|21 Apr 2013||#1|
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Dual Boot W7/XP using Grub - Can grub assign letters to partitions?
Hi I am looking at Grub4dos since my recent foray into all things bootloaders. I am gaining a little footing with what I can and can't do (practically!) Although it was definitely trickier than I thought (or I just don't have the same time like I used to... ) Anyhow, I am looking at Grub because it sounds easier to learn the Grub2, and all my systems are pre EFI bios setups. I am looking for a 'Hoyle' maintainable setup. Therefore I decided to "initially" install Windows 7 on C: and XP on D: (both on primary partitions)
But... also I have an existing XP image that was originally installed on C: Now I read somewhere, someone had a setup that would boot into a Master boot loader, presumably Grub, and then select one of two OSs and assign it C: and run it. and the other would become D: while leaving E,F,G, etc intact. That would really be a sweet setup for me because I could then use my existing XP image still since it would still think it is on C while running...
So my question is before I dive headlong into Grub. I know it would be the ideal bootloader for multi (pre EFI bios) But can it assign letters to partitions? so as to switch C and D like that while leaving other partitions assigns as they are? Just looking for a little confirmation and any tips. Here goes nothin'...
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|21 Apr 2013||#3|
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I found this page it sounds pretty interesting, it involves renaming the grub bootloader file (grldr) to "bootmgr", and using the MBR initial bootloader to load grub instead. Wow, I like this, as it is relatively non intrusive and gives me a Master Boot loader option. Now I just need to figure out how to get XP on the second primary to assign itself as C: when it loads (I wonder if it will do it automatically? and that doesn't necessarily mean that it will also make the Windows 7 partition D: which is the goal too.
Multiboot Vista / XP and Other OSes with Grub4Dos Menu - MSFN Forum
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|21 Apr 2013||#5|
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I am still getting comfortable with Easy BCD, It has these weird foibles that I am not completely comfortable with. I think I may just have got off to a bad start, as it was the first tool I reached for when this issue came up and it was disastrous. Not at all what I thought it was going to do. And it just seems I find all it's glitches. Like when trying to save back up BCDs it won't take a designated folder (not a biggie, but rather annoying when you go to look and see no file there...) Then I found the XP MBR repair does not take at all, (well that is good to know sooner then later... ) And when I first came across it is how I got started on this whole MBR boot loading thing when it totally wrecked my original Boot up. So I just don't know how many things it "won't do" And will have to study it more so I can understand and predict what it is doing better before I 'rely' on it as a solid tool. (once bitten... twice shy)
Also I have an XP image that originally was installed on C that has many hours of configuration in it. The idea I am getting at this stage (knock on wood) is that it does sound like Windows 7 is more stable to have n C (or the 2nd partition after a system reserve partition) or at least that is how I am looking at it at this stage as I had nothing but complications trying to restablish partitions images on a new hdd with Windows 7 on D: and XP on C: but there could have been other variables (like my C was FAT32, etc.) I am still sorting through all this...
Besides being able to recreate a process THAT I CONTROL and REPRODUCE at will. I want to see if I can get this loading setup I heard about where each OS loads as C:... Then in future if I get tired of XP, I can use that partition to continue my learning curve into maybe Linux or Ubuntu (something I haven't got to yet...)
So it is about compartmentalization, modularization and ultimate CONTROL! (lol) ie and scalability in terms of being able to dump in new OSs without having to be forced to restructure all the other existing partitions in the future
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|21 Apr 2013||#6|
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Using the tutorial above
Win XP will be C:
Windows 7 will be C:
Windows 8 will be C:
added: hmm... I notice that in the XP example, Drive D: is missing or did it assign the reserved system partition as D drive? I can't see it from the picture. But I imagine that would easy enough to fix in XP after the fact. As I think each OS will remember its own letter assignments. Also from reading the tutorial on when Windows 7 is installed first. I don't see how that would make XP boot as C: ? I think I have done that before, run BCD. In that setup XP was on C but it didn't try to load Windows 7 (which was on the 2nd partition) as C: ... wouldn't there have to more than just adding entries in BCD?
But I just realized something huge!!!! (I think) ... It did load Windows 7! it logged into Windows 7 and then it immediately logged out again... and if I am not mistaken that is exactly what an OS will do if it loads into the wrong drive letter! ie. if you try to install an XP that was loaded on C into D, it won't find required files/folder paths and log out again!!! I wonder if that is a possible diagnosis in my case? ( as I remember something similar from my early days of dual booting Win98 and XP and came across similar behaviour... )
Although that might not make sense either, as it originally was installed on D in the other OS... or I wonder if ... like some of the other clunky features in BCD ... If it never really properly assigned D: to Windows 7.... that fits with what others have been telling me repeatedly "Windows 7 likes to be on C:" So what if ... BCD looks for it on "D:" (the 2nd partition in this example) but then when it starts to boot up and load, Windows 7 'decides' to assign itself as C: (because of some misguided configuring from BCD??) - I believe that COULD possibly explain why it could BOOT, LOAD, and LOG into the OS, AND THEN log out again!...
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