Restoring Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by AricCougar, May 22, 2009.

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  1. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    Restoring Acronis Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

    Restoring Acronis Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

    I just purchased Acronis True Image to take a full partition backup of Vista (IE7), Vista (IE:cool:, XP (IE6), XP (IE7), XP (IE:cool:, and Win7 x64 (IE:cool:.

    After partitioning 50GB partitions for each of these, then using EasyBCD I have been able to get the 2 Vista and 1 XP to properly multiboot together. However I cannot get a 2nd or 3rd XP to work. The Boot Screen shows all 3 XP options, labeled correctly, but always loads the same XP.

    My purpose in buying Acronis True Image is to make these partition images, so i can restore them as they are broken through testing. But I can't get the restored Acronis Images to multiboot properly, at least as far as the multiple XP instances go.

    Does someone have a solution for how to properly do this? I'm guessing there are some other files that needed specific editing, such as the boot.ini, in some or all of the instances. Appreciate any help. Thanks.

    (Also, when restoring these cloned XP's into the 3 partitions, should i be restoring the NTFS partition of data AND the "MBR and Track 0"?)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  2. ben7777777

    ben7777777 Registered Member

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    Having the same problem bro, i got 1 Vista and 1 XP partion

    restored the XP partition and boot failed grrr (cant find boot.ini)

    i do know that the restore put the boot files onto the active partition grrr, but that as as far as i gotten so far. i got a thread like urs (have a look), mudcrab's threads are helpful too

    at least you got one happening
     
  3. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Did you restore windows xp back on the same hard drive/same partition? If you restored on a different hard drive/partition you might run into drive letter problems. Example the boot.ini file can be located in partition E: and xp is looking for it in partiton C: . That will cause the missing boot.ini problem. If the boot.ini file was in the xp partition when backup, it will be there when you restore it, theres no way that it will be missing. But if there is a "drive letter" mismatch problem, it will explain everything.

    You can download the free "boot corrector" (paragon rescue kit 9.0 express) to check your drive letters. If it's not a drive letter problem, below link has more information on dual booting vista /xp problems that might give you some ideas.
    http://www.pronetworks.org/forums/pro-software-f185.html
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello AricCougar,

    Thank you for using Acronis Products

    Obviously the issue concerns incorrect partition/drive for Windows XP OS’s in boot.ini file. Check where you have correct drive letters for Windows XP operating systems and change them if necessary. Use the following Microsoft KB article for more information on how to edit boot.ini file.

    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    AricCougar,

    I suspect your problem results from not using a third party boot manager and your OS are not independent. You can have over a hundred OS on a single HD and if they are independent, they can be managed as if they were the only OS on the HD.

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/index.htm
     
  6. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    Re: Restoring Acronis Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

    You are only allowed four primary partitions on a drive. That setup needs six.

    It's likely that the 'missing' OSs have gone into an extended logical partition, which uses one of your four primaries, leaving you with the three you have.

    You would need to use a different boot manager, such as Grub4DOS or Bootit Next Generation to have a setup such as that.
     
  7. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    Re: Restoring Acronis Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

    So are you saying that I can never have:
    Vista IE7
    Vista IE8
    XP IE6
    XP IE7
    XP IE8
    Win7 IE8

    ... on the same harddrive? I would be required to use 2 harddrives and divide them up between them? That is unfortunate, since I purchased half terabyte drives for everyone to do this. Are you sure that only primary partitions can boot an OS? Extended Partitions can have a drive letter and its own separate data but can never be bootable?

    I do not believe this at this moment, as I look at my Computer Management Disk Management Screen for Disk 0 and see (all NTFS):
    Vista-IE7 (C:) Healthy (System) [dark blue = primary]
    Vista-IE8 (H:) Healthy [dark blue = primary] <Note, it does not say system by it>
    XP-IE6 (D:) Healthy (Boot) [light blue = extended partition]
    XP-IE6 (E:) Healthy [light blue = extended partition] <note, yes i know this should say XP-IE7, but i restored the imaged partition which was obviously XP-IE6, and just didn't change it yet because ive been working on the booting issue>
    XP-IE8 (F:) Healthy [light blue = extended partition]
    Win7-IE8 (G:) Healthy [light blue = extended partition]
    59GB Unallocated [black = unused partition] <Note, im not using this space yet>

    I can successfully BOOT up from the boot screen to drives C:, H:, G:, and one of D: or E: or F: not sure which because all 3 options take me to the SAME installation (proven by putting a text file on the desktop of XP-IE8 and then finding that file existing when i boot into the other two.

    Therefore, if i could not boot to an extended partition, why does it work? and why does it clearly say boot in both the Disk 0 line, and under status of the details at the top of the Disk Management Screen?

    I'm open to learning and correction, so please respond if you are sure of your answer and know that i misunderstand something here. Thanks.

    EDIT: I just learned a few new items that make more sense of what i wrote above, and understood regarding Microsoft designations, found from this link: http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3153

     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  8. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    Actually, no. I am:
    1. Partitioning one half terabyte drive into C: (300GB), D: (50GB), E: (50GB), F: (50GB), G: (50GB), and H: (50GB)
    2. Installing to C D E F G H Vista/XP/Win7, and various IE versions as in the above post. (Note: The drive letters somehow got out of order as seen in the above post, but i had intended to have them in order, and hope to figure out how to put them back in order, but the booting is more important at ths time.)
    3. Used Acronis True Image to back up each partition separately (C:, then D: etc) to a full Terabyte External Harddrive that I purchased as the suggestion of Acronis rep.
    4. Partition other Half Terabyte Drives (in separate people's computers) into the same partitioning and sizes as in step 1. (Note: C: is 300GB because all the same OS/IE versions are also VMwares run from that Vista-IE7 OS.)
    5. Restore from the external 1TB harddrive each partition to the corresponding drive letter on the new drive for the new computer, then again to another drive for another computer, and so on.

    The issue is that while Acronis was able to restore to the partitions (full partition image, not just data) the booting seems to get messed up every time. I tried to fix it using EasyBCD, and now have gotten the 2 Vistas, 1 Win7, and 1 single XP (not sure which of the three, i think all three XP-IE# listed in the boot menu are just going to the same partition though based on my txt file test addressed above).

    I have not found a way to get all the XPs to be recognized separately. IF i knew how to verify in Windows, perhaps through the registry(?) the GUID <xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-?> big long number that should be associated with the path and drive letter, perhaps i could configure it to work. But i understand that i may be missing something here, and hope someone can fill in the blanks for that to help finish this project. Perhaps i need to manually edit the boot.ini? IF so, how, using what specific data for my setup? Thanks.
     
  9. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    I wonder if the partition signature is the problem? Restoring an image that is expecting to use a certain partition signature derived as described below from link: http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm

    How should or should this not be a problem what im trying to accomplish, restoring imaged partitions of full drives, and expecting to multiboot them, and re-restore them from the same original backups periodically to multiple other computer/harddrives throughout the year?
     
  10. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    Thank you for responding from Acronis Support. That link appears to be for Windows 2000. I'm using Windows XP, Vista, (and Win7). It is possible that the new OSes have the same boot.ini system, however i have performed in depth searches of all the harddrives (partitions) and there does not appear to be any boot.ini file except ONE found at the C: drive. I have no clue when it got put there, or what caused it to be added, but if it was not created naturally by Vista (not likely because the other vista instance does not seem to have it), then it may have gotten put there when I installed XP for the first time, after the Vista already existed as a partition. Or it could have been added by the EasyBCD software that i have been trying to use to fix the booting problems - to no avail.

    The XP partition that boots up does not appear to have any boot.ini on it, neither a search nor using notepad to the main C:\boot.ini found anything on it. So im leaning on the theory that installing XP after Vista, caused the boot.ini to be put on Vista, or the EasyBCD software put it in. I dont believe it is being used in bootup.

    All this presents a concern for me, if this boot.ini that you speak of is so important to booting multiple versions of XP in my environment (setup) as described above, then what happens when we restore the image of drive C: (Vista-IE7)? The imaged copy of this drive was done first, before any other OSes were installed on partitions. It seems that this would cause in a total failure, if we restored it. Does anyone know for sure about this? Or how to move forward correctly?

    Here is the data inside the boot.ini file (which i am not sure is working or not):

    ;
    ;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
    ;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
    ;
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\windows
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT


    This boot.ini file does not appear to be being used, since the Vista version called BCDedit definitely shows all the intended options on boot up of this box.

    Appreciate any further insights or solutions. As a review for anyone just joining this link... I cannot get all the XP instances to boot. The Vista and Win7 are working from the boot screen properly, but all 3 XP partitions (installations) are listed in the bootup screen, but selecting any of the 3 all result in the same XP being brought up. Thanks.
     
  11. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    Re: Restoring Acronis Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

    I can only recommend you re-read and think about Brian K's post #5 and the associated link. You are making this task unnecessarily complex by trying to resolve it with BCD.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    AricCougar,

    In Dan Goodell's web site he mentions, "What's Wrong with the Microsoft Way?"

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/principles.htm

    Unfortunately you are stuck with the Microsoft Way. If it was my computer, I'd delete all OS partitions and start again with a third party boot manager. Sorry.

    MudCrab has a tutorial on how to make OS independent. I'm not sure if it would work for you but it's interesting reading.

    http://www.themudcrab.com/separatevistaxp.php
     
  13. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    Re: Restoring Acronis Backup Images for Multiboot System (Vista, Vista, XP, XP, XP, Win7)

    Thank you for the recommendation. I'm not sure what my action item is (what im supposed to learn from it) just yet. It appears that this is talking only about Windows 2K and XP. When we put Vista into the mix, things change a great deal. XP cannot boot Vista with its boot loader NTLDR. Vista can boot XP though. So it is required to use the Vista Boot Loader. Therefore, im not seeing that the data there is all that helpful.

    So far, my best information has been found from this link: http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3153

    It explains the exact Issue im having and begins to decipher what the elements are that cause it. They claim their software 2.0 beta can solve it. And im testing that now, and from what i can see... its extremely buggy but i did manage to use it to enter a pointer in the Vista Boot Loader to the old XP Boot.ini file, which allows me to choose XP from the main Vista boot up menu, and then get a selection of XP instances to choose from. I have already verified that it works for giving me access to at least one of the "lost" XP partitions, as well as the one I have been having access to originally. I had to take the extra step to manually edit boot.ini to put in all the partitions manually to finish this hack to make it all work. This seems to have worked, however its a guessing game as they arent necessarily in order. But I believe this does it.
     
  14. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    It would in fact be perfectly feasible to change the XP partition boot sectors from their present Vista style to XP style and locate the necessary boot files in each partition so that each OS can become independent of the others. K0lo of this forum helped me to do just that and to get away from 'the Microsoft way' of multibooting without having to reinstall either XP or Vista.

    It is necessary to use something like Disk Director during the transition in order to be able to hide partitions from each other.

    Once the various OSs have been set up independently of each other you can use something like Grub4DOS to boot to whichever OS you want.
     
  15. AricCougar

    AricCougar Registered Member

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    That sounds really good then. Thanks for making that clear. Unfortunately I dont have any more time to learn something new now. The departments want these computers immediately. So unless someone can explain quickly how to apply this to the multiboot system(s) im attempting to create (all from restored images), im going to have to just try to make the hacked version work with 2 boot screens using that software and manually editing the boot.ini.

    You idea sounds much better, but im afraid im out of time now. I really like the idea of having each separate though. Sounds cleanest.
     
  16. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    I'm packing up for the night now (UK time), but I will dig out my notes in the morning and see what I can offer you that might be helpful.

    But if you're lucky k0lo might be looking in ;)
     
  17. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    This is probably too late to help you with your current project, but might be useful for the future and possibly for others.

    This is the guidance I received from k0lo for separating XP and Vista. In my case XP was the System partition containing the booting files, but you should be able to adapt the method to your situation where Vista is currently the System partition.

    1. Move the files bootmgr and the /BOOT folder from the XP partition to the Vista partition. Change the XP partition boot style from new (Vista) to old (XP) by using the bootsect.exe /nt52 C: command so that the partition, when booted, will start up ntldr (old style XP boot). Hide the XP partition (using DD10)

    2. Convert the Vista partition from logical to primary using DD 10. Change the partition boot sector to the new style using bootsect.exe /nt60 C: so that the partition, when booted, will start up into bootmgr (new style Vista boot). Fix the BCD pointers if necessary and remove the old entry for XP from the BCD. Change the partition to "Active", reboot, and test.

    3. Change the XP partition to "Active", hide the Vista partition, reboot, and test.


    In your case you would need to ensure that each XP partition has an XP style boot sector, and each Vista partition and the Windows 7 partition each has a Vista style boot sector, for example:-

    bootsect.exe /NT52 D: (and E: and F: ) for the XP partitions, and

    bootsect.exe /NT60 C: (and G: and H: ) for the Vista style partitions.

    The file bootsect.exe can be found in the Boot folder of a Vista installation disk and should be run from the command line with elevated permissions.

    You will need to ensure that each XP partition contains the files NTLDR and boot.ini, and each Vista style partition contains the file bootmgr and the /BOOT folder.

    Once all this is done you need to boot to the DD10 CD, set the first Vista partition (C: ) Active, and hide the other five bootable partitions. The system should then boot into Vista. If successful, repeat for each of the remaining five bootable partitions.

    It would be helpful to include a small text file at the root of each partition to identify it.

    Once all this is working satisfactorily we can deal with installing a boot manager, for which I would recommend Grub4DOS.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  18. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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