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XP reboot overwrites/alters (pm v2.43) boot manager partion table??

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  • mdmill9999
    I hope someone experienced with PM will be able to answer this question (very important to me!)[I have read all the literature]. I start with a long list(dos,
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 25, 2009
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      I hope someone experienced with PM will be able to answer this question (very important to me!)[I have read all the literature].

      I start with a long list(dos, w98,data) of partitions that I can boot to using the 80x25 boot manager(v2.43)...works great for everything but XP.
      After I boot to XP, and reboot to the boot manager, I find that the long list of partitions has been reduced to only the 4 partitions that are stored in the (microsoft) MBR partition table.
      I can usually restore the long list using the F7 restore option..but this is a pain and requires another reboot.

      Does XP alter the ranish partition manager and boot manager partition code/data, and mbr code? Or is the boot manager doing this in responce to an XP bootup? It stumps me!!
      Does this sound familiar...can you boot to XP using the Ranish-PM boot manager v2.43 without this reduction in the partition list... do you have a solution?

      I am trying to create a flexible multiboot system
      and R-PM v2.43 works great,seems perfect for the job, except for this XP reboot problem...very vexing!
      PLEASE RESPOND!!!???I await with much anticipation
    • Antoine Leca
      mdmill9999 wrote on Thursday, November 26, 2009 4:11 AM ... First things first, you better update to 2.44, I hear it fixed bugs. So Windows did rewrite the
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 30, 2009
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        mdmill9999 wrote on Thursday, November 26, 2009 4:11 AM
        > I start with a long list(dos, w98,data) of partitions that I
        > can boot to using the 80x25 boot manager(v2.43)...works great
        > for everything but XP.
        > After I boot to XP, and reboot to the boot manager, I find
        > that the long list of partitions has been reduced to only the
        > 4 partitions that are stored in the (microsoft) MBR partition table.

        First things first, you better update to 2.44, I hear it fixed bugs.

        So Windows did rewrite the MBR, erasing what was present there to enable
        the "normal" boot to RPM text mode.

        Why does it do that? the usual answer is because it did not find any
        signature (at 1B8-1BB, it encounters all 0s), so decide to "sign" (tag)
        the disk to a random new value... which makes RPM unable to boot,
        because it needs to read something in bytes 1B8-1B9 (at 0).

        > I can usually restore the long list using the F7 restore
        > option..but this is a pain and requires another reboot.

        Of course, when you use F7 it is the other way round, RPM erases all the
        bytes at 0 making Windows unable to recognize etc. :-(


        While testing a bit more, I noticed that RPM did not care about the
        bytes at 1BA-1BB; BUT it appears to write them as 0 when changes are
        made to the MBR (using F2 save; possibly restricted to making changes to
        boot parameters, not the partition; but I am unsure.)
        So what I usually do is crafting a value with non null value at bytes
        1BA or 1BB (or both), I let RPM does its job, then I fire a sector
        editor, drop my specially crafted values in 1BA-1BB, then I reboot into
        Windows (usually twice, controlling that Windows did not overwrote my
        special value.)

        I am not sure, but having a RPM partition (type F0) at the end of the
        disk appears to have a beneficial effect... but I cannot explain what
        happens, my experience is too short here.
        Clearly there are bad interactions between RPM 2.4x and WinNT
        "signatures", but how to escape it is dodgy at least.


        Antoine
      • britonusa
        As always, Antoine s answer contains great advice which you should follow. For me - and I understand many other RPM users - RPM is a great partition
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 30, 2009
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          As always, Antoine's answer contains great advice which you should follow.

          For me - and I understand many other RPM users - RPM is a great partition management/manipulation tool and I use it all the time but I don't use it to boot. For boot management, I use XOSL. The combination of the two is great. XOSL allows you rather more flexibility in terms of booting, hiding etc and can be restored when some arrogant Windows program decides to do away with it so it is really easy to get is set up and re-set up. Meanwhile, RPM is there for your partition management. XOSL even comes with an option to include RPM, but I would be sure you are using the best version so check before using the XOSL packaged RPM. XOSL also provides a "prettier" end result which is useful if you are setting up the boot options on someone else's computer (wife, kids etc etc) and you can put in a password so they can't change things.

          For me, keeping partition management and boot management separate helps to avoid me getting cornfuzzled. I mean when you are up to your neck in alligators, it's kinda hard sometimes to remember you came here to drain the swamp, right?
        • mdmill9999
          Thanks Antoine for the responce: I would re-affirm that the rpm boot manager screen did appear [ie the MBR boot program did not seem to be rewritten]. But
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 30, 2009
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            Thanks Antoine for the responce:

            I would re-affirm that the rpm boot manager screen did appear [ie the MBR boot program did not seem to be rewritten].
            But after re-reading the FAQ I decided to put the boot manager partition at the end of my 500GB HD (as you also have suggested)...and this solved the problem I was having!
            I don't know why this works, but I will take it.
            I do believe the RPM FAQ's and readme files should stress that this placement of the bootmnager partition is REQUIRED for full functionality under ALL conditions; not just a suggestion!

            thanks again ...I will have more questions in the future, i'm sure

            --- In partman@yahoogroups.com, "Antoine Leca" <aleca@...> wrote:
            >
            > mdmill9999 wrote on Thursday, November 26, 2009 4:11 AM
            > > I start with a long list(dos, w98,data) of partitions that I
            > > can boot to using the 80x25 boot manager(v2.43)...works great
            > > for everything but XP.
            > > After I boot to XP, and reboot to the boot manager, I find
            > > that the long list of partitions has been reduced to only the
            > > 4 partitions that are stored in the (microsoft) MBR partition table.
            >
            > First things first, you better update to 2.44, I hear it fixed bugs.
            >
            > So Windows did rewrite the MBR, erasing what was present there to enable
            > the "normal" boot to RPM text mode.
            >
            > Why does it do that? the usual answer is because it did not find any
            > signature (at 1B8-1BB, it encounters all 0s), so decide to "sign" (tag)
            > the disk to a random new value... which makes RPM unable to boot,
            > because it needs to read something in bytes 1B8-1B9 (at 0).
            >
            > > I can usually restore the long list using the F7 restore
            > > option..but this is a pain and requires another reboot.
            >
            > Of course, when you use F7 it is the other way round, RPM erases all the
            > bytes at 0 making Windows unable to recognize etc. :-(
            >
            >
            > While testing a bit more, I noticed that RPM did not care about the
            > bytes at 1BA-1BB; BUT it appears to write them as 0 when changes are
            > made to the MBR (using F2 save; possibly restricted to making changes to
            > boot parameters, not the partition; but I am unsure.)
            > So what I usually do is crafting a value with non null value at bytes
            > 1BA or 1BB (or both), I let RPM does its job, then I fire a sector
            > editor, drop my specially crafted values in 1BA-1BB, then I reboot into
            > Windows (usually twice, controlling that Windows did not overwrote my
            > special value.)
            >
            > I am not sure, but having a RPM partition (type F0) at the end of the
            > disk appears to have a beneficial effect... but I cannot explain what
            > happens, my experience is too short here.
            > Clearly there are bad interactions between RPM 2.4x and WinNT
            > "signatures", but how to escape it is dodgy at least.
            >
            >
            > Antoine
            >
          • mdmill9999
            thanks for your responce (i solved this problem by placing the boot manager at the end of the HD...yeah!) But The XOSL program only uses the 4 partitions
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 30, 2009
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              thanks for your responce (i solved this problem by placing the boot manager at the end of the HD...yeah!)

              But The XOSL program only uses the 4 partitions listed in the MBR table at any one time; so you have to open RPM to change this configuration for any OS not in this list of four [and back and forth it goes]. This is not acceptable to me. That is the strength of having the boot manager and the RPM [internal] partition table linked.
              I can boot to any of my 9 different and duplicate OS's with one touch.
              Plus, 3 other data partitions are always in the MBR, and available to the OS's.....at least that is what i am attempting to do[there are problems working above the 137 GB limit].

              thanks again

              --- In partman@yahoogroups.com, "britonusa" <yahoo_britonusa@...> wrote:
              >
              > As always, Antoine's answer contains great advice which you should follow.
              >
              > For me - and I understand many other RPM users - RPM is a great partition management/manipulation tool and I use it all the time but I don't use it to boot. For boot management, I use XOSL. The combination of the two is great. XOSL allows you rather more flexibility in terms of booting, hiding etc and can be restored when some arrogant Windows program decides to do away with it so it is really easy to get is set up and re-set up. Meanwhile, RPM is there for your partition management. XOSL even comes with an option to include RPM, but I would be sure you are using the best version so check before using the XOSL packaged RPM. XOSL also provides a "prettier" end result which is useful if you are setting up the boot options on someone else's computer (wife, kids etc etc) and you can put in a password so they can't change things.
              >
              > For me, keeping partition management and boot management separate helps to avoid me getting cornfuzzled. I mean when you are up to your neck in alligators, it's kinda hard sometimes to remember you came here to drain the swamp, right?
              >
            • Phil Seakins
              I always use RPM for configuration and diagnostics. However, if you are working with large partition numbers and you need a Boot Manager it is well worth
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 1, 2009
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                I always use RPM for configuration and diagnostics. However, if you
                are working with large partition numbers and you need a Boot Manager
                it is well worth taking a look at BootItNG. It's not free but it is
                relatively inexpensive and it solves all your problems including
                partition resizing and sliding and copying. The website has some
                excellent video demonstrations. Well worth taking a look at. I do not
                regret my purchase decision.

                On 12/1/09, mdmill9999 <mdmill9999@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > thanks for your responce (i solved this problem by placing the boot manager
                > at the end of the HD...yeah!)
                >
                > But The XOSL program only uses the 4 partitions listed in the MBR table at
                > any one time; so you have to open RPM to change this configuration for any
                > OS not in this list of four [and back and forth it goes]. This is not
                > acceptable to me. That is the strength of having the boot manager and the
                > RPM [internal] partition table linked.
                > I can boot to any of my 9 different and duplicate OS's with one touch.
                > Plus, 3 other data partitions are always in the MBR, and available to the
                > OS's.....at least that is what i am attempting to do[there are problems
                > working above the 137 GB limit].
                >
                > thanks again
                >
                > --- In partman@yahoogroups.com, "britonusa" <yahoo_britonusa@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > As always, Antoine's answer contains great advice which you should
                > follow.
                > >
                > > For me - and I understand many other RPM users - RPM is a great partition
                > management/manipulation tool and I use it all the time but I don't use it to
                > boot. For boot management, I use XOSL. The combination of the two is great.
                > XOSL allows you rather more flexibility in terms of booting, hiding etc and
                > can be restored when some arrogant Windows program decides to do away with
                > it so it is really easy to get is set up and re-set up. Meanwhile, RPM is
                > there for your partition management. XOSL even comes with an option to
                > include RPM, but I would be sure you are using the best version so check
                > before using the XOSL packaged RPM. XOSL also provides a "prettier" end
                > result which is useful if you are setting up the boot options on someone
                > else's computer (wife, kids etc etc) and you can put in a password so they
                > can't change things.
                > >
                > > For me, keeping partition management and boot management separate helps
                > to avoid me getting cornfuzzled. I mean when you are up to your neck in
                > alligators, it's kinda hard sometimes to remember you came here to drain the
                > swamp, right?
                > >
                >
                >
                >
              • britonusa
                ... OK, that makes sense. I used to do something similar although not as many as 9 OS/duplicates. It became hard work so I sought a different solution which
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 1, 2009
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                  --- In partman@yahoogroups.com, "mdmill9999" <mdmill9999@...> wrote:
                  > But The XOSL program only uses the 4 partitions listed in the MBR table at any one time; so you have to open RPM to change this configuration for any OS not in this list of four [and back and forth it goes]. This is not acceptable to me. That is the strength of having the boot manager and the RPM [internal] partition table linked.
                  > I can boot to any of my 9 different and duplicate OS's with one touch.
                  > Plus, 3 other data partitions are always in the MBR, and available to the OS's.....at least that is what i am attempting to do[there are problems working above the 137 GB limit].

                  OK, that makes sense. I used to do something similar although not as many as 9 OS/duplicates. It became hard work so I sought a different solution which allowed XOSL to handle the boot management for the main Windows OS partitions and pass the torch to a Linux boot manager for the Linux partitions - that also helped with auto-updating of kernels in Linux. Meanwhile, many of the OSes are able to "see" the other partitions once booted.

                  But I see that for what you want to do, you have to make RPM's boot manager do it.
                • mdmill9999
                  I will check out BootitNG, thanks.
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 1, 2009
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                    I will check out BootitNG, thanks.

                    --- In partman@yahoogroups.com, Phil Seakins <seakinsp@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I always use RPM for configuration and diagnostics. However, if you
                    > are working with large partition numbers and you need a Boot Manager
                    > it is well worth taking a look at BootItNG. It's not free but it is
                    > relatively inexpensive and it solves all your problems including
                    > partition resizing and sliding and copying. The website has some
                    > excellent video demonstrations. Well worth taking a look at. I do not
                    > regret my purchase decision.
                    >
                    > On 12/1/09, mdmill9999 <mdmill9999@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > thanks for your responce (i solved this problem by placing the boot manager
                    > > at the end of the HD...yeah!)
                    > >
                    > > But The XOSL program only uses the 4 partitions listed in the MBR table at
                    > > any one time; so you have to open RPM to change this configuration for any
                    > > OS not in this list of four [and back and forth it goes]. This is not
                    > > acceptable to me. That is the strength of having the boot manager and the
                    > > RPM [internal] partition table linked.
                    > > I can boot to any of my 9 different and duplicate OS's with one touch.
                    > > Plus, 3 other data partitions are always in the MBR, and available to the
                    > > OS's.....at least that is what i am attempting to do[there are problems
                    > > working above the 137 GB limit].
                    > >
                    > > thanks again
                    > >
                    > > --- In partman@yahoogroups.com, "britonusa" <yahoo_britonusa@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > As always, Antoine's answer contains great advice which you should
                    > > follow.
                    > > >
                    > > > For me - and I understand many other RPM users - RPM is a great partition
                    > > management/manipulation tool and I use it all the time but I don't use it to
                    > > boot. For boot management, I use XOSL. The combination of the two is great.
                    > > XOSL allows you rather more flexibility in terms of booting, hiding etc and
                    > > can be restored when some arrogant Windows program decides to do away with
                    > > it so it is really easy to get is set up and re-set up. Meanwhile, RPM is
                    > > there for your partition management. XOSL even comes with an option to
                    > > include RPM, but I would be sure you are using the best version so check
                    > > before using the XOSL packaged RPM. XOSL also provides a "prettier" end
                    > > result which is useful if you are setting up the boot options on someone
                    > > else's computer (wife, kids etc etc) and you can put in a password so they
                    > > can't change things.
                    > > >
                    > > > For me, keeping partition management and boot management separate helps
                    > > to avoid me getting cornfuzzled. I mean when you are up to your neck in
                    > > alligators, it's kinda hard sometimes to remember you came here to drain the
                    > > swamp, right?
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
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