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- Multi boot under WinXP-32
April 29, 2016, 12:24 am
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I'm setting up software on a 32-bit netbook that I restored. The new drive
is a 32GB internal SSD from SuperTalent. New installation is always
rewarding. I had an installation of Android_x86 on a tiny 8GB Sansdisk
thumbdrive. Benchmarking shows the internal SSD is faster. After the
WinXP-32 installation was working nicely, I used Partition Magic to downsize
WinXP by 8GB and move Android_x86 to the free space. I had used EasyBCD with
Vista or Win7 as the boot drive for multi-boot and WinXP. Now I find that
EasyBCD does not work on WinXP. I dread the thought of an Android/Linux
solution for multiboot, but I could be wrong. I've been using multi-boot for
decades. Please suggest a way I can do WinXP multiboot into a non Windows
OS. I might add that I have used Linux install after resize of WinXP to
yield free space. Linux installs a Grub bootloader in the MBR. From my
experience, I might risk everything six months down the road.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Re: Multi boot under WinXP-32
So, are you asking how to do this from the Windows side of things? (If not,
please clarify.) If so, install grub to the partition Android is installed
on (instead of the MBR) and then add this line to C:\boot.ini (assuming
Android is on /dev/sda2, the second primary partition of the first drive):
Note that you want this line to be pretty similar to the one that reads
"Microsoft Windows XP Home/Professional/whatever"; "multi" might be replaced
with "scsi", for example, and "disk" and "rdisk" should have the same
numbers as the Windows line, assuming both partitions are on the same disk.
If that doesn't work for you, for whatever reason...
1) Boot into Android.
2) Create a copy of the grub bootloader. This should do it:
dd if=/dev/sda of=android.mbr count=1
(if = input file; of = output file -- use an 8.3-format name)
***IMPORTANT: YOU CAN SERIOUSLY HOSE YOUR SYSTEM***
*******IF YOU USE THE WRONG THING FOR "of"!!!******
2a) Alternately, google for "mbr backup windows" and use one of the
resulting (free) tools.
3) Move that file to the root directory of the Windows C:\ drive.
4) Add this to the [operating systems] section of your boot.ini file:
(Replace "android.mbr" with whatever you named the file.)
5) Make sure that in the [boot loader] section, the "timeout" entry (if it
exists) is higher than zero.
6) Save boot.ini and enjoy your multiboot system.
This, of course, assumes that you actually have grub installed. If not,
you'll need to install grub properly (or lilo or whatever floats your boat),
do the above list, then reinstall the NT boot sector (which can be done from
the XP CDROM recovery console with the command "fixmbr").
Note that this process *should* work with any OS where you can access the
I know this probably looks horribly complicated, but it isn't, really.
Here's some relevant info from Microsoft re: boot.ini:
We may lose without even fighting. That would be a new experience for me.
Re: Multi boot under WinXP-32
You can use GRUB to boot Windows XP. GRUB is recommended is you intend to
multiboot *nix systems or if you want more control over the boot manager.
For the Window Vista+ BCD management problem from Windows XP. Use the older
EasyBCD version or use other BCD editor. The alternatice to EasyBCD I could
recommend is BOOTICE.
The site is in Chinese, so use Google translate if you want to read the
site's page in English. The BOOTICE program itself is in English, BTW.