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Clone easily Windows 98 and XP in the same computer.

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cannie

cannie

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE POSSIBILITY OF SWAPPING TO AN EXACT COPY OF YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM KEPT IN THE SAME HARD DISK DRIVE?

Most users run a single OS and keep all their personal files, photographs, music, letters etc, into C drive.

Any OS is composed of thousands of elements, many of which are read and written again and again, and that means a risk by itself if any write/delete operation fails (i.e. when the computer is accidentally moved while the hard disk is writing).

If you add to it the risk coming from viruses, false install/uninstall operations, the use of a defective program, a mains failure or an incorrect computer switch off, it is easy to understand that the C drive is not a secure place. Any file into it may become deleted or inaccessible, and formatting can also be needed at any moment.

For these reasons you must always preserve updated backups of your personal files and also of the installed OS. There are a lot of utilities for that purposes.

If the OS fails the backup file must be restored before you can use your computer again. That takes time and most probably means unexpected problems.

But Windows allows you to create into your HDD up to three bootable partitions and also an extended data partition with many logical units, and if you use that possibility you are able to implement a cloned OS obtained from the one that you actually use and totally similar to it into a different drive letter, so that you can immediately switch to it by swapping the bootable partition (WinXP) or using the windows bootloader (Windows 98) to go on using your computer without delay.

While running the copy you can fix the original easily using the Windows file manager. You only need to keep a second copy of the clone somewhere else as a backup in order to repair any damaged file, and even to delete the whole OS to rebuild it from scratch as many times as needed.

Windows 98 is an optimal instrument to fix Windows XP because it is not based at all on the NT system used since 2000 by Microsoft for all their products and you repair XP from the outside. Under Windows 98 you can use its Windows mode programs like Explorer, Scandiskw.exe or Msdefrag.exe or the DOS mode ones like Fdisk.exe, Format.com or Dosshell.com, and also run an overwhelming amount of excellent third party maintenance programs like Comparator Pro, Partition Manager or Norton Disk, for Windows, or Bootpart.exe for DOS.

In spite of that, being Windows 98 a classical, tiny and fully integrated member of the Microsoft family, Windows XP allows you to use the windows bootloader to choose at boot, and you can even create a DOS boot floppy by a simple click from the Windows XP file manager.

The purpose of this tutorial is to explain how to obtain a cloned copy of any of both OS, how to make it active and how to swap fast to use it.

Windows 98 can be installed with many modern motherboards which don't provide drivers for it, being that simple install sufficient for cloning, maintenance and repair operations of Windows XP.

Thinking about users who are not able to install Windows 98 for any reason, it is also described in this tutorial the way to create a second active Xp unit by copying the installed one into another primary partition (no need to install XP again), so that at any moment also these users can experiment the freedom of swapping to the copy to go on working and to repair or totally rebuild the original installation.



INDEX OF CONTENTS.-

A.- OBTAIN AND RUN A WINDOWS 98 WORKING COPY.
B.- CREATE A DOUBLEBOOT PRIMARY PARTITION.
C.- OBTAIN AND RUN A SECOND IDENTICAL DOUBLEBOOT PRIMARY PARTITION.
D.- RESURRECT A DEAD BOOTABLE PARTITION.
E.- USE THE WINDOWS BOOTLOADER TO SWAP WIN98/WINXP WHEN BOTH ARE ALREADY INSTALLED INTO BOOTABLE PARTITIONS.
F.- CREATE AND USE A BOOT CD INSTEAD OF THE BOOT FLOPPY.
G.- REBUILD TOTALLY YOUR HARD DISK DRIVE.
H.- CREATE A SECOND WINDOWS XP BY COPYING THE EXISTING ONE.
I.- CREATE AND UPDATE BACKUP FOLDERS FOR BOTH OS.
J.- SWAP BOOTABLE PARTITIONS.
K.- OPTIMIZERS.
L.- MISCELLANEOUS RECOMMENDATIONS.




A.- HOW TO OBTAIN AND RUN A WINDOWS 98 WORKING COPY.
A1.- TRANSFER TO A LOGICAL UNIT OF THE EXTENDED DATA PARTITION.
A1.1 .- BUILDING THE CLONED UNIT.

In order to leave free the C unit to be used by more than one XP units you need to transfer the Windows 98 folders to a logical unit of the data partition so that it can be used indistinctively from any bootable partition using the windows bootloader. It can be done as follows:
- Download and install the free editor Notepad++, preferably an older version.
- Copy C:\Windows with subfolders and also any other Win98 dependent folder into any logical unit of the data partition (i.e. D:\), but Temporary Internet Files, History, Sysbckup, Recent, Cookies and Temp, and also excepting "Win386.swp" and any files with the extensions log, tmp, and bak.
- Remove all attributes from all the D:\Windows main folder files (no subfolders).
- Run Notepad++, open all D:\Windows "*.ini" and *.dat " files together, then replace in all them C:\ by D:\, save changes and close Notepad++.
- Replace the drive letter into all links to reallocated programs.


A1.2 .- BOOTING THE CLONED UNIT FROM THE HDD.
- Edit Autoexec.bat, Config.sys and Msdos.sys to replace C:\ by D:\.
- Open Msdos.sys and replace "HostWinBootDrv=C" by "HostWinBootDrv=D".
- Reboot and Windows 98 will be running on drive D, using drive C only for booting.


A1.3.- BOOTING THE CLONED UNIT FROM A FLOPPY DISK.
- Format a floppy disk using Windows 98 and copy into it Io.sys, Command.com, Autoexec.bat, Config.sys and Msdos.sys, edited as said in the precedent paragraph.
- Even when the active primary partition keeps appearing as C , this boot floppy works as active primary partition, and therefore Windows 98 can be booted without using any boot file of the HDD.
- The floppy can also be used as a backup to rebuild any damaged or accidentally deleted boot file.


A2.- TRANSFER TO ANOTHER PRIMARY PARTITION.
In the case that you don't intend to use two XP units you can create a second bootable partition for Windows 98 very easily, as follows:
- Copy into it the whole C: drive. You can do it in DOS mode using the DOS freeware program XXCOPY.EXE. You can find its last version for Windows 98/ME at http://www.xxcopy.co...ad/xxfw2965.zip
- Reboot using a DOS floppy and make active the new primary partition by running Fdisk.exe (when the primary partition belongs to a different HDD you must swap the HDD at BIOS first).
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Execute in the command line this order:
sys a: c:
- Withdraw the floppy and reboot.
- Label both primary partitions so that you always know which one is working as C:\. You can use the file manager to do it.



B.- HOW TO CREATE A DOUBLEBOOT PRIMARY PARTITION.
B1.- IF WINDOWS 98 IS NOT INSTALLED.

- Install Windows 98 into a logical unit from the extended data partition, to allow it to be shared by different primary drives. Being Windows XP the most used OS, we preserve the bootable partitions solely for Windows XP and all the boot files of both OS.
- If your computer memory is higher than 512 GB the install program gives you a "Lack of memory" message and stops the install process. You can fix it following the instructions given at www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=129983
- The install process is always done in VGA mode. If don't have a video driver, you can download the universal video drivers VBE.VXD and VBEMP.DRV it from http://www.bearwindo...d.net/vbe9x.htm
- If you use Windows 98 as a Windows XP helper you don't need any other drivers.
- If you can't install Windows 98 because you use a SATA drive, a too big HDD or NTFS file system you can find solutions in other threads of this forum. You can also find other generic drivers which could fit your needs.


B2.- IF WINDOWS 98 IS ALREADY INSTALLED AT C.
- Use the procedure described at A1 to transfer Win98 to any logical drive of the extended data partition, keeping the existing boot files into drive C. This drive letter belongs to the primary partition and will be solely used for WinXP and the doubleboot files.
- Boot D:\Windows and delete C:\Windows using the Windows file manager . If the deletion is complete it is sure that the D copy works OK.
- If C:\Windows doesn't allow to be deleted completely (it rarely happens, but may eventually occur) run regedit.exe and search "C:\Windows" all along the registry data. Edit any occurrence that you find to replace manually "C:\Windows" by "D:\ Windows". After that you won't find any difficulty for a total deletion.


B3.- BEWARE BEFORE GOING ON, IN BOTH CASES:
- The boot files Io.sys, Command.com, Autoexec.bat, Config.sys and Msdos.sys must always be kept in C. You need them for the doubleboot system.
- Copy into an empty floppy those five files. This floppy can be used in the future to boot the installed Windows 98 in case of failure of the normal booting from the HDD.
- It is very convenient to delete all "Recycled" folders at Windows 98 startup, to avoid loosing time while complying with the message that invites us to do it manually (under XP there's no problem with it). To do it you should include into Autoexec.bat the following lines:

Deltree /Y C:\Recycled> Nul
Deltree /Y D:\Recycled> Nul
Deltree /Y E:\Recycled> Nul
...
(and all the remaining unit letters of the HDD).

- After all this, you can proceed to install Windows XP normally in the C: drive.


B4.- END OF THE INSTALL PROCESS: THE WINDOWS BOOTLOADER.
- At the end of the install process the windows bootloader will appear allowing you to choose between XP or Windows 98, being the first the default OS.
- If it doesn't appear, remove all attributes from "boot.ini", increase the value of "timeout = 0" to 5 or more, and reboot.



C.- HOW TO OBTAIN AND RUN A SECOND IDENTICAL DOUBLEBOOT PRIMARY PARTITION.
In the precedent paragraphs we have described the way of having two Windows 98 units and how to implement a Win98/XP doubleboot system. Now we shall explain how to create an always ready copy of the whole doubleboot partition.


C1 .- NEEDED ELEMENTS.
- The HDD, preferably ATA or PATA (you can find in this forum the way to use also SATA), must be divided into up to three bootable primary partitions and one data extended partition. The data extended partition is able to be divided into several logical units. Any bootable partition becomes drive C when it works as active unit, but the logical units of the data partition preserve always their own drive letter.
- To use both OS you must use the FAT32 format. Even when the XP file manager has no problem at all while using big FAT32 units, it only allows formatting as FAT32 under 32GB. If you wish to create bigger FAT32 units you can do it by using fdisk.exe from DOS or Partition Manager under Windows 98 or Windows XP. Remember that you must use the same procedures if you need to reformat them afterwards preserving FAT32.
- We need a normal DOS boot floppy, into which has to be included the program bootpart.exe, freeware, which can be downloaded from http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
- We must create a batch command file to run this program, that is a text file named "Repair.bat" into the same DOS boot floppy, copying into it the following lines:

@echo off
echo Restoring Master Boot Record...
pause
FDISK /MBR
echo Starting bootpart...
pause
SYS A: C:
pause
BOOTPART WINXP BOOT:C:
pause
BOOTPART WIN98 C:\BOOTSECT.W98 "Windows 98"



- Bootpart.exe and "Repair.bat" must be also copied into the Windows 98 "Command" folder, so that you can run them afterwards from the DOS command line.
- Finally we must configure the Windows file manager properly so that all hidden files are shown (by default you don't see and can't copy them).


C2.- INSTALLATION OF THE WINDOWS XP COPY.
- Run WinXP, create a text file and label it "Unmount.reg".
- Copy into this text file all the following lines:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control]
"FirmwareBootDevice"=""
"SystemBootDevice"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control]
"FirmwareBootDevice"=""
"SystemBootDevice"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control]
"FirmwareBootDevice"=""
"SystemBootDevice"=""



- Double click on "Unmount.reg" twice in order to unmount all mounted devices.
- Reboot and choose Windows 98 at the doubleboot screen.
- Configure the file manager properly so that all hidden and system files are shown. If you don't see you can't copy them.
- Delete C:\pagefile.sys.
- Search and delete all log (*. log), tmp (*. tmp), and bak (*. bak) files of C disk and all the existing "Temporary Internet Files", "Temp" and "Cookies" folders that you can find into "Documents and Settings".
- Copy into the free primary partition first the root files Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Boot.ini and Videorom.bin, and after that all folders excepting "System Volume Information" and the Recycle folder.
- Using the file manager, format the second primary partition and all the logical units of the extended data partition as FAT32.
- Use the file manager to copy first into the second primary partition the root files Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Boot.ini, Videorom.bin, Bootsect.w98, Io.sys, Msdos.sys, Command.com, Autoexec.bat and Config.sys. After that copy all other folders of the first primary partition to the second one.
- Edit "boot.ini" in the second primary partition to adjust the partition number, i.e if the number is 2, the new text will be:
(multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS)
- The partition number can be found by running fdisk.exe from DOS, or Partition Manager from Windows.


C3.- BOOTING THE COPY OF THE PRIMARY PARTITION.
- Insert the DOS boot floppy.
- Reboot while keeping pressed F12. Boot devices will appear in the screen. Choose Floppy and press "Enter". The computer will reboot using the DOS boot floppy as boot device (if this doesn't work in your computer change the boot order in the BIOS to set the floppy drive as first boot device, and reboot afterwards).
- Execute fdisk on interactive mode to make active the other primary partition, or do it from the command line using the following command (being n the partition number):
fdisk/activate:n
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Run "Repair.bat"
- Remove the floppy and reboot. Windows XP2 will work just like XP1.
- To swap partitions afterwards do as explained later at paragraph J.



D.- HOW TO RESURRECT A DEAD BOOTABLE PARTITION.
- Boot the other primary partition and format the inactive bootable partition as FAT32.
- Copy first into the formatted partition the root files Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Boot.ini, Videorom.bin, Bootsect.w98, Io.sys, Msdos.sys, Command.com, Autoexec.bat and Config.sys.
- After that, copy all remaining files and folders.
- Insert the DOS boot diskette and reboot.
- Execute fdisk on interactive mode to make active the rebuilt bootable partition, or do it from the command line using the following command (being n the partition number):
fdisk/activate:n
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Run "Repair.bat".
- Withdraw the floppy and reboot.



E.- HOW TO USE THE WINDOWS BOOTLOADER TO SWAP WIN98/WINXP WHEN BOTH ARE ALREADY INSTALLED INTO BOOTABLE PARTITIONS.
- Keep active the XP bootable partition and paste into it the Windows 98 boot files Autoexec.bat, Config.sys, Msdos.sys, Io.sys and Command.com.
- Transfer Windows 98 to a logical unit of the extended data partition following the instructions given above at paragraphs A1.1 and A1.2.
- Get a DOS boot floppy and include into it the program bootpart.exe, freeware, which can be downloaded from http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
- Create into the floppy a batch file to run this program, that is a text file named "Repair.bat" copying into it the following lines:

@echo off
echo Restoring Master Boot Record...
pause
FDISK /MBR
echo Starting bootpart...
pause
SYS A: C:
pause
BOOTPART WINXP BOOT:C:
pause
BOOTPART WIN98 C:\BOOTSECT.W98 "Windows 98"



- Insert the DOS boot floppy.
- Reboot while keeping pressed F12. Boot devices will appear in the screen. Choose Floppy and press "Enter". The computer will reboot using the DOS boot floppy as boot device (if this doesn't work in your computer change the boot order in the BIOS to set the floppy drive as first boot device, and reboot afterwards).
- Reboot again. The windows bootloader must be shown at start, allowing you to choose between XP or Windows 98, being the first the default OS.
- If it doesn't appear, remove all attributes from "boot.ini", increase the value of "timeout = 0" to 5 or more, and reboot.



F. - HOW TO CREATE A BOOT CD TO USE IT INSTEAD OF THE BOOT FLOPPY.
As already said, you can use a floppy drive to work as bootable partition instead of the disk primary partition defined as active if the system fails at booting due to a damaged boot sector. This damage may be due to different causes like viruses, malfunctioning of a program or false install or removal operations. The only thing that we find is a black screen and a message telling us that our HDD is not valid.
The damage can be fixed using a floppy to boot Windows 98 to run afterwards “Repair.bat” (B.1).
For different reasons you may prefer to have also, or instead of the floppy, a CD boot disk, i.e. if you leave permanently the CD drive as first boot device to boot faster, if the floppy drive is damaged and of course if you don’t have any floppy device at all.
You can create a bootable CD for each one of the units in which both operating systems are working this way:


F1.- HOW TO CREATE A BOOT CD FOR WINDOWS 98.
- Insert the Windows 98 boot floppy (A1.3).
- Open NERO in the option BOOT CD-ROM, and keep unit A: as the source of boot files.
- Copy all the boot floppy files to the CD root using the Nero windows.
- Burn the CD.


F2.- HOW TO CREATE A BOOT CD FOR EACH ONE OF THE TWO XP UNITS.
- Insert an empty floppy formatted under XP.
- Copy from C: into it the files NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI .
- Edit BOOT.INI to establish timeout=0, and delete any mention to Windows 98.
- Open NERO in the option BOOT CD-ROM, and keep unit A: as source of boot files.
- Burn the CD.
- The floppy can also be used as boot device.
- Mind to use always the boot device made for the present active partition. The use of the other one would produce damages in the registry.



G.- HOW TO REBUILD TOTALLY YOUR HARD DISK DRIVE .
It is very convenient to remember that even when the doubleboot and doublepartition systems give us great possibilities to recover our computer from most damages, total security never exists, no matter how many protections you implement or the OS that you use, and for this reason it is absolutely necessary to keep copies of everything out of the current HDD and to update them as regularly as possible.
Excellent for this purpose are pendrives and external hard disks. CD or DVD disks can also be used, but in this case it is better to compress previously the backup files using .zip or .rar format.
If you have such backups, you can rebuild totally from scratch your whole HDD in a fast and secure way doing as follows:

G1.- PREPARE:
- If the motive of the rebuild operation are the effects of a virus, it could be convenient to withdraw the battery for some seconds to clean the BIOS.
- Insert the DOS boot floppy and boot.
- Run Fdisk to delete the two bootable partitions and the extended data partition. After deletion, create all three partitions again. Don't forget to create again the same logical units that you had into the extended data partition.
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Format only the first bootable partition.
- Install Windows XP into the first bootable partition from the install disk (at this stage we use it only as a provisional OS to start the rebuilding).
- Mind to configure the Windows file manager properly so that all hidden files are shown.


G2.- REBUILD EVERYTHING BUT THE FIRST BOOTABLE PRIMARY PARTITION:
- Using the file manager, format the second bootable partition and all the logical units of the extended data partition as FAT32.
- Use the file manager to copy first into the second bootable partition the root files Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Boot.ini, Videorom.bin, Bootsect.w98, Io.sys, Msdos.sys, Command.com, Autoexec.bat and Config.sys. After that, restore all folders of the same drive.
- Restore from their copies all files and folders into the logical units of the extended data partition.
- Insert the DOS floppy and reboot.
- Execute fdisk on interactive mode to make active the other bootable partition, or do it from the command line using the following command (being n the partition number):
fdisk/activate:n
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Run "Repair.bat", withdraw the boot floppy and reboot again. Windows XP will appear, working normally from the second bootable partition.


G3.- REBUILD THE FIRST BOOTABLE PRIMARY PARTITION:
- Using the file manager, format the first bootable partition as FAT32.
- Use the file manager to copy first into the first bootable partition the root files Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Boot.ini, Videorom.bin, Bootsect.w98, Io.sys, Msdos.sys, Command.com, Autoexec.bat and Config.sys. After that, restore all folders of the same drive.
- Insert the DOS floppy and reboot.
- Execute fdisk on interactive mode to make active the inactive bootable partition, or do it from the command line using the following command (being n the partition number):
fdisk/activate:n
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Run "Repair.bat", withdraw the boot floppy and reboot again.
- Windows XP works now from the first bootable partition, as if nothing had happened.



H.- HOW TO CREATE A SECOND WINDOWS XP BY COPYING THE EXISTING ONE.
Even when the doubleboot system is no doubt a great advantage for cloning and maintenance of XP, sometimes it is convenient to have a second Windows XP without Windows 98. You can do it without installing again, by simply copying the installed one, as follows:

H1.- NEEDED ELEMENTS.-
- The HDD must have at least a free bootable partition. You can create it easily using Partition Manager to reduce the size of the existing primary partition and create into the left space the new primary one, formatting it afterwards as FAT32 or NTFS (preferably the file system used in the original).
- Remember that before any manipulation of the HDD it is convenient to make a backup of everything into an external HDD, DVD, CD or pendrive.
- You need a DOS boot floppy, including into it the program bootpart.exe, freeware, which can be downloaded from http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
-Into this floppy you need to create a batch command file to to build the boot sectors, called i.e. "Boot.bat", copying into it the following lines:

@echo off
BOOTPART WINXP BOOT:C:


- Finally you need a Live CD for file management operations. You can find lots of them in the Internet (look at Wikipedia for "Live CD"). Any of them is valid whenever its file manager allows seeing hidden and system files, because if you don't see you can't copy them.


H2.- INSTALLATION OF THE WINDOWS XP COPY.-
- Create a text file and copy into it all the following lines:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]



- Label the text file properly to be used as registry script, i.e. "Unmount.reg"
- Double click on it twice in order to unmount all mounted devices.
- Insert the Live CD.
- Reboot while keeping pressed F12. Boot devices will appear in the screen. Choose CD and press "Enter". The computer will reboot using the Live CD as boot device (if this doesn't work in your computer change the boot order in the BIOS to set the CD drive as first boot device).
- Using the file manager delete C:\pagefile.sys.
- Search and delete all log (*. log), tmp (*. tmp), and bak (*. bak) files of C disk and all the existing "Temporary Internet Files", "Temp" and "Cookies" folders that you can find into "Documents and Settings".
- Copy into the free bootable partition first the root files Ntdetect.com, Ntldr, Boot.ini and Videorom.bin, and after that all folders excepting "System Volume Information" and the Recycle folder.
- Edit "boot.ini" in the second bootable partition to cope with the partition number, which can be found easily by running Partition Manager while using Windows or the interactive mode of fdisk.exe while using the boot floppy under DOS. Being "n" the partition number, the edited text will be:
(multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(n)\WINDOWS)


H3.- BUILD THE BOOT SECTORS AND START USING THE CLONED WINDOWS 7.
- Insert the DOS boot floppy and reboot. as said in the precedent paragraph, now setting Floppy as first boot device.
- Execute fdisk on interactive mode to make active the cloned bootable partition, or do it from the command line using the following command (being n the partition number):
fdisk/activate:n
- Keep inserted the floppy and reboot.
- Run "Boot.bat"
- Remove the floppy and reboot. The cloned copy will be working just like the original.
- To swap partitions do as explained later at paragraph J.



I.- HOW TO CREATE AND UPDATE BACKUP FOLDERS FOR BOTH OS.
I.1.- CREATE THE BACKUP FOLDERS.
I.1.1.- FOR WINDOWS 98.
- Run Windows XP.
- Delete the swap file "Win386.swp" and also all log (*. log), tmp (*. tmp), and bak (*. bak) files into the Windows folder, and also the subfolders Temporary Internet Files, History, Sysbckup, Recent, Cookies and Temp.
- Create a folder somewhere in the extended data partition, preferably into a different logical unit, named i.e. "Win98 clean" and copy the whole Windows folder into it.

I.1.2.- FOR WINDOWS XP.
- Run Windows XP and double click on "Unmount.reg" twice, so that the registry becomes modified.
- Reboot and run Windows 98.
- Clean the C unit as said in C2.
- Create a folder somewhere in the extended data partition named i.e. "XP clean" and copy the whole clean C drive into it.


I.2.- UPDATE OF THE BACKUP FOLDERS WHILE FAST CLEANING THE OS.
- Run a different disk unit, no matter if it is Windows 98 or XP.
- Run ComparatorPro and compare every used folder against its backup copy.
- Remove all new unnecessary or unwanted files from the used unit.
- Copy to the backup folder all new known files.
- Update the backup folder by replacing all modified files by the new ones.


I.3.- RECOMMENDED COMPLEMENTARY CARES.
- For increased security it is convenient to keep a second copy of both backup folders on CD, pendrive or external HDD, to be used if the first one is occasionally damaged, preferably using .zip or .rar format so that each and every file keeps its own attributes.
- You can defragment all HDD drives by a single click under Windows 98 by running Msdefrag.exe (the ME version is compatible and faster). This utility, as you all know, also checks the HDD and demands the use of Scandisk.exe when needed.



J.- HOW TO SWAP BOOTABLE PARTITIONS.
J.1.- BY USING "PARTITION MANAGER" FROM THE ACTIVE XP OR WINDOWS 98.
- Run the program and click "set inactive" the current bootable partition and "set active" the other one. Be careful not to leave both active neither both inactive.


J.2.- BY USING THE DOS BOOT FLOPPY.
- Execute fdisk on interactive mode to make active the other bootable partition, or do it from the command line using the following command (being n the partition number):
fdisk/activate:n
- Withdraw the floppy and reboot.


J.3.- RECOMMENDED CARES.
- In order to know which one of the bootable partitions is active and running as C, it is very convenient that you label the drives i.e. as "XP1" and "XP2". You can do it easily using the file manager.



K.- OPTIMIZERS.-
To optimize the OS you may download and run the following freeware:
- "Autoruns", to detect underground run programs and deactivate unwanted ones. Any unwanted entry may be deactivated by simply unchecking its box.
- "Ccleaner", HDD disk cleaner.
- "Wise Disk Cleaner", HDD disk cleaner.
- "Wise Registry Cleaner", registry cleaner and defragmenter.
- "Disk Defrag", fast HDD defragmenter and optimizer.
- "Wise Data Recovery", to undelete erased files.
- "Wise Uninstaller", for complete removal of unwanted applications from disk and registry.
- "Displayset", freeware to modify every item of your desktop.



L.- MISCELLANEOUS RECOMMENDATIONS.
- If you've got two HDD units into your computer, you can try to create the XP2 clone into a bootable partition of the second HDD as said, in order to switch to it in case of failure of the first HDD. If your hardware allows it, this would mean an increased security because you could replace your current HDD in a fast and easy way.
- Never format a bootable partition: you would destroy the partition boot record and it will be dead. Use instead of it the DOS program DELTREE.EXE. To run it from Windows XP you must first copy the program into the Windows\System32 folder and include in the command line the whole path. I.e. to delete drive F you must execute from the command line:
C:\Windows\System32\Deltree.exe /Y F:\*.*
- You can copy in batch mode whole folders or drives using the freeware program XXCOPY.EXE. There are more recent versions of it for Windows XP, but the last version that works OK with Win 9x/ME is 2.96.5 which can be found at http://www.xxcopy.co...ad/xxfw2965.zip

- And finally, to optimize a XP laptop inner temperature you may use any vacuum cleaner to extract the inner accumulated dust through the ventilation holes under it with the computer turned off, being this specially recommended in the event of overheating.



REMARKS.

This first post only included initially the Windows 98 cloning.

All paragraphs concerning Windows XP have been created later in succesive editions of the original text by choosing, collecting, resuming and putting together many ideas suggested by other members in this thread.

That's why you may find more extensive details about all this all along the following posts in the words of their authors and contributors. You may also find their excellent explanations of the theory of it all and other alternative ways. I have only resumed here my own experience in the search for the easiest path, in the wish of being useful to other members or visitors of this forum.

Thanks to jaclaz, dencorso and all other members for their ideas! I have learnt a lot: without their contribution I would never have reached to do this. :thumbup

Please post in this thread any new idea about how to do it better. Thank you very much.


Edited by cannie, 02 June 2014 - 02:43 PM.



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#2
cannie

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When cloning Windows 98, for increased security you may copy C:\Program Files and C:\Mydocs to D, or E or any other drive and afterwards use COA2 (freeware) to change the adress in the register and links. You may afterwards erase both folders in C. This way you are able to start Windows using your boot floppy even after eliminating and creating again the main partition if system crashes (fdisk, freeware) using normally Windows even without formatting C drive (you may format it afterwards much faster using Windows explorer). Of course, you must keep always saved in any other drive a .zip or .rar copy of C:\Windows.

Cheers :rolleyes:

Edited by cannie, 13 February 2009 - 05:48 AM.


#3
Roostron

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Hi!
You forgot one very important step...
Windows 98SE will NOT copy the "WIN386.SWP" swap file inside the "Windows" directory - it will stop the copy process when it encounters this file. In order to copy the Windows directory properly, you need to:

(1) Create a "Windows" directory on the destination (D:) drive in Explorer
(2) Go into the "Windows" directory on the source (C:) drive and select everything BUT the "WIN386.SWP" file, and finally
(3) Copy/Paste the selected files.

Hope this is helpful!

#4
cannie

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Hi Roostron!

It's years since I use this backup system. I have changed my HD 3 times and never had to reinstall.

At present I use 3 drives sharing the same Mydocs and Program Files folders (C,D and E) and a small drive F for temporary files.

I moved the .swp file to f:\, using Mydocs (right click) >Virtual memory.

I also moved there the folders Temporary Internet Files (IE options) and Temp (Autoexec.bat).

I format (fast) F:\ at every boot using autoexec.bat (it takes 3 seconds), so I never have any problem at all coming from disk fragmentation or temporary files.

I use 2 external HD connected through an USB2 IDE internal device (it increases 50 times the transfer speed), which uses the drivers included in the Unofficial SP2.

Thank you for the reminder.

Greetings. :rolleyes:

#5
dencorso

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Donator

Here is an easier way:

Clone the whole disk C: to D: using freeware XXCOPY.
Enter BIOS and swap C: with D:.
Boot from the clone.
This way you need to edit no files.
HTH

#6
cannie

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Hi, dencorso!

An excellent program. I didn't know it before.

Thank you very much. :rolleyes:

Edited by cannie, 08 June 2008 - 11:31 AM.


#7
cannie

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An excellent instrument to clone a whole folder or a complete drive:

http://www.grigsoft.com/wndsync.htm

It runs perfect using Win98SE-SP2, even when it is made for XP and later.

In the case of cloning a folder you must create previouly the empty destination folder.

Extremely fast.

Hope this helps.

Edited by cannie, 09 June 2008 - 01:19 AM.


#8
cannie

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If anybody knows any new idea to improve cloning please post it here. Thank you! :hello:

Edited by cannie, 13 June 2008 - 09:41 AM.


#9
SlugFiller

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If anybody knows any new idea to improve cloning please post it here. Thank you! :hello:

Copying with Explorer always works for me...

#10
cannie

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Hi SlugFiller!

Of course, you are right!: Explorer always works. I'll try to explain you what I really meant:

I discovered this forum very recently and found no mention at all to cloning, and that's what made me start this thread by copying the old note that a proffesional gave me years ago, so that others could take profit of it. In fact I've not had any problem at all using indisctinctively 3 drives.

What I really mean to post if anybody knows is any complementary idea, such as those that I had by myself after I was tought, i.e. using F: drive for swapping, temp and IE Temporary Files and formatting it at every boot using Autoexec.bat (format /q).

I've already learnt here the use of XXcopy for cloning using DOS and BIOS posted by another member of this forum, which also is a really interesting way of cloning.

Maybe there are other interesting ideas which I don't know, and that's what made me write the words that you quote. Hope that it helps.

Cheers! :sneaky:

Edited by cannie, 15 June 2008 - 02:00 PM.


#11
Valerie

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XXClone is worth a look :ph34r: http://www.xxclone.com/

V...

#12
cannie

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Thanks, Valerie!

#13
Marius '95

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I use DriveSpace. Not because I don't have enough space, but because I can create (or restore) a backup copying just one file - drivespace.000. It can be copied from Windows. ;)

If you decide to try this, make sure you have attrib.exe on host drive in case you need to restore a backup. Drvspace.000 is hidden and read-only.

Edited by Marius '95, 25 June 2008 - 11:27 PM.


#14
cannie

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It is a fine backup system. Very interesting. Thank you Marius 95!

#15
E-66

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http://www.pcworld.c...cs/article.html

#16
cannie

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Good to know it. Apparently it seemed to be good.
Since long ago I always make backups by copying to an external HD (copy-paste). Well, I'll keep doing it in my own way!
Thanks for the excellent link, E-66. I really enjoyed it!

Edited by cannie, 01 July 2008 - 02:05 AM.


#17
bikerbrom

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I was wondering about cloning drives.
So I got an old 3gb HDD with win ME on it, and set about cloning it to a 10GB HDD.

I made a dos startup disk, and put fdisk onto it.
I cleared the destination HDD with fdisk, and set up a new primary dos partion in fat32 format.
I put the destination HDD into the win ME system as a slave drive, setting the jumpers appropriately.

Then I installed a programme called 'Seagate DiskWizard for Windows v4.09' onto the source HDD, started the programme, under the 'maintenance' tab selected 'copy files' and did a 'drive to drive copy'.
-there were about 12 files named as being un-copyable using the prog, so I searched for them on the source HDD, wrote the directory names down, and manually copied them to the corresponding directories on the slave HDD.

Then I took the source HDD out, set up the destination HDD as the new master (setting the jumpers up appropriately)....
and sat back as the thing booted up, -and was amazed when it just worked perfectly.

Edited by bikerbrom, 28 September 2008 - 04:58 PM.


#18
CharlotteTheHarlot

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I was wondering about cloning drives.
So I got an old 3gb HDD with win ME on it, and set about cloning it to a 10GB HDD.

I made a dos startup disk, and put fdisk onto it.
I cleared the destination HDD with fdisk, and set up a new primary dos partion in fat32 format.
I put the destination HDD into the win ME system as a slave drive, setting the jumpers appropriately.

Then I installed a programme called 'Seagate DiskWizard for Windows v4.09' onto the source HDD, started the programme, under the 'maintenance' tab selected 'copy files' and did a 'drive to drive copy'.
-there were about 12 files named as being un-copyable using the prog, so I searched for them on the source HDD, wrote the directory names down, and manually copied them to the corresponding directories on the slave HDD.

Then I took the source HDD out, set up the destination HDD as the new master (setting the jumpers up appropriately)....
and sat back as the thing booted up, -and was amazed when it just worked perfectly.


You may find it very useful to burn yourself a bootable CDROM containing the latest Seagate DiscWizard software which is a quite capable free version of Acronis TrueImage which only requires that one of the hard drives is a Seagate/Maxtor.

No bootup floppies or FDISK/Format is necessary. No worries about locked files as you are cloning disks outside of the operating system itself. Fat32 or NTFS makes no difference. The clincher is that the CDROM will clone any Windows operating system (as of the last time I checked).

The process is simple: grab a new HDD and clone the old one to the new one (C: to C:), remove the old one and place it on the shelf as an emergency backup. Place the new one in its place.

IMHO this process lends itself to three frequently encountered scenarios: {1} backing up a HDD, {2} upgrading/replacing your HDD, {3} duplicating a HDD to safely work on a copy (e.g., virus infected or forensics exploration).

There are more details of course: jumpers on PATA drives, and both drives need to be attached during the cloning. But they are easy to handle. I wrote about it in this thread. Be sure to read post #5 and post #9.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#19
herbalist

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I've been experimenting with using archiving utilities for backing up and restoring 98. So far, the results are promising. At the moment, I'm using a 98SE test system which is using 477MB.

WinRar 3.51 compressed the drive down to 187MB using what they called "best" compression.
7Zip 4.57 compressed the same drive down to 152MB using "ultra" compression.
For a comparison, an image of the same drive made with an Acronis CD was 237MB.

I extracted each image to an empty partition, then compared the partition to the original drive using WinMerge 2.10. Both WinRar and 7Zip produced exact duplicates of the entire file system.

Does anyone know of a utility that can save and restore a copy of the MBR, preferably one that works in DOS or Windows? On one PC, I'm using the 2K bootloader. The one I'm working on will use Grub when I get it finished.
Rick

#20
geoc

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Partition saving http://www.partition-saving.com can save also mbr.
I made w98 backup with this dos/windows program.

#21
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Does anyone know of a utility that can save and restore a copy of the MBR, preferably one that works in DOS or Windows?


Fortunately in Win9x critical maintenance is easy to do. I usually run a compiled INNO exe that performs a complete data collection: CMOS dump, MBR/MBS/VBR and more, Registry export, Registry DATs, complete Filelist, and critical OS and log files. Winrar is nicely suited for most of this, CMOSSAVE, REGEDIT, and FINDPART are other useful tools.

There are many ways to save/restore the Master Boot Sector (the first 512 bytes of disk 0 which contains the MBR). In my experience it is better to grab more than the first sector's 512 bytes, and since it takes no more time or effort why not just grab the first 95 sectors (absolute sectors 0 to 94). This is everything up to but NOT including the first FAT. The output is a mere 48,640 bytes and contains lots of important information needed to reconstruct a HDD. Sometimes I do grab at least one of the two FATs also.

FINDPART is one of those great uber-hacker utilities and it is free. Last seen on this page (I highly recommend that technically skilled users download everything on those webpages). The FINDPART utility combines in one EXE many other tools, I quote the author:

The Findpart Windows version includes the functionality of the utilities FindNTFS, GB32, Chsdir, Editpart, EditGUID, Findfat, Getsect, Putsect, Cyldir, Finddir, Findext2, Findbad, Pqrp, FindJPG, FindDoc, Readext2 and Readfat.

Using the GetSect component of FindPart returns this information:

Getsect, version FP 4.91.Copyright Svend Olaf Mikkelsen, 2007.Usage: Findpart Getsect <disknumber> <cylinder> <head> <sector>               <no of sectors> [+]<filename> [noheader] [backwards]               [bad00 | badf6]Writes the sectors to <filename>. Use +<filename> for append.Returns 0 if the sectors are read without errors.Option 'bad00' or 'badf6' writes ascii 0 or hex F6 for sectors that cannot be read.The output file can be viewed with the Windows 95/98'edit /64 <filename>' command. Disks are numbered from 1.

For my example, this command saves the aforementioned 48,640 bytes:

FindPart.exe GetSect 1 0 0 1 95 MBRPLUS.BIN noheader                     | | | |  |                     | | | |  +-----> total of 95 sectors                     | | | +------> sector 1                     | | +------> head 0                     | +------> cylinder 0                     +------> 1st disk (disk 0 aka C:)

All the bytes contained in the first 95 sectors are saved into into a file called MBRPLUS.BIN. Note that there is a corresponding PutSect component to add such saved data back into the HDD. The NOHEADER means that only data is written to the file lending itself to be restored back to a HDD. Of course the following will give you just the 512 byte MBS that you originally asked for:

FindPart.exe GetSect 1 0 0 1 1 MBR.BIN noheader

EDIT: please see post#24 for an update. In short, FindPart PutSect apparently can only restore a single sector to a HDD. To restore multiple saved sectors something else must be used.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 01 October 2008 - 04:32 PM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#22
cannie

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FindPart.exe GetSect 1 0 0 1 95 MBRPLUS.BIN noheader


I have created this way MBRPLUS.BIN from Windows 98. I use double boot XP/Win98.

Are the double boot main partition bootsector and mbr totally included in that size, to avoid using the fixboot and fixmbr commands?

To avoid doing things wrong and destroying anything: I think the command line to restore bootsector and mbr using MBRPLUS.BIN must be: FindPart.exe PutSect 1 0 0 1 95 MBRPLUS.BIN noheader. Is this correct?

Thank you very much.

Edited by cannie, 01 October 2008 - 06:06 AM.


#23
herbalist

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Thanks
Both of those sites will be helpful. I'm not as familiar with MBRs, boot sectors, file tables, etc as I need to be. Never needed to do much with any of it. Learning as I go. I'm gradually assembling all the pieces to build a DOS/Windows replacement for the Acronis CD that doesn't use proprietary formats. I've got a DOS CD that works well with my external drive. Working on LFN support for it. Still need to test command line versions of the archiving tools.

I can't complain about the performance of the Acronis CD. It's always worked for me, but there's a couple of limitations I've wanted to get away from. I don't know of anything else that can open one of their .tib archives. I'd much rather use a format that can be accessed and edited with standard archiving tools from within Windows or DOS. I've gotten into a bad habit, downloading and saving files to my desktop and cleaning it up later. On the desktop of my primary unit, it just makes a big mess (there's an image under all those icons somewhere), but on my test units, it's files I can't get to without installing that image on a test drive. Shut down Windows, reboot with the CD, back up the existing drive, pick an archive, choose a hard drive, wait for the process to finish, remove CD, reboot, it's not on this image, repeat process, :wacko: As much as I get sidetracked when doing something, anything could end up being anywhere.

I'm also disappointed in its compression after seeing what 7Zip and WinRar can do. Free space is becoming scarce on my external drive and a bigger one is just not in the budget right now. If 7Zip or WinRar does as well with the other images as they did the first one, converting the backup images would gain me about 12GB of disk space and buy me some time. It's either that or cleaning out the download folder, which is a scary looking job. :ph34r:
Rick

#24
CharlotteTheHarlot

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I have created this way MBRPLUS.BIN from Windows 98. I use double boot XP/Win98.

Are the double boot main partition bootsector and mbr totally included in that size, to avoid using the fixboot and fixmbr commands?

To avoid doing things wrong and destroying anything: I think the command line to restore bootsector and mbr using MBRPLUS.BIN must be: FindPart.exe PutSect 1 0 0 1 95 MBRPLUS.BIN noheader. Is this correct?


Firstly, I just noticed that FindPart PutSect fails to return the commandline options that FindPart GetSect does. You need to first do this: set findpart=edit. The presence of that environment string 'unlocks' the more dangerous features of FindPart. Having done that, here is the commandline usage for the PutSect component of FindPart:

Putsect, version FP 4.91.Copyright Svend Olaf Mikkelsen, 2007.Usage: Findpart Putsect <disknumber> <cylinder> <head> <sector> <filename>               <cylinders> <hash> [checkfile <checkfilename>] [force]Writes the content of the file <filename> to the sector.Returns 0 if the sector is written. The file must be 512 byteslong. <cylinders> is the number of cylinders on the disk.If the ascii value of byte no. n is called a(n), the hash value usedis 1 * a(1) + 2 * a(2) + ... + 512 * a(512). The result is writtenas an 8 digit hexadecimal number. The hash value of a 512 bytes filecan be printed with the command: Findpart Putsect gethash <filename>If checkfile is used, hash can be entered as 00000000and the current sector content must match <checkfilename>.If force is used, hash can be entered as 00000000.Special <filename> values: !zero for ascii 0 characters, !f6 for ascii246, !ff for ascii 255. Other keywords: 'loop' puts infinite loop codein the first 2 bytes. 'signature' puts hex 55, AA in the last 2 bytes.

IMPORTANT CORRECTION!: this command appears to only support single sector insertion. My bad! That MBRPLUS.BIN containing 95 sectors (48,640 bytes) cannot, I repeat CANNOT be restored by this command. I will research this further but in order to place data onto your HDD, you must first save a single sector, in your case the Master Boot Sector (absolute sector 0 aka CHS 0,0,1) as previously noted:

FindPart.exe GetSect 1 0 0 1 1 MBR.BIN noheader

That gives you a 512 byte file called MBR.BIN that contains the Master Boot Sector (within that is the actual MBR and MPT Partition Tables). Once you have that file, and you set findpart=edit, the corresponding command to restore the same saved file back to the HDD is:

FindPart.exe PutSect 1 0 0 1 MBR.BIN ??? 00000000 force

That ??? will need to be filled in. It will be the number of cylinders on the HDD you are writing to. To find out how to determine this see Post #31 from TheStarman. Alternatively, see: Post #28 for another possibility for writing this data to the Hard Disk (by using SrcMbr from SRCTOOLS).

NB: I believe it is possible for BIOS or Windows based AntiVirus Boot Sector protection to interfere with this operation. But lets not cross this bridge unless we have to.

Cannie, remember to stash away that MBRPLUS.BIN for reference only. The new file MBR.BIN is what you will be using now. Sorry about any mixup! I need to wash my brain and then try to remember what utility I used to insert multiple saved sectors onto a HDD. It could have been another of Svend's tools, or maybe one from Terabyte. Possibly even Norton DiskEdit. Once I have this squared away I will start a thread specific to this subject.

EDIT: i'll be back soon to answer the 2nd part of that question.
EDIT: fixed the FindPart PutSect commandline per Daniel in Post #31.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 05 October 2008 - 07:25 PM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#25
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Are the double boot main partition bootsector and mbr totally included in that size, to avoid using the fixboot and fixmbr commands?


First, to give credit where credit is due. Everyone should take the time to see the magnificent effort at explaining MBR's by Daniel B. Sedory aka TheStarman. :thumbup I am perfectly safe in saying that his is the most extensive examination of this subject anywhere. Microsoft and Wikipedia will likely use him for reference, I am not kidding at all. Daniel, we're not worthy! The table of contents is here: MBR and OS Boot Records (INDEX PAGE). In that list is the MBR we are presently concerned with: An Examination of the MBR (WIN9X).

I just took a snapshot of a Seagate 120GB C: boot drive. Then I dropped the bytes into a formatted spreadsheet. Its too bad the forum software does not allow CSS-style background colors. Using foreground colors is limiting. Here are the main descriptions but do visit the linked website for expert level information. This is all 512 bytes of the Master Boot Sector (Absolute Sector 0) formatted into lines of 16 bytes ...

[font="Courier New"][size=3][color="#008800"]33 C0 8E D0 BC 00 7C FB 50 07 50 1F FC BE 1B 7CBF 1B 06 50 57 B9 E5 01 F3 A4 CB BE BE 07 B1 0438 2C 7C 09 75 15 83 C6 10 E2 F5 CD 18 8B 14 8BEE 83 C6 10 49 74 16 38 2C 74 F6 BE 10 07 4E AC  ; this entire green area3C 00 74 FA BB 07 00 B4 0E CD 10 EB F2 89 46 25  ; is executable code96 8A 46 04 B4 06 3C 0E 74 11 B4 0B 3C 0C 74 05  ; except the 6 bytes in black3A C4 75 2B 40 C6 46 25 06 75 24 BB AA 55 50 B441 CD 13 58 72 16 81 FB 55 AA 75 10 F6 C1 01 740B 8A E0 88 56 24 C7 06 A1 06 EB 1E 88 66 04 BF0A 00 B8 01 02 8B DC 33 C9 83 FF 05 7F 03 8B 4E25 03 4E 02 CD 13 72 29 BE 46 07 81 3E FE 7D 55AA 74 5A 83 EF 05 7F DA 85 F6 75 83 BE 27 07 EB8A 98 91 52 99 03 46 08 13 56 0A E8 12 00 5A EBD5 4F 74 E4 33 C0 CD 13 EB B8 [b][color="#000000"]00 00 80 11 11 11  ; Drive/Timestamp Mystery Bytes[/color][/b]56 33 F6 56 56 52 50 06 53 51 BE 10 00 56 8B F4  [b][color="#000000"]; Important! see link![/color][/b]50 52 B8 00 42 8A 56 24 CD 13 5A 58 8D 64 10 72  ; [size=2][url="http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/mystery.htm#COPY"]Don't make exact copies of Win9x HDDs![/url][/size]0A 40 75 01 42 80 C7 02 E2 F7 F8 5E C3 EB 74[/color] [color="#FF00FF"]496E 76 61 6C 69 64 20 70 61 72 74 69 74 69 6F 6E20 74 61 62 6C 65 00 45 72 72 6F 72 20 6C 6F 61  ; this section contains error64 69 6E 67 20 6F 70 65 72 61 74 69 6E 67 20 73  ; message strings such as: 79 73 74 65 6D 00 4D 69 73 73 69 6E 67 20 6F 70  ; 'Missing operating system'65 72 61 74 69 6E 67 20 73 79 73 74 65 6D 00[/color] 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0000 00 00 [color="#880088"][b]8B FC 1E 57 8B F5 CB[/b][/color] 00 00 00 00 00 00  [color="#880088"][b]; MSWIN4.1 FDISK mark[/b][/color]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 [color="#000088"][b]00 78 01 78[/b][/color] 01 00 [color="#FF0000"][b]80 01[/b][/color]  [color="#000088"][b]; NT Drive Serial Number[/b][/color][color="#FF0000"][b]01 00 0C FE 7F 00 3F 00 00 00 82 37 F9 0D 00 00[/b][/color][color="#FF0000"][b]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ; Partition Table[/b][/color][color="#FF0000"][b]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00[/b][/color][color="#FF0000"][b]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00[/b][/color] [b][color="#880000"]55 AA  ; signature ID Magic Number[/color][/b][/size][/font]

Now if you focus on the Partition Table, it is actually 4x16 byte arrays ...

[font="Courier New"][size=3][color="#FF0000"][b]                                          80 0101 00 0C FE 7F 00 3F 00 00 00 82 37 F9 0D [color="#880088"]00 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00[/color] 00 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 [color="#880088"]00 0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00[/color][/b][/color][/size][/font]Same data spread out linearly ...[font="Courier New"][size=3][color="#FF0000"][b]80 01 01 00 0C FE 7F 00 3F 00 00 00 82 37 F9 0D  ; Entry-1[color="#880088"]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ; Entry-2[/color]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ; Entry-3[color="#880088"]00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ; Entry-4[/color][/b][/color][/size][/font]

This HDD has one partition, the other three entries are blank. Deciphering Entry-1 gives this information ...

80 ............ Bootable? 80h = yes01 ............ Start Head: 1     ; these three establish CHS:0,1,101 ............ Start Sector: 1   ; (absolute sector 63) as the 1st00 ............ Start Cylinder: 0 ; partition VBR beginning0C ............ Type 0Ch = WIN95 OSR2 FAT32, LBA-mappedFE ............ End Head: 254 dec7F ............ End Sector: 63 dec00 ............ End Cylinder: 256 dec3F 00 00 00 ... Relative Sectors (offset to partition): 0000003F = 63 dec82 37 F9 0D ... Total Sectors (in partition): 0DF93782 = 234,436,482 dec

Now to try to answer that question. What is the dual-boot software mechanism (System Commander etc)? More importantly what is the structure of the HDD? How many partitions? Extended partitions? Is either Windows version on another disk? The example I showed above is a simple single partition and all of the critical structural data lies in front of the first FAT within the 95 sectors I mentioned previously. Saving everything is simple.

However I think it is possible that certain multi-boot arrangements can leave some of the Partition Table or Volume Boot Record information scattered about. You will need to do some homework to understand the bootstrap steps for each OS you have. Don't worry though, you'll learn a lot.

Now for saving the critical structural information, do both. Save the single MBR/MBS 512 first sector. And also save a copy of the 95 sector MBRPLUS for reference. I do this for all attached hard drives anyway (one reason explained in that link above is that the drive/timestamp/mystery bytes for all attached Win9x HDD's should be different from each other and may need to be hand edited). Definitely save that structural information BEFORE you ever run a fixboot, fixmbr, or any version of FDISK, System/Partition/Boot Magic/Commander/Manager, LILO/Grub, Ranish or any other low level application.

EDIT: changed Starman to TheStarman. Corrected the links. See Post #31 for more links and information from Daniel.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 05 October 2008 - 07:07 PM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...





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