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Multiple boot partitiions on the same drive


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#1 Luca's

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:21 PM

Hello everybody.
I have a quite puzzling problem.

I'm under xp, and have a usb stick which i need to be formatted with 3 primary ntfs partitions: one for data, another for data too (but to be used with true-crypt), while the third needed to multi-boot an xp and a vista setup.
To achieve my goal, i acted like so: using this really remarkable tool (i mean the one reachable here), i made a multi-boot xp and vista setup out of the removable drive.
Then, in order to resize the bootable ntfs partition created by the tool (so to be able to create the other two partitions), i used the hitachi filter driver to make xp see the usb stick as if it were a fixed unit.

What's the problem, hence? Easy to say: the problem is i have the usb stick to be portable.
I mean: i need the default driver (the microsoft one that sees the usb disk as a removable device) to see as a removable device the data partition, not the bootable nor the true-crypt partitions. It shows the bootable partition instead.


This is due to the fact that, when you turn back to the default driver, the OS sees as a removable device just one partition among the created (no more than one). The point is, at most, which partition is choosen to be shown and why.

I have noticed that to be shown as a removable device, there's no need at all it is the partition where xp and vista setup files are: when you have on the stick three primary partitions none of which is bootable, it is the first partition on disk that is seen as a removable unit. In particular, when the partition where xp and vista setup files are (let's call it «D:» ) is bootable, the default driver keeps showing D: as the removable device until you convert it to a logical partition (no matter if you have set it as inactive or as hidden when using the filter driver).

To be honest, i don't know if the tool makes the partition bootable in the sense that it writes grub4dos in the MBR of the entire usb stick disk or else in the sense that it writes grub4dos in D: bootsector (i just know it requires the partition to be active for the boot process to work), but in any case what i need is the default driver to show the data partition, not D:.

So here comes my question.
Let's suppose that having more than one bootable partition on the same device can change the priority with which the default driver chooses among partitions the one to be shown (for example: if i make the data partition a bootable partition, now i have two bootable partitions and the priority criterion becomes to show the partition that comes first on disk). If so, could you please indicate or teach me a way to have multiple bootable partitions on the same device? (i have heard of multiple boot records, am i on the right path or am i just confused?)
Or at least: could you please show me a guide or teach me how to create a multi-boot usb stick in such a way that the bootable partition actually is the data partition, but having a bootchain in it to launch grub4dos from the other partition?

I hope i have been clear enough.

The puzzle is driving me crazy so... any help will be truly appreciated.
Thanks a lot! :poke:

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:44 PM

I hope i have been clear enough.

Maybe you also overdid it. :poke:

What is the reason for three primaries? :poke:

If i get it right, in "normal" operation you just need to "see" one partition out of the three, correct?

If yes, you have two choices:
  • keep grub4dos installed on the MBR (+hidden sectors) and add the commands needed to hide/unhide active/inactive the partition each time you boot from the stick.
  • remove grub4dos from the MBR and use instead OS-BS mbldr:
http://www.boot-land...p?showtopic=334
(this is advised as it fits ENTIRELY in the MBR thus avoiding possible problems with any software that may use the hidden sectors)

then:
Add to EACH partition a set of tools for ALL operating systems running on the PCs you are going to use the stick on capable of setting the Active partition.

Let's start to call partitons with their "names", a partition is better indicated by it's position, like in (hdx,y) where x is the drive number, 0 if you boot from it, n if added to an already booted system, y is the partition number, 0 being the first one (in grub4dos notation, 1 in common NT based windows notation).

To better clear the above, first partition of first disk will be:
(hd0,0) in grub4dos or
rdisk(0)partition(1) in Windows ARCPATH, shortened to 0,1

When you boot from the stick, the three partitions will be:
(hd0,0)
(hd0,1)
(hd0,2)

when you insert the stick in an already booted system, with already one disk in it, you will get:
(hd1,0)
(hd1,1)
(hd1,2)

It would be nice if you could run ddlistw.cmd:
http://www.boot-land...?...c=6492&st=7

and post it's output, like in this post:
http://www.boot-land...?...5306&st=156

And a screenshot of the USB thingy as seen by beeblebrox:
http://students.cs.byu.edu/~codyb/
or however the info how it sees the stick.

This way I can see how it is formatted and how it is seen by windows (with and without the filter driver). :poke:

jaclaz

#3 Luca's

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:34 AM

I will begin by posting the infos you asked me. Then i will develop my reasonment.

This is how the stick is seen as fixed with the 3 partitions in it:
Drives by drive letter:c: 0,1 FIX \Volume{302303c8-08ca-11dd-bfed-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume1d: 0,3 FIX \Volume{2a969c7a-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume3e: 0,2 FIX \Volume{2a969c7b-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume2f: x,x CDR \Volume{82185941-08cb-11dd-aab9-806d6172696f} \CdRom0g: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f062-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom3h: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f060-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom1i: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f061-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom2j: x,x CDR \Volume{c3b0e5db-b319-11dd-ab81-005056c00008} \CdRom4k: x,x CDR \Volume{b9e9cdc3-f691-11dd-abce-005056c00008} \CdRom5l: 1,2 FIX \Volume{a95f399e-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume5m: 1,3 FIX \Volume{a95f399c-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume6n: 1,1 FIX \Volume{a95f399d-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume4Drives by connection:c: 0,1 FIX \Volume{302303c8-08ca-11dd-bfed-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume1e: 0,2 FIX \Volume{2a969c7b-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume2d: 0,3 FIX \Volume{2a969c7a-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume3n: 1,1 FIX \Volume{a95f399d-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume4l: 1,2 FIX \Volume{a95f399e-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume5m: 1,3 FIX \Volume{a95f399c-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume6f: x,x CDR \Volume{82185941-08cb-11dd-aab9-806d6172696f} \CdRom0h: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f060-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom1i: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f061-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom2g: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f062-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom3k: x,x CDR \Volume{b9e9cdc3-f691-11dd-abce-005056c00008} \CdRom5j: x,x CDR \Volume{c3b0e5db-b319-11dd-ab81-005056c00008} \CdRom4
This is how the stick is seen as a removable device:
Drives by drive letter:c: 0,1 FIX \Volume{302303c8-08ca-11dd-bfed-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume1d: 0,3 FIX \Volume{2a969c7a-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume3e: 0,2 FIX \Volume{2a969c7b-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume2f: x,x CDR \Volume{82185941-08cb-11dd-aab9-806d6172696f} \CdRom0g: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f062-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom3h: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f060-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom1i: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f061-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom2j: x,x CDR \Volume{c3b0e5db-b319-11dd-ab81-005056c00008} \CdRom4k: x,x CDR \Volume{b9e9cdc3-f691-11dd-abce-005056c00008} \CdRom6l: 1,1 REM \Volume{b9e9cdc4-f691-11dd-abce-005056c00008} \Harddisk1\DP(1)0-0+dDrives by connection:c: 0,1 FIX \Volume{302303c8-08ca-11dd-bfed-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume1e: 0,2 FIX \Volume{2a969c7b-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume2d: 0,3 FIX \Volume{2a969c7a-b7af-11dd-8329-806d6172696f} \HarddiskVolume3l: 1,1 REM \Volume{b9e9cdc4-f691-11dd-abce-005056c00008} \Harddisk1\DP(1)0-0+df: x,x CDR \Volume{82185941-08cb-11dd-aab9-806d6172696f} \CdRom0h: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f060-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom1i: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f061-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom2g: x,x CDR \Volume{8711f062-204b-11dd-aac0-0013ce9184f6} \CdRom3k: x,x CDR \Volume{b9e9cdc3-f691-11dd-abce-005056c00008} \CdRom6j: x,x CDR \Volume{c3b0e5db-b319-11dd-ab81-005056c00008} \CdRom4
This is the beeblebrox screenshot. It is the same both with and without the fixed driver.beeblebrox.jpg

What is the reason for three primaries?

Well, to tell the truth, no reason. Only the bootable partition needs to be primary...

If i get it right, in "normal" operation you just need to "see" one partition out of the three, correct?

If by "normal operation" is meant when i have windows normally running from the notebook hard disk, yes, i need so. To be more precise, i need not just to be shown only one partition, but the data partition and not the others.Let's suppose i decide to keep grub4dos (because i think it's too hard-coded in the multi-boot installation process of the partition created by the tool). I can't understand why you suggest me to

Add to EACH partition a set of tools for ALL operating systems running on the PCs you are going to use the stick on capable of setting the Active partition.

First of all: what tools do you refer to?Then, do you think setting as the active partition the data partition L: instead of the bootable partition N: will solve the problem? My question is not pretentious, i just don't understand if it's that what you think. Because if you think so, i have to say i've already worked on setting (with Acronis disk director) both the other 2 partitions to be the active one, but with just the result that the usb stick gives an error when i try to boot from it, while it still sees N: as the removable device when i am within windows.In any case, what's strange to me as an ignorant is that N: partition is seen as Volume4 even if i have moved it to be, in order, the third partition on disk.

BTW, thank you very much for your kindness.

Attached Thumbnails

  • beeblebrox.jpg


#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:45 PM

OK. :poke:

Let's start with some order.

This:

l: 1,2 FIX \Volume{a95f399e-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume5
m: 1,3 FIX \Volume{a95f399c-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume6
n: 1,1 FIX \Volume{a95f399d-fcd1-11dd-abe7-005056c00008} \HarddiskVolume4

(stick seen as fixed)
probably means that you already connected this particular stick to the particular PC you are using and during any of the tests the first partition (1,1) got assigned letter "n".
This kind of assignment is generally "sticky", until you do not re-assign the letter through mountvol or Disk Management.

The beeblebrox screenshot shows how your partitioning... well... ...is a mess. :poke:

beeblebrox (through the filter driver you are using) sees the stick as having a geometry of 61,209x16x32, and more generally a geometry of nx16x32, which is not "standard".

The stick appears to have been partitioned (or re-partitioned) in a "queer" way.
First Entry (entry 0) is starting past cylinder 1023, and has fractional heads/sectors. It should really be entry 2, size is 3.444.439.040 bytes
Though this may not be a problem since the partition is NTFS and thus accessed through LBA addressing, it might not be "compatible" with some BIOSes.
Second Entry (entry 1) should actually be entry 0 (as it starts - correctly - at CHS 0/1/1 or LBA 63) size is 10.561.227.264 bytes
Third Entry (entry 2) should actually be entry 1, size is 2.039.869.440




I would suggest you to re-start from scratch, thus you will lose any data you have currently on the stick, please backup any data you care about.

Please FORGET Acronis, I may well be wrong, but I suspect that it is part of the problem :poke:.

What you have currently is roughly:
  • a 10 Gb partition
  • a 2 Gb partition
  • a 3 Gb partition

Which one is "data", which one is "truecrypt" and which one is "setups"?

What you should do now is clear the first, say, 100 sectors of the stick.

You can use a hex/disk editor, if you are familiar with it, or the method using fsz/dsfo here:
http://www.boot-land...topic=3453&st=8

Be VERY careful in using the right Physicaldrive number!

Disconnect the stick and reconnect it.

Access it through Disk Management (I am assuming you are having the Filter Driver installed) and partition the disk, creating first thing the "setups" partition, then the "truecrypt" one, then the data one.
Make three primary ones.
Format each of them as NTFS.

Disconnect the stick and reconnect it.

Run again beeblebrox and post screenshot.

About your question, when there is NO filter driver in the NT based OS, only one partition is accessible, the Active one.
Hidden partitions are NOT assigned drive letters anyway.

The idea should be that when you boot from the stick, you have:
  • "setups" Active and unhidden
  • "data" hidden
  • "truecrypt" hidden

And you are able from the boot menu to change the Active and hidden status of each partition for present and NEXT boot/connection. (through grub4dos or other "special" MBR)

When you access the stick by connecting it to a live system, you must have (on ALL partitions in the stick, so that whatever is the unhidden active one you can access it) a tool to be able to switch the status of the partitions, so that you can change it to the one you like to access and by disconnecting and reconnecting the stick access the one you are interested in.

In other words the stick can be in either of THREE states, depending on how you left it last time you used/accessed it:
  • "setups" Active and unhidden/"data" hidden/"truecrypt" hidden
  • "setups" hidden/"data" Active and unhidden/"truecrypt" hidden
  • "setups" hidden/"data" hidden/"truecrypt" Active and unhidden

And you need a way to "switch" among the above both when you are booting from the stick (through grub4dos or "special" MBR) and when you simply connect it to a working system (the "other tool", which can be the same beeblebrox, a diskpart script, MBRFIX, MBRWIZ, and a number of other programs).

I hope that the above is clear enough to show what the "plan" is. :)

jaclaz
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#5 Luca's

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:51 PM

Sorry for being late but i have some problems to stay connected.
As usual, i begin with providing you the infos you asked me, then reply.

What you have currently is roughly:
1. a 10 Gb partition
2. a 2 Gb partition
3. a 3 Gb partition
Which one is "data", which one is "truecrypt" and which one is "setups"?


The 10 gb partition should be data
The 2 gb should be truecrypt
The 3 gb partition should be setups

But you told me to create

first thing the "setups" partition, then the "truecrypt" one, then the data one


so i have partitioned in the order you said.
Here's the beeblebrox screenshot (after having zeroed the first 100 sectors and having partitioned):
beeblebrox.jpg

With disk management, setups is L:, truecrypt is M:, data is N:. I have to specify there is no active partition at the moment.

In addition, let me say i now better understand your plan: but before to reply, i have to clarify a little more what my needs are.
First of all, when within Windows, i'd like the setups partition to be ALWAYS hidden, both when the OS uses the filter driver and when it does not (which is to prevent the user from accidentally deleting setups files). The same holds true for the truecrypt partition. In other words: within Windows, i need ONLY the data partition to be shown, be it with the filter driver or not. On the other side, i still need to boot in some way from the setups partition. These are the pre-requisites: i have to meet them all, and simultaneously.

So, back to your solution. Given the pre-requisites, it follows i only want the state 2 to be true. this one--> ("setups" hidden/"data" Active and unhidden/"truecrypt" hidden). I want to explicitly exclude state 1 and 3.

About the filter driver, in order to see the data partition only, it is sufficient to mark the setups and truecrypt partitions as hidden. Here, setting the data partition as active is uninfluential. (We have now setups and truecrypt hidden)

About the default driver, in order to see the data partition only, you told me i need to set it active. (We have now setups and truecrypt hidden, while data active)

So, being the data partition the active one, it follows i can only create a bootchain from the data partition, to be also able to boot from the setups partition. I see no other solution (even if i hope there could be one). If i mark the setups partition as active, then the default driver within windows shows setups instead of data.

I don't intend to despise your useful proposal, but it's still that:
1 i prefer to avoid setting each time the active and hidden partitions manually
2 above all, i don't want to have any tool on any partition to allow those partitions i don't want to be shown to be shown. It has to be a pre-arranged configuration that only expert hands should deal with.

Well, the first to like it easier would be me, please trust me when i say.
I'm sorry, but that's what i want to do: just hope if i solve my problem, it could help other people too. :poke:
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#6 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 09:38 AM

You'll have to agree that the newly partitioned stick looks a lot more "tidy" :poke:.

Well,
you cannot have BOTH
[italian]
botte piena e moglie ubriaca
[/italian]
(the above is an italian proverb, you cannot have at the same time wife drunk and cask of wine full)

Some compromises are needed.

Let's see which are the most simple ones.

I take for granted that you want the "truecrypt" always hidden and you have some misterious :poke: way to deal with it.

In beeblebrox, change the type 07 in entry #2 to 17 and let's forget about it.

So we have just two partitions left.

Install grub4dos to MBR +hidden sectors method #8:
http://diddy.boot-la...ll.htm#method08

Copy grldr to "setup" partition, copy to it also NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and a BOOT.INI with at least two entries, the one here will be OK for this test:
http://diddy.boot-la...ll.htm#method05

copy to it also a tag file, create a new empty .txt file and rename it my_grldr.tag
copy to it also a menu.lst as follows:
color black/cyan yellow/cyan

timeout 30

default /default



title find and load NTLDR of Windows NT/2K/XP

find --set-root /my_grldr.tag

makeactive

unhide

chainloader /ntldr



title rehide setup partition

find --set-root /my_grldr.tag

hide

find --set-root /my_data.tag

makeactive

unhide

copy to the "data" partition a tag file , create a new empty .txt file and rename it my_data.tag

In beeblebrox, hide the "setup" partition by changing the type 07 in entry #0 to 17 .
Set the "data" partition active by writing 80 in "boot" field.

Try booting from the stick.

Choose the "find and load NTLDR of Windows NT/2K/XP".

You should be able to get to the choices in boot.ini, of which the "windows" entry won't work, and the grldr one should bring you back to menu.lst choices.

Restart the PC and check the stick with beeblebrox, once after having chosen "find and load NTLDR of Windows NT/2K/XP" last and once after having chosen "rehide setup partition".

Proposed method:
  • normal status of the stick is 2. "setups" hidden/"data" Active and unhidden/"truecrypt" hidden
  • when you boot from the stick you can choose to make the setup partition active/unhidden (and thus use it to install)
  • once the setup has finished you need to reboot from the stick once again and choose the "rehide setup partition" entry
  • stick is back to "normal" status

If this is acceptable, try it, report, and we'll see some "enhancements", like password protecting etries in menu.list, using UUID instead of "tag" files, etc.

jaclaz

#7 Luca's

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:47 PM

You'll have to agree that the newly partitioned stick looks a lot more "tidy"

Yep i think so. I take your word for it. :poke:
BTW i have not understood why you told me not to use Acronis.. Well, no matter if you don't want to dwell on long explanations, but could you please indicate me a substitutive tool to resize, move, mark partitions as active, convert them from logical to primary etc.? Partition magic didn't seem that advanced to me.

Anyway yes, to momentarily forget the truecrypt partition was my intention too.
So, let's come to the point.
I think it's not really that the proposed method is not acceptable: it's rather that i still don't get why grub4dos needs the setups partition to be active and unhidden to load the installation process. Could not the installation process be launched in memory like any normal program? Is it because to launch it you can't skip the loading of ntldr? Or is it because the second part of the windows installation needs the partition active and unhidden, to be completed? As far as i've seen, when i had hidden the setups partition with Acronis, the first part of the xp setup launched correctly even when the partition was the last one on disk (but well, yes, there still was the partition mess).

You know i just don't want to have critical files on the data partition. They could be deleted.
So, if «using UUID instead of "tag" files» is a method to avoid files on the data partition, it is welcome. Even better with passwords in the boot menu. This way, having to set the active partition each time i complete a setup, is a compromise i can stand. But first tell me it is impossible to reach my goal otherwise (i mean tell me it is not possible to leave the data partition always active). Because if you know other methods, i don't mind if they take time or they're difficult. I just do prefer to avoid stepping in with setting what partitions are active and what are not.

There is also one more question.
Let's say i decide to adopt the last strategy you advised me. What about creating the setups partition files with winsetupfromusb? Will you help me find the way how to make the multi-boot setup process with xp and vista work, given that i'll have a grub4dos menu modified if compared with the one originally created with the tool? I mean either help with a guide to create the multi-boot partition out of nothing too...


Thanks a lot for all of your precious suggestions.

#8 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:28 PM

I think it's not really that the proposed method is not acceptable: it's rather that i still don't get why grub4dos needs the setups partition to be active and unhidden to load the installation process. Could not the installation process be launched in memory like any normal program? Is it because to launch it you can't skip the loading of ntldr? Or is it because the second part of the windows installation needs the partition active and unhidden, to be completed?

WRONG question. :poke:

grub4dos couldn't care less about hidden and active partitions, but the Windows setup does.

You seem not to appreciate enough that installing XP from USB was IMPOSSIBLE by design according to the good MS guys.

For years this was accepted as an undeniable truth.

Now, after several months of hard work, the people involved:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=111401
managed to find a working solution.

Not only, they continued bettering it, day after day, and came out with three different ways/methods to do that.

You may want to compare the number of people who viewed the referenced thread with the actual thank you's in it, then check how many people in the Forum:
http://www.msfn.org/...p?showforum=157
posted to say "nice, but I need it a different setup...."

Currently, Install for XP must run from first, Active, Unhidden, Primary partition on the stick.

This is NOT negotiable.

BTW i have not understood why you told me not to use Acronis.. Well, no matter if you don't want to dwell on long explanations, but could you please indicate me a substitutive tool to resize, move, mark partitions as active, convert them from logical to primary etc.? Partition magic didn't seem that advanced to me.

The whole point with Acronis (as well as Partition Magic, which I personally rate worse than Acronis) is you have NO control over what you do.
But basically they are too "easy" people thinks that since the program automagically does it they can move, shift, activate, convert types and filesystems at will.
Result is often a partitioning that does not make sense, like your original one, or other "collateral damages" you find about only when you need a paritcular setup/OS.
In my personal view partitions should be planned and done once and for all.
Besides the (very few) problems the mentioned app actually have, the real problem is that they give "power" to the unexperienced user, thus "unleashing" his/her lack of planning/thinking ahead, through the (false) omnipotence feeling, like in: HA, no prob, I'll just fire up <app name> and will fix it in no time....
Anyway, using always some "manual" tools to check what has been done by these "magic" utilities is advised.


There is also one more question.
Let's say i decide to adopt the last strategy you advised me. What about creating the setups partition files with winsetupfromusb? Will you help me find the way how to make the multi-boot setup process with xp and vista work, given that i'll have a grub4dos menu modified if compared with the one originally created with the tool? I mean either help with a guide to create the multi-boot partition out of nothing too...

I have a better question for you :poke:, why do you think that I made you have the "setup" partitition be first, Active, Unhidden, Primary? :poke:

:)

jaclaz

#9 Luca's

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:21 AM

I have a better question for you , why do you think that I made you have the "setup" partitition be first, Active, Unhidden, Primary?

Actually i suspected it was the same reason for winsetupfromusb required me those conditions :poke:

You seem not to appreciate enough that installing XP from USB was IMPOSSIBLE by design according to the good MS guys.


Oops.. :poke:

So. I have tested the proposed method and it fully works.
There is a problem though. Before to proceed to the next step, which i suppose to be when you teach me how to password-protect the boot menu and use UUIDs instead of tag files, i have to ask you:
Why the hell using the filter driver everything is okay, while using the default driver it shows as the removable device the setups partition and not the data one??? Data partition is active and unhidden; the setups one is inactive and hidden: well, i can't understand!
Is it due to the fact i have a u3 device with the cd-rom firmware feature activated (maybe it has some influence on how the driver sees partitions on the stick)? I don't think so: it rather seems to me that, when i have an unmodified mbr and partitions are without files, the partition shown is not the one gldr is into...

I don't post any screenshot how beeblebrox sees the unit when the OS uses the default driver: i've checked and (apart from 80s and 17s) numbers have not changed from when i had partitioned.
I post the disk management screenshot instead (default driver currently being used).
Disk_management.jpg


:) :poke:


---

#10 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:59 AM

Why the hell using the filter driver everything is okay, while using the default driver it shows as the removable device the setups partition and not the data one??? Data partition is active and unhidden; the setups one is inactive and hidden: well, i can't understand!

I guess that it is due to the method not working :poke: (yet :poke:).

Try the following:
  • run beeblebrox
  • take a screenshot of it (for reference)
  • copy all values in entry #1 to entry #0 and all values from entry #0 to entry #1
  • disconnect and re-connect USB stick

What happens?

jaclaz

#11 Luca's

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:03 PM

sorry but...what do you mean by "all values"?
also
ECyl, EHd, ESec, StartSector, NumSectors?

#12 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:18 PM

Yep.

Is there another meaning for "all" (meaning "most" or "some" or "a few")? :poke:

Right now you should have:
#0: 17-00-0-1-1-420-254-63-63-6763302
#1: 07-80-421-0-1-675-254-63-6763365-4096575
#2: 17-00-676-0-1-1023-254-63-10859940-20466810

Try to change it to:
#0: 07-80-421-0-1-675-254-63-6763365-4096575
#1: 17-00-0-1-1-420-254-63-63-6763302
#2: 17-00-676-0-1-1023-254-63-10859940-20466810

What happens?

jaclaz

#13 Luca's

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:07 PM

Is there another meaning for "all" (meaning "most" or "some" or "a few")?

:poke: i'm just trustful no more: i didn't want to destroy anything...

okay, i do think your suggestion has contributed to give a major pull down to my problem.
Guessing the aim of the operation, i have substituted entry 0 with entry 2 (instead of 1).
Now the shown partition is data (the correct one) :poke:

Proceeding on this line, i have decided to set the setups partition as active by default. Again the OS, be it with the filter driver or not, only shows the data partition (as i wanted).

It follows that in Menu.lst i can remove the part where it marks the setups/data partition as active. the script just needs to hide/unhide the setups partition: wonderful.

anyway i am still interested both in
--password-protecting menus and avoiding the presence of any file
and in
--the second part where i populate the setups partition (even if i could use winsetupfromusb and re-correct the partition table after, couldn't i?)

#14 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:25 PM

Yep, since you stopped posting the info, I thought that #1 was "data".

It seems however like we are once again stuck :poke:, as with the "data" partition as first one, most probably the SETUP won't run.

We need to try another thing.

Try shifting ALL partition entries by one, i.e. write contents of #2 in #3, contents of #1 in #2, contents of #0 in #1 and fill ALL fields in #0 with 0's.

What happens?

FORGET (together with Acronis :poke:) the UUID and password thingies for the moment, we'll talk about them once the base thingie works (hopefully :poke:).

jaclaz

P.S.: since I cannot simply resist to the idea of "confusing" you with some "data overload", can you run Chipgenius:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4661
and post VID/PID of your stick, together with it's make/model and (if given) controller used?

#15 Luca's

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:29 PM

I'd like to specify i have shifted the original configuration, the one with:

-as the first entry, the setups partition (3gb)
-as the second entry, the truecrypt one (2gb)
-as the third entry, the data one (10gb)
Only change i've made is to mark setups (instead of data) as active.

Anyway, even with data active, shifting does not work: it's the partition table order that makes the difference in what partition is shown with the default driver...

Tomorrow i'll make you know about Chipgenius and maybe i'll post a beeblebrox screen of the current situation.
See you

#16 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:45 PM

I'll wait for those info. :poke:

If you are adventurous enough, you could also start testing with:
the PARTNEW :poke: command
(AFTER having shifted current entries by one, so that entry #0 can be "cleared")

title create 1st partition from 2nd

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0 0 0

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 &#40;hd0,1&#41;+1



title create 1st partition from 3rd

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0 0 0

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 &#40;hd0,2&#41;+1



title create 1st partition from 4th

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0 0 0

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 &#40;hd0,3&#41;+1

READ "README_GRUB4DOS.txt".

Would this work for Primary partitions also?

Or can we use "hardcoded values:
title create 1st partition for &#34;setups&#34;

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0 0 0

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 63 6763302



title create 1st partition for &#34;data&#34;

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0 0 0

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 10859940 20466810

Or should we shift to ALL Logical Volumes inside Extended?

jaclaz

#17 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:48 PM

A couple of reports from Ponch :poke: , here:
http://www.msfn.org/...opic=129454&hl=
http://www.msfn.org/...opic=130168&hl=
confirm that when the device is seen a "Removable" (i.e. the "Removable bit" has not been "flipped" or no Filter Driver is installed) XP sees only First partition entry.

jaclaz

#18 Luca's

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

when the device is seen a "Removable" (i.e. the "Removable bit" has not been "flipped" or no Filter Driver is installed) XP sees only First partition entry.

yes i already knew about the removable bit, but my device is firmware controlled and i can't flip it (have tried yet). :poke:
I was interested in finding a production tool though. I had searched on a russian site where they list all models by PID & VID: no tool was signalled for my device. Now that you indicated me this chipgenius, it says i can use a toshiba program. But even if i could get the program elsewhere (everything on bbs.mydigit.cn is in chinese and i can't register!!!), i suspect the cdrom unit wouldn't be seen at bootup.
Mine is a 16 Gb SanDisk Cruzer Micro usb stick. Here are chipgenius results:

SanDisk Cruzer USB DevicePnP Device ID: VID = 0781 PID = 5406Serial Number: 4324301B5880521BRevision: 8.01/8.01Device Type: Standard USB device - USB2.0 High-SpeedChip Vendor: SanDiskChip Part-Number: Product Vendor: SanDiskProduct Model: CruzerTools on Web:  [url="http://bbs.mydigit.cn/read.php?tid=25669"]http://bbs.mydigit.cn/read.php?tid=25669[/url]

anyway, this is the current situation of the unit:
beeblebrox.jpg

i have not modified Menu.lst for i don't understand the commands given:
sorry but if use, for example,
title create 1st partition for "data"partnew (hd0,0) 0 0 0partnew (hd0,0) 0x07 10859940 20466810
then there will be 2 entries which are the same (data entry is both at the first position and the third)?

.

#19 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 04:16 PM

then there will be 2 entries which are the same (data entry is both at the first position and the third)?


Yes, but since Windows (if device is seen as "Removable") should only see one, it should work.

If it doesn't, you will need to use the "normal" way and "clear" the 2nd or 3rd entry after having generated "right" 1st one

There are TWO ways to use the partnew command:
  • "standard" GRUB-like one
  • "special" grub4dos one

"standard" one works as follow:
http://www.gnu.org/s...de/partnew.html
partnew part type from len

Which in your case becomes either:
partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 63 6763302
or
partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 10859940 20466810

The line:
partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0 0 0
is not really needed, as it simply blanks first entry.

"special" one adds the ability to add a "primary" entry for a Logical Volume inside Extended Partition.
I don't know if it may also work for a Primary partition, as said this use is documented in "README_GRUB4DOS.txt".

If it works it is more "general" as it copies data from one entry to the other , instead of "normal" that needs hardcoded "from" and "len".

I'll check what I can find with that PID/VID.

jaclaz

#20 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 04:22 PM

I'll check what I can find with that PID/VID.


Is your google broken? :poke:

Here:
http://www.toshiba.c.../1_4/1_4-02.htm
http://www.toshiba.c...2H_Ver1.055.exe
http://www.toshiba.c..._install_f2.gif

though I don't think it will be useful. :poke:

jaclaz

#21 Luca's

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:29 PM

Is your google broken? :poke:

who said i used google? :poke:
well, no, just kidding, i was already downloading when i wrote. but the fact still is the tool is of no use, for it doesn't change the cd-rom unit dimensions.. you have to keep your 6mb drive.

about the commands: i suppose they're just a test, but actually we don't have just to replace the first entry with the currently needed one: we need to exchange entry 1 with entry 3 and viceversa, or else the trick could work when we use windows with the default driver, but i guess it won't when we use the filter driver instead (wrong partition table with two entries the same). did i get the point?
anyway i'll give it a try with the default driver and make you know ASAP.

#22 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:40 PM

we need to exchange entry 1 with entry 3 and viceversa, or else the trick could work when we use windows with the default driver, but i guess it won't when we use the filter driver (wrong partition table with two entries the same). did i get the point?


Yep, but I continue to suggest a step by step approach.

If these basic commands work, noone prohibits us to make them more complex later. :poke:

We could simpy hide the "duplicate" with 0x07->0x17. if needed, or find another way, let's wait until we face the problem, and then we'll see how to work around it...:poke:

The only way to know is to do some tests.....

About enlarging the 6 MB partiton, this should be of help :poke::
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=121502
(site down right now) googlecache:
http://209.85.129.13.....wtopic=121502
http://209.85.129.13...hp/t121502.html

jaclaz

#23 Luca's

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 09:13 PM

You're up to more tricks than Old Nick... :poke:


About enlarging the 6 MB partiton, this should be of help :
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=121502

mmm, last time i used it, it gave me an error (it could not access the device). i will try sooner or later with the toshiba tool instead.

but as you teach me, it's better to focus on one problem at a time.
with the partnew commands no way.
i have grub4dos 0.4.3 and it gives me aproximately this error:
This command is inhibited from running in a script
Error 35: Invalid argument

doh!
it seems it has too many arguments...
Here is the main part of the documentation from README_GRUB4DOS.txt
***********************************************************************

*******

***					  The PARTNEW Command Syntax						***

******************************************************************************



Besides the mappings in the above section, you may instead choose to create a

new primary partition with the PARTNEW command. PARTNEW can generate a primary

partition entry &#40;in the partition table&#41; for a logical partition.



For example,



	partnew &#40;hd0,3&#41; 0x07 &#40;hd0,4&#41;+1



where the file &#40;hd0,4&#41;+1 stands for the whole partition &#40;hd0,4&#41;. This command

will create a new primary partition &#40;hd0,3&#41; whose type is 0x07 and whose

contents/data is the same as that of the logical partition &#40;hd0,4&#41;.



Just like a whole logical partition, a contiguous partition image file can

also be used with PARTNEW&#58;



	partnew &#40;hd0,3&#41; 0x00 &#40;hd0,0&#41;/my_partition.img



The type 0x00 indicates a type-auto-detection of the image MY_PARTITION.IMG.

The above command will create a new primary partition &#40;hd0,3&#41; with a proper

type and with contents/data being exactly that of the contiguous file

&#40;hd0,0&#41;/my_partition.img.



PARTNEW will automatically correct the &#34;hidden sectors&#34; in the BPB and the

modification will be permanent. And PARTNEW modifies the partition table

permanently.


#24 was_jaclaz

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:41 AM

i have grub4dos 0.4.3


WHY?

Use ALWAYS latest one:
http://www.boot-land...?...pic=14&st=1


Maybe:

This command is inhibited from running in a script

means that it is inhibited to run from a script. :poke:

Try using command line :poke::
http://diddy.boot-la...s/files/cli.htm

jaclaz

#25 Luca's

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 01:39 PM

WHY?
Use ALWAYS latest one
http://www.boot-land...?...pic=14&st=1

The link leads you here:

WHERETO
FINAL VERSIONS are here:
http://sourceforge.n...ojects/grub4dos


And in fact at that sourceforge address version 0.4.3 is shown...

However i've tried, the stick situation being the one in the last screenshot, the commandline way. I've used one of the hardcoded commands (to make data the first entry):

partnew &#40;hd0,0&#41; 0x07 10859940 20466810

This time it was accepted, but when i rebooted windows, connecting the stick resulted in a blue screen. I've tried on a clear xp-copy too: but both with and without filter driver, you have a blue screen.
Using 'partnew (hd0,0) 0x07 63 6763302' also had no repair effect.
I had to resort to diskpart from the recovery console, to erase all the partitions. It was strange in that it saw on the usb stick disk a 3,2gb ntfs partition (the setups one), and then three odd entries of raw non-partitioned space matching each one the size of the partitions present on disk before (setups, truecrypt, data).
So, back to us.. I have deleted all the partitions, booted windows, zeroed first 100 sectors, created new partitions on the stick.
Now order is:
1.Setups
2.Data
3.Truecrypt

Here is a screenshot of the current situation.
beeblebrox.jpg
I will copy grub4dos on the stick soon.

Any idea?