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MULTIBOOT HARD DRIVE DIFFERENT PARTITIONS

multiboot hard drive partitions

Best Answer alacran , 04 July 2017 - 05:25 AM

@Decopi

This is a general grub4dos boot menu entry to find and load an ISO from any (MBR) partition on your HDD:

Applies to standard category in Wonko's post # 11. Also applies to all ISO's YUMI can run from general category as "unlisted ISO" (both are the same).
This is your first and more general option to start with, then if your ISO do not boot this way, you need another approach, but always start trying this first..

1.- For 7pe_x86_E.iso on any (MBR) HDD partition root:

title Boot 7pe_x86_E\nRun 7pe_x86_E from HDD
##ISO file must be contiguous on disk in this case, use Wincontig
find --set-root /7pe_x86_E.iso
map /7pe_x86_E.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)

2.- For 7pe_x86_E.iso into folder Isos located on any (MBR) HDD partition root

title Boot 7pe_x86_E\nRun 7pe_x86_E from folder Isos on HDD
##ISO file must be contiguous on disk in this case, use Wincontig
find --set-root /Isos/7pe_x86_E.iso
map /Isos/7pe_x86_E.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)

Just Change 7pe_x86_E & 7pe_x86_E.iso with your ISO name.
Additionally you may change folder name Isos with the one you prefer, even a diferent one in each partition as far as you use the right folder name for each ISO contained in it.

This works great for NTFS partitions on HDD's, sometimes you need some little adjusments when running from FAT32 partition on external USB sticks, but this is not your case.

You may try this directly in your grub4dos menu.lst, or if you prefer go to your Yumi (installed on your HDD) Multiboot folder and locate the menu.lst where each one of your non extracted ISO's is called and change it as required and only move your ISO's to your prefered location.

alacran

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#1 Decopi

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:17 PM

I have two drives:

 

The first one is a SSD with my OS (Windows 10 last update).

The second one is a HDD, internally connected by my CD/DVD bay slot.

 

I want to convert my HDD into a multiboot drive, with 5 different partitions.

First partition is going to have a kind of Tool-Disk (like Hiren-boot etc). Second partition, is going to have an Antivirus Rescue Disk (Avast). Third partition is going to have the Windows Media Creation Tool. The other two partitions don't need to be bootable, because are going to have just folders and files backups.

 

I succeeded to do this by using YUMI 2.0.4.9 on my HDD. However, I can only do it if I put all the three ISOs in the first partition. I couldn't do it by putting each ISO in different partitions. For personal reasons, I need to use different partitions (so, I am not interested in other solutions like using just one partition, or an external USB, CD etc).

I confess that I already read a lot of about the subject, but is still difficult for me to find the right tutorial, perhaps because I am a very basic computer user.

 

Please, my questions are:

 

1) How to configure my BIOS for my HDD?

Legacy? UEFI? Both?

(my SDD already uses UEFI for Windows 10).

 

2) How to format my HDD?

MBR? GPT?

Primary?

Active?

NTFS? FAT32?

Etc?

 

3) My HDD is not recognized as an USB or external drive! Every software I tried to use (Rufus etc) in order to make my HDD bootable, didn't recognize my HDD.

Please, what kind of software do I need? How to use it for Hard Drives? I ask because most of these software seem to be only for USB. I couldn't find tutorials for Hard Drives.

 

4) I tried to manually install Grub4Dos in the first partition of my HDD. It didn't work (perhaps because my lack of know-how!).

I tried in two ways, by putting ISOs files in each partition, and the second way by extracting all the ISOs content directly on each partition. It didn't work.

Is Grub4Dos the right software for my case? Please, how to use it in my case? Or, where I can find a tutorial for my case?

 

5) Is this forum the right place for my questions? Do you recommend me another forum?

 

Thanks a lot in advance!



#2 nguyentu

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 02:07 PM

Most tools only support USB. For HDD, you can try AIO Boot.

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#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 02:32 PM

Grub4dos is OK, as long as you have BIOS or CSM support.

 

Failing that (the Windows 10 may mean that you have a recent UEFI system - and some recent UEFI system don't activate the CSM module if they find a valid EFI bootloader, it doesn't exist such thing as a "UEFI SSD", the SSD is either MBR or GPT, most probably it is GPT, in which case things may become more complex) your next best bet is GRUB2, but still it depends on the specific target.

 

The "personal reasons" (whatever they are) are not - generally speaking - "valid" to limit one's possibilities beforehand.

 

There are several ways to "install" grub4dos and - bar the stupid Windows 10 latest BOOTMGR - also one without installing it at all.

If the hard disk does not exceed 2.2 Tb in size there is no reason in the world to make it GPT, MBR is good enough and easier to setup

There is a special way to load grub4dos from a GPT disk (but again you need BIOS/CSM) in case.

 

From Windows 10 create a single primary partition (MBR style), as small as it is needed to contain one of your ISO's, format it as FAT32 and make it active.

Then copy to its root a BOOTMGR (not a BOOTMGR.EFI).

Then try to boot from that disk/partition.

What happens?

You should get an error that it cannot find the \boot\BCD.

Now try to boot normally to windows 10 and run bcdboot USING the /s parameter for the drive letter assigned to the newly created partition on the HDD:

https://docs.microso...ions-techref-di

 

Then try again to boot from that disk/partition.

What happens?

:duff:

Wonko


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#4 Decopi

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 03:09 PM

 

Most tools only support USB. For HDD, you can try AIO Boot.

 

Thanks @nguyentu! I read the AioBoot "how to use" section, and from there is not clear for me if it works for 1 Hard Drive and different partitions. Next week I will install and try the software. After testing, I will write here my results. Thanks again!



#5 Decopi

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 04:54 PM

Grub4dos is OK, as long as you have BIOS or CSM support.

 

Failing that (the Windows 10 may mean that you have a recent UEFI system - and some recent UEFI system don't activate the CSM module if they find a valid EFI bootloader, it doesn't exist such thing as a "UEFI SSD", the SSD is either MBR or GPT, most probably it is GPT, in which case things may become more complex) your next best bet is GRUB2, but still it depends on the specific target.

 

The "personal reasons" (whatever they are) are not - generally speaking - "valid" to limit one's possibilities beforehand.

 

There are several ways to "install" grub4dos and - bar the stupid Windows 10 latest BOOTMGR - also one without installing it at all.

If the hard disk does not exceed 2.2 Tb in size there is no reason in the world to make it GPT, MBR is good enough and easier to setup

There is a special way to load grub4dos from a GPT disk (but again you need BIOS/CSM) in case.

 

From Windows 10 create a single primary partition (MBR style), as small as it is needed to contain one of your ISO's, format it as FAT32 and make it active.

Then copy to its root a BOOTMGR (not a BOOTMGR.EFI).

Then try to boot from that disk/partition.

What happens?

You should get an error that it cannot find the \boot\BCD.

Now try to boot normally to windows 10 and run bcdboot USING the /s parameter for the drive letter assigned to the newly created partition on the HDD:

https://docs.microso...ions-techref-di

 

Then try again to boot from that disk/partition.

What happens?

:duff:

Wonko

 

Thank you Wonko,

As I mentioned, I already tried YUMI with success (for 1 partition), so I realize that my BIOS indeed supports Grub4Dos.
You said Grub4Dos should be "ok", but I failed trying for many partitions with several alternatives (with ISOs, with extracted ISOs etc). I am sure that the problem is with me (my lack of know-how), not with Grub4Dos. I read several tutorials, and can't make it work for several partitions (only works for 1 partition).

Regarding UEFI, sorry my vocabulary mistake, you are right, my SDD indeed is GPT, my BIOS is set for both (Legacy and UEFI), and Windows 10 is installed as UEFI. But I don't have problems with my SDD, and I don't want to touch neither my SDD nor my OS Windows.

 

As I mentioned, my only focus is just my HDD.

At here, two problems for me: 1) How to set up my HDD 2) How to set up Grub4Dos or other boot software on my HDD.
Just remembering, my HDD is clean, no OS. Only 5 partitions with 350GB (per your answer, should be MBR).

Next week I will try your tutorial: MBR + FAT32 + Primary partition + Active.
However and sorry for my stupid question: What is "BOOTMGR"? To copy to root partition, but to copy from where? Where I can find this "BOOTMGR"?
After bcdboot command, and supposing the boot will work: How I will boot the other two partitions in my HDD? Please remember, I look forward bootng from my HDD, but able to chose booting from my 3 partitions.

Thanks again!... and sorry for my low know-how profile... please, be patient with me.



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:33 AM

BOOTMGR is the "standard" BOOT ManaGeR that comes with Windows NT 6+ (i.e. from Vista up to 10).

It is the BIOS only bootmanager (the corresponding EFI one is BOOTMGR.EFI, and you already have one on the SSD, if it is GPT and boots in UEFI mode).

It should be on your Windows 10 installation and/or DVD.

Normally (but cannot say on 10 and particularly cannot say on a Windows 10 installed in EFI mode) a copy is in \Windows\boot\pc\at\bootmgr.

 

When you "initiate" a MBR Disk under NT 6x (just like most OS) a code that chainloads the PBR (Partition Boot Record) of the Active partition.

When you format that volume (partition) NT 6x will write to the PBR some code that chainloads BOOTMGR.

The BOOTMGR then access a "settings file" \boot\BCD" where there are the choices, then goes on to boot the chosen one.

So the booting sequence on BIOS/MBR for a NT6+ is:

BIOS->MBR->Active partition PBR->BOOTMGR->\boot\BCD->Winload.exe-> Windows

 

Until some latest version of Windows 10 (when the good MS guys decided to make our lives somehow more difficult) the BOOTMGR (in order to keep compatibility with older OSes read besides the \boot\BCD, also a \boot.ini (actually only a particular kind of entries in boot.ini, i.e. the non-ARCPATH ones).

 

This feature allowed to - particularly when experimenting - add grub4dos easily and without modifying anything, but simply adding besides grldr a boot.ini file (which is a simple text file) to the root of the partition, a choice in boot.ini would be "merged" to the boot choices and you could load grub4dos from there.

Grub4dos can on the other hand be "installed" in several ways (of course anyway the grldr file needs to be accessible *somewhere*) here is a list, possibly not complete and not including other methods such as WEE and similar):

1) by writing the grldr.mbr code to the MBR of the disk (it will occupy the MBR + following 17 sectors)

2) by writing the (newish) UMBR to the MBR of the disk (it will occupy a single sector)

3) by writing a grub4dos PBR code to the bootsector of the active partition

4) by modifying the existing PBR to chainload "grldr" instead of "BOOTMGR" (or "NTLDR")

5) by not installing it and only adding a BOOT.INI with a choice for grldr <- (this has been reported as not working anymore with latest Windows 10 BOOTMGR)

6) by adding a NTLDR and a \boot\BCD entry for it (the grldr is anyway loaded via a choice in BOOT.INI) 

 

The #5 above is the simpler and "less invasive" one but as said it won't likely work on recent BOOTMGR

It is anyway worth a try, and if it doesn't work the next "simpler and least invasive" one is IMHO #4 (slightly simpler to do on FAT, slightly more complex to do on NTFS).

The "canonical" one is #1 (but personally I don't like it because it occupies some hidden sectors that this - or that - tool may decide to use for *whatever* reasons).

The #2 has some limitations (file grldr can not be moved once installed).

The #3 is fine, but, like all the following ones, needs the prerequisite of the MBR code working to chainload it.

The #6 is the one that makes the less sense, unless you are double booting with a NT/2K/XP.

 

 

The general idea is however to manage to get to booting grub4dos, one way or the other, once you manage that, you can do *anything you want* (in BIOS only).

 

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#7 Decopi

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 10:26 AM

BOOTMGR is the "standard" BOOT ManaGeR that comes with Windows NT 6+ (i.e. from Vista up to 10).

It is the BIOS only bootmanager (the corresponding EFI one is BOOTMGR.EFI, and you already have one on the SSD, if it is GPT and boots in UEFI mode).

It should be on your Windows 10 installation and/or DVD.

Normally (but cannot say on 10 and particularly cannot say on a Windows 10 installed in EFI mode) a copy is in \Windows\boot\pc\at\bootmgr.

 

When you "initiate" a MBR Disk under NT 6x (just like most OS) a code that chainloads the PBR (Partition Boot Record) of the Active partition.

When you format that volume (partition) NT 6x will write to the PBR some code that chainloads BOOTMGR.

The BOOTMGR then access a "settings file" \boot\BCD" where there are the choices, then goes on to boot the chosen one.

So the booting sequence on BIOS/MBR for a NT6+ is:

BIOS->MBR->Active partition PBR->BOOTMGR->\boot\BCD->Winload.exe-> Windows

 

Until some latest version of Windows 10 (when the good MS guys decided to make our lives somehow more difficult) the BOOTMGR (in order to keep compatibility with older OSes read besides the \boot\BCD, also a \boot.ini (actually only a particular kind of entries in boot.ini, i.e. the non-ARCPATH ones).

 

This feature allowed to - particularly when experimenting - add grub4dos easily and without modifying anything, but simply adding besides grldr a boot.ini file (which is a simple text file) to the root of the partition, a choice in boot.ini would be "merged" to the boot choices and you could load grub4dos from there.

Grub4dos can on the other hand be "installed" in several ways (of course anyway the grldr file needs to be accessible *somewhere*) here is a list, possibly not complete and not including other methods such as WEE and similar):

1) by writing the grldr.mbr code to the MBR of the disk (it will occupy the MBR + following 17 sectors)

2) by writing the (newish) UMBR to the MBR of the disk (it will occupy a single sector)

3) by writing a grub4dos PBR code to the bootsector of the active partition

4) by modifying the existing PBR to chainload "grldr" instead of "BOOTMGR" (or "NTLDR")

5) by not installing it and only adding a BOOT.INI with a choice for grldr <- (this has been reported as not working anymore with latest Windows 10 BOOTMGR)

6) by adding a NTLDR and a \boot\BCD entry for it (the grldr is anyway loaded via a choice in BOOT.INI) 

 

The #5 above is the simpler and "less invasive" one but as said it won't likely work on recent BOOTMGR

It is anyway worth a try, and if it doesn't work the next "simpler and least invasive" one is IMHO #4 (slightly simpler to do on FAT, slightly more complex to do on NTFS).

The "canonical" one is #1 (but personally I don't like it because it occupies some hidden sectors that this - or that - tool may decide to use for *whatever* reasons).

The #2 has some limitations (file grldr can not be moved once installed).

The #3 is fine, but, like all the following ones, needs the prerequisite of the MBR code working to chainload it.

The #6 is the one that makes the less sense, unless you are double booting with a NT/2K/XP.

 

 

The general idea is however to manage to get to booting grub4dos, one way or the other, once you manage that, you can do *anything you want* (in BIOS only).

 

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

OK! Perfectly clear... thank you Wonko!

 

I found the bootmangr file, not at Windows\Boot\PC\AT, but at Windows\Boot\PCAT\bootmgr. I am supposing is the same file you described.

And I also found in other folder, the bootmgr.efi.

 

This week end I have not time, but I will try all your explanations/recommendations on next week.

 

I am just stiil curious about the partitions.

Let's suppose I can boot my HDD with your "bootmgr way". In this case, what should be the next step? I mean, on booting my HDD, how I will be able to chose from which partition to boot?

Just remembering, with YUMI, I already succeeded to boot my HDD. However, all the ISOs must be at same partition. I didn't succeeded with different partitions.

 

The ideal solution for me could be booting from my HDD, a kind of menu appearing showing different software options (OS, apps, programs etc), and starting up this options from anywhere (other disk drives, different partitions, networks etc).

Booting my HDD... ok, I already succeeded (YUMI).

Menu appearing... ok, I already succeeded (YUMI).

Starting up from other disks, partitions, networks etc... error, I failed! (I tried YUMI and Grub4Dos). I am pretty sure that the problem is not YUMI or Grub, is my lack of know-how. My guess is that Grub should work, but I am missing something, perhaps on the BIOS (Legacy or UEFI), perhaps on formatting my HDD (NTFS, FAT etc), perhaps on installing Grub, perhaps on editing the menu.lst, perhaps on your "bootmgr way" etc. I tried to follow many tutorials, but all of them are for USB drives, or for Linux software. And I believe that there I am missing something.

 

Thank you again for your time and patience.

Congratulations Wonko for be very clear on your explanations. Even a basic computer user like me, can perfectly understand and follow your explanations.



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 11:31 AM

Yep, that ( a kind of boot menu) is the general idea.

 

Point is that the default NT6 BOOTMGR will only give you a limited choice of possibilities (the stupid one shipped with Widnows 10 seemingly even less), whilst other bootmanagers (like grub/syslinux/grub4dos/grub2) offer many more options, and among these the one I personally find more "flexible" and offering more possibilities (but limited to BIOS) is grub4dos, which has among many other features possibilities the capability to map or remap disks and partitions, to chainload iso's, i.e. more or less what you want to do (for personal reasons).

 

How exactly each of the iso's/other OS, etc, can be added to the boot menu (which for grub4dos is a file called menu.lst) depends on the specific ,iso or other OS and their "default" booting mechanism.

And each specific .iso (or other OS) can usually be booted in more than one way, and it has to be chosen which one is simpler or offer some advantage over another way.

 

The "universal" (or *almost universal*) way for Linux .iso's is to use a fake partition entry in the MBR (and this is one reason why you normally want one of the 4 available partition entries in the MBR unused):

http://reboot.pro/to...ge-2#entry88531

 

but for many distro's it is possible to use other methods that do not need to have the partition table entry rewritten.

 

I am not at all familiar with YUMI, however Yumi is just a "package" what is used for booting is either Syslinux/Isolinux or Grub4dos or GRUB2 (haven't really checked) so the scope of the experiment with BOOTMGR is just to understand how from your BIOS the MBR hard disk is booted.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#9 Decopi

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 12:18 PM

Wonko, adding little more info regarding your last comment:

 

I mentioned that YUMI boots my HDD. However, YUMI has many options, but "Syslinux" and "Grub partition 4" options didn't work for me (I tried). Only worked "Grub" option in YUMI. The problem as I said, is that I must put all the ISOs in the same partition.

 

You mentioned "Grub4" and "Grub2"... are different? I googled now, and at first sight didn't find the difference.

In my ignorance, I was working only with Grub4. Should I test Grub2?

 

Regarding the ISOs, yes, I know each one needs a different configuration.

However, I have not problems in my case, because with YUMI, I can launch my 3 ISOs (a "rescue disk" kind of Hiren-boot, a "recovery disk" Avast, and the Windows Creation Media Tool). The issue, as I mentioned, is that the 3 ISOs must be in same partition. Again, I couldn't make them launch from different partitions.

 

May I said something very stupid? Considering that YUMI boots my HDD and my ISOs launch from one partition... my guess is that I am failed on the "menu.lst" of Grub. I have not know-how of the syntax. And I am pretty sure that there is something wrong in my case.

Another possibility, is that Grub only works from one partition, not from different partitions. But this doesn't seem true, because Grub can launch Windows and Linux in one drive, with different partitions.

 

I will give a try to your "bootmgr way". Also, I will search more about Grub4 vs Grub2. And I will try "AIO boot" (@nguyentu recomendation).

 

Thanks



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:06 PM

There are several "grubs" (but not any Grub4):

1) GRUB (the "real thing") that has a lot of limitations and has now been (senselessly) renamed as "GRUB LEGACY"

2) grub4dos (which is an evolution of GRUB with a number of features specifical for DOS or MS OS's and much more than that, an countless number of functions and extensions to the original GRUB, including a script language similar to the Dos/Windows batch, 

3) GRUB2 (which is a TOTAL REWRITE of GRUB) that has now been (senselessly) renamed as "GRUB" (this only creates more confusion than anything else), GRUB2 has an extremely more complex (or howver different) syntax than GRUB and grub4dos, and lacks almost entirely each and everything that was added by the grub4dos project BUT it has compatibility with UEFI (and has an extremely complex method to auto-generate its menu, which is a file called grub.cfg)

 

GRUB (the "real thing") is not used anymore (if not maybe in some "particular" distro/setup) as ALL its functionalities are included in grub4dos (with the same syntax) and also in GRUB2 (with a stupid over-complex different syntax).

grub4dos is used (remember BIOS only) by anyone that wants to have the most flexibility with both Linux and MS (and other as well) OS's.

GRUB2 is used mainly by people that are either Linux only or by people that have a simple dual boot between a Windows OS and one Linux and by those that are "forced" to use it because they have only UEFI.

 

Mind you GRUB2 is in itself a very good bootmanager/bootloader, the issue I raise is only about the over-complexity of some mechanisms and by the missing documentation (or mis-documentation in some cases) about a number of its features.

 

GRUB was born as the acronym for GRand Unified Bootloader.

When you booted GRUB the idea (between the lines) is/was "OK, I have booted, what do you want to continue booting now (I will at least try to boot it)".

When you boot grub4dos the idea (still between the lines) is a bit better "OK, I have booted, what do you want to continue booting now (I will at least try to boot it, and I have already made provisions to boot a number of OS's in several different ways).

When you boot GRUB2 the idea (between the lines) is instead "OK, I have booted, I don't really care what  you want to continue booting now (I won't try to boot it unless it is a Linux or it is only one or two selected ways I believe MS OS - which I don't use as they are bad, and wrong - should be booted, I will try to boot a bunch of Linux .iso's - of course only the ones that boot in a way that I believe to be correct - in any case, unless you learn how to modify yourself the boot.cfg generating scripts, any change you make manually to the boot.cfg will be overwritten automagically next time one of your Linux installs will update its kernel).

 

At each and every step the otherwise good GRUB2 guys (or the makers of the Linux distro's) are detaching the bootloader from the original concept of "unified".

 

Check the articles about GRUB and GRUB2 at deidomedo:

http://www.dedoimedo...uters/grub.html

http://www.dedoimedo...ers/grub-2.html

 

And the grub4dos guide by diddy:

http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm

 

To become more familiar with the various versions.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#11 Decopi

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:23 PM

Wonko, great explanation, thank you again!

I will back after reading all the links you attached, and after trying your "bootmgr way" etc.

Tante grazie!



#12 Decopi

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:23 PM

 

Most tools only support USB. For HDD, you can try AIO Boot.

 

 

Nguyentu:

 

I tried AIO BOOT... and it worked partially.

 

AIO BOOT indeed allows me to boot from any partition.

However, AIO BOOT is less compatible with different kind of ISOs (or let's say that AIO BOOT is more complex and technical, and demands special knowledge to work). I tried lot of alternatives (Grub2, Grub4, Syslinux etc) and couldn't boot 2 of my 3 ISOs.

 

In brief, I am on the middle of the way! YUMI is totally compatible with my 3 ISOs, boots my 3 ISOs, but YUMI forces to use just one partition. In the other hand, AIO BOOT allows me to use ISOs from any partition, but AIO is less compatible with my ISOs (worked just 1 ISO from 3).

 

Thank you Nguyentu



#13 nguyentu

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:41 PM

@Decopi: what is the name of ISO?


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#14 Decopi

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 09:08 PM

@Decopi: what is the name of ISO?

 

One of my ISOs is the Windows Media Creation Tool... it works perfectly in both, AIO and YUMI, but AIO is better because allows to keep the ISO in different partitions. YUMI makes a copy of the ISO, and uses it only in the first partition.

 

My other two ISOs are AVAST (recovery disk) and DLC Boot 2017 v3.4 Final (dlcboot.com).

Both ISOs worked perfectly on YUMI, but again, only if I use just one partition.

AIO didn't worked at all. Not even the ISOs appears at menu startup. I tried as many as possible different configurations (to complex for my level of know-how). I quit and sent them an email, asking for help.

 

Thank you @Nguyentu



#15 nguyentu

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 09:13 PM

Oh ok, I did not see AVAST and DLC on the list of supported.

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#16 Decopi

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 09:28 PM

 

Oh ok, I did not see AVAST and DLC on the list of supported.

 

 

AIO has a "general category" titled as "special pack".

YUMI uses same general category as "unlisted ISO".

There is no need to all ISOs be listed as supported. Unsupported ISOs should work under these "general categories". In YUMI works fine, but in AIO doesn't work. As I said, AIO seems to be less compatible with ISOs than YUMI (or at least, AIO is more complex to configure, not for my level of know-how).

 

It's a pity, because AIO has exactly what YUMI hasn't (and vice-versa).

AIO allows different partitions.

YUMI is compatible with all my ISOs.

 

Thanks again @Nguyentu



#17 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:54 AM

There is no need to all ISOs be listed as supported. Unsupported ISOs should work under these "general categories".

JFYI, not really-really.

 

From experience, .iso's fall into three "main" categories:

1) "Standard" itself divided into a few "families" depending on the base OS, the built-in bootmanager/bootloader, and some other small peculiarities, let's say four main "families", a, b, c, d

2) "Special" itself divided into a few families as above, a, b, c, d

3) "Specific" where each single .iso needs a very specific settings/method

 

It is not at all easy (let's say nearly impossible) to determine by software only if a given .iso belogs to #1, #2 or #3, let alone to which "family" it belongs.

 

Check this (old but essentially still valid):
http://reboot.pro/to...all-iso-images/

 

and some .iso's (the "easy" ones) can usually be booted through several methods (each method providing either advantages or disadvantages when compared to another method) AND, particularly for the Linux ones, the developers often change something in the setup (for perfectly "legitimate" and understandable reasons BTW) which results in Distro X version 12.34 (supported by method 2 c) and same Distro X but in version 12.35 becoming incompatible with method 2 c but working just fine with method 1 d.

 

So, in practice a list of supported .iso's (with booting method discovered manually) is necessary, and - as sometimes happens - if a new .iso version belongs to category 3,  you can stamp your feet as much as you want and cry out all your tears, but until a new, specific way is found (and it is added to the list for the "supported" versions) no methods 1 (a,b,c,d), nor methods 2 (a,b,c,d) will work with them.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#18 Decopi

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 03:44 PM

JFYI, not really-really...


 

:duff:

Wonko

 

Thanks a lot Wonko... always very useful your explanations.

 

We weren't talking about "all the ISOs". The conversation was just about "my 3 ISOs".

At the context of AIO BOOT and YUMI, my answer to @Nguyento was right.

This two software don't necessary need a specific list of supported ISOs. Lot of non supported ISOs work with this two software.

 

Sadly in my case, as I explained to @Nguyento, YUMI solves what AIO BOOT doesn't solve, and vice-versa.

YUMI succeeded to work with my 3 ISOs, but in just one partition.

AIO succeeded to work in different partitions, but only with just one of my ISOs.

 

Wonko, this week I will try your recommendations with the bootmgr etc.

 

Thanks



#19 alacran

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:25 AM   Best Answer

@Decopi

This is a general grub4dos boot menu entry to find and load an ISO from any (MBR) partition on your HDD:

Applies to standard category in Wonko's post # 11. Also applies to all ISO's YUMI can run from general category as "unlisted ISO" (both are the same).
This is your first and more general option to start with, then if your ISO do not boot this way, you need another approach, but always start trying this first..

1.- For 7pe_x86_E.iso on any (MBR) HDD partition root:

title Boot 7pe_x86_E\nRun 7pe_x86_E from HDD
##ISO file must be contiguous on disk in this case, use Wincontig
find --set-root /7pe_x86_E.iso
map /7pe_x86_E.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)

2.- For 7pe_x86_E.iso into folder Isos located on any (MBR) HDD partition root

title Boot 7pe_x86_E\nRun 7pe_x86_E from folder Isos on HDD
##ISO file must be contiguous on disk in this case, use Wincontig
find --set-root /Isos/7pe_x86_E.iso
map /Isos/7pe_x86_E.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)

Just Change 7pe_x86_E & 7pe_x86_E.iso with your ISO name.
Additionally you may change folder name Isos with the one you prefer, even a diferent one in each partition as far as you use the right folder name for each ISO contained in it.

This works great for NTFS partitions on HDD's, sometimes you need some little adjusments when running from FAT32 partition on external USB sticks, but this is not your case.

You may try this directly in your grub4dos menu.lst, or if you prefer go to your Yumi (installed on your HDD) Multiboot folder and locate the menu.lst where each one of your non extracted ISO's is called and change it as required and only move your ISO's to your prefered location.

alacran


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#20 alacran

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 06:39 AM

@Wonko

 

Quote from your post (# 6):

 

 

Grub4dos can on the other hand be "installed" in several ways (of course anyway the grldr file needs to be accessible *somewhere*) here is a list, possibly not complete and not including other methods such as WEE and similar):

1) by writing the grldr.mbr code to the MBR of the disk (it will occupy the MBR + following 17 sectors)

2) by writing the (newish) UMBR to the MBR of the disk (it will occupy a single sector)

3) by writing a grub4dos PBR code to the bootsector of the active partition

4) by modifying the existing PBR to chainload "grldr" instead of "BOOTMGR" (or "NTLDR")

5) by not installing it and only adding a BOOT.INI with a choice for grldr <- (this has been reported as not working anymore with latest Windows 10 BOOTMGR)

6) by adding a NTLDR and a \boot\BCD entry for it (the grldr is anyway loaded via a choice in BOOT.INI)

 

Your info as always is very accurate, but you forgot to mention:

 

7) (My prefered) By not installing it and only adding grldr.mbr to the root of partition where boot file/folders are located, adding an entry in BCD (easiest way using BootIce) and adding grldr and menu.lst to any partition (preferable an easy to access one).

 

About your option 5), Yes I can confirm some times it didn't work for me too (that's why I don't use that approach anymore), but after read that info in another post about maybe a month ago I realized those failures were after installing Win10 CU as second OS.

 

Abut Yumi approach it uses Syslinux (do not know what version) as main loader and usually extracts Linux ISO's to boot them, for booting "standard"  non extracted ISO's it loads grub.exe (from grub4dos, an old version BTW) and menu.lst, it also makes use of winlib, firadisk, 7zip and dd.

 

alacran


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#21 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

@Wonko

Your info as always is very accurate, but you forgot to mention:

 

7) (My prefered) By not installing it and only adding grldr.mbr to the root of partition where boot file/folders are located, adding an entry in BCD (easiest way using BootIce) and adding grldr and menu.lst to any partition (preferable an easy to access one).

 

 

Naah, JFYI I didn't really-really forget [1] it, I omitted it :w00t:, hiding myself under the generic excuse :ermm: of "possibly not complete" because it is one that needs to modify the \boot\BCD (which is of course OK for "advanced" users) just like #6, only that #6 is not really-really a modification specific for grub4dos, it is a generic modification for previous NT5 Os's that in most cases is done automatically by the Windows NT6+ install.

Let's say I was checking if other experienced members were paying attention. ;)


I have no Windows 10 to test, I also read that thread:
http://reboot.pro/to...eading-bootini/
but as often happens I am not fully convinced of the reports there about Windows 10 CU having changed behaviour with BOOT.INI and if it works on Decopi's install :unsure:, #5 remains the simpler and less prone to errors.

:duff:
Wonko



[1] Yes, I am getting older and grumpier but not yet more forgetful (as far as I can remember ;))



#22 Decopi

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:19 AM

@Decopi

alacran

 

Muchas gracias @Alacran!

 

As I mentioned in my previous comments, my guess is that I'm failing with the "menu.lst".

I have not "booting know-how", no "menu.lst syntax" knowledge, and I am basic computer user profile. So, here is the real problem... my IT ignorance!

In these sense, your post about the menu, was very useful for me... thanks a lot!

 

Also as I mentioned, I did my homework, for more than 2 weeks googled, read and tried to learn a lot. However, most of the software and tutorials are for USB drives and Linux. For IT basic users like me, is difficult.

 

Also as I mentioned, YUMI worked for me where AIO didn't work, and vice-versa. YUMI worked with my 3 ISOs, but just in one partition. AIO worked in many partitions, but just with one ISO.

This fact proves that booting my 3 ISOs in different partitions... is very feasible.

That's the reason I believe that editig the menu.lst could be the solution.

 

This week I'll try @Wonko recommendations, and also your menu recommendations. I also plain to try editing the menu.lst YUMI file. In brief, I still have four or five different ways to try.

 

I'm confident that with @Wonko, yours and others help and support... with lot of patience I will succeeded at the end.

 

I confess that when two weeks ago, I started with the idea of booting my HDD, with 3 ISOs, in different partitions... I thought that was an incredible simple idea, possible to be solved in maximum 10 minutes. I never imagined that booting or multibooting could be such a complex and technical issue. I'm not sure if this is the natural consequence of the existence of different software variety in the market... or if this issue is complex and difficult on purpose, for example because software or hardware companies don't want people changing booting staff... I don't know.

 

Thanks again!



#23 Decopi

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 12:28 PM

@Decopi

alacran

 

 

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

 

@Alacran... it worked!

 

First of all... gracias!... gracias!... y mil gracias!

It worked for my 3 ISOs, different partitions, even with different folders.

 

However, please if possible, I still need your (and @Wonko) help in order "to polish" my present multibooting procedure.

I read so many tutorials, and mixed so many recommendations, that perhaps there is a better configuration for my present procedure. Below is my step by step, with questions to you and to @Wonko. Please, both of you, help me if you can:

 

1) I set up my BIOS for "Legacy".

Considering that my HDD is a secondary disk, connected at my DVD bay slot, then in principle is a kind of "removable disk", which I plan to use with other computers. And considering that a lot of computers and ISOs work only with "Legacy", trying to avoid future incompatibilities issues, I choose "Legacy".

Is that correct? What do you recommend me for better performance & compatibility?

 

2) My HDD was formatted as a MBR disk, with FAT32, for same reasons (avoiding possible incompatibility issues with other computers and ISOs).

Is that correct? What do you recommend me for better performance & compatibility?

 

3) At this HDD, I'm using the 3 first partitions as "primary", and the first one is "active".

Is that ok?

 

4) I downloaded "grub4dos-0.4.4" from "https://sourceforge....rub4dos 0.4.4/"

Is that ok? Should I use another different Grub?

After extracting "grub4dos-0.4.4", I copied "grldr" file to my HDD (first partition). Is that ok?

 

5) I also created a "menu.lst" file, and copied @Alacran's menu syntax.

Considering that I have 3 ISOS, a copied 3 times same @Alacran's text.

Is that ok? Is it possible to write a menu for my 3 ISOS in just only one command line?

 

6) I downloaded "BOOTICE 64-Bit 1.3.3.2" from "http://www.majorgeek..._64_bit,1.html"

Is that ok? Should I use another different software?

 

I ran as "admin" => selected "process MBR" => "Grub4Dos 0.4.5c/0.4.6a (grldr.mbr) => Install.

Do you recommend other configurations?

 

Do you recommend other better way to install Grub or other boot system?

 

7) I read @Alacran's explanation, but still remains not clear for me, if I can use this multibooting procedure for extracted ISOs, and if possible, then how to use it for extracted ISOs different partitions, different folders.

 

As I already mentioned at the begging of this comment, @Alacran's menu did the trick! Is working perfect like a charm! Now I'm just trying to polish the mess, trying to focus in better performance. If both of you can help me in this final steps... it will be more than great!

 

In advance, thank a lot to both of you!



#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 01:55 PM

1) Ok.
2) Ok (for formatting as MBR), the filesystem to use is up to you my recommendation is to have a small FAT16 or FAT 32 first (active) partition, other partitions you may use NTFS or other "better than FAT" filesystem.
3)Sure.
4) NO, that is a very old version, if you use 0.4.4 (which has of course less features) you should at least upgrade to the version 0.4.4 2009-10-16 but what is normally recommended is to use the LATEST of either the 0.4.5c or of the 0.4.6a series, that you can find on Chenall's site:
http://grub4dos.chen...ries/downloads/
right now:
http://dl.grub4dos.c...c-2015-12-31.7z
http://dl.grub4dos.c...a-2017-06-25.7z
5) Yes/no, see below explanaton of a menu.lst.
6) Yes/no, see previous post with list of ways to install grub4dos, that method is #1 (if it works in your setup is OK, though I don't personally like it).
7) you need to understand the basic syntax of a menu.lst file.
You will need to go through diddy's guide here:
http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm
but briefly:
 
title Boot 7pe_x86_E\nRun 7pe_x86_E from HDD <- this is the title of the entry, i.e. what you see and can choose when booting
##ISO file must be contiguous on disk in this case, use Wincontig <- this line starts with # and it is just a comment
find --set-root /7pe_x86_E.iso <- look for the file 7pe_x86_E.iso on ALL disks (actually on all partitions/volumes on the available disk devices) until you find it and IF you find it establish root to the partition where it is found
map /7pe_x86_E.iso (0xFF) <- map the found .iso to a virtual cd/dvd rom drive (the .iso NEED to be contiguous)
map --hook <- hook, i.e. set "definitive" the mapping, now you have an additional, virtual cd/dvd drive identified as (0xff)
chainloader (0xFF) <- chainload the virtual cd/dvd drive, this in the case of a virtual CD/DVD drive chainloads the code on the 17 th sector, i.e. what would normally do a BIOS if you set it to boot from a "real" CD/DVD drive.

 

The method is among the simpler ones and when it works, it works, see also:
http://reboot.pro/to...about-grub4dos/

 
There is nothing "superfluous" in the above menu.lst entry each line has a meaning, you can of course change the title to a better description and remove the comment line, but that's more or less it.
Technically it is possible to make the above a one-liner, I believe, but what would be the *need* for making a long overcomplicated line when the sequence of commands (on multiple lines) is so easy to understand?
 
:duff:
Wonko



#25 Decopi

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 04:36 PM

 
:duff:
Wonko

 

Perfect @Wonko... Grazie mille!

 

Last questions:

 

2) Following your recommendations, this small FAT16/32 first (active) partition... is it better at the beginning of the HDD? Which "small" size do you recommend?

 

4) I'll download the latest Grub, thank you.

Grub should be in the small FAT16/32 partition that you recommended ? Or in other partition?

As I did in my present configuration, may I copy "grldr" file to my HDD first partition? Or do you recommend other way?

I'm aware that lot of answers you already posted in previous comments. However, considering that my present configuration works, by asking again and repeating some questions, by comparison I'm trying to understand if my present configuration is enough and "generally ok", or if I should try other better configurations.

 

6) If you say that changing the way I already installed Grub, will be much better for my HDD, with significant improvements (i.e. performance, compatibility etc), then I'll change it! But, if you said that my present way is enough or "generally ok"... I'll keep present configuration. What do you recommend me?

 

7) Similar question: Changing my present syntax menu, will make significant improvements? Or my present way is "generally ok"?

 

I want to say that you Wonko rock!

You have been tremendously patience with me.

But more important, you have been always clear in all your explanations, very easy to understand and follow, very logic and consistent. I learn a lot with you, and as a basic computer user, you motivated me to go ahead, to try new different ideas that I have.

So Wonko, receive my sincere gratitude for all your great help and explanations.

Grazie mille Wonko!







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