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Letter Assignment when dual booting win98 & XP

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#26
mntview64

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Thank you again jaclaz. I was actually going to repartition the G volume into 2 partitions, like was suggested, making the G volume 1gb and the rest of the 104gb partition H. Then using the XP pro cd to install the NTFS file system to H. Then install XP onto the NTFS volume, which win98 won't see, thus my second hard drive will remain the same for win98. I know before I am able to install the NTFS system, my second drive letters will change, once I make the G volume into 2 partitions. Again thank you


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#27
jaclaz

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Thank you again jaclaz. I was actually going to repartition the G volume into 2 partitions, like was suggested, making the G volume 1gb and the rest of the 104gb partition H. Then using the XP pro cd to install the NTFS file system to H. Then install XP onto the NTFS volume, which win98 won't see, thus my second hard drive will remain the same for win98. I know before I am able to install the NTFS system, my second drive letters will change, once I make the G volume into 2 partitions. Again thank you


Well, this way your later drive letters will shift in XP.

I would try making the Fat partition after the volume for XP and UNmap it in XP.
This way the driveletters on second drive will remain the same.
OR, do not create the partition if not after having installed XP. (same result, as you can re-map in XP the drive letters of the volumes on second drive).

jaclaz

#28
Multibooter

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I want to install XP into my G volume and make it NTFS, because of large video files I want to download to it.

If you installed WinXP to the G: FAT32 partition, you probably don't have to worry about your drive letters. Simply split the 105GB partition into e.g. an 80 GB FAT32 partition and a 25GB NTFS partition for huge data files. WinXP installed under FAT32 can handle huge files on the NTFS partition.

I prefer WinXP under FAT32. But I have a more complicated setup, with 2 instances of WinXP installed, one on a FAT32 partition, the other on an NTFS partition. By having 2 instances of WinXP, I can easily delete and restore the other WinXP by simply extracting a backup .rar file.

BTW, I am using System Commander, like LoneCrusader, and am quite happy with it; jaclaz prefers another boot manager.

P.S.: I am not sure whether splitting the 105GB partition will work, because of the limitation of 4 primary partitions per HDD. I had assumed C: was primary and D-G were logical.

Edited by Multibooter, 20 March 2010 - 03:19 PM.


#29
LoneCrusader

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But it's the second time in this very thread that you post inaccurate information, that may confuse OP (or later readers of the thread).

:}
I actually hate to ask this, because I do not consider it worth arguing about, especially since no one appears to be interested in using my method. But for my own information, and to eliminate any possibility of confusion, what specifically have I stated that was incorrect (and things not done the "Microsoft way" are not de facto "incorrect"), and what are the workarounds for said issues?

I mean, with the AFAIK or "in my experience", one can post almost everything, just imagine this sentence said in 1800, in perfect good faith:

AFAIK, anything heavier than air cannot fly.

It is perfectly right and a consequence of both direct experience of the author AND of commonly available knowledge at the time.

Technically no, because birds are heavier than air, and they were flying in 1800. :lol:

Since the good ol' NT, it is the standard way to dual boot between Dos/9x and NT to have the NT on a logical volume:
http://support.micro...kb/243896/en-us

...Microsost's web site about duel-booting...
...this is what Microsoft stated.

Really that is what this whole discussion comes down to. Do you choose to dual/multi-boot the "Microsoft" way, or the "non-Microsoft" way. (This could also be extended to include partitioning methods.)

I would choose the "non-Microsoft" way, first time, every time. However, I seem to be alone in this, at least on this forum.

@mntview64
Best of luck in your endeavor. :)

Edited by LoneCrusader, 20 March 2010 - 10:11 PM.


#30
dencorso

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I would choose the "non-Microsoft" way, first time, every time. However, I seem to be alone in this, at least on this forum.


Although not always, I do prefer doing things the "non-Microsoft" way in many instances, so you're not really alone in this forum. :yes:

For instance, I set up my dual-boot machine by installing XP after 98SE, and not the other way around (which is recommended by MS). Moreover, I use GRUB4DOS, initiated from real DOS to switch between the systems, which, BTW, are in the 1st primary partitions of separate HDDs, one booting directly to XP if set as the 1st boot device in BIOS, and the other booting to 98SE or GRUB4DOS (selected via CONFIG.SYS) if set as the 1st boot device in BIOS (which is my default). When GRUB4DOS is selected in this latter partition, it first switches hd0 with hd1 and, then, chainloads the boot sector of the XP partition, from which XP boots normally. This has the advantage that no file from 98SE is present or needed in the XP partition, and vice-versa. This is definitely one "non-Microsoft" way, and works very well. Moreover, the system which has booted is always in C: and the dormant one is in D:. All the other drive letters are the same, regardless of which OS has booted, because I set the drive letters of all other partitions or devices in XP to be the same as the one DOS/98SE assigns, using the static letter assignment facility that XP offers to do it (so this part is done in the MS way). All partitions are FAT-32, and are accessible from both OSes. And even if one of the HDDs suddenly dies, the other will still boot.

#31
rloew

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I would choose the "non-Microsoft" way, first time, every time. However, I seem to be alone in this, at least on this forum.


Although not always, I do prefer doing things the "non-Microsoft" way in many instances, so you're not really alone in this forum. :yes:

For instance, I set up my dual-boot machine by installing XP after 98SE, and not the other way around (which is recommended by MS). Moreover, I use GRUB4DOS, initiated from real DOS to switch between the systems, which, BTW, are in the 1st primary partitions of separate HDDs, one booting directly to XP if set as the 1st boot device in BIOS, and the other booting to 98SE or GRUB4DOS (selected via CONFIG.SYS) if set as the 1st boot device in BIOS (which is my default). When GRUB4DOS is selected in this latter partition, it first switches hd0 with hd1 and, then, chainloads the boot sector of the XP partition, from which XP boots normally. This has the advantage that no file from 98SE is present or needed in the XP partition, and vice-versa. This is definitely one "non-Microsoft" way, and works very well. Moreover, the system which has booted is always in C: and the dormant one is in D:. All the other drive letters are the same, regardless of which OS has booted, because I set the drive letters of all other partitions or devices in XP to be the same as the one DOS/98SE assigns, using the static letter assignment facility that XP offers to do it (so this part is done in the MS way). All partitions are FAT-32, and are accessible from both OSes. And even if one of the HDDs suddenly dies, the other will still boot.

I also use a non-Microsoft way. My RFDISK Partitioning program can set up a multiboot profile system that switches between any partition using the Control Key and one keystroke during boot. The selected Partition becomes the C: Drive and it's boot sector is executed. Other partitions can be visible or not according to the settings configured. I recently enabled a Partition to be a Primary Partition in one profile while a Logical Partition in another.

I have also used Densorso's method of switching Boot Drives in the BIOS and have a letter reassigner to adjust the Drive letter sequence.
Ye who enter my domain. Beware! Lest you become educated in the mysteries of the universe and suffer forever from the desire to know more.

#32
jaclaz

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I actually hate to ask this, because I do not consider it worth arguing about, especially since no one appears to be interested in using my method. But for my own information, and to eliminate any possibility of confusion, what specifically have I stated that was incorrect (and things not done the "Microsoft way" are not de facto "incorrect"), and what are the workarounds for said issues?


You seemed to imply (you actually explicitly said ;)) that:
  • NT based OS cannot be installed on non-first disk
  • NT based OS cannot be installed on Logical Volumes inside Extended partition

The first is probably due to the assumption that the two parts of the NT OS (Loader files and kernel files/install) have to go on same partition/disk (the Loader files have to go normally on first disk Active Primary anyway).
The second is completely inaccurate, as, as said NT was designed to be installed on Logical Volumes inside Extended partition (and again in "MS way" the Loader files have to go on first disk Active Primary anyway)

I will try to clear the matter. :unsure:

#1 is of course solved if you have the loader files on the Active Primary on first disk, or, since you need anyway a third party bootmanager to hide/unhide partitions, you can well use one that can re-map the drives or boot the actual loader files from an image.

#2:

DOS (and consequently Windows 9x/Me) has this boot sequence:
BIOS->MBR->Bootsector or PBR of Active Primary Partition->IO.SYS (System file, actual OS "kernel")
Which is common to most "old school OS", including FreeDOS:
BIOS->MBR->Bootsector or PBR of Active Primary Partition->KERNEL.SYS (System file, actual OS "kernel")
or IBM PC-DOS:
BIOS->MBR->Bootsector or PBR of Active Primary Partition->IBMBIO.COM (System file, actual OS "kernel")

When MS developed NT (which as you may remember was a "fork" from OS/2) changed the way the OS boots for two main reasons:
  • the kernel wasn't anymore "monolithic"
  • there was a need - for the first time - to "dual boot" between NT and DOS (remember that at the time "normal" widows was Windows 3.10 or 3.11).

So they developed this different boot sequence:
BIOS->MBR->Bootsector or PBR of Active Primary Partition->NTLDR (Loader)->BOOT.INI->Choice->EITHER:
  • arcpath to actual Windows NT install
    OR
  • copy of a bootsector loading another OS (like DOS)
AND since, for the first time they separated the OS loader from the actual kernel, the new NT system could be installed on ANY kind of partition (Primary or Logical Volume inside Extended) on ANY disk.
Let's compare the two sequences:
BIOS->MBR->Bootsector or PBR of Active Primary Partition->IO.SYS
BIOS->MBR->Bootsector or PBR of Active Primary Partition->NTLDR (Loader)->BOOT.INI->Choice->arcpath to NT Install

The common part:
  • The BIOS looks on the MBR of first disk.
  • The MBR code looks for the MBR of Active Primary Partition.
  • The bootsector or PBR looks for a file inside this partition.

This approach gives the limitation that the system file(s) NEED to reside on Active Primary partition of first disk, the difference is that whilst in DOS Loader AND Kernel are the same file, in NT they are separate, thus ONLY the Loader HAS to be on Active Primary partition of first disk, the Kernel (i.e. the OS install) can be on any partition on any disk.

So, since the beginning, and because an already "unmovable" OS was common, the recommended way to install NT was to install it on a logical volume inside extended, putting in the Active partition, where a DOS usually was, only the loader files, that were capable to boot the DOS system files.

Also remember that at the time MS DID NOT provide for the use of more than one primary partition, FDISK did NOT allow more than one primary.

Since the Red and Green parts in the above sequence cannot be changed, third parties started to modify the Blue part, and created bootmanagers that either replaced or were "inserted" in the Blue part of the booting sequence.

What Dan Goodels nicely documents here :thumbup :
http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/
is dependent on this initial assumption/goal:

Our objective is to keep all OS's completely independent from one another. No fair installing two OS's in separate directories of the same partition (they'll share some files and won't keep one OS from touching the other's files), and no fair using the native boot loader (ntldr) in Windows 2000 or XP to control multibooting (they're not independent because they rely on the same boot partition). Ideally, we want to be able to backup and restore each partition independently, and with neither reliance on, nor interference with, any other partition or OS. In addition, if we avoid resorting to the proprietary partition tables employed by some boot managers, we can still get at things with common disk management tools when we need to.

which clearly DOES NOT apply to the case at hand where the OP wants to SEE ALL partitions from the XP and ALL partitions but the XP NTFS one from Windows 98.

In any case, as Dan himself says:

The general plan I'll use here will be to install each operating system as a solitary OS, make an image of it, wipe it out, and repeat until we have images of each OS as a standalone system. Once the images are created we will put them all together, modular fashion, by creating the finished partitions of the desired sizes and then restoring the OS's where we want them. Lastly, we'll plug in the boot manager to tie them all together. This isn't the only way (or even a very efficient way) to install a multiboot system, but it does guarantee each OS can stand on its own independently of all others, and makes it easy to focus our attention on how the pieces fit together without getting distracted by differences in installation routines. Whether or not you plan to make backup images or erase a pre-installed OS is not important--stay with me here: it's the theory we're after.


There are quicker (and easier) ways to install various versions of NT family systems to different partitions without needing to install/hide/unhide/make an image/wipe, the latter two operations taking quite a lot of time.
Basically, as you pointed out previously, NT keep drive letter assignment in the Registry, so the "trick" is simply to "pre-assign" the correct drive letter during install, which can be easily made through the use of migrate.inf file during installation:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19663

The correction to PBR "Sectors before" of Logical Volumes that Dan describes here:
http://www.goodells....boot/ptedit.htm
would of course be needed anyway, but some bootmanagers can also do it "on-the-fly" (example grub4dos)

Unlike DOS/Win9x, where to have a partition bootable (in the sense of having a valid PBR booting code) you needed to either use the /S switch with FORMAT or use the SYS command, a partition FORMATted under NT systems ALWAYS has the PBR booting code.

If you want to have this particular kind of setup in which every partition is "self-standing" and when one is booted all the others are hidden from it, all you need to do is having a Primary partition, let's say the DOS one, and one of the Logical Volumes visible, then install the NT to the Logical Volume, pre-assigning to it letter "C:\" (or whatever letter you like), then copy to the latter the files NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM,BOOT.INI (and possibly NTBOOTDD.SYS and BOOTFONT.BIN). Repeat for each NT OS, every time hiding the Logical Volume to which you already installed and unhiding another one, finally install DOS/Win9x to the Primary and you have your system set up just like Dan Goodel's theory, but without any need to image/wipe anything.
Vista :ph34r: and later are/maybe different, and since right now I won't touch'em, cannot say, though if anyone is interested in them I am pretty sure that reading here:
http://www.multibooters.co.uk/
a similar approach can be used.

BTW, the above site has this rather nice graphical explanation of the boot sequence:
http://www.multiboot.../multiboot.html


When it comes to Windows 9x, which was NOT designed to be installed on a Logical Volume, there is no other practical way than that of imaging it, due to the "SU103 error":
http://www.allensmit...XOSL/II.htm#II1
but this is a limitations of the actual Install routine, not of the OS itself.

Hope now things are clearer. :)

jaclaz

#33
Multibooter

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When it comes to Windows 9x, which was NOT designed to be installed on a Logical Volume...

I didn't know that, but multibooting is a very difficult subject matter. I have been using System Commander for the past 15 years, and System Commander has protected me from all these intricacies.

The choice of a boot manager is probably the least reversable computer decision. LoneCrusader probably will not change his working setup with System Commander; jaclaz will probably not change his boot manager, except for a newer version, maybe.

It's also nearly impossible to try out boot manager Y if you have already a working setup with boot manager X. In 1997, when I had System Commander v3.05 installed, I dared to test-install another boot manager, I believe it was from Paragon, at that time still software from Russia. As a result, the laptop became completely corrupted. When I selected one operating system selection, it came up fine, but after rebooting, that previously selected operating system had disappeared from the OS selection menu. Every time I changed the operating system, the OS selection menu became smaller, one OS after the other was gone. I eventually did recover. This experience was no incentive to try out other boot managers.

#34
LoneCrusader

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Hope now things are clearer. :)

Yes, thank you for the explanation. :thumbup

I should also add a few clarifications about my own setup(s) and why I had arrived at the conclusions that I was basing my input on before. BTW, I don't create a bunch of imaged partitions to do this with unless there are circumstances where I have to do so to get things working using my method. ;)

When I set up a multiboot system, I first use the System Commander bootable CD to create a primary FAT32 partition on a blank HDD and set it Active. Second, I install Windows 98 to that partition, and 98 sees it's partition as C:\. Third, I either go ahead and install System Commander to the 98 partition and use it on reboot, or again use the System Commander CD to create a second FAT32 (or NTFS) primary partition and set it Active, and Hide the 1st (98) primary. Fourth, I install XP to this second primary partition, and XP setup does not assign a drive letter to the hidden 98 partition, therefore seeing it's own partition as C:\. I keep the system partitions hidden from one another, however, this can be changed at any time (by simply unhiding the XP partition for 98, not sure about vice-versa) should the need arise. This process is repeated for whichever OS's are to be installed. The only limitation is the 4 Primary partitions limit. I handle sharing files between different OS's by creating a shared FAT32 data partition on a second HDD, which each OS will see as D:\ using this method.

I can't think of many "common" situations where one would need to do this, but I get around the 4 Primary limit by making the 4th an Extended partition, and then using the image/clone method discussed by Dan Goodell. I have only needed to use this method once, for what I call my "Multi-OS" computer. It was on this machine that I discovered System Commander's inability to hide logical partitions from one another. This machine has 24 operating systems on it, 5 versions of Windows (95C/98SE/ME/2K/XP) and 19 different Linux distros, each set up to be independent of the others (excepting the fact that the Boot Loader will be installed to MBR + 1st Primary). The problem, in summary, was that I needed to put Win2K and WinXP in the 1st and 2nd Logical partitions (respectively) on the 1st HDD, without having them dependent on another OS for their boot process. So I installed them to a primary, deleted the relevant drive letter assignments in the registry to force their re-issuance on next boot, edited the BOOT.INI's to reflect the destination partition, and imaged them, then restored them to the logicals and edited the partition table values as discussed. This worked fine for Win2K using System Commander, but not for XP. As System Commander was unable to hide the Win2K (1st logical) partition from XP, XP attempted to assign C:\ to the 2K partition on boot and froze up. I solved this by using BootIt NG, which can hide logicals.

The choice of a boot manager is probably the least reversable computer decision.
It's also nearly impossible to try out boot manager Y if you have already a working setup with boot manager X.

I agree this may present several issues, all possibly unique to the given system. But I can say that I was able to change from System Commander to BootIt NG with no issues whatsoever on the Multi-OS computer I described above. This may have been simplified by my insistance on keeping each OS independent of another OS for booting purposes however.

#35
jaclaz

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The choice of a boot manager is probably the least reversable computer decision. LoneCrusader probably will not change his working setup with System Commander; jaclaz will probably not change his boot manager, except for a newer version, maybe.

Here you may be wrong. :(
LoneCrusader uses both System Commander (which I personally think was one of the "most intrusive and unfriendly" boot manager ever produced) and BootIT NG (which I personally find one of the best ones).

jaclaz has probably tested in his lifetime ALL (or nearly ALL) bootmanagers available, including Commercial ones, and still continues testing each and everyone of them as soon as he gets to know about any "new kid on the block".

I have used on production systems ONLY those that I found "safe", "reliable" and "recoverable", with an eye for easy setups, flexibility and unobtrusiveness.

For years the tools of choice for me were XOSL and OS-MBR (now MBLDR), now they are grub4dos (alone or with MBLDR).

If I am allowed some bladerunnerish publicity ;):

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Self modifying boot code booting off hidden sectors. I watched BPB glitter in the dark near the A20 gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to get grub4dos.


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#36
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LoneCrusader uses .. System Commander (which I personally think was one of the "most intrusive and unfriendly" boot manager ever produced)

I'd be interested in knowing why you think this if you don't mind explaining.

I would also note that I do not use any of System Commander's "Wizards" and so forth; as I noted in another thread, I use it strictly for creating/formatting partitions, and I use it as a bootloader because it allows password protecting the boot menu (I am unaware of others that do this :unsure: ) and the settings for visible/hidden partitions for each OS can be changed quickly and easily if the need arises. Also I like the "look" of it, although I wish I had a "Windows Classic" skin for it, instead of the XP Lego-Look. :P

Edited by LoneCrusader, 21 March 2010 - 10:57 AM.


#37
jaclaz

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I'd be interested in knowing why you think this if you don't mind explaining.

I would also note that I do not use any of System Commander's "Wizards" and so forth; as I noted in another thread, I use it strictly for creating/formatting partitions,

It's something that it is difficult to explain, the good guys at Avanquest/V-COM thought to be(and maybe they are/were) the one and only Gods of multibooting and created those sets of wizards (the ones that you carefully avoid ;)) that could hose a system in no time.

I personally like to understand what is happening under the hood, and with System Commander it isn't/wasn't so easy.
At the time I tested it, it quickly hosed (no problem I know my way around to recover partitions ;)) a couple of test systems.


and I use it as a bootloader because it allows password protecting the boot menu (I am unaware of others that do this :unsure: )

another TWO: XOSL and grub4dos

and the settings for visible/hidden partitions for each OS can be changed quickly and easily if the need arises.

another TWO: XOSL and grub4dos

Also I like the "look" of it, although I wish I had a "Windows Classic" skin for it, instead of the XP Lego-Look. :P

another TWO: XOSL and grub4dos
You can make a "theme" for Xosl (though the default one is nice enough) or use a gfxmenu with grub4dos, though there are few things I care less about a boot manager than the graphical aspect of it.

The advantages I see currently with grub4dos is that the same loader (and same syntax) can be used on any media, floppy, HD, CD/DVD it can be started from the MBR, from a bootsector and even after having loaded DOS or Linux (with kexec), it can boot disk images (both floppy-like and HD-like), there is even firadisk that can hook a NT image loaded form it, it has command line support, so that you can manually check and correct a number of thigs connected to booting...

jaclaz

#38
LoneCrusader

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It's something that it is difficult to explain, the good guys at Avanquest/V-COM thought to be(and maybe they are/were) the one and only Gods of multibooting and created those sets of wizards (the ones that you carefully avoid ;)) that could hose a system in no time.
..
XOSL and grub4dos
..
there are few things I care less about a boot manager than the graphical aspect of it.
..
The advantages I see currently with grub4dos is that the same loader (and same syntax) can be used on any media, floppy, HD, CD/DVD it can be started from the MBR, from a bootsector and even after having loaded DOS or Linux (with kexec), it can boot disk images (both floppy-like and HD-like), there is even firadisk that can hook a NT image loaded form it, it has command line support, so that you can manually check and correct a number of thigs connected to booting...

Thanks for the explanation, and I agree wholeheartedly that the "Wizards" included should be avoided.

I suppose when I say "partition settings can be changed quickly and easily" that was directed more toward novice users, as it is "point and click" in System Commander (it may be this way in XOSL, I have not used it so I don't know.) Worth mentioning that it is point and click in BootIt NG as well.

I also agree that functionality is more important than the graphical interface, however I consider a nice graphical interface to be a major plus. AFAIK :D the gfxmenu for GRUB4DOS is only a background splash image displayed behind a Text-Mode Menu list.

I do agree as well that GRUB4DOS has many advantages in the fact that it can be used "universally" as you described. IMO, it does take some getting used to however, especially for someone who may have never used Linux or even DOS... :ph34r:

#39
submix8c

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Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#40
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LoneCrusader - Posts=156 / Joined=11-May 09
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May I ask what relevance this has to the current discussion?

#41
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the good guys at Avanquest/V-COM thought to be(and maybe they are/were) the one and only Gods of multibooting and created those sets of wizards that could hose a system in no time.

I was lucky to have started with v3.05, when System Commander came without wizards. Afterwards I installed newer versions using my experience with the earlier version, without a wizard. Maybe the subject matter is too complicated to have a one-size-fits-all wizard. I considered their wizards to be marketing gimmicks.

I personally like to understand what is happening under the hood, and with System Commander it isn't/wasn't so easy. At the time I tested it, it quickly hosed (no problem I know my way around to recover partitions ;)) a couple of test systems.

The guys a V-COM were excessively concerned with protecting their intellectual property rights. Knowing that copy-protected stuff doesn't sell, they created a whole bunch of snares, in Spanish you would call it "trampas". The original floppy disk of old v3, for example, got written to/modified after entering the serial number during installation. The boot code of the computer where System Commander was installed originally was somehow stored on the system floppy; when trying to install/uninstall System Commander with a floppy already used on another computer, the boot code of computer 1 would be transferred to computer 2, with unpleasant consequences. Those guys knew a whole bunch of tricks, they were the authors of Sourcer, which 15 years ago was considered to be the best disassembler. Not using a sealed original floppy of System Commander could lead to surprises.

I still like System Commander, it took me, for example, just 2-3 hours to install Vista (uninstalled now, I didn't need it) on a 2nd HDD as another opsys selection, besides DOS, Win98SE, WinXP, keeping my FAT-16 boot partition on the 1st HDD.

#42
jaclaz

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I suppose when I say "partition settings can be changed quickly and easily" that was directed more toward novice users, as it is "point and click" in System Commander (it may be this way in XOSL, I have not used it so I don't know.) Worth mentioning that it is point and click in BootIt NG as well.

XOSL screenshots:
http://www.techtree....-48488-577.html

I also agree that functionality is more important than the graphical interface, however I consider a nice graphical interface to be a major plus. AFAIK :D the gfxmenu for GRUB4DOS is only a background splash image displayed behind a Text-Mode Menu list.

Please be careful NOT to mix splashimage with gfxmenu, here are two examples, first one is splashimage, and second one is gfxmenu:
http://www.msfn.org/...pic=129399&st=5
which is the kind of gfxmenu you probably had in mind, but these are also gfxmenu:
http://www2.apebox.o...ress/linux/228/
http://grub.gibibit.com/Themes
there is no problem whatsoever AFAIK ;) in adding to grub4dos the enhanced graphical capabilities, but noone (I talk about those actually interested in boot managers) is usually interested in the graphical design, and the way a gfxmenu is created is daunting even for a long time expert of Linux thingies, let alone those nice guys that know how to use Photoshop or The Gimp and actually have good taste and graphical capacities (but usually very small experience with the OS underlying)

Anyway, we already have Aerostudio for those that really like the eye-candy:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=72
http://aerostudio.boot-land.net/


I do agree as well that GRUB4DOS has many advantages in the fact that it can be used "universally" as you described. IMO, it does take some getting used to however, especially for someone who may have never used Linux or even DOS... :ph34r:

Yep, life is tough :(, BUT :):

Life is "trying things to see if they work"


jaclaz

#43
Multibooter

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I keep the system partitions hidden from one another, however, this can be changed at any time (by simply unhiding the XP partition for 98, not sure about vice-versa) should the need arise.

I have been thinking about hidden partitions ever since you described your setup several months ago.

Hiding all operating systems from one another may be useful in preventing virus infections from spreading to other operating systems, as I have just recently experienced http://www.msfn.org/...93

Luckily I was able to recreate the whole HDD quickly, so the infection across operating systems was not a major problem. The major pain of the infection was the infected 1TB USB HDD, which probably would have happened even if I my operating systems had been hidden from one another. So I still prefer operating systems which can see each other's partitions.

Here you may be wrong. :(
LoneCrusader uses both System Commander (which I personally think was one of the "most intrusive and unfriendly" boot manager ever produced) and BootIT NG (which I personally find one of the best ones).

@LoneCrusader: How easy was it to convert from System Commander to BootIT NG? Do you use BootIT NG on your main system?

#44
Multibooter

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XOSL screenshots:
http://www.techtree....-48488-577.htm/

What's happening? http://www.xosl.org/ "Domain for sale" System Commander has already died, RIP.

#45
submix8c

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Uhhh... XOSL

After XOSL web site www-xosl-org went down I setup this XOSL mirror.

errp... correction - see next post (obviously)

Edited by submix8c, 21 March 2010 - 02:24 PM.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

Posted Image


#46
jaclaz

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Uhhh... XOSL

NAAAHHH:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=1106

UUUHHH... XOSL:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/xosl/

UUUUHHHH... XOSL 2:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/xosl2/

Help:
http://www.allensmit.../XOSL/index.htm

Wayback machine:
http://web.archive.o...nadoo.nl/geurt/
http://web.archive.o...faqhow/faq.html


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 21 March 2010 - 02:25 PM.


#47
LoneCrusader

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Hiding all operating systems from one another may be useful in preventing virus infections from spreading to other operating systems, as I have just recently experienced http://www.msfn.org/...93

Luckily I was able to recreate the whole HDD quickly, so the infection across operating systems was not a major problem. The major pain of the infection was the infected 1TB USB HDD, which probably would have happened even if I my operating systems had been hidden from one another. So I still prefer operating systems which can see each other's partitions.

Yes, it's mainly a matter of personal preference. I personally don't like to have a bunch of partitions that I am not using always displayed/assigned drive letters in the OS I am currently using. However, I agree with the point you made back during the earlier discussion about working on files from one OS from another OS. If this need arises, I just unhide the partition I need to see to do the work, and then hide it again.

Having the partitions hidden from one another during a malware attack should at least prevent damage to the hidden partitions/OS's and eliminate having to restore the entire machine from scratch. It may also give you the ability to use an antivirus program from one of the non-infected partitions/OS's to work on the infected ones.

How easy was it to convert from System Commander to BootIT NG? Do you use BootIT NG on your main system?

No, I currently only use BootIt NG on the Multi-OS computer, because I needed it there to solve the specific logical partition hiding problem. I have retained System Commander for my other machines because of the password protection ability.

Switching to BootIt NG was quite painless on that system, I just booted into the OS where System Commander was installed (1st primary, 1st hdd, Windows 95 in that case) and uninstalled it, (which gave a warning that other OS's besides the current one may be unbootable {of course!}) then checked for any leftover files or registry entries and removed them.

Then I installed BootIt NG (if I remember correctly this was done by shutting down and rebooting from a boot floppy created by the BootIt NG package) to the same partition SC was in, and it simply took over where SC had been previously. Of course I had to re-set-up my Hidden partitions settings for each OS.

#48
jaclaz

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Having the partitions hidden from one another during a malware attack should at least prevent damage to the hidden partitions/OS's and eliminate having to restore the entire machine from scratch. It may also give you the ability to use an antivirus program from one of the non-infected partitions/OS's to work on the infected ones.

I'd like to undermine :ph34r: , at least partially ;), your certainties about "safety" of hidden partitions.

Please read this:
http://homepages.tes...ystem-type.html

and this:
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10169

In NT based systems a hidden partition is not much different from having a partition with no letter attached. :whistle:

jaclaz

#49
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Having the partitions hidden from one another during a malware attack should at least prevent damage to the hidden partitions/OS's and eliminate having to restore the entire machine from scratch. It may also give you the ability to use an antivirus program from one of the non-infected partitions/OS's to work on the infected ones.

I'd like to undermine :ph34r: , at least partially ;), your certainties about "safety" of hidden partitions.

Please read this:
http://homepages.tes...ystem-type.html

and this:
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10169

In NT based systems a hidden partition is not much different from having a partition with no letter attached. :whistle:

jaclaz

should + may /= certainties ;)

I have very limited experience when it comes to malware problems, having only gotten a virus once in my lifetime of computing experience even though I do not use Antivirus software. So I normally do not address the subject, I only did so in this case because the discussion was directed toward me.

Thanks for the info though, especially concerning NT.
XP (along with other NT-based Windows) is only a "means to an end" for me on any of my systems. I have it for two reasons only - for playing games that require it or running specific programs that require it, and occasionally for dealing with >4GB files. I would never dream of using it on the internet. When the day comes that my 98SE cannot take me wherever I want to go online, I will use Linux. :yes:

#50
jaclaz

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Thanks for the info though, especially concerning NT.
XP (along with other NT-based Windows) is only a "means to an end" for me on any of my systems. I have it for two reasons only - for playing games that require it or running specific programs that require it, and occasionally for dealing with >4GB files. I would never dream of using it on the internet. When the day comes that my 98SE cannot take me wherever I want to go online, I will use Linux. :yes:

I guess you are missing the point I was trying to make. :unsure:

Hiding a partition by means of changing it's partition ID in the MBR (or EPBR's) is ONLY a convention to prevent "good behaving" apps and OS's to access that partition.

As long as the partition data is there, a program under ANY OS may be able to read that info and consequently "operate" on the hidden partition.

In other words a hidden partition is only hidden to you and to the running OS and to programs that respect this "convention".

I showed you an example for NT, but you can do EXACTLY the same under DOS/9x or Linux or whatever, in other words, if the data is there, it can be read (and used for whatever good or malicious scope):ph34r:.

If you want to make a partition really "hidden" you need to remove the data identifying it, not simply changing it's ID.

Think of it about the difference between having a reserved document in plain view on your desktop with a nice yellow post-it on it "Please don't read or take this" vs. keeping it in your safebox. ;)

jaclaz




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