Why Hide?

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by davidlhickman, Nov 15, 2007.

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  1. davidlhickman

    davidlhickman Registered Member

    Nov 3, 2007
    Upstate New York
    I've been reading about hidden partitions in this forum and the DD manual tells how to hide and unhide partitions. But it doesn't indicate why you would want to hide a partition. MudCrab in one his posts indicated that partitions with operating systems should be hidden from each other. What does that mean and how and why do you accomplish it?

  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Nov 3, 2006
    When using a multi-boot Windows system, hiding OS partitions from other OS partitions is generally a good idea. This allows the other OS partitions to remain relatively invisible to the OS that's booted. No drive letter is assigned, the partition can't normally be accessed, etc.

    This creates a more "isolated" multi-boot system where each OS is independent of the others. This is my personal preference.

    DD allows you to hide and unhide partitions and OSS (as well as many other boot managers) allows you to select which partitions you want hidden for a particular OS. The boot manager then takes care of the hiding and unhiding automatically when you boot that OS.

    On one of my computers, I have Vista, XP for Work and XP for Games installed. When Vista is booted, both XP partitions are hidden. When either of the XP installs are booted, the other XP and the Vista partitions are hidden. All of these have Windows as the C: drive when booted.


    If you boot using the Windows boot manager, none of the OS partitions will be hidden. Booting into Windows XP #1 will show Windows XP #2's drive in My Computer. Booting into Windows XP #2 will show Windows XP #1's drive. (You may be able to unassign a drive letter if you don't want the drive to show up if the partition isn't sharing the swap file or booting files.)

    Also, all the booting files will be the same Windows partition (usually the first one installed). If this partition is reformatted, corrupted or restored to a pre-multi-boot setup, then you won't be able to boot into your other OS's.
  3. ragnarok2012

    ragnarok2012 Registered Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    WARNING: depending on your particular machine and/or your particular setup (the software/hardware combination) many boot-managers may not work correctly or even be destructive of partitions/data you presently have on your computer.

    Imaging problems are sometimes compounded when using a third party boot-loader.

    Hiding partitions and OS's is a very good idea if you practice risky internet browsing (like warz or peer to peer connections or if you like to tinker with/between OS's [dual booting of hidden OS's is a common practice within a multi boot setup where other OS's still remain hidden individually]).

    Here at work we have moved from hard drive switches to separate isolated machines for legal purposes ( as this provides near absolute isolation); our human resource person has 9 machines-- one for each "area" used!! . If one machine goes down it goes down by itself without infecting other machines (we use CD's by the pallet load to isolate each machine's data).

    The risk that any particular boot-loader will be I]destructive/troublesome[/I] is small (10 to 20 percent : this is our departments' culminative experience).

    On the other hand having your OS's (like microsoft) boot up un-invisable to each other can be completely satisfactory for most personal and work purposes ( I estimate about 80 percent of setups) depending on your safe practices and level of protection ( and of course legal requirements) via an armament of security applications. Having a dedicated system/boot partition as small as possible makes re imaging a matter of 4 to 5 minutes tops.

    The nasty truth is that prior testing is crucial with a disposable setup, if you are to protect your main system before implementing any boot-loader (even microsofts).

    Without prior testing it is like playing Russian Roulette with your all important data/system ( this includes testing of any imaging applications as well).

    The small percentage of catastrophes may in fact be yours.

    It is imperative that you have back-ups or separate hard drives ( pre-proven)
    before implementing any registry intensive/crucial applications ( boot-loaders being only one type of many such applications).
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
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