Restoring XP64 with OSS installed

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by d_j_smith, Jun 25, 2009.

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  1. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    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 June 22.

    There is a more complete description of my history with Acronis products at https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1491047#post1491047

    In summary, I backed up a partition that had Windows XP 64 Pro and Acrosis Operating System Selector installed. I am having problems with OSS in my current configuration (Windows XP Pro on the NVIDIA RAID 0 drive) and I am considering other multiboot options. I am still waiting for a reply to my previous thread.

    Here is my question regarding TI: Can I remove OSS from my XP64 image without making my system inoperable? How can this be accomplished? I do have an external USB enclosure and extra hard drives if they might be needed to accomplish the task.

    Thanks
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You could mount the image in read/write mode and delete the main BOOTWIZ folder. However, the MBR would still need to be repaired and I don't know if you could do that on the mounted image or not (I've never tried it).

    If you restore the image, you can also uninstall OSS by booting to the DD CD and selecting the OSS setup option. You could then make sure it boots correctly and runs correctly and then create a new backup image that doesn't include OSS.
     
  3. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    Hi MudCrab,

    It has been a while since I used this partition with Windows XP 64 on it. I have forgotten a lot about it. For instance, I looked at one of my "spare" hard drives (Barracuda ST3120026A9 - 120GB) and saw a label I stuck on it that says "XP 64 9-21-08." Oh, now I remember. I cloned the partition to this drive back then with DD for safe keeping.

    I mounted the backup that I created the other day with TI from the 320 GB drive. I couldn't find the Bootwiz folder in the root. I do have "Show hidden files and folders" checked in my Explorer "Folder Options." I think I must have uninstalled OSS last September and intended to use a boot disk I created then to install OSS after I got both drives reconnected.

    I had to use a driver disk for my NVIDIA RAID while I installed 32 bit Windows XP back then. I believe I installed Windows XP 64 without the RAID drivers on the PATA drive first and installed the RAID drivers there after I got XP 64 running.

    I guess I have some options for restoring my 64 bit Windows then (now that I have a boot manager that passes the first test). If possible, I want to restore it to a new partition in my RAID disk. I want to use whatever is safest, of course.

    1. I could restore the image I created the other day with TI in a new partition I create for it with DD on my RAID drive.

    2. I could put the Barracuda with the clone of XP64 in my external USB enclosure and clone it to my RAID disk with DD.

    I worry that Windows XP 64 will do something bad to my RAID array if it wakes up there and thinks it's still on a stand-alone drive. Does Windows even know about such things or is that transparent to Windows? I am hoping that, as long as I have the RAID drivers installed (and I'm sure I have), then everything will be OK.

    One thing that concerns me is the signature. Restoring the disk signature is only an option if I restore the MBR in TI, right? I don't want to do that if I restore to a second partition on my RAID disk do I? Maybe drive signature is not that important. I could reinstall any applications I had that needed it, couldn't I?.

    Which option do you recommend? Am I safe doing it either way?

    Thanks

    PS I tried the live CD for Ubuntu 9.04 this evening on my computer. It doesn't see my RAID array either. There my be a driver out there somewhere but I think I better start with a stand-alone drive for my first Linux installation. One improvement is that I am able to mount my other internal NTFS partions. I couldn't with version 8.10.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You also need to uncheck the Hide protected operating system files... option (more information can be found here).

    Either way should work. If you restore the image with TI, make sure to restore it as an Active partition (use Primary type if creating with DD) so TI will (hopefully) leave the other booting files alone. If you use DD to copy the partition, you'll have to leave unallocated space on the RAID drive since DD won't copy to another partition. Have DD create the destination partition as a Primary partition and then set it Active before trying to boot it.

    If Windows has the correct drivers installed, it should activate them and detect the drives properly. If it doesn't, Windows will crash on booting.

    Windows also uses the Disk Signature for assigning drive letters. I wouldn't change it. When you setup each Windows to boot from the Active partition, Windows will normally adjust properly as long as it's the default C: assignment for the Windows partition (when booted).
     
  5. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    I have restored the partition, XP64, to my PATA drive. I am still able to boot in my SATA RAID partition, WinXP.
    I get the following error when I try to boot this drive with GAG:
    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
    NTLDR: Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    I take this to mean I am still getting to the NTLDR but on which drive?

    I used the Recovery Console in the XP64 install CD with "fixmbr C:" and "fixboot C:" but no help. I did use the map command to make sure I was affecting the correct drive.

    Could it be I need to modify my boot.ini file to correct the issue? If so, what should I do with it? I am attaching my boot.ini file from the XP64 partition along with a screenshot from DD.

    I didn't want to put a 64 bit operating system on my SATA drive because the GAG drive swap program is 32 bit.

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  6. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    My boot.ini file didn't seem to attach in the last post. I'll paste it here:

    From root of XP64:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    From root of WINXP:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Is it possible that GAG is not swapping the drives correctly? If not, then the disk(#) reference is wrong.

    Does the XP64 partition boot if you select that drive as the booting drive in the BIOS?
     
  8. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    When I set up GAG for XP64 on the PATA disk, exchanging drive letters is not an option (which is what I want since the drive-swap TSR from GAG is 32 bit). However, Windows XP 64 will not start and NTLDR gives the error:

    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    GAG still boots 32 bit WINXP and always has, even when I messed up the MBR on that drive doing experiments. I have fixed that now (long story). I can (again) boot into 32 bit Windows XP if I don't use the GAG floppy or if I do.

    I think GAG is doing it's job OK. I am getting NTLDR started. I think it's a problem with both boot.ini files having the same device for [operating systems] and "default." See my boot.ini entries in the previous post.

    Thanks
     
  9. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    I tried your suggestion about changing the boot drive in BIOS. I went to Boot>Hard Drives menu and selected the PATA drive and used the "+" key to move it to the top. Then I changed the menu in GAG to make XP64 the first drive (exchange drives still not offered) and made WINXP the menu entry for the second drive (same order as in BIOS). I elected to exchange drives in that one.

    When I attempted to boot the XP64 drive I got the same error as before. When I attempted to boot WINXP I got the following error:

    Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.
    Could not read from the selected disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.
    Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

    I had to change it back in the BIOS to reboot in 32 bit Windows. I still think I might be able to get XP64 to boot by changing the "default" and [operating systems] device in boot.ini. I don't know what numbers to give it however.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  10. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    I tried another experiment this morning. I looked up the meaning of the device parameters at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314081. That gave me enough information to think I could fix the problem by changing the device for "default" and "operating systems" in the xp64 boot.ini from

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    to

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)

    When I attempted to boot in XP64 I still got the exact same error from NTLDR:

    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    I guess GAG is still starting the same NTLDR in both menu selections. Any suggestions?
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I'm not familiar with GAG so I don't know exactly which method it uses to swap drives. It sounds like it's running a program (the TSR) and it keeps the drives swapped while the OS is running. Most boot managers I've worked with do swapping in the BIOS order and the swap doesn't hold over past the booting stage (at least for the later versions of Windows).

    For your XP64 boot.ini file, try changing the disk number instead and don't swap anything:
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)[B][COLOR="Red"]disk(1)[/COLOR][/B]rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)[B][COLOR="red"]disk(1)[/COLOR][/B]rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
     
  12. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    Hi MudCrab,

    I tried your suggestion and still got the same error message:

    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
    NTLDR: Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    Notice that the disk number still didn't change?

    I thought of something else. When I tried swapping HD boot order in BIOS before I incorrectly assumed the drive order would change in GAG. I retried swapping boot order the same as before but set the WINXP entry in the GAG menu on the third drive as before. This time I was able to boot WINXP from the GAG floppy. I still got the same error as always for the XP64 menu item however:

    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
    NTLDR: Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    The disk number is still the same.

    Then I tried booting with my PATA drive as first in HD boot order and the GAG floppy removed. (I left the boot.ini file as you suggested). All I got was a flashing cursor. This is the same symptom I got when I tried to boot WINXP with Boot-US.

    I think we are closer to figuring out what is going on here. It seems that GAG is starting the same NTLDR (if at all) no matter how I configure it. What do you think?

    Thanks
     
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    First, are you sure that the motherboard/chipset/BIOS supports booting from the IDE drive? I'm assuming so because you can select it. However, some boards won't boot from some ports.

    I would get XP64 booting properly from its own drive first and then see if GAG can boot it.

    Disconnect all other hard drives except the Win64 drive. Set the Win64 drive as the booting drive in the BIOS. Boot to the Windows CD, enter the Recovery Console and do the MBR and Boot Sector repair (<ENTER> means to press the ENTER key):
    Code:
    fixmbr <ENTER>
    fixboot <ENTER>
    This should allow the Win64 drive to start booting and you should either get an error message or Windows should start. Note that the boot.ini file should be as it originally was:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    (booting from disk(0) and partition(1)). Make this change before you try this, if needed, as it will be easier to do from XP32.

    Also, when you're in XP32 with your normal booting drive order, what does Disk Management show for your drive order? Sometimes IDE drives are detected out of order from SATA/RAID drives. In other words, the IDE drive may be #2 if detected after the RAID and SATA drives.
     
  14. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    I tried it with both BIOS HD boot orders. In both cases, the disk order is unchanged in Disk Management. I am including a screenshot from DM.

    One thing I do not want to do is disable my NVIDIA RAID in BIOS. I understand I would have to rebuild my stripped array then. I hear that's no fun.

    I have to go to a job interview now so I'll play with the hardware when I get back. TTYL

    P.S. I added the other logical drives in DD to be sure I was configuring the right disk in GAG.
     

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  15. d_j_smith

    d_j_smith Registered Member

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    Hi MudCrab,

    I tried restoring my XP64 boot.ini file and disconnecting all drives but the PATA as you suggested. When I tried to boot XP 64 with GAG (after using fixmbr and fixboot in the recovery console) I got the same error as always:

    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
    NTLDR: Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    When I tried to boot w/o GAG all I get is a flashing cursor. Then I formatted the PATA drive and tried a fresh installation using F6 to install the SATA RAID drivers in-line. When Windows Setup tried to reboot (w/o GAG) I got the same error message as above.

    This is strange because I first installed XP 64 to the PATA drive when this motherboard was new. Is it possible that some change occurred in the motherboard BIOS when I installed Windows XP to the RAID array? Would flashing the BIOS reverse the change? Would doing so destroy my RAID array and force RAID recovery? If not, could I end up with an unstable system that might eventually destroy my RAID?

    I'm beginning to think the easiest solution is to just stick with the SATA drives for all my bootable partitions. I worry about corrupting the array using GAG for this with 64 bit operating systems but maybe my fear is unfounded. Perhaps you can understand what the creator of GAG is saying about this drive swap program better than I and tell me if this would be compatable with 64 bit. This is from the configuration section in the HTML help:

    If you choose a partition from the second, third... hard disk, GAG will ask you if you want to swap the disk drives. But if the partition is in the first hard disk, you will not see this question.

    GAG sees the PATA drive as the first drive no matter what my BIOS settings. The author goes on to say:

    WARNING: this resident driver will use up 1 KByte of conventional memory. The resident program works at BIOS level, so it will not work with operating systems that uses specific drivers to access the hard disk. Anyway, it can be needed to boot operating systems like Windows XP/Vista when they are installed in the second, third... hard disks.

    I don't see "32 bit" here (not sure where I got that notion). Does this statement, "The resident program works at BIOS level", sound like it is similar to the drive swap in OS Selector? Isn't OS Selector compatable with 64 bit operating systems? Does it even matter whether it is 32 bit if it works at the BIOS level?

    Thanks
     
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