Making Vista visible to Acronis OS Selector: A Simpler Solution

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by nuljet, Sep 27, 2006.

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  1. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    There has been ways some users have been able to make Vista visible to Acronis OS Selector, which sometimes involved begining an install of Windows XP.

    Here's another solution; sorry if it's been described before.

    Of course, if you do this, it's at your own risk.

    It's a simple procedure:

    After having installed Vista, you can put two files in the root (C:\):
    ntldr and boot.ini
    Vista will ask you to confirm this procedure.

    Now ntldr can be found on the i386 folder of a Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows 2003 installation CD.

    As for boot.ini, simply create it with notepad with the following content:
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista" /fastdetect
    In the above I wrote partition(1), in case your Vista is installed in the first partition. Adjust according to your situation (you could also remove the /fastdetect bit I guess).

    This should allow Acronis OS Selector to detect Vista and boot it.

    You don't need to have a previous Windows install on your system: you could install Vista, put the two files above, then install Disk Director and OS Selector on Vista, and reboot.

    I hope this can help some of you.
    Please report if it gives any problem.

    Lets hope Acronis will eventually support Vista in an official manner. We're all wondering if they have already a beta version which works well with Vista.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  2. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    Making Vista visible to Acronis OS Selector: A Correction

    Arrrrgh!
    I've found that I need to correct my correction above, but can't edit my message...

    Anyway, here's the correction:

    My original procedure was the correct one: the file ntdetect.com IS needed after all to make Acronis OS Selector detect Vista.
    So one has to put these three files in the root of Vista: boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com.

    I thought ntdetect.com wasn't needed because, once I removed it from the root OS Selector could still detect Vista and boot it...

    But further investigations showed that in fact, once OS Selector has detected Vista and saved the proper information about booting it (in the bootwiz.oss file and the saved boot sector), the three files boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com are not needed anymore!
    So you can then delete them; they should also be removed from the Properties>Files list in the OS Selector boot menu, otherwise they'll just reappear.
    There's no problems though if you leave them there...
     
  3. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    Re: Making Vista visible to Acronis OS Selector: A Correction

    Making GRUB point to the right partition, making it active and chainloading Vista (or other os) was quite easy comparatively, without any file trick. The chainloading happened quite naturally.

    So there's nothing in Vista's (yet in RC2) new bootloader that does not cooperate with other bootloaders. It's just that OSSelector didn't know what to do with the newer bootsector (I guess).

    There should have been a way -- some textual way like in GRUB -- to manually point OSS to boot Vista.
    Pity.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    After you get used to GRUB, you'll find that it will allow you to boot most anything. I didn't have nearly as much success with OSS, so I've gone back to GRUB. Works like a champ!
     
  5. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    Yup.
    Although OSS immediately found and booted something like OSX (not officially supported), whereas had to input it manually in GRUB.

    If OSS allowed/guided us to modify the bootwiz.oss (an xml file in the BOOTWIZ install folder of OSS) it could have more power. Except it still wouldn't be free (beer-wize ;) ).

    Is WinGrub as dependable? Wouldn't always want to depend on a Linux install just to have this loader, at least not for some people I help.
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I can't comment on WinGRUB but will have to look into it. However, you don't need to have Linux installed to use GRUB. You can create a small partition to hold the GRUB files just like some people create a small partition to hold OSS and its files.

    Using DD10, create a small primary boot partition. On my laptop I have a 50 MB boot partition but the GRUB files only occupy 154 kB, so the partition could be smaller. Then use a LiveLinux CD to install GRUB to the partition boot record, NOT the Master Boot Record (MBR). Then use DD10 to make this partition active.

    Then when your PC boots, GRUB will start and allow the selection of any desired OS. If you ever want to go back to the standard bootloader, you can just use DD10 to set the Windows partition active and voila!
     
  7. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    Good to know grub can be standalone, didn't delve into that.

    I already install OSS in the first logical partition of the extended partition. And my grubs are usually already installed in their respective linux boot partitions. So wouldn't be much change.

    thanks for the info.
     
  8. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    Just bumping this up, as there was a question about this, and no official word yet from Acronis.
     
  9. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    Bumping.

    I guess Acronis is waiting for official Vista release to support this officially.
     
  10. western

    western Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I've followed the whole post (and the follow up) to the letter, and I've managed to make Vista appear in the list of OS's. However, when I launch Vista I just get a flashing cursor.

    The difference for me is that I have 3 physical drives, 1 has XP, 1 has linux, and 1 has Vista. OSS is installed on the XP drive. What would you have done differently in your boot.ini file to take this into account?

    Thanks for the help you've posted already. It will be great to get this working :)
     
  11. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    Change the RDISK entry to whichever drive number it is.

    Your first is 0
    Second = 1 etc

    Colin
     
  12. western

    western Registered Member

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    Thanks bodgy. My boot.ini now looks like this...

    [boot loader]
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista"

    Before, it looked like this...
    [boot loader]
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista"

    When it was set to 0, OSS created a menu option of Vista, but clicking it resulted in a blinking cursor. Now that it's set to 1 (or 2, which I also tried), it still results in the blinking cursor. I must be a tiny step away from making this work, which makes it all the more frustrating :doubt:

    I have three physical drives.
    One has two partitions, with XP on the first.
    One has four windows partitions (just data), and linux.
    One has two partitons, with Vista on the first.

    If I boot directly from the Vista drive (without OSS), Vista boots perfectly, so I know that's ok.

    What I don't understand is how these drives are numbered. I don't know which one is 0, 1 or 2 (assuming that they're numbered like that).
     
  13. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    In DiskDirector, select the first partition (vista) of third drive, and check Properties. In the Signature part, check the value of "WinNT4/2000/XP Number".
    You should see something like d(1)p(1) if it's first partition of second disk.
    Anyway, you put in rdisk() what you have on d() (that should be it).

    I guess I should have been clearer when I said "Adjust according to your situation" in my original post.
     
  14. western

    western Registered Member

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    Not at all, your explanation was fine. Thanks especially for the further explanation though.. at least I now know I'm using the right values. This makes me more concerned that I'm not going to get this working though, as I still get the blinking cursor in the very top left of the screen.

    Now, if I boot vista by selecting it's HD as the first boot device in the bios, I believe that same white cursor on a black background is visible for a split second immediately before the Vista loading screen (the one with the animated 'progress bar'). I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, or even if it's totally irrelevant.

    Anyway, Disk Director reoprts that my Vista partition has a WinNT4/2000/XP Number of d(1)p(1) as you predicted.

    So my boot.ini looks like this...

    [boot loader]
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista" /fastdetect

    (I've tried with and without the /fastdetect)

    Thanks for your time and help (and patience!). Feel free to give up on me as a lost cause o_O

    Edit: I've just tried going through the detect OS wizard again, and when I select 'Detect OS on partition', the following diagram of my HD's shows the Vista partition as being the first partition on disk 3. This obviously contradicts what Disk Director says... maybe that's normal though.
     
  15. western

    western Registered Member

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    The plot thickens...

    If I launch OSS from within XP, run the OS detection wizard, it says Vista is on drive 3.

    If I launch OSS by restarting my PC, run the OS detection wizard, it says Vista is on drive 2.

    Disk Director continues to say d(1)p(1).

    The strange thing is that if I delete the Vista shortcut, the only way that I can get the detection wizard to create a new shortcut is if my boot.ini looks like this, which obviously doesn't comply with the theory....

    [boot loader]
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista" /fastdetect

    Note the rdisk(0). I wonder if this has anything to do with OSS and Vista being installed on seperate HD's?
     
  16. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    In OSS, when you check the properties of Vista, go in the Disk section and set vista's disk to boot first.
    Also, change back vista's boot.ini so that it reflects now that it will be the first drive (rdisk(0)).
    Windows os's want the boot partition to be on primary (first boot) drive.
    I hope that's it.

    [As for the /fastdetect switch, here's some info about its purpose (little details we often take for granted and learn about much later ;) ): http://blogs.msdn.com/doronh/archive/2006/05/03/589516.aspx
    So it's better to keep that switch after all...]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  17. western

    western Registered Member

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    I'd already thought of that, and that alone made no difference.

    But when I then did that, IT WORKED ! ! ! :D I've even been back to check my XP and Linux shortcuts still work and they do, so I'm very happy now :)

    Thank you so much for your help... many times over. Much appreciated :thumb:
     
  18. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    It was a change to be made after the drive boot reorder.

    In fact, this isn't just for Vista: any windows would need to have its drive as first boot drive (that is, if its boot files are on that drive; if one isn't carefull, win2k/xp will put their boot files on first active primary partition of first boot drive, even if the main system is installed on an active partition of a secondary drive).

    So if OSS doesn't take care of this, we have to do it manually.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  19. jampack

    jampack Registered Member

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    i tried the same process as western done
    but i didnt have any success yet i got an icon for Windows VISTA in my OSS
    but it is not working i am having 2 harddrive
    in my first 80gb hard drive i have three partitions
    1st partition have windows 98
    2nd partition have widnows xp
    3rd having my data
    and in my second 200gb harddrive i have three partitions
    1st partition have windows vista
    other partition have data
    i can boot int my vista if i select my 200gb harddrive as 1st harddrive in BIOS
    but if i select 80gb drive as 1st harddrive then i got OSS menu n when
    i try to select Windows Vista from that menu i get an error called
    a disk read error occured
    press ctrl+alt+del to reboot

    can someone help me to solve this issue
    i am currently having an intel d845 motherboard in my pc
    please reply me soon
    thanks in advance.
     
  20. western

    western Registered Member

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    Jampack
    It sounds like the only thing you need to do is what nuljet recommened...

    Originally Posted by nuljet
    "In OSS, when you check the properties of Vista, go in the Disk section and set vista's disk to boot first."

    Have you done that?
     
  21. Heiko_Heider

    Heiko_Heider Registered Member

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    Doesn't work for me at all.
    Followed all steps - I even get an Vista entry in OSS.

    My configuration is:
    1st primary partition: WinXP
    2nd primary partition: WinXP (for testing)
    3rd primary partition: Vista

    If I click on it, everything goes black. I have to hard-reset my machine then.

    If I click on a WinXP entry, the WinVista Bootmanager comes up.
    This shouldn't be the case - I want OSS as my bootmanager!

    The Vista Boot Manager at least lets me start my 1st WinXP an Vista, but not WinXP on the 2nd primary parition.

    Any help?

    Heiko
     
  22. diegozmx

    diegozmx Registered Member

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    I havee a big problem...some one can helpme!!!!..

    i try too instal mac os x and windows xd....(acronis os selector)

    but in the Acronis OS selector, when i put the dvd of mac os x, the os selector show`s "boot from cd", and i select this option...and nothing happend...apears a black msdos screen and never boot the mac os x dvd...i dont understand...pleasee helpme
     
  23. diegozmx

    diegozmx Registered Member

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    pleasee helpme Acronis OS Selector...not boot from cd drive...

    I havee a big problem...some one can helpme!!!!..

    i try too instal mac os x and windows xd....(acronis os selector)

    but in the Acronis OS selector, when i put the dvd of mac os x, the os selector show`s "boot from cd", and i select this option...and nothing happend...apears a black msdos screen and never boot the mac os x dvd...i dont understand...pleasee helpme
     
  24. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

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    @ to both:
    Firstly, and most importantly, the hack I presented in this thread was to compensate a version of OSS that didn't support Vista officially yet (v. 10.0.2117 and before). Now that Vista is officially supported with 10.0.2160, questions concerning persisting problems about Vista compatibility should be directed to Official support of Vista, not the hack.

    The hack in this thread has fulfilled its purpose as far as it was needed. It shouldn't anymore: let Acronis deal with the problem at hand, and in the process produce a better product.

    @Heiko:
    Now, if I try to answer more directly, notwithstanding my above comment, I would probably suspect that Vista had installed its boot files in one of the XP partitions. In that case where the OS's have not been made independent, the boot.ini might need to reflect this situation.
    The way you installed Vista, you let it take care explicitly of booting all your XPs, so don't expect OSS to work miracles in this case (unless the manual tell you otherwise).
    In any case, my solution in the first post was given for a standalone install of Vista, and more complex situtations require more complex workarounds.
    (when windows' are installed independently, invisible to each other with their own bootfiles in their respective partitions, each have their own boot.ini with proper partition index included).

    I don't know the details of your situation, but if you want help, I'd suggest creating a new thread and addressing the problem as a 10.0.2160 issue, without referring to the hack.

    @diego:
    This thread was obviously and quite explicitly directed at OSS/Vista.
    In your case, OSX isn't even officially supported.
    I'd suggest you go in forums where your situation can be addressed and dealt with (I'm sure you know which ones; if not, don't ask, google it).
     
  25. NeilP

    NeilP Registered Member

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    nuljet.

    You say that the latest version 10.0.2160 officially supports Vista. I can't find a reference to this being the case and am having problems booting into Vista.
     
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