OS Selector - Booting XP, Vista, Linux from Logical Partitions???

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by mike949, Sep 6, 2007.

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  1. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Greetings Everyone,

    I have DD10 with OSS installed (along with TI10 also). I need to install multiple Windows XP, Vista, and Linux in separate partitions. I do not want to install multiple XP in the same partition. I need each XP, and Vista, and Linux, to all be in their own partition. This means that I need to install some of the OS's in logical partitions, since there is a limit of 4 primary partions on a disk (which includes the extended partition).

    I would like to start by taking my existing Windows XP primary/active partition, and copy it into a logical partition, and then be able to boot that second copy (in the logical partition) independently.

    According to the DD10/OSS manual (Appendix A.6), it is possible using OSS to boot from a logical partition. It says, "If you need several operating systems, you should use logical partitions for booting purposes and leave primary partitions free."

    I have already created a copy of my primate/active XP partition in a logical partition. However, there is no documentation in the DD10/OSS manual specifying how to get OSS to recognize and boot that XP logical partition. I have tried using the OS Detection Wizard, but it does not detect anything (I tried both via partition and via MBR).

    Please note that I have already read about booting from extended/logical partitions at the goodell site (http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/), and I have also already read several previous posts on this subject (e.g. from nando_UY and MudCrab, as well as some others), but I have yet to see a post from anyone that said how they got it to work successfully via OSS, step by step. I modified the logical partition as specified via the goodell site, but I have not been able to get OSS to recognize that XP instance in the logical parition (using the OS Detection Wizard, even after trying to trick it several times).

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated. :)

    Thank you,

    Mike
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I have not tried to use OSS to boot Windows from a Logical partition. If it does not detect it automatically, then you'll proably have to enter a menu entry for it into the bootwiz.oss file manually.

    If you try this, enter it as a Linux OS and not a Windows OS (you can still select what icon you want). This way it will just chainload and not try and do all the "auto" Windows stuff.

    The entry would look similar to below. You'll have to make sure your partition ID's reference the correct partition on your computer. Also, if OSS won't let you set the Logical partition as "Active", whatever partition is marked as active may or may not need to be a Windows partition (you might have to try it both ways). Other Windows partitions will need to be hidden, in any case. The boot.ini file would also need to be edited as necessary.
    Code:
    		<id3468778367 boot_as_ms71="0" boot_as_os2="0" boot_cd_entry="0" [B][COLOR="Green"]boot_partition="720960727"[/COLOR][/B] [B][COLOR="green"]icon="icon_sys_win"[/COLOR][/B] language="" lba="1" name_template="Windows XP Logical" nthide="0" [B][COLOR="green"]os_type="linux"[/COLOR][/B] uninstall_info="1" use_manual_disks_order="0" write_boot="0">
    			<partitions>
    				[B][COLOR="green"]<id3220156886 active="1"[/COLOR][/B] />
    			</partitions>
    		</id3468778367>
    Normally, when Windows is installed into a Logical partition, the booting part is still located on a Primary partition. If you install it this way, OSS may recognize it.

    As per previous posts (which you've probably already read), make sure to change the Hidden Sectors value in the bootsector of the Logical partition to reference the start of the Logical partition. Instructions for doing this with DD can be found here.

    When I get the time, I'll probably run some tests on this and see what the process actually is to get OSS to boot Windows directly from a Logical partition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  3. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks MC.

    When you sent your response, I was in the middle of trying something similar, but slightly different. I created a shortcut (to generate a new ID), and then simply copied and pasted the original entry for the traditional (primary/active) XP, and then edited it appropriately.

    It gets very close to finishing the boot process - it gets to the point where it has the baby blue background with the multi-color Windows XP icon, and is at the point where it would normally provide the user login - then it just hangs. I can't reboot in any way. I have to power it off.

    I've got everything set pretty well in the boot sector of the logical partition - changed the hidden sectors number, changed boot.ini, etc. I'm just a hair away from having it working, but I've run out of ideas!

    By the way - I did try your entry format also, but it failed rather quickly (with an OSS error message), due to incomptibility between the os type of linux and the partition type being set to ntfs.

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    mike949,

    I don't use OSS but I have booted multiple WinXP installs in logical volumes with BING.

    From your description you are close. The point where your boot process hangs is when WinXP is deciding on a drive letter. It appears that it can't use C: as another partition has that letter. Could you check that all other OS partitions will be hidden when you are booting to that logical volume.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just noticed this. It could be your problem. If you copied into a partition the OS won't boot and will hang on the light blue screen. As yours does. You must copy into unallocated space.

     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Brian,

    Per PM communication, Mike wants to avoid using BING if possible. We're hoping for an OSS solution. I plan to run some tests tonight.

    Thanks for your input. I too think he's very close to a solution. It just depends on if OSS can be "tricked" into doing it.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MudCrab,

    I wasn't suggesting BING be used. Just that it worked for me.

    I think Mike is close too. I'm pretty sure it's the way he copied his OS to the logical volume that is the problem. He might say that he deleted that partition from the DD boot CD and then copied into the unallocated space. But deleting the partition at that stage is too late. WinXP must see that there is no partition in that space so that the MountedDevices registry key has no record of a partition.
     
  8. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks BK and MC,

    I also have thought that last problem is related to drive letter mapping, and have tried a few techniques to resolve it (following much of what's written on that subject at goodells - http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm).

    The last thing I did was to boot back into my "normal" (active/primary) C: drive, and edit the [MountedDevices] registry entry (I deleted all of the key/value pairs under it). I then shutdown that instance of Windows, and re-imaged it via TI10 before re-booting it. At that point, it should have been imaged with a completely empty [MountedDevices] registry section.

    I then restored that new image (with the empty MountedDevices section), to a new spot in un-allocated space (shifted slightly over from the old spot). I re-edited the appropriate entries in the EBR for that restored image (boot flag on), and the NT Boot Sector for that restored image (set Hidden Sectors to absolute offset from beg of disk), and also made sure that the boot.ini file for that restored image has the correct partition(#) entries (in this case, 4).

    It hangs at the same point - very frustrating.

    It's so close...any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Mike,

    It's so frustrating to get to that screen and no further.

    After the failed boot, could you look at DD from the CD. Which is the active partition?

    It's been a while since I did this. I think the primary partitions were marked "Active" and the logical volumes were marked "Boot". But that was from Partition magic.
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Okay, I have successfully booted into XP on a Logical partition using OSS.

    This is what I did:

    XP was installed on the hard drive using the entire drive
    Booted to the DD CD and resized the XP partition down
    Created small 100MB FAT32 OSS primary partition
    Installed OSS to OSS partition (Custom install from the DD CD)
    Booted to DD CD and copied primary XP partition to new logical in unallocated space (using the Copy Partition Wizard)
    Edited logical partition's boot.ini file to be "partition(3)"
    Rebooted into OSS
    Edited the OSS Primary XP entry to "hide" the Logical XP partition
    Booted into the Primary XP
    Using the Windows Notepad program (don't use any other text editor on this file), manually added the OSS entry to the bootwiz.oss file for the Logical XP install as below (your ID may need to be different if that ID is used):
    Code:
    	<partitions>
    		<[B][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]id2934917609[/COLOR][/B] begin="63" crc="54011" disk="3628511979" fs="ntfs" number="1" serial="ba0f536830536814" size="9976302" type="7" />
    		<id2138547374 begin="9976365" crc="33906" disk="3628511979" fs="fat32" number="2" serial="fff812fc" size="208845" type="11" />
    		<[B][COLOR="Red"]id1878315360[/COLOR][/B] begin="10185273" crc="54011" disk="3628511979" fs="ntfs" number="5" serial="862c2418bcc59408" size="7341642" type="7" />
    	</partitions>
    
    		<id3516901910 boot_as_ms71="0" boot_as_os2="0" boot_cd_entry="0" [B][COLOR="Red"]boot_partition="1878315360"[/COLOR][/B] icon="icon_sys_win" language="" lba="1" name_template="Windows XP Logical" nthide="0" [B][COLOR="red"]os_type="ntxp"[/COLOR][/B] use_manual_disks_order="0" write_boot="0">
    			<partitions>
    				[B][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]<id2934917609 hidden="1"[/COLOR][/B] />
    			</partitions>
    		</id3516901910>
    The main thing to change here is the boot_partition entry to the ID of the Logical partition and setting os_type="ntxp" (instead of "linux" as I suggested before), but keep the other settings the same (don't write the boot sector, etc.).

    In the partitions section, I set to Hide the Primary XP partition. Your partition ID will be different. If you have other partitions to Hide, then add them here.

    I did not set any particular partition as Active. It didn't seem to cause a problem leaving the XP Primary partition as active. I supose the OSS partition could just as well be the active one.

    In my test, Windows Disk Management still shows the first XP partition as Active. It also shows the Logical as the (Boot) partition.
    oss_xp_logical.JPG

    When done this way, no files or folders are "attached" for the OSS entry. These are empty if you look at them on the menu entry properties. I think it needs to be this way so OSS doesn't mess around with the boot files.

    I have not tried any of this with Vista. I'm guessing it will be more difficult, especially if a repair would be needed.

    I should also note that I did the copy using DD's Copy Partition Wizard so I didn't have to contend with TI scrambling the partition table. I don't know if it can do this with logical partitions, but I wanted to keep it simple for this test. It's possible a restore using TI to a Logical partition can work just as well (maybe it only scrambles the Primary partitions).

    Hope it helps.
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MudCrab,

    Very clever.

    I was surprised to see the first partition as active even though it doesn't have a drive letter. It's not hidden in the conventional sense. Is this usual for OSS?
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Brian,

    The hidden partitions will still show up in Windows Disk management. As you see, it was not assigned a drive letter. In this case it still recognized the partition (shown as (Active)). I don't know if it's "really" hidden or if you could assign a drive letter. The thing is, is that Windows is ignoring it, which is what we want. It may be because it was the Active partition. If the OSS partition were Active, then maybe Disk Management would show the WinXP partition as in the picture below.

    Normally, partitions hidden with OSS show (Unknown Partition), like GAMES and VISTA below:
    oss_wdm_hidden_part.JPG
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's right. It doesn't matter if it's hidden as in Healthy (Unknown partition) or if it doesn't have a drive letter. Windows ignores it.

    Your graphic above is what I see when multi-booting. Your active partition surprised me.
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It is because the WinXP partition was the Active partition. I changed the OSS partition to be the Active partition and now the hidden WinXP partition displays normally as (Unknown Partition). So it was really hidden, Windows just sees it as the Active partition on the drive and displays that instead. (Active) status apparently gets priority over (Unknown Partition) status.
    oss_xp_logical_2.JPG
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Well that explains it.

    Now I'll have to do my test again as I can't remember if my 3 primary partitions were hidden (and non active) when I was booting to the OS in the logical volume. I thought they were but I didn't write it down.

    Maybe different boot managers handle things in their own way.
     
  16. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks guys.

    MudCrab - I've already done everything you posted here with regard to the OSS file, but there was no change in my results. At least it's nice to see we're thinking alike.

    That means that there's probably something about my XP config that doesn't like being moved to a different location (which I find bizarre). Or perhaps there's something in my XP instance (with all the updates I have installed, etc), that causes heartburn when it's booted from a non-primary/active partition.

    Maybe it's because it's a Dell laptop, and Dell tweaks XP somewhat. It was a royal pain to get Reatogo/Bart PE set up properly for my laptop, due to all the idiosyncrasies of the Dell XP install.

    I'm about ready to give up.

    On another note - I don't know why this functionality (booting from a logical partition), isn't built into the DD/OSS product. That's the whole point of purchasing something like DD/OSS. I shouldn't have to manually edit sectors and boot files! Maybe they couldn't get it to work either.

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Mike,

    Could you post your bootwiz.oss file? Make a copy and rename it to bootwiz.txt so you can attach it to a post.

    I'll take a look at it and see if I notice anything wrong.

    Also, according to your post, you used TI to image and restore to the logical partition. I used DD to copy the partition. Perhaps that's one of the differences. The Copy Wizard copies to unallocated space and creates the partition as part of the process.

    In my test, the original WinXP setup never saw the new logical partition until after the Logical XP partition was setup and booting (and then it was hidden).
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I thought MudCrab's setup technique was "safe".
     
  19. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Sure MudCrab - thanks for the offer to look at the oss file. I have attached it as bootwiz.txt, as you suggested.

    View attachment bootwiz.txt

    The <oses> entry for the logical XP is id3614266572, which you can see from the name_template attribute. The last entry in <oses> just got added because I happened to have my external USB drive connected during a recent attempt (I use it as my backup drive).

    Regarding TI vs the copy wizard - I've tried both (yesterday I was using primarily the copy wizard). TI appears to delete the target partition before doing the restore, so it's similar to what the copy wizard does.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Mike
     
  20. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The first thing I noticed is that you're setting the Logical partition as Active. I don't know if that's causing a problem or not, but I would change it.
    Code:
    	<partitions>
    		<[B][COLOR="SandyBrown"]id1021976459[/COLOR][/B] begin="63" crc="33906" disk="791458024" fs="fat16" number="1" serial="568e3cf4" size="144522" type="6" />
    		<[B][COLOR="teal"]id2432713453[/COLOR][/B] begin="144585" crc="54011" disk="791458024" fs="ntfs" number="2" serial="c84ad0cc81d0cc68" size="40965750" type="7" />
    		<id2982867966 begin="41110398" crc="54011" disk="791458024" fs="ntfs" number="5" serial="f6efcd85a97541aa" size="24579387" type="7" />
    		<[B][COLOR="red"]id1663540773[/COLOR][/B] begin="65738043" crc="54011" disk="791458024" fs="ntfs" number="6" serial="c84ad0cc81d0cc68" size="41463702" type="7" />
    		<id3353375775 begin="63" crc="59436" disk="2620906858" fs="ntfs" number="1" serial="80ae0ba082edc701" size="312576642" type="7" />
    		<id3260075072 begin="63" crc="34026" disk="897906310" fs="fat16" number="1" serial="0fad3fe4" size="4030401" type="14" />
    	</partitions>
    
    		<id3614266572 boot_as_ms71="0" boot_as_os2="0" boot_cd_entry="0" [B][COLOR="Red"]boot_partition="1663540773"[/COLOR][/B] icon="icon_sys_win" language="english" lba="1" name_template="WinXP Logical 1" nthide="0" os_type="ntxp" use_manual_disks_order="0" write_boot="0">
    			<partitions>
    				<[B][COLOR="Teal"]id2432713453[/COLOR][/B] hidden="1" />
    				<[B][COLOR="Red"]id1663540773[/COLOR][/B] active="1" />
    			</partitions>
    		</id3614266572>
    Maybe change it to the FAT16 partition (if it's a primary parition).

    Code:
    		<id3614266572 boot_as_ms71="0" boot_as_os2="0" boot_cd_entry="0" boot_partition="1663540773" icon="icon_sys_win" language="english" lba="1" name_template="WinXP Logical 1" nthide="0" os_type="ntxp" use_manual_disks_order="0" write_boot="0">
    			<partitions>
    				<id2432713453 hidden="1" />
    				<[B][COLOR="SandyBrown"]id1021976459[/COLOR][/B] active="1" />
    			</partitions>
    		</id3614266572>
    What do you have your boot.ini partition(#) set to on the Logical partition?
     
  21. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks MC.

    I changed the active partition defined within the logical to be the FAT16 partition (which is where I have OSS installed). It's a regular primary.

    The boot.ini file is configured with partition(4). I know that's correct, because if I change that, it doesn't start to boot at all.

    FYI - I enabled boot logging on the logical drive and booted it in Safe Mode (it still hangs in the same spot). However, when I look inside the boot log file, it's full of entries saying that drivers aren't being loaded (that should be loaded). There are no error messages in that log, just lots of "Did not load driver xyz_name", and so on.

    I have no idea why it isn't loading the drivers, or why having a clone would effect loading the drivers like that.

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  22. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    I guess my brain took a vacation - I think the reason all of those drivers aren't being loaded is because I'm booting in safe mode.

    I thought I was on to something there for a minute. Too bad!

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  23. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The boot.ini partition(4) is what I would have figured to be correct.

    Right now I would say that OSS is booting properly to the Logical partition and that your bootsector is correct and that the boot.ini file is correct.

    A Google search brings up a lot on the "Did not load driver..." error messages in the boot log, but I didn't see anything too specific regarding a fix in a quick glance.

    I've got to call it a night. If I think of anything else, I'll post it.
     
  24. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks again for your assitance MudCrab. It's appreciated.

    Get some good rest - I've got to call it a night too.

    Cheers.

    Mike
     
  25. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Interesting thread, guys; I've been "reading the mail". I don't know why Mike has been unable to get this to work but it sounds like you're getting close.

    The only thing that I can add is that it is unnecessary to mark a logical partition as "Active" when using a boot manager. The boot manager's job is to boot the partition that you instruct it to boot. An "Active" flag is usually only used along with the standard Microsoft MBR to designate the primary partition that is to be booted. The MS MBR only searches the partition table to find the one primary partition that is marked "Active" and then jumps to that partition's boot record to boot it. When you're using a boot manager then the "Active" flag is not even used.

    Maybe OS Selector has its own use for an "Active" designator; I can't say because I don't use OSS for a boot manager, preferring GRUB.

    With GRUB and trying to do what you are doing, all you have to do is to make an image of a primary bootable partition with ATI and then restore the image to a logical partition, change the "sectors before" entry in the partition boot record, point GRUB to the logical partition and chainload (with any other Microsoft partitions hidden). For example, to boot an OS installed in the first logical partition:
    Code:
    unhide (hd0,4)
    rootnoverify (hd0,4)
    chainloader +1
    TrueImage seems to manage to set up the partition boot record properly when doing a restore, except that it sets "sectors before" to 63, and as you've found, you have to change this to be the absolute sector number of the start of your logical partition.

    I'm not sure why OSS isn't working for you but if you've got Paul and Brian working on the problem then you certainly have the right people helping out.
     
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