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Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

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Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby John Campbell » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:44 am

I have a new copy of Windows 7 64bit and a new computer. I have a SATA Stripe 2+0 already established, nearly complete for installation of all my software, and a new copy of Norton Ghost 15.0. My second drive is a single SATA. I created a Ghost image of all my work, OS and all, to send across to the single SATA drive. It appears that the image went across OK, but attempting to boot to it appears to have taken on an identity crisis.

I can set the BIOS to use the boot loader on the Single SATA, but cannot get access to the copy of Windows 7 on it. It does allow me to access the original OS on the striped drive. That tends to indicate that something worked right and that the boot loader on the single drive is functional.

If I have the BIOS set to use the striped drive to boot from it too allows access to Windows on that striped drive. However, for some reason it's reading a third option for a drive that doesn't exist and the option for the single SATA also will not allow access.

In looking at the boot loader I got an upset stomach. It is NOT the good ole boot.ini setup and I'm at a total loss to make heads or tails of it. What I could discern, maybe, was that there is a misidentification of the respective drives by what ever ID marking is being used to ID the drives. This might have been caused by the Ghost image containing the boot loader from the striped drive and now it's trying to associate itself with a differnt hard drive ID thus causing it to go nuts and close out access. I checked the single drive and all the files of the OS and everything else appears to be there.

Question: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my boot loader and correct the errors? If so, is it done in a way that an idiot like me can easily use?
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby NT50 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:59 am

DualBootPro is a GUI program that utilizes the Vista/Win7/Server2008 bcdedit commands for you. You do not have to know all the command lines to type in. DBP will do it for you.
The GUI of DBP will show you all the Boot Selections you have and has the capability of setting up the boot selection and some repairs.
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby yeshuas » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:24 pm

What kind of Raid is it, hardware or software Raid?
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby John Campbell » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:34 pm

NT50 wrote:DualBootPro is a GUI program that utilizes the Vista/Win7/Server2008 bcdedit commands for you. You do not have to know all the command lines to type in. DBP will do it for you.
The GUI of DBP will show you all the Boot Selections you have and has the capability of setting up the boot selection and some repairs.


OK, here's an update. I managed to get rid of the extra boot loader boot options that were bogus by way of booting to the original install disk for Windows 7 and then running the repair function. The install disk quickly found the problem with the boot loader and proceeded to fix it. The world seemed like it was going to be OK. WRONG!

Now I have a new problem. After the install disk finished the repair all looked OK when rebooting, but, while having selected the RAID 2+0 (software RAID) in the BIOS as my 'boot from' boot loader, attempting to boot to both the RAID drive and the single drive resulted in ending up on the RAID drive. (Note: I checked the drive size to be certain of what I was seeing as well as knowing there was additional material placed on the desktop after the image was made)

I then switched the 'boot from' drive in the BIOS over to the single drive. I used the Windows 7 install disk to repair that boot loader as well and came up with the same problem again when attempting to boot to either of the two drives in the drive selection. Both selections will take me to the RAID drive.

OK, now, is this something that Dual Boot Pro can fix? Keep in mind that it appears there is some kind of ID "collision" going on between the Ghost image being made from the RAID drive and placing it on a single SATA hard drive. Whatever Windows 7 is using to create the ID marker to identify specific drives apparently conflicts with attempting to create a dual boot out of a Ghost image clone copy.

:soapbox: I never had these problems with XP. Why did Microsoft switch away from the boot.ini system? This is maddening.
(No, I'm not using Windows XP in this computer. Don't go there.) :soapbox:

HELP! :bashhead
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby NT50 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:36 pm

I'm going to try and point our programmer to this thread. He is the genius on something like this..
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby yeshuas » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:48 pm

I missed the mention of the (software Raid) earlier, and I think that is the issue presently, since you cloned the Raid and installed it to a non-Raid drive it is still looking for the Raid and after not finding it on the single drive it defauts or boots the second choice the Raid.

If you took the Raid out of the equation in the bios it would probably not boot at all and you would get some kind of error message like "insert a bootable media in your DVD/CD drive" or something similar.

Also I don't think you can dual boot a Raid and a single drive OS if that is your intention.
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby jbullard » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:52 pm

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Here is what I mean:

If the imaged OS is failing on boot and the resume loader settings are set to default to the RAID OS then DualBootPRO cannot help with this. The reason being is that resume loader settings are not supported yet. However, if the imaged OS is booting and it is just a matter of incorrect drive letters being assigned within the bootloader then, yes DBP can help fix this.

My question is, what exactly are you trying to do with the imaged OS?
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby jbullard » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:59 pm

Thinking about this a little more in detail also raised a few other concerns/questions. With Windows 7, the bootloader is installed on a hidden partition (100MB) which is only visible in Disk Management. This may be the reason you are having so many problems. Or, you also cloned the bootloader and it is also installed on the single drive resulting in locations associated with the RAID setup.

Have you tried to unplug the RAID drives and use the Windows 7 startup repair utility on the single drive?? This would recreate the bootloader within the single drive. Then, plug in the RAID drives and ensure the boot device is set for the single drive. Once in there, you could use DBP to add the RAID setup to the bootloader. Does that make sense??
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby John Campbell » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:05 am

jbullard wrote:Thinking about this a little more in detail also raised a few other concerns/questions. With Windows 7, the bootloader is installed on a hidden partition (100MB) which is only visible in Disk Management. This may be the reason you are having so many problems. Or, you also cloned the bootloader and it is also installed on the single drive resulting in locations associated with the RAID setup.

Have you tried to unplug the RAID drives and use the Windows 7 startup repair utility on the single drive?? This would recreate the bootloader within the single drive. Then, plug in the RAID drives and ensure the boot device is set for the single drive. Once in there, you could use DBP to add the RAID setup to the bootloader. Does that make sense??


Having read this it takes me in to a different angle on the situation.

My first thought was/is based in the ID assignment given by Windows 7. If I made the image from one drive and then shot it onto another drive and attempt to establish a dual boot it seems that what's happening is the second drive is containing the same ID of the one the image was made from. This would explain why the "collision" occurs. When I tried to use the Windows 7 installation disk to repair it Windows 7 recognized the bogus boot selection and deleted that, but when it tried to make the dual boot it saw the ID from the two drives being the same and left them. That causes the boot loader to point to the RAID drive since that's the drive ID contained in the image. Under Windows XP circumstances this isn't a problem because of the boot loader being contained in a boot.ini text document. Simply assign the proper disk and partition. With Windows 7 the OS creates the ID assignment. Manually changing the ID might work, but doing so is dangerous to the software and the hardware due to it's sourcing for the coding used, or so I've been told.

With your suggestion there is a different angle, but if I do use that method, and if it works, I end up with a problem with having to save two OS images, one from each of the OS's. I lose the universal functionality. If I later wanted to update the single drive by creating a new image of the striped drive and throwing it across I end up back at square one that I am today. I lose the ability to use the imaging capability to keep the single SATA drive up to date. It seems Symantec really needs to get their act together on this one.

Another problem is I'm not sure what will happen with your suggestion so I'm trying to think it through before I move on it. If I unplug the Striped drives and boot with just the single, if that drive is carrying the same ID of the stripe, it likely would recognize that and just boot as normal. When I plug the drives back in I'm back to the present problem. If I ran the Windows 7 install for a repair based on having only the single SATA plugged in then Windows 7 might not see anything wrong with the single SATA, but could unload the dual boot altogether since there's only one drive installed.

Any thoughts on this?

Edit: I forgot to mention that if I used the DBP to reestablish the dual boot it would be using the same ID for each drive which is originally from the stripe. Logically I'd be back to the current problem again. I'm thinking that, if I'm right, the ID of the drive assigned by way of the Windows 7 created ID must be changed on the single drive to make this work. Yes, I would loose functionality unless there was a fast and easy method to safely change the ID incorporated into the DBP or a manual method that's efficient enough to not make this into a nightmare each time I went to update the single SATA with a fresh image. Make sense?
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Re: Can Dual Boot Pro clean up my Boot Loader?

Postby jbullard » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:21 am

What do you mean by ID? Are you talking about drive letters or serial numbers? I'm not quite understanding that part.

So, if I understand you want a dual boot but which drive to you want to be the primary bootloader? This is an important question because if you use the RAID then it is already setup. If it is the single SATA then you have to unplug the RAID and use the Win7 repair utility.

Furthermore, both the single and RAID drives contain a bootloader hence the problem. Can you upload a screenshot of disk management? I have a feeling that both the RAID and single drives contain the 100MB partition which is causing a huge problem. One of them definitely needs to go. I would leave the one on your RAID. Then, with DBP you can add the single SATA OS back into the bootloader.

No matter which method you choose you are going to have to add entries into the bootloader. :yesnod: I wish there was an easier way but unfortunately there is not.
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