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Make a proper Dual Boot

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37 replies to this topic

#26
submix8c

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Hint - if the "Utility Partition" is within "Megabytes" then it's obvious it does not contain any "Restore/Recovery" Images and had to have been on a separate partition.

It's possible to "create" a "DellUtility" from downloaded (from Dell) Programs that don't contain Restore functionality. I've already tested this and will gladly provide the file names - no special MBR, just the DR-DOS(?) PBR and associated "testing" software. It works with the special "Fx" key AFAICR.

The OP has never said if this Server was purchased NEW or not. As I had previously stated in other threads, the "Restore DVD" and "Driver DVD" Dell supplies does not require any "special" partitions or MBR any more than the "Utility Parition", which can be created before the OS Install.

The question remains - Can the OP Fully Restore to Factory from the HDD? If not, then you have ONE of your answers.

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#27
jaclaz

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The question remains - Can the OP Fully Restore to Factory from the HDD? If not, then you have ONE of your answers.

But the answer is to a non-asked (or irrelevant) question. :whistle:

Is it advisable to backup the MBR (as is) if it is involved in the Fn thingy? YES. :yes:
Is it advisable to backup the MBR (as is) if it is NOT involved in the Fn thingy? YES. :yes:
No matter WHAT they contain is it advisable to backup also hidden sectors? YES. :yes:
Is there ANY cost or issue in doing the above? NO. :no:

Just §@ç#ing make a backup of them - NO MATTER WHAT - and move on to next step.

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#28
Dogway

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"by using Disk Management or Diskpart (or a direct Registry editing, whatever suits you)."
Ok, so indeed I can use anything. Actually I was using a simple tool called "NoDrives Manager", I believe it just edits registry, but is handy so I was a bit worried when you mentioned "complex" stuff as dealing with Diskpart or Disk Management, because I was wondering if removing the letter in Disk Management wouldn't compromise partition data, guess not, right?

I already did the MBR backup as I said in my previous post, now I only need an application that allows me to restore it when necessary (MBRwizard?), will look on the same page I found the backup utility.
I also made the grub4iso following this page, and burned onto a CDRW (edit: actually it didn't work, I finally made the iso using the matching call of this page and worked):
http://www.rmprepusb...makegrub4dosiso

I will anyway test it on a VM to play it safe and assure it works.


It really annoys me to deal with things I don't know as you described is common among Dell environments. I guess I should live with it, and restore MBR given the moment. That's precisely why I was so scared to touch this computer that I had a bit abandoned, now at last I could get into my hands most if not all the updated hardware controllers (Dell Support refused at the moment to even give me a component list of the system, to search drivers by myself), managed to reinstall windows and integrate the **** RAID controllers, and now backup the important stuff and know a little more about this heavily customised system by Dell. Now I know what I have and what to do with it, and in extension, take the most of it. I am greatly annoyed I can't run SeaTools DOS because my HDD's are under RAID, and I care a lot about HDD's integrity, when the time comes that the hard drive dies, I will need to replace it with another, I guess then I will know for real if I need the backed up MBR or not, right?

I hope to do the multiboot thing tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Edited by Dogway, 22 April 2013 - 09:51 AM.


#29
jaclaz

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I sometimes don't get you. :ph34r:

After I spent so much time to try and explain you the matter, what do you come out with?
"NoDrives Manager" :ph34r:
It is this one I presume:
http://nodrvman.sourceforge.net/
that makes NO sense whatsoever, 15 Mb of bloat (smartly UPXed to a mere 5 Mb :whistle: ) that does a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING from what we have talked till now! :realmad: .

JFYI, that tools make a drive not visible in Explorer (this has NOTHING to do with hiding a partition in the MBR or remove drive letter assignment) :
http://www.ghacks.ne...ndows-explorer/
http://www.pctools.c...try/detail/148/

You can use *anything* that does the SAME thing, not *anything* that does ANOTHER thing!


About the MBR, you asked for suitable tools which (obviously) allow BOTH the saving AND the restoring, and then you used another tool to do the backup AND don't know how to restore it if needed?
Hdhacker (as well as dsfi) can.

Same goes for grub4dos, you can ask instead of going on "random" sites, this one:
http://ptspts.blogsp...cd-running.html
points to an obsolete version of grub4dos (which you were already told to avoid)

This other site:
http://www.rmprepusb...makegrub4dosiso
uses a version of mkisofs and a command line for it that is overly complex and completely UNneeded for the scope at hand, the "simple" way, enough for your scope is detailed in the guide:
http://diddy.boot-la.../install_cd.htm


jaclaz

#30
Dogway

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"...(or a direct Registry editing, whatever suits you)."
sorry, I thought "NoDrives Manager" was an indirect way of editing the registry you commented as an available option. I could do it myself, but I need to know exactly what entries to edit, especially after knowing that the NoDrives key is not the one you refer to.


I used your linked 0.4.5 version in google code and linked version of mkisofs from your posts from the very begginning, the only thing I borrowed from that randome page was the command call for the ISO creation, which happens to be the correct one described in the diddy.boot page. I already tested the CD and boots fine on grub.

I will do the thing later on, after I finish an ongoing encode.

#31
jaclaz

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"...(or a direct Registry editing, whatever suits you)."
sorry, I thought "NoDrives Manager" was an indirect way of editing the registry you commented as an available option. I could do it myself, but I need to know exactly what entries to edit, especially after knowing that the NoDrives key is not the one you refer to.

Sure :), but the Registry is "vast" :rolleyes: .
The related keys are mentioned in the already given thread about migrate.inf (which is an indirect way of editing - actually forming - the Registry at install time):
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19663
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
The matter, JFYI, is expanded in detail here:
http://diddy.boot-la...nteddevices.htm
and on the old KB by MS (DO NOT EVEN THINK to change the system drive letter the way it is described here, this is in the case that it was already wrongly renamed to restore it):
http://support.micro...kb/223188/en-us
and here:
http://www.msfn.org/...to-your-liking/
(again DOES NOT apply to the drive letter the XP is booted from)


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 23 April 2013 - 01:54 AM.


#32
Dogway

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I'm not qualified enough to touch that, not at least if I pretend to do the install today. There are more questions than answer if that was the case, for instance they all talk about setting or changing device letters. I think that for my needs removing letter in Disk Management would be enough. But thanks a lot for all the help.

I will reply back in a few hours with the outcome.

#33
Dogway

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GREAT, flawless!

All went as expected, installed XP x64, drivers, software, etc, in C:, Now I can boot with default Windows boot manager on x86 or x64, I could remove x64 letter (T:) from x86 disk management, but couldn't do the same from x64 , it says L: (my XP x86 partition) is boot partition or something of that sort.

#34
jaclaz

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GREAT, flawless!

Good :thumbup , but not "entirely" flawless :w00t: (see below):

All went as expected, installed XP x64, drivers, software, etc, in C:, Now I can boot with default Windows boot manager on x86 or x64, I could remove x64 letter (T:) from x86 disk management, but couldn't do the same from x64 , it says L: (my XP x86 partition) is boot partition or something of that sort.

Time to try adding some grub4dos "magic" :unsure:

Add to the ROOT of the drive where your 32 bit system is:
  • grldr
  • menu.lst
Edit it's boot.ini adding a line to it :
C:\grldr="grub4dos"

The menu.lst should be:

timeout 30
default 0
title Windows XP 64 test
find --set-root /thisis_64_bit_part.txt
chainloader /ntldr


Copy FROM the root of the partition where you have the 32bit XP the files:
  • NTLDR
  • NTDETECT.COM
  • BOOT.INI
TO the partition where you have installed the XP 64 bit.
Create on this partition the file "thisis_64_bit_part.txt" (or however the file that you used in menu.lst, the name must be "univocal", i.e. a file with the same name must NOT exist on the WIn32 partition).

Try booting, then:
  • choose the "grub4dos" <- this is in the BOOT.INI in the active partition, the one where you have the 32 bit install
  • choose the "Windows XP 64 test" <- this is in the menu.lst
  • choose again "Windows <- this is in the BOOT.INI on the partition where you have the 64 bit install

Once (hopefully) booted you should be able to remove L: (the XP x86 partition) as it should be not anymore "boot partition". :unsure:

If everything is OK, try again booting how you are doing now (choosing the X64 system in the first BOOT.INI choice) and see if everything works, report.

jaclaz

#35
Dogway

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GREAT, done!

I never thought things would go as smoothly.
On your third step I supposed you meant XP x64, so i got in and removed letter. Then back to x86, wiped the files and edited back boot.ini.

Thanks a lot!

edit: the boot took a bit longer than usual, and a small window rapidly popped up and faded away on the loading configuration blue screen, but it works.

Edited by Dogway, 23 April 2013 - 11:26 AM.


#36
jaclaz

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GREAT, done!

Good :thumbup

Yet another happy bunny in the basket, I presume :):
http://www.msfn.org/...up/page__st__10

jaclaz

#37
Dogway

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jaclaz, is there a way to remove the boot loader at all. I would like to have it only at invoked, say pressing F9 or something of that sort, is that possible?

Also is this method of DUAL Boot fine for a SSD? previous SSD partition under Win7 VM?

Edit: well maybe it's unrelated or not, but I will necessarily by force be urged to install Win7 in my next PC Dual Boot. My current PC which I did this Dual Boot (XPx86/XPx64) is showing its age and doesn't deliver so I'm going to buy a new one with an SSD, and XPx64 is not compatible with these drives, add to the mix that many CG software now requires Win7 and that in contrast to XPx86 it can send natively the TRIM commands I consider it to be a necessary evil... : '(

Edited by Dogway, 24 June 2013 - 09:17 PM.


#38
jaclaz

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jaclaz, is there a way to remove the boot loader at all. I would like to have it only at invoked, say pressing F9 or something of that sort, is that possible?

No.
Meaning that *something*, *somehow* needs to "listen" to the keyboard checking if by any chance the user actually pressed the F9.
This can be set to be the least "intrusive", but you have anyway to "pass through" a "special" MBR or a bootmanager of some kind.

Also is this method of DUAL Boot fine for a SSD? previous SSD partition under Win7 VM?

Sure, why not, a SSD is hard disk like device, only faster.

Edit: well maybe it's unrelated or not, but I will necessarily by force be urged to install Win7 in my next PC Dual Boot. My current PC which I did this Dual Boot (XPx86/XPx64) is showing its age and doesn't deliver so I'm going to buy a new one with an SSD, and XPx64 is not compatible with these drives, add to the mix that many CG software now requires Win7 and that in contrast to XPx86 it can send natively the TRIM commands I consider it to be a necessary evil... : '(

No problems adding to the mix a Windows7.

jaclaz




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