OS Selector Does Not Detect Copy

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by RFServices, Aug 23, 2006.

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  1. RFServices

    RFServices Registered Member

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    I am partitioning my daughters laptop as she will be using it at University shortly. She can then have one bootable version for UNI (virius's and all) and one for Home (clean). The laptop came with XP Pro SP2 preinstalled (No distribution disks) The simplest way to solve the problem I thought was to shrink the preinstalled C: partition creating sufficient unallocated space for the alternative partition. This was successful. I then Copied the Primary partition. This worked and I can now see a new partition (E:). Then using OS Selector specifically the OS Detector I set about making it visible. Both Partitions are visible though strangely the copy is now shown as D: rather than E: however I flag it as PRI,Boot,ACT (and all combinations to get it visible). However the next step fails to find the new partion or add it to the boot list of OSS. I can only boot the original C: partition.

    What am I doing wrong?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2006
  2. Batfink

    Batfink Registered Member

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    Unfortuanley, you are doing lots wrong.... You cannot copy an os from one drive letter, i.e., C, to another drive letter, that are both visible... this causes alll sorts of drive reassignment errors, windows does now know where to look for the files, as according to the OS you cloned, they are all on C...

    Cloning an OS and booting into it is not as straight forward as you may be led to believe.. it took me many hours to find a suitable solution that worked for me, which ultimately ended up in first designing a partition layout that would work.

    If Im also not mistaken, Ims ure I remember reading a while ago when researching how to achieve this... a bootable partition must reside within the first 2gb of a hard drive...

    The initial boot partition is crucial to achieving a multiple boot environment.. this is why my drive layout is the image shows...

    My 150mb C drive, is where the boot files are installed, and OS selector resides (installed after OS setup). I then have 4 logical partitions. My first OS is installed on the first logical partition, which is D.. this can then be cloned to the other 3 partitions, which are then hidden. I can then install OS Selector, edit the boot.ini file, this tells OS Selector about the other OSes, then I edit their properties to hid each of them from each other. This is important, as they all must boot up with the same drive letter.

    To save a bit of space, I move my swapfile to another drive, as all 4 OSes can share it....

    I have provided alot of info and how best to do this in many threads.. but will be happy to help, if I can....
     

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  3. RFServices

    RFServices Registered Member

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    Duplicate removed
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
  4. RFServices

    RFServices Registered Member

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    OK. Clearly not as simple as I thought. Trust me for being niaive. I really do think the Acronis people should put some info on their support site to do this as a lot of people would appear to have fallen foul of this general issue.

    Anyway I have looked carefully at what you have said and done a bit of reading. And I can see what I need to achieve.......but. There is one problem in achieving a similar layout to the one you have designed. This I will describe later, but for now I will try to describe what my plan is and hopefully get a better mark than my last one!

    What I have is now a laptop with two partitions ( I have deleted the cloned XP that could not be found by OSS) These are
    1) a partition that seems to contain the distribution software and boots into a system restore program that allows restoration of the disk back to its distribution setup status,
    2) a partion with XP installed in it identified as C: and Primary Active

    Now if I am understanding what you have said correctly, to achieve something similar to your layout, I must first define a C: partition that only has the boot kernal (Boot.ini ntlldr etc). Then build the first genuine XP partition as a D:. Then do a copy from the D to create the next OS, but do it to a hidden partition so it does not get a drive letter but it will still be Active.

    Then go back and install OS Selector on the mini C: partition, presumably this is actually done from the first OS (D:), as will all of the above? Then run OS Selector (how will this be stand alone from the boot CD? or am I being thick again?) and all the partitions including the hidden ones should detect? Will there be any subsequent editing of the C: Boot.ini required? If so it would be handy to see a copy of your boot.ini from your C: partition.

    This would all seem logical, no pun intended, but I have one minor problem. This is that the distribution operating system , XP , is installed in a partition as C:. As far as I can see I have no way of making this work as D: as all the references will be wrong! If this is true then my only way forward is to trash the lot, buy yet another copy of XP, as no distribution disks came with the system, and start from scratch with a completely blank canvass. Please tell me there is a way around this that does not involve 10 million registry edits!

    By the way in my reading I found out that the restriction you mentioned of being within the first 2GB of the disk was one that applied to NT up to V4. But it does not impact XP/NTFS (Stated in the appendix of the Acronis manual)

    Thanks for your help so far. It is very much apprecieated
     
  5. Batfink

    Batfink Registered Member

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    Im glas youve grasped the basic conecpt of it quite well...!!!

    I will address your last point first... if it is a "resotre", then I would imagine it will only install to the C drive, as it will probably rearrange the disk structure to suit its own needs, afterall, you would be effectively restoring to factory install - however, Ive never actually used one, so dont really know, but would imagine this is the case... so yes you would have to purchase a reatil/oem version to ovtain the cd... its a right pain, especially when you have just bought anew pc, you should get the software too....

    Anyone, there is one product that would do the job, probably quite nicely for you, called HYPEROS (google it to find out more..), this will automatically clone an OS on C to any other drive... I was a beta tester for it, but I preferred my mehtod, as it was less destructive, straightforward and only involved simple partition hiding... HYPEROS would make all instances of a cloned OS visible, but reassign all of the drive letters accordingly... I thought it was a good product, but was over complicated.

    Yes.. OS Selector will not detect the presence of the cloned OSes, as they will not have added themselves to the boot.ini, they way they would if you were to do a standard dual boot install...

    You can see mine here...

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=814872&postcount=2

    The only active partition at any time is C, the rest are logical partitions... OS selector install on C does the job of hiding/unhiding the partitions when you choose to boot them, and is a process which was a little tricky to setup...

    Perhaps the most tricky part of the process to get OS working, is the next bit... which took me a long time to fugure out, and is perhaps complicated the the was OSS tries to protect OS folders by moving them into a hidden folder, so they are invisible from each other, and cannot be damaged.

    So, when you have cloned your other OSes from the first, and ensured they are all hidden (apart from the first), boot into the first one, install OSS and choose custom install, and select the C drive for the location. OSS will then only detect the first original install... Edit your boot.ini like mine, then run OSS again, and it will now detect the others... now for the tricky part...

    Each OS will have its own ICON, you need to go to the folder properties of each of these, and remove the FOLDERS from the list under the FOLDERS selection in the tree... DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDERS THEMSELVES, JUST REMOVE THEM FROM THE LIST, this will prevent OSS trying to protect them which causes all sorts of problems.

    You must also hide/unhide the partitions fromt he PARTITIONS section in the tree, unhide the one the OS is on, for the ICON you are working in, and hide all the others... this ensures that it will be D when you boot into it, as the others wont be visible. You should end up with, for each ICON properties, a visible C drive, and the partition where the respective OS is... all other OSes should be hidden. Do this for each of the cloned OSes properties..

    I found it easier at the start to just work with the orignial one, and a single clone.. before adding the others to the boot.ini.. so you just have the 2.. until you understand how it all works.

    I may see if I can do a step by step tutorial, as many seem keen to know this method, and it does get a little complicated in stages.. but I can assure you that once you get your head around it, it is a piece of cake to setup... and Ive been using this now for a number of years...

    I will help further if I can.. good luck!!
     
  6. nusrat

    nusrat Registered Member

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    batfink, i looked at the hyperos sites (vendor & forums), and still can't get a concrete picture of exactly what their various products (including OneClick) accomplish -- i.e. in technical terms, not in marketing hyperbole.

    "All" I want is this: to take an existing installation of Windows, from ANY partition, and copy it to ANY other partitions, including "several" such copies existing simultaneously on one or multiple HDDs which already have drive-letter assignments, and to have the copying process take care of all the Windows internal dependencies on drive-letters (etc.) which must be changed in order to successfully boot from the target partition, through the point of successfully completing login as Administrator.

    IF, when copying, the product doesn't take care of the need to change the HAL for use on machines with different motherboards etc., I can deal with that by buying Acronis Universal Restore (which handles the HAL & hardware drivers, but can't handle changes in drive-letters and partition layout).

    IF the product can't handle changes in partition SIZE, I can deal with that, by using Acronis TrueImage.

    If the product doesn't take care of the boot.ini files, I can do that manually; likewise for the registry entries in the target partition which assign letters to partitions other than the partition currently being copied-to.

    I'm willing to live with the complex multiple steps which I anticipate needing in order to integrate Acronis with the "candidate product" I'm seeking.

    But I don't want anything which uses virtualization or any special boot-manager or mucking with hardware-resident bootstrap IPL code, etc.

    In other words, I want the end result to be the same as if I had manually reinstalled the OS multiple times on different partitions.

    I don't expect the product to fix all the explicit drive-letter references which exist in .lnk (shortcut) files, .ini files, third-party products, or any registry entries which aren't essential to the goal of completing a login.

    Windows Product Activation in XP isn't a concern, because I'm doing this at a location which has a volume license.

    Which product(s) can do this?

    thx

    P.S. -- no partition hiding, either. The product mustn't change the state of which HDDs and/or partitions are (in-) visible to others when booted. Also, please tell me about any products which comes "close" to these requirements, with details of the limitations. Thanks again, I know it's a lot to ask.

    [edit] btw, about how Universal Restore can't handle changes in drive-letters and partition layout -- I had to find that out by reading the manual for TI WKS. Yesterday, an Acronis sales rep told me exactly the opposite. I EXPLICITLY asked if I could use UR to migrate to a different partition-order and drive-letter and get a bootable partition, and he said "yes". :(
     
  7. Batfink

    Batfink Registered Member

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    Your asking for an awful lot, with little room for compromise.. my way is simple, but the only reason it works is that the drive letter for each OS remains the same, and each OS partition is hidden from each other...

    I think you should look at hyperos... this does all the leg work for you, clones the OS, makes all the drive letter reassignments.. and all instances are visible to each other, and each have their own drive letter...

    In thechnical terms... you can install a single OS onto C, copy it to any other partiton and drive letter, it will make all the necessary internal drive letter reference changes for you.. you literally install it once, and within a couple of clicks it will do everything for you!!

    Not to sure about then being able to use it in other pcs with different hardware... but then you are looking more for deployment solutions rather than a simple multiboot standalone system.
     
  8. nusrat

    nusrat Registered Member

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    Actually, I'm willing to compromise significantly. I apologize for not making that clearer. My non-negotiable items are (1) make it bootable, and (2) no proprietary residue (virtualization, boot manager, etc.).
    My current needs *this week* could compromise on the HyperOS limitation of copy-only-from-C-drive, but eventually I need to go further: for various reasons, I almost never use C:\ as a boot/system partition; so, after I clone C:\ to, say, F:\, then spend months using F:\, accumulating masses of customization of Win settings, third-party products, etc., I'll need to be able to copy F:\ to G:\ and have it at least be bootable through login.

    That's ok, as I said, I can use UR for that.

    So, in your testing of HyperOS, you actually saw this aspect working successfully?
    And in which product? Right now, they list OneClick, HOS2006, HOS2004, and G*d knows what other flavors...
    Can you grok the primary fundamental difference between HOS200x and OneClick?

    Also, are you at all surprised about what I said about UR? Did you have any particular (possibly erroneous) ore-conceptions about it's capabilities?
     
  9. Batfink

    Batfink Registered Member

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    One click is a lightweight version of hyperOS and only allows 3 clones of an original install from the c drive, I think HyperOS can do upto 22, and will clone any OS from any partition to any partition..

    Your other point...

    Surely to have a ture multiboot.. you need aboot manager!! Although I know once youve done the clone, you can set whichever partition as the default, then disable the boot manager...

    Im nor familiar with UR.. sorry...
     
  10. nusrat

    nusrat Registered Member

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    Thx, I saw the bit about 11/22/etc on their site, but not about "from ANY partition".
    I'm reeeeeeeally curious as to the mechanism of the limitation on the number of clones. The "22" number could be related to the number of available drive letters, but the 3/11 number makes me nervous: how could such a limitation be enforced without the product leaving hooks someplace on the disks involved? Otherwise, I don't see how they could prevent a customer from using any one of their products to clone <xxx> copies on to one disk, then another target disk, ad infinitum. For that matter, how could they keep someone from using a cloned copy as the source for second-generation cloning?

    Yes, I meant "no PROPRIETARY residue (virtualization, boot manager, etc.)". IOW, no "Xyz SuperDuper Boot Commander" add-on, just vanilla msft ntldr, etc.

    OK, thought maybe you had read or heard things about it, not used it.

    About my other question, which of their products were you testing, and did you personally experience success with the claim of making all the necessary internal drive letter reference changes?

    Thanks again!
     
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