Windows multiboot manager like EasyBCD but runs from Hiren/Linux?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Valder, Sep 12, 2013.

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  1. Valder

    Valder Registered Member

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    I need a boot manager to manage multiple Windows boot partitions (and maybe a Linux partition or two on the side as well). But it must run from Hiren's boot CD or Linux.

    Any chance?
     
  2. Pliskin

    Pliskin Registered Member

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  3. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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  4. Valder

    Valder Registered Member

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    Thanks. And which one is recommended from all these? I prefer something easy to use. Like EasyBCD.
     
  5. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Explain what exactly do you want to do, like why it must run from Hiren's boot CD?
     
  6. Valder

    Valder Registered Member

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    I said Hiren OR Linux.

    Nothing special, I only want to manage my Windows And recovery partition(s) as well.
     
  7. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Then it's better to install a boot manager to your hard disk. Plop is good, but be careful, it's for advanced users, you may accidentally delete partitions if you're not careful. If you're willing to spend money, I highly recommend BootIt Bare Metal(BIBM).

    But I still don't get why did you want to run from live cd, or why not just use EasyBCD if you don't need something special? Maybe because you don't want each OS to "see" the others? In that case both Plop and BIBM are capable of doing that.
     
  8. Valder

    Valder Registered Member

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    Actually I thought I can run EasyBCD from an USB nut it turned out it is not the case?

    Why I need to run it from a USB? It runs only on Windows so if Windows crashes (happens) how do I reach my other partitions? I also tend to add/remove OS-es from partitions, they write things in the boot sector I don't want I am best to manage that myself. From a USB, preferably.

    So, in an ideal world I would have something easy like EasyBCD running from a USB. But in reality what do I have?
     
  9. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    EasyBCD is just a graphical tool to configure the Windows BCD registry, the actual booting is done by Windows itself.

    What you want is Plop or BIBM. Plop is small enough to not need a separate partition and is free but harder to use. BIBM needs its own partition but is easier to use. You can have as many OSs as you want.

    What happens to other OSs when one Windows crashes? Nothing, they continue to work.

    Back when I didn't know much about multi-booting, Brian K gave me this link: http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/

    Read it, also read Brian's post.
     
  10. Valder

    Valder Registered Member

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    @Sadeghi85:

    Thanks!
     
  11. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MrBrian,

    XOSL is an excellent boot manager and it is free. Do you have any special tips regarding installing it on the HD?
     
  13. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    It's been about 4 years since I installed it (I still use it), so my memory is a bit fuzzy on it. I know I installed it to a small separate hard disk partition just for XOSL. I think I installed it from Ultimate Boot CD for DOS. If you need more info on the nature of the partition that I installed XOSL on, I can find it for you.

    One thing to watch out for with XOSL is the issue with disk signature bytes, as mentioned at http://www.multibooters.co.uk/managers.html. I think XOSL also reports some volume sizes incorrectly, if I recall correctly.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It's been some years since I tried it. I made notes (below) but I can't recall why some things worked and others didn't. The following works...

    Download XOSL 1.1.5 (450k) from...
    http://www.ranish.com/part/

    In Disk Management or with a partitioning app, create a 32 MB FAT primary partition. Label it XOSL (in BING/BIBM use 14/Eh)

    Create a folder called TEMP in the partition. Unzip and copy all the files from the xosl folder into TEMP (ignore the manual folder)

    Boot from a Win98 boot CD. I suggest "Win98SEnoram_bootdisk.iso" from...
    http://www.allbootdisks.com/download/iso.html

    At the A: prompt type C: and press Enter

    type dir to confirm you are in the correct partition. You should see the TEMP directory listed

    type CD TEMP and press Enter

    type INSTALL and press Enter

    You are now in the XOSL setup

    Select Install XOSL and press Enter

    Select Install on a DOS drive and press Enter

    You should see "Install on drive : C " (make sure it is your 32 MB partition if you have other FAT partitions)

    Arrow down to Ranish Partition Manager and use Page Down (or Page Up) key to select NO

    Arrow down to Smart Boot Manager and use Page Down (or Page Up) key to select NO

    Arrow down to Start Installation and press Enter

    Press Enter on Reboot System and remove the CD

    XOSL boots

    Click Setup

    Click Add

    Select an OS. Give it a Boot item name. Click Apply.

    Click Hiding. Select a partition you wish to Hide and put a tick in the Hide box. Do this again if there are more partitions to Hide. Click Apply.

    Click Save. OK, Close.

    Click Setup and do the same for another OS you would like to add to the Boot Menu.

    If the OS is not on HD0, put a tick in Swap drives before clicking Save.

    Now you are ready to choose an OS and click Boot.

    *****************************

    If desired you can later convert this partition to a bootable DOS partition without losing XOSL.

    sys C: But that is not enough. You have to add DOS files. Edit autoexec.bat, msdos.sys, config.sys

    ***************

    Can do an install into a 32 MB FAT logical volume just as easily. XOSL works. But can't sys C: and make this boot DOS. XOSL can't boot it. BING can't either.
    If you want DOS it has to be a primary partition.

    *****************************

    For logical volume OS you don't need to allow for hidden sectors. (but get a bsod until you boot a primary partition ) Next time you try logical it is OK.
     
  15. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    @Brian K,

    I don't recall having too much difficulty installing XOSL. My memory is fuzzy on that though. I think I installed it to a ~32 MB FAT partition. According to http://www.multibooters.co.uk/managers.html XOSL can be installed to either a primary or logical partition.
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I'll try it again later today. I'd like to see if it really changes the disk signature.
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I had some spare time and installed XOSL. The install zeroes the Disk Signature.
     
  18. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Nice summary.

    I already owned BING/BIBM. If I didn't have them I'd certainly be using XOSL.
     
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