OSS and NVIDIA RAID problems

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by d_j_smith, Jun 23, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Posts:
    16
    This is my first post to this forum and I am a new user of Acronis Disk Director, although I bought version 10 last October.
    It has been my intention to set up a multi-boot system on my home built rig for some time now. I have been slow in doing this because I lacked motivation and I ran into some snags.
    Now I need to bone up on using multiple operating systems for professional reasons so the motivation is there.

    Let me describe the hardware first:

    Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    Hard Drives: 2 ea. WDC WD5000AAJS w/ NVIDIA STRIPE 931.52G (label = WINXP (C) in the first partition is 156 GB, the remaining space is unallocated)
    1 ea. WDC WD5000AAJS stand-alone SATA drive (the whole 500 GB is partioned for storing my data in a single drive, label = Shared (E))
    1 ea. WDC WD3200AAJB stand-alone PATA drive (there is an active partition of 111 GB on this drive, the remaining space is unallocated, label = XP64 (H))

    I have recently purchased a Seagate FreeAgent 1 TB USB drive for storing drive images. I am evaluating Acronis TrueImage software as of yesteday.

    When I built this system it was my first oportunity to use RAID. I took it slow and just installed Windows XP 64 on the PATA drive. I had set up the RAID array but I didn't use it for a while.
    Then I bought DD and installed Operating System Selector to the PATA drive (then it was C drive). Everything was working as expected to this point.

    I disconnected the PATA drive and installed Windows XP Pro to the first partition in the RAID 0 array. I did this because I had read about problems getting the SATA drive to boot for the first time with the PATA drive connected in forums about my motherboard.
    When I reconnected the PATA drive, I got a boot error (something like "cannot find a bootable device").
    Disconnecting the SATA array didn't help but I could still boot Win XP Pro with only the PATA drive disconnected.

    I ran out of time then. I left the PATA drive disconnected and continued using the computer with only Windows XP for several months.
    Recently, I installed DD in Win XP Pro. Last week, I bought the FreeAgent and I used it yesterday with TrueImage (and a USB HDD enclosure) to back up the PATA drive.
    I then formatted the PATA drive and reconnected it internally. I am able to boot with this hard drive connected now.
    Then I installed OSS in a 200 MB partition I created for it on the RAID 0 array (NTFS Active, label = OS_SEL (K)).
    When I rebooted I got the boot menu as expected but the USB mouse didn't work.
    What was worse was that Win XP Pro froze in the startup screen.
    I tried booting in Safe Mode and it froze after loading Windows\System32\giveio.sys.

    The only way I could start Windows was to press F6 to bypass the boot menu. I had to uninstall OSS.

    I obviously have a lot more to learn. I could use some help. Here are my objectives:

    1. Have Windows XP Pro, Windows XP 64 Pro, and Ubuntu Linux running in multi-boot configuration ASAP.
    2. Have the option to install other operating systems in the future.
    3. Most importantly, avoid screw-ups as this is my only PC at this time.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    Did the USB mouse work properly when you were using OSS from the PATA drive? Is Legacy USB support enabled in the BIOS?

    The OSS partition does not need to be Active (or even Primary). I think that may have been what caused the problem. If you reinstall OSS, make sure the XP partition is the Active partition. OSS can be installed to an already existing partition if you want to save a partition table slot for another Windows OS. For example, you could select to install the OSS files to the WD Shared(E) drive instead of to a dedicated partition on the RAID drive.

    I would place the XP installations on Primary partitions and keep them hidden from each other (each one will be independent of the other).

    Ubuntu can be installed in Logical partitions (minimum of "root" and "swap" partitions). Have you booted to the Ubuntu Live CD and made sure it can see your RAID drive setup correctly?
     
  3. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Posts:
    16
    Thanks for the quick reply MudCrab. It is taking me longer to find the answers to your questions than it did for your to reply.

    I don't remember if the USB mouse didn't work before. It has been 6 months or so. I think it did because I don't remember a problem with it. I'll have to check the BIOS on Legacy USB support. But first I want to answer your remaining questions.

    I didn't mention that I tried installing OSS on the Shared (E) drive first to shorten the problem description. I got the same problem I described in my first post. I read in this forum that there can be a problem installing OSS in the same drive with Windows after defragmentation so I created the partition. I didn't know what kind of partition I needed and I thought Active NTFS was safest. I agree, installing OSS in Shared (E) would be better, if it would work.

    What about using XP64 (K) for installing OSS. Could that work? It did before. Maybe I should create a logical partition for OSS on the PATA drive for flexibility.

    I got this book, A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux by Mark Sobell yesterday. To tell the truth, I haven't played with Linux since my PC processor was a 486. I booted to the included CD just now and have determined that Linux doesn't recognized my BIOS RAID. I should have thought of that. It doesn't seem to have a problem with the stand-alone drives however. I have a few hundred gigabytes to play with there.

    How about running all my Microsoft operating systems on the RAID array and using the PATA drive, and possibly a new or existing USB drive for all the Linux (and other OS) installations? Would that be easiest? Could I get acceptable performance?

    How about FreeBSD, BeOs, or Solaris? Am I likely to have the same problem with my BIOS RAID in these operating systems? I hate to get rid of the BIOS RAID. It seems like way too much work. I wanted to use the BIOS RAID because I read it was fastest.

    I'm going to post this and check my BIOS for legacy USB support now.

    Thanks again!

    P.S. I checked my BIOS. Legacy USB is enabled.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    If your mouse or keyboard isn't working, there isn't currently much that can be done to fix it. Acronis hasn't released an update in a long time and these types of problems seem to be coming up more and more.

    One thing you could try (if OSS is still installed) is to disable the CD-ROM drivers that OSS loads (the option is in the settings). For some reason, turning this off seems to help with an odd variety of problems.

    You could try it, but I doubt it would make a difference. You could also try installing OSS from the DD CD, if you haven't. Since OSS is booting, I don't think the problem is in the installation.

    If OSS isn't working with the partition combinations you've tried already, I don't think having it on the PATA drive would make a difference.

    Do you know what version of Ubuntu is included with the book? They release a new version every six months so the version included with the book may be one or two versions old. If it's not the most current, download the ISO from the Ubuntu site and see if it can see your hardware correctly.

    Some people do this. I tend to prefer not running an OS from a USB drive. As to acceptable performance, that's a matter of opinion.

    You would need to download the latest versions of these and boot them to their Live CD versions to test them without installing.
     
  5. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Posts:
    16
    Hi MudCrab,

    I am having trouble creating a bootable CD in DD. Here is the error I copied when prompted:

    Cannot load required components. Please reinstall Acronis Test Program. (0x18000B)
    Tag = 0x9078F2483C89C518
    ramdisk.dat (0x18000B)
    Tag = 0x6983D207431790E6

    I thought I did a complete install of DD. I am afraid of making my system unbootable however. Does OSS make changes to the BIOS? So far, I have been able to recover my system quickly. I don't want to get to a place where I can't. I think I will try installing to a partition on the PATA next.

    Regarding Ubuntu, I have version 8.10 with the book. I am downloading ver. 9.04 for AMD64 now.

    Regarding the mouse/keyboard. My keyboard is PS2 and it's always worked in OSS. The mouse is small beans to me if I can get what I need from the keyboard. I don't expect to spend all day in OSS, after all.

    I took a look at GAG yesterday. I like how you can test it with a floppy. It didn't work either though. GAG saw my RAID array as # 3 drive. I got the error:
    NTLDR is missing
    Press Ctl + Alt + Del to resume

    I am afraid to tell it to exchange drive letters. Isn't my RAID partion already C drive? It might work then but I don't know how to recover from that if it doesn't.

    Thanks
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    For the mouse, try using the PS2 or USB compatible option instead of Default and see if it makes any difference. This can be found under Tools >> Options >> Input Devices.

    If the boot manager doesn't see the RAID setup as a single drive, it won't work. It may even corrupt the RAID drives (if it writes to one of the drives, for example).

    With Media Builder, do you get the same error if you try to create an ISO? If you can create an ISO, you can burn that to a CD instead of doing it directly with Media Builder.
     
  7. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Posts:
    16
    I will, thanks.

    Oh, it sees my raid array as a single drive (if you're talking about GAG). It's just not where I expected it to find the drive (#3 instead of #1). GAG sees my PATA drive as #1 and doesn't offer to exchange drive letters for that one. That's why I'm leary of GAG on this machine.

    That's what I was using (Bootable Media Builder). It was the first thing I saw in the GUI. I checked the PDF file I got from the web site (Aconis Disc Director Suite 10.0 User's Guide) and that's the only method I saw there. What is the other method? Oh, I get it. It's another option in Media Builder. I'll try that now.

    What about OSS changing anything in the BIOS? The GAG documentation says it exchanges drive letters in the BIOS. Does OSS affect my BIOS at all? I didn't think it did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    It's fairly normal for RAID drives to be detected after other physical drives. Linux does this too. This "order" has nothing to do with the boot order. It's just the order in which the program gets them as it runs its detection scan.

    Media Builder is the main method of creating a bootable CD (either directly or via an ISO file). If you can't create one, you can contact Acronis Support and they should be able to provide you with a direct link to download the ISO file.

    Many boot managers have the option to change the BIOS drive order. This is a standard feature. OSS can do it too (though, it really only works for XP and earlier). The change does not survive a reboot and only affects the OS currently being booted. Note that the drive letters are not being swapped. The order of the drives as shown by the BIOS is just being changed.
     
  9. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Posts:
    16
    I found out what my problem was with Media Builder. I selected TI along with DD. I guess I have to buy it before I can put it on a CD.

    Thanks
     
  10. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Posts:
    16
    That's all I needed to know to give me the peace of mind I needed to try the "exchange drive letters" option in GAG. Yeah! It works! I don't have to pay for another boot manager either (bliss). That will save me money to buy TI if it works out. GAG follows a principle dear to my heart called KISS. I'm sure you know what that acronym means.

    I still like the rest of DD so far. I intend to put it and TI through a workout in the next few days. I have another thread in the TI forum that I will be using for more questions.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.