Tri-Boot XP/2K/NT

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bobbi

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Dec 21, 2000
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Hi

I tried to create a multi-boot machine with XP, NT and 2K
I was able to get all 3 operating systems installed but ran into a problem with the allowed primary disks.

You can only have 4. Does anyone know why, or if there is a way around this?

These machines are for our IT lab. We are using Deploy Center so they can be copied and restored etc.
I had to make a primary partition for boot magic, then one for each of the operating systems. I then wanted to make a hidden partition for Deploy Center so the machine can be restored.

When I tried to make the last partition, I tried to make it logical, but it wouldn't work.

Any insight is appreciated.

Thanks:cool:
 

JohnWill

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You can only have four partitions on one disk, but you can have more than one disk. :)
 
Joined
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You should checkout VMware: http://www.vmware.com

You can restore a PC in seconds and run almost any OS. It provides virtual partitioning. It is a little pricey but worth every dollar espeically for a lab environment.
 

Del

Joined
Aug 31, 2001
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3,452
John,
I have 7 partitions on a 40gig hard drive.
C: Win ME
D: Win 2k
E: Win xp
F: Music
G: Pictures
H: Storage
I: Downloaded Programs

Has been working fine for 6 months now.
 

bobbi

Thread Starter
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Dec 21, 2000
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339
Del,

Are all your partitions primary?

I have instructions I printed that tell me to load the additional OS on logical drives, I tried this, but then they are not accessible.

Anyway, I tried to make an additional logical drive and it just won't work. Every time I try it hides one of the other partitions.

I just wondered if it was in the order I loaded stuff.

I have a 60 gig hard drive. I used Partition Magic to add a 40 MB primary partition for Boot Magic. XP was already loaded on this machine. I then created a 2 Gig FAT partition in front of the C: and loaded WINNT on that. I then created a FAT32 partition behind C: and loaded WIN2k on that one. After I had all of them working I converted both FAT partitions to NTFS.

I then enlarged the NT partitions to 8 Gigs.

At this point I had 4 primary partitions. All worked and Boot Magic allowed you to select the different ones and go into them.

The trouble started when I attempted to make one more partition. I want it to ultimately be hidden and it will hold the restoration image. I tried to make it logical but it kept hiding one of the other partitions. From what I read, you could only have 4 primary partitions, but more logical. But I can't seem to get it to work that way.

I wonder if it's in the "order" I did things. If I had made a logical hidden partition first, would that have worked?

Unfortunately I have a deadline of Friday to get all these machines imaged and setup in the lab. So, I'll have to go with what I have now, but I would like to figure it out and possibly get a machine setup the way I want.

Thanks for all the input and ideas.
 

JohnWill

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You can have four partitions on a single physical disk, and one of them can be an extended partition. The extended partition can have any number of logical drives, which is what is being referred to in the previous post. You can NOT have more than four partitions on a single physical disk, that's all the room there is in the partition table. :)
 

Del

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That's right John,
I have a Primary Dos and an Extended Dos and the rest are logical drives.
Did it that way cause I had problems with Partition Magic in the past.
 

bobbi

Thread Starter
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Dec 21, 2000
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339
OK
But then OS's can't be loaded on logical partitions correct?
 

Del

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Yes, just load the oldest first, I loaded ME on C, 2000 on D and XP on E.
 

bobbi

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Dec 21, 2000
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Ok, what I read originally told me NT needed to be loaded first. The issue is that these new PC's are coming preloaded with XP. We didn't want to remove that operating system, load NT and then put XP back on...seems like a waste of time.

But the information is correct. We really should do it that way and use the NT boot loader to select the choices.

I don't think that'll happen with these machines, but I have a desktop here I'll wipe and try that out on. I really want to make it work. Actually, I'd like to have DOS, NT, 2000, XP and 98. Just for the heck of it.

Thanks for all your information. I'll play with this some more and see what I come up with.

:D
 

Del

Joined
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Just put 98 on first then NT, 2000 and XP. Should work fine.
 

bobbi

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 21, 2000
Messages
339
Thanks

Excuse my ignorance here, but do I make all the partitions first? What do I use to make the partitions FDisk?

Thanks
 

JohnWill

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Messages
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FWIW, it's quite possible to beat these systems into submission after the fact, so you don't have to load them in order. I use two tools, and I've loaded XP, then W98, then W2K, and finally fixed the boot so all were available.

The first tool is Bootpart, and the other one is Bootsect
 

Del

Joined
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Yes, you can load them out of order and after the fact, just if you are reformatting, easier to load them in order.
 
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