How to Uninstall W7 When In A Multi-Boot

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  1. Posts : 12,364
    8 Pro x64
       #41

    SIW2 said:
    Hi Smarteyeball,

    Thanks for posting the screenshot - it's interesting.


    Was that a new hd that you partitioned with Win7 during the installation ?

    It's a good thing as you can make an image of that 200mb partition to restore in an emergency. I have the Paragon Drive Backup, which lets you make a small bootable cd - so you can boot in , find the backup image and restore it - I assume Acronis etc are pretty much the same?
    No worries :) and yep, it was a brand spanking new unformatted drive.

    Funny you should mention backing up that boot partition. Last night I tried using the Vista back up and restore centre and it refused to work. Insufficient space errors due to Volume Shadow Copy. Since there was no option to deselect the 200MB partition in the GUI backup, I used the wbadmin cmd line to back up the Vista partition alone and it worked. I then tried it on the 200Mb partition with no success. I'm going to give Acronis a go later and see how it goes.

    (BTW, the target drive had 298GB free space, so that's not an issue )
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  2. Posts : 15,815
    7 X64
       #42

    Hi Smarteyeball,

    You probably will get that option with Acronis , I get the option to backup any partition with Drive Backup 9 Express

    How to Uninstall W7 When In A Multi-Boot-drivebackup92008-11-27_040856.jpg

    Though weirdly it lists the MBR as 0 bytes, then says est. backup size 2mb - go figure.

    SIW2
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 12,364
    8 Pro x64
       #43

    Just tried backing up the 200MB on it's own with Acronis. It worked. Sort of:

    How to Uninstall W7 When In A Multi-Boot-acronis.jpg

    Trying to restore from within Vista:

    How to Uninstall W7 When In A Multi-Boot-nono.jpg


    When I added the second HD and split it into two, I was presented with either creating a MBR disk or a GPT disk. Guess which one I selected?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Uninstall W7 When In A Multi-Boot-acronis.jpg   How to Uninstall W7 When In A Multi-Boot-nono.jpg  
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  4. Posts : 15,815
    7 X64
       #44

    frankzappa77 said:
    Wait, so SIW2, what you're saying is (assume fresh install on a clean hard drive), if I had a 100GB HD and I (hd0,0) was a 200MB partition and the rest 99.8GB was (hd0,1), I can guide the 7 installer to install boot files to the 200MB partition?

    Does that mean that when I get to the disk management page in the setup, that I select (hd0,0) as my installation partition? or will it automatically install the boot files to the first partition?

    As for a backup of my boot record (not windows boot files), I use HD Hacker to create a raw image of my MBR just incase.

    Also, just to clear something up with the 'active' partition thing. I recall when I installed OS X, I had to mark my 4th primary partition dedicated towards it as 'active' through the command line. I then decided to boot up GParted and check how the flags were re-associated, and my Vista partition was no longer the boot partition, (hd0,3) was. This insured that my MBR was not touched, and Darwin was installed to the bootsector of (hd0,3) - my question, does the same go for Windows?

    Say I had GRUB on the MBR, can I tell Windows not to touch the MBR by flagging my second partition (or whichever partition I want to install it onto) as 'active'/boot?

    Thanks for all the info so far everyone.
    Hi Frankzappa,


    Yes, if you set the first partition as Active on the boot drive HD0, then subsequent installs of Windows will place their boot files on it. You could point the Windows installer at any partition , on any HD, and it will still place it's boot files on that first Active partition.

    That will be the only partition containing bootmgr, and each instance of Vista/ Win 7 will be started from there.

    IMHO it's a good idea to set up a small 200mb partition as you suggest.

    That way , the System partition will be separate from the Boot partitions containing the o/s's - so you could reformat/ reinstall one of them without messing up the ability to boot up the others.


    Alternatively, you could set up each partition as Active before installing - then each partition would have it's own bootmgr -but you would need a 3rd party app. that could access the VBR at the start of each partition, which would then find the bootmgr on that partition and continue the process. I presume that's what Darwin did ?

    SIW2
    Last edited by SIW2; 27 Nov 2008 at 17:13.
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  5. Posts : 12
    Vista, XP, 7, Debian
       #45

    SIW2 said:
    Hi Frankzappa,


    Yes, if you set the first partition as Active on the boot drive HD0, then subsequent installs of Windows will place their boot files on it. You could point the Windows installer at any partition , on any HD, and it will still place it's boot files on that first Active partition.

    That will be the only partition containing bootmgr, and each instance of Vista/ Win 7 will be started from there.

    IMHO it's a good idea to set up a small 200mb partition as you suggest.

    That way , the System partition will be separate from the Boot partitions containing the o/s's - so you could reformat/ reinstall one of them without messing up the ability to boot up the others.


    Alternatively, you could set up each partition as Active before installing - then each partition would have it's own bootmgr -but you would need a 3rd party app. that could access the VBR at the start of each partition, which would then find the bootmgr on that partition and continue the process. I presume that's what Darwin did ?

    SIW2
    What I did with Darwin was install it to the bootsector of the partition (VBR? - volume boot record I assume) and chainloaded it with my Vista bootloader. I had to copy a 'chain0' file from the OS X installation DVD and place it in my C:\ drive and point Vista to use that file to access the hfs+ partition.

    What's the minimum size of the partition that you can have for boot data? And would Windows store metadata on that partition too? I don't really know what metadata is, but I always see the option to defrag it at startup in PerfectDisk, so I assume it's related to boot files.

    And just to clear up something (so I don't look like a fool in the future), is 'BCD' the name of Vista/7's bootloader or is it 'bootmgr'? I had a similar case of confusion with windows XP, where someone told me that the MBR contianed a program which would launch NTLDR on the windows partition, which would boot the OS (I thought that NTLDR was the bootloader).

    Anyway, so let's say this is my HD layout:
    (hd0,0) 200MB (so I'll put my boot files in here)
    (hd0,1) 90GB (to install Vista onto)
    First question, does it matter how the first partition is formatted? ntfs? fat32?

    If I understood correctly, you said that no matter where I direct Windows to install the OS files onto, it will install the bootfiles onto the active partition? So is there a way to change the 'active' partition with the installation disc at that page? I remember that I used the command line in the Vista installation disc (on the first page, it says 'Install' or 'Repair' or something along those lines) and I selected 'Repair' and then 'command prompt' and used the diskpart command to reactivate the Vista partition.

    Is this the same as booting up GParted before the installation and flagging (hd0,0) as 'boot'? If I did this and then chose (hd0,1) as my install partition, the bootfiles would automatically be placed on the first partition? Also, if I did this, would I still be able to use EasyBCD? Would it still detect the Vista boot files?

    And my last question (I think), if I had GRUB on the MBR and then flagged my 200MB partition as active and installed windows, would it overwrite any files on the MBR, or would it not touch it at all?

    I guess I'll take some time to try it out on a virtual machine to see how this fully works, but thanks for all the info so far.
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  6. Posts : 22,814
    W 7 64-bit Ultimate
       #46

    Hello farnkzappa77.

    I used to have everything he ever did. Are you still raising up your little dental floss?

    Have a look at this.

    Windows Vista startup process - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sorry I'm not much help with the rest of it; just wanted to say hello.









    Later Ted
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 12
    Vista, XP, 7, Debian
       #47

    Bare Foot Kid said:
    Hello farnkzappa77.

    I used to have everything he ever did. Are you still raising up your little dental floss?

    Have a look at this.

    Windows Vista startup process - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sorry I'm not much help with the rest of it; just wanted to say hello.









    Later Ted
    No problem, always a pleasure to meet a fellow Zappaphile.

    I just read the bit on the wiki article; so is winload.exe the name of Vista's bootloader or is it bootmgr? Becuase here, in the second paragraph, first line, examples of bootloaders that are given are GRUB, LILO, BOOTMGR, and NTLDR.

    Which is the one that is stored on the MBR of the hard drive?
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  8. Posts : 15,815
    7 X64
       #48

    Hi Frankzappa.,

    Grub and Lilo are 2 Linux boot management programs.

    Bootmgr is part of the Vista / Win7 boot process.

    Ntldr is part of XP boot process.

    Bootmgr reads the BCD file and then heads off to start the winload.exe on the appropriate boot partition. Winload.exe actually loads the o/s on the Boot partition. This is probably best described as the bootloader ?

    Previous Windows o/s had both those functions rolled into one program called ntldr - which was referred to as the bootloader.


    AFAIK, this is how it goes - please feel free to correct or add more detail , anyone.

    The BIOS starts the Program Loader - any BIOS should find it as it is on the first sector of the HD.

    In Windows o/s, the Program Loader only "sees" the Volume Boot Record on the first few sectors of the System, Active partition. (The Program Loader finds out which is the Active partition by looking at the Partition table).

    The VBR is written during installation, so it "knows" where bootmgr is ( also on the System, Active partition ).

    Bootmgr then reads the BCD file ( on the System, Active partition) to find out which partition has been selected to be booted.

    Bootmgr then starts up winload.exe on the selected partition - the Boot partition. ( You can find winload.exe in C:\Windows \System32\Boot).

    Winload.exe then starts ntoskrnl.exe and so on till, with any luck , you see the selected Windows o/s.

    The MBR is the program loader and I believe, the partition table - I believe this is what will be imaged when you image the MBR.

    Subsequent installs of Windows o/s will overwrite the bootmgr and make themselves the default, but list previous o/s as well. Unless you install XP afterwards , of course.

    Hope it helps

    SIW2
    Last edited by SIW2; 27 Nov 2008 at 23:04. Reason: (The Program Loader finds out which is the Active partition by looking at the partition table )
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 22,814
    W 7 64-bit Ultimate
       #49

    Hello SIW2.

    Thanks; that helps me too.















    Later :) Ted
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 15,815
    7 X64
       #50

    Hi Ted,

    Glad to be of help.

    Now to figure out a way of creating a small active partition at the start of HD0 - without having to reinstall everything. LOL.

    SIW2
      My Computers


 
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