New partitions and Drive letters

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by truckid, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    Following on from previous posts, I have decided to wipe the drive clean and start over. Windows 2003 and Vista Dual boot. Install Win 2003 first and then Vista, follow suggestions from this URL

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=192957


    I boot from the DD CD (which only works for my laptop in safe mode). I then create the partitions as follows;

    1. OSS partition at beginning 100Mb FAT32 Primary
    2. Vista Partition - Primary NTFS
    3. Win 2003 Partition - Primary & Active NTFS

    The problem is that DD assigns OSS a drive letter of C. I am assuming this is because its the first partition created ? However I would like Vista to be C and Win 2k3 to be D. I would also prefer OSS to be at the beginning of the HDD. I have noticed that the Change Drive Letter option is not available (could it be because I am in SAFE MODE in DD ?)

    Any suggestions on how I can get the correct letters assigned, or can I do this (safely) in the OS later ?
    thanks
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Don't worry about the drive letter assignments used when booted to the DD CD. They mean nothing to Windows. In this case, Windows isn't even installed yet.

    Also, normally you want the Windows partition to be assigned the C: drive letter. This makes it much easier to fix later if problem arise.

    Installed as below, each OS will have C: assigned to its partition when booted. The other partition shouldn't have any assignment because it's hidden.

    This is what I would do:

    1. Install Windows 2003
    1. Boot to DD.
    2. Hide the OSS and Vista partitions.
    3. Set the Windows 2003 partition Active.
    4. Apply the changes.
    5. Insert the Windows 2003 CD and reboot.
    6. Install Windows 2003. Make sure to select the Windows 2003 partition as the installation partition.
    7. After installation is complete, reboot and make sure Windows 2003 boots up okay.

    2. Install Vista
    Note: Hopefully, you have a regular Vista DVD. If you don't, you may not be able to do a normal installation.
    1. Boot to DD.
    2. Leave the OSS partition Hidden.
    3. Hide the Windows 2003 partition.
    4. Unhide the Vista partition.
    5. Set the Vista partition Active.
    6. Apply the changes.
    7. Insert the Vista DVD and reboot.
    8. Install Vista. Make sure to select the Vista partition as the installation partition.
    9. After installation is complete, reboot and make sure Vista boots up okay.

    3. Test your Installations
    You should now be able to switch between Vista and Windows 2003 by doing the following:
    1. Boot to DD.
    2. Set the Windows partition you wish to boot as Active.
    3. Set the other Windows partition as Hidden.
    4. Leave the OSS partition Hidden (for now).
    5. Apply the changes.
    6. Reboot.
    If this works properly, you have successfully installed them into their own partitions. If OSS now fails, you should be able to boot into either of your Windows installations by doing the above.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Creating an Entire Disk Image backup of your drive in this state is highly recommended. If you need to return to this point, doing a restore is usually much faster than starting over.

    4. Install OSS
    1. Have your DD "key" handy. You'll need it for OSS.
    2. Boot to the DD/OSS CD.
    3. Make sure both of the Windows partitions and not hidden.
    4. Unhide the OSS partition. No partitions should be hidden.
    5. Set the OSS partition as the Active partition. NOTE: How OSS reacts to this depends on the system. If no Operating Systems are found, you could uninstall OSS and set the Windows 2003 or Vista partition as the Active partition instead and reinstall OSS. This will most likely result in the "gray-out checkbox" bug, but can be fixed.
    6. Apply the changes.
    7. Leave the DD/OSS CD in and reboot.
    8. Select the Install OSS option from the Acronis Menu.
    9. When asked, select Custom as the installation type. Select the OSS partition as the installation destination.
    10. Install OSS. When it finishes, it will need to reboot. Remove the CD and reboot.
    11. You should boot to the OSS menu. Hopefully, it will have found Windows 2003 and Vista.

    5. Set the Properties for each OS
    1. Right-click on the OS menu entries, one at a time and select the Properties option.
    2. In the Partition section, make sure that the correct partition is set Active and that the other Windows partition is checked as Hidden. For Vista: Vista = Active, Windows 2003 = Hidden. For Windows 2003: Windows 2003 = Active, Vista = Hidden.

    If one or both of your OSS menu entries are shown as Unknown, post back. These can be fixed. Hopefully, as least one of them will be detected properly so you can boot into one of your Windows. This will make it much easier to fix the BOOTWIZ.OSS file.
     
  3. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    Once again, thanks. I am starting the whole process right now.

    Your instructions are clear and easy to follow. Now, the only question left is how does Mediadirect fit into all this ?

    I have wiped all the partitions, but I think the MBR is still 'possessed'. Below is the answer, but I'm wondering at what stage do I fit it in, at the end when everything else is working ? Pressing the button will then boot OSS ?


    'After you've got Windows installed to your liking and removed the MediaDirect partition, insert the MediaDirect installation DVD and from a command prompt find the RMBR.EXE utility and run it as follows (assuming Windows is installed into partition number 1):

    RMBR.EXE DELL 1 1

    This will change your BIOS settings to make the MediaDirect button boot from your Windows partition. If you don't do this the MD button will brick your laptop.

    Unfortunately, RMBR seems to also mess around with your MBR and/or boot block. So, next, boot from the Windows Vista installation DVD, activate the recovery console, start a command prompt and run BOOTREC/FIXBOOT and BOOTREC/FIXMBR.

    That should sort it. (Note that after I did this, the *first* time I booted with the MediaDirect button I got an error message and had to power cycle, but after that it worked as I wanted.)
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You can wipe the MBR of the drive using DD by following the instructions here.

    I don't know very much about MediaDirect (just what I've read on the forum). Brian K may come along and answer your question or you could send him a PM. He understands how it works.

    I would guess that you might not be able to have OSS (or another boot manager) working and still have MediaDirect working.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    My only interest in MediaDirect is how to get rid of it. Dell have information on reinstalling MediaDirect.

    I never use it.

    I'm not familiar with the Vista MBR but you probably need to get rid of the Dell MBR.
     
  6. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    I am just completing Step 3. I.E. just got both OS installed, next step would be installing OSS.

    Brian, I dont want Mediadirect either, can't wait to get rid of it.

    The MD partition is gone, but its obviously in MBR. Can I safely use the method suggested for wiping the MBR at this stage ? Its taken me a couple of hours to get this far, and I have been at the laptop all day - I dont want dont it to go wrong now.


    If I create an image (seperate) of the OS's, I suppose that way, if it does screw it up, I can just restore again ? One thing I did notice is that the image made under Vista SP1 earlier didnt work, TrueImage just said it was either corupt or not valid - make me think its safer to create the image under Win 2003 instead
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    truckid,

    If you wipe LBA-0 you will lose everything. But you can over-write the Dell boot code with a standard MBR without losing your partitions. I don't know how to do this with Vista. MudCrab does.
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    As Brian K said, you'll lose everything if you wipe the MBR at this point.

    That's the idea. However, I recommend you create an Entire Disk Image backup (check the Disk # checkbox). This will let you restore both OS installations at the same time and keep the disk in its current state. Sometimes restoring a single partition won't do this.

    Create the image using whichever OS you want or from the CD. If you haven't already, boot to the TI CD and make sure you can Validate the image and that TI can see your hard drive(s) properly.

    ------------

    To restore the MBR, you can use either the Vista DVD or the Windows 2003 CD (I'm assuming Windows 2003 has a Recovery Console like XP).

    For Vista, you need to select the Command Prompt option from the System Recovery Options screen and run the following command (<ENTER> means to press the ENTER key):
    Code:
    bootrec /FixMbr <ENTER>
    For XP, enter the Recovery Console and run the following command:
    Code:
    fixmbr <ENTER>
    This will restore the MBR to a standard Windows version. As to what effect this will have in relation to MediaDirect, I have no idea.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Here is an illustration of Vista's MBR and XP's MBR.
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Interesting to see them side by side. But I'm confused. How can the computer have two MBRs?
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    As I'm sure you know, each hard drive has a MBR. If you have three hard drives in your computer, your computer has three MBRs (if you look at it that way).
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I obviously didn't read how Mark created that graphic. I did note the identical DiskIDs indicating it was one HD. OK now.
     
  14. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    Mudcrab/Brian K

    Thanks ! It works like perfectly.

    I simply formated all my partitions, wiped MBR (important to get rid of nasty Dell Mediadirect) and then followed the clear instructions.

    To summarise, create Partitions intially from DD CD, Hide all partitions, except one being worked on, install older OS first, then hide that partition, unhide other OS [partition and install new OS. Finally unhide all and install OSS. OSS found them both and works fine. I didnt even had to edit Bootviz like I thought I would have to ( I have Vista Dell OEM).

    'I love it when a plan comes together'
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Me too. Good work!
     
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