multi mutli boot

#1
Don't know the correct technical term, but currently booting 7 OS installations - multiple instalations of Win 7,Vista and XP for now. I just discovered iReboot a few days ago and it is awesome in this setup (donation will be forthcoming). While Hibernate works flawlessly when booting with iReboot or Windows boot manager, unfortunately It does not when I boot from the Acronis boot manager (OSS) directly to Vista or Win 7. Acronis OSS cannot swap drives correctly (at least not for Vista and Win 7), which means any Vista+ OS not on drive 0 will end up sharing the BCD with the active OS on drive 0 even if it is active and has its own bootloader and BCD (I don't know if this is a Windows bug or just another annoying 'feature') :rage:. Somehow this causes hibernation and hybrid sleep to not work unless I boot from OSS to the active OS on drive 0 and then use it's menu to get where I want to go.

So I guess I'm fishing for a different setup where my XP installations won't bother Vista and Win 7 (and since vista doesn't always seem to agree with XP's partitioning, maybe hiding XP from Vista and Win 7)

Will Hibernate still work correctly with HnS? If so, I assume it always goes through the boot manager / BCD Windows forces you to use :wtf:. I know HnS is still in beta, but at this point does this seem to be a viable solution or is there another better way to do this?

Any suggestions are welcome - sorry if I didn't post in the right place. Thanks.:smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Jeb, welcome to NST.
I use HnS in a 4-way boot, which has evolved with a complete reorganization of my 2 HDDs into a setup with a dedicated boot partition. (if you read far enough down the thread).
HnS however, is not compatible with iReboot, so you'd lose that functionality, though you can use the grub default file to regain some of it.
I have absolutely no experience of hibernation though, so I can't say what it would do in my setup.
I have always avoided it like the plague ever since first trying it back in ME, where it was more or less guaranteed to bork the system and cost you 100 times the boot-time saved, trying to get the system running properly again after using it.
I developed a power-saving philosophy back then, of very aggressive timings on monitor and HDD power-down, and set screen saver off, but sleep/hibernate set to "never", and I use an AMD CPU with "cool and quiet" technology that only turns the wick up on the CPU when demanded (voltage and frequency), so if I leave the PC for more than 2 minutes, it goes into a quiescent mode of my devizing.
I'm sure that hybrid sleep is much more reliable now, but I've just ported my old technique through XP and Vista to W7, because it still works reliably on all of them. (though I regret that the power icon is considered unnecessary for desktops since Vista, as it was handy to be able to select "always on" as an option when doing something like installing SP2, that takes time but no user input, so that I could keep track of the progress without needing to jiggle the mouse every 2 minutes)
 
#3
Thanks for the input Terry. In reality I have no plans to use Hibernate or Hybrid sleep - much like you I haven't tried that for years (Windows 2000) when it only worked half of the time. Instead I just use standby/sleep, which with my I7 P6T6 Revolution WS is very quick and seems to go into a very deep sleep. However since hibernation is part of the whole boot manager/BCD thing, when it isn't working I wonder what else might not be working too. It does seem to worked very well and consistently as long as the OS is loaded from the Vista/Win 7 boot manager, but not in any other case.

I'm bummed iReboot is not compatible with HnS. I've been looking for something like iReboot for a long time and don't want to give it up. Do you know if it is possible to effectively hide Vista from XP by just removing the drive letter with Disk Management? If not maybe I can keep XP on 1 drive and in XP's device manager disable all the other drives. Hmm... I've been using a boot manager so long I can't remember if there are issues installing XP on drives other than drive 0. Any thoughts?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
There is an XP registry hack which you should try first. It works for some configurations, though we've never done the forensics to work out what the governing factors are. Justin (kairo...) uses it amongst others on here, though sadly it was ineffective on my setup, which is why I first came to this site to use the Neogrub workaround which was the state of the art at that time. In that thread, mention is made of an upcoming one-stage solution which eventually became HnS, of which I was an early adopter and debugger-in-chief since I happened to own a configuration which gave Guru nightmares by breaking almost every build he came up with to surmount my previous problems.
Using EasyBCD/Neogrub wasn't ideal (read the blog linked in that old thread, which I've subsequently edited to remove the problem which caused my first post here, and explains the non-intuitive nature of the successful workaround), but it did at least allow me to use iReboot of which, like you, I was a big fan.
Sadly it was written before HnS and knows only of the bootmgr/BCD environment. HnS is a custom version of Grub4Dos, so iReboot can't work with it.
Guru is thinking, long term, of incorporating the hiding function into a small utility invoked through Easy, much like bootgrabber and Neogrub, so HnS is not likely to be developed, so much as subsumed functionally into EasyBCD, so it's unlikely that iReboot will ever be modified to work with HnS.

There's no problem with putting XP, or anything later, wherever you want; even on a logical drive (inside the PC that is. USB drives are a different ballgame for validation/activation reasons.)
Earlier Windows had to be on the first partition of the boot drive, but that restriction was dropped with NT.
The boot files however must be on the "active" "system" primary partition. Windows still doesn't allow booting from a logical disk the way Linux does.

I'm looking at reviving my 20 year out-of date programming skills ( IBM 370 Assembler was my métier) to write my own Grubby iReboot substitute (pertaining to grub4dos, not dirt). The design is trivial.
Grub (HnS) uses a 2k file (of which only the 1st byte is relevant) to store the number of the currently booted system, and on reboot that becomes the default if you ask it to (see here for example). All that would be needed is a routine to edit that one byte to the desired new system and instigate a restart, et voilà.
The design is trivial. Learning a new language is the obstacle !
 
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#5
This stuff is all pretty new to me - as I said I've been using the same bootlaoder for years and it's my only experience, so I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the possible routes. I know nothing about Grub, but I would like things as simple as possible.

I've ditched the Acronis OS selector. Now I can almost do all of what I want with just iReboot but not quite. I don't want to have to go through multiple menus for multiple installations of XP (I'm not currently using Linux so I don't need to deal with that). I could create simple shortcuts to run a script that would 1) change the boot.ini on the fly to launch only a specific XP and 2) reboot to the Vista loader which would have a one-time default to my chosen XP, but I do not know how to set the Vista loader's timeout value on a one-shot basis to 0 and then restore it to is original value. If i did, this would be a simple and acceptable hack for me.

Of couse I would still have to do the hiding with the Miscrosoft registry hack, but I'm fine with that as long as it works (haven't tried it yet). All in all I'm probabaly making thie more complicated than I need to, I just don't know better :|


I'm looking at reviving my 20 year out-of date programming skills ( IBM 370 Assembler was my métier) to write my own Grubby iReboot substitute (pertaining to grub4dos, not dirt). The design is trivial.
Grub (HnS) uses a 2k file (of which only the 1st byte is relevant) to store the number of the currently booted system, and on reboot that becomes the default if you ask it to (see here for example). All that would be needed is a routine to edit that one byte to the desired new system and instigate a restart, et voilà.
The design is trivial. Learning a new language is the obstacle !
I worked as an IVR/C/C++ programmer (mostly in unix), but have been out of it for almost 10 years. So there's more than a bit of rust here too, and I never really got into programming windows then so I also would have quite a bit of a learning curve to try and write my own stuff in a proper language on a microsoft platform. However, if you really were a decent assembler programmer (I did some on the ancient TI-99 and some on 286/386's) then learning a new language would be a lot easier for you than you might think. Learning enough C/C++ to create a functional program (we're not talking MS Word here ) is not that big a deal (in Unix). You already know all the low level stuff (which is what escapes most programmers), so it just comes down to learning a few programming concepts. Much of the basics of C is like using Macros in Assembler. Of course when you get into the MS platform and .net I'm sure it is a lot to learn.

I bet if I had the source to iReoot I could do what I wanted. Always easier to mod than to create from scratch:wink:. In fact I just got a free technet subcription based on the premise of creating something just like iReboot . But since I've now found out it already exists I don't know if I want to re-invent the wheel.

Addendum:

I could create simple shortcuts to run a script that would 1) change the boot.ini on the fly to launch only a specific XP and 2) reboot to the Vista loader which would have a one-time default to my chosen XP, but I do not know how to set the Vista loader's timeout value on a one-shot basis to 0 and then restore it to is original value. If i did, this would be a simple and acceptable hack for me.
Duh :unamused:

I was actually just using the wrong id (sloppy cut & pasting). bcdedit /bootsequence with a single entry always has a timeout of 0 of course - don't know what I was thinking. So now I Just have to click on a shortcut to boot to either XP installation and I don't have to go through any menu.
 
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