MULTIBOOT System Problems

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Swoosh, May 27, 2006.

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  1. Swoosh

    Swoosh Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I read a lot of posts around this subject and I tried several things to make a multiboot system but it will not work.
    Situation:
    Dell laptop, cleaned harddrive in total to get rid of the Dell things and partitioned it.
    Fresh install of WinXp pro sp2 + some updates and almost no other software.
    Then I used sysprep [xp2version] ( when I start sysprep it shows me a gui with 3 options: fabric, controle and reseal. I choose reseal and leave all other options unchecked)
    Next step I booted with Aronis bootable media and made True Image from the sysprepped partition an image (set it on a backup partion)
    This backup I directly also installed on a other partition so I will have a copy of my OS on an other partition. Did it this way so I could use my sysprepped-backup in an easy way to make more instances of Xp in the future if I should want that.

    Then I know I have to edit the boot .ini
    Here's a copy of what I did >>


    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Prof 2" /fastdetect
    ;


    (I presume you only have to edit the one boot.ini on the Cdrive and not others like the ones in Bootwiz or else)

    last step was to hide the partition were the copy of XP is.

    But now in OSS I see 2 instances of XP but always boot in the same XP, no matter what I do . . . .

    Most likely that I do something wrong, so please will you give me advise and proper instructions to solve this.



    2 QUESTION
    Earlier I tried to install on a other partition XP for a second time just by putting the xp cd in the drive and choose an other partition to install than C. But than when the system has copied the files and rebooted it gave an error (it could not find something) and my whole Cdrive was messed up. I tried this several times. Is this not posible? I tried this with OSS on and also off.


    3 QUESTION
    I also want to install Server 2003 in this multibootsystem.
    So what I described in 2 QUESTION I also need to know for proper installation for Server 2003
    And if I suceed in installing, do I have to hide this partition to?

    I definitely need a multiboot system for my study.
    I think Acronis make great products but why is there not a real step by step instruction for setting up a multibootsystem?

    Thanks in advance
    .
     
  2. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    A few questions that might help you find a solution:
    Has your Dell got a protected MBR (I think I've got these on the brain at present) as Acronis OSS won't play if you have.
    How many partitions have you got on your HD and is the 2nd XP installation in partition 4? - because that's what your boot.ini is suggesting.

    Like a lot of other people here I'm a big fan of Acronis DD but I have to say the OSS is a real b*gger to get right.
    I am sure others will be able to give you a much better solution but this is what worked for me:
    I eventually gave up and used the Windows bootloader to select between boot partitions which is not as pretty as the OSS interface but is fine as long as you're only going to boot MS Windows systems.
    In answer to question 2 if you have not uninstalled OSS using the Acronis DD CD boot disc it will give you disk errors as the bootwiz folders don't go when inactivating OSS from inside Windows - confusing the XP install disc and leading to either 'missing' NTLDR or hal.dll 'errors'.

    I would suggest (if you haven't already) removing OSS using the DD bootdisk and reboot into your primary system. Look for any persistent bootwiz folders in your boot partitions (there shouldn't be any now). Try again installing XP using the WinXP Pro installation CD selecting the partition to want your fresh install on from inside its set-up.
    After windows has written the install files to the disc it will reboot. You may still get a disk read error.
    If this is the case - reboot to Windows XP recovery console and fixmbr from the recovery console. You should now be able to boot to your primary system. From there you can edit boot.ini to see your 2nd installation.Save, reboot to the new system and WinXP should complete its install program.
    Once that's all done you could then overwrite your 2nd partition with a 'sysprep'ed ATI image if you want. I know this seems a bit of a pain but it was the only way I could get multiboot to work on my PCs as I couldn't be bothered with advanced partition hiding.
    Question 3- Don't have any experience with Server 2003 but should think it would behave the same way using WinXP bootloader.
     
  3. Swoosh

    Swoosh Registered Member

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    Hello and thank you for your response so far.
    The copy of xp is on partition number 3. For a unknown reason there is no partitionnumber 2. So why you say partition 4? Do I miss something?

    In Acronis DD I see the following behind the partition with the copy:
    (#1_3)


    My harddisk

    Primary Partition 1: XPpro1
    Primary Partition 3: XPpro2
    Unallocated space
    Logical Partition:
    # Files
    # OS_Selector
    # BACK-UPS


    I'm not familiar with protected MBR's but I can tell you that OSS give me the options to enter these two xp copies and also I can start the Acronis bootable Media in OSS. An other thing is that on my Dell was first a hpa (hidden protected area) with Dell Media Direct (to play media without starting Windows) which doesn't work nomore when you make changes that effects the mbr. Which hapened. Therefore I removed the hpa. So with this in mind I don't think that de mbr is protected. But I'm not an expert . . . . .
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2006
  4. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    I'm not familiar with protected MBR's but I can tell you that OSS give me the options to enter these two xp copies and also I can start the Acronis bootable Media in OSS. An other thing is that on my Dell was first a hpa (hidden protected area) with Dell Media Direct (to play media without starting Windows) which doesn't work nomore when you make changes that effects the mbr. Which hapened. Therefore I removed the hpa. So with this in mind I don't think that de mbr is protected. But I'm not an expert . . . . .[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, my typo I meant partition 3.
    I am surprised you can't see a Partition 2- what does the disk structure look like on Disk Director?
    Is partition 2 where you have put your copy of the 'sysprep'ed OS and if it's set as a logical partition Acronis OSS won't see it but that doesn't matter as you are not going to boot from that anyway.

    I still think you'd find it easier to install your 2nd XP using Windows boot loader and you can always activate OSS after you have got it working under the Windows bootloader as I suggested above.

    Acronis DD have some instructions for installation of a second OS using OSS in the user's manual, which you probably have already used but from memory I think you to need to set it to boot the installation CD-ROM from inside OSS 1st and let Win XP installation do its stuff and only on reboot ensure you boot from your 3rd partition(new XP) after the installation CD has dumped its set up files.
    After that you can then reboot to your original OS using OSS and edit the boot.ini
    The boot.ini looks OK to me if that is your disk structure but I'm a bit concerned about this 'missing' Partition 2 - are you sure your installation hasn't gone there instead in which case (only) your boot.ini should read:

    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    ;multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Prof 2" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    As regards the mbr it sounds like you have cleared that with removal of hpa - again you should be able to see that on Acronis DD under disk structure (manual mode) if its still there.
    By the way, can you install/access Acronis OSS from within your original Windows Pro installation? - if there is any mbr conflict I would have thought it would be unlikely to install and that may help work out what's happening.
     
  5. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    Thinking about this a bit more - I really should go to bed...
    Is there any reason why you have put OSS on the Logical Partition on your HDD. You can install it under WinXP Pro and it will sit quite happily on your 1st partition.
    Don't know if that's contributing to your problems but most disks like to boot from sector 1 (beginning of 1st partition) and I can't quite get my head around how OSS is working if it's on the logical partition.
     
  6. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    One final thought- what happens if you uninstall Acronis OSS using the bootable rescue CD, sysprep again and then image the primary system using ATI across to partition 3 (make sure you set it as bootable) and then edit the boot.ini under your primary system to give you dual boot to partitions 1 and 3 .You may also need to set it active using Acronis DD.
    Windows bootloader should now recognise your 2 XP systems and you should be able to boot to partition 3.
     
  7. Swoosh

    Swoosh Registered Member

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    Okay here is what did:

    1] Install backup of sysprepped WinXP on partition 1
    2] Install windowsxp from cd on partition 3
    after copying the files the system reboot for the first time. But it gave me an "disk read error" . . . . .
    3] Windows Recovery said that "probably there was a not standard mbr"
    4] From an earlier backup I set back the mbr and the track o
    5] Then I saw the windowsbootconsole and could go further with the installation on that partition 3.
    6] After I was finished I saw that this install was suddenly partition number 2.
    The 'missing' partition number was there out of nowhere?!?!
    I have done several things to bring number 2 in my system but it was never there.

    7] It worked with the windowsbootconsole
    8] I installed Acronis OSS and that worked also!

    9] Then I changed the newest partition with an backup of an sysprepped WinXP instead of the fresh install. But when I started that OS there were error messages. "Had no rights to change the videocard control" and an other message message something with 'host' in it. I tried to hide the osses from eachother. When I was in my first os in C. I didn't saw the other on G but when I opend the problematic os in G I saw always the first one in C.

    I thought by booting the drive from an other partition this drive letter automaticly would change in C? Or am I wrong now??
    (The second windows stays G)

    But with trying things out suddenly I could no longer boot windows further than the first screen.
    So I tried to set back the mbr once again and also a backup of the fresh install of xp (see point 6)
    But I could no longer make it bootable and have again just one OS.
    OSS not even see the other one anymore no matter what I do.

    I think that all has a lot to do with the Dell mbr.
    I tied it this way with OSS because in the near futere I want to experiment maybe with other osses. Not only Server 2003 but also Linux.

    I can do it over again and make again 2 instances of XP on my system with windowsbootconsole.
    And when I use the windowsbootconsole do I have then also to hide the other partition with XP?
    But what will I do when I want to install more and other osses??

    O yeah,
    Installation of OSS in windows the normal way failed.
    Installation of OSS outside windows didnt work either.
    Instalation of OSS in custom settings, on a separate logical drive works, like I wrote before in my first post.
    I think that the last also is the most right choice otherwise you can lose files of OSS when you're working on partitions.

    I thought it was so easy . . .
    I hope Acronis support can give me advice on this.
    .
     
  8. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    Phew, there's a lot of info. in there....

    Firstly, you may be right about the Dell mbr - I would contact their support to find out if their laptops allow multiboot using proprietory bootloaders.
    The problem with Acronis OSS or any boot selector is that they want a part of the mbr and that may interfere with the normal boot sequence for your Dell machine. These problems don't generally arise with the Windows bootloader, which is why I suggested using that.
    Obviously, Win boot loader will not boot Linux but Grub will and that tends to be a little less difficult to make work than many of the other bootloaders but can still play havoc with your Windows installation(s).
    Nevertheless, if you want to get Acronis OSS to work. I would clean up partition 2 and 3 with a reformat before trying (again) a clean install of WinXP.
    If you get a disk error on reboot again or your Win bootloader cannot see your new Windows installation - try these instructions to fixmbr and bootcfg.:
    http://www.short-media.com/review.php?r=313. -
    I know this is pretty close to what you have done already but I'm concerned that the sysprep image may be causing problems and reckon a clean install with a fixed mbr/ bootcfg on Partition 1 should resolve the initial boot problems.
    If you can get that to work I suspect a reinstall (not reactivation) of Acronis OSS might then work.

    To answer a couple of your other questions:
    1. Your drive 'G' has to be able to see 'C' drive as it boots from this point on the HD.
    2. Windows installations will default to 'C' for system drive unless it sees other Win partitions/drives (which is the case here) when it defaults to the next available letter.
    3.Further install of Windows should not cause any major problems as the later product - i.e. Win 2003 Server is 'aware' of WinXP when you install it and at worst you would only have to modify the mbr/boot.ini after an install as above.
    If you can get OSS to work that will probably be your best bet in the long term but you could think about a Virtual machine for Linux within your XP installation (e.g. VMWare) or even FD-ISR for different 'flavours' of XP on different snapshots within the same installation .
    Hope Acronis can help you.
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    25,885
    Hello Swoosh,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Partition and Disk Managing Software.

    Could you please provide us with the appropriate diagnostic information in order to allow us to consider your current partition layout and provide you with the most suitable solution?

    If you would like to provide us with this information then please create Acronis Report in the way described below:

    - Download and run Acronis Report Utility;
    - Select the "Create Bootable Floppy" option;
    - Insert a blank floppy disk in the A: drive and proceed with creation of the bootable floppy;
    - Boot the computer from this diskette and wait for report creation process to finish;
    - Collect the report file from the floppy.

    Please create an account, then log in and submit a request for technical support. Attach the collected report.txt file to your request along with the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Kirill Omelchenko
     
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