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[How-to] Vista + OSX native dual boot on a PC w/ Vista multi-boot method by cbmkgd


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Note: Acronis DiskDirector 10.0.2160

should now be Vista compatible,

and the below tutorial is for older versions.

 

Thanks to sn8k, and to you.

 

sn8k's method did work for making AOSS support for Vista, as dilnalomo verified.

But I wasn't satisfied. At each stage I saved the MBR and boot sectors for later comparison, and found that mostly nothing changed when compared with a standalone install of Vista.

So after a few (irritating) tests I came up with a simpler solution.

 

The usual caveats:

Of course anything below is just my description of what I've tried. Anyone who try this also do it at their own risk. Backup anything you wouldn't want to lose.

If it worked for me, it doesn't mean it will for some of you. I'll help if I can, within reasonable limits.

 

Making Windows Vista (RTM) visible to Acronis OS Selector (and Multibooting with OSX)

 

For some reason, Acronis OS Selector (AOSS) doesn't recognize Vista (or not properly).

I'll describe below the relatively simple steps used to make Vista be recognized by AOSS as much for a new dual-boot systam as for an already existing Multi-Boot system.

In
all
cases, the main trick is to temporarily put

the files
ntldr
and
ntdetect.com
and a
boot.ini
file

in the root of the Vista system (C:).

That's the main consequence of sn8k's method, but essentially these can be put there manually.

The files ntldr and ntdetect.com can be found in your Win2000, WinXP or Win2003 install CDs in the folder i386, or simply as hidden files in the root of a Windows2K/XP/2k3 system.

 

As for the boot.ini file, it can be created in notepad with the following content:

 

[boot loader]
;timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Vista"

In this example, Vista has been installed in the first primary partition of the drive, hence the partition(1). Adjust according to your situation.

 

Important note
: the
'n'
in
partition(
n
)
is not necessarily the physical order of the partition on the disk. To know what number
'n'
to use, run
Disk Director
, select the partition and check its
Properties
; under
General>Signature
, on the
WinNT/2000/XP Number
line, you will have something that looks like
d(
m
)p(
n
)
, where m=disk number and n=partition number. In my exemple above, I had
d(0)p(1)
.

The Short Version

  • If you are starting from scratch:
    1. Simply install Vista on a partition of your drive;
    2. Put the above-mentioned three files in the root of your Vista install (C:\ );
    3. Turn off UAC as suggested by dilnalomo;
    4. Install Acronis Disk Director, and then Acronis OS Selector and reboot
      (I would suggest you install AOSS to a non-system partition to reduce potential problems).
    5. Install any other OS, for example OSx86 according to dilnalomo guide.

[if you already have the Acronis Bootable CD, you can skip Step 3 and boot on the Acronis CD to install AOSS directly.]

  • For an already existing multiboot configuration handled by AOSS, the main quick steps would be:
    1. Disable AOSS;
    2. Hide the existing Windows partitions;
    3. Make active the partition where Vista is to be installed;
    4. Install Vista;
    5. After a successfull install, put the three files in the root of Vista;
    6. Reactivate AOSS, configure and reboot.

Note: once Vista is recognized by AOSS as a bootable system, it appears the files boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com are no longer needed and can be discarded. But it's not enough to delete them manually from the root since AOSS keeps a copy in one of its BOOTWIZ folder. If you do want to delete them, here's how:

  1. In the AOSS menu, select the Vista icon and click Properties in the left panel.
  2. Go in the Files section.
  3. There you'll see the files ntldr, ntdetect.com and boot.ini.
  4. One by one, select these and click the Remove button; accept any prompt.
  5. You can now boot to Vista, and remove the remaining files manually.

________________________________________________________

Notes:
  • Other methods for multiboot
    work quite well
    without needing the above procedure
    : the
    darwin loader
    itself and
    grub
    can handle multiboot with Vista and other Windows OS smoothly, at least in simple configurations. AOSS is an interesting alternative that complements well Disk Director, but isn't free and has been reported to have its own problems.

    But if you find a problem with booting OSX after Vista's install with other bootmanager, please follow the instructions on this page:
    ;

  • Some of the steps above might be unnecessary, or might have an easier alternative. Corrections and improvements are welcomed.

  • It is absolutely unsure if this method will work with later Release Candidates and/or Final release of Vista.

  • In the present procedure, AOSS was already installed in a non-system partition. It should also work if it was previously installed in a system partition; in that case you should unhide that system before re-activating AOSS.

  • I
    f after all this you get a "
    HFS+ error
    " when trying to boot OSX, reboot on the Acronis Bootable CD, go to Disk Director, and verify that the OSX partition is still of type
    0xAF
    .

  • I tested this method on configurations similar to the one I exhibited above. Any other situation that differ in the order of installation and complexity of disk repartition is left to users to figure out: I can't test all variations.

  • Users are invited to have fun in their own tests.

  • General install problems for OSX and/or Vista should be addressed elsewhere in their proper discussion forums.

  • Eventually, Acronis themselves might/should/have to produce a compatible os selector to support Vista.

________________________________________________________

 

The Long Version for a pre-existing multiboot handled by AOSS

The above will be enough for some. But just in case it is a bit too harsh to others, I'll be more verbose below (my "-v" mode ;) ).

I'll only elaborate for an existing multiboot install as this is the more complex case.

This will also let me establish the context under which I made it work, so that others with a more complex setting can extrapolate their own solutions if mine doesn't work for them.

 

Ok, let's go for the more detailed guide.

 

The system I began with:

 

Primary Partition 1: Windows 2000 (referred to as WinX hereafter).

Primary Partition 2: OSX86

Primary Partition 3: NTFS : target partition where I want to install Vista (at least 9.4GB)

Primary Partition 4: Extended

 

The Extended partition may contain many logical partitions. In my case I have installed AOSS in a logical FAT32 partition.

Your configuration may differ. For example you could have only the first three partitions, and in a different order; or you may not even have OSX yet installed. Most of you will have WinXP, some may have Win2003; so WinX will be one of these. Etc.

 

You will need the Acronis Bootable CD (ABCD) that can be created from Disk Director.

Make sure your BIOS is set to boot first on the cd/dvd drive.

  • Disable AOSS
    Boot into the OS Selector menu and go to Tools > Deactivate OS Selector. It will ask you where to boot next, select any OS.
     

  • Hide any WinX partitions and make the target partition active
    Reboot on the Acronis Bootable CD (ABCD) and select Acronis Disk Director Full Version (in manual mode).
     
    Select the WinX partition, and in the Advanced panel on the left click Hide. This is to prevent Vista from messing with your WinX files/system.
     
    Select the target partition, and in the Advanced panel on the left click Set Active. This should make the target partition the first primary active partition on the main disk, and make it ready to accept the vista install.
     

  • Install Windows Vista
    You can now reboot on the Vista DVD and install vista on the target partition.
     
    Be carefull to chose the right partition: the WinX partition will be seen by the Vista partitioner even though we made it 'hidden'. It will be hidden in Vista after the install.
     
    Continue the Vista install until you are satisfied with it (drivers, configs, etc).

At this point you can still chose to use Vista's own bootmanager to multiboot the other OSes (in that case don't forget to unhide WinX). You will find guides on the InsanelyMac forums or elsewhere after a few searches.

But if you still want to use AOSS to multiboot, read on.

  • Let's prepare to make Vista visible for AOSS.
    You'll need the file ntldr and ntdetect.com, that you can find in your Win2000, WinXP or Win2003 install CDs in the folder i386.
    You'll also need to create a boot.ini file in notepad like this:
    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=10
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="WinVista" /fastdetect


    In MY case illustrated above, Vista is on the third partition, hence the "3" (partitions are numbered from 1 and on in boot.ini). Adjust according to your situation. Notice that it only contains a reference to the Vista system and you needn't include any other Windows pointer nor a chain0 pointer.

  • Now the trick will be simply to copy these files in the root of Vista (C:\).
    Take these three files and put them on a removable media, or on a partition accessible to Vista. Vista will ask you for permissions to copy these files in the root.

  • Reactivate AOSS
    Reboot on the ABCD, and click on Acronis OS Selector Activator. Then click on the Activate button, remove the ABCD from the cd drive, and click OK to reboot in AOSS.
     
    Hopefully, when AOSS will reload it will detect your Vista system, along with the other OSes.
     
    Before booting any of them, you can take the time to configure their properties as you like; e.g. you can select which partition you want hidden or unhidden to Vista or other OSes.

See additional comments and notes in the Short Version above.

________________________________________________________

I may come back adding details, notes, corrections above.

===

/edit : replaced post with detailed guide. Correction added.

/edit 2006-10-02: file ntdetect.com necessary again... sorry for the confusion. Guide rewritten.

/edit 2006-11-22: VistaRTM successfully tested with this method. Added note to avoid turning off UAC.

Also added a point in the notes about other boot managers.

/edit 2006-11-24: Added a note about partition number to use in boot.ini.

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Nah, don't want to count :)

 

Btw, what would prevent the way you described to boot more than two oses?

I see my instructions more of a distillation of sn8k/your way: the only essential difference I see is in not doing the winxp pre-install. So in some way you can add me to your count :) .

 

I wonder how Acronis themselves will produce their solution. And I wonder if MS can prevent that 'legacy support' in the future... anywoo, we'll see.

Edited by cbmkgd
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i dont know if my way works with more than 2 OSes or not. i only wanted vista and osx, so i didn't test, but since vista is working with os selector, i dont see why not.

 

my way is essentially a detailed version sn8k's, but he didn't say anything about renaming boot.ini.saved. i think my way is better for those that want a clean vista dual boot install, and your method is more fit for saving existing setup and add vista to it.

 

acronis will eventually add vista support, otherwise they lose money, and MS probably will do to xp and 2000 what they did with 98 and me.

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Well, I haven't been quite clear on a more general usage. In vmware I did a test on a single boot with Vista with aoss recognizing it.

In my text I underlined that one could start from a pre-existing system, but I forgot to mention that it could be for a brand new system: the important point is those three little files (boot, ntldr, ntdetect).

I'll rewrite part of the guide to make this clear.

 

/done

Edited by cbmkgd
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Are you saying you will upgrade XP to Vista?

If so there are guides elsewhere on this forum to boot OSX with Vista bootmanager and chain0.

Here are some links:

 

Links to Guides on How To Dual-Boot Vista and OSX

with chain0
without
Acronis OS Selector

Have not tested these myself yet though.

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you dont have to use acronis after you installed osx, you can even leave chain0 alone and use darwin to boot vista as well. that's what i am using now. darwin can see vista.

 

you just have to deactivate os selector and make your osx partition active. then you can get rid of acronis completely and let darwin handle dual boot.

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Ok, ok, this is what i needed, but the thing you guys, dilnalomo and cbmkgd, misss is that Im thinking it would be better to use OSX bootloader or Vistas even over going out and buying Acronis, so I think Acronis should be more of an afterthought. Not to mention AOSS is quite slow at booting as compared to the bullt-in boot loaders.

dilnamoo, Im quite lost, when you say i could do this without using AOSS, you arent exactly clear. You say I just have to de-activate AOSS, which is good, but its there a way that could work w/o installing AOSS in the first place? Just by editing the aforemtioned files and going from there? Not to mention I still have XP on my drive, would that gbe affected too? I ahve anice dual boot using Darwin with XP and OSX. I had Vista RC1 installed but took it off due to the complications I was having with booting. It seems that when I install Vista it takes over all possible bot configs and leaves itself as number one, if this is so, then how can i access Darwin? I get an HFS+ partition error when i make OSX active, and dont see any way to fix this. i ahve to boot thru dvd or theres no way to boot osx, so how can i get Darwin to see Vista if I cant get to Darwin?? I realize theres another guide to use Vistas loader, but its not too clear on using XP with it. Sorry for the question barrage, but hey I gotta know!

Did i mention you guys are genius? More genius than the guy that came up with ass implants.. wait no, not exactly that much of genius, but y'all are definately smart! :)

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I don't think we missed anything johnnyt.

 

The darwin loader is reported to see vista. And vista's bootmanager can see osx according to reports elsewhere.

 

We're offering an alternative with Acronis. Other dual/multiboot methods using darwin loader and vista bootmanager have been touched elsewhere in the InsanelyMac forums. This thread, if you like, can be considered as the afterthought you mentioned.

 

And since it works without the problems you mentioned, maybe it's a pretty darn good alternative! :)

 

It is a fact that Acronis OS Selector is slow. dilnalomo himself doesn't use it, but that doesn't prevent him from testing it and offering others this AOSS alternative.

And in the OSX Installation forum, I suggest darwin or chain0 or even grub methods before mentionning aoss in some threads: it is not a preference, it is an alternative.

 

(But if the trick with the three little files could help AOSS to handle Vista better, then maybe it could help in other problematic situations; I don't know, can't test everything)

 

 

/edit: corrected an assertion about darwin loader

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I don't think we missed anything johnnyt.

 

The darwin loader can see vista. And vista's bootmanager can see osx according to reports elsewhere.

 

We're offering an alternative with Acronis. Other dual/multiboot methods using darwin loader and vista bootmanager have been touched elsewhere in the forum. This thread, if you like, can be considered as the afterthought you mentioned.

 

And since it works without the problems you mentioned, maybe it's a pretty darn good alternative! ;)

 

It is a fact that Acronis OS Selector is slow. dilnalomo himself doesn't use it, but that doesn't prevent him from testing it and offering others this AOSS alternative.

And in the OSX Installation forum, I suggest darwin or chain0 or even grub methods before mentionning aoss in some threads: it is not a preference, it is an alternative.

 

(But if the trick with the three little files could help AOSS to handle Vista better, then maybe it could help in other problematic situations; I don't know, can't test everything)

Yeah youre right, kinda. When I wrote this i wasnt aware of another way that works to install Vista. Using search here even left me empty handed, but now I see that another method could work as well, ill try it, and if it doesnt work ill try yours, or one of yours, lol. Thanks anyways.

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In the Use Vista Beta 2 Boot Manager to Dual Boot, VikrantST has posted a link to his guide on dual booting Vista/OSX, with boot.ini and ntldr (:) ) and the Vista bootmanager. So for those who don't want to use Acronis, have a look.

 

Also, his blog suggested that ntdetect.com wasn't needed: I tested this to be true and have modified my guide accordingly.

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