I apologize if I am not into the correct section. I am posting here as a last resort: I am about to throw my machine out the window…
I got interested in multi booting a few weeks ago. The plan was to install XP Pro along with a version of LINUX Mandrake, since I didn’t and still don’t know a thing about LINUX and wanted to learn, for testing purposes and flexibility.
Let’s go with the specs first :
Running XP Pro SP2 5,1 Build 2600 fully patched
Asus A8N-SLI Premium Mobo
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2010 MHZ
Kingston 2x 512 MB RAM
BIOS Revision 1006
BIOS Date: 06/30/2005
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 Turbocache
Hard Drive 0 = Maxtor PATA 300GB
Hard Drive 1 = Maxtor SATA 250 GB
! Both drives are Master !
HD1 was the original HD that came with the PC when I bought it. I installed the other one afterwards and Windows Plug n’ Play decided that the second installed drive would be drive 0.
I wiped HD1 completely and partitionned using Paragon HD management. Primary partition C on drive1 was set active and I installed a ghost of XP on that partition. When I rebuild my machine a few months ago, I activated XP and installed all drivers before creating the ghost I am talking about, the one I installed on C. Then restarted and everything booted well. I installed a bundle of basic software (browsers, archive, java, codec, etc.) and I created a ghost before installing anything else.
After, using Paragon, I created 2 other primary partitions (D & E) and installed the newly created ghost (with the bundle of basic software) on both partitions D & E. Booting on C afterwards, I installed Paragon HD manager on the C drive and activated the boot manager, that found the 2 other OSes. I really like Paragon’s Boot manager functionalities (timeout and easiness of choosing OSes) since anyone using my machine can quickly select which OS he/she needs.
There was no problem booting on D nor E. Following, I build 3 different configurations with different custom settings and different programs installed. Once everything was customized to my preferences, I made a ghost of every partitions.
- These are the â€œGhosts - Batch 1â€ +
Days later, I reformatted the drive, created fresh partitions and restored all third partitions with the ghosts I had previously created. The machine was rebuild in the blink of an eye, boot manager was doing it’s job and everything was up and running in no time. I was totally amazed!
I then had the brilliant idea to create not 2 nor 3 windows XP OSes but 5!
I kept Partition C (Internet OS) as it was, and installed on partition D the same ghost with the bundle of basic software. I installed programs, then made a ghost, reformatted D and reinstalled the new ghost to verify my work: it couldn’t boot giving a DISK READ ERROR. I tried to ghost the True Image Backup I had also made with no luck. I thought that the error was caused by the fact that I ghosted a partition which the boot information was dependant of another partition --> Being partition C (Internet OS).
I wiped the entire disk1 again and created 2 partitions: Partition C containing the OS and Partition D in odrder to save my ghosts. I used the same method as mentionned before: installed the ghost containing the bundle of basic software, installed other programs, configured and customized everything and made a final ghost & true image backup. Once I was satisfied with the configuration of an OS, I ghosted the partition and wiped the partition before reinstalling the ghost with the bundle of basic software and started the process over again.
I proceeded like that to create 5 excellent fully customized ghosts, tweaked and perfect.
- I will call them â€œGhosts - Batch 2â€ +
Like I said before, I wiped HD1 and created 4 primary partitions. I started by ghosting the Internet OS on C and rebooted the machine. Everything booted smoothly, without any problems. I then ghosted all 3 partitions with a different fully-tweaked final ghost I had created earlier. Then rebooted on C (let’s call it OS#1 from now on) and installed Paragon Boot manager, which noticed 3 other operating systems on HD1.
When choosing OS#2 from the boot manager, it did boot. But the desktop of OS#2 was the desktop of let’s say OS#3. Most icons of shortcuts to program files were blank and the appearance of my desktop and settings automatically switched as Windows classic style. I couldn’t change the picture of my desktop anymore. And I just don’t know why???
I tried alternatives:
1- installing Internet OS
2- Boot Internet OS
4- Install OS#2 on D
5- Boot Internet OS
6- Install Paragon BM
7- Boot OS#2
8- Install OS#3
9- Boot OS#3
What I found is that whatever I am doing, I can’t install 2 ghosts of batch 2 at the same time, on the same drive because they corrupt each other. On the other hand, there’s absolutely no compatibility problem if I install 1, or even 2, ghosts of batch 1 with a ghost, whichever, of batch 2.
And I don’t know why and it drives me mad. :a
No need to mention that I gave up the idea to add a LINUX partition to this crippled boot sequence, at least for the moment. I have been reading and searching the net for many weeks now and couldn’t find answers to my questions.
I have a found an article http://www.trombettworks.com/multi-boot.htm#why on multibooting that could have been the solution but the proposed procedure turned out to be a bit too complicated since my girlfriend is also using my PC. I couldn’t imagine her getting into Partition Manager to change the partition table to boot the OS she needed.
One article I found was suggesting that all OSes should be installed on drive0 so that the bootmanager wouldn’t have any problems figuring out what to boot and how to do so. Is that true?
As I said, Paragon’s Boot manager is very user-friendly and I would like to find a way to use it for my purposes. I tried OSL200 but couldn’t even installed it, giving me a reinstall error all the time. I have had a look at LILO, but I am not even sure it can boot Windows, since it’s designed for LINUX.
So, I hope someone has any idea on how I could solve my puzzle, I’ll be very grateful to read your suggestions. If you need missing informations to properly diagnose, I’ll be more than glad to provide them. I tried to give as much as possible, as clear as possible. Data and infos might be missing: let me know what you need!
Thanks to anyone who’ll take time to respond to this post.