This spring, I purchased a sony vgn-a270, which has a very restrictive OEM disk. The disk can only a) reinstall programs or b) wipe the C: drive and install XP on it.
I am wondering if with the combination of a true boot loader such as yours, and a disk cloning program, I could clone the original XP partition to another partition. Both XP installs would think they are on the C: drive, and would therefore each have a boot.ini file and associated files, and only GAG would know the difference.
Is this a ridiculous hope? I have read further and discovered that Windows actually does rewrite the mbr during installation, so maybe this won't work??
One other possible pitfall: I did succeed in doing a second XP install the old fashioned way today. If I could clone the original OS instead, I would like to remove that new installation--I get the sense that SONY is not going to make it easy to get all the drivers I need, and I would love to not have to reinstall all my programs either. But I don't know what else I would need to do to clear that install, beyond wiping the partition and deleting the appropriate line from the boot.ini file. Would the mbr need to change?? Could partition magic do this? Are there other changes the new install has made to files on the C: drive??
The original OS is currently working perfectly, so I don't want to disturb it. In fact, I'd love to create an image backup of it to dvd-r as it currently exists. I'm hoping there is a cloning program that could do this.
Any clues greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
Check out topic "Tip: Avoiding Unbootable Partitions" thread in the Help Forum...
disk cloning - have only used GHOST. It is smart enough to change the partition number in the boot.ini when cloned to another partition. You'd probably have to manually change boot.ini with other disk clone programs. Run your clone program with the actual partition table setup you will be using for the clone (visible vs hidden partitions). GHOST can clone/backup to other media/drives.
MBR - is clobbered by an OS install and GAG would have to be reinstalled on the boot track. GAG replaces the multi-boot menu from Windows that uses boot.ini. Instead of boot.ini keeping track of all your partitions, let GAG do it. Boot.ini would then only be used to reflect the partition currently being booted, other paritions would be hidden.
You need to understand
- boot track/MBR
- partition table
- partition states: hidden, visible, active
Hope these hints help.
On my way out the door and just ran across this WEB page
looks like a great write-up for explaining multi-boot. And a comparison of Microsoft's way versus the rest of the world.