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  1. #1
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    Default Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    I have a sony vaio vgn-a270. As a musician using the computer live, I need to dual boot, so my music partition never goes on the web.

    The sony ships with this restrictive install disk, which basically can only wipe the C: drive and install XP to it. I currently have the OS working perfectly and running all the programs I need. It's never been on the web.

    Here's what I'm wondering:

    Could I clone the existing OS partition byte-for-byte, and use an MBR-based boot loader like GRUB or GAG to choose the OS? I'm thinking that, unlike a windows dual-boot, both OS's would think they are on the C: drive, each would have its own boot.ini file, etc, and only the boot-loader would know the difference.

    Is there a prayer of this working?? I have already cleared space on the drive for another OS partition. In fact, I installed an old version of XP to that drive today, but I'd much rather clone my original install. I'm not sure I'll even be able to find all the SONY drivers and utilites to make the new install work....

    Thanks in advance for any clues!
    eric

  2. #2
    Debiant Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    According to a quick piece of research, you gave a 60GB harddrive (correct?).
    It is easy to split this drive with an application called Partition Magic (or similar). With this, you can shrink your existing partition to whatever size you want (as an example we will say 30GB).
    Then you can create a new partition (the remaining space .. approx 25GB) on the harddrive. Partition Magic usually does the data shift non-destructively .i.e. no data should be lost, but backup any important data just in case.

    What is the other O/S you would like to put on the machine? If its Linux .. you will have no problems dual booting using grub. Quite a few of us in this forum dual boot Windows and Linux so can help in that respect. If another Win O/S, sometimes XP plays hardball, but it is possible.

    As far as losing drivers in case of a reinstall, they can be easily found online either via Win Update, or using apps like Everest, or Belarc Advisor

    Oh and welcome to PressF1
    Last edited by Myth; 15-12-2005 at 03:45 PM.
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  3. #3
    Pedant and proud of it
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    GRUB can certainly handle it, but I'm not sure how you install it as a standaione boot manager, rather than during a Linux install. My reading of your posting is that you want to use XP on both partitions, one Internet enabled, the oither not.

    I think XP's boot manager will handle that . Doubtless the XPerts will correct me if I'm wrong. And tell you how it's done if I'm right.

  4. #4
    Jedi master Rob99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    You may have issues with to windows installs on the same hard disk.
    Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    No Rob, they will be on the same physical disk, but on different partitions. A partition is a "disk". The boot.ini file will have a line for each incarnation, and the disk information in that line will tell it which is the :"C" drive. The problem will be how to do the install from that recovery CD which assumes it can use the whole physical disk. Someone will know.

  6. #6
    Jedi master Rob99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    You can have the same XP OS on different physical HDs but not on the same physical HD. Dosent mater about partitions.
    Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

  7. #7
    Gratis versus Libre johnd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    I am not sure what the problem in using the NTLDR (Windows NT Loader) - it will handle this well. Ghost the existing partition and place a copy of it in the new partition. Then modify the original boot.ini to have a reference to the new partition. Below is a copy of a boot.ini I have used for a similar situation:


    [boot loader]
    timeout=4
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOW S
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="XP Lab Installation" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
    # Linux kernel on:
    - Desktop
    3.0GHz AMD A8-3870
    - ASUS Eee 1001PX
    - Samsung S3 Mini Smart Phone
    - Raspberry Pi

  8. #8
    Gratis versus Libre johnd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    To continue from above - we need to be clear that GRUB will not directly boot Windows. If you do use GRUB you end up chain loading from GRUB to NTLDR (which takes over and does the actual booting).
    # Linux kernel on:
    - Desktop
    3.0GHz AMD A8-3870
    - ASUS Eee 1001PX
    - Samsung S3 Mini Smart Phone
    - Raspberry Pi

  9. #9
    Gratis versus Libre johnd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    Another idea - you could try XOSL (http://www.ranish.com/part/xosl.htm). I am not sure if this boot loader is being kept up to date but is used to be excellent (from personal experience). You can do things like hide partitions, put passwords on partitions, etc. You caould use it to point to two separate boot.ini files.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Default Re: Running cloned XP installs with GRUB??

    Well, the problem with just cloning the windows partition is, as I understand it, the boot.ini file only exists on the first partition. Windows doesn't do a TRUE boot, it just boots to the C: drive and looks to the boot.ini. There are apparently other files that are unique to this "master" partition. Also, I believe there are many references within the windows files that refer to the partition the OS is on, whether C or D, etc. I thought if you wanted to ghost an OS partition, it needed to run as the same drive letter.

    But maybe I'm wrong about that..... or maybe, even if you boot from boot.ini, either OS could still consider itself the C: drive, and remap drive letters accordingly.

    REAL boot managers such as GRUB or GAG install themselves in the MBR--they are not on ANY partition. They do not use boot.ini or indeed, any file you will see in your filetree. My thought was that this way, both Windows OSs can be blissfully unaware of the other, each contains a boot.ini file with only ONE entry, and each considers themselves to be on the C: drive.

    But will it work?????

    There is more on this topic at:

    http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/in...ic=12966&st=25

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