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Boot Sector Problems When Creating Backup Image


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Well, here goes for my first post in the XP forum, heh :hello:

Ok... I am setting up a custom built system for a friend of mine, and I am having a very strange error when attempting to create a disk image. I have set up several systems like this one before, and never had this problem.

The system is multi-boot, Windows 98SE, Windows XP Pro, and OpenSUSE 11, managed by VCom System Commander. There are two hard drives, configured like this:

Disk 1 Partition 1 - FAT32 - Windows 98SE (System Commander installed to this partition)

Disk 1 Partition 2 - FAT32 - Windows XP Pro

Disk 1 Partition 3 - EXT3 - OpenSUSE 11

Disk 2 Partition 1 - FAT32 - Windows 98SE Storage (Drive D)

Disk 2 Partition 2 - FAT32 - Windows XP Pro Storage (Drive D)

Disk 2 Partition 3 - FAT32 - Shared between all 3 operating systems

All partitions were created and formatted with System Commander. All systems are independent of and hidden from one another. (XP does not know 98 exists)

I have spent many hours getting all of this set up, installing drivers, software, etc etc, and now I am attempting to create disk images of these systems for backup, using DriveImage for the Windows partitions and PartImage for the Linux system.

All systems are up and running fine, and I have had no problems whatsoever booting any of the three, until I try to create an image of the XP partition.

DriveImage creates an image of the Windows 98 partition without problems, but whenever I try to create an image of the XP partition, I get an error saying that the boot sector contains incorrect data (Dont remember the exact wording of that error). Then, when I exit DriveImage, the ENTIRE partition table for BOTH hard drives completely disappears. Both drives have no partitions defined at all. :realmad:

When this happened the first time, I thought all of my work was down the drain, but I used TestDisk to check the drives, and managed to recover all of the partitions. TestDisk found corrupted boot sectors on the XP system partition (Disk 1 Part 2) and the XP storage partition (Disk 2 Part 2), but I was able to use the backup boot sector for each and rewrite the partition table on both drives.

Upon restart, Windows 98 booted normally, and I was able to reinitialize System Commander. But when I tried to boot Windows XP, it gave an error saying "select proper boot device" (exact wording??). So I used the Recovery Console "fixboot" to write a new boot sector for the XP partition, and then everything went back to normal. I was able to boot and use all 3 systems.

So I tried creating an image of the XP partition with DriveImage again... and the exact same thing happened a second time. The partition table of both drives completely disappeared. So I went in with TestDisk again, exact same process as before, and recovered everything. Had to rewrite the XP partition boot sector again, and now everything is back up and working.

Is there some way I can fix whatever is wrong with the XP partition? The OS boots and operates fine, but whenever I try to make a backup image, DriveImage claims there is incorrect data in the boot sector of that partition, even though the system exhibits no problems and I have rewritten a new boot sector to it twice from the Recovery Console.

I really don't want to have to spend hours setting all this up again.. any ideas? :unsure:

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Hi LoneCrusader,

I just posted a related problem here, I didn't see your earlier posting. My problem is with Symantec Ghost v11, yours with DriveImage, I am trying to clone a HDD with System Commander stuff from an image file. 6 years ago I gave up with DriveImage 2002 v6.0, I couldn't clone a HDD with System Commander boot stuff on it. I switched over to Acronis True Image v9.1.3887, then switched over to Paragon Partition Manager v9.0.4156 with which I was able to clone a HDD disk-to-disk.

DriveImage creates an image of the Windows 98 partition without problems, but whenever I try to create an image of the XP partition, I get an error saying that the boot sector contains incorrect data (Dont remember the exact wording of that error). Then, when I exit DriveImage, the ENTIRE partition table for BOTH hard drives completely disappears. Both drives have no partitions defined at all. :realmad:
1) Careful!! First create a good clone of your original HDD with Paragon Partition Manager and only work on the clone. If the "OS Selection Menu" doesn't come up when the the cloned HDD is inserted in the computer, boot with a DOS floppy, and under DOS run C:\SC\Scin.exe -> Enable System Commander.

2) Try to select in the "OS Selection Menu" -> Settings -> General -> select "Automatic Win Boot Repair disabled".

3) Try to get System Commander installed under DOS, not under Win98/XP:

- copy C:\SC to C:\SCOLD

- uninstall System Commander via Add/Remove under Win98 (not just disable)

- copy the content of your System Commander CD to a temporary directory on C:

- make sure the last booted system is Win98 or WinXP (i.e. the boot code on the HDD on C:\ should be Win98 or WinXP).

- boot from a DOS boot floppy

- re-install System Commander under DOS from the temporary directory on C: with the following command: "Scin.exe install" (this gets the alternate DOS installer)

Upon restart, Windows 98 booted normally, and I was able to reinitialize System Commander. But when I tried to boot Windows XP, it gave an error saying "select proper boot device" (exact wording??). So I used the Recovery Console "fixboot" to write a new boot sector for the XP partition, and then everything went back to normal. I was able to boot and use all 3 systems.
A possible explanation of why this occurs under WinXP, but not under Win98, is in the help text in the System Commander menu: "Automatic Win boot repair disabled - Windows NT through 2003 can get confused if the partition table changes and may refuse to boot (Vista doesn't have this issue). The Automatic Win boot repair will detect this condition and when next booted into one of the problems OSes, it will hide all primary partitions other than the booting one. Windows will then correctly assign drive letters and the page file so Windows runs correctly"

Booting from a DOS boot floppy with fdisk on it and running FDISK /MBR should also bring up the last loaded operating system; running SCIN -> Enable System Commander should bring back the OS Selection Menu

All systems are independent of and hidden from one another. (XP does not know 98 exists)
You are missing a major advantage of multibooting, which is to be able to work under opsys A on the files of opsys B. But you probably can't reverse that anymore because of the drive letters used for installing Windows and applications.

Nice to have another user of System Commander in this forum!

Edited by Multibooter
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Why don't you try Macrium Reflect Free
Macrium Reflect Free does apparently not run under Win98, so it probably has not been tested sufficiently with partitions created under/for Win98.

Or more simply it was born after the "official" death of Win98.... :unsure: and uses some NT only ways....:whistle:

;)

jaclaz

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Hi LoneCrusader,

I just posted a related problem here, I didn't see your earlier posting. My problem is with Symantec Ghost v11, yours with DriveImage, I am trying to clone a HDD with System Commander stuff from an image file. 6 years ago I gave up with DriveImage 2002 v6.0, I couldn't clone a HDD with System Commander boot stuff on it. I switched over to Acronis True Image v9.1.3887, then switched over to Paragon Partition Manager v9.0.4156 with which I was able to clone a HDD disk-to-disk.

Hello Multibooter! I've been using System Commander for several years now, and have never had any problems with it whatsoever, except one. (It's unable to hide logical partitions - solved by using BootIt NG on that one system.) I've used DriveImage to create images of several partitions, both Win98 and WinXP, and never encountered this before. The 98 partitions had System Commander installed to them, and they copied fine.

I have the system in question up and running again, and I tried using Partimage on the SystemRescueCd which I am using to image the Linux partition. Partimage created an image of the screwy Windows XP partition and the Windows 98 (with System Commander) partition without any errors. So my conclusion is that problem is not System Commander, it seems to be DriveImage. I have been impressed with Partimage so far, but I haven't actually tested restoring a partition with it yet.

You are missing a major advantage of multibooting, which is to be able to work under opsys A on the files of opsys B. But you probably can't reverse that anymore because of the drive letters used for installing Windows and applications.

Nice to have another user of System Commander in this forum!

I hide them from each other because I don't want Windows XP invading my Windows 98 partition with its files. :w00t:

But seriously though, I know what you mean, I unhide the Windows XP partition from 98 if I need to work on it sometimes, and Linux sees all the partitions whether System Commander hides them or not. :sneaky:

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I have the system in question up and running again, and I tried using Partimage on the SystemRescueCd which I am using to image the Linux partition... my conclusion is that problem is not System Commander, it seems to be DriveImage.
Hi LoneCrusader,

I'll try out the SystemRescueCd in the next few days.

BTW, which version of System Commander are you using? To my knowledge the last version is v9.04, which I am using, also old v5 on my laptop. System Commander died about a year ago, and Avanquest has purged every reference to it from their website, and the online update doesn't work. I had purchased v9.01 at Fry's 2 years ago, and when I finally got around to install it about 6 months ago, the online update was dead. That's not a recommendation for Avanquest software, no idea what happened to the original developer V-Communications, they used to be a good company. The Wikipedia article lists a System Commander v10, which I have never seen, only Partition Commander v10, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Commander The Wikipedia article contains very little info, with some inaccuracies. The article is definitely in need of an update and is currently an example that not everything in the Wikipedia is correct.

I hide them [Win98 and WinXP] from each other because I don't want Windows XP invading my Windows 98 partition with its files. :w00t: But seriously though...
On my system, I don't let System Commander hide partitions. Under Win98 I have disabled the recycle bin, and under WinXP I have disabled the recycle bin and system restore [Control Panel -> System -> System Restore tab], so that WinXP doesn't create useless System Volume Information folders on the visible partitions of other operating systems. I back up WinXP under Win98, by raring up all files on the WinXP partition. When I want to restore WinXP, I simple delete, under Win98, all files on the WinXP partition and then un-rar the backup to the WinXP partition.

Up to now (5+ years) WinXP has never interfered with Win98 on my system, but again, I use WinXP not that much, maybe 10% of my time, for tasks which Win98 can't do.

Edited by Multibooter
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BTW, which version of System Commander are you using?

V 8.11

Up to now (5+ years) WinXP has never interfered with Win98 on my system, but again, I use WinXP not that much, maybe 10% of my time, for tasks which Win98 can't do.

Same here, I mainly only use XP for some games that require it.

Also posted a minute ago in your other thread. :thumbup

____________________________________________________________________

EDIT 1-14-10:

Thanks to all those who replied to this thread. :thumbup

I have determined that the problem seems to be something internal with DriveImage and not with the Windows XP partition. Successfully imaged the partition with another program. For reference, I will link to the related thread for the process I used.

Edited by LoneCrusader
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