Smart Boot Manager
Smart Boot Manager is a powerful bootloader with the ability to load further bootloaders (such as GRUB) from various types of media (such as hard disk, floppy disk and CD-ROM). It supports themes, password protection and automatic selection of operating system based on the time and date.
Smart Boot Manager works by chainloading an operating system. This means it will not boot the OS directly, but requires a bootloader for the OS on the specified partition. This is also how SBM is able to find bootable partitions, by looking for boot record (bootloaders) using it's find feature.
A disadvantage of SBM is the way it's installed in the MBR. Smart Boot Manager marks the MBR as a FAT12 partition, which will cause some programs to not look for the partition table for the whole drive. Instead, they will report the whole drive as one big FAT12 partition. This is not really a bug in SBM, but rather a bug/limitation in the program. Apparently, they are making assumptions based on the magic numbers at the beginning of the MBR which SBM has marked. The only two programs I know of, so far, which fail to recognize the correct partition structure of the drive is Partimage and RedHat's Disk Druid installer. All the other programs I've used, such as various fdisks, gparted, bsdlable and so on, have no problems reporting the correct partition table.
To extend the range of bootable media of an older computer, the Plop Boot Manager is useful.
- Smart Boot Manager homepage (btmgr.sourceforge.net)
NOTE: The old homepage at btmgr.webframe.org has disappeared. The SourceForge site contains the last version, anyway, which the old homepage did not.