OSS 2 vistas

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by davcbr, Nov 21, 2007.

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  1. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    I am planning on trying to set up my portable to have two versions of Vista on it. It came pre-installed on a 250G HD, which I have partioned down with DD. My intention is to take a copy image [Ghost] of the current Vista and 'paste' it into another partition. I have read around the forums here quite a bit, and I have the impression this might not be as straight foerward as it would seem.

    Would I be better off with a 'copy partition'. Will there be problems when it comes time to boot it? Would ATI 11 be more appropriate?

    Any heads up appreciated
    thanx
    dc
     
  2. davidlhickman

    davidlhickman Registered Member

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    I used ATI to backup my C partition and then "recovered" the partition to a new drive. I did this in part to test ATI. I unplugged the old disk and plugged in the new one and it booted and ran without incident. Based on some of the postings I have seen here, I got a bit lucky. There are issues that may raise their ugly heads that I don't understand like drive signatures, partition lettering, and boot repairs. MudCrab has a post on how to do something like this and avoid doing a startup repair. I didn't need one but it sure wasn't because I'm so smart. I also backed up my XP partition on my soon to be deceased computer and restored it to a partition on the new drive.

    How do you plan to handle the dual booting issue? My luck with the OSS component of DD wasn't so good. OSS won't recognize OEM (HP in my case) Vista installations. Acronis Support has indicated that the developers have fixed the issue and a new build incorporating this fix is imminent. So I am waiting for that to come out before I mess with OSS anymore. If I get to my Christmas vacation without the new DD build, I may try the workaround of inserting the three XP files inot Vista so that OSS will see it.

    Good luck. Please document you experience as you go along. I'll be watching with great interest.
     
  3. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    These are the issues I was concerned with. I ahve seen that new peculiarities about the way Vista boots are causing enough troubles just restoring it to where it expects to be, let alone fooling it into thinking that it's where I tell it it is. I have been planning on getting a 'small & safe' version on a multi boot where it is the one enabled to see the internet. This way I can keep a fast restore without too much pain
    thanx
    dc
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I'm planning on running a test with this and OSS. I'm curious too and have yet to use OSS to boot multiple Vista's.

    Right now, I'm assuming the the following procedure would work, but I haven't tried it.

    Vista is installed (normal Retail or Microsoft OEM DVD installation).
    • Install OSS.
    • Boot to DD and make unallocated space for the new copy (or use Vista's Disk Management to shrink the Vista partition).
    • Reboot into Vista and let it detect the changes (edit BCD file with BCDEDIT if necessary due to partition resize).
    • Boot to DD and copy Vista to the unallocated space.
    • Set the copy partition Active.
    • Set the original Vista partition hidden.
    • Boot to the Vista DVD and use BCDEDIT to repair the BCD file on the copy's partition.
    • Reboot to OSS and hopefully it will detect the new Vista.
    • Check the menu properties for each Vista and make sure each has its partition Active and the other's hidden.
    • Boot into each from OSS and see if it works.

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

    Edit: Added info on using the BCD file's "boot" option to avoid needing to run BCDEDIT to fix the BCD file.

    If you edit the BCD file as outlined in this thread, you shouldn't have to edit it after the partition resize or the copy as long as the booting partition is Active and the other partition is Hidden.

    • Edit the BCD file as in this thread.
    • Install OSS.
    • Boot to DD and make unallocated space for the new copy (or use Vista's Disk Management to shrink the Vista partition).
    • Reboot into Vista and let it detect the changes.
    • Boot to DD and copy Vista to the unallocated space.
    • Set the copy partition Active.
    • Set the original Vista partition hidden.
    • Reboot to OSS and hopefully it will detect the new Vista.
    • Check the menu properties for each Vista and make sure each has its partition Active and the other's hidden.
    • Boot into each from OSS and see if it works.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  5. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    I started this way
    I try to 'shrink' the partition Vista came on with the Vista utility. This would only allow me down to 135 G from 233 G. I then used DD to resize to 30 G, from the boot CD using the 'safe' DD. The first reboot into Vista went normal, except for a cryptic message saying that Vista was installing the driver for something new; it didn't give me the chance to see exactly what. Boots after this went well & normal.

    I have divided the remainder into other partitions: I intend to have my second Vista go into a 15 G partition that follows the original. I did this within Vista using DD. I do not think that the Vista CD that came with my Gateway has the BCDEDIT. I suppose the way to find out is to boot it & see. I'll probably have to wait until Monday and see if I can borrow a disk at work.

    Thanx for your help guys
    dc
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Vista's Disk Management will usually only let you shrink the partition by 1/2 at the most. Using DD gives you a lot more control over the size.

    BCDEDIT is in the Windows\System32 folder (if I remember correctly). You can access it from a BartPE (XP based) CD to do repairs if your Vista DVD won't let you.

    Also, running the BCDEDIT program to set the device entries to "boot" as outlined in the first post of this thread, should make it where you can copy the partition, have it active and the other one hidden and have Vista boot okay without needing to edit the BCD file. I've edited my post above to show this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  7. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    OK. I have read the thread you suggested, as well as several others over the weekend. I have an image that I did soon after aquiring the computer, and would like to use this. My impression from my readings is that the following will work:
    1. Restore this older Vista image to an available partition.
    2. Boot with DD [safe] and set this partition = active, original partition = hide
    3. Boot with BartPE and on the newly restored Vista do

    bcdedit /set {default} device boot <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot <ENTER>

    Removing the CD should now allow a boot to the new partion.

    Some additional questions come to mind since covering the material...
    Somewhere I read that it is best to install the OSS in a partition that carries no OpSys. I'm currently going with 'It can't hurt' Am I missing something maybe?
    It was also said that it is best to do all of your installs of various op systems and then install OSS to then find them. A difficulty with following all the threads is that they do span a lot of time, and various versions of Disk Suite are being used. I have the latest [v10.2160].
    Taking an immediate image of the new partition should allow me to do restores with this image without any further mods, except for when installing on a new disk? Or does this preventative medicine cover this also?
    I am using Ghost 12. I don't think there should be a problem, but we'll find out. Do you see any advantage to True Image [ I notice you generally refer only to this program ]?

    Thanx so much
    dc
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Your steps should work okay. I have also run a test using TI 11 (8,053) to restore Vista to a different partition, then hiding the original and it booted just fine, no problems, no need to edit the BCD file. TI 11 handles Vista a lot better than TI 10. I haven't used Ghost, but I assume it should work okay. Use whatever imaging program work for you.

    I have used DD 10 (build 2,160) since it was released. All the "bugs" you've read about still exist in this build. This includes the "cross-link" bug and the "grayed-out checkboxes" bug. Whether or not Acronis will fix them in the next build, who knows.

    This is personal preference. I've done it both ways. The reason I prefer installing OSS to a non-OS partition is that if you install it to an OS partition and later restore an older image of that OS partition, you either lose your OSS files (because the image didn't include them) or your OSS files are replaced with "old" versions and your system may not boot correctly. If the OSS files are on a non-OS partition, restoring an OS partition will not replace or bother any of the OSS files.

    Again, I've done this both ways. There are two ways, either one works.
    1) Install one OS, install OSS, install another OS (OSS should find it), install another OS (OSS should find it), etc. Between each OS installation, you just make sure the properties for that OS are set correctly in OSS. This way is usually the easier way, but is seems that most people who post with problems don't do it this way.
    OR
    2) Install (or restore) all your OS's and then install OSS. If done this way, you MUST follow certain rules or OSS gets screwed up. This is usually used when someone has several images and they want to restore them all and then setup OSS.

    If you are asking if you can image an OS partition after OSS is setup and then restore the image back to the same partition without causing problems, then that should be the case. If you restore the image to another partition, you'll have to check your OSS settings, boot.ini settings, etc. and make sure they're correct.
     
  9. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    I think I'm going to start this tonight or tomarrow [not much time for this stuff lately]. Mudcrab, your last post you referred to boot.ini; I assume this was a mis-speak, or does DD 10.2061 version of OSS still need this work-around? Does Vista itself do anything with those three files?

    Finally, I am a little confused on the partition lettering, and the need for primary/logical, active, etc.
    Currently I have a 10G partition = D: that was obviously setup under vista [offset 2048 sectors] as the first partition which held the restore files. Next is a very small unused space that I think got created when I was trying to shrink my Vista partition [ I have a notion that this may have been somehow gleaned from an offset at the beginning of C: when Vista was installed. It is about that size]. Then there is my Vista partition = C: which is 30G. Following this is an unused space = 15G where I intend to restore my second Vista image, which is the result of my deleting a 15G partition = F: [my CD/DVD = E:].
    Now, I plan to boot DD and recreate that partition, and I want Vista to think it is C:. Of course, the original C: will be hidden. Do I leave the partition un-named and Vista will make assumptions, or do I label it C: or F:?

    Then, does an op system need to be on a primary partition? then how do folks get 15 XPs on one system? Does OSS also exchange which is primary among the partitions along with which is active?

    thanx for the help you have been giving me on this
    dc
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    No, it wasn't mis-speak. I was just noting that you may need to verify these are correct after restoring a multi-boot system. This is used by XP (and previous versions) and not by Vista so you don't need to worry about it if you're only multi-booting Vista.

    So your partition layout is like this:
    [D: 10GB ?? format][unallocated ??MB][C: NTFS Primary Active 30GB][unallocated 15GB]

    Leave the space for the new partition unallocated until you're ready to boot to DD and create the partition. Don't let your current Vista see that partition before you create the image (you may already have your image so this may not matter).

    I would label the "old" vista partition and the "copy" something different. Like "Vista1" and "Vista2" and not worry about drive letters. You can't assign any drive letters when booted to the DD CD anyway. When you restore the "old" Vista image to the "new" partition, the partition label will be whatever it was in the image. You'll need to change it after the restore, either using DD or in Vista after you boot into it.

    Normally, yes. If the current Vista partition is the Active partition, then the "copy" will also need to be Active when it's the one being booted.

    They use Logical partitions. It's a little more tricky, but works fine. You can also use a boot manager like BOOTIT NG and create unlimited Primary partitions. Using Logicals is a lot safer, though.

    Not which partitions are Primary. Only which is the Active partition. Whether a partition is Primary or Logical is determined when the partition is created (or converted).
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I just installed OSS on my test setup and it went perfectly.

    [Vista1 Primary NTFS partition][Vista2 Primary NTFS partition][OSS FAT32 Primary partition]

    Vista2 was created by restoring a Vista1 TI 11 (8,053) image of Vista1.

    As stated previously (in post #:cool:, I could already switch between Vista1 and Vista2 by using DD to change the booting Vista partiton to Active and Hiding the other Vista partition.

    To install OSS I did the following:
    • Booted to DD (manual mode)
    • Created small Primary FAT32 partition for OSS at end of drive
    • Set the OSS partition Active
    • Set both the Vista partitions as Unhidden
    • Rebooted to the DD/OSS CD and selected to install OSS
    • Selected the Custom Install option
    • Selected the OSS partition as the destination partition
    • Installed OSS
    • Removed the DD/OSS CD
    • Rebooted to the OSS menu
    • Both Vistas were found correctly
    • Set the Properties for Vista1 so that Vista2's partition was Hidden
    • Set the Properties for Vista2 so that Vista1's partition was Hidden
    • Both Vista entries already had the correct partition set Active (you should verify this though)
    • Booted successfully into both, no problems
     
  12. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    Well, I did it.
    I did some round about things, because I wanted to try putting the Vista image on a logical partition. I ended up doing a ghost retore to a primary partition [didn't want to load it onto a logical partition] and then doing DD copy partition where I am offered the choice.
    Once I had it in place, I did the BCDEdit thing [ device = boot, etc ] and it would not boot. So I deleted the partition, copied it again, this time as a primary, did the BCDEdit again, and this time I got the Vista boot error screen. I then went back, and all the BCD fields were saying device = unknown. I repeated the edit, the bootup stopped, but there was an offer to start Vista normally, which I took. And there it was, the system I had imaged when I first got the computer [note that I was also doing all the appropriate 'hide partition, this one is active, etc]. I switched back, and was able to boot the Vista from where I left off.

    So it seems that I may have revealed there is still something that needs to be understood about the Vista boot. I 'repaired' the BCD BEFORE its first boot, but it still needed to have the device = boot modification again in order to work. I wish I was paying closer attention when this happened; it is possible I did something that caused it to fail the first time. My thought at the moment is that it may have been because my image was of a c: drive that was = 135G, and the current c: = 30G [ ~7G actual files ].

    Mudcrab, others, thanks for all the help. It's a lot more fun learning this stuff with your guidance. Now onto the next stage, which I think ought to be another topic.
     
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