OSS cannot see Vista on Dell E520

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by MatthewE, Apr 3, 2007.

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

    MatthewE Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Given the problems people have been having, I have started with baby steps. I have a Dell E520, brand new with Vista preinstalled. I have also installed DDSuite Build 2610.

    After OSS is installed and reboots, the only OS listed in OSS is "Unknown Operating System" which I believe to be located on a small 55 MB Fat16 primary partition without a drive letter. This is Dell's Diagnostic Utility, which boots successfully! Congrats OSS!

    Seriously, though, running OS Detection Wizard on drive C: <OS> results in the dreaded "No new operating system found" screen. What the heck?
     
  2. MatthewE

    MatthewE Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Proper course of action?

    Follow-up question:

    If OSS can see OS CDs, can it also see Dell Vista Operating System disks?

    I'm wondering if I should:
    1. format the whole drive,
    2. partition it into 3 primary, 1 extended,
    3. use the XP CD to format the XP partition,
    5. reboot,
    6. install XP,
    7. install OSS in XP,
    8. boot into OSS, insert Dell's Vista CD (hope to God that OSS sees it?),
    9. Edit the OSS CD Properties, putting the primary partitions on forced hide,
    10. Save and reboot
    11. In OSS, boot the Vista CD
    12. Format the Vista partition using the Vista CD
    13. Reboot
    14. In OSS, boot the Vista CD
    15. Install Vista
    16. Reboot to OSS, hide partitions for the new Vista, boot Vista
    17. Reboot to OSS, hide partitions for XP, boot XP

    Sound crazy? Well, it does to me, but whatever. Why doesn't OSS see my VISTAo_O?? If it did, I could leave Vista alone and just install XP on a new primary partition....

    Speaking of which, how does one get Vista to make primary partitions? I can shrink a drive and create a simple logical drive in Vista, but I don't see a primary partition option. Do you have to boot from the Vista CD?

    Thanks.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    Re: Proper course of action?

    My Vista partition seems to be staying in OSS correctly now, but it was having problems before with getting corrupted. I had to use the OS Detection Wizard to re-find it. It found it every time, though.

    If you can't get OSS to recognize your Vista partition, you might try the "cheat method" and place the following XP files in the root of your Vista C drive: boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM, ntldr

    These three files are in the root directory of any XP installation. Make sure boot.ini info is correct. I don't know if OSS uses it for Vista, but it may use the info to boot the right partition. With these files, OSS should find Vista, though it will probably give it the XP icon instead of the Vista icon.

    This worked for me just fine until I updated to build 2,160. After that it found Vista okay with the wizard.
     
  4. MatthewE

    MatthewE Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Re: Cheat Method

    Thanks for the reply. I've heard of this method, and I may give it a try. But, it would be great to hear from Acronis on this. Is there a file I could tell the OSS wizard to use for booting to Vista? Obviously, boot.ini is gone, along with the other files above. So, what method does OSS 2160 use to find Vista? As others have sentimented here, how hard is it to find an operating system in a folder C:\Windows ?

    My guess is that it can't find my Vista because it was pre-installed by Dell, along with two other partitions of unknown use and value. Perhaps I should call them to find out what these partitions are for.

    So what's the difference here between your Vista and mine? Perhaps this information will help:

    When OSS is deactivated, it asks which OS to load. Since in mine I only have the unknown OS, I can only select that. But, rebooting to that loads Vista, not the Dell Diagnostics Utility. Perhaps the Vista boot has been removed from the C: OS partition and placed in the FAT16 partition along with Dell's own alterations to check the computer before booting. When OSS is loaded, the Dell mechanism thinks there's a problem and boots the Diagnostics Utility. Possible?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    Re: Proper course of action?

    I have 1 Vista partition, 2 XP Pro partitions and 2 Linux partitions in my OSS menu. Vista and the XP's are installed on my RAID array. The Linux boots are on two separate drives. This is a custom setup so I don't have any of Dell's "unknown" partitions.

    If I select to deativate OSS, I get to select from the entire list.

    I think Dell is doing something wierd with the way the computer boots in order to support the system restore option or dvd playback option or whatever other options they have. Perhaps someone using OSS with a Dell will respond to this thread.
     
  6. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Posts:
    63
    Re: Proper course of action?

    I'm sure Acronis tested their newer OSS before releasing it with ADD 2160, but there seems to be many configurations they didn't cover, which makes sense in the PC world since there's so many variations.
    I myself have problems reproducing OSS 2160 incapacities to detect Vista, it works everytime; but of course I can't simulate all situations out there.

    What comes out of this is, I think, of one the GREAT shortcomings of Acronis OS Selector: the lack of a manual configuration, where one could direct the loader to the partition and force it to try chainloading whatever may be there.
    GRUB boot menu can be thus edited and can chainload win2k/xp/vista; you just have to tell it which partition to look. There should be such an 'advanced' function in AOSS, to be used when all else fails and where the wizard is useless.

    But of course, before anything else, Acronis will have to sort out those exceptions where OSS can't see Vista.
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    I'm not an owner of a machine with the Dell partition, but Dan Goodell has written extensively about the innards of Dell media and recovery partitions. Perhaps some of this will help:

    http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/index.htm
     
  8. MatthewE

    MatthewE Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Posts:
    10
    Re: Dan Goodell webpage

    Wow! Thanks Mark, that's a really great reference. Dan Goodell has written a lot on that, and it may solve my woes or point me in the right direction. I appreciate it. Thanks again. I will read it as soon as I get a chance.

    Alas, exams are upon me for the last time. After 7 years of university and two degrees, I would like to finish with a bang. So, I'm devoting my time to some school work for the rest of April. To the non-expert, formatting and repartitioning drives can be a real time-eater, so it's off the priority list.

    Please, if anyone has other comments or advice, feel free to write. I will check up on this forum and this thread in particular, but I may be silent for awhile. Thanks to all who have replied.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  9. dscrap

    dscrap Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Posts:
    156
    Re: Dan Goodell webpage

    In the same boat... OSS does not detect my Vista partion at all. I am doing a dual boot with OSX and it sees the OSX partition and will boot to it. I have to deactivate OSS and boot with my Vista CD to manually set the Vista partition back to active using the command prompt and diskpart. After that, I can boot into Vista, but I loose OSX. If I open OSS in vista, it sees OSX but not Vista regardless if I am in Vista or not. I have DD 2160... Any ideas?
     
  10. nuljet

    nuljet Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Posts:
    63
    Re: Dan Goodell webpage

    Then use darwin, or vista's bootloader, to dual boot.
    Or read this thread again for a possible solution.
     
  11. takisis666

    takisis666 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Posts:
    8
  12. MatthewE

    MatthewE Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Posts:
    10
    You seem to be right. In a moment of frustration, I formatted everything using DD10.2160.

    Then I tried to install XP. I have a XP SP2 CD/DVD whatever it is (yes, a legal version), but after the initial setup, it can't enter Windows setup. The blue screen of confusion appears which reads: An unexpected error has occurred... yada yada yada... STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF78E2524, 0xC0000034, 0x0000000, 0x0000000).

    I've seen this screen before, but I'm not too sure what it means. Perhaps the install CD doesn't recognize the brand new harddrive? This is plausible since a large set of drivers are installed in the preceeding screen. Problem is, I don't know where to find my harddrive driver. Dell's website doesn't have one, and I'm not sure which file it could be on any of the install CDs.

    So, I installed Vista from the Reinstallation DVD. (First I deleted all partitions using Vista's install DVD, created a new partition, then I rebooted, used DD10 to create a XP partition and a (logical) data partition.) OSS works fine with the new install of Vista.

    But, here's the other funny thing. When OSS loads on startup, it cannot see the XP CD. In Vista, OSS can see the CD. Again, I guess it's a driver thing.

    Any ideas?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.