Dual Boot Help!!

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by QuinnK, Feb 26, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    I have a new Lenovo T61 on the way with Vista Business on a 100GB HD. I want to wind up with a dual boot setup with Vista and XP, but I want them completely seperate using a boot mgr like GAG or OLS2000 on another 200GB HD. I've done this a couple of times with W2000 and XP, but have never had any dealings with Vista before. I understand Vista partitioning is different than XP, the older 63 sect offset and the newer 2048. Not knowing that much about Vista yet, I don't want to run into anymore problems than necessary.

    I want to end up with the original Vista install on the first partition - primary, the new XP (OEM Pro) on the second - primary, then an extended with one or two logicals. I would like both OS to boot as C: with the other hidden, and then one or two logicals visible to both. I hope this will work with Vista. The partition order of Vista first then XP second doesn't matter. Could be either way, I just assumed Vista on the first.

    1.Would it be best to clone the original Vista to the new HD, then shrink it's partition and create the others using Vista itself? Will cloning from the original OEM to the new HD leave the Vista partition at 63 sector offset and the others it creates at 1024? (which wouldn't work)

    2.Would it be best to use something like DDS to partition the new hard drive first then transfer an ATI image of the original Vista to the new HD, then install XP after setting the Vista partition inactive and setting the second partition active? Or some other method?

    That pretty much explains what I want to accomplish and some thoughts I have on how to accomplish it. Anyone who has any answers, suggestions, recommendations, etc. would be very much appreciated.

    EDIT: Could have newest versions of ATI and DDS, or anything else needed, available.

    Thanks for your time... Quinn
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Quinn:

    My recommendation is to use your approach #2. Back up your existing disk to an external hard drive. When you restore, restore one partition at a time so that you can choose the size. Your T61 will probably come with a recovery partition, so restore that first to the same position that it was originally (I'm not certain where Lenovo puts the recovery partition now, perhaps as the first primary partition?) Of course, if you don't want the recovery partition on your new drive then don't restore it. When you restore the Vista partition then choose the desired size, leaving the rest of the disk as uncommitted free space. You can later use the XP install CD to install XP.

    Two issues to consider with Lenovo hardware:

    1. If you want the recovery partition and the ability to boot into it with the blue button then you will need to restore "Track 0/MBR". If you are deleting the recovery partition then do not restore Track 0; just let TI create a generic MBR.

    2. Lenovo machines use a nonstandard BIOS geometry (240 heads) to describe the disk. Most USB externals and most PC BIOSes use 255 heads. So it is critically important that when you restore your images to the new disk, put the new disk as the internal drive and restore from an external disk to the internal.

    If you use TI and Disk Director to lay out your new disk then all partitions will have the older 63-sector offset and you should not have any problems between the two operating systems.
     
  3. Gswiss

    Gswiss Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Posts:
    17
    Thank goodness there are a lot of people like you who are smart enough not to use Vista.

    Here are 2 sites where the topic is well covered. In the first one I included my own step-by-step procedure to install XP on a pre-installed Vista machine (message #51):

    http://forums.techguy.org/windows-vista/558994-how-install-xp-after-vista-4.html#post5602891

    http://www.syschat.com/dual-boot-vista-xp-vista-already-28-1946.html#post9987

    DDS Build 2160 works like a charm under Vista if you want to use it to shrink the Vista partition in order to make room for your XP partition.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Gswiss:

    Your instructions are for dual-booting "the Microsoft Way" whereas QuinnK wants a system where each OS is hidden from the other and uses a boot manager to switch between them.

    I know your comment about Vista wasn't for me but I have to say that after using Vista for a year at work I will never go back to XP. I can't wait to update my home machine to Vista as soon as the SP1 DVDs are available for purchase.
     
  5. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    Hi Mark... I apologize for the long delay since I posted, we had to take an unexpected trip for family health reasons and just got back. I see you've posted some excellent info I need while I was gone.

    I think I may retain the recovery partition, it's the first partition on the disk, about 6.8GB. If you think the OEM Vista (Business) I just got with the T61 is set up now on the older offset, I was wondering If I might just clone what I have to the new disk and then use something else other than Vista to set up the other partitions?

    I haven't used TI for the last few versions and never DD, I've used mostly Partition Magic, Drive Image, and TeraByte's Image for Dos & Windows and BootIt NG. If you still think it would be better to image to an external and use that back to the new disk I will do that. Is there a choice to copy or not copy track 0 in TI? I don't mind buying TI and/or DD to do what I need to do if you think either one or both is what I need.

    Have you ever used GAG or OLS2000? I thought GAG might be the simplest and most reliable. Another question: I understand Vista is a little touchy about some things in track 0, should GAG be a problem in that regard?

    If it takes a little experimenting it won't be a problem, it will all be done on a completely new drive, so no big loss if I have to redo anything. I have the bay hard drive adapter for the T61, as well as external drives and enclosures (HD, floppy, and DVD).

    You've been very helpful and I appreciate it.

    Thanks... Quinn
     
  6. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    Hi Gswiss... yes, Mark's right, I want to keep the two OS completely seperate and use a boot manager. I prefer that setup for a couple of reasons and have done it a few times with 2000 and XP... I've just never done it (or much of anything else) with Vista, and understand such things can have a 'gotcha' or two working with Vista.

    I've worked a lot with XP and know quite a bit about it, so naturally tend to like it better than Vista. There are some things I like about Vista though, and when I get it set up like I want it and get used to it... I think it will work fine. Figured I might as well get started on it, it will settle down eventually just like every version has before.

    Thanks... Quinn
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    That will work but be sure to do a "reverse clone" where the new disk is the internal drive and the old disk is an external or perhaps in the Ultrabay and while you are booted from the TI recovery CD. An older version of TI should be fine if you clone the entire disk as-is.

    There may be an option in the older TI versions to not copy Track 0/MBR. In versions 10 and later it is always copied, but you have the choice of not restoring it.

    I haven't personally used either of these boot managers. I am currently using GRUB from Linux.

    The boot code in Vista's MBR is larger than in XP; I've attached a screen shot so that you can take a look.

    Code:
    Key: Red = MBR boot code;  Green = Disk ID;  Yellow = Partition Table
    The screen shot is of my disk before and after installing Vista to replace XP. You can see that the Disk ID and the Partition Table are unchanged but the MBR code for Vista is larger. I think the reason is that slightly more code is required in order to be able to work with BitLocker. If GAG does not modify the first sector then it should be fine.

    Once you get your T61 take a look at the partition table with ptEdit from Partition Magic (PM) to see if the disk is set up with 63-sector or 2048-sector offset. If I know Lenovo then I'm willing to bet it will be 63-sector. You can run ptedit32.exe in Vista, so just copy it to your Vista desktop from your existing PM installation and double-click to start. If your disk is set up with 63-sector offset then you can use PM to partition the disk except that it will not install or run in Vista -- you will have to boot into DOS and run it from there.

    Post back if you need further suggestions. What you want to do is very practical and should work out well.
     

    Attached Files:

    • MBR.jpg
      MBR.jpg
      File size:
      237.5 KB
      Views:
      12
  8. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    Hi Mark... You're a great source for good information... :) and I definitely appreciate it.

    I just got the Lenovo, everything seems great so far. First I will get Vista set up like I want it, probably starting with a custom recovery without the junk, on the 100GB drive I got with it (don't really have the time for a complete clean install of Vista right now). Then after I get Vista in good shape and get sorta used to it I will do the dual boot.
    I don't have any Acronis programs in a new enough version I would want to use, I will probably buy the new DDS, and maybe TI 11. I can run ptEdit from PM8 to determine the 63 sector thing, as you suggested... and I will definitely do the 'reverse' clone, probably using the bay adapter.

    I think GAG installs in track 0, I will probably try to find out for sure if it plays well with Vista. I've always used OSL2000 and like it, but for this I may try GAG... think it's smaller and simpler.

    I think you've got me lined out for now. If I think of anything else before I start I will definitely post back... and I'll holler if something comes up during the process. I'll let you know how it goes in any event.

    If you think of anything else pertinent, feel free to add it.

    Thanks again. Quinn
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Quinn:

    Almost forgot one thing -- how important is it to you to keep the blue "ThinkVantage" button working? On Lenovo machines, this button allows you to boot into the recovery partition if pressed when the machine is first powered up. For this to work takes special Master Boot code that occupies the first 4 sectors on the disk. Installing Windows (any version) will wipe out the code in the first sector and you'll lose the blue button functionalilty. If you don't care to use this feature then just go ahead and install XP or any other OS.

    If you want to keep the button working then you need to make a TI backup of Track 0/MBR so that you can restore it after installing Windows. And you will have to figure out how GAG works because it may replace the MBR code with its own. However, maybe you can configure GAG to reside in its own little boot partition, thus leaving the MBR code alone.

    As an analogy, the boot loader that I use (GRUB), if installed to the MBR, will occupy the first 16 sectors on the disk. But you can also create a small primary boot partition and install the GRUB boot code to the partition's boot record, thus leaving the MBR code unaffected. Then the standard MBR code just searches the partition table to find the active partition and jumps there to load its boot sector code.

    There are many ways to set this up -- it just depends on personal preference.
     
  10. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    Hi Mark...

    Hmm, well... I'm not sure. I would sorta like to keep the button functional, but it's a not must have in relation to what I want to do. I assume doing away with the working button also does away with the choice of using a current backup on a recovery with Rescue and Recovery? (as you can tell, there's a lot I still don't know about the Lenovo utilities). I did do a custom recovery on Vista without the junk, and it worked great. I do have the recovery disks, and I will keep the installation I have now in some form. Between images, backup capabilities in Vista Business, etc. I probably don't have any big need of a working button.

    I will have to find out more about GAG. I think it works more or less like OSL2000, and I haven't run across anything on installing it to an alternate partition. I'm not in a great hurry to do the dual boot, so I've got some time to do some planning on it.

    I will definitely get DDS, I think it would be a move up now from PM8 (I hope), but I'm not too sure on TI 11. I've done some checking and don't get a overly positive response to it. In your opinion, would it be better to get Ver 10 and maybe update to the latest on it from Acronis?

    Thanks for putting up with all the questions, as you can see... I'm not totally set on a number of things. Decisions... Decisions...

    EDIT: Anyone else who has anything at all to add is perfectly welcome.

    Quinn
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  11. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    Mark... I just ran ptEdit and looks like I've got the new 2048 offset. Based on what you know so far, what do you think is the best way to get a complete duplicate of what's on the present HD with a 63 offset? I assume that's what I need for what I'll be doing.


    Thanks... Quinn
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Quinn:

    If you are going to use TI then having Lenovo Rescue and Recovery (R&R) is completely redundant. In my opinion, TI is vastly superior to R&R, which you can uninstall and your machine will run better without the constant background activity generated by R&R. Also, with TI you can probably restore your disk in 15 - 20 minutes, whereas doing a restore with the recovery partition takes hours.

    I kept an image of the recovery partition on my X41T and it's been "on the shelf" for 3 years now. Some day, should I decide to sell the machine, I might use it to return the machine to factory condition before sale.

    I'm still using TI 10 because TI 11 has problems with Intel motherboard RAID in the recovery environment, so that would mean I could no longer back up my desktop PC. This may be a non-issue for you, so you could give the free trial version a go to see if it is compatible with your hardware in the recovery environment. Personally, if you already have version 10 I would hang onto it until the rest of the bugs are worked out of version 11.

    I'm surprised that Lenovo set your machine up with 2048-sector offset. That's easy to fix. Just use TI to back up the disk. Restore each partition, one at a time and they will be restored with 63-sector offset. Do not restore the entire disk all at once or you will end up with a duplicate of what you now have.
     
  13. QuinnK

    QuinnK Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts:
    47
    Mark... I appreciate all the help.

    I knew you would say that about R&R and using TI. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I will be able to get into the dual boot, but you've helped me decide what I'll do. After what you've said I did a little research on Gag, Thinkpads, etc. and I did find that Thinkpads do have some touchy issues with the MBR, R&R, and boot managers. I'm going to keep the complete Vista installation I will have at the time of the dual boot, the recovery partition itself, and I will have of course have the recovery disks.

    On the dual boot, to keep it simple and reliable, I will eliminate the recovery partition and go with just the Vista partition first and XP on the second partition... using either GAG or OSL2000 as boot manager. I will have TI 10, latest DDS, and also Terabyte utilities (as well as the backup stuff in V Business), so won't need R&R. I knew I didn't need really R&R, just thought the blue button was kinda neat.

    Thanks again. Quinn
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.