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Stupid questions from a desperate newbie!


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#1 Arus

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 10:52 AM

Hello all you clever people.
I am completely new to Grub4DOS.
I had a look at the tutorial, and to be completely honest, didnt understand a word of it.

What I am trying to do, is make a PC, purely for me to test, and become familiar with the different OS.
I want it to include:
Win: XP, Vista, 7RC, Ubuntu Linux and Mac OS X (Kalyway), and maybe Win2k.

I started using a program called Arconis, which was very useful for managing the partitions, but after installing XP, Vista, 7 and Ubuntu Linux on the partitions I created for them, the Arconis OS Loader only recognised XP and Vista.
Also, after installing 7, Vista now fails to boot.....

I scoured Google but found nothing that my feeble brain could understand.....

I downloaded Grub4DOS, and even after looking at the tutorial, i can even figure out where to start!

Help!!

Thanks

#2 pscEx

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 10:55 AM

I'm also a Grub4DOS newbie, and therefore cannot help you.

But concerning the topic's title:

Have a look into my signature! :D

Peter

#3 Arus

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 10:56 AM

I think it should read 'There are no stupid questions, just stupid people'.... well in my case anyway! :D

#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 11:40 AM

I think it should read 'There are no stupid questions, just stupid people'.... well in my case anyway! ;)


You are not "stupid". ;)

You are:
  • new to the specific topic -> i.e. a n00b in jargon - which is not an offence, it is simply a description of an initial level of knowledge
  • inaccurate (as often n00bs are)
  • ambitious (as often n00bs are)
  • using the "Infinite monkey" approach (as usually n00bs do)

Everything is "normal" and "under control". ;)

Most n00bs:
  • want to do something overly complex, like throwing in together 6 Operating systems all at once
  • make reference to something (vaguely):
    WHICH tutorial?
    You mean the guide?:
    http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm
  • type "casually":
    What is Arconis? Such a typo in a script or setting and whatever you are trying to do won't work
  • Start with the "Infinite monkey" approach:
    http://en.wikipedia...._monkey_theorem
    hoping (vainly :)) that they are exempt from Murphy's Laws

Usually planning in advance and starting with the basics tend to give better/faster results. :D


Let's start with some needed info:
Which Computer are you going to use?
How big is the hard disk?
Does it hold already an OS?
Are you willing to wipe it and re-partition the hard disk?
Or you already have a "fixed" partition scheme?
Have you got another PC if needed? (connected to the internet to access the board and to burn Cd's from downloaded files)
Have you considered the idea of doiing tests in a Virtual Machine initially?

Just in case, read the "common sense advice" attached to Rules:
http://www.boot-land...?act=boardrules
before answering the above questions.

Rest assured, with a bit of patience and some time, you won't be a n00b anymore. ;)

:)

jaclaz

P.S.: Just in case :D, psc (Peter) is a different case, he knows much more than most of the people on this board but simply refuses to take into consideration the "booting" part of an OS.
It is like he is allergic to words like MBR, bootsector, bootmanager, etc. :(

#5 Arus

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 04:36 PM

Firstly, I know I am a 'n00b', hence the title of the topic being 'newbie', the less lame version of 'n00b'.
- I know that what I am attempting to do is ambitious, and maybe impossible, but half the reason for me posting here is to find out if it is at all possible, by asking those more experienced in the topic.
- The tutorial I spoke of is that tutorial, but as it is so far the only tutorial I have found, and mentioned on this site, I kinda guessed people would assume.
- Arconis was a spelling mistake, it was meant to be Acronis.

As for your questions:

Which Computer are you going to use?
It is an IBM ThinkCentre.
3ghz P4
1GB Ram

How big is the hard disk?
There is 1X 80GB HDD, which should just about do it, but if I find I am running out of space, I can ghost the drive onto a larger one.

Does it hold already an OS?
It currently has XP, Vista and 7 on it. (I am accessing the board on it, as I can't be bothered to start up my main machine).

Are you willing to wipe it and re-partition the hard disk?
As it is a test machine with this purpose only, I have no problem formatting and starting from scratch.

Or you already have a "fixed" partition scheme?
Nope :D

Have you got another PC if needed? (connected to the internet to access the board and to burn Cd's from downloaded files)
Yes

Have you considered the idea of doing tests in a Virtual Machine initially?
I have no idea how, as I said, I am very new to this.


As this board seems to have a number of people who are experienced in this program, and the subject, I thought it would be a good place to ask for help!

Thanks

#6 Arus

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 04:46 PM

My neighbour recommends somehow installing Grub4Dos to the MBR, before installing any OS.
He said using a bootable CD.
This is because Win 7 Boot manager is arse!
Is that what is described here?
http://diddy.boot-la.../install_cd.htm

Does this make any sence?

Thanks

#7 was_jaclaz

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 05:41 PM

My neighbour recommends somehow installing Grub4Dos to the MBR, before installing any OS.
He said using a bootable CD.
Is that what is described here?
http://diddy.boot-la.../install_cd.htm

Does this make any sence?

Thanks

What?
Installing grub4dos?
Yes. ;)

Using a bootable CD?
Yes, but not that kind of bootCD, you need a DOS or Linux (or PE) bootCD, though your computer is pretty much new, and as thus should be bootable from USB.
In which case I would advise as more flexible a USB stick.

But point is, you don't actually need to install grub4dos at all. (unless you really want to ;))

Depending which bootmanager you are currently using (Vista's/7's BOOTMGR+\boot\BCD I presume) you can add grldr as an entry to it or add it as an entry to your XP's NTLDR+BOOT.INI.

Relevant pages are these:
Vista/7:
http://diddy.boot-la...ws.htm#windows3

NT/2K/XP/2003:
http://diddy.boot-la...ws.htm#windows1

If you want to install it, the relevant page is this one:
http://diddy.boot-la...ws.htm#windows4
Alternatively, you can use this app:
http://grub4dostoolb...ourceforge.net/
http://sourceforge.n...rub4dostoolbox/
which I personally prefer, with LATEST STABLE grub4dos release, which you can find here:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/
http://nufans.net/gr...b4dos-0.4.4.zip

Quick summary:
  • It is easier to make a multiboot machine with Microsoft OS's (if starting from scratch) installing them in the same order they came out (in your case 2K/XP/Vista/7) as each OS has provisions for booting previous versions.
  • Each install will at least modify the partition bootsector, thus DO NOT install grub4dos booting code in the bootsector. (an entry in boot.ini will be preserved by subsequent installs)
  • Installing grub4dos to the MBR could be a good idea though the code isn't contained all in the first sector, and, as thus may create problems if some app (like Partition Magic or some Acronis tools are used or if software with protection schemes that use hidden sectors of the HD are used)
  • Please note that Vista/Windows 7 will probably :D change the MBR also (to make it compatible with bitlocker), so grub4dos (if installed to the MBR) will need to be re-installed

You should plan your partitoning scheme in advance.

What I would do:
FAT16 Primary partition less than 1 GB (if you want for any reason to keep compatibility with old DOS 6.22)
or (advised):
FAT32 Primary partition around 5 GB
and
a big Extended Partition for the rest of the hard disk, divided in several Logical Volumes (partitions), at least 1 for each OS + 1 for "Common Data"

This way you have some added flexibility, should you later want to add an OS, or re-install an existing one.

As said, until you remain within "MS" Operating Systems, and with a partitioning scheme as the above, you won't need grub4dos at all.

To add a Linux install, though you do not actually need grub4dos, as you can use bootpart to add an entry to BOOT.INI, it is advised.

Cannot say about Kalyway, but I presume that grub4dos (or other "third party" bootmanager) is then required.

Besides, grub4dos adds a lot of flexibility, with it's ability of running a number of Operating Systems from mapped disk or CD images.

:D

jaclaz

#8 river~~

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:35 AM

But point is, you don't actually need to install grub4dos at all. (unless you really want to :D)

totally correct, you don't actually *need* grub4dos - but I suggest it is worth thinking about whether you do want it anyway.

One advantage of grub4dos is that it offers more scope for fixing the boot sequence if things go wrong later. It has features for finding files, and so on, that other bootloaders don't even dream about!

So the advantage of installing it now is as insurance - if grubdos is already working then it may save you time later. Of course if things never go wrong with the boot sequence then your time installing it is for no purpose - like any insurance when the bad things don't happen.

The advantage of skipping grubdos for now (and perhaps for ever) is that it is one less thing to think about right now.

And before you start, it is worth thinking which is the better advantage for you.
River~~

#9 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:04 AM

totally correct, you don't actually *need* grub4dos - but I suggest it is worth thinking about whether you do want it anyway.


river~~, the point I was trying to make was that there is no need to install grub4dos, meaning that you can chainload it, as suggested, from BOOT.INI.
This way it WON'T be overwritten at subsequent OS installs, something that will:
  • definitely happen if "installed" to the partition bootsector
  • probably happen if "installed" to the MBR

As said:
  • No need to install it.
  • No real need of it at all as long as you are within MS OS's.
  • Actual need of it when adding another OS (as the other possible solutions are all more complex less flexible.

If you sum all the above you have:
  • you need grub4dos
  • it is better if you do not install it to the bootsector or MBR
  • once you have installed ALL MS operating systems you can install it to bootsector or MBR

:D

jaclaz

#10 Arus

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:01 PM

Hmm I think I am starting to get the picture.
I will definetally be using Grub, as even though I have only MS OSs on there at the moment, there will be Linux and OSX eventually.

One problem I have met is that; I installed Xp to the primary partition, and it worked (as drive C).
Vista was then installed onto drive D, and worked,
I then installed 7 to drive E.
Once I installed 7, its wierd boot loader took over from the previous. It seemed to look at the previous boot.ini for structure.
Strangely, as soon as it installed, Vista no longer works, so i was hoping that installing grub to the MBR would prevent this....

#11 Arus

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:07 PM

But with that said, would installing Grub later on potentially fix the issue with Vista?

#12 Arus

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:20 PM

Just so you know what I am getting at, here is what I want:
1X 80GB HDD Partitioned:
C: Win XP
D: Win Vista
E: Win 7 RC (To be replaced upon release)
F: Ubuntu Linux
G: (Linux Data Swap)
H: Kalyway Mac OS X Leopard

If I decide to include Win2k, then that will be installed first on 'C' and the others will shift one.

I want the main booting OS to be XP.
If I find that space is tight, I will Ghost the drive to a larger drive.

Does this sound possible?
What would you recommend as a course of action?

Thanks for your patience!

#13 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 04:54 PM

If I decide to include Win2k, then that will be installed first on 'C' and the others will shift one.

Yep, as long as you do the "shift" before actaully installing it.
DO NOT "shift" Microsoft OS's.
You may find yourself in a situation where each drive has a different Drive letter under a different OS, which, before or later, will make you make a mistake and delete the "wrong" file from the "wrong" drive.


I want the main booting OS to be XP.

Sure, but "main" means "booting by default, not necessarily being on first partition. ;)
Using grub4dos you can change your "main" or "default" booting OS at will.

If I find that space is tight, I will Ghost the drive to a larger drive.

Does this sound possible?
What would you recommend as a course of action?

Sure, if you get tight, you can clone to a new larger HD, though most probably it would be easier to clone/install to it just, say, Windows 7, Kalyway and Ubuntu and resize the partitions on the first one or, even easier, use the freed partitions for DATA.

As said I would have a first partition, the only one Primary and Active of a smallish size.
Win2k will be happy enough in 2 Gb, the proposed 5 Gb is more than enough, and adequate also for XP, as long as you keep (as suggested) all your data on a separate partition.

You should check how the "normal" chainloading between Vista (and Windows 7) and previous NTLDR based version works:
http://www.multiboot.../multiboot.html
The whole site has lots of info that you should get acquaintened with:
http://www.multibooters.co.uk/

What you report is very strange :D, Vista should "incorporate" the previous XP ( XP will incorporate a previous 2K) and Windows 7 should "incorporate" a previous Vista.

What grub4dos can do is to chainload (at will) either:
  • a NTLDR
  • a BOOTMGR
  • a Linux Kernel+initrd
  • etc., etc.
once the "main" "original" loader has been started, grub4dos is not anymore "responsible" of what happens.

Thus, if there is a problem in the "chain" BOOTMGR->\boot\BCD it isn't and cannot be a problem with grub4dos and thus it cannot resolve it.

You may find interesting this post:
http://www.boot-land...?...c=7652&st=4

Thanks for your patience!

No prob. :D

jaclaz

#14 diddy

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:20 PM

Just so you know what I am getting at, here is what I want:
1X 80GB HDD Partitioned:
C: Win XP
D: Win Vista
E: Win 7 RC (To be replaced upon release)
F: Ubuntu Linux
G: (Linux Data Swap)
H: Kalyway Mac OS X Leopard


I can't really comment on installing option/partition H: as I have no experience with Mac OSX. Are partitions C,D and E primary partitions?

Assuming that they are, my advice would be to install the Windows operating systems as follows.

1 - Partition the drive.

2 - Don't bother installing Grub4dos just yet as the windows install will probably remove it anyway.

3 - Assuming that C = (hd0,0), D = (hd0,1), etc - set partition (hd0,0) as active and run the Windows XP install.

4 - After XP has finished installing, run/open the Disk Management console (type "diskmgmt.msc" in a run box) and set (hd0,1) as the active partition, then reboot the PC and install Windows Vista to (hd0,1).

5 - After Vista has finished installing, run/open the Disk Management console (type "diskmgmt.msc" in a run box) and set (hd0,2) as the active partition, then reboot the PC and install Windows 7 to (hd0,2).

The advantage of installing in this way is that the Windows bootloader files for the individual OS will be contained on it's own partition and will not be replaced when the next OS is installed. Note that when using this method each Windows OS will mount it's system partiton as C when booted.

Once the Windows OS's have been installed you could create a menu.lst file with the following entries -

title XP

root (hd0,0)

chainloader /ntldr



title Vista

root (hd0,1)

chainloader /bootmgr



title 7 (RC)

root (hd0,2)

chainloader /bootmgr

or

title XP

unhide (hd0,0)

hide (hd0,1)

hide (hd0,2)

root (hd0,0)

chainloader /ntldr



title Vista

hide (hd0,0)

unhide (hd0,1)

hide (hd0,2)

root (hd0,1)

chainloader /bootmgr



title 7 (RC)

hide (hd0,0)

hide (hd0,1)

unhide (hd0,2)

root (hd0,2)

chainloader /bootmgr

Using the second entries, Vista and 7 will be hidden from XP, XP and 7 will be hidden from Vista, etc.

If you plan on using Windows XP as your default OS, then set (hd0,0) as active and install grub4dos using this method - http://diddy.boot-la...ws.htm#windows1

Note that when ubuntu is installed it will probably install Grub (legacy) to MBR with boot options for each windows OS installed above. Before installing ubuntu I would therefore consider backing up the MBR (using dsfo.exe - part of the dsfok) and then write the saved file back after installing ubuntu (using dsfi.exe).

Hope this helps.

diddy

#15 diddy

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:28 PM

I started writing my reply here before jaclaz posted here - I'm a. a slow typist and b. went to make a cup of tea half way through writing my reply.

My method is easier than jaclaz's but is not as flexible as his method allows for many more OS's to be installed.

I actually use the http://www.multibooters.co.uk/ methods (installing various Windows OS's to logical partitions) myself.

diddy

#16 Icecube

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:46 PM

Note that when ubuntu is installed it will probably install Grub (legacy) to MBR with boot options for each windows OS installed above. Before installing ubuntu I would therefore consider backing up the MBR (using dsfo.exe - part of the dsfok) and then write the saved file back after installing ubuntu (using dsfi.exe).

You don't have to install grub in the MBR. You can install it also in the partition boot sector of the Ubuntu partition.
Look at http://news.softpedi...04-110794.shtml and find the step:

Are you really ready for Ubuntu?

· This is the final step of the installation. Here, you can select to install the boot loader on another partition or hard drive than the default one, but it is only recommended for advanced users. Most of you can just click the "Install" button to start the installation process...

Click on "Advanced ..." and select the correct partition for grub.
E.g.: If you install Ubuntu on the first logical partiiton, select /dev/sda5.
In that case the MBR isn't touched at all.

You then can use the following in your menu.lst file for grub4dos (will load the installed grub legacy from the first logical partition):
title Ubuntu

root (hd0,4)

chainloader +1


#17 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 06:26 PM

diddy,
without any offence intended ;), your method is WRONG :D, because of this:

The advantage of installing in this way is that the Windows bootloader files for the individual OS will be contained on it's own partition and will not be replaced when the next OS is installed. Note that when using this method each Windows OS will mount it's system partiton as C when booted.


You may find yourself in a situation where each drive has a different Drive letter under a different OS, which, before or later, will make you make a mistake and delete the "wrong" file from the "wrong" drive.


Believe me, I have a few years of experience on this, I have seen people crying ;) because of the above.

Just in case, one should use migrate.inf to "keep" or "force" the right drive lettering.

And out of topic, but not much, here it is a "smart" way to identify drives ;):
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=7355


And, for no apparent reason, a few images of cats, first one just deleted the "wrong" file (or deleted the right file on the "wrong" drive) and defragged the drive, the other are his friends' reactions to the news:
Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

;)

:D

jaclaz

#18 diddy

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:12 PM

diddy,
without any offence intended smile.gif, your method is WRONG w00t.gif, ...


Hello jaclaz,

Can we both be right :D!

I should have explained in more detail that (hd0,0) will be mounted as C: when XP is booted from it, (hd0,1) will be mounted as C: when Vista is booted from it and (hd0,2) will be mounted as C: when 7 is booted from it.

I agree that

You may find yourself in a situation where each drive has a different Drive letter under a different OS, which, before or later, will make you make a mistake and delete the "wrong" file from the "wrong" drive.


Basically, all bets are off for mount points for other partitions. Although windows must use some logic for allocating drive letters they just seem random for most people...

..which is why I use a label for my partitions -

(hd0,0) - label = "boot" - it contains grub4dos and several iso images booted using grub4dos iso emulation.

(hd0,1) - label = "hd0_1"

(hd0,2) - label = "hd0_2"

etc.

diddy

#19 was_JFX

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:22 PM

Hy, I would prefer the method post by diddy, it's the way I also done it.

The Windows partition will be always on C:, the other windows will be hidden.
The other partitions can get the same driveletterassaignment under all windows.
Should be the way with the lesser confusion when everything looks same under every windows.

Is migrate.inf still working under Vista/Seven ?

#20 was_jaclaz

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 11:10 AM

The Windows partition will be always on C:, the other windows will be hidden.

Yep, that's exactly the point.
I find of very little (if NOT at all) use having a multi-boot system where each booted system cannot see the other systems.

The other partitions can get the same driveletterassaignment under all windows.

Sure. :D

Should be the way with the lesser confusion when everything looks same under every windows.

EXACTLY, including ALL drives/partitions containing Operating System. :D

FYI, for n years I had:
  • DOS on C: (+ the various bootloaders/bootmanagers)
  • Windows 98 on D:
  • Common (dos/nt) DATA on E:
  • NT 4.00 on F:
  • Win2K on G:
  • 2nd Win2K on H: (later it became XP for tests)
  • NT DATA on N:
  • (most) Programs on P:
  • Swap File on S:
  • Data to burn on T:


Is migrate.inf still working under Vista/Seven ?

Cannot say, but if it doesn't, there should be a similar mechanism, but however, if you install the OS in the given order, the install will pick the drive lettering from the previous MS OS (of course unless you Hide it's partition)

jaclaz

#21 paraglider

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:21 PM

I use 3 primary partitions. One with win7 x64, one with vista + sp2 x64 and the other with bartpe. For the normal os's I hide the other primary partitions. For Bartpe all primary partitions are visible. I always install programs to drive d:. Just a pity many programs also install to drive c:. MS / Adobe programs are bad in that respect. My data drive is always e:. I just adjust the drive letters after the install so they are the same in the main os's.

If I need to messs with other os's then I use virtual machines. I run xp vm's to build bart pe.

#22 Arus

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:13 PM

Hey,
Thanks for all your advice.
I have so far installed the MS OSs using Diddy's advice.
I installed XP, then using Acronis, created 2 more primary partitions.
Set HD0,2 to active and installed Vista ect... and so far all is running smoothly.

Before I install Ubuntu Linux, I want to make a ghost image of the drive so far, just incase I screw up.

Just wondering, what do you guys use for drive management and partitioning.
I have found that Acronis will only allow 3 Primary partitions.... Is that normal?
Also, does Linux need to be on a primary partition to run, or can it sit on a logical partition?

Thanks

#23 was_JFX

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:23 PM

I also use Acronis Diskdirector, is a good an easy one. :D

Yes 3 Primarys are normal (4 is the maximum if there is no extended)

And linux don't have to be on a primary partition

#24 Arus

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:37 PM

Brilliant!
Im worried that MacOSX may need to be, but its not the end of the world!




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