OS Selector-De-activate Problems

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by DiggerP, Jun 11, 2007.

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  1. DiggerP

    DiggerP Registered Member

    Jun 11, 2007

    This is to relate my problems with the OS Selector in DD v10 b2160.

    To set the stage:
    Multiboot system with 3 versions of XP and 2 Linux installs
    Physical drive 1, XP Pro OEM,XP Pro nlite
    " " 2. XP Home,Ubuntu,Puppy Linux
    " " 3. USB Ext 80GB storage,no boot

    As you notice,I put physical drive like DD does.
    In my opinion that's where some of the problems come from.
    Windows convention is drive 0. , 1. and 2.

    I hadn't tried OS Selector before and today was the day :)
    Well what I experienced was enough to put a lot of people in a tizzy.

    OS Selector recognized the XP installs,but not the Linux ones.
    Activated OS Selector and selected XP Pro OEM for next bootup.
    That was fine,so I tried the nlite.
    For some reason OSS didn't like it and I got the hall.dll error.
    No way to get out of it.
    Escape for Menu didn't work.It just rebooted and got the same error.
    F8 no longer worked either.So I couldn't even get into Safe Mode.

    I used ERD to get into the C:\ partition and edited the boot.ini
    to boot into XP Pro OEM again.
    That went OK,but considering the trouble I experienced,
    I decided to de-activate OSS.That's when everything went dowhill.
    For one,in the panel to select which OS to boot into after de-activation,
    no longer showed XP Pro OEM.
    So fine,I selected XP Home.

    Surprise :rolleyes: On bootup nothing worked anymore.
    Instead I got the message that there was a hardware- and a configuration conflict.
    Back to using ERD again.

    To make a long story somewhat shorter :) and to summarize:
    OSS changed (screwed up in my view)
    1.BIOS settings.Changed boot order of drives.
    Disabled booting from phys drive 2.
    2.Changed boot.ini to Acronis convention NOT Windows convention
    USB(used to be disk 2) was changed to disk 0.
    Phys. drive 1,which used to be disk 0, was changed to disk 1.
    and phys. drive 2 (used to be disk 1,was changed to disk 2.
    Also a ; semi colon was added in front of each entry in the boot .ini
    thereby preventing the use of F8,since nothing would show on the startup screen to select an OS to boot from or even to get into Safe Mode.

    In order to correct this,I had to completely reset the BIOS.
    Disconnect the USB drive,to remove it from being disk 0.
    Completely re-edit the boot.ini on C:\ to Windows convention.

    It took me well over an hour to correct this with checking and booting etc,
    which is nothing in the scheme of things.
    Some people may well have been stuck for days,because ,before I fixed it,
    I ended up with a totally non-booting system on all drives and partitions.

    Suffice it to say that I will no longer use OS Selector.
    For the life of me,I can't understand why the Windows config can't be used
    for enumerating drives.You can see from the above how many problems it creates.

    Just for interest,I'm back to using XP's Startup screen and I also use
    Restart from http://www.gabrieleponti.com/software/
    which not only sees Linux installs,but also allows booting from a Windows
    OS desktop into any of the other OSs.
    Much simpler and easier and no confusion :)

    I'm only posting this in case other people have this trouble
    and are looking for the cause.
    Advice or comments are always welcome :)

  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Nov 3, 2006
    As you have found out, OSS has many "bugs" that prevent it from working correctly.

    Working with and using OSS during testing and on one of my main computers I have found several things that help to avoid some of the problems.

    OSS does not seem to detect multiple OS's very well if they are already installed when OSS is installed. It often "cross-links" or otherwise screws up the configurations when done this way. It seems to work better if one OS is installed, then OSS (get that working), then install the other OS's one at a time (preferably doing a TI backup between so you can restore if necessary).

    When installing OSS after multiple Windows already exist (installed in isolation from each other), it's best to mark each partition as unhidden and set another partition to "active" so that none of the Windows partitions are active at the time OSS is installed. Then set the active and hidden partitions as necessary for each menu item.

    OSS doesn't seem able to separate multi-boots from XP or Vista's bootloader so, for example, if you install XP, then Vista and then OSS, OSS will boot to Vista's boot menu to select XP or Vista (if you get it to work at all).

    Linux partitions seem to be detected best if GRUB is installed in the Linux partition. I don't think OSS will detect multiple OS's from a multi-boot/GRUB setup (I haven't tried it, though).

    I have OSS booting Vista, 2 XP's and 3 Linux partitions. It works fine, but getting it setup and the kinks out took a lot of trial and error.
  3. DiggerP

    DiggerP Registered Member

    Jun 11, 2007
    Hi MudCrab,

    Thanks for your valuable advice.
    I certainly was not aware of all these problems.
    I will definitely save your post for future use.

    As I alluded to already, de-activating OSS does not undo
    the changes it made to the BIOS and boot.ini
    It leaves them in a state that is not compatible with Windows
    convention of enumerating drives.
    Hence you end up with an unbootable system.

    Do you know if anybody has requested to change the Acronis convention,
    to enumerate the first physical drive to disk 0 ?
    Or for that matter,why was the "disk 1" implemented in the first place?

    Anyway,for now I'll be using Restart.
    Unfortunately it isn't ready for Vista yet,see this topic:
    but for XP users it is far simpler than OSS.
    I know it doesn't have some of the other features,
    but it does what I want it to do :)

    PS For Vista you might use Restart with the help of TweakUAC
    Haven't tried it,since I don''t run Vista,but this app may work for other things too.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
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