help me understand boot.ini


B

bill

I am rearranging drives.
current boot drive is a 15G partition on a 160G drive
which was created as a clean install

I created another boot drive/clean install on a 40G drive in a 10G
partition.
each boots just fine with the other disconnected.
With both connected the 40g boots without mods to boot.ini
when boot.ini is modified I can select either and it will boot to that
one BUT...
when booted to the 160g nothing will run. windows totally comes up but
when I try to run anything, nothing happens. I don't remember if I
tried to run anything on the 40g, I don't remember if I tried to boot
to that one with both connected. Sorry, another senior moment.

it doesn't matter which drive is master/slave.
they are both on the same IDE cable.


[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


when I rebooted with the 40g disconnected the ini became modified to
eliminate the last entry.


what do I need to do to make these both bootable and functional on the
same system?

I previously did a clone with Ghost, but the clone would not boot even
by itself.

What did I miss?

I did move it to the port the original was on.

thx
 
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J

John John

I am rearranging drives.
current boot drive is a 15G partition on a 160G drive
which was created as a clean install

I created another boot drive/clean install on a 40G drive in a 10G
partition.
each boots just fine with the other disconnected.
With both connected the 40g boots without mods to boot.ini
when boot.ini is modified I can select either and it will boot to that
one BUT...
when booted to the 160g nothing will run. windows totally comes up but
when I try to run anything, nothing happens.

What do you mean? If Windows "totally comes up" something is running!
What exactly are you trying to run? You can't run programs on the other
installation, they have to be installed on each installation, you have
to install them twice.

I don't remember if I
tried to run anything on the 40g, I don't remember if I tried to boot
to that one with both connected. Sorry, another senior moment.

it doesn't matter which drive is master/slave.
they are both on the same IDE cable.


[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


when I rebooted with the 40g disconnected the ini became modified to
eliminate the last entry.

That is a bit strange, I have never heard of the boot.ini file modifing
itself without user intervention, probably you are booting from two
different boot.ini file, you have one on each drive.


what do I need to do to make these both bootable and functional on the
same system?

If you have the correct path to the rdisk and partition in the boot.ini
file you should be able to boot both operating systems.


John
 
T

Timothy Daniels

what do I need to do to make these both bootable and
functional on the same system?

I previously did a clone with Ghost, but the clone would
not boot even by itself.

What did I miss?


You have to understand the boot process.

1) There is a Hard Drive Boot Order (priority of
just the HDs for boot control) in the BIOS.
It has a default setting that (for PATA controllers)
has the Master on IDE ch. 0 as highest priority.
If there is not an HD there with a valid MBR,
the Slave on IDE ch. 0 has the highest priority.
Then Master on IDE ch. 1, then Slave on IDE ch. 1,
until a HD is found that has a valid MBR.

But this HD Boot Order can be changed manually
by the User at startup time. How the User sets
this priority will persist in ROM from startup to
startup. So to know what's happening, you have
to know the HD Boot Order (*not* the Device
Boot Order).

2) Control is passed to the MBR of the selected
hard drive.

3) The MBR passes control to the Boot Sector of
the Primary partition that has its "active" flag set.
You can set which Primary partition is "active" by
using the Disk Management utility in WinXP.
(BTW, Microsoft calls the partition containing the
boot files the "System Partition", and the partition
containing the OS the "Boot Partition" - yup,
intuitively backwards.)

4) The "active" Primary partition is expected to have
the boot files - ntldr (boot loader), boot.ini (boot
menu), and ntdetect.com (hardware environment
detector). The Boot Sector passes control to ntldr,
which consults boot.ini to see where to find the OS
to load. The OS can reside anywhere in the system,
and it doesn't have to be on the same HD as the
boot files.

5) Boot.ini has a list of OS locations under the line
"[operating systems]". Boot.ini also lists a default
OS location, and that OS is loaded if there is only
one entry under "[operating systems]". If there are
more than one OS listed under "[operating systems"],
ntldr puts them up as a menu on the screen, naming
each one by using the quoted character string that
follows each OS location listed. (The contents of
this string in boot.ini can be set by the User to be
anything that seems to make sense to him/her). The
User can select from this menu on the screen. If the
User doesn't make a selection within the number of
seconds listed as the timeout value in boot.ini, the
default OS is loaded.


These are the relevant OS location parameters in boot.ini:

rdisk(x) - x stands for the HD Boot Order position,
starting with 0, and ranging up to 3.

partition(y) - y stands for the no. of the partition on
the HD, starting with 1. The numbering
first goes through all the Primary partitions,
then, if there is an Extended partition, it goes
through the Logical Drives. So an OS can
reside on a Logical Drive within an Extended
partition if you want to have it there.

folderName - Usually "WINDOWS", the name of the
folder in which the OS can be found.

quotedCharString - arbitrary ID that gets displayed on
the screen at startup that identifies
a particular OS selection.

Now you know all that you need to know to diagnose your own
problem.

About cloning: After you complete making the clone, but BEFORE
you boot the clone OS for the FIRST TIME, hide the "parent" OS
from the clone's view. The easiest way to do this if you have the
OSes on different HDs is to just disconnect the HD that contains the
"parent" OS. (You don't even have to adjust the HD jumpers.) If
this is not done, the clone can make shortcuts to identically-named
files in the "parent" OS's partition, and when you edit those files in
the clone, you are actually editing the "parent" OS's copy of the file.
All will be fine until you someday remove the "parent" OS, and all
of a sudden the clones "copy" is gone. After this first startup in
isolation is done for the clone, the clone may subsequently be started
with its "parent" OS in view without any problems. The reverse,
i.e. the first startup of the "parent" OS after cloning can be done
without any problems, and it's a convenient time to make any changes
in the clone that you want before you start it up. Convenient changes
would be adjusting the name of a uniquely-named folder on the clone's
Desktop to visually identify the clone when it comes up, and to make
any adjustments in the character strings in the boot.ini file to uniquely
identify the OSes in the boot menu.

If you're using Ghost, you will probably be given the option to clone
the MBR as well, and whether to set the clone's partition to "active".
Select both options.

Let us know how it goes.

*TimDaniels*
 
B

bill

Thx John
windows totally boots but I can't run any programs like notepad,
windows explorer, etc.

I need to figure out why my primary drive shows a strange number for
total byte.

I can't clone it because when it reaches the end 99% it dies. I
thought it was because the clone drive was slightly short even though
I told it to be the same., but that wasn't it.

oh well, now I know more from the other responder, but I still have
this issue in cloning.

I am rearranging drives.
current boot drive is a 15G partition on a 160G drive
which was created as a clean install

I created another boot drive/clean install on a 40G drive in a 10G
partition.
each boots just fine with the other disconnected.
With both connected the 40g boots without mods to boot.ini
when boot.ini is modified I can select either and it will boot to that
one BUT...
when booted to the 160g nothing will run. windows totally comes up but
when I try to run anything, nothing happens.

What do you mean? If Windows "totally comes up" something is running!
What exactly are you trying to run? You can't run programs on the other
installation, they have to be installed on each installation, you have
to install them twice.

I don't remember if I
tried to run anything on the 40g, I don't remember if I tried to boot
to that one with both connected. Sorry, another senior moment.

it doesn't matter which drive is master/slave.
they are both on the same IDE cable.


[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


when I rebooted with the 40g disconnected the ini became modified to
eliminate the last entry.

That is a bit strange, I have never heard of the boot.ini file modifing
itself without user intervention, probably you are booting from two
different boot.ini file, you have one on each drive.


what do I need to do to make these both bootable and functional on the
same system?

If you have the correct path to the rdisk and partition in the boot.ini
file you should be able to boot both operating systems.


John
 
B

bill

THANKS Timothy

It will take me a few seconds to digest that.

I think the problem with cloning has something to do with my source
drive. It seems to be showing a total bytes that I cant reproduce when
partitioning the clone drive.
It gets to 99% and dies. There is about 7.8k unaccounted for.
doesn't seem to matter that I made the other slightly bigger.
It would do the same thing going to the 40G drive.
Something at the end that isn't right.

Chkdsk doesn't seem to find it either.

I just need to play with it more.

what do I need to do to make these both bootable and
functional on the same system?

I previously did a clone with Ghost, but the clone would
not boot even by itself.

What did I miss?


You have to understand the boot process.

1) There is a Hard Drive Boot Order (priority of
just the HDs for boot control) in the BIOS.
It has a default setting that (for PATA controllers)
has the Master on IDE ch. 0 as highest priority.
If there is not an HD there with a valid MBR,
the Slave on IDE ch. 0 has the highest priority.
Then Master on IDE ch. 1, then Slave on IDE ch. 1,
until a HD is found that has a valid MBR.

But this HD Boot Order can be changed manually
by the User at startup time. How the User sets
this priority will persist in ROM from startup to
startup. So to know what's happening, you have
to know the HD Boot Order (*not* the Device
Boot Order).

2) Control is passed to the MBR of the selected
hard drive.

3) The MBR passes control to the Boot Sector of
the Primary partition that has its "active" flag set.
You can set which Primary partition is "active" by
using the Disk Management utility in WinXP.
(BTW, Microsoft calls the partition containing the
boot files the "System Partition", and the partition
containing the OS the "Boot Partition" - yup,
intuitively backwards.)

4) The "active" Primary partition is expected to have
the boot files - ntldr (boot loader), boot.ini (boot
menu), and ntdetect.com (hardware environment
detector). The Boot Sector passes control to ntldr,
which consults boot.ini to see where to find the OS
to load. The OS can reside anywhere in the system,
and it doesn't have to be on the same HD as the
boot files.

5) Boot.ini has a list of OS locations under the line
"[operating systems]". Boot.ini also lists a default
OS location, and that OS is loaded if there is only
one entry under "[operating systems]". If there are
more than one OS listed under "[operating systems"],
ntldr puts them up as a menu on the screen, naming
each one by using the quoted character string that
follows each OS location listed. (The contents of
this string in boot.ini can be set by the User to be
anything that seems to make sense to him/her). The
User can select from this menu on the screen. If the
User doesn't make a selection within the number of
seconds listed as the timeout value in boot.ini, the
default OS is loaded.


These are the relevant OS location parameters in boot.ini:

rdisk(x) - x stands for the HD Boot Order position,
starting with 0, and ranging up to 3.

partition(y) - y stands for the no. of the partition on
the HD, starting with 1. The numbering
first goes through all the Primary partitions,
then, if there is an Extended partition, it goes
through the Logical Drives. So an OS can
reside on a Logical Drive within an Extended
partition if you want to have it there.

folderName - Usually "WINDOWS", the name of the
folder in which the OS can be found.

quotedCharString - arbitrary ID that gets displayed on
the screen at startup that identifies
a particular OS selection.

Now you know all that you need to know to diagnose your own
problem.

About cloning: After you complete making the clone, but BEFORE
you boot the clone OS for the FIRST TIME, hide the "parent" OS
from the clone's view. The easiest way to do this if you have the
OSes on different HDs is to just disconnect the HD that contains the
"parent" OS. (You don't even have to adjust the HD jumpers.) If
this is not done, the clone can make shortcuts to identically-named
files in the "parent" OS's partition, and when you edit those files in
the clone, you are actually editing the "parent" OS's copy of the file.
All will be fine until you someday remove the "parent" OS, and all
of a sudden the clones "copy" is gone. After this first startup in
isolation is done for the clone, the clone may subsequently be started
with its "parent" OS in view without any problems. The reverse,
i.e. the first startup of the "parent" OS after cloning can be done
without any problems, and it's a convenient time to make any changes
in the clone that you want before you start it up. Convenient changes
would be adjusting the name of a uniquely-named folder on the clone's
Desktop to visually identify the clone when it comes up, and to make
any adjustments in the character strings in the boot.ini file to uniquely
identify the OSes in the boot menu.

If you're using Ghost, you will probably be given the option to clone
the MBR as well, and whether to set the clone's partition to "active".
Select both options.

Let us know how it goes.

*TimDaniels*
 
T

Timothy Daniels

I think the problem with cloning has something to do with my
source drive. It seems to be showing a total bytes that I cant
reproduce when partitioning the clone drive.
It gets to 99% and dies. There is about 7.8k unaccounted for.
doesn't seem to matter that I made the other slightly bigger.
It would do the same thing going to the 40G drive.
Something at the end that isn't right.

Chkdsk doesn't seem to find it either.


Are you cloning to a pre-allocated formatted partition?
Why not just let Ghost create the clone's partition for you
in unallocated space and tell Ghost to make it the same or
a larger size than the original? That way you avoid the
question of whether 1G means 1,000Megs or 1024Megs.
(As for the formatting information, it will be cloned along
with the data, so you needn't format the destination partition.)

*TimDaniels*
 
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B

bill

THX
Yes, I partition it the same and ghost it.
Seems to have worked in the past, but I never really finished it to
make it bootable.

I wasn't aware that it would do that. Thx for that tip.
I think my problem is on the source drive though

I just have to figure out how to get the new system to look like the
old.

I have a clean install on another drive. Eventually that will be the
only drive in this system.
I am going to try to copy everything over to it and update the
registry using ERUNT to copy it.

hopefully that will give me what I want then I can start new with the
source drive in my new system

This is going to a new system using a Q6600 so I will be installing
XP64 on that.
I currently have a 15G system partition on XP86 and it has 3G left.

How much more space will the 64 system take. Will 20G system partitiom
be sufficient based on what I am using now?

thx
 
T

Timothy Daniels

THX
Yes, I partition it the same and ghost it.
Seems to have worked in the past, but I never really
finished it to make it bootable.

I wasn't aware that it would do that. Thx for that tip.
I think my problem is on the source drive though

I just have to figure out how to get the new system to
look like the old.

I have a clean install on another drive. Eventually that
will be the only drive in this system.
I am going to try to copy everything over to it and
update the registry using ERUNT to copy it.


I have no idea what that means, but it sounds crazy.
:) How are the girls at the "love ranch" treating you?

hopefully that will give me what I want then I can start
new with the source drive in my new system

This is going to a new system using a Q6600 so I will
be installing XP64 on that. I currently have a 15G
system partition on XP86 and it has 3G left.

How much more space will the 64 system take. Will
20G system partitiom be sufficient based on what I
am using now?


Sorry. I have no idea how much more space a similarly
configured XP64 (64-bit) OS would take over an XP86
(32-bit) OS.

*TimDaniels*
 
B

bill

I don't know what ERUNT means either but it is a registry backup
utility.

It seemed to work but now the system drive is I: and it needs to be C:
and I don't know how to get it back there.
 
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L

loggy

It sounds like you disconnected a drive whilst installing on a fresh
drive and then connecting the old drive back in.

I've done this before and it does confuse windows/things a bit. Only
one drive can be c: with the mbr, boot loader, boot.ini ect.
Windows gets confused when two drives are totally capable of booting
but are installed together. It seemed to me that the drive order
became confused from what windows actually used, ie; it noted the
drive as (0) but it was actually (1), the partition order remained
fine.
You should really have kept both drives connected when doing the
install then windows knows where everything is. You have made a kind
of failsafe system in that if a drive should fail it will
automatically fall back to the other and start ok, once you get it up
and running !
I am not quite sure what windows is trying with both drives connected
but whichever is starting first will always be c: drive, and will need
a mbr ect, as demanded by windows.

Play with the boot ini, keep your booting line but copy and paste a
few duplicate entries and change the disk and partition numbers until
something works, something like............

[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="test 1 2 " /
noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="test 2 1 " /
noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(3)partition(0)\WINDOWS="test 3 0 " /
noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="test 0 2 " /
noexecute=optin /fastdetect

you will see these extra entries on boot and windows will try them if
you select them, if they dont work you delete them, no harm done.
Increase timeout to 5 for a bit more playroom.

This is what i did to learn about the boot ini and become confident in
editing it, and it sorted my similar problem to yours in a round about
way.


One more thing, if you add anything to the end of the default line in
the boot ini >¦ default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
¦<even a full stop, you get a strange error on the boot select screen
' default (windows) ' which will always try to boot but cant . default
(windows) boot error , Ill call it. Its not a big problem as you just
have to select which windows to start but it is confusing if you dont
realise what the problem is.
 
T

Timothy Daniels

:
It sounds like you disconnected a drive whilst installing on a fresh
drive and then connecting the old drive back in.

I've done this before and it does confuse windows/things a bit. Only
one drive can be c: with the mbr, boot loader, boot.ini ect.
Windows gets confused when two drives are totally capable of booting
but are installed together....
-------------------------------------

This is not true. Both OSes can call their own partition "C:" when
either of them is running, and there will be no problem at all as long
as there are no shortcuts that point to other partitions. The running
OS will merely temporarily assign other letter names to the other
partitions in the system.

It is also not necessary that the boot files reside on a partition that any
OS refers to as "C:". In fact, any Primary partition on any hard drive
in the system can have boot files and can boot the OS. As an example,
if HD 0 were connected as Slave on IDE ch. 0, and HD 1 were connected
as Slave on IDE ch 1, as long as the BIOS was set with HD 1 at the
head of the Hard Drive Boot Order, the MBR of HD 1 would get control
at boot time. If HD 1's "active" Primary partition has boot files, the ntldr
file among them would get control. If the boot.ini file indicated that the
OS resided on a logical drive within an Extended partition on some HD
(either HD 0 or HD 1), that is where ntldr would go looking for the OS
and it would load the OS that it finds there. And that OS can call its own
partition whatever it wishes - "C:" or "D:" or "F:" or whatever. There is
nothing special about "C:" as a partition name.

*TimDaniels*
 
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B

bill

GOOD ANSWERS.

I guess what you are saying is that the physical order of the drives
has nothing to do with the boot order and if it did in the past it was
shit luck.

I solved the issue using boot.ini and that works fine.

thanks - now I need to re-read those answers because there is more
info that I don't understand yet.
 

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