the other hard drive by pressing F5.

    other notes:
    i could not get EasyBCD to work on 2 or multiple hard drives for dual booting. i did not try any work arounds, nor did i have time to check forums for any extra info other than the EasyBCD wiki.

    Enabling the check box for the boot loader will overwrite the MBR on any installation on the same hard drive, such as any other linux or windows systems. It will not overwrite the mbr of the other hard drives if they are enabled or still physically plugged in.

    The PC-BSD install with check box enabled for bootloader will see one extra hard drive and allow you to boot from it, but it did not see a third hard drive, no matter how i configured it.

    • Skull Fire
      December 30, 2010 at 8:52 am |

      another note. . .

      dual booting with multiple hard drives i could not get easybcd to work with either the check box enabled or left unchecked. Nor could i get easybcd to work with any linux distros on another hard drive. Again i didnt have time to check for a work around or any fixes , i was just running it the same as i have using 1 hard drive where i have had success with both PC-BSD and linux.

Leave a comment


Please leave these two fields as-is:

Help the Project, Donate Today!