I'll be very interested to hear about your experience, especially if you restore from a disk image file..
If I get an opportunity, I will try restoring my Windows 98 (System Commander) partition to another hard drive and see if it works.
Yes, this didn't change in v9 either. The manual of v9 p.238 states that System Commander can only hide primary partitions. There is a nifty work-around to solve the problems caused by Win98 and WinXP assigning drive-letters in a different sequence:
the only problem that I ever had with System Commander was that it could not hide logical partitions from one another.
In my partition plan (posting #1) I have partitions D: [BLANK1] and E:[BLANK2]. If I should later on use a 2nd HDD with a primary partition visible to Win98 [e.g. Vista on a FAT32 partition], Win98 would see that primary partition as drive letter D: [without the 2nd HDD, D was for Win98 the old 1st logical partition on HDD#1], assign higher drive letters to the logical partitions of HDD #1, and would not find its original partition G: [98_FAT32], which would now have the drive letter H: under Win98.
By deleting the logical partition D: [BLANK1], which has the function of a drive-letter-placeholder for Win98, Win98 will find again its original partition G: Subsequently, after having deleted partition D: [BLANK1] I will have to insert before the WinXP partition a BLANK3 NTFS partition, which would be invisible to Win98. to avoid that WinXP won't be inaccessible after using a 2nd HDD.
I don't know what went wrong. On my laptop I have a primary boot partition C:, and an extended partition which includes a logical partition for Win2k and another logical partition for WinXP, they are all visible and coexist nicely. I installed Win2k after WinXP and used the trick with SCIN.exe + assign unique boot serial number. Maybe WinXP was somehow using boot.ini, Ntdetect.com and Ntldr from the Win2k installation. I assume you had no primary partition, only an extended partition with C=Win2k and D=WinXP, I am always using a dedicated boot partition on which I install System Commander, preferrably under DOS.
I had a situation where I had an extended partition with two logicals in it, one for Win2K and the other for WinXP. System Commander was unable to hide the 1st logical partition from Windows XP, so XP assigned the Win2K partition drive letter C and then failed to finish booting.
I assume System Commander has a limit of 26 different operating system selections, the "OS Selection Menu" shows only letters A-Z, but I have not found this limitation spelled out in the documentation. The operating system selections could be different operating systems, different service packs/releases/betas, different language/code page versions, or operating systems using differently patched io.sys, different autoexec.bat/config.sys etc. On my old laptop I have currently about 20 OS selections.
I ended up with 24 operating systems on that machine
I have never used System Commander to create or format partitions. I remember that the people at V-Communications used to consider PowerQuest as their main competitor. I guess that's why they included partitioning tools, the early versions of System Commander had no partitioning tools. I use PowerQuest PartitionMagic v8.01 Build 1312, very hard to find now. Build 1312 was their last bug fix, which avoids getting Error 1513, whatever that is: "Windows 2000 and XP use a new file record format, called I-Node, that is incompatible with the initial releases of PartitionMagic 8.x. When this format is detected, Error 1513 is generated."
There seem to be a lot of bizarre problems mentioned here involving errors/quirks with System Commander. Other than the one mentioned above, I have never had a problem with it. However, I probably should note that I only use System Commander for three things:
1. To manually create & format partitions
I have never used that feature
2. To hide each OS from one another (at least during each install process, can always unhide later if necessary)
The only time I used their "wizards" was for installing Vista, but supposedly only v9 can do this properly, not v8. Installing Vista in addition to WinXP and Win98 went relatively smooth.
I do not use any of it's "wizards" etc. Using version 8.11.
v9.04 seems to be the last version. It's amazing how fast Avanquest walked away from System Commander after they got the product line of V-Communications. System Commander was probably not a money maker, even if it was an excellent product, so out the door it went and every word about System Commander was expunged from their website.