Please help with Win XP Pro Multibooting!

By Tjaart
Feb 22, 2005
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  1. I have a PC with 2 drives: C & D (master & slave )on Win XP Pro.
    I previously had a multiboot system with Win XP Pro on each drive. Worked well.
    My system became unstable due to hardware difficulties (now resolved).
    I re-installed Win XP on C drive, but now cannot multiboot.
    My Win on D Drive is still intact.
    My Boot.ini is:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

    How do I modify to be able to multiboot again?
    And if I change on C Drive, must I also change on D drive when I eventually solve the problem.
    I'm desperate, please help!!
  2. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,086

    i am no pro on dos programming but i think you should add
    multi(1)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

    look in Microsoft web first before trying my suggestion

    Lucan
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Wrong, it should be:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Second Windows XP" /fastdetect

    rdisk(0) = master on primary ID
    rdisk(1) = slave on primary ID
    rdisk(2) = master on secondary ID
    rdisk(3) = slave on secondary ID

    partition(1) starts from (1) onwards, not zero.
    See here for more: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000492.htm
  4. Tjaart

    Tjaart Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thank you SO much for your help. Really appreciated!

    This is what I did. It now works!

    Regards, Tjaart

    [boot loader]
    timeout=5
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Normal" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Video Editing" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,291   +226

  6. mgatkin

    mgatkin Newcomer, in training

    I've read the descriptions of these fields and I've tried several combinations, but I still can't get my PC to boot the way I want it to.

    I have an on-board IDE RAID controller that was setup as RAID0 (mirror) with only 1 30G drive connected to Primary RAID IDE and 1 30G drive connected to Secondary RAID IDE. The boot.ini for this drive has been the standard multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1). The MB also has a non-RAID IDE controller (Pri/Sec) allowing me to connect up to 8 IDE devices if all channels are used.

    My problem is that I have backed up my existing RAID0 drives to a new 200G drive and want to start booting off of it instead of the RAID0 drives. From the descriptions in the links above, it seems as though my choices should be:

    multi=0 or 1 (0 being the RAID controller and 1 being the non-RAID controller - I'm basing this on the fact that the existing RAID setup used multi(0)).

    disk=0 (all IDEs are 0 for this parameter)

    rdisk=0 through 3 for non-RAID controller (0=Pri Mast, 1=Pri Slav, 2=Sec Mast, 3=Sec Slav)

    -or-

    rdisk=0 or 1 for RAID controller (0=RAID Mast, 1=RAID Slav - not sure about this, but it doesn't really matter, since I don't plan on connecting anything to the RAID Slave connections)

    partition=1 (first physical partition on a given drive, which is Active and Primary).

    Based on this, it seems like I should use multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1). I tried this, along with m0d0r0p1, m1d0r0p1, and so far, no workie :( On each of these, I've also tried them with RAID controller enabled and disabled, but this doesn't seem to make a difference. BTW, I did change the BIOS to boot to HD0 instead of the RAID controller.

    Does anyone know what combination I should use for this setup? If it will help, I'll dig up the MB make/model, I just don't remember right now.

    It definitely seems that I just need to figure out the multi and rdisk values. I'm pretty certain disk(0) and partition(1) are both correct.
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Give us your exact setup, e.g.:
    HD0=master IDE1 30GB (non-RAID)
    HD1=slave IDE1 30GB (non-RAID)
    HD2=master IDE2 200GB (non-RAID) want to boot from this one

    If the above is true, your string should read:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)

    You don't use the multi-parameter at all, except with SCSI disks.

    And you should move all your HDs from the RAID to the non-RAID = IDE controller.
  8. mgatkin

    mgatkin Newcomer, in training

    Thanks for the reply.

    The available controllers are:

    IDE1 RAID
    IDE2 RAID
    IDE1 non-RAID
    IDE2 non-RAID

    Existing setup:

    HD0=master IDE1 RAID - 30GB
    HD1=master IDE2 RAID - 30GB
    DVD=master IDE1 non-RAID
    CDRW=slave IDE1 non-RAID
    HD2=master IDE2 non-RAID - 200GB (want to boot from this one)

    I can move HD2 to IDE1 non-RAID and the DVD and CDRW to IDE2 non-RAID if I need to.


    Is this really necessary. The whole reason I am doing this at all is that I want to backup my existing PC to the 200GB and reformat and reinstall XP onto the 2 30GB RAID drives once I am convinced I can use my 200GB as a backup in case I run into any problems.
  9. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Depending on your mobo's possibilities, perhaps you should move the DVD and CDRW to the secondary non-RAID IDE controller.
    Then move one of the (still bootable ?) 30GB disk with your OS on it as master to primary non-RAID IDE, and the 200GB as slave on primary non-RAID IDE.

    Disable RAID in your BIOS, so that you can use the RAID-controller as normal IDE controller, and leave your second 30GB there.
    Backup into a second or third partition on the 200GB HD. Install Windows on the first partition of that 200GB. That will automatically create an entry in the boot.ini on the first 30GB disk.
    All clear as mud and confused now?
  10. mgatkin

    mgatkin Newcomer, in training

    If I split up the RAIDed drives, the data on the drives will not be available.

    As I mentioned above, splitting up the RAIDed drives will render them useless until I reformat them. This does bring up another question I've had. Where should the boot.ini file be located? Previously, it was on my 60GB "drive" (2 30GB RAID0 drives) and my BIOS was set to boot using the RAID controller. Since I want to boot to the 200GB drive on the non-RAID controller, I set my BIOS to boot to HD0. This makes me think it should be looking on the 200GB drive for boot.ini. Agree?
  11. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Boot.ini is always in the root of the harddisk that has the 'active' partition. (C:\ normally)

    Try and make the Windows-partition on your 200GB disk an 'active' one, using FDISK or Partition Magic. Have boot.ini in the root of that 200GB disk.
    Make sure the boot-drive in boot.ini is correct: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
    Then take the RAID-drives out, move the 200GB to Master on non-RAID IDE1.
    When working, reformat your 30GBs
  12. mgatkin

    mgatkin Newcomer, in training

    realblackstuff,

    I tried your suggestion last night, and it still wasn't working.

    Just to make sure I wasn't losing it, I decided to check the partitions using FDISK instead of Partition Magic. Oddly enough, the partitions on the 200GB drive were 1=E, 2=F, and 3=C (where C was supposed to be my boot partition). I deleted all partitions from the drive, re-copied the partitions using Drive Image, and -viola- it worked!

    I do seem to recall now that when I started copying the partitions last week, there were already two existing partitions on the 200GB destination drive. I left them there and copied the C partition (which I now realize made it partition 2). I then deleted the previously existing two partitions and moved and resized the C partition to the physical start of the drive. Then I copied the D and E partitions. I guess if I had just deleted the existing partitions before I started copying, it would have worked just fine.

    I always thought the partition number was determined strictly by its physical location on the drive. Maybe not ;g
    Do you know if I could have changed the partition number without reformatting and recopying?

    Anyway, it's working now. Thanks for your help.
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