Boot DOS, Vista, XP, Linux

#1
Help to boot DOS, Vista, XP, Linux?

Well, I guess this might be a bit overly complicated, but lets start by getting dos and Vista working together, then we can worry about the other 2 operating systems. I think that getting Linux working with EasyBCD should be pretty easy, so I am not too worried about that, but its the DOS and VISTA that seem to be the problem.

For testing I need to have a system that can boot all 4 operating systems off just one boot menu.

I know that there are other posts about this, but trying to follow the directions, I get kind of lost, and the other posts really arent in depth enough to get it working properly.

SO, if I could please get a bit of help getting this set-up to work, it would be greatly appreciated!

I can start from scratch, so the order of installation means nothing to me. If you tell me to format and install dos again, im fine with that because I have all the installation CDs. If the order of installation makes a difference, please let me know... Please be as descriptive as possible because I have spent so much time trying to get this to work, if I have to install VISTA again I think im going to go nuts :??
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi jedd999, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

The correct installation order would be DOS, then XP, then Linux, then Vista.

You are right, of course - we have more or less perfected the Linux-Vista dual-boot, such that it's a one-click process now, and in the latest beta, you don't even need the Linux bootloader to be installed!

Step 1 is to get XP and DOS dual-booting. I'm not sure if, when you finish installing XP, it will recognize the old DOS partition and create a boot.ini entry for it - if it doesn't, open boot.ini and add:
Code:
C:\ = Dos
at the end.

This is, of course, assuming C:\ is the DOS partition. If it isn't, then use whatever letter DOS is there.

DOS needs to be the very first primary partition on the hard drive. XP needs to be a primary partition, Vista prefers to be Primary, and since Linux doesn't care, make it a Logical one.

So your HD:
DOS | XP/Vista | XP/Vista | (Extended Partition -> Linux)

Once XP and DOS are dual-booting fine, (no need for EasyBCD here), install Linux. It'll automatically pick up the XP bootloader, but we won't be using that so it doesn't matter.

Install Vista. It will overwrite the bootloader and stop Linux from booting. However, it should still have an entry "Earlier Versions of Windows" that, when selected, will you give you a second menu where you can choose from DOS and XP.

Once in Vista, install the latest beta of EasyBCD, go to the Add/Remove Entries screen | Linux/BSD.

Select "GRUB", give it a name, and choose "I don't have GRUB installed to the bootsector," then click "Add Entry"

Reboot. Enjoy :smile:
 
#3
Hi jedd999, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

The correct installation order would be DOS, then XP, then Linux, then Vista.

You are right, of course - we have more or less perfected the Linux-Vista dual-boot, such that it's a one-click process now, and in the latest beta, you don't even need the Linux bootloader to be installed!

Step 1 is to get XP and DOS dual-booting. I'm not sure if, when you finish installing XP, it will recognize the old DOS partition and create a boot.ini entry for it - if it doesn't, open boot.ini and add:
Code:
C:\ = Dos
at the end.

This is, of course, assuming C:\ is the DOS partition. If it isn't, then use whatever letter DOS is there.

DOS needs to be the very first primary partition on the hard drive. XP needs to be a primary partition, Vista prefers to be Primary, and since Linux doesn't care, make it a Logical one.

So your HD:
DOS | XP/Vista | XP/Vista | (Extended Partition -> Linux)

Once XP and DOS are dual-booting fine, (no need for EasyBCD here), install Linux. It'll automatically pick up the XP bootloader, but we won't be using that so it doesn't matter.

Install Vista. It will overwrite the bootloader and stop Linux from booting. However, it should still have an entry "Earlier Versions of Windows" that, when selected, will you give you a second menu where you can choose from DOS and XP.

Once in Vista, install the latest beta of EasyBCD, go to the Add/Remove Entries screen | Linux/BSD.

Select "GRUB", give it a name, and choose "I don't have GRUB installed to the bootsector," then click "Add Entry"

Reboot. Enjoy :smile:
Thanks for that help.

NOW, the only thing is that DOS and XP are going to be booting off the XP bootloader which is loaded through XP.

I was hoping to be able to get all 4 operating systems to be able to boot of the vista boot loader... is this possible?

I had the exact drive set-up that you recommended - 3 primary partitions with DOS installed on the first one (the "C drive") and then I went and installed VISTA on the second one just because I wanted to try to get DOS and VISTA getting along nicely.

Any suggestions to get all 4 off the VISTA boot loader?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Not possible, sorry :frowning:

Well, it's doable, but only if you are willing to press F8 every time you want to boot into XP - are you?
 
#5
Not possible, sorry :frowning:

Well, it's doable, but only if you are willing to press F8 every time you want to boot into XP - are you?
Really, are you sure about that? Is there a way to create "2 XP partitions" where one of them is called "DOS" and it loads the XP boot loader and just defaults to DOS after 0 seconds? The other will be called XP and will default to XP after 0 seconds?

I have been messing around and I got DOS in the Vista boot loader menu. It is booting DOS fine, but when I go to Vista things get a bit weird.

When VISTA says "preparing your desktop" it stays on that screen for a minute or two, and then the screen just goes blue and there is a cursor... I can run task manager and get explorer to start, but I get the message "Your user profile was not loaded correctly" and I dont have full access to everything on the system...

Any suggestions on how I can just fix up this vista install and then I will just have to add XP using EasyBCD and I am good to go :smile:

EDIT: It seemed before that when Vista loaded whatever partition it was on it would be called "C" in VISTA, but now it is D... Could this have something to do with the problem?
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Well, I think you can do it by sticking an NTLDR in the DOS partition, and creating a boot.ini in that same drive, with only DOS listed in it maybe?
 
#7
Well, I think you can do it by sticking an NTLDR in the DOS partition, and creating a boot.ini in that same drive, with only DOS listed in it maybe?
Rather than starting from scratch again, any suggestions on how to repair that vista install? I "have it working" save for the fact that I cant use vista :smile:

I tried to install EasyBCD to at least get the XP partition running, but when I get into vista using the task manager, it doesnt start up the .net framework and I cant figure out how to get that going.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
The .NET Framework ships with Vista, no need to install it.

I don't know how to fix your problem because I have no details; but my advice would be to boot from the Vista DVD and run a repair install.
 
#9
The .NET Framework ships with Vista, no need to install it.

I don't know how to fix your problem because I have no details; but my advice would be to boot from the Vista DVD and run a repair install.
I will give that a shot... I tried to run a few of the repair things already and it didnt help me out too much... I wouldnt mind doing a total re-install if it wouldnt just go and screw up my MBR... is there a way to re-install the whole OS save for the boot loader?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
Oh, is that what you're worried about?

Easy. Just boot from the DVD. Select the partition but do not format it and install Windows Vista there.

Once setup is complete, delete the "Windows.old" folder in the new Vista install. Your bootloader will remain intact.
 
#11
Oh, is that what you're worried about?

Easy. Just boot from the DVD. Select the partition but do not format it and install Windows Vista there.

Once setup is complete, delete the "Windows.old" folder in the new Vista install. Your bootloader will remain intact.
Awesome!

We have a good start here. I have both VISTA and DOS booting, but I have a 3rd entry in the boot loader that is for Legacy Windows OS and it gives me an error something something about the ntldr not working.

I am ghosting the drives right now to back up all my hard work up to this point, and then I am going to try to start from scratch again and see if I can clean up the whole operation and write up a procedure for anyone that wants to get a triple boot going.

More or less, you have to install DOS, then XP, then get the Vista boot loader set up using EasyBCD in XP and then install VISTA and it should work... I hope :smile:

Anyways, thanks for the help, and if I have more questions, I know where to go!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Glad to hear that :smile:

And even if you don't have any more questions, drop in from time to time. These forums aren't just for EasyBCD support, you know :wink:
 
#13
Glad to hear that :smile:

And even if you don't have any more questions, drop in from time to time. These forums aren't just for EasyBCD support, you know :wink:
Well, I am really REALLY close, I think it just comes down to this one last thing then its good to go.

Right now I have 3 entries that pop up in the Vista Boot Loader when I boot the system:
1) Microsoft Windows Vista
2) Windows XP
3) MS DOS 7.1

Now, the Vista and DOS entries work just fine, but when I go to XP it seems to bring up the XP boot loader and it gives me the option between DOS and XP. I could just set the counter to 0 and default to XP if I knew how to do that, and I would be able to live with that.

My setup consists of:
C: DOS Drive - Has boot.ini, bootsect.dos, bootsect.bak, ntldr and all the dos files I need
D: Windows XP Drive - just has the windows system files and nothing for booting
E: Vista

Maybe I have to edit the boot.ini - help with this would be appreciated. Currently my boot.ini says
Boot.ini said:
;
;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
;
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=c:\bootsect.dos
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT
c:\bootsect.dos="MS-DOS 7.10" /WIN95
I want to get the XP option to just go straight to XP and not have to change the option from DOS to XP.

Help is appreciated!!!

EDIT: I should add that I tried to delete the line "default=c:\bootsect.dos" and all that did was add an entry that said "(Microsoft Windows)" in brackets like that, and it defaulted to that, and when selected, it just gave me an error message...
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#14
OK, that's not hard.

Can you please zip and attach c:\bootsect.dos and post in a reply the "Detailed Mode" contents? (in a code box, please!)

As for your issue:
Set timeout = 0
Set default = multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
 
#15
Hahaha, wow, thats dumb of me!

As for the zip file, I dont know whats going on, but now I just put the two files right in there. I was able to unzip the file on all the computer I am running now :smile:

Code:
Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier              {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device                  partition=D:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default                 {3e1d630a-2421-11dc-922b-bf7511a245a8}
displayorder            {3e1d630a-2421-11dc-922b-bf7511a245a8}
                        {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
toolsdisplayorder       {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout                 5
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {3e1d630a-2421-11dc-922b-bf7511a245a8}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Microsoft Windows Vista
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {3e1d630b-2421-11dc-922b-bf7511a245a8}
nx                      OptIn
Windows Legacy OS Loader
------------------------
identifier              {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c}
device                  partition=D:
path                    \ntldr
description             Microsoft Windows XP
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
OK, your last attachment works just fine... Not sure why the others didn't......

Thanks for posting them :smile:

Anyway, back to your problem - reading through this thread again, I'm not sure if there is still any unresolved issues? Is everything working fine now?
 
#18
OK, your last attachment works just fine... Not sure why the others didn't......

Thanks for posting them :smile:

Anyway, back to your problem - reading through this thread again, I'm not sure if there is still any unresolved issues? Is everything working fine now?
Well, I guess everything is working fine, I will have to show the setup to the person that I am making it for and get their approval. The only thing that I am worried about is that I have to select Windows XP in the boot.ini when I go and select XP through the vista bootloader. Even though I just have it default to XP after 0 seconds, I dont know if this will cause problems with the testing that we do.

Other than that, things are AOK. If you have suggestions how to get rid of that, it would be appreciated, but other than that, problem solved!

Now I need to go and install linux, and thats gonna be one big party!!! :joy: [/extreme sarcasm]
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#19
Lol, you will find that with the new Linux support in EasyBCD 1.6 (and especially the GRUB-less feature in 1.61) it's by far much easier than what you've just been through :smile:

Simply install Linux. Tell it to install GRUB to the bootsector of the Linux partition instead of the MBR (as it would like to do).

You'll end up back in Vista when setup finishes instead of being booted into Linux. Run EasyBCD -> Add/Remove -> Linux/BSD. Select GRUB, the drive + partition, give it a name, and you're all set :smile:
 
#20
Simply install Linux. Tell it to install GRUB to the bootsector of the Linux partition instead of the MBR (as it would like to do).
First off, how can I do that? Is it a typical option that I will get when I am installing Linux? (I think that I am going to install red hat or Ubuntu)

Also, just in case anyone else wants to do this, here are the steps that I took to get this set-up working...
Here is the procedure that has to be followed, I tried a whole bunch of different things, and this seemed to be all that worked…

1)Use partition magic or other software for partitioning to make the drive partitions – DOS has to be installed on FAT32 Windows XP and Vista on NTFS. The FAT32 drive MUST be the FIRST primary partition on the hard drive otherwise DOS will not be able to work… though they say this causes problems for Vista, I haven’t seen any.
2)Save partition information, and reboot the system
3)Install DOS using the installation CD – install to the C drive (does this automatically because it shouldn’t recognize the NTFS partitions), and include any desired options – I did a bare-bones install because I restored the windows 98 DOS that we were previously using but loaded it on the boot sector created by this install… this is done much later!
4)Remove the DOS CD and replace it with the Windows XP CD and reboot the system.
5)Install Windows XP to the next partition on the drive – it doesn’t really matter which one! When the XP install is complete, reboot the system

At this point you should have a proper dual boot set-up with DOS and Windows XP (the dual boot will automatically be set up as the XP install will recognize the DOS partition)

6)Put in the Windows VISTA CD and install it to the last remaining partition on the drive.
7)When you are installing Vista, ensure that you set up a password for the user… I don’t think it will work if you don’t – this password can be removed once the entire setup process is done!

Now since Vista uses a separate system for booting (bcd bootmgr or something like that) the only detected OS will be vista…

8)Put the DOS CD back in the drive and re-install DOS. The DOS install will recognize that there is Windows XP on the system, and it will ask you if you want to we-write the MBR, Dual Boot, or DO nothing… select that you want to DUAL BOOT the system

Now when you reboot the system it will be back at the point where you have a dual boot with XP and DOS

9)Boot to XP and run the program EASYBCD (is a GUI Interface for BCDEDIT) – NOTE: You will need version 2.0 of the Microsoft .NET framework!
10)Go to Manage Boot Loader tab on the left side, and then select the option to Reinstall the vista boot loader and then click on the Write MBR button.
11)Reset the system

Now when you reset, you will have a system that will dual boot DOS and VISTA!!! However, the vista partition will NOT work

12)Put the VISTA CD in the drive and reset the system to enter the vista installation
13)Re-install vista on the same partition and ensure to NOT format the system when doing the install. The installer will inform you that a previous windows install is detected and it will save all your stuff in a folder called windows.old – say yes to this, and vista will install

Now you have a WORKING dual boot with Vista and DOS where BOTH operating systems will work!

14)Boot to vista and install EasyBCD
15)Run Easy BCD go to Add/Remove Entries tab on the left, delete the “Earlier Versions of Windows” entry since it does nothing (if its there) and then add an entry for windows XP and point it to the drive that contains the XP installation

There should now be a triple boot system with DOS, Vista, XP – BUT the XP will default to DOS, so…

16)Edit the boot.ini file that is in the C drive, change the line “default=C:\bootsect.dos” to read “default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS” and change the line timeout=10 to timeout=0
17)Modify any desired files in the dos partition – I restored the dos version to the windows 98 dos by copying the config.sys and the autoexec as well as the entire bin folder.

All 3 operating systems are now working in a triple boot!

18)Linux can be added, but MAKE SURE that when you are installing Linux you have the boot loader installed to the boot sector of the partition and NOT to the MBR!!!
19)Once Linux is installed, you can boot to vista or XP and just add the Linux entry to the Vista Bootloader using EasyBCD

I obviously havent done steps 18 and 19 yet, but thats for another day :smile: