Multi-booting Confusion


Active Member
[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Previously, I had Easy BCD installed and was successfully dual-booting Vista or Ubuntu. (was workin' on getting XP, also—but I've given up on saving that installation). Now, the Ubuntu install is in need of repair and I also need to change some partition sizes. I've purchased Acronis Disc Director Suite 10 and True Image 11.[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]My goal is to image Vista and get the Ubuntu fixed and moved after re-formatting the laptop's single internal hard drive. But, I'm not sure where Easy BCD and Vista HnS are installed, can't remember which partition I used, and I also don't know where to install the Disc Director Suite 10 application. I am a head-injury survivor who tends to get stuff messed-up anyway and this level of complication is really doing a number on my head!! :wtf: I am hoping someone will help me reach that goal without suffering a massive loss of data. My apologies if this should've been posted in an Acronis forum, but they wouldn't support Easy BCD or Vista HnS, I wouldn't think.:angry:[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]I've used 'Drive Grabber.exe' in the past, but I currently can't seem to find it. So, hopefully this Disk Management screenshot will attach...[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]I so very much appreciate your help with what-needs-to-be-installed-where and setup sequences, etc...![/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Thanks!,[/FONT]
[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Darin[/FONT]


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You have 5 partitions on the internal drive seeing the Linux swap partition as the first with two apparently Vfat type partitions one being the root following. The fourth looks like the one Vista is on since the fifth has XP specified for that. That's from a simple fast look at the screenshot you added. There is a small bit of unallocated drive space inbetween Vista nd XP however.

Acronis would be more MS suitable OS wise while that should be able to run independently in order to see an image of the Vista partition created. The free Linux drive tool GParted or the Gnome Partition Editor with one of the few "platform independent" releases will easily resize as well as create both MS and Linux partitions without difficulty. The 35mb iso image will easily burn to a cd-r for the bootable cd version.
Hi again Darin, haven't seen you around for a while.
EasyBCD could be installed in either or both of your Vista and XP systems, but will show itself in the add/remove programs list. It's only a BCD manipulation utility, so it won't make any difference to you whether it's installed or uninstalled when you image your system(s).
HnS is a bit different, since it's still in Beta. The UI executes from the unzipped folder, wherever you downloaded it to, and since it sits atop of both Vista and XP boot processes and hands control to the appropriate one as required, it can be screwed-up if you start reinstalling OSs with it active.
To remove it before you start juggling your system, you need to execute the UI again and select "uninstall" from the main screen. It will then undo the boot changes it applied.
Remember though that as soon as you boot XP with HnS removed, you'll clobber Vista's restore points, so make good backups first.
I would be careful with Acronis True Image as well. You will have to use the same exact size partition for Vista as True Image takes the whole drive image. Free Space and all when it makes a image. So if you are going to Image Vista and you used a 100GB then you will need at least a 100GB to make that image.
Another thing to consider before any large changes are seen would be backing up anything important and unreplacable to removable media or an external drive if you have one. If an image goes bad and you have already wiped the original primary... ut ooohhhh,...:S you end up in foobar land somewhere!
Forgot to mention - Drive Grabber is a download in the HnS thread, but it's really just a diagnostic tool for CG to help him visualize why the disk numbering was behaving unpredictably during HnS development, and shouldn't have any relevance to you now,
[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Thanks guys, I REALLY appreciate your responsiveness and helpfulness! I wasn't sure where Vista was storing its data. I thought it seemed like it was going onto that first partition on Disc 0, the 1.46 GB guy that, at times, has been labeled 'Toshiba System Volume'. PC eye, am I understanding you correctly in thinking that the Vista data is really storing on the fourth partition of Disc 0 with the Volume Label of 'Local Hard Disc 0 [on Belinda]'? I know that my Ubuntu installation is using the second partition of Disc 0 with a swap partition on the third partition of that disc. I would swear, though, that the Ubuntu partitioner said it was going to be 15 GB with a 680 MB swap... (?) I went ahead and re-formatted the XP partition the end of the drive and that blip in between is part of the reason I want to reformat the disc. (I made kinda bad decisions and ran out of primary partitions.)[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Mak, are you meaning I'll need an 80 GB drive just to image the linux, too? That @#!^ing stinks! I've got a Gparted Live CD here, but have shied-away from using it since apparently wiping a flash drive FULL of important data while trying to grab a screenshot of my hard drive to ask about in their forum which, so far, I've not been able to successfully join. That's on my to-do list, yet...[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]I need to get a response off to the great folks at Ubuntu Forums, but, again—thank you SO MUCH for helping this dim bulb to work through all this stuff!!![/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Darin[/FONT]
No you will not need a 80GB hard drive to image Linux. I am just saying then when using Acronis and Windows when you make a Image it will also count the free space and you will need to make sure that when you go to put that image back to use the same size or larger for the Windows partitions. I do not know how the Linux Imaging works but i know this i show Acronis works.
[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]This is just about the stupidest thing EVER! Following your advice Terry60, I searched for 'HnS' and it returned five or six items. I didn't take notice of or open the folder that contained the files found (BIG mistake!).[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]I ran the UI which is still opened, but frozen on “Uninstalling – Stage 0/4” “Current Action: Uninstalling HnS from the bootloader.” I have clicked the 'Stop' button many times, but don't know whether or not it's safe to shut down.[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Meanwhile, I had opened a browser window from the HnS Updates Internet shortcut in the Search Results list and noticed that the latest build was from April 8th, or so. I know that the copy of the UI running was nowhere-near that recent so I figured I'd try it with latest Build (44, I think it was). I was hopeful that the uninstallation would complete then.[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Since then, unfortunately, the HnS Search Results Explorer window got closed. And now the damn computer no longer finds any trace of HnS when I search for it. And when I tried downloading the latest build of HnS, it forced me to log-in (even though I already WAS) and then changed pages so now I can't even find that darned thread again!:rage:[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]The Vista Hide 'n Seek UI is still running, but I dunno if it's safe to close it. And I dunno where to correctly post about my HnS issue nor how I can obtain the most-recent Build...[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Can you please help me out of this predicament?[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Thanks, as always, guys![/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Darin[/FONT]
Before adding ubuntu into the mix I came, I learned, I conquered the HnS tool here without major problems. Once you have a little familarity with the tool and how it works it's an easy and reliable tool to work with. You may want to review how things went when simply following the advices seen as well on the thread seen at
Sorry to take so long answering Darin, I've not been on the PC at all this evening.
I take it by now you've discovered that you can use task manager to force the UI out if it won't stop. (it's happened to me too. CG is going to add a force option for when it gets its knickers in a twist)
For info, the HnS thread is a sticky in "Ideas and Wishlists" and post 129 will tell you what you need to delete to remove it if you have problems with a stuck or corrupted installation which won't allow proper execution.
I never saw any of that here after having seen multiple installs from reinstalling both versions of Windows on more then one occasion. In fact the UI.exe file is not even seen as an active process in the task manager here. The only thing with an installer is the EasyBCD tool since the UI.exe only uses a desktop shortcut you can create for ready access.

Simply remove the BOOTMGR.HNS and menu.lst and call it a day. The EasyBCD tool can restore the Vista boot information with the reinstall Vista mbr option seen there.
[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Thanks for the link, PC eye![/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Terry60,[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Are you kidding me, man?! You don't owe me an apology for failing to respond in anything other than a matter of hours, dude! Previous exchanges with Acronis' Support have demonstrated that I was lucky if they responded to me within three days! And I paid them for their software![/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]I hadn't considered simply ending the task as I didn't know what all was happening with/in HnS. I just didn't want to risk mucking something up.[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]This is pretty embarrassing, but do you think you could provide me with a link to that specific HnS post you referenced? I'm unable to get there either because of my web browser/ forum software issues or because I'm a complete moron. (I'm not really too sure which option to put my money on... lol):lol:[/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Thanks![/FONT]

[FONT=Tahoma, sans-serif]Darin[/FONT]
It's easy to see the Vista mbr restored by simply booting up in XP and running the EasyBCD tool by itself to use the restore option there or boot up with the Vista dvd to use the repair tools. Once in Vista you simply remove the problem(likely incomplete download - heavy IE activity) file and grab a fresh copy or use the "start over" option.

The HnS tool is a simplified but effective tool to work with without hassles from bad install as a rule.