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Boot windows from extended partition


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#1 xpt

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:42 PM

Hi,

Is it possible to boot any kind of windows from an extended partition?

Thanks

PS. Linux has been able to do that for over a decade.

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 02:50 PM

Is it possible to boot any kind of windows from an extended partition?

YES/NO. :)
http://homepages.tes...no-answers.html

Define "Any".

NT based version YES, that means NT 3.51, NT4.00,2K/XP/2003/Vista/2008 and 7.
DOS based versions NO. (unless a remapping is done).

Compare with example given in "common sense advice" point #d :huh::
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9101

PS. Linux has been able to do that for over a decade.

Windows NT also, since 1993 or 1994, if I recall correctly.

See here:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=142960

:)
Wonko

#3 xpt

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:23 PM

Sorry, it was not my intention to start some kind of religious war.

Define "Any".


Any means any, i.e., I need a working solution to boot a windows from extended partition, any windows, including NT, but hopefully with winxp, vista, or windows 7 (because all of them are newer than NT).

Especially, for winxp, would that be a yes or no?

#4 xpt

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:30 PM

ok, guess it would be yes,

now continuing on reading with
http://www.goodells....iboot/index.htm

thanks

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:43 PM

Sorry, it was not my intention to start some kind of religious war.

No prob, you haven't. :huh:

Especially, for winxp, would that be a yes or no?


NT based version YES, that means NT 3.51, NT4.00,2K/XP/2003/Vista/2008 and 7.


:)

thanks

You're welcome. :)

:cheers:
Wonko

#6 xpt

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:50 PM

> "Windows 2000/XP "knows" about other partitions, even if they're hidden."

So if I want to install Windows XP in an extended partition, do I still need to hide my vista which is in a prime partition?

> "recent versions of DriveImage and Ghost may be sophisticated enough to alter the boot.ini value automatically when the image is restored. -- 2003"

So with Ghost 11.0.2, I don't need to fix Windows 2000/XP BOOT.INI Files, correct?

> "a key parameter in the partition boot sector may prevent an OS from booting from an extended logical partition" is the parameter, "Hidden Sectors"

Does that statement still holds for Windows XP ntldr?

Thanks

#7 MedEvil

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:02 PM

Just for the record, installing an older version Windows, after a newer version Windows, always kills the newer version!

So better read up now, how to fix this later.
Maybe Wonko has a link for you, where it is described.

:huh:

#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:56 PM

Where are you quoting from?

> "Windows 2000/XP "knows" about other partitions, even if they're hidden."

It doesn't actually "know" about them, as it won't give 'em a drive letter, thus they will be NOT accessed by the OS, normally.
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10169


So if I want to install Windows XP in an extended partition, do I still need to hide my vista which is in a prime partition?

There is NOT one reason in the world to "hide" partitions to other OS, exception made for some "subtle" problems with NTFS versions.
Win2K had the bad habit of changing NTFS type thus rendering pre-SP3 or pre-SP4 (cannot remember right now) installs useless.
I don't seem to remember any problems with dual booting Vista/2008/7 and previous versions, once the partitioning has been done PROPERLY:
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=9897&hl=

Read this however:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=142620
Particularly this:
http://www.msfn.org/...o...42620&st=31

> "recent versions of DriveImage and Ghost may be sophisticated enough to alter the boot.ini value automatically when the image is restored. -- 2003"

So with Ghost 11.0.2, I don't need to fix Windows 2000/XP BOOT.INI Files, correct?

Cannot say, but heck, is a plain text file, there is no problem in editing it if needed.

> "a key parameter in the partition boot sector may prevent an OS from booting from an extended logical partition" is the parameter, "Hidden Sectors"

Does that statement still holds for Windows XP ntldr?

Sure it does, but has NOTHING to do with the actual NTLDR, and a lot of things to do about the BOOTSECTOR CODE. :huh:


:)
Wonko

#9 xpt

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:04 AM

Find the following in a Linux forum:

remember you will not be able to reinstall XP (clean or repair) with out a primary partition XP can read.


Is this true?

#10 engmod

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:01 AM

I have to disagree here.

Hard Drive Partitions

A hard drive may be split into partitions. NT uses two main partitions but I believe these two may be installed on one partition. There can be up to 4 primary partitions and only one extended partition which may include several logical drives. A logical drive is assigned its own drive letter and uses part of or all the space in an extended partition. Only one partition may be extended and an extended partition may not be marked as active which means operating systems cannot be booted from it. Only one partition on a disk may be active at a time. On IBM compatible computers, only a primary partition may be a system partition which is where the NT boot loader must reside.

from http://www.comptechd...win2kdisks.html

Derek

#11 davlak

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:45 AM

booting from an extended partition has no sense, while booting from a LOGICAL one does.
every NT based OS can do that, under the condition to put the boot files on a primary and active partition.
the configuration file sitting on the primary (boot.ini or bcd) can be edited to boot any present OS (no matter if on a primary or a logical partition).
boot.ini can't configure a NT60 based OS, while BCD can configure NT52, switching through ntldr.
after that the ntldr will read the relative boot.ini present on the same primary active partition.

using NTFS file system, through ghost or similar tools, you can even make an image of a xp\2k\2003 installed on a primary partition and paste that ghost image on a LOGICAL partition, the result will be a logical partition installed OS booting with the above conditions.
in this way you can put many identical copies of XP on the same HD, and each one will keep the C: letter.
don't know about VISTA but SEVEN keeps the C: letter even if you INSTALL it twice or more on the same HD in multi boot, not needing to hide any other primary partition.
the only limit is of a maximum of 4 primary partition or 3 primary more 1 extended, which IS a primary too for each HD.

#12 dog

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:56 PM

There is NOT one reason in the world to "hide" partitions to other OS, exception made for some "subtle" problems with NTFS versions.

Here's three: portability, isolation, control. :cheers:

Sorry, it was not my intention to start some kind of religious war.

This war has been going a while...

IIRC some OSs will mount a hidden partition anyway, so on a new setup I'd use grub4dos partnew instead, and other OSs will just see unallocated space :cheers:
It also has the handy side-effect of bypassing the 4 primary partition limit, as you can have as many primary partitions as you like and just 'swap in' the 1-4 that you want visible. :cheers:

#13 engmod

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:31 PM

Is there any grub type system we can use for the win 7 partitioning system?

Derek

#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:25 PM

@engmod
@davlak

Let's try to disambiguate.
xpt was referring (though using a not completely exact term) to Logical volumes inside extended, and my replies were related to that.

You should both read the references I gave before, as both of you are pointing out some limitations of the DEFAULT ways to boot a NT system.

There are two - more or less indirect ways - to have a NT system COMPLETELY on a Logical partition inside extended.
First one is to have a bootmanager (almost any will do) to bypass the limitation of the logical inside extended that cannot be made active AND, after having corrected the "sectors before" in the logical partition bootsector (manually, like Dan Goodell explains), chainload it.
Second one is to use grub4dos (or syslinux, or a similar "more advanced" boot manager) to bypass completely the logical partition bootsector and directly chainload the actual NT loader (NTLDR or BOOTMGR) residing on it.

This is NOT a question that makes sense:

Is there any grub type system we can use for the win 7 partitioning system?

If you need help on the use of grub4dos, start a new thread here:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=66
but post some details, right now the only answer is:
YES. :cheers:
http://homepage.ntlw...no-answers.html

:cheers:
Wonko

#15 xpt

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 03:20 AM

. . .
There are two - more or less indirect ways - to have a NT system COMPLETELY on a Logical partition inside extended. . .

Second one is to use grub4dos (or syslinux, or a similar "more advanced" boot manager) to bypass completely the logical partition bootsector and directly chainload the actual NT loader (NTLDR or BOOTMGR) residing on it.


Thanks a lot for the clarification, Wonko.

I've been using grub4dos for years, but basically only limited to the Linux world. Didn't know that it solves the booting windows logical partitions so nicely. Otherwise, I won't be reading the "Understanding MultiBooting and Booting Windows from an Extended Partition" over and over and over for many days...

Thanks again.

#16 xpt

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 03:36 AM

. . . I've been using grub4dos for years, but ... didn't know that it solves the booting windows logical partitions so nicely. . .


So, in conclusion,

to boot windows XP from extended partition:

- put (restore) ghosted image on the logical partitions, as explained in the "Understanding MultiBooting and Booting Windows from an Extended Partition" article.
- use grub4dos to chainload the actual NT loader (NTLDR), no need to do "Fixing Boot Records in Logical Partitions", no need to worry the 8-GB Boundary
- but still need to do "Fixing Windows 2000/XP BOOT.INI Files" & "Fixing Windows 2000/XP Drive Letters" (correct?)
- no need to make the logical partitions active
- no need to (deactivate and) hide the primary windows partition

Correct?
Can somebody re-assure this?

Thanks

#17 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:54 PM

Correct?
Can somebody re-assure this?

YES. ;)

(as long as you have an already installed XP on a primary and have "ghosted" it)

You can allright install (as it SHOULD) the XP on a logical volume inside extended (with the system files on an active primary) and later copy the system files to the same logical partition, without ANY need to correct ANYTHING.

;)
Wonko

#18 xpt

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:00 PM

You can allright install (as it SHOULD) the XP on a logical volume inside extended (with the system files on an active primary) and later copy the system files to the same logical partition, without ANY need to correct ANYTHING.


Thanks, Wonko.

More about your reply,

what do you mean, "You *can* allright install XP on a logical volume..."? -- Windows installation always goes by default into C:, good to know that you can choose something else, but the questions is, is the installation bootable?

what do you mean, "later copy the system files to" it. What system files are your talking about?

Further, if you backup then restore a system to the same place, it is obvious that you don't need to do anything for it to work, what do you mean by "without ANY need to correct ANYTHING", do you imply anything further than that?

Thanks

#19 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:03 PM

We are still at square #1.

The fact that 99.99% of OEM's do install XP on the First (and often ONLY) active partition on the disk (thus making the SAME partition BOTH "System" and "Boot" one) and the fact that the NT/2K/XP install does not provide an intuitive way to create partitions, DOES NOT mean that it is the right thing to do.

The concept of having a SEPARATE system partition from the boot one, is made particularly difficult to grasp by people that have not "historical" experience with NT based systems in dual booting with good ol' MS-DOS by the good guys at MS, that besides MANY other things, managed to MESS copletely the names attributed to them (read here):
http://www.multiboot....uk/system.html

I will use the right terms (exactly VICEVERSA to the ones the MS guys use):
  • Boot is the partition that is booted by the MBR (normally the Active Primary)
  • System is the whatever partition that holds the given Operating System

It is not difficult at all, once you get the hang of it, NT based systems, UNLIKE DOS based ones, were DESIGNED to be RUN from Logical Volumes inside extended, this is one of the reasons why BOOT.INI and ARCPATHS were introduced.

The typical status of a PC at the time was that of having a DOS (usually MS-DOS 5.0÷6.22) AND to it a NT (3.5 or 4.0) was ADDED, normally the PC would have a single (smallish hard disk drive - tiny for today's "standards" - possibly very BIG for the "standards" of the time, like 300÷500 Mbytes! ) normally (as ALL hard disk SHOULD be) partitioned in one single Primary partition and one Extended Partition containing several Logical Volumes or, maybe, filled up to the brim by the DOS apps and DATA, and an additional hard disk was used.

Initially there were NO tools like "Partition Magic", so the good guys at MS devised a rather simple trick, "divide" the OS in such a way that most (99.99% of it) could be installed on ANY partition (no matter if Primary or Logical Volume inside Extended or on which disk), with the ONLY limitation that the 0.01%, and namely the files:
  • NTLDR
  • NTDETECT.COM
  • BOOT.INI
  • NTBOOTDD.SYS (optional, only used for SCSI hard disks - or - to be correct - for NON-IDE HD's)
NEEDed to actually be on the First Active Primary partition (the one that had DOS).

Remember also how NT 4.00 could use BOTH FAT16 and NTFS partitions (the latter being the advised filesystem for the System partition), whilst DOS could ONLY boot and access FAT16 partitions.

Now, take your time, and besides the given link to multibooters, read also:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/102873
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTLDR
http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm

Quick sum up:
Normal Operation:
"Standard" MBR->Bootsector of Active Primary partition invoking NTLDR->NTLDR on SAME partition-> BOOT.INI on SAME partition->NTDETECT.COM on SAME partition-> NT install on WHATEVER partition mapped in BOOT.INI and chosen (NO MATTER on WHICH disk)

Indirect method one:
"special" MBR (bootloader)->Bootsector of WHATEVER partition invoking NTLDR (if Logical Volume with the manual correction of "sectors before")->NTLDR on SAME partition-> BOOT.INI on SAME partition->NTDETECT.COM on SAME partition-> NT install on WHATEVER partition mapped in BOOT.INI and chosen (BUT the partition on which NTLDR is MUST be on FIRST disk)

Grub4dos (or Syslinux) DIRECT chainloading
"special" MBR (or ANY other way to invoke grub4dos or syslinux)->NTLDR on WHATEVER partition-> BOOT.INI on SAME partition->NTDETECT.COM on SAME partition-> NT install on WHATEVER partition mapped in BOOT.INI and chosen (BUT the partition on which NTLDR is MUST be on FIRST disk)

Beside any other consideration, there are reasons why installing NT on a non-at-the-beginning partition, and more exactly on a Logical Volume inside Extended, is (statistically) SAFER:
http://www.msfn.org/...showtopic=33964
http://www.msfn.org/...opic=33964&st=6

Circular back to Dan's site ;):
http://74.125.77.132...G...=it&ct=clnk

;)
Wonko

#20 xpt

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:40 PM

Thanks a lot for the comprehensive reply -- have been chewing on it for a day now and still continuing. will get back to you if I have further questions.

Thanks!

#21 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:50 AM

Thanks a lot for the comprehensive reply -- have been chewing on it for a day now and still continuing. will get back to you if I have further questions.

Thanks!


You're welcome. :ranting2:

:ranting2:
Wonko

#22 xpt

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:35 AM

Hi,

Is it possible to boot any kind of windows from a logical partition?
(Any means any, i.e., I need a working solution to boot a windows from logical partition, any windows, including NT, but hopefully with winxp, vista, or windows 7)

Especially, for winxp, would that be a yes or no?


I finally get an environment to test all this, and theee ...

Conclusion:

NO, a stand-alone windows cannot be boot from logical partition.

Here is my proof:

Same ghost image, same ghost restore software (Ghost 11.0.2), same grub indirect boot mechanize, only difference is one is restored to logical partition, and the other is to primary partition -- The restored logical partition can't be booted, whereas the restored primary partition booted fine without any problem.

Detailed trial steps to boot windows XP from logical partition:

- put (restore) ghosted image on the logical partitions, as explained in the "Understanding MultiBooting and Booting Windows from an Extended Partition" article.
- use grub4dos to chainload the actual NT loader (NTLDR), no need to do "Fixing Boot Records in Logical Partitions", no need to worry the 8-GB Boundary
- No need to do "Fixing Windows 2000/XP BOOT.INI Files" & "Fixing Windows 2000/XP Drive Letters", because Ghost 11.0.2 has done that for me already. Double checked and verified with the partition being restored to the 2nd primary partition.
- no need to make the restored partitions active, yes verified
- no need to (deactivate and) hide the primary windows partition -- wasn't able to test.

Here is something I found to backup my finding:

From
http://www.multiboot....uk/system.html

"No matter how many OSes or drives you add the System partition stays the same and the running OS becomes the Boot partition. In this example the booted operating system is on the third partition of the second hard drive.

The System partition always has to be the Active primary partition on the boot hard drive and this can be any one of the 4 primary partitions it is possible to have. The Boot partition can be any primary or logical partition on non-removable drives (except eSATA)."


Any comment?

#23 xpt

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:14 AM

Hi,

Is it possible to boot any kind of windows from a logical partition?

Thanks

PS. Linux has been able to do that for over a decade.


It's Not Logical
http://www.multiboot.../multiboot.html

"If you want to have more than three Windows OSes and an extended partition per hard drive then you will need to put Windows onto a logical partition. With Linux you are able to install a fully independent and stand alone OS directly to a logical partition or to a second or higher hard drive, because the Linux IPL is clever enough to be able to pass control to that OS. Unfortunately Microsoft have never introduced such abilities in their IPL and so have never seen the need to allow you to do a fully independent install of Windows to a logical partition or other drive. Their IPL can only work with primary partitions on its own boot hard drive, so if you want to install to anything other than one of these primaries then you can only do it by allowing a boot drive primary to become a system partition where ntldr or bootmgr will operate as a bootmanager. The Windows setup will simply refuse to continue if there is not a suitable boot drive primary that it can use."



#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 06:59 AM

I finally get an environment to test all this, and theee ...

Conclusion:

NO, a stand-alone windows cannot be boot from logical partition.

Here is my proof:
....

Any comment?


Yes, what you exposed is a report, NOT a proof of anything.

I see nowhere that you tried the needed fixes as per Dan Goodell given link :w00t:, you don't detail what you did with grub4dos, you mention the 8Gb limit as NOT pertaining, you used GHOST which may (or may be not) the right tool/method, so what gives?


If you are happy to say that it's not possible, you are welcome :ph34r:, but you are very, very far from having proved it. :thumbsup:


;)
Wonko

#25 xpt

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:48 PM

Yes, what you exposed is a report, NOT a proof of anything.


> you don't detail what you did with grub4dos,

title Boot HDD1, sda2

		rootnoverify (hd0,1)

		chainloader +1



title Boot HDD1, sda6

		rootnoverify (hd0,5)

		chainloader +1

> you mention the 8Gb limit as NOT pertaining,

That limitation should have long gone, shouldn't it? It doesn't apply to grub at all, correct?

> I see nowhere that you tried the needed fixes as per Dan Goodell given link :thumbsup:,

I Said so: "Ghost 11.0.2 has done that for me already. Double checked"

Remember Dan Goodell said:

"recent versions of DriveImage and Ghost may be sophisticated enough to alter the boot.ini value automatically when the image is restored. Always check the boot.ini values, but you may or may not have to manually change them. "


?

> you used GHOST which may (or may be not) the right tool/method,

Isn't that what Dan Goodell recommended?

I beleive that, successfully boot a image ghosted from 1st partition and restored to the 2nd partition of an empty machine without any of my manual tweaking is the strong proof that the tool/method/setup/chain-loading is right.