Acronis compatible "multi-boot manager" - please advise me.

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by alan_b, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    I very recently discovered that standard Microsoft Dual Booting is not the only game in town.

    Now my laptop suddenly has a large HDD, I like the idea of having several different System Partitions and the ability to choose which to boot into.

    Google gave me 3,710,000 results for multi-boot.
    I got it down to 31,100 with
    freeware "multi-boot manager"

    I would appreciate specific recommendations,
    and also advice upon selection criteria.

    I am aware that :-
    some products live in track zero, and others in a DOS partition;
    some products hide inactive system partitions, and some require different drive letters.

    I especially require information upon whether any particular location might conflict with the recently installed Boot-up option to boot into/with Acronis Secure Zone.

    In addition to Acronis compatibility, I would like :-
    1. The active partition to be C:\
    2. Freeware
    3. The non-active system partitions to have alternative letters, OR be hidden
    4. If Hidden I hope I could then "Mount" them as alternative drive letters.

    Any advice upon any aspect of the above will be welcome

    Regards
    Alan
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I don't really know much about multi-booting and never cared for the idea but I think it might be good if you specified which OSes you plan to use in your efforts since it may impact on the recommendations.
     
  3. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    Location:
    Lancashire, England
    My immediate wish is two instances of Windows XP Home edition with SP3,
    a "Latest" and a "Previous".

    In the future I may wish to try linux, but I may never get around to that,
    and for the easiest simplest way of merely dual booting two instance of XP I am more than happy to abandon linux as a possibility

    "Latest" is the current instance for normal use.
    "Previous" will be a destination target for restoring an earlier T.I. image of "Latest".

    My intentions towards "Previous" include :-
    1. Restore to it the "Latest" image immediately after creation, and boot into "Previous" to prove the image is bootable;
    2. Restore any past image so I may quickly compare operation of an application before and after an update;
    3. To compare files and folders with "Latest" before creating a new T.I. image, so I may detect and delete from "Latest" any unwanted junk that may have accumulated since the last T.I. image;
    4. Boot into "Previous" to install something new and test whether I want it to be a permanent part of "Latest".

    I assume the bootmanager will Hide the inactive partition - or do some managers allocate a "spare" drive letter ?
    When I wish to see/copy/compare files/folders on a hidden partition,
    I think I will mount it as drive X:\ rather than unhide and set as X:\, but welcome advice.

    N.B. System Restore notices when the External HDD is not switched on at start-up.
    Upon the next Start-up with the External HDD switched on then S.R. gobbles up GBytes as it includes monitoring of all the external partitions.
    I get quite annoyed having to individually disable monitoring of each partition yet again. I am hoping that X:\ will escape monitoring if it is only mounted.

    Regards
    Alan
     
  4. jehosophat

    jehosophat Registered Member

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    The obvious response if you want Acronis compatability is to use OS Selection part of Acronis Disk Doctor.

    I have used this with 2 versions of Windows XP, something you mentioned.

    There is a trial that you can use. It works but I still prefer separate disks.

    So I use on my desktop a hard disk caddy with disks for WIN98, XP,Windows 7 and various flavours of Linux.

    On my laptop I have a several hard disks which I just swap out.
     
  5. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Lancashire, England
    Thank you

    I was not aware of a "free" Acronis version.

    The 15 Second delay after a trial period may be acceptable. Please advise, when does this apply ?

    I prefer that under normal conditions of no manual intervention, and default of booting into "Latest" partition,
    the multi-boot manager should not greatly extend the delay between switching on and launching applications.
    I will however be happy to accept a 15 second delay penalty whenever I invoke booting to the non-default partition.

    I also look forward to alternative recommendations.

    Additional criteria that may influence my final choice are :-
    how large is the code;
    where is it held;
    how easy is it to un-install if I do not like it.
    I am very happy to use something that lives in Track zero and is perfectly un-installed by restoring a previous track zero.

    Regards
    Alan
     
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