Please help me with os selector and windows 7

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by usuariodvd, Feb 18, 2009.

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  1. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    I can't do anything with an old BOOTWIZ.OSS file. OSS needs to be installed and activated and you need to post the current BOOTWIZ.OSS file.

    Also, if your partition layout/setup has changed from what you show in post #146, post a new screenshot.
  2. davoesq

    davoesq Registered Member

    G'day Mudcrab,
    Hopefully you can help another noobie trying to boot Windows 7 with OS Selector. I think I have all the info needed.

    I've included the Disk Director screen dump and bootwiz.txt files as attachments (can't figure out how to paste the screen dump here, sorry).

    Any help you can give is much appreciated!!!

    BTW, is there any where/file/info on how to edit/construct/modify the bootwiz.oss file ourselves and what the various bits mean (would possibly make it easier for you so that you wouldn't be hassled as much).
    Thanks again for any help!!



    Attached Files:

  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist


    I haven't written a guide, but the the procedure is exactly the same as for Vista. In fact, the entry is telling OSS that it is Vista. I've thought about writing a guide, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Basically, a new OSS "OS" entry is added to the BOOTWIZ.OSS file. This entry will have a unused ID value. The actual text can be copied and then the ID values for the booting partition and the Active partition just need to be updated.

    You can see an example of this for Vista in this thread (post #14).

    Do not use the Disk Order feature for Vista or Windows 7. It doesn't let them boot properly.


    Please try the attached file and see if it works. You may want to check the hidden partitions. I only hide the two Windows installations on the same drive. You may want to hide the other ones too.

    Attached Files:

  4. davoesq

    davoesq Registered Member

    Dear MudCrab,

    Maaaate, you are a champion, a scholar and a gentleman (or Lady depending on appropriateness), with your blood's worth bottling!!!

    The bootwiz.oss works great!!! Many, many thanks for the help!!!

    I even learnt something. When I tried booting Vista it wouldn't. I checked the bootwiz.oss file you sent me and the entry for Vista955 had both the active and hidden flag active. Removed the hidden flag and viola, everything works fantastic!!

    Again, many, many thanks!!!

    Regards Davoesq

  5. HTCStuey

    HTCStuey Registered Member

    Hi Mudcrab, we have spoke before in a different thread (you were very helpful!).

    I have reinstalled Windows 7 and have had a look at the bootwiz file. There were two dud entries, which both have a name_template arguement that isn't used in the list on AOSS. One seems to be a CD version of Vista (guessing something from when I installed it) and the other has various "sys unknowns" so I have deleted both sets of tags (I have a backup of the file!!!).

    The Vista entry looks odd (but I know it works as it has the "Windows Vista Ultimate" tag). It has a system_root_identifier arguement which the other entries don't seem to have, and it looks out of place? I am comfortable with copying and editting it to point at the new Windows 7 partition except that I don't know whether I need to edit/remove this unexpected part. I have added line returns to this because I didn't know how to force it to wrap otherwise!

    The entry for Ubuntu also points to the first (XP) partition, I think this is due to me not activating the Ubuntu ready partition when installing, I'm guessing GRUB is sat alongside the XP booter, although this has never caused any problems as AOSS seems to be clever enough to have split them out as soon as I reactivated it and have set GRUB up to not show it's own OSS menu but boot straight to Ubuntu (via a short delay in case I require safe mode at some point) to not have two menus. I have since been taught the error of not activating the empty partition before install with my first Windows 7 install attempt (which you helped me fix!).

    Is it advisable to try to see if it's possible to move GRUB to the correct partition for long term stability? And now that you helped me fix the Windows XP to load from ntldr instead of the bootmgr from Windows 7 (due to the error on my part), is it worth me deleting the bootmgr to clear up the partition a little?

    My only other concern is that the numbers of the partitions are odd, I expected XP to be 0, Vista to be 1, etc, but XP is 2 and there seems to be a small partition 1 and no 0 partition. Is this right? Is partition 1 missing due to me deleting the Compaq XP recovery partition (which I don't want due to having my own backups)?
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Since you didn't attach a copy of the file, I'll go over the changes needed:
    • Make sure the new OS entry has a unique ID value.
    • Make sure the booting partition is set correctly.
    • Make sure the correct partition is set as Active.
    • Make sure any partitions that should be hidden are hidden.

    When you copy a Vista entry to make a Windows 7 entry (or another Vista entry for a Vista installation not detected), remove the system_root_identifier section.

    You can put text you want kept intact into CODE tags. Long lines will scroll.

    If you installed Ubuntu using the defaults and let it install to the MBR, OSS will usually make the necessary changes and take care of booting into GRUB. Linux can be installed to Logical partitions just fine so not having the Ubuntu partition set Active (if a Primary partition) is not a problem. Linux is a lot more flexible in this area than Windows.

    If the system is booting correctly, I'd leave things alone.

    If Windows 7 is now booting from its own partition, you can safely remove the files from the XP partition.

    If you're referring to the partition numbers in the BOOTWIZ.OSS file, OSS uses 1 through 4 for Primary partitions and 5 and up for Logical partitions. If a slot is empty or used for a Logical partition, numbers can be missing. This is normal.
  7. HTCStuey

    HTCStuey Registered Member

    I get all this except the last part, how do I identify what is hidden from what? I didn't attach a copy of the file because that would be too easy for me, I'd feel cheeky getting you to do it for me, and I wouldn't learn anything ;) not that I'm ungrateful for your help, if you understand!

    Stupid question, but can I also remove this from the current Vista entry? Or will that kill it? Just it looks so untidy :D

    Ahhh I remember now I couldn't make it active anyway as it was Logical. Ooops. That's why I deleted the Windows backup partition as it was using the last Primary partition up, but then ADD10 had a strop and wouldn't let me create a new primary anyway for some strange reason so had to use Logical.

    It isn't booting at all at the moment because after installing this second time after formatting partition, making the partition active, and not messing up XP during install, I have activated AOSS to get back into XP, but as far as I know it is hidden away quietly with it's own bootwiz (I hope?), just need to add it to the file as above.

    The partitions are also in the wrong order, although, without going back into the file to check, I think from the start postions on the drive for the partitions they are numbered sequentially in the right order. I'm guessing this is due to it reassigning numbers upon adding partitions, but adding new ones at the end of the list? Still, even though my OCD is screaming at me to order them correctly, I will refrain from f***ing up my PC :D

    Thanks for the help again. I'm more a software person than hardware, and although this is technically software, it's something I'm very new to.
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Not a problem. It's good to learn how to do it yourself (it usually helps you to remember how).

    Hiding or not hiding partitions depends on how the system was setup. This depends on the user's perference. I prefer to hide OS partitions from each other. There is no right or wrong answer. The point is if you are hiding OS partitions from each other, check the settings are correct before you boot into the OS.

    Do not remove this from Vista's entry. OSS will either add it back or break.

    Hopefully, the XP partition was also hidden during the Windows 7 installation. It may not cause a problem if it wasn't, but it's generally better to do so. However, I think the main thing is which partition was Active at the time of the installation.

    OSS will add partitions to its list and they can end up jumbled. It can make it a little difficult to follow because you have to check the Disk ID to know which drive the partition is on. I have never tried to "sort/reorder" the partition list. I don't think it would cause a problem if you did, but I'd make sure to have a backup of the file just in case. If you do try this, post back with the results.

    You're welcome.
  9. HTCStuey

    HTCStuey Registered Member

    I didn't mess with the long string on the Windows Vista entry, but removed it from the copied Windows 7 entry which works fine. I have gone into each Windows, XP/Vista/7, and all seems fine, as does Ubuntu so that's :thumb:

    At the same time as the above I ordered the disk partition list also (as in by cutting and pasting tag pairs, not leaving them as they are and overwriting the numbers, obviously), and as far as I am aware this has had no effect (well, by that I mean everything still works).

    I found out what the mysterious partition 1 was, it wasn't a remnant of the Compaq recovery partition, it has a different disk ID, it's the single partition on my backup disk! D'oh.

    My only problem now is one of the fans seems to be making a hell of a racket, but I'm sure that's nothing to do with Acronis :cool:

    Many thanks again Mudcrab, I hope they are paying you for the amazing advice you give out on here!!! :D
  10. Str8Pryd

    Str8Pryd Registered Member

    Greetings, King MudCrab! :D

    We are honored to be in your presence and should all bow to your superior knowledge in this arena! :argh:

    As I am writing this from my desk at work, attaching any files or screenshots isn't currently possible, although that should be unnecessary at this point.

    I am currently multi-booting XP Pro, Vista Ultimate, Mac OS X, and Linux Ubuntu from a single hard drive (although I have six drives). XP, Vista, and Mac are all Primary Partitions, each having a neighboring Logical Partition for Program Files and Documents and Settings. Ubuntu is on a Logical Partition, and another Logical Partition contains User Data Files (Pictures, Video, Music, etc.) to be shared between OS's. :blink:

    For reasons I won't expound on at this time, I would like to continue having all of my OS's on the same drive, but with each in it's own partition. I temporarily installed Windows 7 in the partition where Vista now resides to check it out, then restored Vista to it's rightful place via True Image 11.

    Here's the question: What would be the best method to install Windows 7 to this setup? I have partitions available on the primary drive but they, as I am sure you have already guessed, are all Logical at this point. I know that I can install Windows 7 to a Logical Partition but, if I'm not mistaken, I would still need to have an active Primary Partition in order to do so. :doubt:

    I should add that I don't currently hide any OS from any other, but that each of my OS partitions is not assigned a drive letter. AOSS always makes the chosen OS partition the C: drive, but I cannot accidentally access other OS partitions from within any given OS. :eek:

    I might also mention that I don't mind if the Windows 7 OS starts with the Windows Boot Manager, as I can set a default and a zero-second delay, effectively "hiding" the Windows Boot Manager screen. I just want all of the OS's to boot from AOSS without getting hung up on errors, etc. :thumb:

    My guess: Hide XP, but not Vista; install Win7; edit the BOOTWIZ.OSS (in it's own partition, I might add) to compel AOSS to "see" Win7 (as a renamed "Vista"). Am I on the right track, here? o_O

    Let me thank you in advance for all the time and effort you have spent on this thread (and forum) to clearly lay out what is necessary to integrate Win7 with AOSS, as it were. Most of us would be lost without your guidance. Thanks again! :)
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Did you create an image of the Windows 7 partition when it was installed?

    I also like to have my Windows installations on the booting drive. They just seem less problematic than when they're placed on a different drive.

    If you create a new Logical partition for Windows 7, you need to be careful about moving any existing partitions. Since you have the setup you do and it's working, I assume you're aware of what can happen.

    It's best (in my opinion) to not mix up the Vista and Windows 7 booting files. If you do this, OSS will always boot to that menu and you'll have to use it to select Vista or Windows 7 -- it won't be automatic from the OSS menu.


    To use this method, Windows 7 must be installed to a Primary (Active) partition. You can use the Vista partition again or you can just restore from your existing Windows 7 image (if you have one).

    Here are the general steps to put Windows 7 into a Logical partition:
    1. Create a backup image of your Vista partition.
    2. Deactivate OSS (don't uninstall it). Select Vista as the default OS.
    3. Boot to the DD CD and start DD. Set the Windows 7 partition Active (this will be the Vista partition) and hide the other Windows partitions.
    4. Install Windows 7 normally. Make sure to let Windows 7 format the partition.
    5. Create an image of the Windows 7 partition. If you already have the image, you can skip this step and the previous steps.
    6. Restore the Windows 7 image to your Logical partition.
    7. Set the Hidden sectors value in the Logical partition's boot sector to the correct value (instructions can be found here).
    8. Note: I think TI 11 will automatically adjust the BCD file for Windows 7, but I'm not sure. These changes may need to be made manually.
    9. Restore your Vista image back to the Vista partition.
    10. Reactivate OSS and boot into Vista.
    11. If necessary, make the corrections to the Windows 7 BCD file. If you can't do this from Vista, you'll need to boot to the Windows 7 DVD and do it from the Command Prompt (don't do any automatic repairs).
    12. Load the Windows 7 SYSTEM Registry hive and set the C: drive letter assignment in the MountedDevices key to the correct value. This needs to point to the Logical partition. This has to be set manually because Windows will not automatically assign C: to a Logical partition if any Primary partitions exist.
    13. Add Windows 7 to the BOOTWIZ.OSS file.
    That's the rough idea. If you need more instructions on a step, post back.

    I would recommend you have a current backup image of the entire drive before you begin.
  12. Str8Pryd

    Str8Pryd Registered Member

    Thank you, MudCrab, for your prompt and detailed response!

    First of all, I image everything before making such changes, so we're on the same page with that.

    Second, when I installed Vista originally, I unplugged all of my drives and plugged in a small 40GB drive which I let Vista format, then imaged/restored it to a Primary partition on my main drive. I felt that this would be the most straightforward method that would have the least interference with the existing setup.

    Could I use such a procedure with Windows 7? And, more importantly, could I have actually restored Vista to a Logical Partition, although it was originally Primary? I've tried in the past, but it isn't bootable, though I'm quite certain that there must be a way, with a few modifications.

    Basically, I'm far from computer illiterate, but this area is very sketchy for me. I intend to learn for myself, but must depend on the generosity of people like you to help out, which always leaves me feeling rather indebted.

    In other words, maybe I should back up a step or two and pick your brain for the proper way to image/restore a Primary installation to a Logical Partition. If I could move Vista to Logical without interfering with XP, then I should be able to repeat the steps with Seven, needing only to modify the BOOTWIZ.OSS file. Is this making sense?

    BTW, I can attach DD screenshots, etc., if it would be of any use to you. Again, thank you for all that you've done here and continue to do. It is appreciated more than you can know!
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist


    The procedure is exactly the same for Vista and Windows 7.

    You can, as I outlined in the previous post. However, I would keep as many Windows partitions on Primary partitions as possible. It's just easier that way.

    You could move Vista if you want. You could also get your image of Windows 7 by installing it as you did Vista (on a separate drive so as not to disrupt your existing setup -- a good idea, by the way).

    They may be necessary, along with some others.

    You're welcome.


    Are you familiar with the MountedDevices key in the Registry?

    Are you familiar with loading a hive from another Registry?

    If not, reading through these threads/post will probably help:

    The \DosDevices\C: entry for the Windows system on the Logical partition must be set to the value of the Logical partition. The value is what is assigned to that partition by the non-loaded hive's entry (the currently booted Windows/WinPE). For example: If you boot to the Vista DVD, start regedit, browse to the MountedDevices key, find the value that is assigned to the Logical partition. If WinPE has assigned J: to that partition, then the data J: is using is what needs to be copied to the C: entry in the loaded hive's MountedDevices C: entry. Does that make sense or do I need to elaborate?

    As for the BCD file changes, the partition settings for the Windows entry need to be set to point to the correct partition. As in the above example, if J: is assigned to the Logical partition when you're booted into WinPE, you would need to use the following commands to update the BCD file:
    bcdedit /store J:\boot\bcd /set {default} device partition=J:
    bcdedit /store J:\boot\bcd /set {default} osdevice partition=J:
    bcdedit /store J:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device partition=J:
    bcdedit /store J:\boot\bcd /set {memdiag} device partition=J:
    Both of these operations can be done from the Vista/Windows 7 DVD or from another compatible booted Windows system.

    In case you're not aware of this, OSS won't automatically detect Windows when setup in Logical partitions like this. They have to be added manually to the BOOTWIZ.OSS file.
  14. A320

    A320 Registered Member

    Hello once again mudcrab. Was wondering if you could do me this favor once more! Just installed Windows 7 again.

    I would do it myself but I am just waiting for you to give us the instructions so we can do this ourselves from now on. Or await an update from Acronis that would find this OS automatically.

    Thanks again.

    PS - did I attach the right file? I thought it used to be called bootwiz.oss, this one was in the bootwiz folder though. View attachment 211315

    Attached Files:

  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    That's not the correct file. It should be the BOOTWIZ.OSS file. If you're only finding the context.oss file, you're looking in the wrong BOOTWIZ folder.

    The instructions are the same as when adding Vista (except you'll probably want to name it "Windows 7" or something like that). Post #153 in this thread has more details.
  16. A320

    A320 Registered Member

    Ah yes, I now remembered that I had moved the bootwiz folder to a separate non OS partition for safety. Here it is.

    Attached Files:

  17. A320

    A320 Registered Member

    I'm trying to follow the instructions you have on the other thread but have to see it's just a wee bit past my skill level I think. I am having a tough time deciphering/comparing my file with the example you post.

    ***update, well I gave it a shot, I thought I had it as I loaded OSS in windows after altering the file, I had the icon, all looked well but when I rebooted and actually tried to load windows 7 I got this message:

    "unable to load etc file system type of the operating system is not supported"

    see attached screenshot,

    nevermind I figured it out, I recall you stating somewhere that it thinks its Vista so I placed 'ntvista' where it said 'type' in the entry. It had 'unknown' because I had copied the template from the entry for my OS X (Leopard). :D Thanks for all the good info on this site.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  18. Str8Pryd

    Str8Pryd Registered Member

    While I've done my share of registry tinkering, I can't honestly say that I'm familiar with that key in particular. I will, however, study the articles you linked before I ask too many questions.

    OK, now I'm feeling less intelligent by the minute. I'm quite determined, though, so I will read up on that, as well.

    This does make sense, to the degree with which I'm familiar with the theory involved. I will need more details to move forward with it, but I am willing to independently study this stuff so as not to overburden you or take excessive advantage of your generous assistance.

    I had assumed this already, but am happy to have my speculations confirmed. Considering the fact that I'll be having to do this anyway in order for OSS to "see" Win7, I don't see where it would be an issue. Thank you again for your help. I'll read up and tinker a bit more and let you know how it's going.

    One final question: I understand that this forum will end (become read-only) this weekend. Where might we reach you to further pester and annoy you? :D

    I would send a PM, but that is no longer available. Maybe you could add a contact link at your website?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    You can send me a PM if you need to.
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