Tweaking boot loaders on our PCs is a real rare venture, really. Tinkering your boot loader is not a good idea, unless, however required you don’t have to do it. What I am after here is merely informational and to flash before you some ideas that we can use when confronted with unexpected events such as managing boot loaders. As always, I recommend twiddling PCs be done by those who know what they are doing (experts in computers, of course, not Love Gurus) and if you are planning to do the twiddling, then this would mean that you should start learning and become an expert yourself — with the twiddling or fiddling thing. As a descendant of the old-fashioned IT guys that came from Cybertron, I am a firm believer of “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” idea. Just a little caveat there.
Touching the boot loader is not like installing Winrar or Winzip. The boot loader is in charge of loading your operating system and at that it is very much critical to the operation of your PC. Before our favorite OSs can be loaded, it is the bootloader that does its job first so the OS can step in. Boot loaders are sometimes referred to as boot strap loader or bootstrap. This small program is most of the time unheard, meek and silent despite its huge importance. There are a lot of boot loaders that are on our PCs today. There is GNU GRUB (i.e. Ubuntu), BOOTMGR, LILO and NTLDR (i.e. Windows Xp/Server 2003). If you have a dual-boot system (like Ubuntu and Windows Vista together) you will see the boot loader in action when you start-up your computer. Usually, when you arrive at the screen where options on what OS to load, Ubuntu or Vista for example, are posted. You can expect boot loader tweaking if you are dual-booting, making some OS tests or debugging your OS kernel.
So why we need EasyBCD and what is it for? Allow me to show you why and for what.
Reason 1: Just the simple task of displaying the content of your boot loader.
Reason 2: If you want to change your boot settings.
Reason 3: Add/Remove entries from your existing boot loader.
Reason 4: Manage your boot loader with user selectable options.
Reason 5: In-buit boot loader diagnostics and boot loader recovery.
Reason 6: GUI-drivenboot loader management (Microsoft only provides the command-line bcdedit.exe tool only for bootloader management)
I have used EasyBCD on rare occasions, usually when I turn a little crazy and mess much around on my dual-boot PC configuration. Honestly, I was contented with what the software have allowed me see and do. I use a dual-boot WindowsVista Business and Ubuntu Jaunty on my Intel Centrino Vpro notebook. They seem to go together well. I am just starting to use Linux, a friend of mine tossed the idea to me. When I miss my next, next, finish life in Windows, I just switch right back. That is the beauty of dual-booting, like having two wives, one being virus-free but harder to handle, while other one beautiful and nice but faints in blue most of the time, bug-ridden and loves viruses more than me.
Try to read more on boot loaders, Wikipedia is one hot resource, actually you can go directly here.
EasyBCD comes from NeoSmart Technologies, they have been quite around for sometime and has been offering the software for free. I have added a download link of EasyBCD at the download page, if you want to try it, but please, be extra careful.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are most welcome.