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Manually Create Multi-boot System

Posted on 2003-11-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello:

I have WinXP on one partition.  I also have it install on another hard drive (for software testing).  On that same hard drive, I have installed Server 2003 (for testing).

How can I set up my system so that I can choose which OS to boot?

Prior to this point, I have been telling the BIOS to boot to the second HD, which is a pain in the neck.
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Question by:ddotson
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15 Comments
 
LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:Mikal613
ID: 9682038
Right Click My Computer and select the Advanced Option and then Select Startup And Recovery "Settings" and Edit your Wish
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Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 9682425
You can edit the boot.ini file wich you can find at the root of your first boot device (C:)

If you can give us more information (drives/partitions/file locations), we might be able to create a suitable boot.ini file for you.

LucF
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Author Comment

by:ddotson
ID: 9682945
Master has one partition, with the main OS.

Slave has four partitions:  1st with the experimental copy of XP, and the 4th partition with Server 2003.  Files locations for each are defaults.

I tried to edit the boot.ini myself, but it didn't work.  I probably didn't have the designations correctly identified...
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Expert Comment

by:Mikal613
ID: 9683000
Just select the Os you want it to boot up with and make seconds to 0
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Author Comment

by:ddotson
ID: 9683037
Mikal613:  I only have one entry, and that is for the main OS.  I need to know how to manually add the other two OS's.
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Accepted Solution

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iaind earned 75 total points
ID: 9683653
Be VERY carefull when editing the boot.ini.  Incorectly editing it will mean you can't boot into your system.  You might want to create a XP boot disk that you could use if you mess up the boot.ini file.  Have a look at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314079

Now..  Here is a copy of my boot.ini file.  You will see that I have one copy of 2000 Pro on the second partion of my first disk (partions numbered from 1 and disks from 0).  Some systems use rdisk and others use disk. Two copies of 2000 server, one on my second disk and one on my third.  Then last I have a dos boot.

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server New" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
C:\="Microsoft Windows"

You might also want to have a look at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;289022 for more information.
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Author Comment

by:ddotson
ID: 9684035
iaind - I tried your solution, with the information that disks are numbered from 0, and partitions are numbered from 1.

Both the XP partitions boot fine, however, the Server 2003 partition simply reboots the computer.  It is the 4th partition on the drive.  Here is a copy of my boot.ini:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Testing" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Windows 2003 Server" /fastdetect
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Expert Comment

by:artmcclure
ID: 9684036
If all else fails, download "XOSL" from the internet. It's easy and it works.
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Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 9684873
>multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Windows 2003 Server" /fastdetect
are you sure it's installed in \WINDOWS ? not in \WINNT ?
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Author Comment

by:ddotson
ID: 9685338
Yup - It's Windows.
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Assisted Solution

by:LucF
LucF earned 50 total points
ID: 9685361
Then I don't think the problem is with the boot.ini file, but with the win2k3 server installation, try a repair installation of that OS.
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Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 9685372
>Prior to this point, I have been telling the BIOS to boot to the second HD
Try looking if there's a boot.ini on that drive. Check the lines there.
But I still think you should go for the repair installation.
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Author Comment

by:ddotson
ID: 9685392
No boot.ini --> it was always using the boot.ini on the second XP installation.  I wiped that HD and started over...   I will try the repair installation...
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Author Comment

by:ddotson
ID: 9690017
Thanks for the help.  Both iaind and lucf helped fix this problem.

I ended up re-installing Server 2003 from the ground up.  But that fixed the problem completely.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 9690037
You're welcome.
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