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UNetbootin: multiple frugal installations to hard drive?


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#1 devnullius

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 07:51 PM

Hello, I was wondering if I could use unetbootin installed on my hard drive to run miltiple linux live distributions?

 

I used UNetbootin to add a working RescaLux live cd to my windows metro bootloader. That was great, because EasyBCD only supports Windows based iso files, not linux based.

 

I was hoping to add a bunch of recovery linux distributions to my Windows BCD Boot entries, but I quickly discovered that UB only can handle 1 linux boot entry at a time. If I want a second disk added, UB removes the previously installed files and begins again from scratch...

 

I was hoping there'd be a simple way out? I gave a quick look at GRUB4DOS but... Looks old and I don't want to change my MBR - it's windows based and it should remain that way :) I have a small primary partition (FAT32) that is active and bootable. It also contains the BCD (Windows 10). UB installs the \boot files for Linux distro to my systemdrive (which is "C:" - the FAT32 partition is ignored by Windows and I put it on "G:").

 

I feel so close yet so far away... Certainly I'm not the first to want to do this? :) Thanks in advance!

 

Peace!

 

Devnullius

 

post-edit: just in case, also asked here: https://answers.laun...question/620937


Edited by devnullius, 16 April 2017 - 07:57 PM.


#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:12 AM

 

I was hoping there'd be a simple way out? I gave a quick look at GRUB4DOS but... Looks old and I don't want to change my MBR - it's windows based and it should remain that way :) I have a small primary partition (FAT32) that is active and bootable. It also contains the BCD (Windows 10). UB installs the \boot files for Linux distro to my systemdrive (which is "C:" - the FAT32 partition is ignored by Windows and I put it on "G:").

Hmmm. :dubbio: old is in the eye of the beholder, and as long as it works being "old" is a good thing, it means "widely tested", "surely working", etc.

There is NO need whatsoever to change your MBR to boot grub4dos from a BOOTMGR.

You just add a BOOT.INI (yes, the good, old BOOT.INI) with an entry for grub4dos and that's all.

http://reboot.pro/to...-results/page-2

 

Can you find anything as simple as that? A simple text file added next to your BOOTMGR and you are all set. :)

 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 steve6375

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 04:46 PM

Hi Wonko

Does boot.ini work with Win 8.1 bootmgr?

If so, does a BCD also need to be present?

I tried just \bootmgr + \boot.ini to load C:\grldr and I got a 'BCD not found' error...??



#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:03 PM

Hi Wonko
Does boot.ini work with Win 8.1 bootmgr?
If so, does a BCD also need to be present?
I tried just \bootmgr + \boot.ini to load C:\grldr and I got a 'BCD not found' error...??

As long as Windows 8.1 bootmgr supports dual booting it should (I have no idea if it does).
Windows 7+ Dos is perfectly possible, is Windows 8.1+DOS?

If it isn't (but Windows 8.1+XP is possible) then a BCD entry for NTLDR (and NTLDR) may be needed.

The way the Vista and 7 BOOTMGR work is that they parse first the \boot\BCD and then BOOT.INI, ignoring all arcpath entries in the latter but parsing the "direct" bootsector paths and adding them to the boot choices already found in the \boot\BCD, so yes, a \boot\BCD is most probably needed, or, if you prefer, the BOOTMGR freaks out if it doesn't find one long before attempting to parse the BOOT.INI.

 

More generally the idea of this way to load grub4dos is that of leaving an existing MBR+PBR code untouched and keep BOOTMGR as the primary boot manager to avoid making changes to an existing working setup, if the setup isn't working (and without a \boot\BCD it won't work) there is little merit in not altering it.

 

An interesting experiment would be finding out what is the bare minimum contents of the \boot\BCD, i.e. would a completely empty one be enough to get to the BOOT.INI parsing? :unsure:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#5 steve6375

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:25 PM

I used BootIce to create a blank BCD and bootmgr complained about no valid entries in the BCD.

I then added an entry for Windows (when there was not any Windows present) and bootmgr listed both the Windows option and the grub4dos option and I could boot to grub4dos (/grldr).

The Windows menu entry is always listed first.

I am not sure how to make the default boot option the grldr menu entry...?



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:45 PM

I used BootIce to create a blank BCD and bootmgr complained about no valid entries in the BCD.

I then added an entry for Windows (when there was not any Windows present) and bootmgr listed both the Windows option and the grub4dos option and I could boot to grub4dos (/grldr).

The Windows menu entry is always listed first.

I am not sure how to make the default boot option the grldr menu entry...?

I suspect that you probably cannot, but you can name the "dummy" entry:

Please select choice below:

:lol:

 

More seriously, you can use BCDEDIT to create a "legacy" entry, making it point to grub4dos instead of the "classical" bootsect.dos (and getting rid of BOOT.INI also)?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 Zoso_The_Internet_Tard

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:50 PM

@devnullius asks a serious question about Unetbootin, and Wonko takes the opportunity takes the opportunity to effectively hijack the thread, by completely ignoring the question and peddling Grub4DOS instead. How typical.....maybe next time you shouldn't bother answering at all. If you're going to do this, then at least explain why UNetbootin isn't suitable, followed by an explanation why Grub4DOS is better.



#8 alacran

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:52 PM

I suspect that you probably cannot, but you can name the "dummy" entry:

Please select choice below:

:lol:

 

More seriously, you can use BCDEDIT to create a "legacy" entry, making it point to grub4dos instead of the "classical" bootsect.dos (and getting rid of BOOT.INI also)?

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

If you already have the boot.ini with an enty on it for grub4dos and then you install botmanager and rest of files folders (as in dual boot XP-7) it works great.

 

I have found several times that if you already have a configured BCD as in any working OS and you just add the boot.ini to the boot partition it is not always seen.

 

So I think the best way is add a new entry in BCD using BootIce (you can make it default if you want) and just add grldr.mbr to boot partition, of course as you perfectly know you also need to add grldr and menu.lst to any partition (usually one you can see when in OS for easy edit of menu.lst).   DO NOT put grldr in boot partition, some Windows Updates (or maybe Windows Defender updates) erase it, I have not identify KB numbers, (but no problem with grldr.mbr).

 

alacran



#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

@devnullius asks a serious question about Unetbootin, and Wonko takes the opportunity takes the opportunity to effectively hijack the thread, by completely ignoring the question and peddling Grub4DOS instead. How typical.....maybe next time you shouldn't bother answering at all. If you're going to do this, then at least explain why UNetbootin isn't suitable, followed by an explanation why Grub4DOS is better.

 

@whatisyournametoday

Actually if someone hijacked this thread, that was Steve6375, the OP asked for a simple way out, already mentioning grub4dos but expressing some doubts on it (because of the wromng perception that it needed to be "installed" to the MBR or PBR), and I simply provided the simple way out using grub4dos.

This is something that is well known on reboot.pro, as a way to add a grub4dos choice to an existing working setup based on BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD and Steve6375 brought the conversation to other - still connected - theme, using only the BOOTMGR on a non-working setup.

 

And, if you actually READ, the OP already stated why (for his intended uses) UNETBOOTIN is not suitable:

 

 

 

I was hoping to add a bunch of recovery linux distributions to my Windows BCD Boot entries, but I quickly discovered that UB only can handle 1 linux boot entry at a time. If I want a second disk added, UB removes the previously installed files and begins again from scratch...

 

I was hoping there'd be a simple way out? I gave a quick look at GRUB4DOS but... Looks old and I don't want to change my MBR - it's windows based and it should remain that way :) ....

and expressly asked for an alternative to it.

 

:duff:

Wonko






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