Add Windows Setup as a boot option

August 6, 2009 at 16:04:58
Specs: Windows 2000
Does anyone know if it is possible to copy the setup files of 2000 to the hard drive, perhaps on a separate partition, and add an entry to the boot loader to allow disk-to-disk Windows Installation in the event of a problem?

I know it's possible to add the Recovery Console in XP, but I'd like to be able to do a full-blown installation with it.

Any ideas?

Happy Trails

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August 6, 2009 at 18:01:27
Unless I misunderstand, your idea makes no sense. If you have an extra hard drive and you want a backup OS just install it on the second drive.

Some advice though, the Windows boot loader is dependent on the first OS working in order to boot to the second.

Many modern BIOSes have an option at start up to select what drive to boot from.

If you connect ONLY one drive at a time and install an OS on it you can select which hard drive to boot to.

I currently have such a setup on the computer I am on. Three hard drives. One with WinXP, one Vista, one Windows7 RC1. If I want to boot to a different OS I tap Esc at start up and select to boot from the hard drive. I then get to choose which hard drive. The next time I boot up it will automatically go directly to the last drive selected.

By setting up that way the OSes are totally independent of one another.

If your BIOS doesn't have that option then there are boot managers that can do the same thing and more.

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August 6, 2009 at 20:51:19
This is for XP, but W2K is in principal the same:

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August 7, 2009 at 03:11:09
Sorry OtheHill, your misunderstanding me. I would like to have 2 partitions on my hard drive. One for normal Windows 2000/XP use and the other, for the Windows setup files. I would like to add "Windows Setup" to the bootloader so If a problem arisies, I can repair install/fresh install Windows without inserting CD-ROMS. The computer I'm speaking of is a tablet and has NO floppy or CD-ROM drives. So, to make it easier, I wanted to be able to run Windows Setup from the hard drive.

I actually thought of a solution to my problem. I can install DOS on that first partition, copy the i386 folder to it and then just type the WINNT command to install Windows.

I just thought there would be a more streamlined way of doing it.


Happy Trails

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August 7, 2009 at 04:45:53
I guess that would work but you might lose data and need to apply updates, players, etc after the install.

Here is a thought. Two partitions with Windows and players, browsers, etc. only on the first and programs on the second. Image the Windows partition to a flash drive. If the image is kept up to date then applying the image, if necessary would restore your tablet to the same condition as when the image was made.

While I don't usually recommend flash media for backup/imaging, in this case I think it would be your best solution.

An external USB drive could backup/image the entire drive but is not as portable as a flash drive.

Is the hard drive a solid state unit?

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August 7, 2009 at 08:52:12
Yep install MS-DOS then XP and you will get a Boot Loader:

You can create a Customised W2K CD with nLiteOS
A 2GB MS-DOS partition/install should be OK...

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August 7, 2009 at 14:15:01
Thanks for the great ideas! nLite sounds like a winner with that DOS partition...

The hard drive, OtheHill, is a 40GB typical laptop drive, not solid state. They didn't use solid states in the Fujitsu Point 1600 because of their "state-of-the-art" hard drive shock protection which consists of a foam pad around the hard drive... Go figure.

The image idea sounds good, but the only problem that I foresee is the fact that the tablet is rather old and, while it does have a USB 1.1 port, it can only boot from the hard drive.

Although, I could have DOS on the first partition like in the other idea, but I could include Symantec Ghost files on that partition so I could even do a network ghosting if I wanted...

Many options to choose. I'm going to do some testing with VMware to iron out all of the details.

One thing I am kinda worried about is the fact that if I installed Windows 2000 on a second partition, my drive letter for the larger Windows 2000 partition would probably be "D". Being obsessive compulsive about that, would there be a way to "hide" that first DOS partition from Windows 2000 so I could have that partition as "C"?

Thanks Again for all of your help,

Happy Trails

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August 7, 2009 at 14:52:31
Being the type of computer you have you may have limited boot options. That said, if you use a boot manager on a very small first partition You should be able to create multiple partitions and install OSes on them. When booting from the boot manager each will use the first available fixed drive letter, which is C.

IMO that is a better method than using Windows boot manager. There is a symbiosis between OSes when using the native boot manager. So, removing one OS May affect another one. That is not the case with a third party boot manager.

If you can't boot from a USB device that is a defect in design IMO.

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August 7, 2009 at 15:56:38
True Using a 3rd party boot manager might also allow me to boot from a USB drive, if it allows it. Also, like you said, I'm sure that boot conflicts with windows WILL arise, so its probably the best bet to use a 3rd party type.

Do you have any suggestions? I've used Smart Boot Manager before, but I hated its old-world look. I've also used Acronis OS Selector, but it has proved to be a nightmare for me.


Happy Trails

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August 7, 2009 at 16:07:44
I don't have any I have used recently. I would say to try a new thread asking for suggestions.

I didn't imply a boot manager would allow booting from a USB device. I was just stating that when you have limited hardware as you do you would think the boot device options would be broader.

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