OSS - Problems with 2nd HDD and CD/DVD (Bizarre stuff!)

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by mike949, Sep 16, 2007.

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  1. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    I have a Dell Mobile Precision Notebook, model M4300, and have been using Acronis TI, DD, and OSS successfully with the single internal hard disk (which is an SATA 120 GB disk), for a few weeks.

    I removed the internal CD/DVD drive, and replaced it with a 2nd hard drive using the modular bay HDD enclosure. I then purchased an external CD/DVD drive that connects to the laptop via USB 2.0.

    So I have my original "regular" internal drive (which is SATA), the modular bay HDD as my 2nd drive (which is IDE/ATA, specifically ATA-6), and the external CD/DVD (attached via USB 2.0).

    There are 2 issues, the most serious being that Acronis OSS does not recognize the external CD/DVD drive (I have the WinXP installation CD in it). By the way, the Dell BIOS recognizes the external CD/DVD fine, and lets me boot from any CD in it. When I had been using the internal CD/DVD previously, OSS would recognize any OS CD in the drive, and include it in the boot menu. Now it doesn't recognize it at all, so I don't have a way of hiding partitions and booting to an installation CD. I suppose I could un-install OSS completely and use DD to manually hide everything, and then use the CD/DVD to install, but the what's the point of having OSS if I have to completely un-install it and re-install it (and manually patch the bootwiz.oss file each time I re-install), each time I want to do something from the CD?

    The second issue, which is quite bizarre, is that after booting into my existing Windows XP installation (one of several OSes I have installed on the SATA drive), upon going to DisK Mgmt (under Control Panel, Admin, Comp Mgmt), the Disk Manager shows the 2nd drive as "Disk 0", and the regular internal "Primary" drive as "Disk 1" (the opposite of what one would expect). The thing is, even when I un-install OSS, it still boots to the regular internal SATA fine, even though XP is showing it has "Disk 1", instead of "Disk 0", and the 'boot.ini' file still has the rdisk(#) value set to "rdisk(0)". It's really wild. Apparently the computer BIOS sees the two disks in the expected order (regular internal SATA as disk 0, and 2nd HDD as disk 1), however, the PnP Disk Enumeration logic within Windows XP flips them after booting!

    I found a reference to this phenomenen in a MS KB article, as follows:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/825668

    Apparently this re-ordering is unique to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (and I have confirmed it within Vista also!). Basically, everything after Windows 2000 has this potentially weird behaviour. It's tied to the scenario where you have multiple disk controllers. I'm using a SATA and an old fashioned IDE/ATA (it's specifically ATA-6) drive, so each is basically connected to separate controllers. The modular bay where I installed the 2nd HDD is limited to conventional IDE/ATA, and cannot support SATA.

    My system appears to operate fine, and all of the OSes that I had already installed into various partitions still boot fine (even though the disk numbering appears to have changed once booted into XP, etc).

    My question is - Does anyone know how I can get Acronis OSS to recognize my external CD/DVD drive?

    Any help is appreciated!

    Mike
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Mike,

    I don't know of a way to get OSS to recognize the USB CD/DVD drive if it's not. The BIOS doesn't have a problem with it, but for some reason OSS won't see it.

    The only choice you have to install is to bypass OSS. You don't need to uninstall OSS to do this. In fact, I would recommend that you don't uninstall OSS. Just deactivate OSS and select one of your OS's to be the default. This will leave OSS installed along with all of its files, it will just boot directly into the selected OS.

    Then boot to DD and hide the other OS partitions, set the new OS partition Active, etc. and then boot from the CD drive normally and install the new OS. Once it's installed, either install DD/OSS in the new OS (if it's Windows) or boot to the DD CD and reactivate OSS. It should find the new OS and add it to the existing menu.
     
  3. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks MudCrab.

    Of course you're right that I don't need to uninstall OSS. In fact, I've de-activated and re-activated OSS several times over the past few weeks (I have it installed in its own partition).

    I don't know why I was thinking uninstall - maybe I was just frustrated.

    It seems like every time I come up with a new idea for my configuration that will allow me the flexibility and performance I desire, I run into another road-block.

    In this case, both Windows XP (with its weird disk enumeration reversal), and Acronis OSS (with it's lack of support for external CD/DVD drives), are both letting me down. It can be quite frustrating at times.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Mike
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    On my ASUS P5B-Deluxe/WiFi computer, OSS doesn't see my internal DVD drive or my external USB DVD drive. I had to do "manual" installs too because of this. Both drives boot fine, just as in your case.
     
  5. mike949

    mike949 Registered Member

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    Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one MudCrab!

    Have a good night.

    Mike
     
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