Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:08 am

PS: I'm trying to read the script's code on my other XP box, but it's a hard slog because I've never tried to read any .tbs scripts before...
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Brian K » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:11 am

Obviously I'm missing something.
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:18 am

On line # 146 of the script, I see a line reading: "elseif GetListSelection("Caution: Selected Partition is the System Drive","Continue^nSelect another partition^n", 2, "warn")<>1 then..."

That is the warning I'm getting, but I haven't figured out yet what the function "GetListSelection" returns if the user selects "Continue", as I keep trying to do. I'll keep reading...
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:22 am

Oh, and I tried playing around with the script by selecting a different (non-system) partition and THEN trying to assign it to drive letter C, which was accepted, but that's NOT what I should have tried! So now I'm trying to back that out of the registry by using the script to change back that other partition to drive letter "I", as it previously was. When will I learn that playing around with new scripts is foolish?
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:30 am

Well, the script does treat the system partition as a special case, but I'm too tired (and too dumb!) to be able to parse and understand that script right now...
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:23 am

Before I retire for the night, please note that I *STILL* cannot boot without getting the "Missing HAL.DLL" message, and that seems like the first problem to solve before working on the drive letter issue...
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Brian K » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:08 am

Select WinXP in Partition Work and click Edit File. What does boot.ini say?

Click View MBR. In which slot is WinXP? Which slots are the other partitions?
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:56 pm

Hi, Brian! Before I proceed today, I want to pass along to you my enormous gratitude for your extremely valuable assistance! You've provided exceptional aid in the past, as well, and I can't thank you enough!

Okay, here's some data I obtained from the problem system in question using a bootable CD and its bundled tools. This info repeats and also fleshes out what I explained in my OP (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1179#p5883), particularly this part:

"... Boot.ini is set to boot from partition 1, but I'm confused about whether or not that's correct. You see, the actual boot partition starts at the front of the disk at sector 63, and is the first active NTFS primary partition, so it sure seems to me that boot.ini SHOULD point to partition 1 (but that causes the missing/corrupt HAL.DLL). However, when I go into "BIBM -> Partition Work -> View MBR", the boot partition is shown THIRD in the list, but I'm not sure that's what matters, because that Knowledge Base article 130 [correction: its actually KB 159] states that primary partitions are counted first and I don't know whether to count entries 1 & 2 or not. Also, if I go into "BIBM -> Boot Edit" and select the main (default) boot entry and select "Edit", the boot partition is listed third again, yet under "Boot Details -> Boot" I've properly selected the correct boot partition. ..."

So, here's the actual contents of boot.ini:
[boot loader]
timeout=1
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" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

BTW, I tried changing the string "partition(1)" to "partition(3)", but when I booted I still got the "missing HAL.DLL" error message".

So why did I try that change to use (3)? As I explained in that section of my OP that I pasted above, some information suggests that my XP boot partition is the first one, while other info leads me to believe it's the third (always counting from 1). Here are two different reports from two different & contradictory partition utils on that bootable CD:

Report 1, from "DiskGenius V3.2.1211":
Disk Partition List

Disk Name: HD0: SiImage (932GB) Capacity: 931.5GB Model: SiImage SerialNumber: ð
Parameters: 121602 Cylinders 255 Heads 63 Sectors. Total Sectors: 1953542144

Partition Table Style: MBR
Partition List:

Seq. Name System Boot ID Begin.Cyl. Head Sector End.Cyl. Head Sector Size
0 SIL_BOOTSYS_12-JUN-1 NTFS 80 07 0 1 1 17622 254 63 135.0GB <<--- (This is my XP boot partition)
1 BOOTIT~1(1) FAT12 00 0e 17624 0 1 17624 254 63 7.8MB
2 SILVOL1(E:) NTFS 00 07 18312 0 8 63740 254 63 348.0GB
3 Extended Partition EXTEND 00 0f 63741 0 1 121601 254 63 443.2GB
4 GENERAL(D:) NTFS 00 07 63741 1 1 121601 254 63 443.2GB


But, here's Report 2, from MBRWiz:

MBRWiz - Version 3.0.73 for Windows
Copyright (c) 2002-2010 Firesage Solutions, LLC

ÕÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ͸
³ Disk: 0 MBR/GPT: MBR ³
³ Size: 931.52GB CHS: 121602 255 63 ³
³ Sectors: 1953542144 Disk Signature: 0x56712428 ³
³ Partitions: 4 Partition Order: 1 2 3 4 ³
³ Media Type: Fixed Interface: SCSI ³
³ Description: SiImage ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³Pos Idx Type/Name Size Boot Hide Start Sector Total Sectors DL Vol Label ³
ÃÄÄÄ ÄÄÄ ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÄÄÄÄ ÄÄÄÄ ÄÄÄÄ ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÄÄ ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ 1 1 07-NTFS 348G No No 294,182,287 729,816,878 E: SILVOL1 ³
³ 2 2 0F-EXTEND 443G No No 1,023,999,165 929,536,965 <None> ³
³ 3 3 07-NTFS 134G Yes No 63 283,113,432 C: SIL_BOOTSYS³ <<--- (This is my XP Boot partition)
³ 4 4 DF-UNKNWN 7.8M No No 283,129,560 16,065 <None> ³
ÔÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ;

(Sorry for the lousy formatting, but as I explain in my "aside" at the end of this post*, I can't change to a fixed-width font -or- use a CODE box...)

Finally, since KB 159 (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=159) explains that boot.ini partition numbers are counted in order of primary partitions first, I honestly can't figure out if I should use partition(1) as Report 1 from DiskGenius shows, or partition(3), as Report 2 from MBRWiz shows!

Please help my thinking on this: Which partition number should I use in boot.ini??



* An aside: for some reason, whenever I try to enable BBCode in the user control panel, it tells me it succeeded, but in actuality every time I enter a full reply, it ALWAYS says "BBCode is OFF", so that's why I haven't been using all the nice features that BBCode would otherwise provide, such as the QUOTE tags and other helpful formatting options... Can anyone tell me what I need to do in order to properly enable BBCode?
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Brian K » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:21 pm

Ambertus,

Numbering in boot.ini refers to the relative position of the primary partitions in the partition table. Not on the physical location of the OS partition or the partition slot number.

If the second partition in the partition table is an Extended partition then boot.ini should reference partition(2).

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=159
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Re: Help with XP boot.ini, partition #s, drive letters?

Postby Ambertus » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:30 pm

Brian K wrote:
> Ambertus,
>
> Numbering in boot.ini refers to the relative position of the primary
> partitions in the partition table. Not on the physical location of the OS
> partition or the partition slot number.
>
> If the second partition in the partition table is an Extended partition
> then boot.ini should reference partition(2).
>
> http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=159


Thanks again, Brian! After I changed boot.ini to point to partition(2), it started to boot from the correct partition (the boot didn't complete for some reason, not even into Safe Mode, but that's another problem that I'm working on as we speak by running CHKDSK and so forth...).

However, I must regrettably report that I don't quite understand your reasoning; could you elaborate a bit more, please, so that in the future I can figure this out by myself? Here's what I *think* your logic might be, please correct me if I'm wrong, incomplete, or missed some of your logic: If we look at Report 2 (from MBRwiz), we see that it lists the XP boot partition third in the MBR list, but entry number 2 is an Extended (non-primary) partition, so it would come later in the proper count according to KB 159. Therefore, the boot.ini order would have Partition 1 = 348G volume named "SILVOL1", and Partition 2 = 134G volume named "SIL_BOOTSYS..."

But the problem for me in the future is that I don't quite see why I should prefer the partition order given in Report 2 from MBRWiz over the partition order given in Report 1 from DiskGenius. To ask a different way, let me try this: What's the correct tool/info to determine the partition order according to the rules of KB 159? I already know to count primary partitions first, but I still don't understand how to learn the correct order of primary partitions.

I can see that, unlike my very verbose self, you prefer to be economical with your words, but perhaps if you would be so kind as to forgo that economy in this case? :)
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