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Multibooting W2k/XP strange ways with grub4dos


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#1 sir_bootalot

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 03:49 AM

Do I need to install Windows XP and/or Windows 2000 to the first primary partition, or is it possible to install it to eg. the second primary so, that when the first primary is hidden, all the boot and system files will be placed to the same partition (eg. second primary)?

 

So I don't want to divide those boot and system files between P1 and P2 (being first and second primary), and I don't want to use the first primary. The P1 would be hidden or possibly even partition ID changed to gnu hurd type or something, that W2k/XP don't recognize, if needed.

 

I'm asking this, because the above is the way I have done my multiboot systems with W7/W8/W10 - using small P1 for grub4dos. However, when I once installed XP to an old computer, I put it to P1, generalized the BCD and used the image for cloning it to another partitions. So I put the grub4dos files to the P1 with the original XP installation. I did it because at least at the time, I thought XP was impossible to install straight to P2 (so that all the boot and system files would be there at P2 too, for easy generalizing & imaging & restoring to other partitions).

 

Now I'm planning to use another old computer for W2000/(possibly XP too)/linux multiboot system, because an old game needs W2k, so if I can install W2k/XP straight to P2 and P2, using P1 only for grub4dos files, it would be less hassle.

 

Another question: I don't necessarily need to clone W2k/XP images to logical partitions (that I did with W7/W8W10), but is it possible to boot W2k/XP from logical partitions so, that all the boot and system files are there too, at the same partition? The way it is possible to do with W7/W8/W10, aka generalizing BCD first before cloning it from primary, then respecializing it to the destination logical partition where the image is restored (without need for things like editing partition tables or other tricks, because correctly respecialized BCD is the key, at least for Vista and later OS's).



#2 sir_bootalot

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:06 PM

Some corrections to the above will follow. It was a few years ago, when I set up a multiboot system with Windows XP, and forgot a few differences with later systems (from Vista onwards).

 

I didn't need to generalize BCD with XP to successfully deploy a cloned P1 (first primary) installation to P2 and P3. I didn't have a need to deploy the image to logical partitions (but now I'm wondering if it would have been possible - without tricks like altering partition tables - and this was the second part of my question, especially to the expert here, Wonko - by doing the BCD generalizing pre-cloning like with Vista+ systems, but with bootfcg.exe instead of Vista+'s bcdedit.exe). I did, however, successfully deploy the XP image to other primary partitions P2 and P3, with only some registry editing pre-cloning.

 

Again, back to the first question, the problem is, that according to what I remember, to install XP from install CD, the boot files need to go to the first primary. So is it possible at all to install the XP _from_the_install_cd to the second primary as a whole, so that the "system partition" and "boot partition" will be the same, but the second primary instead of the first. (That can be done with Vista or later OS simply by hiding the first primary and making the second primary as active)

 

The reason for this is simple cloning and deploying to other partitions with my methods while using the first primary only as a small 128 MB grub4dos partition. And if I want to do a relic multiboot system with both XP and W2k, I could install them straight to P2 and P3 from CD instead of installing one of those OS's (eg. W2k) to the (large) P1, then making the image from it, installing second OS (eg. XP) again to the P1, and deploying from those images to P2 and P3 (or perhaps to logical partitions, if it's possible). And the whole time using combined system/boot partitions.


Edited by sir_bootalot, 21 October 2016 - 04:06 PM.


#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 02:51 PM

NT4, Windows 2000 and Windows XP use:

NTLDR<- bootmanager

BOOT.INI <-configuration file for the bootloader, (in the form of  a plain text file, with simple, documented entries)

NTDETECT.COM <- auxiliary external file to detect the hardware

 

Vista and later use:
BOOTMGR<-bootmanager

\boot\BCD <- configuration file for the bootloader (in the form of a stupid Registry Hive, with cryptic and undocumented entries, made stupidly and unneededly complex),

 

There is nothing to "generalize" in NT/2K/XP, you just make sure that you have an entry pointing to the right ARCPath.

 

The real issue (on both NT/2K/XP and Vista and later) is about drive lettering that may need some tricks to be made the way you want it to be, like using an expressly made migrate.inf.

See (examples):
 

http://www.msfn.org/...-partition-why/

http://www.msfn.org/...setup-question/

http://www.msfn.org/...ve-letter-to-c/

http://www.msfn.org/...he-answer-file/

 

:duff:

Wonko



#4 sir_bootalot

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 04:35 PM

Ok, there was no BCD pre-Vista, my mistake. That's what I remembered originally, but got confused because of something I read about using bootcfg.exe instead of bcdedit (to edit BCD, was written somewhere, errornously).

​Anyway, drive lettering isn't a problem because 1) this will be quite a minimal relic system just for some old games 2) they should go in place with some registry editing and booting, like in Vista -> W10.

​But the two questions still remain the same:

 

​1) If I want to install W2k/XP to the P2 (second primary) from the install CD so, that that all the boot files will be at the P2 too (and none at the P1), and therefore it being combined boot and system partition - is it possible? (It is in Vista or later, just by hiding the P1 and making P2 active. Then the boot files go to P2, making P2 both system and boot partition. But because I didn't use that method earlier with XP, I think it was because installing to P2 didn't work, or if it did, the system didn't boot properly - perhaps needing at least editing the boot.ini or something)

​2) This isn't necessary for me now, but I'm still interested: would it be possible to clone the W2k/XP installed to P1 or P2 to a logical partition so, that all the boot files used would be there at the logical partition too, making that logical partition both system and boot partition. (That's how I did it with Vista+ OS'es, and I generalized the BCD pre-cloning) And what actions would it need that those W2k/XP on logical partition systems booted? Editing boot.ini? That's all? I might try it just to see if it works, though.

​And all above using grub4dos.


Edited by sir_bootalot, 26 October 2016 - 04:44 PM.


#5 cdob

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 09:31 PM

making P2 active. Then the boot files go to P2, making P2 both system and boot partition.

Yes, the boot files ntlr and boot.ini goes to the active partition.
 

or if it did, the system didn't boot properly - perhaps needing at least editing the boot.ini or something)

Did you changed active partitio to P1.
Set active partition to P2 before XP booting.
.

2k/XP installed to P1 or P2 to a logical partition so, that all the boot files used would be there at the logical partition too

Create a disk image and copy ntldr and boot.ini. Map the disk image at grub4dos to a virtual hard disk. Boot this virtual disk.

A installation example
http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry137793

#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 09:57 AM

Only to add some info.

 

When you format a filesystem under NT4/2K or XP automatically a bootsector invoking NTLDR is created (regardless if the volume is a primary partition, active or non active or a logical volume inside extended partition).

 

When you format a filesystem under Vista or later a bootsector invoking BOOTMGR is created (as well regardless if the volume is a primary partition, active or non active or a logical volume inside extended partition).

 

If you need to replace the boot code wyou can use the bootsect.exe tool with the parameter /NT52 or NT60. 

 

The net result is that *any* volume is bootable by directly chainloading it's bootsector, BUT in the case of a logical volume inside extended partition the "sectors before" or "hidden sectors" value needs to be corrected, see:

http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/

 

The install program will always create/copy the NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI to the Active partition (the volume that will actually "boot" and that the good MS guys will call "System", no matter which volume is the one where the operating sytem files are actually copied and that the good MS guys will call "boot"), but nothing prevents you from copying these files to it post-install (thus having a "same" volume which is BOTH "boot" and "system":
http://www.multiboot....uk/system.html

 

Still, the default MBR code will always chainload the Active partition bootsector (while a bootmanager like grub4dos can chainload *any* volume's bootsector).

 

Remember that the set of files NTLDR+NTDETECT.COM+BOOT.INI are backward (but NOT forward) compatible, i.e.:
XP ones can boot XP, 2K and NT 

2K ones can boot 2K and NT BUT NOT XP

NT ones can boot NT BUT NOT XP nor 2K

 

:duff:

Wonko






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