Acronis and Vista.

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by rahamanpatrick, Jun 17, 2007.

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  1. rahamanpatrick

    rahamanpatrick Registered Member

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    I've seen various threads on forcing OS Selector to work with Vista and I've seen some that claim it works with Vista. So here's the question:

    Does the LATEST version of Acronis OS Selector (With Disk Director) successfully detect Vista?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I have had mixed results with OSS detecting Vista. It seems to do the best if it is installed from Vista. There are various workarounds that can be tried if Vista is not detected, but sometimes OSS just refuses to find it. It's possible a manual entry could be created that would work, but I haven't tried it.

    To be fair, OSS also has problems detecting XP and Linux in certain repeatable situations, but it's generally easier to force OSS to recognize XP and Linux than Vista.
     
  3. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    I upgraded to Disk Selector 10 to try to dual boot XP and Vista. Still no luck. If installed in XP before installing Vista, it works fine, detecting both XP and the Windows Recovery options.

    I installed Vista to a separate partition and Vista installed it's own loader option, which I would use, except for the documented bug that XP will detect Vista's System Restore points and wipe them out. Acronis Disk selector is supposed to allow hiding the Vista partition from XP and vice versa to prevent cross-os screwups like that.

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to get OSS to detect any OS's after Vista installed it's boot loader, whether I tried from the Acronis rescue CD or from OSS installed in Vista. Am going to look further for an answer.

    I had hoped that I OSS would make it easier to do this than a method using Grub that I read about, but it certainly doesn't seem so.

    Any help from anyone else would be appreciated. This certainly should be in a FAQ.
     
  4. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    To clarify, what OSS shows is "unknown operating system" and my floppy drive as the choices. The "unknown operating system" is actually the Vista loader which allows a choice of Vista or XP.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    That problem is caused because the Vista sees the XP partition during the install. The XP partition must be hidden otherwise Vista will install its bootloader and OSS can't separate the two OS's.

    You could try this. Get XP booting normally again using its own bootloader. You may have to do an XP bootfix/repair to do this (or you could restore from a TI backup image if you have one). Install/reactivate OSS from XP and get that working again. You may need to uninstall OSS and reinstall. In any case get OSS working with XP.

    Next, deactivate (do not uninstall) OSS so that XP boots automatically. Boot from the rescue cd and use DD to hide the XP partition and set the Vista partition as active and unhidden. Then install Vista and select the Vista partition. Once Vista is installed, install DD into Vista and reinstall OSS. It should recognize that OSS was installed and do a repair/update. Hopefully Vista and XP will both be recognized.

    From the OSS menu, set the properties for XP so that the XP partition is active and unhidden and the Vista partition is hidden. Set the properties for the Vista menu entry so that the XP partition is hidden and the Vista partition is active and unhidden.
     
  6. rahamanpatrick

    rahamanpatrick Registered Member

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    Thanks, I'm going to give MudCrab's solution a go. Just to confirm, in your solution, Vista will not be able to see XP and XP will not be able to see Vista, correct?
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If setup correctly, yes, that is the end result. Each will be drive C: and the other OS's partition will be hidden.

    If you need to access data from both OS's then use another internal drive or create a third partition to use for that purpose. You could also use an external USB drive.

    If you have problems or questions on any part of the process, post back. I'll try and help you through it. I have 2 XP's and Vista (along with 3 Linux's) booting using OSS.
     
  8. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    One of my complications is that I always had a small fat partition at the beginning of my first drive to facilitate dual booting, e.g. I think it was Win2k (or maybe NT) that could not boot from an NTFS partition. I've continued the practice, so that before trying to install Vista, I had the NT bootloader, boot.ini and Windows Recovery Console on the C: partition of a 40gig IDE drive. I had Xp installed on the first partition of an SATA drive. The XP loader gave me a choice of XP or the recovery console. Never had a problem.

    Before trying to install Vista, I upgraded Disk Director to I had also installed OSS on drive C:. It replaced the XP loader, showing XP and an "unknown operating system", which turned out to be the Recovery Console.

    I opened up some space right behind the XP partition and installed Vista there. I thought I had hidden the XP partition using DD, but I think the fact that OSS had ahold of it prevented it from being really hidden. In any case, when Vista installed, it replaced OSS with it's own bootloader, showing me Vista, XP and the recovery console. OSS would not find any operating systems other than the Vista bootloader, even when I tried it manually.

    I tried hours worth of combinations without success. I even tried hiding both XP and C:, and changing the SATA to be the first bootable disk, the machine wouldn't then boot, so I used the Vista DVD to repair the boot, thinking that maybe this would make the Vista partition bootable and let OSS see it. No dice. It wound up back with the same bootloader menu, even though the C: and XP partitions were hidden.

    I had already activated vista, so I don't really want to reinstall it and risk an activation hassle.

    Is there some way to move all the Vista bootloader files to the Vista Partition, do something similar to XP and have both those partitions recognizable to OSS?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Can you post a DD screenshot of your current drive/partition layout? It may help to see it. I'm thinking it's like this:
    IDE DRIVE: [40GB FAT current boot drive]
    SATA DRIVE: [XP primary partition ?? GB][VISTA primary partition ?? GB]
    Is this correct?

    Besides using the IDE drive for booting, what is on it?
    Is it just data storage?

    What is XP's drive letter? C: ? D: ?
    Is the IDE drive the C: drive when booted into XP?

    Do you have True Image? Do you have current backups of your partitions?
    Even though what you are doing shouldn't cause data loss, it's always a good idea to have a backup just in case.

    As for Vista activation, you shouldn't have any problem reactivating it since it's on the same computer.

    ----

    Since I'm not exactly sure of the state of your computer when you tried the Vista repair, I would recommend trying the following. If you've tried it exactly like this then let me know.

    Windows needs to boot from the first hard drive. This is normally the drive set in the computer's BIOS as the boot hard drive. Go into the computer's BIOS and set the SATA drive that Vista is installed on as the first boot hard drive (after the cd drive). Then boot from the DD rescue cd and hide the XP partition and the partition(s) on the IDE drive. Set the Vista partition as active. Apply those changes. Then boot from the Vista DVD and do the boot repair. Vista will now hopefully boot. If it does, then you should be able to reinstall OSS. Make sure the XP and Vista partitions are properly hidden from each other.

    If XP is recognized in the OSS boot menu, but won't boot, you'll probably need to edit the boot.ini file to point to the correct drive/partition or do a bootfix on it. You have to understand that Vista bootloader will still be installed to the FAT partition even though it's now booting from the Vista partition. There is no "easy" way to separate them once they get combined except to hide the necessary partitions and do boot repairs.
     
  10. RTShaw

    RTShaw Registered Member

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    use PQBoot32.exe off partition magic 8.x.. it pops up a little window showing the diff os's installed u type in the number of the os..Bingo thats it..
    i got tired of F...in with oss both versions. So once u add the os (simple as pie) then usae pQboot32 to select em (thats how lazy I am)

    booting between, Xp pro, test xp pro, vista32, vista64
     
  11. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    You have the drive configuration correct; must be my great description :)

    I had actually tried what you suggested as far as changing the boot sequence of the drives and hiding the FAT partition on the IDE as well as the XP partition on the SATA and using the boot repair from the DVD.

    It didn't work yesterday, but I tried it again to be sure. Uninstalled OSS to make sure it wouldn't interfere. Found that the problem is that, even though the SATA is set as the first boot drive and DD shows the FAT partition on the IDE drive as hidden, Vista's boot manager still sees it. Don't know how. Vista itself, once booted, cannot see it, but I get the same boot screen as before.

    Am now in the process of backing up the FAT partition with TI. Will then delete it and try again.


     
  12. elwiley

    elwiley Registered Member

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    First time using Wilders. Looks like some good troubleshooting in this forum. I have DD 10 with build 2160 and TI 10 with build 4942. I have XP Pro installed on a SATA drive and Vista Bus installed on another SATA drive. Previously I had Vista on an ATA drive and went through the bios to switch OS but after getting DD10 decided to switch that to my backup drive. OSS was working fine for about 2 weeks but now I get the message when turning on the computer "Non System Disk press any key". Fortunately any key does boot up XP. Also can use rescue CD when has both TI and DD. So far nothing I have tried has changed anything.
    I haven't tried the suggestions in this thread yet, wanted to get some feedback from current participants as to whether this is the best thread to resolve the problem. Thanks, Ed
     
  13. elwiley

    elwiley Registered Member

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    sounds like Partition Magic 8 works with Vista, is that right?
     
  14. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    sorry I didn't post my results regarding mudcrabs advice. It's been a week. I wasted 3 hours trying to get it to work. Finally came up with a kludge that does what I wanted, which was hide the Vista and XP partitions from each other, but it's not really thanks to OSS.

    I have to conclude that OSS is not ready for Vista. It may work if you do the install in exactly the right order, but otherwise, you can never get it to recognize the Vista partition.

    I removed OSS completely, removing all the folders it had created on the various partitions. I then went about using DD to manual hide and unhide the XP and Vista partitions. I also changed the boot order of the drives so the machine booted from the SATA drive where the XP and Vista partitions were located. I also hid the Fat partition on the IDE drive from which things had been booting in order to force booting directly from the XP and Vista artitions. I also used the OS cd's to repair the booting. After this, I could manually hide the Vista partition and XP would boot without using the dual boot. Could do the opposite and Vista would boot. I created a separate small FAT partition on the SATA drive, installed OSS in it and it immediately recognized XP. Nothing for Vista. I attempted to manually add a profile for Vista and force it to look at the Vista partition while hiding the XP partition. I even gave it folders to look in. NADA.

    I then unhid the original Fat partition on the IDE drive and OSS immediately found an "unknown operating system". If I choose that during bootup, I wound up at the dual boot screen and could choose Vista. I could have also chosen XP, but nothing would happen because that profile hid the XP partition.

    So it wound up like this: If I wanted to boot XP, I would just choose the XP profile in OSS. If I wanted to boot Vista, I would choose the unknown operating system which would then send me to the original FAT partition and the Vista dual boot screen whic would then let me into Vista.

    It's not supposed to be this hard. I think the guys at Acronis don't have it clear in their own minds what Vista looks for to boot.
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This is, unfortunately, very often the case. Once OSS doesn't recognize Vista correctly, there is very little one can do except to start over.

    In your case, Vista is booting using the bootloader it previously installed on the IDE drive. I would guess this could be fixed by hiding the FAT and XP partitions, making the Vista partition active and booting from the Vista DVD to do a repair. This should install the bootloader over OSS. Then boot into Vista and reinstall OSS. OSS should find the previous installation files and add Vista. You could then remove the unknown entry.

    You would, however, have to use DD to clear the MBR of the IDE drive, otherwise OSS will always refind it.
    NOTE: Clearing the MBR will delete any existing partitions on the drive.

    I so wish OSS had a completely manual mode because its automatic mode so often gets it all wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
  16. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    Agree with you about the need for a manual mode.

    It's been a week, but I think I already tried what you suggested. I hid the ide partition. Of course Vista wouldn't boot, so I ran the boot repair from the Vista DVD and could boot Vista directly after that as long as I hid that first IDE partition and the XP partition. However, I still could not get OSS to find it.

    Think I ran fixmbr once from the XP recovery console. I remember looking at some other low level commands to fool with the MBR, but was afraid of really screwing up the drive, although I suppose if it's ide drive it won't be big loss.

    If you can point me to any treatises on those commands, I'd be appreciative.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I would suggest you set the IDE to be the last drive in each OSS menu entry's Properties->Disks list.

    Another option would be to disconnect the IDE drive and get things sorted out and booting correctly. Then reconnect the IDE drive and make sure it's last in the BIOS boot list and last in the Disks list in OSS.

    Throwing that IDE drive into the mix is just making everything more complex and OSS makes things complex enough on its own.

    If I were trying to straighten things out I think I would try this:
    1 ) Uninstall OSS, remove Bootwiz folders, etc.
    2 ) Create a TI image of the Vista partition
    3 ) Create a TI image of the XP partition
    4 ) Create a TI image of the IDE drive (or copy any data you want saved to another location)
    5 ) Disconnect the IDE drive
    6 ) Use DD to clear the SATA drive, wipe the start of the SATA drive and clear the MBR
    7 ) Restore the Vista partition using TI to SATA drive (set partition size as needed)
    8 ) Boot from Vista DVD and do a repair so Vista boots
    9 ) Install OSS from Vista (hopefully it detects Vista correctly)
    10 ) Restore the XP partition to the SATA drive using the remaining space (edit boot.ini as necessary)
    11 ) Reboot, OSS should see the XP install
    12 ) In OSS, set Vista's options to hide the XP partition and set XP's options to hide the Vista partition
    13 ) Once everything is working correctly, reconnect the IDE drive, boot to DD, clear the drive and the MBR. Recreate a data partition and restore the previously saved data.
     
  18. mikegno

    mikegno Registered Member

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    I'm not going to go to that much trouble to get OSS to work. Will wait til the get the bug fixed, or publish instructions on manual installs.

    I did manage to get OSS to work with Vista and XP on my laptop, but it was not trouble free.

    Had XP Media center on first partition and a data partition afterwards. Freed up space in between for a Vista partition and also created a small partition for the later install of OSS.

    Using DD, I hid the XP partition and installed Vista in the cleared space. No problem.

    BTW, found a bug in the Vista install. I have an Acronis rescue setup on a USB thumbdrive from which I had run DD. I left it in when trying to install Vista and it would not get past the initial formating of the new partition. Forgot the error, but it was something to the effect that it could not assign a drive letter to it. I eventually thought to remove the thumbdrive and it worked.

    Back to the setup. After getting vista installed, I installed DD and OSS in Vista and told OSS to put it's setup on the small partition. It immediately detected both Vista and XP. Thought: "This is too easy." Well, it was.

    I went into the properties of each operating system in OSS to make sure that the Vista and XP partitions were hidden from each other. Apparently since I installed OSS while the XP partition was hidden, OSS decided it had to always be hidden. In the XP profile, it showed the XP partition as both active and hidden. Of course this wouldn't work and trying to boot into XP just caused the system to go into never never land. I tried all kinds of stuff, like booting from the thumb drive and getting DD to unhide the XP partition, which didn't change OSS's mind, to deactivating OSS and then unhiding the XP partition. Neither worked.

    I finally poked around in the XML file OSS creates. It was mostly unintelligible, but I could see an entry which obviously referred to the XP partition as active and hidden. I removed the hidden part of the entry, reenabled OSS and it worked.

    I think the secret may be to install OSS after booting into the Acronis rescue media menu and unhiding all partitions. I believe that is an option. Just make sure you have all the serial numbers you need.
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The "grayed out" hidden option is a very common OSS bug and the easiest fix is what you did, edit the bootwiz.oss file manually and fix it. That info is located in this thread: Ohhh OSS and this one: OS not bootable - autochk program not found

    Apparently, when OSS is detecting OS's and it finds one on a hidden partition it leaves it marked as hidden and doesn't let you change it. It should be smart enough to know that Windows will not boot from a hidden partition.

    I have also done it the other way you suggest. Unhiding all the OS partitions using DD and then installing OSS. This works, but introduces another bug that can cause "cross-linked" Windows. There is another fix for this, but it's a lot more complicated.
     
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