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Unattended image restore (Read 47973 times)
John.
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #15 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 8:26am
 
Brian wrote on Feb 27th, 2008 at 1:31am:
So I can't install DOS to any partition that isn't at the start of the HD.


Brian, I can't remember all the details anymore, but as I recall, years ago the boot partition had to be located within xx megabytes of the beginning of the disk drive.  It was a bios and DOS issue with pc's at the time because there wasn't enough room in the offset to hold a value greater than yy in size.  Then Logical Block Addressing came along and you could have your boot partition further away.

I remember that Partition Magic gave you a warning if you tried to move your boot loader/partition further away from the beginning.

If I find a reference to the exact details, I'll post it.

In the "good ole days" drives were only 20 or 40 megabytes total.  Actually I remember having one of those drives.  I was so happy.   Smiley

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/multi-os/x191.html


 

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NightOwl
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #16 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 9:10am
 
Brain

Quote:
So I can't install DOS to any partition that isn't at the start of the HD.

I don't know why our results differ.

I think I do!  I have never tried to actually *install* DOS--especially v6.22--to a bootable partition--that was the latest update used back with Win3.x--and I think the only file system supported may have been FAT16!

I looked back at one of the Ghost images I created of the *Ghost Boot Partition* that I have been putting on my friends' systems--and it's FAT32!  And I made the DOS bootable partition using a Win98se Emergency Recovery Disk (ERD).  It has the DOS program *sys.exe* (edit:  it's *sys.com*), which you use to make a floppy disk or HDD bootable.  And, Win98se's DOS is able to work with FAT32 partitions, apparently, because that's what I've been using.  I bet DOS 6.22 can not work with large HDD geometries--may not be LBA aware--and that may be the source of your boot limitations!  Does BING require FAT16--or will it work under FAT32?

I use PartitionMagic to create a primary FAT32 partition (on my older systems--it has to be on the HDD that is master, on the primary controller), make it active, boot from the floppy Win98se ERD disk.  The FAT32 partition will be C:\.  Use the *sys.exe* (edit:  it's *sys.com*) program with this command at the A:\ prompt:  sys.exe a: c: (edit:  it's sys.com a: c:) to transfer the needed DOS system files being used on the floppy disk to the C:\ HDD partition.  Add whatever DOS boot files are needed for your programs on that partition--and any DOS utilities.

Boot Disks  I use Win98se OEM.

(By the way, one can not use the WinMe boot disk--the *sys.exe* (edit:  it's sys.com) program on that boot disk will give you an error if you are trying to create a bootable HDD partition--will only work on creating bootable floppy disks!  DOS for WinMe must have changed--don't know the details!)
 

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John.
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #17 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 9:19am
 
http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/manual/html_chapter/parted_4.html#SEC45

Quote:
Note: LBA addressing is not supported in MS-DOS 6.22 and lower, as well as all versions of PC-DOS.

Warning: some BIOSes won't enable LBA addressing, unless you enable it in the BIOS as well. If for some reason, Windows doesn't boot after changing this flag, this is probably the problem.

the "real" MS-DOS (i.e. up to version 6.22) and MS-DOS 7.0 (i.e. Windows 95/95a) don't know about FAT32. It's therefore possible to boot them from the second fat (FAT16 only, of course) partition, when the first fat partition is FAT32. Both have to be primary partitions, so you'll have to set the one you want to boot from as active partition.
 

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NightOwl
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #18 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 9:59am
 
Ghost4me

That pretty well confirms our previous suspicions--thanks for the input!
 

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John.
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #19 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 1:07pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Feb 27th, 2008 at 9:59am:
Ghost4me
That pretty well confirms our previous suspicions--thanks for the input!


I don't know if the dos boot problem is resolved now with newer motherboards.  It was definitely a problem with the old pc's.  You probably remember that there were lots of bios updates targeted at support of newer lareger hard drives on older pc's.

I guess a lot depends upon how old Brian's pc is.
 

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Brian
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #20 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 3:10pm
 
Ghost4me,

It is a Compaq Pentium 3. Probably year 2000 vintage. It has 240 head geometry. It was my brother's computer so I'll bet it has the original BIOS.

I'm glad you can recall those historical details because the solution is now falling into place.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #21 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 3:27pm
 
NightOwl,

FAT32 did the trick. I used your instructions and created partitions at 3 and 9 GB from the start of the HD and also one at the end of the HD. Used sys a: c: (it didn't like .exe). All three booted using Partition Magic to set the active partition.

BING was then installed. The partitions at 3 GB and at the end of the HD booted. The partition at 9 GB wouldn't boot (error was Invalid system disc). I created another partition at 11 GB and it wouldn't boot.

Well, I think we have resolved my issue. Of interest is I didn't have to use fixmbr. The Win98 MBR was sufficient.

Thanks to both of you.



 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #22 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 3:38pm
 
Brain

Glad to help!

Quote:
Used sys a: c: (it didn't like .exe).

My bad!  It's sys.com!

Quote:
BING was then installed. The partitions at 3 GB and at the end of the HD booted. The partition at 9 GB wouldn't boot (error was Invalid system disc). I created another partition at 11 GB and it wouldn't boot.

Weird--boots at the end, but not in the middle!  How big is the HDD--where at the end did you put the primary partition that did boot?
 

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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #23 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 3:47pm
 
The HD is 20 GB. The partition was at the very end. No space after the 50 MB partition.
 
 
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John.
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #24 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 4:13pm
 
I think if the boot loader is close enough to the beginning of the drive, you are ok.

I found a reference to the hard drive size bios boundaries.  Kind of interesting historically speaking.  The first boundary that had to be overcome was any hard drive larger than 528 MB, which required a bios update.  Then as they got larger, new boundaries appeared.  Here is the intersting article that summarizes everything:

Hard Drive Size Limitations and Barriers
http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/drive_size_barrier_limitations_2.htm
 

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Brian
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #25 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 4:25pm
 
I now have two WinXPs on that HD and I created a FAT32 DOS partition at the end of the HD. BING is installed and DOS boots. I cloned the DOS partition and positioned it at 9 GB from the start of the HD. It boots.

I give up. Now BING can boot DOS (FAT32) from anywhere on the HD. It couldn't when the WinXP partitions weren't present. Each WinXP partition is 2 GB.

I moved that DOS partition to 14 GB and it still boots.
 
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #26 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 8:28pm
 
Brian wrote on Feb 27th, 2008 at 4:25pm:
I give up. Now BING can boot DOS (FAT32) from anywhere on the HD. It couldn't when the WinXP partitions weren't present. Each WinXP partition is 2 GB.

When you install WinXP, you get the associated MBR, which knows about the convention for the partition table structure where the partition start address is specified as LBA and therefore uses the LBA-mode INT13X API (where it exists, as it must if the LBA-type partitioning convention is used).

Remember that Win2000 and above use a different method of storing their drive identifiers than Win9X did - their MBR code is different, and thus the location of the 4-byte "hole" in the code where each team slipped in a few bytes of signature information is different. The newer MBR always wins since 9X wasn't actively using its drive signatures the way Win2000 and above do, where they aren't optional.
 
 
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #27 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:13pm
 
Quote:
When you install WinXP, you get the associated MBR, which knows about the convention for the partition table structure where the partition start address is specified as LBA and therefore uses the LBA-mode INT13X API (where it exists, as it must if the LBA-type partitioning convention is used).

Now, I have questions!  I think Brian may not have *installed* WinXP, but used an image to *restore* WinXP--how about that, Brian?

When I first started using WinXP, I installed it to an available unallocated space by creating a new primary partition on a HDD that was running Win98se exclusively--and, I had made the mistake way back when I first installed Win98se of using Fdisk from Win95 to begin the partitioning process.  I discovered that Fdisk did not work correctly after creating one or two partitions--so I deleted them, and started over with the Fdisk from WinME which did see the correct size of the HDD now.  But, apparently the WinME Fdisk never changed the MBR that had been created initially by the Win95's version of Fdisk!

But, as described earlier in this post (Reply # 11)--I had all sorts of boot problems after I installed WinXP--the MBR wasn't working correctly if I made my partitions larger so they went past the 8 GB barrier.  So, at least for me, installing WinXP did not correct my MBR inability to boot correctly anywhere on the HDD!  It wasn't until I *accidently* used the WinXP Recovery Console and ran *fixmbr* that everything suddenly started working correctly!

Brian

Did you use TeraByte's Image for DOS to restore WinXP partition images to those partitions--or did you do an install?  

Did you use PartitionMagic to create the partition structure initially?  Did you create NTFS partitions for WinXP?  What I'm getting at is what was the initial MBR that this HDD started with?

And how exactly did the MBR get *altered*?!  My experience has been that the MBR is a *hands off* area by most partitioning tools, and OS installation discs if the MBR already exists--you have to do a specific command with an MBR tool to have it altered--like *Fdisk /mbr*, or WinXP's Recovery Console's *fixmbr*.  Otherwise, to get partitioning tools to alter the MBR, you have to zero sector 0 so they see the HDD as *empty*, and then they will step in and make a new MBR!

Oh, man--my head hurts--too many variables (that are hidden from view and you are not allowed to see and manipulate--things are manipulated for you in the background and you don't know what's happening when)!!!!!
 

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Nigel Bree
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #28 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:37pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:13pm:
And how exactly did the MBR get *altered*?!  My experience has been that the MBR is a *hands off* area by most partitioning tools, and OS installation discs if the MBR already exists

The rules for this kind of thing are pretty ad-hoc, and to be honest I wouldn't try and second-guess what combination of rules all the pieces of software around have used.

The main thing is that somehow he's ended up with an MBR of the right generation that is aware of the modern conventions for using LBA-mode BIOS APIs.

It took a lot longer for Microsoft to switch over to using the extended BIOS APIs in the MBR simply because there isn't enough room in a one-sector MBR to code in a lot of alternatives. Remember that one of the big changes in FAT32 was that the boot code in the BPB expanded to 3 sectors, and the MS-DOS FAT32 secondary boot was able to use that space to do things like more capability probing of the BIOS to determine which API set to use. The MBR never had that luxury.

That, incidentally, is why PC-DOS as bundled in Ghost sometimes doesn't boot on some machines; it uses basically the same one-sector BPB secondary boot for both FAT16 and FAT32, and if it's booting off a hard disk it simply assumes that not only does INT 13X exist, it relies on it to comply with the API spec (which some BIOSes fail badly at, overwriting registers the API spec says they must not). Microsoft's larger secondary boot code is, by virtue of taking up more room, able to have more kinds of safety features coded into it to allow it to work around some of these problems.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Unattended image restore
Reply #29 - Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:51pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Feb 27th, 2008 at 10:13pm:
  I think Brian may not have *installed* WinXP, but used an image to *restore* WinXP--how about that, Brian?

Correct. I used TeraByte's IFD to restore the first WinXP and I cloned that into WinXP2 (in BING). But let me work out when BING was installed.

Initially I zeroed the first track and then used PM to create the three FAT32 partitions. All booted after sys C:

BING was then installed and the middle OS wouldn't boot.

The WinXP image was restored and then cloned. Now all DOS OS booted. (I deleted one before cloning WinXP)

However, I don't have a WinXP MBR. BING installs its own MBR and when you look at LBA-0 in a Disk Editor the BING MBR looks quite unique. The text at the right hand side is all about TeraByte.

I'm lost. Please continue the discussion.


 
 
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