Why is it so hard to configure a Dual Boot system?

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by JC28, Jun 13, 2007.

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  1. JC28

    JC28 Registered Member

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    I've tried to do it myself by reading the manual and searching the forum but I still haven't found a step by step method on how to Dual Boot XP x86 and XP x64. I did try doing it myself and ended up with the XP x64 partition not showing up so now I'm gonna have to reinstall it which is not a big deal. I've tried so many things that I don't even know where to start.

    So to make this easier (hopefully), let's pretend I started with an XP Pro x86 system and I wanted to configure it to dual boot with XP Pro x64. The only thing is that I want both partitions displaying (C:) and I want them hidden from one another. Noob here so take it easy please. Thanks!
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    After you have Windows XP x86 installed, install OSS from Windows. Get that working. It should recognized Windows and setup the menu item for it.

    If you want OSS to be independent of any OS (not have its files installed on an OS partition) then you may want to create a separate small partition for OSS or use an existing partition on another hard drive. That way, if you use TI and restore one of the Windows partitions, it does not affect your OSS files.

    Use DD to create the partition for Windows XP x64. You may need to resize the x86 one if you didn't leave room.

    Boot back to OSS and "hide" the new partition in the XP x86 properties.

    If OSS sees your CD drive okay, then you should be able to put the cd, right-click on the menu item and go from there. Or you could try the New OS Wizard. Just make sure to set the XP x86 partition as hidden and the XP x64 partition as "active" and not hidden.

    If you want to do it manually you would do the following. When you are ready to install Win x64, deactivate OSS (either from Windows or the rescue cd). Then boot from the rescue cd and start DD. Set the XP x86 partition as "hidden" and set the XP x64 partition as "active" and not hidden. Apply the changes and reboot with the Win x64 cd.

    You may also be able to start DD from inside OSS (Tools menu) and set the partitions how you want and then boot from the cd menu item. That may work, but it would probably be better to set the partition options for the cd menu item instead just in case OSS overrides DD's changes.

    If you setup your partition structure like this,
    Code:
    [Win XP x86 35GB primary][Win XP x86 40GB primary][DATA/OSS 75GB primary]
    when you're done, you want your partitions flagged to look like this:
    Code:
    Booting XP x86:
    [Win XP x86 active visible][Win XP x64 hidden][DATA/OSS visible]
    
    Booting XP x64:
    [Win XP x86 hidden][Win XP x64 active visible][DATA/OSS visible]
    
    "visible" means the "hide" box is not checked
    Setup this way, both will have the Windows drive as C: and both will be able to see and use the OSS/DATA partition.

    If XP x64 installs differently or has problems, you may find it easier to install it first, then setup the partition flags for XP x86 manually and install XP x86, then install OSS from XP x86.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    When you say "The XP x64 partition" is not showing up in your current configuration, do you just mean it is not being detected by OSS (not in the boot menu)?

    Or did the partition not show up when you tried to install it?
     
  4. JC28

    JC28 Registered Member

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    Hi!

    Thanks for replying. Like I said before, I made so many edits I don't even know where to start. All I know is that after installing both OS (Win XP x86 and XP x64) I uninstalled OSS and then everything went to hell. I did this because I wanted the Win x64 partition to be labbled as drive C: like the Win x86 one, but that didn't work and instead I ended up with a corrupted x64 partition.

    Anyways, I'm gonna go ahead and reformat the Win x64 partition as an NTFS, primary partition and follow the steps you gave me. By the way, will following your steps guarantee that I will end up with two C:/ drives (one for each OS)? Thanks for all your help.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Windows will normally assign the C: drive letter to the Windows partition if it's installed on the first "visible" partition on the first hard drive.

    I have installed Windows this way and have always had them end up as the C: drive. I have not, however, tried installing Win XP x64 so I can't guarantee that, but I assume it works the same way.

    Drive letter changes are not only existant with multi-boot systems. On one of my computer (years ago) I reinstalled Windows XP Pro on a NEW (unformatted) master IDE drive (I had a slave connected) and it assigned Windows the letter F: Why? Because when Windows installation was checking drives, it found the slave hard drive and gave it C: then it skipped over the DVD drive as E: and the next letter was F:

    To fix the problem, I formatted the NEW drive before installing Windows. That way Windows sees the drive as the first drive and assigns it C:

    So when setting up multi-booting, it's best to have the new partition created prior to installing Windows on it and to make sure all other OS partitions on the hard drive are hidden.
     
  6. JC28

    JC28 Registered Member

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    MudCrab,

    I appreciate your help but this is just not working out for me. I don't know what I'm doing. This is the first time a software has beaten me and I'm ususally pretty good but this program and I are not getting allong well. Now I'm worse than when I started. I tried installing OSS in it's own partition and it ended up screwing Win XP x86. So right now the computer doesn't even see anything but what I put in the DVD drive, not Win XP x86 nor x64 (x64 was deleted by me when I reformated it's partition by the way).

    I think I'm just gonna dual boot with Windows' own partitioning tools even if I have no way to hide partitions or to assing C: drive letter to both OS partitions. It's just simple. So, anyways, I give up. I'm going back to square one and install everything from scratch :ouch: . Again, thanks for helping. Have a good one!
     
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