Want to start over.

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by RodgerMac, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. RodgerMac

    RodgerMac Registered Member

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    I first must say my wife is right. I currently have three os's in my computer. XP Home, Vista, and XP Professional. Now my previous thought was to replace XP Home with XP Professional. But that turned out to be a bigger task then I thought because XP Home had the Disk Director and Bootwiz folders on it's partitions. MudCrab was suggesting to me how to do it but I just couldn't understand how to do it. I told my wife how i got the XP Pro in the computer and she thinks it's silly to have both XP Pro and XP home wasting the space taken by home. Of course she's right. So I'm here to ask advice again. I'm considering a complete reload of the computer. Two OS's Vista and XP Pro. Using DD and OSS again. I have two hard drives the primary being a 500gb SATA and secondary 160gb SATA. MudCrab if you were doing a reload with that equipment how would you do it? is there a way to seperate the DD and OSS files from the operating system on a seperate partition so if I need to in the future reload one of the two OS's I don't run into the same problem I have this time. Thanks Rodger
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you want to start over, I would try and keep it simple.

    Use just one of the drives for both XP and Vista. You can partition them as desired. For example, you may want a 30GB XP partition and a 40GB Vista partition followed by a large Data partition.

    Start with an empty drive (delete all the partitions).
    If you use DD to create the partitions for XP and Vista before you install them, let the Windows installer reformat the partition during the installation.

    Install XP, then OSS and make sure it works okay.
    Deactivate OSS.
    Boot to the DD CD and hide the XP partition. Set the Vista partition Active.
    Install Vista, then reactivate OSS. It should find Vista. If it doesn't, it can be added manually.

    If you want to hide XP and Vista from each other, make sure to set the correct options in OSS.

    ---

    To keep OSS's files separate from XP and Vista, do a Custom installation of OSS and select a non-OS partition. This partition can be any FAT32 or NTFS partition on either drive. Very little space is used so you can even create a small (100MB, for example) FAT32 partition just for OSS if you want. I use a FAT32 partition I created to share data between Windows and Linux for my OSS files.
     
  3. RodgerMac

    RodgerMac Registered Member

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    MudCrab So I have the 500gb SATA drive. I want to seperate OSS from the OS's. Can I make the 100mb partition first on the drive for OSS then seperate the remainder between the two OS's using DD. Then use the 160gb drive for just data. how would the install go for the above. install xp pro on it's partiton then custom install oss on it's partition. follow the remainder of your instructions to install vista.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You can make the OSS partition first on the drive if you want. However, this would require it to be a Primary partition (if you want to stay standard). As long as that doesn't cause any problems with your desired partitioning scheme, you should be fine.

    Partition your 500GB drive as follows:
    [FAT32 100MB Primary][NTFS ??GB Primary - XP][NTFS ??GB Primary - Vista]

    Use DD to set the XP partition Active and then install XP. Then proceed as above.

    I don't know how much you plan on installing in each OS so you can split the space how you want. I just suggested smaller sizes to keep the drive fast and keep the imaging sizes reasonable. If you use first half of the drive for XP, Vista will be running on the slow half of the drive. If you want to split the drive this way, I'd suggest installing the OS you'll use the most into the partition following the OSS partition so it can run the fastest.

    Keep in mind that you can also place the OSS partition at the end of the drive after the XP and Vista partitions or install OSS to the 160GB drive's partition as it doesn't require a dedicated partition.
     
  5. RodgerMac

    RodgerMac Registered Member

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    MudCrab Thanks again, I'm back up and running. Ran into a few little glitches but I figured them out. Again Thanks Rodger
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You're welcome.

    Would you mind posting the final procedure you used? It might be helpful to someone else who may want to try the same thing.
     
  7. RodgerMac

    RodgerMac Registered Member

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    Sorry for the delay in writing back. The procedure I used was as you recommended the first time. I partitioned the drive in half using DD. I hide the XP partition and installed Vista on the first partition. I then Installed OSS and made sure it worked. Deactivated OSS and set the second partition as active hiding the Vista partition. Installed XP Pro, then reactivated OSS. It found the XP Pro just fine. I went into the properties in OSS and made sure Vista and XP partitions were hidden from each other. The only glitch I ran into from what you told me to do above was I wanted to install XP Pro first, then the Vista, but it wouldn't install if I did that. Kept getting some error message. So I just reversed them, and it worked like a champ. MudCrab I'm considering an external hard drive case that is both eSata and usb (Thermaltake N0012USU). I would like to start learning about Linux and would like to keep it on this external drive. Probably going to hook it up eSata since it comes with bracket and cable. What are my pit falls with doing this when it comes to OSS? What version of Linux do you suggest starting with? I know this next part has nothing to do with OSS or DD but you seem really knowledgable. I'm not looking to leave the external drive on 100% of the time. I plan to partition a 200gb drive in half use one half of storage the other for linux. Not being familiar with eSata, I know in USB you can just plug it in after it's recognized you can use it. Can I do that with eSata? Thanks Rodger
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Do you remember what the error message was? Did it happen during the installation or right at the start (no partition found, etc.)?

    This sounds like you'll be connecting to an interal SATA port. I've tried that before and it didn't work very well. The connection would just go out after a little bit. It's possible that the cable was too long, though it was still way under the max length. I ended up getting an eSATA PCIe card.

    I don't think OSS should have a problem with it. It should see it as a standard drive, especially if it's available in the BIOS boot list.

    If the eSATA controller supports hot-swapping, then you should be okay. I've done it before without any problems. If you're using a MB SATA port, check if it's supported. If it's not, you may be able to find software to allow it or you may have to shutdown to safely remove the drive.

    I've mainly used different versions of Ubuntu (6.06 through 7.10; haven't installed 8.04 yet, though I've run the Live CD version). I have very limited experience with OpenSuse and Xandros.

    There is a learning curve so expect it. I'd boot to the Live CD version of whatever distro you're planning on using and make sure it correctly sees all of your drives including the eSATA drive before you install it.

    I'd also recommend you create an Entire Disk Image of your internal drive prior to starting your Linux installation. This will allow you to easily restore and start over if something gets messed up on that drive.

    Because you're using OSS, when you install Linux it would be better to install its boot manager (GRUB, for example) into the Linux installation's partition's boot sector instead of the MBR. This is how I have mine setup. I also setup my partitions using DD prior to installing Linux and then just select which ones I want to use/mount during the installation.
     
  9. RodgerMac

    RodgerMac Registered Member

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    The error happened right at the start of copying files. Vista would see the partition, even format it. Then it would start copying files and stop almost immediately. I tried it like four different times, varying what I did. like let dd format the drive, let vista format the drive. etc etc. Once I installed Vista first then OSS, then put in XP Pro I had no problems. I chalk it up as wierd.

    I'll have to let you know how things go with the external. I just ordered the drive and enclosure. I will check my motherboard for hot swapability on its sata ports. Thanks for the recommendations. I've printed them and will let you know how it goes. Thanks
     
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