OS Selector and Vista partitions setup

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Surfer11, Jan 9, 2008.

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  1. Surfer11

    Surfer11 Registered Member

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    Greetings, I am working on a project to install Vista 64 Ultimate and Vista 32 Home Premium on a multi disk system. The computer includes EVGA nForce 680i SLI mother board with Nvidia RAID controllers, one hard disk array with 2 SATA drives striped in RAID 0, and two disks that are set up as spanned single disk arrays.

    The system came from Velocity Micro with Vista 32 installed on one of the spanned single disk arrays. I made a mirror image of that install, Hid that partition with Disk Director and installed Vista 64 on another primary active partition. I installed and uninstalled OS Selector several times and got to a point where I could not uninstall the OS selector. After removing all partitions from several disks and deleting some files I could finally uninstall OS selector.

    At this point I can use Disk Director to Hide Vista 64, Unhide Vista 32, and make Visa 32 partition active and boot to Vista 32.

    I can also Hide Vista 32, Unhide Vista 64, and make Vista 64 partition active and boot Vista 64.

    OS Selector comes up with Boot from Floppy and Boot Windows Vista (English). When I choose Vista, it boots to Vista 64. Tried to find the operating system on the Vista 32 partition but the Selector will not find it. It comes up with the suggestion of changing file names but I have no idea of which files or what names to give them. I could use some help here on how to do this.

    Not sure what to do now. My mirror images of the operating system partitions may have some scrambled OS Selector files on them. If I knew where to find them and how to recognize them, I could remove them and try to start over.

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

    A second issue is where to place the operating systems and page files. All the disks have the same RPM but the two disk in RAID 0 array should have the fastest response. I would like to place the operating system and page file on separate disks but should the operating system or page file be on the fastest drive/array?
     
  2. Surfer11

    Surfer11 Registered Member

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    Here I am, replying to my own post.

    After reading more threads from the forum it looks like I should try creating another partition in FAT32 and installing OSS there. I have done all previous work from DD CD. Is that the answer?
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Everyone has a different opinion on RAID 0 and whether or not it's worth it. I use it on two of my new computers and in general use and tests I would say it is faster than a single drive (150-200%). Just make sure you have a current backup image (as you should even with a single drive setup).

    For OSS, installing the OSS files into their own partition or any non-OS partition is a good idea. This keeps the OSS files separated from the OS installations allowing you to duplicate or restore them without bothering the OSS files. The partition can be FAT32 or NTFS. I use FAT32 on my computer because I have OSS installed to the partition I share between my Linux and Windows installations.

    If you install the OS's on separate physical drives, then you'll have to make sure the Disk Order is correct for each entry in the OSS menu. The booting Windows disk needs to be first in the list.

    If you install both (or all) your Windows installations on the RAID (or a single drive), then that RAID (or drive) should be the boot drive in the BIOS.

    OSS has some problems properly detecting Vista (especially when it comes to 64bit or Brand-name OEM versions). If you need to manually edit the BOOTWIZ.OSS file and add the Vista entry you can. The general process is detailed in this thread: Vista disappeared in dual boot. The main changes are outlined in post #14.

    If you have problems, please post back with what you've tried.
     
  4. Surfer11

    Surfer11 Registered Member

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    Celebration! It works. :thumb:
    Thanks for the help. I hope they come up with a patch soon. It would be a pain to fix if the OSS files get scrambled later.

    I will list here the actions that I followed and the side tracks required to finish the project and appreciate any comments on what might have caused the snags.

    First I tried to edit the Bootwiz.oss file but don’t have a edit program disk. In vista the Bootwiz file would not show up even with the show hidden files option selected in the search option. Next went to the DD browse and edit function but must have made a typo because the blue screen flashed and went to reboot when trying to use the new profile.

    Gave up on the edit option and went on to install from Velocity Micro OEM Vista Home Premium (which is said to have no proprietary content on it) and the system builders version of Microsoft OEM Vista 64 Ultimate. Here is the list with additions:

    All references to Vista = Vista 64 and XP = Vista 32.

    • Boot to the DD CD.
    • Use DD to clear the drive (remove all partitions).
    • Decide where you want the small OSS partition (before or after the other partitions). I'm going to put it at the end in this example.
    • Create the partition for Vista - Primary NTFS
    • Label the partition Vista = Vista 64
    • Create the partition for XP - Primary NTFS
    • Label the partition XP = Vista 32
    • Create the partition for OSS - Primary FAT32 or NTFS, 100MB
    • Label the partition OSS
    • Set the Vista partition Active Already Active
    • Set the XP partition Hidden
    • Exit DD and let it reboot back to the Acronic CD menu
    • Insert the Vista DVD and reboot
    • Install Vista, select the Vista partition as the destination
    • After Vista is installed, Vista should be C: and the OSS partition should have a drive letter.
    • Install DD in Vista
    • Install OSS in Vista - select the Custom install option and select the OSS partition as the destination for the OSS files. Went to blinking curser at top Left on reboot, had to hard reboot.
    • Reboot and make sure OSS finds Vista (it should) and boots okay into Vista (it should).
    If OSS is working correctly with Vista, proceed to install XP:
    • Boot to your DD CD
    • Deactivate OSS and select Vista as the Default OS (DO NOT UNINSTALL OSS, just deactivate it)
    • Reboot to the DD CD
    • Set the XP partition Active
    • Hide the Vista partition
    • Exit DD and let the computer boot back to the Acronis CD menu
    • Insert the XP CD and reboot
    • Select to install XP and select the XP partition as the destination (it's recommended to have XP format the partition to avoid problems later).
    Failed to format. Error 0x80004005.
    • Formatted with DD.
    • Format failed with Vista 32 CD again.
    • Deleted partition with Vista 32 CD.
    • Formatted the unallocated space with Vista CD successfully.

    • XP should install and boot automatically
    Drive letters were out of order on the partitions so I corrected them in Vista 32. The C: drive was correct and not changed.
    • NTLDR Error on reboot.
    • Booted with Vista 32 CD and selected repair but backed out when windows indicated that Vista 32 OS was on M:
    • Rebooted with DD and found Vista 32 OS on D: and changed it to C: by hiding and unhiding.
    • OSS partition was listed as active. Changed active partition to Vista 32.
    • Restarted to DD CD and checked the drive letters were ok.
    • Rebooted to Vista 32 OK.

    • Once XP is working properly, boot to the DD CD and select to reactivate OSS.
    • OSS should recover the existing Vista menu entry and add the XP entry.
    Now, verify your OSS menu entry settings are correct for each OS:
    • Right-click on the Vista menu entry and make sure the Vista partition is the Active partition and the XP partition is marked Hidden.
    • Right-click on the XP menu entry and make sure the XP partition is the Active partition and the Vista partition is marked Hidden.
    And it worked!

    Thinking back the problems started when I erased a profile for Vista 32 because I couldn’t edit it to the configuration I wanted. We need a uninstall utility that totally removes OSS so a new start is possible with out reinstalling from installation CD. Should be able to fix a mirror image so it will work. Especially when DD can successfully hide and change form OS to OS with no problems.

    Thanks again for the help.

    If I install new programs to D: can Vista 64 and Vista 32 share the same Programs partition?

    What about sharing the same page file partition on another drive? Is the page file recreated with each boot?
     
  5. Surfer11

    Surfer11 Registered Member

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    If you can help, I would like to try the edit option again to save some software on the original installation. Check the attached BOOTWIZ.OSS file and let me know where to edit.

    The situation has changed a bit. Here is where it stands now. I can boot to both Vista 64 and Vista 32 when using DD to hide and activate the partitions. OSS will start Vista 64 but not Vista 32. The OSS menu has a red X on the Vista 32 OS and gives an error that says Required partition can not be found.

    How I got to this point: With your help and the Forum, I used the extensive work around above to set up the 64 and 32 OS partitions that will boot with OSS but this will work only with fresh installations from OS CDs.

    I then replaced the Vista 32 partition with a Acronis 11 image of the factory installation that came with Velocity Micro.
    Find Acronis Report attached.

    Thanks

    Other Questions:

    If I install new programs to D: can Vista 64 and Vista 32 share the same Programs partition?

    What about sharing the same page file partition on another drive? Is the page file recreated with each boot?


    Here is the bootwiz.oss file and the Acronis Report is attached.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2008
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It looks like you need to change the boot partition ID for the Vista32 entry. The ID got changed when TI restored the image.

    What you have:
    Code:
    <id3330860708 boot_as_ms71="0" boot_as_os2="0" boot_cd_entry="0" [B][COLOR="Green"]boot_partition="3623236580"[/COLOR][/B] bootname="bootsect.sys" icon="icon_sys_vista" language="english" lba="1" locked="1" name_template="Windows Vista 32 Home Premium" nthide="0" os_type="ntvista" system_root_identifier="00000000000000000000000000000000060000000000000048000000000000000000608007000000000000000000000000000000010000007d39460600000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000\Windows" use_manual_disks_order="0" write_boot="1">
    The partition previously associated with 3623236580 no longer exists. It now has a new ID value of 2039350079 as you can see from the partition entry here:
    Code:
    <id[B][COLOR="Red"]2039350079[/COLOR][/B] begin="62926605" crc="36865" disk="2765766041" fs="ntfs" number="2" serial="6441c0304ac030c8" size="41945715" type="7" />
    
    What the Vista32 OS entry should be:
    Code:
    <id3330860708 boot_as_ms71="0" boot_as_os2="0" boot_cd_entry="0" [B][COLOR="Red"]boot_partition="2039350079"[/COLOR][/B] bootname="bootsect.sys" icon="icon_sys_vista" language="english" lba="1" locked="1" name_template="Windows Vista 32 Home Premium" nthide="0" os_type="ntvista" system_root_identifier="00000000000000000000000000000000060000000000000048000000000000000000608007000000000000000000000000000000010000007d39460600000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000\Windows" use_manual_disks_order="0" write_boot="1">
    The Active (booting partition) is already correct and the Vista64 partition is already hidden, so you don't need to make any changes to the partition entries.
    Code:
    <partitions>
    <id[B][COLOR="Purple"]3978242271[/COLOR][/B] hidden="1" />
    <id1921785046 hidden="1" />
    <id[B][COLOR="Red"]2039350079[/COLOR][/B] active="1" />
    </partitions>
    I'm assuming that by "Program partition" you're referring to a partition in which Windows programs get installed (like by custom installing and selecting the folder). If so, then yes they can share the partition. However, it may cause problems depending on what programs you're installing. You would still have to install the programs in each OS for the registry entries to be correct and if you uninstalled in one you wouldn't be able to in the other because the files would be gone. Also, some programs may install different files or different versions of the same files that will conflict between Vista32 and Vista64. My opinion is that trying to install programs into the same folders would be a bad idea. If you just want to use the same partition and not the same folder, then you shouldn't have any problems. For example, in Vista32 you install PROGRAM_XYZ into \XYZ-32 and in Vista64 you install it into \XYZ-64. Done this way, the programs won't overwrite or conflict with eachother.

    I haven't used Vista64, but I would guess that it could use the same page file. It should not need to be recreated at each boot. It should just use the existing file. You would just need to setup that partition for each OS to use for the page file. Since you now have two separate partitions, it would be an easy test by just switching one to use the other. Then boot between Vista64 and Vista32 several times and check Disk Management to verify the page file is on the correct partition. If you keep the space you're using now, this will only gain you about 8GB of disk space.
     
  7. Surfer11

    Surfer11 Registered Member

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    :D :cool: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Well.... the puzzle is finished. It came down to a ten digit number but still a big jump for me.
    Thanks so much.

    Here is a note on editing the bootwiz.oss file for others. This is what worked for me:

    The BOOTWIZ folder was not visible in Vista even with the View Hidden Files option checked.
    I found that if I used DD Browse and Edit to make a new folder called BOOTWIZ Copy and then used the same function to copy bootwiz.oss and past the whole file into the new Copy file, the folder and file will then show up in Vista. Then use Notepad to edit the file.
    Go back to DD Browse and Edit and copy the edited file back to the BOOTWIZ file.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I haven't verified this, but you may also need to uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option located below under the Show hidden files and folders option.
     
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