Multibooting up to 100 OS's Step by Step incl Vista

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by absoffthewake, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. absoffthewake

    absoffthewake Registered Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    Special thanks to tombuur & Mudcrab for all thier hard work. Also some of this was derived from http://www.multibooters.co.uk/cloning.html (Very Good Troubleshooting resource). I've taken the advice (and Text) of them, and consolidated and Tweaked it to work for up to 100 OS's. I only use 1 Primary partition, and set the rest up as bootable logical drives. I chose to dump Acronis's OS Selector becuase it was a royal pain to setup, it was slow, froze, and didn't reliably detect the OS's. Instead, I used OLS2000 from osloader.com


    Before starting this make a cd with the Acronis bootable media. This cd should contain both Acronis True Image (TI) and Acronis Disk Director Suite. The latter comprises Disk Director (DD) If you have installed both in Windows just choose make bootable media to get a cd with both.

    o Any boot manager should be uninstalled. This is crucial.

    o Use the bootable cd with TI, DD. Just let it stay in the cd-drive all the time. Even when Acronis says ”remember to remove disk ”, don’t obey.
    When you need to boot into Windows just choose ”Windows” from the Acronis menu. This way you are safe-guarded against accidental start of Windows. Also: Always choose safe versions of the Acronis programs.


    Making the double XP (or Vista) system
    ======================

    VISTA PREPARATIONS
    For Vista, it is crucial that you prepare Vista’s BCD Bootloader to boot off of what ever drive is booting from. If not, Vista may not boot correctly. This preparation substitutes modifying the Boot.ini file as done in previous versions of windows.

    A. If booted into Vista then open a cmd prompt using Run as
    Administrator, Go to Step C.
    B. If not booted into Vista then you must use the Repair tools
    in the Vista Install DVD.
    1. Boot off of the Vista Install CD, Click Repair, SAY NO
    to any suggested repairs, then start the Command
    Prompt.
    2. Type Diskpart, then Select Disk 0 (or 1), then List
    Volume to make sure your Vista Install is C:
    3. Change to C: Prompt.

    C. cd to Windows\System32
    D. Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd then hit enter
    E. This is a list of the boot options. Notice the value for device in both {bootmgr} & {default}. We will change this value to boot.
    F. Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd /set {default} device boot <ENTER>
    G. Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd /set {default} osdevice boot <ENTER>
    H. Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device boot <ENTER>
    I. You must make sure you delete all Entries (except default) in the MountedDevices Registry Key before you create the image of it. (HKLM\System\MountedDevices). Windows will regenerate it the next time it boots. If you do not do this, it will assign the clone the wrong drive letter. I'm not 100& sure, but this may apply to other versions of Windows also.
    J. Restart PC with Acronis Disk in CD and boot into DD.


    1. Before starting this whole setup, there should be only one OS installed on Drive 1, we will refer to this as XP1. It is taken for granted that you have enough space on the hard disk for two XPs of identical size. Anyway, we will start by resizing XP1 to get the space for XP2:

    2. Start DD manual mode. Select C:, or whatever the name is of the partition with XP1. Resize it to what suits you. In my case 40 GB. Commit.

    3. Delete all other partitions on drive 1 (unless you use a logical partition for backup, then keep that one). Rename C: to "XP1" using Change Label. Commit.

    4. Leave DD and start TI. Make a backup of the XP1 partition. And you be careful to choose partition here, not backup of whole disk.

    5. Staying in TI. Restore the XP1 to the unallocated space. Like this: Choose Restore. Select the image of XP1 partition you backed up in (4). Restore disks or partitions. Check NTFS C: as the source. Next. Select unallocated space as the target. Next. Select Logical. Go forward until the process starts.

    6. Close TI and start DD manual mode. Now you will have XP1 in two partitions. Rename the newly restored partition to "XP2" (It is the one that is not active). Hide it: Disk\Advanced\Hide. If necessary rename the orginal XP to XP1. Commit.

    7. ONLY NOW close DD and boot to Windows. My XP1 had now found new hardware and installs it (I guess it perceives the operations as added extra drives). I let it restart, booting to Windows a second time.

    8. Your XP 1 will be C: drive and the new OS won't have a drive letter. But you will be able to see the new partition in Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Computer Management\Disk Management. It should be Healthy (Unknown partition) with no drive letter.

    9. Close Windows and start DD manual mode.

    10. Right click XP2, then mouse over Advanced, then click Edit.

    11. Change the View to NTFS boot sector.

    12. The value of Hidden Sector should be set near 63. Change this Value to the Absolute Sector in the Upper Left hand corner (without the commas). This is done to make the Logical Partition bootable.

    13. Click outside the box, then save.


    14. For Windows 2000 & XP ONLY
    Select the XP2 partition and double click it. This opens the directory structure. Scroll down to find boot.ini and right click choosing Edit. You will see something like this:

    BOOT.INI

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30default=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

    Change the two instances of partition(1) to partition(2). DD may incorrectly set the partition, so it may not have the right number. The number order is Primarys first, then Logicals.
    Ex.
    Primary A = 1
    Logical A =3
    Logical B = 4
    Primary B = 2

    15. UnHide XP2. Hide XP1. Commit.

    16. Start Windows. New hardware found once again, so restart after install.

    17. You should now be in XP2. To be sure have a look in: Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Computer Management\Disk Management. It should say XP2 C:, Healthy (System). I recommend you change the desktop background picture at this stage so that it will always be obvious as soon as you are in Windows whether you are in XP1 or XP2.

    18. To install addional os's, go back to step 5.

    19. Install OLS2000 bootloader in Windows.

    20. Reboot, and make sure in options that AutoHide is turned on.

    20. Remove any undesired OS’s (CD, MBR, ETC.) from the list, and rename them to whatever you want. You now have a multiboot system!

    Note: If you log into your Vista Clone, and you get a light blue screen, it is most likely because Vista mounted the partition in your main copy, and assigned it a drive letter, And now the clone is booting with the invalid drive letter. You must make sure you delete all Entries (except default) in the MountedDevices Key before you create the image of it. HKLM\System\MountedDevices. Windows will regenerate it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  2. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    wow COOL
    thanks for the article
    but i did not understand
    where xp store the drive or partition ?


    Code:
    \DosDevices\C:
    or
    Code:
    \??\Volume{5ea5d920-a6aa-11d9-9cc6-806d6172696f}

    and i don't know which entries i have to delete without losing the drive & partition letters like C: D: E :F ...
     
  3. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    absoffthewake:

    Have you actually multi-booted a 100 OS's or is this only a thought experimento_O
     
  4. chirawatf

    chirawatf Registered Member

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    Can we create another WinXP (or Vista) with primary partition?
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, you can. However, if you set the Vista BCD values to boot, you may have to use a Primary partition (I haven't tested it, though absoffthewake may have). Vista may look for the Active partition when BCD values are set to boot and a Logical partition can't be set Active.

    I would add that (in my experience) it's generally better to hide the previous OS partitions prior to booting the new "copy" so the new OS doesn't see them. You can then use your boot manager to setup which partitions you want hidden for each installed OS.

    If you need more than four Primary partitions, you'll have to use a boot manger like BING that lets you bypass the restriction.
     
  6. chirawatf

    chirawatf Registered Member

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    Big thank you for your advice Mudcrab. I use DD, OSS following your guide. But have problem below explaination.
    I used DD to create 3 primary partition, 1 logical partition.
    - first primary partition was installed with WinXP_SP3.
    - second primary partition was installed with Vista_SP1 32bit.
    - Logical partition was used as data drive.
    - third primary partition was used for testing modified version of vista 32 bit that floating around the internet nowaday.
    I set third partition as active and hide first 2 primary partition with DD then I tried to install the cutdown version of vista (700MB in size), every step of installation went well until the last reboot. Blue Screen occured and restart everytime.
    So I started up with Window Vista DVD into repair option. Selected no to enter into command windows. Edit BCD following absoffthewake's guide.
    - cd to Windows\System32
    -. Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd then hit enter
    -. This is a list of the boot options. Notice the value for device in both {bootmgr} & {default}. We will change this value to boot.
    -. Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd /set {default} device boot <ENTER>
    - Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd /set {default} osdevice boot <ENTER>
    - Type bcdedit /store C:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device boot <ENTER>
    Still not successful, So please help for resolving this problem. thanks for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Have you verified that the C: partition when booted to the Vista DVD is the correct partition (the third Primary)?

    Did you make Vista reformat the third Primary partition during the installation?

    Does the "cut down" version of Vista install normally otherwise? Perhaps the problem has nothing to do with DD or OSS. I haven't experimented with any "modified" versions of Windows.
     
  8. chirawatf

    chirawatf Registered Member

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    "Have you verified that the C: partition when booted to the Vista DVD is the correct partition (the third Primary)?" Yes

    "Did you make Vista reformat the third Primary partition during the installation?" Yes

    And this version of Vista is working because I had intalled to another computer successfully without error.
    And the same problem still occured when I installed with original Vista DVD into the third primary partition

    Thanks Mudcrab again for your help!
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Have you run chkdsk /r on the third partition to see if it has any bad sectors?

    Was the blue-screen error the same one in both cases?
     
  10. chirawatf

    chirawatf Registered Member

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    Have you run chkdsk /r on the third partition to see if it has any bad sectors? Yes

    Was the blue-screen error the same one in both cases? Yes

    I noticed that when 3rd primary partition Vista was booting, it tried to boot into 2nd primary partition instead of 3rd partition. Because when i formated 3rd primary partition and restored image to 2nd primary partition, Vista can boot into 2nd primary partition as usual.

    But when i had Vista in 2nd primary parititon (set hidden)and restored Vista image to 3rd primary parititon (Set unhide, Active), I could not boot into 3rd primary partition. It showed blue screen and restarted automatically after showing the running stripped Vista boot page.

    I tried to format 3rd primary partition into Logical parititon with DD and restored Vista image into this partition, OSS could not detected OS in this logical partition.

    So is there anyway to have 2 Vista OS in the two primary partition in the same drive, please.
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    What version and build of TI are you using for the partition restores?

    If you have the third partition set as Primary/Active and have the first two Primary partitions hidden and do the restore to the third partition, can you boot to the Vista DVD, enter the Command Prompt and then run the bcdedit program? It may help to see what the values are.

    Also, a screenshot of Disk Management and of DD (in Manual Mode) might help.
     
  12. chirawatf

    chirawatf Registered Member

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    I use Acronis® True Image Home® version 11.0 (build 8,027).

    I had tried to format 3rd primary partition and left it blank, intalled vista sp1 32bit in 2nd primary partition (1st, 3rd primary set inactive-hidden, 2nd primary partition set active). Then edit bcd and deleted mountedevice in registry after boot into vista OS 2nd primary partition. Created image and restored this image to 3rd primary partition.

    Then I used DD set 3rd primary partition active, 1st primary partition (XPSP3) set inactive-hidden, 2nd primary partition (vista_SP1 32 bit) set inactive-hidden.
    Reboot....can not log on to vista 3rd primary partition, after running stripped boot page it show blue screen for 1 second and restart automatically.

    Tried to enable OSS to control all 3 primary partition, could boot to 1st (WinXP SP3) and 2nd partition(Vista) but 3rd primary partition (vista) stilled have same blue screen error.

    Last night I tried to uninstall OSS and install osl2000 in winXP_SP1 (1st primary partition), reboot and checked autohide option, could not boot into both 2nd and 3rd vista primary partition. It hanged before showing vista running stripped page and say press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.

    I tried to converted 3rd vista primary partition into logical drive by DD. OSL2000 could not detected 3rd primary partition.

    So I converted back to be 3rd primary partition. Uninstalled OSL2000. Created 16MB logical partition after 1st primary partition and installed Bootit NG Version 1.74 using more than 4 primary partition support option (Mudcrab you had adviced this program to me before).

    Bootit NG could not find 3rd primary partition that created by restore Vista image from 2nd primary partition (and already edited BCD, deleted mountedevice before created this image).

    Then I formated 3rd primary partition after logged into bootit NG and installed VistaSP1 32 bit. Reactivated bootit NG after finished installing vista.

    Rebooted into Bootit NG.
    Created boot option in Bootit NG.
    - 1st primary partition (WinXP SP3),select to show in boot menu,set hidden
    - 2nd primary partition (Vista SP1),select to show in boot menu,set hidden
    - 3rd primary partition (Vista SP1) set as boot partition.
    - logical partition (located between 2nd and 3rd primary partition) select to show in menu and set visible.
    Could not boot into 3rd vista primary partition, same blue screen occured after running vista stripped page and automatic restart (same symptoms as before using Bootit NG).

    Changed set up in bootit NG again.
    - 1st and 2nd primary partition were not selected to show in boot menu.
    - 3rd partition selected and set to boot partition.
    - Logical partition selected to show in boot menu.
    Now I can booted into Vista 3rd primary partition while another remaining 2 primary partition were set to hidden. And used logical partition as D drive (common partition). Without BCD edit in 3rd vista primary partition!

    The same pattern setting worked with 1st and 2nd primary partition too.

    What a greet program Bootit NG is!
    Only Bootit NG that allows me to have 2 Vista OS in 2 primary partition in same drive. OSS, OSL2000 can't.

    Now I'm so happy.
    10 days before using bootit NG I spended 4 hours a night to mess with this problems.
    (But it's fun to seek for the knowledge around this website and knowing people like you Mudcrab.)

    The answer is Bootit NG program.

    Thanks a lot to Mudcrab for your sacrified time helping me for 1 week.

    (I am Thai people, my English is not good)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I'm glad you got it working. I am curious about a few things, however.

    When you restored the 2nd partition to the 3rd partition, did you tell TI to restore it as an Active partition? I ask this because if you didn't, TI will attempt to "fix" the BCD file to boot Vista. If the 2nd partition was still the Active partition, then TI would modify that BCD file and it doesn't always do it correctly.

    I would also suggest that you update TI 11 to the latest build (8,101) as 8,027 is two builds back and quite buggy.
     
  14. chirawatf

    chirawatf Registered Member

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    To Mudcrab.
    Yes, I seleted restored image as active partition while set 3rd primary partition as active and the other 2 primary partition were set as hidden.

    And I would tried TI 11 build 8,101 later.

    additional information:
    With Bootit NG you can create image vista partition and restore it without BCD edit and mountedevices registry modify.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
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