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Boot probs: XP boot.ini & swap & multiple disk controllers

Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:10 pm

I can't quite figure out what I'm doing wrong trying to boot XP Pro/SP3 from a backup copy of my boot partition, so I'd appreciate some help.

Here's the situation: My main 32-bit XP Pro/SP3 system contains three different disk controllers: (1): UltraSCSI-320 (primary boot device), (2): Sil-4124 SATA Raid zero, and (3): an 8-port Marvell SATA non-raid controller (a SuperMicro model AOC-SAT2-MV8) with multiple hard drives.

I made a cloned backup of my main boot partition from the first partition of the RAID 'drive' on controller 1 (the UltraSCSI) to the second partition on a disk on controller 3 using Acronis Disk Director 11 update 2. For troubleshooting reasons, I want to boot from that cloned backup partition. I'm using the latest version of BootIt Bare Metal (v1.24).

Naturally, I knew I had to modify the boot.ini file on the cloned partition (on controller 3). I've read: How Partition Numbers are Assigned in BOOT.INI (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=159) That disk has exactly two partitions, and they are both primary partitions (the cloned partition is number 2 counting from 1 as needed for boot.ini) So, I changed the partition() field to "2" in that boot.ini file. The file then reads as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=optin

Then I started the Maintenance mode of BootIt BM, and added a new boot entry in the boot manager that pointed to the correct disk and partition, and enabled the "swap" checkbox.

But when I try to boot using that BootIt entry, I first get (from the boot loader) the message "Invalid boot.ini", which is followed shortly thereafter with the old "missing or corrupt hal.dll" message, and that's the end of that!

What am I doing wrong? Might it have something to do with the 3 different controllers (regarding, say, the disk() or rdisk() values)? Are there some special requirements for the encoding of the boot.ini file? I'm stumped!

Re: Boot probs: XP boot.ini & swap & multiple disk controlle

Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:34 pm

What is the configuration of the boot items "mbr details" .. the order there
is what is needed in the partition() field. Also, consider enabling the
"fix swap" option in settings as that system may needed. Yes, there are
times you may need to adjust the rdisk() value .. so after trying to two
prior things, you can try an rdisk of 1, then 2, then 3. If still problems,
copy it using BootIt instead.



"Ambertus" wrote in message news:7512@public.bootitbm...

I can't quite figure out what I'm doing wrong trying to boot XP Pro/SP3 from
a backup copy of my boot partition, so I'd appreciate some help.

Here's the situation: My main 32-bit XP Pro/SP3 system contains three
different disk controllers: (1): UltraSCSI-320 (primary boot device), (2):
Sil-4124 SATA Raid zero, and (3): an 8-port Marvell SATA non-raid controller
(a SuperMicro model AOC-SAT2-MV8) with multiple hard drives.

I made a cloned backup of my main boot partition from the first partition of
the RAID 'drive' on controller 1 (the UltraSCSI) to the second partition on
a disk on controller 3 using ... For troubleshooting reasons, I want to
boot from that cloned backup partition. I'm using the latest version of
BootIt Bare Metal (v1.24).

Naturally, I knew I had to modify the boot.ini file on the cloned partition
(on controller 3). I've read: How Partition Numbers are Assigned in
BOOT.INI (

[
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=159
](http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=159)

) That disk has exactly two partitions, and they are both primary
partitions (the cloned partition is number 2 counting from 1 as needed for
boot.ini) So, I changed the partition() field to "2" in that boot.ini file.
The file then reads as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=optin

Then I started the Maintenance mode of BootIt BM, and added a new boot entry
in the boot manager that pointed to the correct disk and partition, and
enabled the "swap" checkbox.

But when I try to boot using that BootIt entry, I first get (from the boot
loader) the message "Invalid boot.ini", which is followed shortly thereafter
with the old "missing or corrupt hal.dll" message, and that's the end of
that!

What am I doing wrong? Might it have something to do with the 3 different
controllers (regarding, say, the disk() or rdisk() values)? Are there some
special requirements for the encoding of the boot.ini file? I'm stumped!

Re: Boot probs: Problem solved - ignorance confirmed

Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:53 pm

Oops!

I learned the solution while following up on my penultimate sentence of my OP: "Are there some special requirements for the encoding of the boot.ini file?" The answer is YES!

I had edited the boot.ini file with my usual text editor (UltraEdit), and saved the file using its "default" format. Unfortunately, it turned out that its default format is NOT ASCII! :oops:

So when I explicitly saved it as in ASCII format, the system booted correctly. If I hadn't still been able to boot into full XP (on the main partition), which allowed me to use UltraEdit, I would have been inclined to use the text editor built in to BootIt BM, which surely would have saved the file in ASCII to begin with. Oh, well.

Now I can continue on with my next step: Using the truly essential "setwindl.tbs" script provided by Terabyte's wonderful TBOSD!

Sorry for wasting your time, folks...
Last edited by Ambertus on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Boot probs: XP boot.ini & swap & multiple disk controlle

Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:01 am

This is in reply to the reply from "TeraByte Support":

Thank you enormously for your amazingly prompt reply! You folks really are the best!

I didn't see your reply until after my second post, but as you can see I figured out what I was doing wrong (the whole ASCII thing). I guess my MBR details must be okay, since I was able to boot successfully.

In any case, I hold that your comments regarding possibly needing to adjust the rdisk() parameter value in some atypical circumstance to be VERY valuable for general troubleshooting information. Thank you again!
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