SteveOC

Installing XP from USB to an already running Windows 7 system

26 posts in this topic

Hello.

I am trying to install Windows/XP on a Samsung Netbook that came with W7 Starter Pre-installed and as the Netbook has no CD drive I was hoping to install from a USB device.

The Netbook came with a single Hard drive set up with 4 partitions - all set up as Primary.

*Recovery (P)

*System (P, Active)

C: (P)

D: (P)

I have created a 5th partition (P:) for XP and changed the Recovery, D: and P: partitions to Logical.

As I understand it, the the bootloader is actually on the *System partition as this is the Active partition and the Netbook used to boot straight into Windows 7 Starter using bootmgr. I used BDCEDIT to create an entry for XP (NTLDR) for the P: partition so now I get a menu at boot-up to select,but obviously only the W7S option works.

My disk now looks like this

*Recovery (L)

*System (P, Active))

C: (P)

D: (L)

P: (P)

The USB device I am currently using is an 8GB MIcroSD card in a Duracell Card Reader - this is the second device after the first failed- and it now contains Windows XP Home SP3.

Originally I had problems with USBDRIVE.TAG missing, so I created this file manually and then had further problems.

I read about issues with not using 7-zip (I didn't) to expand the install package, so I started again, got the USBDRIVE.TAG this time but am back to the same problem.

The problem I have is that I get to the stage for the second part of the install (winsetup.lst?), see messages echoed about "booting MBR" etc and then I get the original Menu for booting W7S or XP (from before I tried USB booting) and at this point neither works. I tried changing BIOS entries for the hard disk but it made no difference, and I have not tried adding any drivers to the USB install as I am getting a bit confused now.

In fact last time I tried the install I was then afterwards unable to boot back into W7S with USB disconnected, and even startup repair didn't work - I am not sure how I got the Netbook back up but it is for now.

Can you give me some insight into getting this working?

TIA.

Steve O.

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The Netbook came with a single Hard drive set up with 4 partitions - all set up as Primary.

*Recovery (P)

*System (P, Active)

C: (P)

D: (P)

I have created a 5th partition (P:) for XP and changed the Recovery, D: and P: partitions to Logical.

....

My disk now looks like this

*Recovery (L)

*System (P, Active))

C: (P)

D: (L)

P: (P)

NO. :no:

Meaning that it is NOT possible. :w00t:

Either you are describing incorrectly the way the disk was partitioned before or the way you are describing it as it is now (or BOTH :ph34r:).

You cannot have a "first partition" and a "fourth" partition both as Logical volumes inside Extended.

An Extended partition is a contiguous space on a disk that may contain one or more Logical Volumes, and BTW changing (BTW HOW exactly?) a recovery partition from Primary to Logical Volume inside Extended is likely to make it not working anymore.

Do you have a copy of the MBR of the disk BEFORE you made changes?

If yes, please post it together with a copy of the current MBR (you will need to put it/them inside a .zip) or upload an archive containing it/them *somewhere* and post a link to it.

Alternatively, get PTEDIT32 or PartInNT from:

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/

and post a few screenshots (a plus would be if you would include those of the EPBR's in the Extended partition).

Even a screenshot of Disk Management would probably do.

It is possible that your partitioning scheme *somehow* confuses the booting mechanism (grub4dos based) of WinSetupfrom USB..... :unsure:

jaclaz

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The Netbook came with a single Hard drive set up with 4 partitions - all set up as Primary.

*Recovery (P)

*System (P, Active)

C: (P)

D: (P)

I have created a 5th partition (P:) for XP and changed the Recovery, D: and P: partitions to Logical.

....

My disk now looks like this

*Recovery (L)

*System (P, Active))

C: (P)

D: (L)

P: (P)

NO. :no:

Meaning that it is NOT possible. :w00t:

Either you are describing incorrectly the way the disk was partitioned before or the way you are describing it as it is now (or BOTH :ph34r:).

You cannot have a "first partition" and a "fourth" partition both as Logical volumes inside Extended.

An Extended partition is a contiguous space on a disk that may contain one or more Logical Volumes, and BTW changing (BTW HOW exactly?) a recovery partition from Primary to Logical Volume inside Extended is likely to make it not working anymore.

Do you have a copy of the MBR of the disk BEFORE you made changes?

If yes, please post it together with a copy of the current MBR (you will need to put it/them inside a .zip) or upload an archive containing it/them *somewhere* and post a link to it.

Alternatively, get PTEDIT32 or PartInNT from:

ftp://ftp.symantec.c...s/pq/utilities/

and post a few screenshots (a plus would be if you would include those of the EPBR's in the Extended partition).

Even a screenshot of Disk Management would probably do.

It is possible that your partitioning scheme *somehow* confuses the booting mechanism (grub4dos based) of WinSetupfrom USB..... :unsure:

jaclaz

Thanks for the prompt reply

Apologies, I did say I was getting confused.

I used EASEUS to repartition the drive (I needed to move boundaries around etc) and it was this I used to change drives from Primary to Logical to get around the 4 Primary (or 3 Primary and 1 Extended partition limit.

I am fairly sure that I changed *Recovery to Logical - I certainly intended to - I wonder if Repair changed it back. The P: being Primary was a typo.

Going back into EASEUS shows that the drive is setup is right now as follows :

*Recovery (P)

*System (P, Active))

C: (P)

D: (L)

P: (L)

I did take a backup of the MBR before I started - I have recovered that using BCDEDIT and will try again first.

*EDIT* - The boot menu is now gone.

I boot from USB and now I see the Booting MBR messages from WINSETUP.LST and then W7 Starter automatically boots up.

Thanks

Steve O.

Edited by SteveOC
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I did take a backup of the MBR before I started - I have recovered that using BCDEDIT and will try again first.

Good :) , then post it/them (the "previous" MBR and the "current" one) as I find better to have a look at actual data when compared to "description of data".

I wonder WHAT (the heck) BCDEDIT has to do with the MBR (let alone wth recovering a MBR), but probably this will become evident later :unsure: .

jaclaz

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It looks as though I misinterpreted what BCDEDIT was manipulating - the tutorial I have references MBR and I assumed that it was the MBR that was used to store the links to bootloaders and that this was what was updated/displayed with BCDEDIT.

Now having found and reading through some MS whitepapers it seems (unless I am reading it wrong) that BCDEDIT manipulates entries in something called a BCD store which the MBR looks for on the active partition, and it is this that allows selection of the various bootloaders. I did look for a flowchart of the whole process from BIOS, but didn't find anything that was clear and complete.

So it isn't the MBR that I backed up/restored to remove the menu but the BCD store and as such, I do not have a backup of the MBR

I'll have a look at the utilites you posted above, but can you explain to me what these instructions mean and what they should do (obviously they don't complete succesfully in my environment)?

title Second part of Windows XP Home SP3 setup/Boot first internal disk

savedefault

ls /shifthd.bat > nul || find --set-root --devices=hf /shifthd.bat

/shifthd.bat

if "%RDSK%"=="" pause Fatal error while swaping hard disk order, cannot continue! && configfile /menu.lst

pause --wait=3 Booting MBR on hd0 ...

chainloader (hd0)+1

rootnoverify (hd0)

title -

root

I understand the 'title' lines and I do see the "Booting on hd0" plus additional messages before it boots into W7S from the hard disk.

Is it really looking for something on the hard disk (if so what) or from the USB drive?

Thanks

Steve O.

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SteveOC, the grub4dos menu entry starts MBR on the first internal disk, just as BIOS would do, you don't have to dig in it at all.

What that MBR does, which active partition it starts if it's a regular NT5/6 type, what is on the active partition is far beyond what WinSetupFromUSB or grub4dos perform.

Now back to basics- in NT4/5/6 systems, MBR passes control to the active partition, then:

NT/2000/XP/2003 - NTLDR reads its configuration file BOOT.INI and starts Windows or whatever from where BOOT.INI says.

Vista and above- BOOTMGR loads its configuration file BCD (boot configuration data) and loads what it says.

BCD doesn't have anything to do with MBR. You have messed up BCD entries which you need to fix. The second entry/part from WinSetupFromUSB should do the same as if there is no USB disk or boot is from the internal disk. As it seems it does. If Windows 7 starts, and XP is already installed properly, all you have to do is to use EasyBCD for example and add an entry for XP(ntldr).

Or if XP is not yet installed properly, then install it, and once installed, use again EasyBCD or Win7 CD/Setup to recover Win7 startup, then add an entry for XP.

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It looks as though I misinterpreted what BCDEDIT was manipulating - the tutorial I have references MBR and I assumed that it was the MBR that was used to store the links to bootloaders and that this was what was updated/displayed with BCDEDIT.

Now having found and reading through some MS whitepapers it seems (unless I am reading it wrong) that BCDEDIT manipulates entries in something called a BCD store which the MBR looks for on the active partition, and it is this that allows selection of the various bootloaders. I did look for a flowchart of the whole process from BIOS, but didn't find anything that was clear and complete.

So it isn't the MBR that I backed up/restored to remove the menu but the BCD store and as such, I do not have a backup of the MBR

Yep. :)

Almost but not quite.

I'll have a look at the utilites you posted above, but can you explain to me what these instructions mean and what they should do (obviously they don't complete succesfully in my environment)?

See if this helps you (it should):

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html

(please read "Windows 7" instead of "Vista :ph34r: ")

More generally the MBR is the first absolute sector of a hard disk (or hard disk like) device.

It contains:

  1. boot CODE
  2. partition DATA (the partition table)
  3. some more DATA (disk signature)

The "object" of the EASEUS tool is (mainly) the partition table inside the MBR (for what relates to Primary Partition(s) and to the Extended Partition) and to one or more EPBR's (one for each logical volume) chained from the Extended Partition entry in the MBR.

Strangely enough ;) the BCDEDIT tool is a tool to EDIT the BCD store.

This is a (BTW stoopid, as it has been coded with the same structure of a registry hive) sort of configuration file or .ini, as a matter of fact it does exactly the same functions the "old" BOOT.INI did on NT/2K/XP/2003.

In a nutshell standard booting sequence is:

NT/2K/XP/2003:

BIOS->MBR->PBR of Active (primary) partition->NTLDR->BOOT.INI (user choices)->NTDETECT.COM->Windows

Vista :ph34r./7 and later:

BIOS->MBR->PBR of Active (primary) partition->BOOTMGR->\boot\BCD (user choices)->Windows

The instructions you see are a (rather complex) set of grub4dos commands, making use of an additional external grub4dos script (shifthd.bat), it would be very complex to explain them, as it would need first making you aware of the grub4dos syntax and way of working (interesting but maybe OT or too confusing for you right now).

In case you want to take a "crash course" on the matter, you would need to go through the grub4dos guide:

http://diddy.boot-land.net/grub4dos/Grub4dos.htm

and, after having got the "basics" there, find your way to the more advanced topics (mostly undocumented or badly so) related to the newish grub4dos features of batch scripting...

Simplified the working is the following, the set of grub4dos commands attempt to "autodetect" the exact way your BIOS "sees" the mass storage devices connected to your system and tries to re-map them the way they "should be" when you have NOT booted from the external USB, in order to make the install work.

Your pre-existant install of WIndows 7 is most probably made originally using a feature of the Windows 7 OS that makes two separate partitions, the "Boot" and the "System" one (that MS names "the other way round") compare with:

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/system.html

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/articles/windows_seven.html#install7

It is possible that this (combined with the still UNdetailed) situation of your other partitions) "confuses" the grub4dos detection and *somehow* the devices (and/or the partitions in them) are not presented "in the right order/way" to the BIOS (for further booting) or to the actual XP installer routine.

So, we need to:

  1. understand how exactly your disk is partitioned
  2. what exactly the grub4dos sees when it "fails" (and why exactly it "fails")
  3. find a way by either changing the partition scheme or changing the grub4dos commands or issuing manually a few of them on the grub4dos command line to have the thingy work

Since I presume that this will be not an "easy-peasy" one, if you are OK with it (please acknowledge this post of mine) I would split your posts and related replies to a new thread, so that we limit the length of this "main one" and the outcome (hopefully successful) will not risk to be lost among the many pages of this thread.

I would title it:

Installing XP from USB to an already running Windows 7 system

jaclaz

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@ Ilko_t and jaclaz thanks for taking the time to type all that out - I appreciate it.

@ jaclaz, I'll take a read through the links you posted when I get back with my Chinese takeaway - I do like to understand how things work.

I am happy to split/prune the posts to a separate thread but don't believe it is something I can do myself - unless you mean for me to just copy/paste them? If you have access on the forum to do it any easier way, please feel free.

Thanks again.

Steve O.

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@SteveOC

If (after dinner) you will be able to read this, it means that the whole idea of splitting the topic became self-evident ;).

jaclaz

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OK, I'm still here for a bit - her indoors isn't ready for Dinner yet.

I downloaded and ran PTEDIT32 and it returned an error - Error #5 starting the PowerQuest Engine. - and wouldn't start

I downloaded and ran PartInNT -

Physical Drive dropdown box is empty and it says 2437.3MB Total Size

Boot Record button is Greyed out.

Preview returned a bunch of info which I saved to a txt file and have attempted to attach to this post.

Partint.txt

Steve O.

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Preview returned a bunch of info which I saved to a txt file and have attempted to attach to this post.

Vey good :) this is the part that is interesting:

===========================================================================================================
Partition Information for Disk 1: 152,625.3 Megabytes
Volume PartType Status Size MB PartSect # StartSect TotalSects
===========================================================================================================
Type 27 Pri 15,360.0 0 0 2,048 31,457,280
NTFS Pri,Boot 100.0 0 1 31,459,328 204,800
NTFS Pri 102,398.7 0 2 31,664,128 209,712,497
ExtendedX Pri 34,765.7 0 3 241,376,633 71,200,072
EPBR Log 12,307.6 None -- 241,376,633 25,205,977
NTFS Log 12,307.6 241,376,633 0 241,376,696 25,205,914
EPBR Log 22,458.1 241,376,633 1 266,582,610 45,994,095
NTFS Log 22,458.0 266,582,610 0 266,582,673 45,994,032

Here it is commented:

===========================================================================================================
Partition Information for Disk 1: 152,625.3 Megabytes
Volume PartType Status Size MB PartSect # StartSect TotalSects
===========================================================================================================
Type 27 Pri 15,360.0 0 0 2,048 31,457,280 <- the recovery partition
NTFS Pri,Boot 100.0 0 1 31,459,328 204,800 <- the "fresh install" 100 Mb Windows 7 "boot" partition this one contains BOOTMGR and boot\BCD
NTFS Pri 102,398.7 0 2 31,664,128 209,712,497 <- the "main" Windows 7 "system" partition (remember this is "right" and opposite to MS terms)
ExtendedX Pri 34,765.7 0 3 241,376,633 71,200,072 <-the whole Extended partition
EPBR Log 12,307.6 None -- 241,376,633 25,205,977
NTFS Log 12,307.6 241,376,633 0 241,376,696 25,205,914 <-the first logical volume inside it
EPBR Log 22,458.1 241,376,633 1 266,582,610 45,994,095
NTFS Log 22,458.0 266,582,610 0 266,582,673 45,994,032 <-the second logical volume inside it

jaclaz

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After reading through those links, and trying to interpret winsetup.lst I am starting to think that the last step is actually working but not having the required effect since the previous step maybe didn't complete successfully. At no point do I get asked where to install XP to, but a few files are getting copied somewhere in the first step.

I did press Insert to enter Grub debug mode but nothing obvious came out,

Steve O.

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After reading through those links, and trying to interpret winsetup.lst I am starting to think that the last step is actually working but not having the required effect since the previous step maybe didn't complete successfully. At no point do I get asked where to install XP to, but a few files are getting copied somewhere in the first step.

I did press Insert to enter Grub debug mode but nothing obvious came out,

Steve O.

Yes, now that we have a correct idea about your hard disk status, we have to understand what happens.

Try describing what happens (and which choices you took).

When you are booted from the USB and get to the grub4dos chioices, you can press c to get to grub4dos command prompt.

From this you can run a few commands to understand what is happening (and/or boot to the Windows 7 if it doesn't).

First step, since you already run (partially) the tool would be to understand WHAT files were copied WHERE.

At the grub> prompt try issuing the commands:

geometry (hd0)

[ENTER]

geometry (hd1)

[ENTER]

this will tell us if the drive order is USB=(hd0)=first disk or Internal hard disk=(hd0)=first disk i.e. if the drive order has been kept "normal" or has it already been re-mapped by an already run grub4dos command.

Let's say that the drive order has not been changed, if it is replace in the following the 1 (hd1,x) with 0:

root (hd1,1)

[ENTER]

ls

[ENTER]

can you see, besides BOOTMGR also NTLDR, BOOT.INI and NTDETECT.COM?

If yes, issue:

cat /boot.ini

[ENTER]

what are the contents of BOOT.INI?

If not (that was the 100 Mb "boot" partition), try doing the same above but on (hd1,2) (the "main" primary partition).

Report.

jaclaz

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jaclaz - I can actually browse the hidden partitions from EASEUS and nothing has been added to *SYSTEM, *RECOVERY or C:

I had a recollection that I saw messages that I interpreted as relating to a virtual or ram drive during copying - although I don't know how that would persist across reboots.

I need to write the rest of the commands down before I retry the boot.

Steve O.

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Well I tried another boot and here is what happens..........

Booted from USB -

Grub Menu appears - took option "First part of Windows XP Home SP3 Setup from partitiion 0"

Agree to EULA

Blue screen with Windows Setup runs and copies a bunch of files

Message appears briefly along the lines of "Booting Windows"

PC reboots and back to Grub Menu again

This time option is highlighted "Second part of Windows XP Home SP3 Setup.Boot first internal disk"

I press C to enter commands

Commands show that hd(0) is USB and hd(1) is FDD

hd(0,0) is Active NTFS partition - hd(0.1) is unknown type(0x21) occupying last 63 sectors of the USB drive (I don't know where this came from)

Using LS to scan the root of the hd(0) and hd(1) shows no files having been copied and cat won't open boot.ini as it doesn't exist.

Steve O,

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