Installing OSS

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by seekermeister, Oct 10, 2007.

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  1. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    I have a triple-boot system with MCE on PATA 1, SuSe 10.2 on PATA 2 and XP x64 on a SATA. Each system was installed with the other OS drives disconnected, so that I can boot into each by changing the boot priority. I have had alot of bad experiences with Grub, Lilo, etc. and do not want to tiie all of the OSs tied together in such a fashion that a glitch in the boot loader puts all of my OSs down at the same time. Therefore, I'm hoping that OSS can be installed and used in a fashion that it will provide that independence. Preferably, I would like to have the SuSe drive as the normal boot device, leaving the Windows drives untouched. Is this possible?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    OSS takes over the MBR and installs its files on a partition on one of your hard drives. In my experience, it also takes over the MBR of any "bootable" USB device (flashdrive, USB hard disk, etc.) if connected when you boot into OSS. I'm not sure about internal drives, but it may take over the MBR on those too if they're bootable.

    In your case, you'd have to set the Disk Order so that the OS disk you're booting is first in the list for that OS menu entry.

    OSS does not have to be installed into a Windows partition. If you do a custom install, you can use any FAT32 or NTFS partition. In fact, installing OSS to a non-OS partition is a good idea because if you restore the OS partition later you're not restoring outdated OSS boot files.
     
  3. clambermatic

    clambermatic Registered Member

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    hello Seeker;
    Have you heard of 'Ranish PM' (NOT to be mistaken with the usual Linux util) which is highly suitable for deployment on multi-OS in individual partition & more reliable vis-a-vis LiLo/Grub??

    Here is a link to Ranish boot-manager and related files - http://www.ranish.com/

    Shalom ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  4. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    I have read your post several times trying to digest it. It not that you aren't clear enough, I'm just too foggy.

    I understand that OSS will takeover a MBR, but how do you choose which one? With Grub it seemed as though even when installing it on a SuSe partition it effected the MBR of not only it's drive, but drive 0, which happened to be a PATA, which did not have boot priority. I do have an USB floppy drive, which falls into the catagory of those that you said would also be effected, but until now, I never knew that a floppy even had an MBR, nor do I know if that would be good or bad to leave connected while installing OSS?
    This I do not understand? Can I control the order that the OSs are listed in the OSS menu?
    Would it then be good to format a partition on the Linux drive with NTSF for OSS? With the Linux drive set first in boot priority, I'm thinking that if anything went wrong with OSS that it would then only effect the Linux drive....yes/no?
     
  5. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    I am a person very much of a one-track mind. Are you saying that you believe that Ranish is better than OSS?
     
  6. clambermatic

    clambermatic Registered Member

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    I bet U would love Ranish, once you get to understand how it works. ;)

    Ranish does not overtook MBRs, but it HAS TO BE installed in its own very miniscule partition (usually anywhere of an HDD, but not placed as 'last' at the foremost end of a drive).

    RanishPM deployed a grid wherein you list the OS/drive you want to bootup as a process (it supports multiples); thereafter you can toggle which OS you wanna boot at 1st priority via 'switches'.

    Some says it added a layer (the toggling, that is) on the bootup proc. I say (and a lot others too) it ain't far from toggling a Grub page either. See?

    Do please read the links withjin the URL i had indicated, understand its process well... setup is a cinch thou. And once you deployed it, you won't have much dissappointments.

    :eek:
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  7. clambermatic

    clambermatic Registered Member

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    addendum: "Ranish"

    I indicated very miniscule [[ partition ]]... whereas it was suppose to be a 'cylinder' (within a drive). Trombett's (one of the best Ranish documenter and practitioner of "real" Multi-Boot systems) documentation indicated his RanishPM as using >1.4mb (same with mine too) within one (1) complete 'cylinder' (...which can be anywhere in an HDD, but the last complete one at drive's end is highly recommended).

    On Trombett's documentation of 'multi-boot' system, the link is here - http://www.trombettworks.com/multi-boot.htm#installing_rpm
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  8. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Re: addendum: "Ranish"

    clambermatic,

    I'm confused, are you actually speaking of RanishPM or XOSL? Ranish's name tends to make me think of something designed just for resizing, etc.
     
  9. clambermatic

    clambermatic Registered Member

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    Re: addendum: "Ranish"

    ...am talking about 'Ranish'!

    "XoSL" is another good BM (boot manager) though, but with a different structure. Please makes no mistakes, am talking about RANISH. ;)
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    OSS will use the MBR on the currently booting drive. If the Windows drive is the drive set to boot, then OSS will install to that drive's MBR.

    I don't think OSS will take over floppy disks (though I never checked). It WILL take over USB flashdrives and USB hard disks and make them so they will ONLY boot when connected to the computer with OSS installed. (It can be fixed by making your USB device bootable again by whatever process you used before.) This is one of the most irritating things about OSS. It does not even give you a choice. It just does it. It SHOULD leave the MBRs on your other internal hard disks alone.

    You can change the order the OS's are displayed by manually editing the bootwiz.oss. file. However, that's not what I meant. What I meant was that each OS menu entry has its own "properties" that tell it what partitions to hide, which one is active, etc. In the properties, you can also set the Disk Order. In your case, since you have three physical drives and you change the order in the BIOS to boot them, you'd have to set the properties for each OS entry so that the disk THAT OS is on is FIRST in the list of disks. Otherwise it won't boot.

    Personally, I prefer FAT32 for OSS only because write access is better from Linux. I have a small FAT32 partition that I use to share between Windows and Linux. I installed OSS to that partition.

    In theory, I would say yes. Like I said, I have not tested this. I have looked at the MBRs of my other drives and they appear to be normal and not taken over by OSS. Also, if I try and boot from one of them, the computer doesn't boot (they have standard "Invalid disk" MBRs). However, if an OS were installed on the drive, OSS may take it over, in which case you would not be able to switch the BIOS disk order and make the drive boot.
     
  11. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    This I do understand. Previously, I had all of my archive partitions formatted with FAT32, but I converted them to NTSF, because I had read in a couple of places, including an EVGA FAQs, that this could cause certain BSODs, which I seemed to be having. Since I do want Linux to be the first in boot priority, the OSS partition should probably be located there, but can I install OSS from Linux? Since I also have DDS installed on MCE now, once installed with Linux, that I could manage the OSS partition from MCE...yes?
    Ths goes to the crux of my concern. Since all three of my drives do have valid MBRs now, I want them to stay that way at all costs. Unless I can find a way that I know will work this way, I will continue to access the various OSs by manually changing the boot priority in the BIOS...as inconvenient as that is.
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I know you said you had problems with GRUB, but the only way I can see you can do what you want would be to install a 4th hard drive and install GRUB (or another simple bootmanager) on that drive. Then setup the GRUB menu to chainload each of the other drive's MBRs. You could create small partition on the drive for GRUB and then an NTFS or FAT32 partition on the remainder for backups or storage.

    If you try this, make sure the other drives are disconnected when you install GRUB. You can install GRUB from a Knoppix CD or a Live Linux CD.

    Once setup, you can select which of the four drives you want to boot. If you select the GRUB drive, you'll get the GRUB menu to boot the other OS's. If you select one of the other drives to boot in the BIOS then that drive will boot directly.
     
  13. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Re: addendum: "Ranish"

    Clambermatic,

    Although I know nothing about it, I have looked at RPM before, but like I suspect others do, I forgot about it after looking at pages such as you link. I have no doubt that it is simple for some people to understand, but I'm not one of them.

    One item that I read that makes it appear that it would not work for me is:

    If this is true, then if would not accomplish my purpose at all.
     
  14. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    The fourth drive is no problem, because I have five, but until I replace the controller card, I can't connect the other two. If Grub can be installed on a separate drive from the OSs and work, why can't OSS?

    Actually, just for simplicity of discussion, I said that I already have SuSe installed on the third drive, but in reality that isn't true. I was waiting until I had a better understanding of all of this before doing so. When I setup SuSe, if I have it setup a separate boot partition for itself, can't that be formatted with NTSF, and serve the same purpose as the fourth drive installation? I don't care if that goes haywire somewhere down the road, because as I'm visualizing it, that would only put down SuSe if there were a problem. I don't really care if I use OSS, Grub or ? so long as it is only contained on the SuSe drive and nowhere else.

    If I install SuSe with the Windows drives disconnected, obviously whatever boot manager that I used would not see the Windows drives when reconnected, so I would have to edit it to include them. Therefore the boot manager would have to lend iself to that.
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It may be able to. As I said, I have not tested it. As long as OSS left the MBRs on the other hard drives alone, then it would still allow booting to them by changing the BIOS boot order. I can run a test on this if you like. I'm kind of curious myself. OSS doesn't seem to take over non-booting MBRs, but it may behave differently with booting MBRs.

    It can't be NTFS. The /boot partition would have to be Ext2, for example. Otherwise, yes, the SUSE drive could be the one setup with GRUB and the other OS's would just be added to the GRUB menu.lst file as chainload entries.

    Correct. As stated above, you would have to manually added the chainload entries for the other drives.
     
  16. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    If you can run a test without going to alot of trouble, that would be great.
    I would try Grub again, if it would keep it's grubby hands off of the other drives, but I don't think that it will.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I have run several tests using OSS.

    Setup: 4 hard drives
    #1 - Small OSS FAT32 partition, remainder NTFS for storage
    #2 - Windows XP Pro SP2
    #3 - openSUSE 10.2
    #4 - Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04

    With only the #1 hard drive connected, I used DD to create a small FAT32 partition (around 200MB) for OSS. Then I created another partition (NTFS) using the remainder of the drive.

    I then booted to the DD cd and did a Custom install of OSS, selecting the partition I created for OSS. When rebooted, the only entry in the OSS menu was the Floppy drive (since no other drives were connected).

    Next I connected the other hard drives and restarted, still booting to the OSS hard drive. OSS recognized Windows and automatically set the Disk Order so the Windows drive was #1 (this is correct). OSS detected openSUSE and setup the menu entry for it, however it did not change the Disk Order. The Ubuntu drive was detected and the Disk Order was changed so the Ubuntu drive was first in the list.

    MBR results: The MBRs of the other drives seem to be intact and not changed by OSS. Each drive can be booted by changing the BIOS to boot that drive or by having that drive be the only connected drive. So that part seems good.

    openSUSE, however, did not like any changes. Changing the Disk Order did not help, nor did editing the GRUB values to point to the correct drive, nor did changing the openSUSE drive to the boot drive in the BIOS. I think it has to do with how openSUSE sets up the drive links (it's different than Ubuntu). openSUSE would only boot if it was the first drive and set to boot in the BIOS. Changing the Disk Order in OSS or GRUB did not work, it just resulted in kernel panics or GRUB lockups and it wouldn't boot. The only way openSUSE would boot was when it was the first drive in the BIOS or the only drive connected (basically, whenever it was connected as when it was installed).

    So... if you use OSS to do this, it should work okay. I would recommend that you do as you suggested and install SUSE/openSUSE to the same drive as OSS and have that be the "normal" first booting drive in the BIOS. Maybe setup the drive like this: [OSS FAT32 200MB Primary/Active][SUSE Ext3 ??GB Primary][Linux Swap 1GB Logical]

    Whatever you do, it would be a good idea to save a disk image (using TI or whatever imaging program you like) of the drives before you begin.
     
  18. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    MudCrab,

    Your tests gave me the confidence to go ahead and try your method of installation, except that I didn't follow your procedure exactly. Since I don't have a fourth drive available at this time, I decided to creat a 200MB partition for OSS on drive 1, which I installed SuSe 10.2 on the remaing space. I formatted the OSS partition with NTFS. instead of FAT32, because I didn't feel that it was necessary to be able to write to it from Linux, and I didn't want any possible BSODs from FAT32.

    This seemed to work okay, but I ran into separate problems installing SuSe. That is a topic for another thread, but to summarize, it appearred that the configuration that it chose for the display didn't work. I used the test link in the configuration while installing the OS and the screen went black, apparently receiving no video signal. But since this was a new procedure that I had not seen in previous build of the OS, I continued anyway. But, I found that this was a real problem, because on the first boot, it did the same thing. I could hear when SuSe had boot to the desktop, but couldn't see anything. At that point, I aborted and reconnected the Windows drives, which worked perfectly. The strangeness of this build of SuSe has me thinking of just installing a different Linux flavor, because the only reason that I have stuck with SuSe before is because I felt somewhat comfortable with it. Since I will need to familiarize myself with something new, I may try Ubuntu or Fedora 7.

    I truly appreciate your input, because I probably wouldn't have gotten th is far without it.
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    openSUSE 10.3 has just recently been released. You might try that. It may have better support for your computer.

    Did you install OSS first and then SUSE or did you install SUSE and then OSS? I think, in your situation, it may work better to create the partition for OSS (like you did) and then install SUSE to prepared partitions (or let it install to the unallocated space as it sees fit) and then boot from the DD CD and install OSS. Of course, only have the OSS/SUSE hard drive connected when you do this.
     
  20. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Since I had the problems with SuSe, I never got to the point of installing OSS. I didn't want to install it until all of my OSs were in place. However, I may go ahead and do so, since you said that OSS found and listed OSs after the fact.

    I partitioned for OSS with Windows, but left the remainder of the drive unallocated, and let SuSe partition and format it during the installation. To boot from DD, I shall have to burn it to a CD, because the factory CD is not a compatable version with x64. Then again, I don't know if that would be a factor or not, since I would be installing to the OSS partition and not to x64. I have version 2160 installed on x64 and 2077 on the CD and MCE...would that matter?
     
  21. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, it does matter. Make sure the builds are all 2,160 if you're going to install OSS in Windows (to allow you to choose what to boot into from Windows, for example). If you are only running DD in windows then it might not cause problems. However, I would still recommend using the latest build.

    If the builds of OSS are not the same, there will be problems (I've been through that before).

    When you create your DD CD, make sure to select all the OSS programs to be included on it.
     
  22. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Thanks for the warning. I shall update MCE's DD installation and burn 2160 to a CD before doing anything else.
     
  23. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    Okay, I have updated the installation of DD on MCE, now back to step one. I burned the DD 2160 as I downloaded it, and of course, that is just one file named DiskDirectorSuite 10.0.02160_s_en.exe and I had Nero make it bootable. I will test it, but I have a hunch that it should somehow have been burned as a directory of folders instead.
     
  24. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    I wised up slightly since my last post, and used DD's Media Builder to burn another disk, which works, but like with TI, I'm going to have to ask Acronis to send me an iso for usbmouse=off. I'm wondering if they can send one that includes both TI and DD so I have them both on the same disk?
     
  25. seekermeister

    seekermeister Registered Member

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    I've been tinkering with things some, and I got SuSe to boot up, but not quite normally. If I boot via Fail Safe and init 5, it displays as it should, but if I boot via the normal boot option, it goes to a black screen.
    I started to install Fedora 7, but it startled me that it wanted to install on sda, especially since the SATA drives were disconnected.

    Since I got SuSe to partially work, I went ahead and installed OSS on the 200MB partition that I had made for it. This also scared me, because it initially said that the boot had failed, and to press any key. That gave me the option to go to the menu or not. After that, I boot from it to SuSe, and after rebooting again, the boot failure didn't happen. So, I reconnected the Windows drives, and sure enough they were listed with OSS. The way that it is though, it is a bit cumbersome to have to boot to the OSS menu to select anything. I tried choosing the defaullt option with x64 selected, but nothing happened. Doesn't OSS have a simple boot menu, like Grub or Windows boot menu?
     
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