Help: How to install Multi OS (properly)...

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by TheProf, Mar 25, 2008.

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

    TheProf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Posts:
    9
    Dear All,

    I've just had the weekend from hell trying to install a multi OS / Boot system.:argh: After reading several posts in this forum, I think I'm getting close to understanding how DDS works, but can someone please take a look at what I want to acheive and if my thought process on how to do that, is on the right lines. (Will save me hours).

    I have been a PM user for years, always worked fine for me - but Boot Magic no longer works on my (fairly) new system. So a bit of research led me to Acronis DDS v10 - so I bought it last week as it looked like just the thing.

    What I wan to do is have 4 completely independant versions of XP Pro on the first drive and use the second purely for storage. (I have 2 x 300GB SATA drives). And have OSS at boot so I can choose which OS to go into.

    1 x XP (FAT32) for the wife.
    1 x XP (NTFS) for me.
    1 x XP (NTFS) for music production.
    1 x XP (NTFS) for games

    What I've treid so far:

    On my first 2 or 3 attempts to do this I was creating the primary partitions, making one active, rebooting and (I thought) installing XP, independantly, to said active partition. WRONG!. Well it sort of was, but it was installing the Windows folder etc to another location, i.e. my second drive. I gather now that this could be due to the fact that I did not hide all other partitions first?. Anyway, I spent hours installing, reformatting, installing again etc so I really want to understand the correct process for my next attempt.

    My thoughts on how I should do this:

    Completely reformat 1st drive (again) - start afresh with one 300GB partition.
    Intsall XP and then DDS.
    Using DDS reduce size of first partition and then from unallocated space, create a further 3 x primary partitions.
    Make the second primary partition active and HIDE all others - including second drive.
    Reboot and direct from XP CD - install.
    Repeat until I have a total of 4 XP installs.

    OK - Bit unsure of this one.....

    Boot the first XP (the one with DDS) and install OSS(?) the reason I'm unsure is that I have read it could be best to install OSS on it's own primary partition(?) - but that would take me over 4 primaries.

    In theory that should be it?:thumb: :thumbd:

    I really hope that a regular DDS user can help with this issue before I tear-out all my hair.o_O

    Regards
    Prof
     
  2. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Posts:
    71
    Here's what worked for me:

    1. Installed Win XP Pro SP2 on a newly formatted HD.(Partitioning first should also work)

    2. Added common applications, i.e., the ones I wanted common to all Windows partitions.

    3. Shrunk the first partition and created other partitions, a second primary for second WinXP, a third primary (500MB) for OSS and logical partitions for Data.

    For you this would be five partitions, four for Windows and 1 for OSS.

    Under Windows rules you are allowed 4 primary partitions OR 3 primary partitions, and 1 extended partition which can contain multiple logical partitions. Primary partitions should come before Extended/Logical partitions. DDS allows other combinations.

    One of the experts here can advise on the best arrangement of your partions. I would probably try Primary (WnXP), Primary(WinXP), Primary(WinXP), Extended (Logical (WinXP), Logical (OSS)) but someone with more experience will, I am sure, comment. (NB This wouldn't work under Windows alone but will with OSS.)

    Watch out: DDS is more flexible than Windows in terms of the partitions it creates. It will let you create combinations of logical & primary partitions that the Window Disk Management program will not recognize properly, although they will still work OK. I prefer to stay within the Windows rules (I'm paranoid). Others don't.

    User MudCrab pointed me to post https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1189173&postcount=14 which discusses the potential difficulty.

    Also watch out: DDS doesn't seem to deal with Extended partitions per se, only Primary and Logical but I found that, for my case, it properly created my 3 Primary and 1 Extended (plus Logical) partitions correctly.

    4. Use DDS to copy the first partition to the other windows partitions.

    5. Make sure that when you boot, only one of the Windows partitions is visible.

    I had trouble with this initially but now, it seems, that when I double click on my desired partition in the OSS main screen it unhides and makes active that partition and hides my previous active partition. Which is what I want it to do. I had been told ipreviously it wasn't supposed to do this, so I am not entirely sure what is happening.

    6. Customize each Windows installation.

    In any event, it isn't necessary to install Windows separately into each of the partitions. Do as much of the installation first and then copy to the other partitions.

    Sorry I couldn't be more definite but I hope this helps a little.
     
  3. TheProf

    TheProf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Posts:
    9
    Hi Kritker,

    I'm at work at the moment and will read and digest your thoughts better at home later, but I like the sound of installing one OS + basic apps and then copying to other partitions - that would hours in itself. :D

    Thanks for your reply & help.

    Prof
     
  4. TheProf

    TheProf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Posts:
    9
    I'd like to add this link which I only found after my post. It also looks very helpful, and also makes me feel a bit better as the original poster (Daladim) had similar problemes to me. He's been very kind to post a working solution.

    Also MudCrab's advice on how to use DDS to get the same result may also prove very useful.

    Big thanks to you both - I will try soon ;)

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=203456&highlight=installing

    :D
     
  5. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Posts:
    71
    I have given up on OSS (OS Selector). It and Disk Director 10 have caused me too many problems. I found OSS to be too finicky and difficult to control.

    I have found a very nice, very simple and very usable free multi-boot manager call GAG, "El Gestor de Arranque Grafico" - Spanish (Castillian) for "The Graphical Boot Manager" at http://gag.sourceforge.net/es-index.html. It does the following for me (which I don't get from OSS, to my knowledge):
    • Allows me to add or delete, explicitly, those Windows XP boot partitions I want on the boot menu far more simply than is possible with OSS
    • Automatically hides all primaries except the one I want to boot from, which it automatically unhides (this setting can be changed)
    • Installs in the first track of the hard disk, not on any partition and not on a separate partition
    and also provides the usual (which OSS does provide):
    • Ability to edit the boot partition names
    • Menu of available boot partitions
    Time will tell how reliable it is. It is also supposed to work for Linux. I don't know how it is for Vista. If I am being unfair to OSS, please enlighten me. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  6. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Posts:
    444
    Location:
    Chicago
    When I protested a "B" grade to one of my philosophy professors and explained that I had read the material very carefully he said that I must not only read the material but also read between the lines. He never stated this outright but ( in philosophy and apparently in technical writings) assumed this was common knowledge.

    The DD text on adding OS's is badly written and takes a between-the-lines reading to get it working OK.

    I am sure that this poorly written part of DD's manual has caused many a defection to other boot loaders (I too am a mutineer, boot loader wise).

    Acronis are you listeningo_O
     
  7. Kritker

    Kritker Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Posts:
    71
    I subscribe to the "old" school". I feel that I should be able to use 90% of a program's features without opening the manual or referring to "Help". The user interface should provide sufficient information for me to do this. If it doesn't then I feel that the program has been badly designed. (But then much of today's software is hardly "designed" at all.) Also, I have been accused of living in a dreamworld.:cautious: Which boot loader do you use?
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,480
    Location:
    California
    I think a lot of the problems with OSS stem from the fact that it doesn't offer any built-in manual controls. It's setup to do everything automatically. When that doesn't work, OSS fails.

    In most cases, editing the BOOTWIZ.OSS file can provide the fixes needed. I would guess about 90%+ of the problems can be fixed by editing this file. However, this should not be necessary. The options should be available in the program.

    You should be able to just tell a boot manager that you want to boot "this" partition and that's that. It should try and boot it. OSS has to "know" what the OS is and if it can't recognize it, it will not only not boot it, it won't even add the OS entry to the menu.

    It also has very limited detection of Windows installations. For example, make a few changes to the Vista BCD file and OSS won't detect Vista. Vista is still on the partition, all of the booting files are there, etc. OSS should be smart enough to know that Vista is on the partition, but it isn't. In my opinion, that's the main reason brand-name OEM Vista installations aren't properly detected.
     
  9. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Posts:
    444
    Location:
    Chicago
    I use a combination of DD10 "proper" (non OSS that is) and the Windows XP native Boot-loader. I have found this to be the best combination without (as you say) becoming an expert "minutia wise" with OSS or other loaders.

    I do not think that you are living in a dreamworld.

    After all, is it not the expectation that software is to be "intelligent" enough (as MudCrab alludes to) to figure out a simple algorithm that should have been coded into an application that is designed to do (and claims to do) certain functionso_O Acronis MUST recode Disk Director to do what it says it is able to do.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.