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Grub4dos for UEFI for beginners [Questions and Help topic]

grub4dos for uefi beginners

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#51 wimb

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 11:52 AM

Yes my friend, totally agree, I allready use that approach since long time ago, I can boot both ways MBR/CSM and UEFI as I have 2 HDs. and suggested Atari800XL to use VHDs about 3 moths ago, but he wants to boot from plain installed OSs not VHDs, and from G4E, as he has being doing for many time with grub4dos MBR version.  And this has being a good exercise.

 

 

Yes it is good to experiment and learn something new and at the same time to know that there are good working alternatives.

 

ntloader can be useful for booting VHD as FILEDISK if you want to avoid using Windows Boot Manager,

but I think ntloader is unneeded for booting VHD from RAMDISK, where you can simply use chainloader (hd-1)



#52 alacran

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Posted 20 August 2021 - 12:13 PM

In fact it is easier to use VHDs and your programs, especially for beginners or lazy people, but it is good to experiment different ways, as we can find other alternatives, that could be usefull in the future.

 

For this exercise I had to attach a spare HD and convert it to GPT to run the tests on it.

 

But it is always good to learn something new.

 

alacran


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#53 alacran

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Posted 21 August 2021 - 05:25 AM

From a post by liuzhaoyzz here: http://bbs.c3.wuyou....652&pid=4339957

 

 

The kernel+initrd command currently has a certain compatibility problem. If the reason is found and overcome, theoretically, it is more compatible than the chainloader+initrd command.

 

alacran


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#54 steve6375

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Posted 22 August 2021 - 06:16 AM

*
POPULAR

yaya has add a new 'uefidriver' command to latest beta of grub4efi.

When released, you can test for presence of NTFS driver support from grub4efi

uefidriver > (md)0x300+10
#load ntfs driver if not already present
cat --locatei=NTFS (md)0x300+10 > nul || load /ntfs_x64.efi

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#55 Atari800XL

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Posted 22 August 2021 - 08:30 AM

That sounds good, Steve!

I'm now working on some nice boot screens, I'm having some success with a nice background bmp, which is overlayed by the boot menu, to me that's close enough to the nice GFX screens I used to create for "old" Grub4Dos systems. For this I used (in the past) "GFX Boot customizer" (which doesn't seem to run in Windows 10 anymore, but that's a different topic).

I'm trying to read up on the "setmenu" commands, but I believe not all commands are available yet in Grub4UEFI. Which method would you advise for preventing (or moving/ changing) the help text at the bottom of the screen?

I've also asked Alacran about this, but he doesn't want to spend time on this :-) Which I fully understand, by the way, I'm sure he has better things to do! (I know he has, he told me he was working on a new post here, relating to all the new boot methods).

I'm just trying to learn, and once again, this is a "beginners" topic...



#56 steve6375

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Posted 22 August 2021 - 09:30 AM

AFAIK  setmenu works fine

 

I use

setmenu --keyhelp=61=0xe && setmenu --ver-off

and set menu entry help position using

set /a hstart=%rstart%-1 > nul
set /a hwidth=%menuw%+2 > nul
setmenu --help=%hstart%=%hwidth%=%tophelp%
setmenu --box x=%rstart% y=%topstart% w=%menuw% h=%noitems% l=%bdwidth%

rstart - is right start pos of menu
menuw is width of menu area
tophelp is the top start line for the help area

topstart is the top line for the start of the menu

noitems is number of entries in menu (its height)

bdwidth is thickness of border (0=no border)

 

I also start with

#clear all setmenu  strings, lines and boxes
setmenu --draw-box= && setmenu --string=

and can set

setmenu --highlight-full

or

setmenu --highlight-short

I also like to use hotkey -A for first letter menu selection feature + hotkeys

 

and I like to set up a hotkey Ctrl+F8 to reload grub4efi in case menu gets garbled!

if "%@uefi%"=="64" ()/%grub%/efi_utils/hotkey [Ctrl+F8] "@clear ;; root (bd)/ > nul ;; chainloader /_ISO/e2b/grub/bootx64.efi ;; boot" > nul

Edited by steve6375, 22 August 2021 - 10:03 AM.

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#57 steve6375

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Posted 22 August 2021 - 09:44 AM

P.S.  grub4dos eBook is available  ;-)

https://payhip.com/b/zSx4


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#58 steve6375

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Posted 22 August 2021 - 09:59 AM

For a menu editor, you can try Easy2Boot  E2B_Editor.exe

This creates a menu suitable for Easy2Boot, but you can just add setmenu commands after using it.(see previous post)

and add a splashimage command to use %MYWBMP%

 

e.g.

!BAT
#Generated by E2B_Editor
set GMODE=800
set MYWBMP=/_ISO/Sample_MyBackground.jpg
#MENU
set rstart=3
set topstart=2
set menuw=62
set noitems=24
set tophelp=26
#MENU COLOURS
color normal=0x80FFFF
color helptext=0xFFFF00
# The lines below overide the  highlight and standard settings and will set a transparent/black background
color highlight=0xFF0000
# OR you can specify a background color as well as a highlight colour - e.g. for a blue background (0000CC)
# color highlight=0x0000CC00FF0000
color standard=0x00FFFF
#BORDER
color border=0x404040
set bdwidth=1
# for non-E2B use: /menusetting.gz   0 0 %bdwidth% %tophelp% %noitems% %topstart% %menuw% %rstart%
#HEADING
set HEADPOS=0000
set HEADING=\x20 EASY2BOOT MAIN MENU (%VER%) %B64% %@DATE% %@TIME%
set HCOLOUR=0x00FFFF
set CENTREHD=
#FOOTER
set HBTM=3501
set FCOLOUR=0x00FFFF
set HELPTEXT=HDD0 [F7]   Back [F8]   Reboot [F9]   Power Off [F10]  (%^LANG%)
if "%LANG%"=="" set LANG=ENG
set EXTOFF=1

# ---- ADVANCED MENU SETTINGS -----

https://easy2boot.xy...e2b/e2b_editor/


Edited by steve6375, 22 August 2021 - 10:02 AM.

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#59 Atari800XL

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Posted 22 August 2021 - 10:33 AM

Thank you very much, I have a simple and clean boot screen setup now, this is a great starting point to keep on learning new commands and capabilities of all the tools and utilities.

I really appreciate all the help, thanks again!



#60 Atari800XL

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 01:32 PM

The multiboot setup I wanted is now working perfectly, it almost went too easy once I understood what was going on with the EFI NTSF driver, the \EFI files on the Windows OS partitions, the boot menu, etc. Thanks again to everybody.

 

I'm now working on automating the drive letter rearrangement etc. in PE (like I do now in BIOS/MBR systems and disks).

I know this is going a bit off-topic, but as there haven't been other "beginner" questions in this thread over the last few days, and some might still remember my scenario of using Grub4UEFI to boot from different OS setups on different partitions (without using MS BCD menus etc), I wonder if somebody can shed a bit of light on this:

 

- I have a test setup now of (1) EFI system part 100mb, (2) 4x 50gb Windows OS, (3) Data partition (I want the D: letter for this one), (4) One more partition (Also for data, specifics not important, drive letter E:).

When I'm using one of the Windows setups, I simply remove the drive letter to the other OS partitions, this seems to work just fine.

 

When I boot with PE, I would expect the EFI part to NOT have a drive letter, and this is indeed the case.

But the 4 OS partitions also don't get a drive letter, I don't mind that at all (saves me a lot of trouble removing the letters anyway), but I don't understand WHY this is?

The next partition (which I ultimately want to be D:) is automatically assigned C: (the first letter) in PE. This is expected, but only because the 4x OS partitions are skipped.

The next partition (becomes "E:") is assigned "D:" (which is expected at this point).

 

The only thing that's different on the OS partitions is that they now all have an "EFI" folder (needed for booting with Grub4UEFI, see earlier posts by Alacran in this thread). This doesn't seem likely to be the cause of skipping them for a letter assingment, because I can remember cases where one of the OS partitions DID get a C: letter in PE, but I can't remember the specifics of that case.

 

So, it boils down to this: Why are these partitions skipped when assigning drive letters in PE? PE is supposed to be "clean" on every boot, so no entries about registry settings or OS specifics should be taken account on a new boot?



#61 alacran

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 02:21 PM

Where is your PE located? and How is it loaded? Are you sure that PC hasn't NTFS drivers for UEFI?

 

Assuming your PC lacks NTFS drivers for UEFI:

If the PE is into a NTFS GPT internal partition and you pre-loaded the ntfs_x64.efi drivers before run the PE, then very possible the ntfs_x64 drivers for UEFI are still loaded on Ram and that could cause all partitions having EFI folders to be seen as main bootable partitions.

 

Try booting the PE from a USB device to avoid loading ntfs_x64 drivers for UEFI, making it this way can confirm if that theory is right or not.

 

If the situation persists make sure if that PC has NTFS drivers for UEFI or not.

 

alacran



#62 Atari800XL

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 02:32 PM

Sorry for not being clear, the PE is started from USB.



#63 alacran

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 03:05 PM

I was editing previous post before seen your last post.

 

Then make sure if that PC has NTFS drivers for UEFI or not.

 

From this post:

 

Talking a few more about a1ive grub2-filemanager, if running it and using the option F5, we can access the UEFI Shell and typing drivers + enter, and making use of the page-up key we can check if our UEFI Bios contains NTFS drivers, useful to boot having the EFI folder into a NTFS partition, not only on a FAT-32 partition.

 

steve6375, on 19 Aug 2021 - 04:33 AM, said:snapback.png

You can go into the UEFI Shell (e.g via grubfm or the BIOS menu) and type

drivers

then use the page-up key to look for an NTFS driver entry (e.g. 'AMI NTFS Driver').

 

It would be nice if there was a 'drivers' function/utility in grub4efi...

 

 

 

alacran



#64 Atari800XL

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 03:22 PM

How could that be the issue? The last two partitions on the same disk DO get a letter (C: and D: in the example above), it's just the EFI partition

that (expectedly) is skipped and also the 4 OS partitions (unexpectedly?)

All partitions (except the EFI part) are Basic Data Partitions (NTFS).

Once again: It's not a "problem" that they are skipped when handing out drive letters in PE, because I can easily select any partition and assign one manually (either with Disk Management or with Diskpart), I was just wondering what the criterium is for "you're getting a letter" and "no, not you".



#65 Atari800XL

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 03:49 PM

To be honest, I only thought of this link to the EFI folder on the OS partitions, while actually typing my question, so I did not test that scenario before posting the question.

 

Just now, I DID test it:

- Boot PE, the OS partitions had no letters, I manually assigned a letter to OS partition 1, so I could rename the "EFI" folder to "EFI-BACK", then rebooted PE. Now the partition DID get a letter.

- In the same PE session I manually assigned a letter to OS partition 2, renamed the EFI folder, rebooted PE. Now both of these partitions had a letter (while the 2 remaining OS partitions, with the EFI folders still intact, still did not had a letter.

 

This was starting to look like some kind of proof.... BUT:

- After changing back the EFI-BACK folders to EFI (OS part 1 and 2) they STILL got their letters. How can that be? Where is that information stored? It can't be in the PE!

 

So it looks like some progress is made, but I still haven't found the exact criteria for "letter" or "no letter".



#66 alacran

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 04:24 PM

How could that be the issue? The last two partitions on the same disk DO get a letter (C: and D: in the example above), it's just the EFI partition

that (expectedly) is skipped and also the 4 OS partitions (unexpectedly?)

 

The partitions seen as C: and D: from the PE, do not have an EFI folder so they are seen as standard NFTS GPT partitions, not seen as main bootable partitions.

Copy an EFI folder from one of the other partitions to C: and reboot from the PE, it it is not seen anymore the cause is the presence of the EFI folder.

 

Also you can create an EFI folder from one of the other partitions (having an OS) on D: and reboot from the PE, it it is not seen anymore the cause is the presence of the EFI folder.

 

But never the less investigate further to check if your PC has or not NTFS drivers for UEFI, it is always good to know this info.

 

alacran



#67 alacran

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 04:42 PM


This was starting to look like some kind of proof.... BUT:

- After changing back the EFI-BACK folders to EFI (OS part 1 and 2) they STILL got their letters. How can that be? Where is that information stored? It can't be in the PE!

 

So it looks like some progress is made, but I still haven't found the exact criteria for "letter" or "no letter".

 

It is stored into the EFI folder (safety) attibutes (check the properties on an unchanged EFI folder compared with a changed name folder), once you renamed it, you changed its attributes and now the PE "user" (admin, system, NT autority, etc), got permissions to access it, and it doesn't belong anymore only to the OS from which it was created.

 

alacran



#68 Atari800XL

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 12:10 PM

Alacran, I have done further tests, and I haven't been able to find any conclusive evidence (yet) on the letter assignment topic.

It's not a big deal, because I will just write some code in my PE apply application to first remove all letters that were assigned ("wrong") by the "automatic" PE system (which is not reliable in this case), then after that reassign the letters to how I want them.

I'm sure we will find out one day how this system actually works, but for now there are too many unknown factors.

 

You were also talking about NTFS drivers in UEFI, but I believe that's not relevant in this specific case, because this doesn't seem to be a UEFI issue but more of a PE issue. All partitions have always been visible in PE, it's just a question of which ones get a letter and which ones don't. As we discussed, it must have something to do with the \EFI folders, but I will need to do more testing.

 

In the mean time, if someone else can think of other scenarios to test, please let me know,

To the moderators: Please cut off the last part of this topic and put it in a new thread, if that's desired.



#69 wimb

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 12:31 PM

When I'm using one of the Windows setups, I simply remove the drive letter to the other OS partitions, this seems to work just fine.

 

 

Could this be the reason that your OS partitions don't have drive letter in PE ?

 

Use DISKPART to see which partitions are marked as Hidden e.g. 

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.19043.1165]
(c) Microsoft Corporation. Alle rechten voorbehouden.

C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.19041.964

Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: MY-PC

DISKPART> list vol

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     O                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     D   0_W11        NTFS   Partition    220 GB  Healthy    Pagefile
  Volume 2     E   0_DATA       NTFS   Partition    602 GB  Healthy
  Volume 3         Recovery     NTFS   Partition   1000 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 4         0_EFI        FAT32  Partition     10 GB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 5     F   1_BOOT       FAT32  Partition     10 GB  Healthy
  Volume 6     I   1_SYSTEM     NTFS   Partition    220 GB  Healthy
  Volume 7     J   1_DATA       NTFS   Partition    701 GB  Healthy
  Volume 8     G   2_SYSTEM     NTFS   Partition    250 GB  Healthy
  Volume 9     K   2_DATA       NTFS   Partition    806 GB  Healthy
  Volume 10    L   2_MEDIA      NTFS   Partition    806 GB  Healthy
  Volume 11    H   3_M2_BOOT    FAT32  Partition   5120 MB  Healthy    System
  Volume 12    M   3_M2_W10     NTFS   Partition    460 GB  Healthy
  Volume 13    N   U-BOOT       FAT32  Partition     15 GB  Healthy
  Volume 14    P   U-NTFS       NTFS   Partition     14 GB  Healthy
  Volume 15    C   21H1_MW.vhd  NTFS   Partition     24 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 16    Q   VHD_F32      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy
  Volume 17    R   Mini-11x64.  NTFS   Partition   4898 MB  Healthy

DISKPART> sel vol 3

Volume 3 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> detail partition

Partition 2
Type    : de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
Hidden  : Yes
Required: Yes
Attrib  : 0X0000000000000001
Offset in Bytes: 16777216

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
* Volume 3         Recovery     NTFS   Partition   1000 MB  Healthy    Hidden

DISKPART> sel vol 4

Volume 4 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> detail partition

Partition 3
Type    : c12a7328-f81f-11d2-ba4b-00a0c93ec93b
Hidden  : Yes
Required: No
Attrib  : 0000000000000000
Offset in Bytes: 1065353216

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
* Volume 4         0_EFI        FAT32  Partition     10 GB  Healthy    Hidden

DISKPART>


#70 Atari800XL

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 12:47 PM

Thank you for your reply, wimb!

In fact, I was just playing around in Diskpart, figuring out how I was going to write some code to first remove all drive letters, then after that reassign them. (BTW: I have used similar code for years for MBR disks, the code is just a combination of Diskpart scripts that are run by Autohotkey in a hidden session, then the output is read again into ahk, etc.).

 

To answer your question: No, the partitions don't have the "hidden" attribute, only the EFI partition is marked as "hidden".

In fact, if I knew how to *manually* mark/ toggle partitions as hidden or "unhidden" (like I did in MBR with Grub4Dos), I would investigate that further, but for now, simply removing the drive letter in Windows seems to be a workable option.

 

Please let me know if you want further info.

 

This is the Diskpart info --> In PE!! <--- the letters are the ones that are automatically assigned (except for letter Y:).

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    System             100 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    Primary             40 GB   101 MB
  Partition 3    Primary             40 GB    40 GB
  Partition 4    Primary             40 GB    80 GB
  Partition 5    Primary             40 GB   120 GB
  Partition 6    Primary             80 GB   160 GB
  Partition 7    Primary            225 GB   240 GB

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 1         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 2         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 3         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 4     C   Data         NTFS   Partition     80 GB  Healthy
  Volume 5     D   MP3          NTFS   Partition    225 GB  Healthy
  Volume 6         SYSTEM       FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 7     Y   PE64         FAT32  Removable     28 GB  Healthy



#71 wimb

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 01:06 PM

What occurs if you use DISKPART and select volume 1 and use assign so that this volume gets a drive letter

Then Reboot in PE and see if Volume 1 has drive letter C now so that volume 4 gets drive letter D

 

In DISKPART you can on selected volume use assign and remove to Add or Remove Drive Letter

DISKPART> list vol
DISKPART> sel vol 1

DISKPART> assign

DISKPART> remove


#72 Atari800XL

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 01:26 PM

OK, step 1,

list vol

sel vol 1

assign

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 1     E   Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 2         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 3         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 4     C   Data         NTFS   Partition     80 GB  Healthy
  Volume 5     D   MP3          NTFS   Partition    225 GB  Healthy
  Volume 6         SYSTEM       FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 7     Y   PE64         FAT32  Removable     28 GB  Healthy

You told me to assign volume 1, not 0, so the second of my four OS partitions received the next available drive letter, which is "E:", as expected.

 

Then you told me to reboot (to PE) and check the drive letters again:

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 1     C   Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 2         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 3         Windows      NTFS   Partition     40 GB  Healthy
  Volume 4     D   Data         NTFS   Partition     80 GB  Healthy
  Volume 5     E   MP3          NTFS   Partition    225 GB  Healthy
  Volume 6         SYSTEM       FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 7     Y   PE64         FAT32  Removable     28 GB  Healthy

So what is that telling you? To me, it's kinda strange, because why are these drive letter assignments stored/ remembered, when it's "only" PE doing the assignment? Shouldn't the "C:" letter be "forgotten" on a reboot?



#73 wimb

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 01:58 PM

So your problem is solved, since indeed now volume 4 has drive letter D, as desired.

 

I asked to assign volume 1, but it could have been also one of the other Windows partitions e.g. Volume 0

 

I think after assign that somewhere is stored that the volume must be given a drive letter, but I don't know actually where that info is stored.

It is not determined by the Hidden setting.



#74 Atari800XL

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 02:05 PM

Thank you for solving my problem :-)

 

...but actually, I never said there was a problem, I was just wondering why some partitions get a letter, while others are not.

It must have something to do with the presence of a "EFI" folder, but that doesn't seem to be the full story, because having the folder or not (by creating it with BCDBoot, or renaming it, or moving it, etc.) doesn't seem to provide conclusive evidence.

 

It's not a big problem though, because as you said, a "problem" can be solved by other means (ie. using the "remove all and out back some" method).

Thank you for your trouble!



#75 wimb

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 02:09 PM

The EFI folder has nothing to do with it.

 

In DISKPART sel vol 0 and detail part and compare to sel vol 1 and detail part

 

Is there any difference that can explain assign setting ?







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