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[Dell with MediaDirect] XOSL Bootloader

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Hi everyone !

 

Dell laptops come with a second power up button that start a light Windows version aimed for multimedia viewing (MediaDirect). I've always wanted to be able to choose which OS to boot when the MediaDirect button is used.

 

There's already solutions to this, but they don't allow us to boot from a logical partition, and they aren't very "user friendly".

 

So I decided to tweak my favorite graphical bootloader to add the possibility to assign a different OS to each powerup button. I've also add an option to be able to hide it completely so you're laptop will boot as if XOSL wasn't there.

 

Another thing about XOSL, which I think it's a good point, it's that it's independant from any OS, and it will install on its own partition, which of course can be logical. Only few MBs are needed (I use 23Mb).

 

So here's the steps to install the custom XOSL on your Dell :

 

1 - First, you will need to make some room for XOSL on your hard drive. Use your preferred partition software (I use Gparted LiveCD), and make a small partition (can be logical) for XOSL. I gave him 23Mb. It's not necessary to format.

 

2 - If you don't have the original MBR that comes with MacOSX, restore it (using the installation dvd, you don't have to reinstall MacOSX, search the forums)

 

3 - Burn the ISO and boot with the CD (the link is in the bottom of the post)

 

4 - Press Enter when it says so

 

5 - Choose XOSL V1.1.5 (it's the only choice anyway)

 

6 - Choose "Boot no UMB (ultra-defensive)", then keep on hitting Enter on every question until you reach this screen :

 

xosl.th.jpg

 

7 - Press any key. Choose Install and follow the steps. Install on a dedicated partition. Don't forget to choose the partition you prepared before for XOSL.

 

8 - Once installed, you will be able to reboot. Once it's done, you will see the interface of XOSL :

 

firststart.th.jpg

 

9 - Click on "Setup", the click on "Add". Another window will show up. Here you will add an entry for MacOSX. Choose the first item in the list (Original MBR) and name it what you want :

 

macosx.th.jpg

 

Click "Apply" and repeat this for all your OS (this time you choose the OS partition in the list instead of "Original MBR"). all OS entries should have the "Activate partition" unchecked.

 

NB: I don't know why XOSL is unable to boot directly MacOSX, we have to use the original macosx mbr to do so. This is the reason I asked to restore it just before you install XOSL.

 

10 - Set the boot flag for MacOSX partition (you can use Gparted for that, or create an entry in XOSL that have "activate partition" checked and that point to MacOSX partition and boot it once)

 

11 - There are 2 checkboxes in the General tab you should notice :

 

Default boot item : the OS that have this checkbox checked will be booted by default when the main powerup button is used

 

MD button boot item : the OS that have this checkbox checked will be booted by default when the alternative (MediaDirect) powerup button is used.

 

Choose now the powerup button configuration you want and enjoy :D

 

Link to download XOSL4DELL :

http://rapidshare.com/files/223048195/xosl..._by_kasaweb.rar

 

 

Few more things :

- There's an option called "Hiding" that can be usefull to isolate Windows installations.

- To make XOSL completely invisible when booting a OS affected to a powerup button, on the main window click on "preference", then "Misc" tab, then check "Show GUI only when Alt is pressed". As it says, if checked, XOSL interface will only be shown when you maintain the Alt button pressed during booting.

- If you use Linux, make sure to install its bootloader (GRUB, LILO, ...) in the OS partition instead of MBR.

- This method works with my XPS M1530, but it should work with every Dell, at least the ones that come with MediaDirect 3.0 and above

- IMPORTANT : if the mbr is altered due to the installation of another OS, reboot with XOSL4DELL CD and in Step 6, choose "Restore" instead of "Install"

- IMPORTANT : Make sure the MacOSX partition is the activated partition, or it will not boot using the "Original mbr" method. It means that all OS entries should have the "Activate partition" unchecked.

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tried setting this up, and ran into a slight issue..

 

as you instructed, I first restored my mac partition's original MBR. then I used GParted to add a logical partition to install XOSL on, rebooted, installed XOSL, rebooted, set the boot flag for the XOSL partition, rebooted, configured XOSL as you specified, saved the configuration, and shut down. At this point I should be done, right?

 

wrong...

 

I press my MediaDirect button and it boots into Mac OS. Naturally, I'm excited, it seems to work.

I shut down Mac OS, and press my power button. Windows boot throws me an error, "required resource cannot be found," and recommends I do a startup repair with the Windows installation disc. (I'm using windows 7, but the tools are the same as vista) So i do that, and windows boots up fine.

However, that seems to have overwritten the MBR. When i press the MediaDirect button or boot into XOSL and select Mac OS, it boots into windows.

So I popped in the Mac boot disc, restored the MBR, and restarted. MediaDirect button works for Mac OS again. Windows gives me "required resource cannot be found" again. repeat.

 

What did i do wrong?

 

EDIT: I can post a picture of the error if necessary, or more details in the error, the error code, etc.

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I didn't install Windows 7 yet... I was planning on doing it tonight lol

 

anyway, make sure the "activate partition" checkboxes are unchecked for all entries.

 

I will install windows 7 and see if i get the same error. Meanwhile, posting a picture of the error can be helpful

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okey, so I just installed Windows Seven build 7077, and i ran into the same problem as you do. But I've managed to get it all working.

 

Follow this steps :

 

1 - Make sure your MacOSX is working (repair with its dvd)

2 - Restore XOSL

3 - In the "Setup" window, add the entry for MacOSX as described in the guide, if it's not already done.

4 - Add the entry for windows Seven. Make sure that "Activate partition" is checked for that entry.

5 - Try to boot Windows. It should give you that error. It's ok.

6 - Repair Windows with its DVD

7 - Now, return to the "Setup" window of XOSL, and uncheck "Activate partition" for Windows. Save.

8 - Set the boot flag for MacOSX partition (you can use Gparted for that, or create an entry in XOSL that have "activate partition" check and that point to MacOSX partition and boot it once [can you please tell me what you get if you boot with this?])

 

Everything should be working now.

 

The problem was related to how the original MBR works. It looks in the partition table and boot whatever partition has the boot flag set. In your case, it was Windows. So all we have to do to fix this is to set the flag for MacOSX partition. It worked for me. Hope it will for you !

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Thanks so much, everything's working now! Awesome stuff. and thanks for the customized XOSL, even if i don't keep OSX on my machine i'll use XOSL to boot ubuntu with the MD button :( good stuff.

 

8 - Set the boot flag for MacOSX partition (you can use Gparted for that, or create an entry in XOSL that have "activate partition" check and that point to MacOSX partition and boot it once [can you please tell me what you get if you boot with this?])

 

As for this, it just threw me an HFS+ Partition Error, just as any other time I tried to boot the OSX partition directly with XOSL.

 

But gladly, that doesn't matter, now that I've got the correct MBR in place and windows is booting directly.

 

Can't thank you enough.

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As for this, it just threw me an HFS+ Partition Error, just as any other time I tried to boot the OSX partition directly with XOSL.

 

But gladly, that doesn't matter, now that I've got the correct MBR in place and windows is booting directly.

 

Thank you for confirming this issue. I was getting the same error when I first used XOSL with MacOSX 10.5.5. It drove me crazy until I came up with this "original mbr" workaround. This will work as long as the Mac partition has the boot flag.

 

I'm glad that at least one person appreciate my work and find it useful :D

 

Enjoy !

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Hi,

 

Thanks for the guide ! but obviously it didnt work very well for me.

 

I have the same Dell and Vista/MacOs (iPC) installed. I followed the guide and the media direct button seems ok (it boot the MacOS Mbr as when I installed Mac) but the power button show me the following error "boot1: error" so it is not like the "required resource cannot be found" with Windows Seven.

 

So I decided to tried the post steps :

 

1- Mac seems ok with MD btn so it seems working

2- I had restored XOSL reboot ok and the cd asked for pressing a key whereas I just restored it so I waited and still get the boot1: error. Pressing a key will still show me the XOSL install menu...

 

So at this point I am blocked. I tried to set the boot flag of windows vista hdd to boot in Gparted and reboot repair windows (worked) and reboot : still get the boot1: error with the power button...

 

Do you have any advice for solving this problem ?

 

H4mb

 

PS : another small question :P how do you restore/repair the MacOS mbr without reinstalling from the install menu ? thanks !

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Does anyone know how the mediadirect button is linked into XOSL? I would like to try this on my Lenovo Ideapads's quickstart button.

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