Installing BCD onto a logical partition?

#1
Hello

I wish to install Vista's BCD onto a logical partition.

I wish to do this because, well, I need to install Vista x64 SP1 to a logical partition. The only way to do this was to make a Primary Active NTFS or FAT32 partition. This Primary partition is used by the Vista installer to install the boot-loader to.

However, the problem is, I don't have a spare Primary partition to provide Windows with. As my partitioning schema (see below) is already full;


Please tell me if it would be at all possible to install the BCD to Vista's logical partition.

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
I can't see your partition layout in suficient detail to determine what you are presently using for managing your boot. There's no problem with installing Vista to a logical partition, but if you want the Vista BCD to control the boot, the BCD and boot manager will have to be on your "active" "system" primary partition. If you already have a Vista (or another OS using a BCD) then your new Vista will install without a BCD (It will just add itself to the existing one).
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
The BCD file will go to the same drive that has the boot.ini and NTLDR files used to boot Server 2008 and Vista x64 and Windows 7.


I love your partitions, btw :grinning:
 
#4
Thanks everyone for you replies.

Terry60: That's just a mockup of my future partitioning schema. My current is HFS+, Logical NTFS then a UNPLANNED Primary NTFS.

What I am here to try and find out, is if it'd be at all possible to install BCD onto a logical partition, so I can use a '3rd party' bootloader such as GRUB to boot to the Logical partition.

Computer Guru: You bring up an interesting point. However I don't have room for a Primary NTFS partition. Although, if you knew of a way to install it onto a HFS+ or ZFS partition... :brows:

Also, thanks! I like them to! :booyah:

Can I please have some recommendations on how to boot directly to my logical partition, as I will have to delete the NTFS primary partition holding the boot manager (BCD).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,

Panarchy
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
One of the Solarises can be installed to a logical partition since they share a bootloader.

And then you would just need one more primary for the Windows' bootloader.
 
#6
Woh woh woh!

That's news to me.

Are you certain what you are explaining is possible?

Addendum:

Hi

Just double checked on #opensolaris and #solaris on chat.freenode.net, and they told me that it is a planned feature, but not yet implemented.

So if you can please tell me of another method that may work, I'd be happy to try it out.

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
Just found how to view your screenshot at full size (right click/properties/copy URL/paste to addr. - There must be an easier way !!)
Any chance you can use the small unused space as a dedicated primary boot partition at the front of the disk and boot everything from that ?
(I know nothing of OSX or Solaris, so have no idea whether they could be accommodated in such a scheme).
Windows will need its boot files to be on a primary somewhere

From Windows Help

An extended partition is a way to get around a limit on the number of primary partitions a basic disk can have. An extended partition is a container that can hold one or more logical drives. Logical drives function like primary partitions except that they cannot be used to start an operating system.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
You can use GRUB or NeoGrub (part of EasyBCD) to make a partition (primary, logical, or whatever) appear as the active primary partition.

Just install GRUB to one of the primary partitions and you can then do whatever you need anywhere you need.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
We still had the problem with grub in HnS where it couldn't make an XP logical drive active CG.

makeactive

grub> help makeactive
makeactive: makeactive [--status]
   Set the active partition on the root disk to GRUB's root device. This
   command is limited to _primary_ PC partitions on a hard disk.
 
#10
You can use GRUB or NeoGrub (part of EasyBCD) to make a partition (primary, logical, or whatever) appear as the active primary partition.

Just install GRUB to one of the primary partitions and you can then do whatever you need anywhere you need.
NeoGRUB? Does that support booting to ZFS, HFS+ and UFS partitions?

Also you're idea about making it appear to be the active primary partitions sounds very interesting.
We still had the problem with grub, where it couldn't make an XP logical drive active
You say it can't make an XP logical partition active. How about a Vista logical partition?

Please tell me if that would work!

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Damn.. you're right, Terry.
But it doesn't matter.

Only OS X and Windows need a primary partition to boot from. Solaris, *nix can all be chainloaded w/ EasyBCD assuming he installs their bootloader to the partition itself - only Windows and Mac look for files by finding the boot partition.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
Pan, when I said "XP logical", that just happened to be the particular problem in that case. The restriction is general to all Windows systems on logical disks.
From what Guru just posted, your best approach would be to make OSX and your prefered Vista primaries, then use Vista's BCD (and EasyBCD of course) to boot all the others.
 
#14
Damn.. you're right, Terry.
But it doesn't matter.

Only OS X and Windows need a primary partition to boot from. Solaris, *nix can all be chainloaded w/ EasyBCD assuming he installs their bootloader to the partition itself - only Windows and Mac look for files by finding the boot partition.
Well there's an interesting thought. :brows:

I have already installed Vista to a logical, but I can do as you described and install Windows 7 to a primary, and use Windows 7 boot-loader as the boot-loader for all my OSs.

Thanks. You are sure that this will work though?
Pan, when I said "XP logical", that just happened to be the particular problem in that case. The restriction is general to all Windows systems on logical disks.
From what Guru just posted, your best approach would be to make OSX and your prefered Vista primaries, then use Vista's BCD (and EasyBCD of course) to boot all the others.
Hmm... thanks. Windows is pretty annoying eh? :angry::rage:

Please confirm that this is possible (tell me if you've tried it yourself with Solaris ahnd OpenSolaris).

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
That won't work.

Only the first Windows that you install will set up the bootloader. So if you already installed Windows Vista, you're bootloader has already been installed for you and (re)Installing Windows 7 won't matter.
 
#16
I have currently installed the first two operating systems on my partitioning scheme mockup.

I can install the next one, Windows 7, on a primary active partition. Although I will only do this, if you are certain that Solaris &/or OpenSolaris can be installed on a logical (then subsequently be launched via a modified BCD created with EasyBCD via Windows 7).

So confirming, can Solaris &/or OpenSolaris be installed to logical partition(s)?
Please reply.

Thanks in advance,

Panarchy
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
I haven't used Solaris in ages, but OpenSolaris can for sure.

Note: I'm saying can, not can easily. I cannot recall if the "install grub to bootsector" option was in the OpenSolaris installer or not.
 
#19
Johnnie Ong | Official Sun LiveChat said:
I suggest that you install Solaris 10 on your primary partition and OpenSolaris on your logical partition.
Which confirms what you have said.

Thanks, I will install OpenSolaris on a logical partition (and have already installed Windows 7 on a primary).

Panarchy
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#20
Great! thanks for letting us in on the loop.

Let us know how it goes & best of luck :smile: