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Tri Boot

Tri Boot

Postby pcostanza » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:32 pm

I have built a new system that has 3 hard drives in it. I installed W7 RTM, Vista Ultimate and XP PRo (all x64). What I did was each time I installed an OS, I disconnected the other drives and installed each OS on a separate drive while the other drives were disconnected. This way, I can use F8 to choose which OS to boot to.
I do this because I have a rack (removable) drive that I use for different OS's in testing.

So, when I choose the OS drive as I add each OS in VistaBoot Pro, all seems fine but when I boot up, I see all 3 OS's listed but only W7 works. The other 2 give me the same messages (didn't write them down but can if it helps) stating I need to put in the OS disc and choose recovery.

I know there's a way to set this up so it works as I have mentioned because I've done this many times before on other systems with no problems. What am I overlooking?

Thanks
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Re: Tri Boot

Postby NT50 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:23 pm

To get Win 7 and Vista you cn probable insert he Windows 7 DVD and do a startup repair.
As for XP Read the following guide. I disconnect my hard drives when install other operating systems also.

Dual Boot Trouble Shooting Guide / Vista Running

NOw ALSO take in consideration that if you used the Win7 DVD for delete/create partitions on the hard drive it will have probably created a hidden partition with your system files on it.
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Re: Tri Boot

Postby pcostanza » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:07 pm

I can survive with pressing F8 at boot but I was hoping that VistaBootPro would work simply with all three. I guess I'm asking too much.
I feel safer keeping each OS on a separate drive.
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Re: Tri Boot

Postby Grav!ty » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:28 am

pcostanza wrote:I can survive with pressing F8 at boot but I was hoping that VistaBootPro would work simply with all three. I guess I'm asking too much.
I feel safer keeping each OS on a separate drive.


It will but you need to go to your Windows 7 installation and in Disk Management allocate a drive letter to the hidden (System Reserved) partition that Windows 7 puts it's boot files in if that was created when you installed it. Right click the partition and accept the first drive letter offered and then make sure you do not format if prompted to do so.

Now VistaBootPRO and your other installations will be able to access the Windows 7 boot system files. From there follow the guide posted by NT50 or as he suggests, run a startup repair from your Windows 7 DVD. You will still retain the uhm independence of your installations and be able to boot to all of them by selecting that drive from the F8 drive selection screen.
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Re: Tri Boot

Postby pcostanza » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:27 pm

Thanks for the info but there is no 100mb hidden W7 partition. I already partitioned each drive when newly formatted and did not allow W7 to add the hidden partition.
I'll give the startup repair a shot and see how it goes. I don't remember having to do all of this during the early beta, it just seemed to work.
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Re: Tri Boot

Postby NT50 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:29 pm

If you already had a dual boot with Vista nd XP and then installed Win7 with the drives connected it would have automatically detected the other installations.
I like you like to have my installations on separate hard drives. I myself disconnect the other drives when installing OSes. Per say, I have XP on a separate hard drive installed with the other drives disconnected. I then disconnect XP and install Win 7 on another drive. I then go into BIOS and make sure the Win 7 hard drive is the boot/system drive. I copied ntldr and NTDETECT to the root of the Win 7 hard drive. I then edit my boot.ini to have rdisk reflect the drive # it is suppose to be. (Remember, if XP was the only drive connected, it woudl ahve been rdisk(0), not that you have other drives connected it may not be rdisk(0) anymore. I then copy the new boot.ini to the root of Win 7 and use VistaBootPro to add the Xp entry and it has worked every single time for me.
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