Vista dual boot options

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by truckid, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    I have just received a new notebook, which came pre installed with windows home premium. I have installed Vista SP1 and disk director, all seems to be fine so far, DD sucessfully resized the Vista partition.

    I would like to dual boot Vista, with Windows 2003 Server and would like to know the best way to go about it ?

    I guess my two options are to use DD OSS or just install start Windows 2003 Server install and let Windows do the rest. What are the pro/cons of using OSS or letting windows manage the dual boot ?

    I have seen previous posts, where users have used DD OSS and Vista SP1, it seems to work OK, I'd welcome any other opinions/experiences.

    Thanks
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you want to keep Vista and Windows 2003 Server isolated from each other you need to use a boot manager other than Vista's. If you use Vista's boot manager, you'll most likely have to manually add (or do a boot repair) Windows 2003 Server after you install it. Both Vista and Windows 2003 Server will be booting from the Vista partition.

    If you use OSS, take a look at this thread. Post #2 details the procedure for manually installing Vista after XP. Your procedure would be the same except you'd be installing Windows 2003 Server after Vista.

    I'm assuming that OSS will correctly recognize Windows 2003 Server. I've never tried OSS with any Server versions of Windows.

    Whichever method you use, make sure to have a backup of the drive (a TI image, for example) before you begin. If something goes wrong and you need to start over it's usually quicker to restore than to reinstall.
     
  3. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    cheers for the info.

    But I can see where it would fail, when following instructions in post 2 of the link you suggested.

    'Once VISTA is installed, install DD and then OSS. It should find the previous installation and update it.' (for me, read windows 2003 server, instead of Vista).


    The problem is that DD will not install onto a server OS. Is there an alternative ? After installing Win 2k3, could I not just boot from the DD CD and switch the active partition ?
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The instructions assume you already have OSS installed as your boot manager.

    You don't have to install DD and OSS into Windows. You can instead boot to the DD CD and reactivate OSS. The result should be the same and the new OS should be found and added to the existing one in the OSS menu (Vista, in your case).

    If you don't want to use OSS, you can boot to DD and manually set the correct partition Active and Hide the other one. However, if you switch often, this can be time consuming and a hassle.
     
  5. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    However, I just came across another problem.

    When I boot with the DD CD, it will not recognise my hard drive (although it will recognise my external USB HDD).

    At first, I thought maybe I should try disabling SATA from the bios, but that didn't make a difference. I think I read in the forums here, where other users experienced the same, with Vista ( I am running with Vista SP1 installed).

    Is there a workaround ? The only other thing I can think of is wipe the HDD and start over with Win2k3 first, and then install Vista, not sure if that would work.

    I would really want to do that, as its taken me the best part of a day to 'perfect' my Vista. ( I did make an image of it, using True Image)

    Could I do this ?

    1.Install Win2k3
    2. Create a 2nd partition, but instead of installing Vista, recover the image I have created.
    3. Then install OSS

    Will this work, what about the MBR ?
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Have you tried installing OSS from Vista to make sure OSS even works on your computer?

    Do you have the OSS programs included on the DD CD? If they are, they will be available on the Acronis Menu when you boot the CD. If they aren't, you'll need to use Media Builder and create a new DD CD that includes them.

    Make sure you also include the Safe Mode version of DD on the CD. In most cases, it will detect your drives when the Full Mode version won't.

    You can install, activate, deactivate, etc. OSS using the DD/OSS CD. You don't have to boot into DD to do it.
     
  7. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    OK, I really screwed up.

    I installed OSS, (with default options, whatever they were) and rebooted.

    OS Selector loads, but the two options available are

    Unknown OS and Unknown OS 2.


    When I select either of them, I get the following error ;

    Windows Boot Manager has experience a problem,
    File:\Boot\BCD
    Status:\0xc0000098
    Info: The Windows Boot Configuration Data File does not contain a valid OS entry.
    You can try to recover the system with the tool list in the System Recovery Options menu.


    My laptop is new, and the HDD is abit complicated, with a similar setup ;

    RECOVERY (D): 10GB
    OS (C): 136GB
    UN-NAMED (I assume media direct): 2.5GB
    EISA Configuration: 120MB

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=221723&highlight=eisa configuration

    I wanted to keep the Media Direct Partition and the EISA Configuration. And then have Vista and Win2k3 installed.

    Is there a way to repair what I have now, or do I have to start over ? I can see that the partitions are still intact, I guess I can try the System Recovery Options menu in Vista (whatever that is )
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You have an "brand-name" OEM version of Vista. OSS has a problem detecting some of those.

    If you have a regular Vista DVD you can do a boot repair and should be able to get back into Vista.

    Another option would be to boot to the OSS CD and uninstall OSS. That should restore things back to how they were.

    OSS can be forced to detect Vista. See this thread: Vista disappeared in dual boot

    Do you know which partitons are Primary and which are Logical? It will be easier to install Windows 2003 Server into a Primary partition, but you may not have room.
     
  9. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    Mudcrab,

    Thanks !

    I booted off the DD cd and managed to uninstall OSS, now everything is back to as it was.

    This is going to be a nightmare 'project', for two reasons.

    First, getting DD to recognise and work properly with Vista OEM, (though looks possible from the link you provided)

    And then COUPLE that with the nightmare of getting Dell Mediadirect working with DD.

    Dell Mediadirect is a specific button on the notebook, that when pressed starts up a hidden partition which gives quick access to DVDs,Photo's/Media etc.
    But its a pain in the butt to set and configure, this is how it suppose to work



    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=232567&highlight=mediadirect mbr

    I have two options ;

    1. Ideally have Mediadirect, Vista and Win2k3 and DD working properly (without the mediadirect button, bricking my laptop)
    2. Scrap Mediadirect altogether, just get Vista and Win2k3 working (Can I do this without DD (if so can still resize partitions on-the-fly or would they have to be set in stone).

    Really appreciate your help, if you were in London, I'd buy you a drink !
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    truckid,

    I wouldn't be concerned about deleting 3 of your partitions. I always delete MediaDirect and the Recovery Partition and if required I delete the EISA diagnostic partition as well. You can run diagnostics from the Dell CD.

    Then you could have two OS partitions, a common data partition and a partition for OSS.
     
  11. truckid

    truckid Registered Member

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    I have decide to go down the route suggested. Wipe it all and start over.

    I booted from the DD disk, removed all existing partitions and then set up the partitions I wanted.

    A couple of strange things occurr. First of all when I start the pc, it asked for NTLDR. Secondly, when I press the MediaDirect button, the splash screen comes up and then it just stays there.

    Reading around, it seems that Mediadirect does all manner of strange things to your HDD/MBR. Makes more more determined to get get rid it.


    I have found this link, which shows how to get around it, its nearly exactly what I want. The only thing is that it doesnt take into account installation of DD and OSS. What modifications what I need to do to ensure that pressing the MediaDirect button starts OSS and not the first OS ?

    Would it be the RMBR.EXE DELL 1 1 command, but changing it to the partition number of OSS ?

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=234216&highlight=mediadirect mbr
     
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