OT: Multiple OS images boot setup?

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Not sure where else to ask this. Please let me know of a better group if

I've got a single hard drive. On this drive I want the following partitions,
but not necesarily in this order...

- Bootable 20meg partition holding imaging software such as Ghost and some
DOS utilities, etc.
- 7gig partition to hold an OS and some basic software
- 20gig partition to hold images from the 7gig drive. Win 95, 98, 2000,
XP... possibly Linux, OS/2 or other OS's in the future.

What I want to do is this...
- Install an OS to the 7 gig partition, then boot to the 20meg partition and
make an image of the 7gig partion. Repeat this for each OS I want to have on

- When the PC boots, I want to be asked to "Boot to recovery system" (the
20meg partition) or "Boot installed OS" (the 7 gig partition).

- Once I have all the OS's imaged, I want to be able to overwrite whatever
is on the 7gig partition from my images and have that OS boot fine when
"Boot installed OS" is chosen.

This is made complicated by the way that NT type OS's boot. If I put my Win
98 image on the 7gig drive it seems to boot fine. If I put XP I get a
missing NTLDR error.

Can someone suggest a way to configure this setup?

Re: Multiple OS images boot setup?


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Re: Multiple OS images boot setup?

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This is a little confusing to me, I probably need to draw a picture to
keep it all straight. I do a multi boot myself with windows XP and
Linux. If you are getting a NTLDR error you may want to check your
bios settings for large disk access mode. I found that it will not
boot if it is set to DOS mode.

As for all the imaging that is new to me. I don't do more than
partition the HD for the OSes I want to run and let LILO or GRUB
handle the rest.


Re: Multiple OS images boot setup?

Noozer wrote:

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Can't help much, but having set up a few multi-boot systems, mainly
Create all partitions in linux using cfdisk or similar then reboot and
format w2k or w98 partition and install OS *before* you install linux as
Winnt loader is later overwritten by LILO loader. If you then reinstall
an MS OS you are probably going to mess up the LILO loader. Just a
guess, I'm sure there is more info out there...

Re: Multiple OS images boot setup?

I re-read your post and see you want 7 OS images on one drive in
partition 1, and the ability to transfer any one of those onto the other
partition so you can use it. Sorry, I thought at first you wanted them
all available at once.

What I would do is have maybe three drives, each multi-booting 2 or 3
OS's (if it's possible), so you can pick any OS and go straight into it.
Or use VMware (is that what it's called?). The ntldr error, which you
are asking about, I think it's because you are messing up the ntldr that
has previously been set up to work along with the first OS you set up on
the 7 gig partition. Once a multi-boot system has been set up, I don't
think it atkes kindly to being altered by installing a new OS over the
top of an existing one - but I'm no expert - keep asking!

Is it possible to repair/reinstall the loader each time you install a
new OS to the 7 gig? I don't know. Have a search on this.

I hope you get it working.

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