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dpurple77

usb_multiboot from second partition of stick

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The problem i am trying to solve is a little complicated. I have read so much that my head is going to explode.

What i am trying to do is on a 32gb usb stick have one partition, the first as fat32 with wpi programs, portable programs, drivers and manuals and such which can be seen by windows normaly, a second partition ntfs with 4 flavors of window,s pro and home with driver pack and without, slipstreamed with hfslip, and some other partitions with ubuntu live and some other linux live disks.

Of course i am using usb_multiboot which is the best thing after sliced bread and everything goes great if there is one windows partition with all the windows sources and the other data i want to have. You understand that the root of that partition is seriously crammed and is not practical at all. That is why i want to seperate them. The thing is that the data partition has to come first so windows can see it and my stick is not one that works by flipping the removable flag. Installing a driver so it can be seen as a drive is not so much an option because it has to be generic and work everywhere, not only on my pc. What i have done so far is create two partitions one fat32 and one ntfs and then delete the first so the partition table is correct but the drive is viewable by windows so i can format it with 64k cluster size which i read somewhere in these forums that is needed and use the great usb_multiboot to create all the sources. I forgot to mention that i am booting with grub4dos and not the ntldr boot loader.

Grub loads great, everything else works fine, if i create the first partition and copy everything there everything goes smoothly except the installation of any of the windows. Grub loads, calls ntldr, i get the menu, i pick an option, and i get a "file copy error, press alt+ctlr+del to continue". Is there somewhere hardcoded the partition on the loaders of usb_multiboot so i could maybe change it to be the second? I think that, that must probably be the problem. Of course i am open for suggestions as i could very well be very off. Any ideas are welcome. I am really close to doing exactly what i want and i really have to work pass this little hickup.

Thank you all for all the great work you've done and anyone for any suggestions helpful or otherwise.

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Thank you very much for your suggestion. I had already looked in that solution and it is not what i want. The solution i ended up with is something that really suits me very much. If only it would work :rolleyes: Any ideas why the usb_multiboot solution doesn't work from the second partition although it is active?

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Any ideas why the usb_multiboot solution doesn't work from the second partition although it is active?

As known, windows XP read one partition from removable device.

This includes windows setup.

What's the rule?

Can windows read active partition from removable device?

Can windows read first partition from removable device?

What's the first partition? Partition entry at MBR 01BE ?

Completely not tested: add cfadisk to USB stick at second partition.

This was about cfadisk added to CD install: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?s=&amp...st&p=818429

Maybe this can be added to USB stick too.

Be aware, back then a USB hard disk made difficulties. I don't know current conditions.

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Just wanted to say thank you. Its a bit late right now here. I will look into it in the morning. Although in first sight i am not so sure that this is the solution because after booting the boot.ini and choosing the option to install i get the red light by the file not found so it seems that the install doesn't even start so i don't think that it is a driver problem. I think that the boot loader cant find the install sources although it gets called by boot.ini correctly. Eyes bleeding, must sleep..... Thank you......

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At the moment I do'nt see how we can solve your problem for Install of XP from second partition of USB-stick.

But your initial problem of a complicated unpractical USB-stick directory can be solved quite simply in another way.

Instead of partitioning the USB-stick, you might make a Folder in which you place WPI + Apps + Drivers + Manuals

e.g. anything you would like to be visible in Windows.

After Start of Windows, you simply open this Folder and there is no Complicated unpractical directory anymore.

This keeps things simpler and gives optically the desired result. ;)

Windows XP setup can be very troublesome with finding files on partitions other than the first partition. :ph34r:

Edited by wimb

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I kind of gave up myself. I have since this morning made everything again on one partition. It might not be pretty but it works, right? It would be cool if i could have everything in their place, but i don't plan on spending any more time with this. Thank you all very much. If anyone ever persuits this and finds a solution i would be happy to hear.

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(((This post has been edited on feb 22nd because... it was quite inexact at first.)))

Well... I got something for you. Wether that "something" qualifies as a solution... I think so, even if it doesn't answer your post's title.

I did a few tries for you (involving repartitionning the wrong stick at 2 in the morning, ain't it fun ?).

I spent some times checking what's seen and what's not, it might be interresting for you.

I made 2 FAT16 partitions on a stick and put USB_Multiboot on both (both about 500Meg). This is done independantly, installing it on the 1st one, or installing it on the 2nd (physically 2nd,that is), not like I first did, with ghosting the 1st one to the 2nd one. I have not edited ANY script or configuration file.

Now... those who know Ranish Partition Manager might also know that you can set the "row numbering" of a partition independantly from its physical place, I played with that and booted and booted and booted again ...and again, swapping partitions numbering and active status.

Here are my results (no hot plug here).

1) booting DOS, be it from other device or from the stick, works from both partitions, it boots the active one, be it numbered 1 or 2.

both partitions are seen in all scenario, the active one takes the 1st letter. I did not try with no active partition, but this is not what interests us today.

2) booting BartPE

-from the stick, ONLY works if the active partition is NUMBERED #1,

other scenario: BSOD:

3) booting Bart PE from OTHER SYSTEM is idem as running Windows; only ONE partition is seen; the one that is NUMBERED as 1st partition (and this is where we see the light). Be it active or not.

4) trying to launch XP INSTALL:

as for booting PE, unless the partition is active and numered 1 which is the only situation that completes the install, other scenarii (waiting for italian sarcasm here) stop later.

Conclusion for the Original Poster:

1) your Windows install files need to be on the partition that is NUMBERED 1 and install needs to be launched from that same partition (it needs to be active).

2) BUT (!!!) changing the numbering of the partition, you can swap the one that will be visible in Windows. That involves booting DOS, using Ranish Partition Manager, changing the partition numbering (I doubt there is a command line for that unusual function in Ranish, maybe other programs can do that also (or our local geniuses can automate it), save and reboot (takes 10 seconds).

As you leave the 1st partition active and you have UsbMultiboot on it (with DOS boot), you will always be able to run Ranish, independantly of the state of the partitions numbering.

So "1-2", you install Windows, "2-1", you see your 2nd partition in Windows.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make an NTFS partition that boots (I'm a failure, or that Kingston stick is), and you want to use NTFS for install, so your case is not completely done, but I guess you can at least boot a DOS floppy image (and Ranish) from UsbMultiboot on NTFS ?

That was it. I know I don't always explain things very clearly, so If you have questions, ...use the forum, I'll try my best.

Remark: when I say partition "numbered 1", I mean numbered 1st. If you only have 2 and 3, it's 2, or if you only have 2, it's 2.

Edited by Ponch

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!!! It is amazing that you went to all that trouble. Thank you very much for your time and effort. You are making this place a great community. I am about to finish my ubermultistick and i went with the solution of everything on one partition as stated before. Nevertheless when everything is done (because i still have some things to do) i will probably look into your solution if maybe i can upgrade my method a bit. Thank you again for your effort.

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I'll edit my previous post later, but I was pwned by the system :realmad: . In fact, booting from the 2nd partition, nothing works past the 1st main menu (Invalid system disk). I was tricked by the fact all files were duplicated on the 1st partition, it doesn't work if the 1st partition is unexistant or hidden or empty. Or maybe it doesn't work because it's a ghost from the 1st one but it would work if it was directly created at that very physical place by the tool. I don't know yet. Don't shoot on the ambulance.

Still my conclusion, based on point 3) remains valid. B)

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Don't shoot on the ambulance.

What about the actual ambulance driver? :unsure:

;)

Just for the record:

1) if you hide a partition, it will be hidden

2) a "clone" of a first partition won't work because of this:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=19663

drive letter cannot work, as the offset is different.

3) grldr can be found even on hidden partitions.

4) grub4dos can take care of all the hiding/unhiding/partition entry writing that might be needed

There is an on going thread where a solution (hopefully) for a similar problem is "in the works", it may give you some ideas:

http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?...ic=7138&hl=

jaclaz

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1) if you hide a partition, it will be hidden

I can't argue with that, I just can't see what you refer to in my post. Maybe I'm not clear enough.

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1) if you hide a partition, it will be hidden

I can't argue with that, I just can't see what you refer to in my post. Maybe I'm not clear enough.

No need to argue :), I was trying (failing :unsure:) to clear a possible misunderstanding.

This:

it doesn't work if the 1st partition is unexistant or hidden or empty.

was what I was referring to.

From what you report here and on the other thread, and from what Luca's is reporting on the thread on bootland it seems that when the drive is seen as "Removable" it ONLY "sees as "mountable" 1st entry in partition table, i.e. entry #0 for beeblebrox or #1 for Ranish.

On the other hand, if the drive is seens as "Fixed" (by flipping the "Removable" bit or using a Filter Driver), all partition entries will be seen "normally".

Thus your three conditions:

  1. unexistant
  2. empty
  3. hidden

seem to me just two:

  1. unexistant or empty (which is the same thing :unsure:)
  2. hidden

Of which the first ONLY applies to drives seen as "Removable", whilst the second applies to BOTH cases of drive seen as "Removable" or "Fixed", this was what I meant:

1) if you hide a partition, it will be hidden

Hope that the above is both clearer and accurate.

jaclaz

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Ok, so that was a conclusion, not a remark.

The 1st mistake I made was to ghost the 1st partition on the 2nd one and concluding it couldn't work from a 2nd partition when that was not the problem, my method was the problem, I should have properly installed to the 2nd one.

The 2nd mistake was to test booting and running (I thought) from the second partition having files used (instead, without me realizing) from the 1st one.

Based on that last fact, I tried to rectify and retry with the 1st partition being

-inexistant (big gap where the 1st partition would normally be)

-hidden (there but ... hidden)

-empty (there, appearing, formatted, but no file on it, not the same as inexistant ;) )

The results are the same but those were the 3 different conditions that I could think of.

And yes, I worked with removable drives.

Cheers.

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To continue previous ideas:

What's the first partition? Partition entry at MBR 01BE ?
Yes, XP use partition entry at MBR 01BE to select the one partition at removable drive.

Partition type is ignored. Partition type changed to 0x42: NTFS partition is mounted anyway.

Completely not tested: add cfadisk to USB stick at second partition.

This was about cfadisk added to CD install: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?s=&amp...st&p=818429

cfadisk integrated to USB removable at second partition. Migrate.inf enhanced:

T: first partition, available within running XP

U: second partition, not available within running XP

XP setup does boot from second partition.

Drives T: and U: are available.

Target partition C: selected. Continue.

Windows setup check partition C:.

Next there is a error message: partition T: is corrupt. Yes error message is about T:, not U:

Reboot.

Does XP setup itself read MBR again and seek files at MBR partition 01BE only?

Time for?

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?s=&amp...st&p=837477

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