Multiple problems with ADDS and OSS

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by micktravis, Sep 12, 2007.

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  1. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    I installed everything quite a while back and had 2 XP OSs running quite nicely on separate drives. Last night I decided to add a third, and I started running into just about every (non Vista) problem discussed here, plus some new ones.

    Setup
    Latest builds of ADDS and OSS
    XP Home on Master , XP Pro on first partition of slave, trying to add a second XP Pro to second partition on slave.

    First, I discovered that the "copy" function in OSS doesn't work at all. I get the hourglass for about 30 seconds and then the program quits without any error messages. Fine, I copied my working XP Pro partition to another partition with ADDS.

    OSS saw the new XP install, but I got into a whole maze of editing the .oss file to allow the "Hidden" box to be checked. And I had the boot and the data for the new OS on different drives. Easier just to start from scratch. So....

    I spent about 3 hours trying to upgrade to the latest builds, fighting incorrect uninstalls and missing .dlls. Now OSS and ADDS hang when analyzing the second drive. I'm currently doing a (slow) format of the second drive through Disk Management, hoping that there was something wrong that this will fix.

    My plan is to fire up OSS in a new, small partition on my C drive, restore (using TI 10) a clean XP pro boot drive to half of the formatted drive, drop the size down, and copy the partition with ADDS to the second half of the same drive. Will OSS see the second XP install? Do I need to worry aboutl boot.ini, MBR, and other niceties? Is there a clear how-to for doing what should be really simple? And, finally, has anyone else found it impossible to copy OSs in OSS?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    micktravis,

    I don't have time to address all of you questions right now, but the Copy function in OSS is not designed to actually copy an OS to another partition. It actually creates a "copy" of the "folders" in the Folders section of the Properties and then copies those back and forth between the "copies" of the OS's. You'd still be booting the same Windows. It's not a procedure I recommend. Also, I think in only works on FAT32.

    Installing OSS into its own small partition is the best procedure.

    If you have TI 9, build 3,677 available, I'd use it to restore the TI images so you don't "scramble" the partition table. If you use TI 10, hopefully OSS wil adjust to the change (I haven't tested this).

    Otherwise, use DD to copy the partition. I would do this from the DD CD.

    You'll have to check and possibly edit the boot.ini files to reference the correct partitions. You can do this using DD, explore the partition, browse to the boot.ini file, right-click on it and select Edit.

    OSS should find the copy of XP in the new partition. If OSS grays out the checkboxes, you seem to already know how to fix that.
     
  3. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    Thanks for the quick response. I've given up for today - the clean XP Pro partition worked just fine (and the opposing operating systems were hidden) but once I installed some basic drivers which should have had no effect (soundcard, graphics card, etc) OSS started to hang during analysis again. I've tried unplugging every USB device including keyboard and mouse, and I can use ADDS via the boot disc, but as soon as I try a boot OSS hangs.

    There really must be an easier way.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Installing any Windows drivers, updates, etc. should have absolutely no affect on OSS. The hang-up with OSS must be being caused by something else.

    Exactly how is your system setup now? (OS's, partition layouts, drives, hidden partitions for each, etc.)

    Where is OSS hanging? On the "Loading..." screen or on the "Processing" graphic screen or somewhere else?

    Have you tried booting to the DD CD and reactivating/reinstalling OSS?
     
  5. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    I have had a good 'OS Copy' of XP in NTFS previously (on my machine) while testing DD10's capabilities. 'Copy OS' copies the whole "partition" even browser, firewall, anti-virus and all applications. I gave it up after a few months as the 'Copy Partition' function allows for a dedicated and separate partition.

    It is useful for folks who get nothing but corrupted 'Copy Partition' outcomes, or cannot 'Create Partitions' w/ DD10. Many machines come with a "RESTORE DISC" that cannot work with either DD10 or with installing multiple instances of XP as it only knows how to Restore and destroys everything on the entire drive (borrow a XP disc to install the recovery console with these discs).

    Yes, on some machines DD10 cannot even perform these simple functions and 'COPY OS' is their only workaround sadly. Paradoxically it may 'Copy' an 'OS' without corruption but may also produce only corrupted 'Copy Partition' operations. With DD10 the possible can be impossible and the IMPOSSIBLE can occur.

    This is why I don't easily recommend it to friends or family anymore (also much flack is directed to the 'recommender' and I then have to spend much time going to-and-fro setting up XP with a data partition using XP's own partitioning capabilities during install [Most want DD10 for multiple OS's and a data partition]). Luckily the 'OS COPY' comes with its own Icon in OSS.

    Where I come from a recommendation carries a "vouch" and the responsibility that a "vouch" carries.

    I have learned that one cannot recommend "complicated" software without a heavy dose of copious qualifications (..."It works great on MY MACHINE, I don't know if it will work on YOURS: you only live once--give it a try" ect.).

    On those machines where DD10 works, I cannot get more praise for recommending DD10 (and TI10).

    It is a pretty sight when Acronis products work as stated.
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Interesting. I have never bothered with that particular feature. I prefer isolated installs.

    I was just going by the DD manual. According to it the Copy OS feature does not copy the whole partition. In section 7.13 it says:
    Then, in Section B.3.4 there is a note that says:
    Perhaps this is just a hold over from a previous version and never got updated in the manual.
     
  7. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    Looking at my system now in ADDS (OSS is currently uninstalled) I have the following

    Disk 1: Maxtor 120 Gig. Partition 1 (NTFS, Pri, Active, 114 G, XP Home, ADDS installed), Partition 2 (Primary, 100 Meg, OSS installed)

    Disk 2: Maxtor 200 Gig. Partition 1 (NTFS, Pri, Active, Hidden)

    Disk 3 - USB drive, crash occurs whether it's plugged in or not so I doubt it's a cause.

    My next plan is to start from scratch with some other smaller drives I have lying around. If I can get it to work like I want I'll image each one back onto my large drives. I wonder about both current XP installs because both are from images - maybe there's something wrong there?

    OSS generally hangs on the Processing page (blue screen with one non-moveable window in the center of the screen, mouse pointer active for 20 - 40 seconds until the freeze) but sometimes it locks up during the "F6 to skip menu" text screen.


    EDIT: One other thing - I did try a clean XP Pro install through OSS, but the whole thing stopped during the first reboot required by XP Pro - after formatting and a restart the system appeared to read from the CD drive but windows never started. This makes me wonder even more about my XP Home install, my CD drive, and even my BIOS settings.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  8. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    MudCrab: It does seem to make sense to use FAT as the partition is put into a folder. I imagine it does this automatically as it did not ask what file system to put it in ( this is my recollection anyway, I might be wrong as it was almost a year ago).

    My main recollection was how well it worked and booted up easily from OSS.

    Thanks for the clarification; I would hate to have mislead any one--thanks cortez
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    cortez,

    You may not have misled anyone. As I said, I have not used the Copy OS feature. Perhaps it works with NTFS now. I just remember reading before (a year ago at least) that it could only do that if the Windows OS was on a FAT32 partition AND OSS was installed into a FAT32 partition, however, all I could find was that small mention in the manual.

    Maybe I'll do a quick test when I have time and find out.
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This could be part of the problem if you're using TI 10. TI 10 "scrambles" the partition table upon a restore to a different partition. This may be causing problems. As posted in other threads, I have not tested this with OSS, but it does "break" other boot managers.

    If you're going to clear the drive, I would recommend that you create one large NTFS partition and let XP install do a Long Format or else run chkdsk /r on it to check for bad sectors.

    When you install XP (or Vista), I've found the best way to avoid this error is to let XP reformat the partition as part of the installation process. You can select the Quick format option (or the Long Format if you want to check for bad sectors).

    ----

    If you restore from TI 10 images, I would try this.

    Start with an empty drive.

    Use DD to setup the primary partitions for your XP's. If you are only installing 3 XP's on the drive and don't want to fight the OSS "grayed out" checkboxes, then I would suggest that you create 3 primary NTFS partitions and 1 primary FAT32 partition (this one can be small, 100MB or so) for OSS.

    Boot from the TI CD and restore each TI image into the partition you created for it.

    Boot from the DD CD and select the Manual Mode. Make sure the OSS partition is the Active partition and ALL of the XP partitions are not Hidden.

    Boot from the DD CD and do a Custom Install of OSS (install it to the OSS partition). It should detect all 3 XP's and set them up correctly since none of the XP partitons were Active or Hidden.

    Reboot into OSS and edit each XP entry's properties to Hide the other XP partitions. I wouldn't hide the OSS partition as you may need to have access to it from Windows to edit the bootwiz.oss file.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  11. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    I think this must be it. I was unaware of this issue until now, but I checked my TI build number. Clearly I'm going to have to figure out the whole boot.ini/disk edit thing, which I was hoping to avoid.

    Incidentally, when I try to restore the XP Pro partition the only way I can get it to be seen as bootable by OSS is if I restore the entire disc including the MBR. This kills all the partitions on the target drive. I can restore the partition minus the MBR without killing other partitions on the target, but the result doesn't appear as an OS in OSS. Is this a result of the scramble, and will it be fixed if I sort out boot.ini and the MBR on each partition?

    OR

    Could this whole problem be avoided if I create a new XP Pro boot partition from scratch and use TI 8 to image and restore? (I have the old install sitting around somewhere) Do you know if it manages all this stuff in a way that makes sense to OSS, or is it unavoidable that I'll have to do some editing?
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I have not done to much "inserting" of OS's into an existing OSS setup. It should be easy, but it generally isn't.

    TI 9 build 3,677 is the last build that does not mess with the partition table or the boot.ini files. TI 8 probably doesn't either. In both of these cases you should be able to restore and then edit the boot.ini files manually (using DD) to be correct.

    If using TI 10, I suggested restoring all of your images FIRST before installing OSS, that way OSS can see them in the partitions they ended up in and you don't have to worry about adding one later. TI 10 will automatically edit the boot.ini files to be correct (at least it did in my tests), so you shouldn't have to change those.

    If you do add an OS later, I always recommend you do an Entire Disk Backup (check the Disk # checkbox) before making any changes. That way you can restore the entire disk and start over if it goes wrong. Sometimes it takes several tries before you figure out how to get it working properly.

    ---

    Your booting problem after restoring just one partition is odd. It shouldn't casue a problem. However, there are several things that may cause problems.

    1. You're restoring an image that does not include OSS when OSS was installed to that partition. In this case the you'd need to reactivate/reinstall OSS and it should work.

    2. You restored a TI image to an existing partition was was previously saved from a different partition table slot.

    3. You're restoring an image that was taken before OSS was installed and setup for that particular OS.

    If you get your system setup and working properly with OSS and all of your OS's, create a NEW FULL DISK backup. Then use that or later backup images to restore.
     
  13. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    I'm working on it right now. I'm trying to get everything set up so I don't have to resort to a full install. Because I have a USB keyboard and mouse I have to use the safe version of TI restore (which doesn't see CD/DVD drives), so I'm putting a bunch of TI Images on a small SATA drive that will always be accessible.

    I am concerned about my inability to reboot during the XP install phase. I had XP quick format the drive and it hung with the little flashing "_" prompt after the reboot. I suppose trying a slow format is next. I haven't tested to see if it's related to the drive I was trying to set up yet, but conceivably I have a hardware problem too. One thing at a time...

    Thanks for all your help. For anyone (else) who's interested I'll update this thread until I get it all working.
     
  14. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    Wow - still more problems. When playing with the BIOS I accidentally turned on the "boot sector virus alert". Everything was going smoothly, I was installing OSS from the DD boot disc, when the BIOS alert came up and everything crashed. Now the OSS install hangs during analysis. But I've noticed it only asked me for the serial number the first time, just prior to the boot sector fiasco. I'm thinking there is some remnant of OSS lurking somewhere and it's getting confused. So it's restore partitions again and we'll see what happens.

    Is there an easy way to definitively remove all traces of OSS, particularly after a truncated install? Any telltale signs in the MBR or something?
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you want to completely remove everything, then you can use DD to clear the drive, then wipe the unallocated space and then zero-out the MBR.

    If you just want to zero-out the MBR and the beginning of the drive, then just start the wipe process, let it run for 30 seconds or so and then cancel it. Then zero-out the MBR.
     
  16. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    I'm 90% there. I decided to avoid many of the problems I've been having by sticking to one OS per drive (I had extras lying around.) I put clean images of my 3 OSs onto the drives, fired up OSS from the DD disk, installed it onto a small FAT32 partition, and made sure each OS was hidden from the others. 2 of the three boot, although I think the issue is with the install on the bad one, and not OSS - it hangs on the XP startup screen. Looking at the boot.ini from each drive I notice the following (this is just one of them)

    [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 Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    All the boot.ini files in the root of each drive reference multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1). Shouldn't this change for each drive? On this particular one there is also a boot.ini in the bootwiz folder under the drive folder, but it's identical. Problem, or no?
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you're setting the Disk order so the Disk that you're booting is first in the list, then it's correct for the boot.ini file to be referencing disk(0) and partition(1).

    Check the Disk order for each entry and make sure they're correct. If you need to edit the boot.ini file for any entry, do it from OSS. Editing the file in the partition rarely works.
     
  18. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    Aha! I had misunderstood all the reading I've done here regarding boot.ini - I was assuming the path was absolute rather than relative. So if I understand correctly, the disk order as seen in the OSS "specify boot order manually" screen is what determines the numbers in the boot.ini path. Since OSS rearranges the boot order for each of the three OSs I have (each being on a separate disc) this explains why the boot.inis are so similar.

    Is this also true of the bootwiz.oss file (the real one, sitting in my FAT32 partition)?


    This is from the first OS, the only one of the three that works right now. It's the primary slave in the computer. It's also what OSS was initially configured on (I custom installed it to a different drive, but I couldn't get OSS to run via the DD disc, so I tried this and managed to get it to work.)

    <id768191585 active="1" />
    <id1305500598 active="1" hidden="1" />
    <id4041178307 active="1" hidden="1" />
    <id3832315904 hidden="1" />

    Here's the next in the list (non working, btw), which is the secondary master. This drive also has the small FAT32 partition on it.

    <id768191585 active="1" hidden="1" />
    <id1305500598 active="1" hidden="1" />
    <id4041178307 active="1" />
    <id3832315904 hidden="1" />

    And the last, also not working, is the primary master.

    <id768191585 active="1" hidden="1" />
    <id1305500598 active="1" />
    <id4041178307 active="1" hidden="1" />
    <id3832315904 hidden="1" />

    Ok, so obviously I have the whole active/hidden thing. Should I just change it so that the other drives are just hidden, and the boot drive is active? Also, shouldn't the FAT32 partition be active?

    Chugging away.....
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I really can't tell from the excerpts what is what. Can you attach the bootwiz.oss file? (You'll need to make a copy and rename it to bootwiz.txt to attach it to a post.)

    Since you have multiple drives, the only thing you need to worry about is that the correct booting partition for the OS is Active and not hidden. Also, you need to verify the boot partition for the entry is the correct boot partition. That's why I can't tell with seeing the entire bootwiz.oss file. Without seeing the drive IDs and the partition IDs and the boot partitions assigned to the OS entries, it's impossible to tell if it's setup correctly.

    The Active partitions on the other hard drives don't matter. At least one primary partition will be both Active and Hidden. Each entry just needs to be correct.

    Is the Fat32 partition an OS partition? In not, then it doesn't need to be Active. If it's on a drive with another OS, then it wouldn't be Active when that OS was booted.
     
  20. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    Unfortunately things got so messed up that I've started again. I suspect that the images I've been using were created after I had installed (and perhaps incorrectly uninstalled) OSS, and that this might be causing a problem. The only way I can be sure is to really start from scratch, so I've unplugged all but one of the drives and am doing a clean install of XP Home with a slow format. Any data I can grab from the backup by exploring the TI image file (mainly Itunes music and stuff - this is meant to be my wife's drive.)

    I'm then going to format and install XP Pro on a second drive (again, with this drive as C: and the only drive plugged in.) Once it's up and running I'm going to install TI 10 and make an image of it. Then I'll plug all 3 drives in, boot from the DD cd, and put the XP pro image onto the third drive.

    (Does it matter, when clean installing an OS, whether other drives are attached? Am I better off installing the 2nd and 3rd XPs with all three drives attached, so that they were created where they will exist in the IDE chain?)

    So I'll have my primary master as XP Home, primary slave as XP Pro 1, and Secondary master as XP Pro 2. The BIOS will specify the cd drive as first boot, and XP Home as the second.

    Now I'll boot from the DD cd, resize the XP Home partition and create a FAT32 100 MB partition, which I'll make active, and I'll ensure the nothing is hidden.

    Then I'll install OSS from the cd and custom install it to the FAT32 partition.

    Now, if I reboot at this point, my understanding is that OSS should fire up and see the three operating systems. And then all I have to do is make sure that each is hidden from the others, right?

    One thing I notice during the hide is that the "files" and "folders" for each OS are, prior to any hiding, correct for the assigned drive letter. Let's say I'm dealing with XP Pro 1 first, and the the assigned drive letters are as follows:

    C - XP Home
    D - FAT32
    E - XP Pro 1
    F - XP Pro 2

    Based on previous attempts, when I first enter the properties of drive E the files and folders will be listed as E:\boot.ini, etc. When I hide C and F I need to apply the changes (so C is now listed as #1-1, say) in order for XP Pro 1 to be assigned C, and for the files and folders to also read C:\boot.ini...

    Is this correct?

    From what I've learned this should do the trick. If it doesn't work, and I have backups of each drive created with TI 10 while that drive was the primary master, is it important that I restore each image while the respective drive is where it's going to be in the chain, or should I restore each drive as primary master and then plug them in as they're going to be later? In other words, once an image is restored, could moving it around in the chain (either before or after OSS comes into play) mess things up as well?

    Lots of questions, I know. I feel like, with the amount of experience I have with this kind of gear, I should have this working by now. Hopefully this will get me there.
     
  21. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you want the boot.ini file to be correct, I would just connect the 3rd hard drive by itself (like you did the others) and do the image restore. That way all 3 drives are independent.

    Since you'll have to setup OSS's Disk Order for each entry, I don't think installing them as "single" drives will be a problem. In fact, it may prevent some problems.

    This should be fine. The BIOS needs to be set to default boot the first hard drive. Once OSS is installed, you can change the Disk Order for the other drive entries to make their drive be first (also hide the other OS partitions).

    This is the best setup. OSS in its own partition. You may want to leave the XP Home partition as Active. OSS may detect it better that way. This is kind of a gray area because you're using different drives instead of everything being on the same drive. If everything were on the same drive, then I would say to make the FAT32 partition Active. However, you can't make the XP partitions on the other two drives non-Active, so to keep things equal, maybe the XP partition should be Active on this drive too. If there is a problem, it can be fixed with a simple edit of the bootwiz.oss file.

    Yes. And change the Disk Order so that each entry has the correct Disk first in the Disk Order list.

    OSS does not always assign the correct drive letters. Usually, it will assign C: to the booting partition for the current Windows menu entry. I wouldn't worry about this at this stage. If OSS sets up the correct boot partition and the Active flag is set and the Hidden flag is not set, then it should be okay. These settings can be changed by editing the bootwiz.oss file if necessary.

    If you are going to use OSS and set the Disk Order so that each "booting" drive is First in the Disk List, then restoring each as the only drive connected should work fine. To answer your other question, if you move the drives around or change the Disk Order to something else, then you'll have to edit the boot.ini file to be correct. Also, XP will boot from whatever drive is detected first which will probably not be the one you want.
    Since TI 10 will set the boot.ini file depending on where the drive is when it is restored, if you restore the drive in any other position than the FIRST position then the boot.ini file will be wrong for when you setup OSS and change the Disk to boot First in the Disk Order List.

    I hope so too.
     
  22. micktravis

    micktravis Registered Member

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    Worked like a charm!

    After much poking and prodding I discovered that one of the disc images I was using to restore from was made after I had installed (and only partially uninstalled) OSS. While it didn't show up in the list of programs, there were some register entries that made it clear. I think I was doing everything right but OSS was getting confused by the old, partial data.

    At any rate, with 3 clean OS installs, careful monitoring of what's supposed to be hidden, and making sure to indicate the correct drive boot order for each OS (including the XP install CD) everything is now working as it should.

    The lesson here is that OSS is extremely unforgiving of things like bad installs, or crashes during the setup process. But if you can go from virgin straight through to setup without any hitches the program works very well indeed.

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
  23. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This is what I like to hear!

    This is why I always recommend doing an Entire Disk Backup (using True Image or another imaging program) before installing and setting up OSS. That way you can recover and try again (and in most cases you'll need to).

    You're very welcome.
     
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