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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default Chameleon install corrupts EasyBCD dual boot - 12-26-2009, 11:15 PM

This was mentioned in passing in the NBI development thread, but I'm putting it here for further discussion.

As several of us have noted, if you run NBI and ask it to (re)install Chameleon, then if you had been using EasyBCD to do the boot select you're greeted with this when you try to reboot Mac OS:

Windows failed to start...

File: \NST\nst_mac.mbr
Status: 0xc000000e
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.

A similar message greets you if you try to boot Windows. Running the Windows "repair" allows you to boot into Windows and then you can rerun EasyBCD and fix up the entries.

It would be nice if this annoyance could be avoided in the future.

---------- Post added at 06:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:20 PM ----------

A sidenote - I decided to see if I could put the Windows recovery CD on a bootable USB stick and use that. Well, yes, I could, but when it does the repair it evidently decides to write the MBR to the USB stick - or something like that - so that the USB stick is required in order to boot at all. Not what I had in mind....


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dude245 dude245 is offline
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Default 12-27-2009, 01:16 AM

Just boot into the w7 install disk, selct your windows partiton,make it active, repair my computer, restart, select partition 3 (or 4), mark as active. Chemilion should be able to boot both


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mechdrew mechdrew is offline
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Default 12-27-2009, 03:05 AM

It's not just EasyBCD, I use Chameleon alone and can't get my install to repair with the DVD. (And I found out about the nasty little USB boot thing.) I'm trying to figure this out myself. At least my XP still works...


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minimalpc minimalpc is offline
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Default 12-27-2009, 07:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmes4 View Post
A sidenote - I decided to see if I could put the Windows recovery CD on a bootable USB stick and use that. Well, yes, I could, but when it does the repair it evidently decides to write the MBR to the USB stick - or something like that - so that the USB stick is required in order to boot at all. Not what I had in mind....
When that happens, you can fix the USB stick by renaming \boot\BCD.backup.001 to \boot\BCD. Doing the repair again will get Windows booting again. If you remove the stick after you click "repair" but before you click to confirm, I think it will keep the USB stick from getting screwed up.

I think it would be instructive to try to manually fix Windows through the repair console by running fixboot. If that doesn't work, then fixmbr. I believe the automated repair is doing one or both of those and knowing which one works will help diagnose what Chameleon is doing that causes the issue in the first place.

---------- Post added at 01:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:44 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mechdrew View Post
It's not just EasyBCD, I use Chameleon alone and can't get my install to repair with the DVD. (And I found out about the nasty little USB boot thing.) I'm trying to figure this out myself. At least my XP still works...
FWIW, if Windows diskpart is saying something about operation not being permitted on a non-fixed HDD, you need to run gptsync again. Been there, done that.


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mechdrew mechdrew is offline
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Default 12-27-2009, 07:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by minimalpc View Post
FWIW, if Windows diskpart is saying something about operation not being permitted on a non-fixed HDD, you need to run gptsync again. Been there, done that.
That'd be great, except I'm not running on GUID. I'm MBR all the way, baby!

EDIT: Found the fix. It was stupid.

You need to open the command prompt instead of trying to repair. Type "diskpart", then you can select your hard drive (" select disk 0") and then the Windows 7 parition ("select partition 3" for me). Make it "active" (that's the command), then minimize the window and select the repair option. Once repair is finished, make your OS X partition active (if you use Chameleon like I do, "select parition 2" and "active" in my case) by going back to the command prompt. Then restart and it should be good to go. (You can type "list" at anytime to get the numbers for the drives and the partitions.) I'm typing this from my repaired Windows 7.


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Scooter70 Scooter70 is offline
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Default 01-01-2010, 05:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by minimalpc View Post
When that happens, you can fix the USB stick by renaming \boot\BCD.backup.001 to \boot\BCD. Doing the repair again will get Windows booting again. If you remove the stick after you click "repair" but before you click to confirm, I think it will keep the USB stick from getting screwed up.
Thanks for this info. I kept having to go re-format and re-make my install drive every time the Repair killed it. I also figured out that you can make the BCD files on your USB drive read-only so that repair can't mess with them.


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mechdrew mechdrew is offline
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Default 01-01-2010, 06:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter70 View Post
Thanks for this info. I kept having to go re-format and re-make my install drive every time the Repair killed it. I also figured out that you can make the BCD files on your USB drive read-only so that repair can't mess with them.
Haha, yeah I tried that. I put my Win7 Installer on a SD card, so it has the little lock switch for read-only. I've never been successful with it yet, I think it still wants to write the file to it and gives up without trying the actual installation on the hard drive. Who knows, maybe I just did it wrong. Great idea, though, if anyone has any luck with it be sure to post!


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minimalpc minimalpc is offline
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Default 01-06-2010, 06:37 AM

I believe that I may have figured out why installing Chameleon with NBI breaks booting Windows 7 until you do a repair. When NBI writes Chameleon's boot0 to the MBR, I believe it overwrites the entire 512-byte MBR, including the 4-byte disk signature area. When Windows can't find the disk signature it wrote, it refuses to boot. The solution would seem to be not to touch the disk signature. In fact, as discussed here, the official Chameleon binary package includes a modified fdisk that keeps the Windows disk signature intact. It seems to me that NBI should use it for the install (or just manually work around the 4 bytes). I am pretty sure this will solve this issue. Next time I run NBI and reinstall Chameleon, I will dump the (pre-repair) MBR using dd then verify the disk signature bytes are NULL. I will also try using dd to rewrite my currently working (post-repair) MBR (which I have already saved with dd) and see if that gets Windows booting again without doing the repair.

On a somewhat related note, while looking into this issue, I came across a simple Chameleon patch that allows Windows 7 hibernation and sleep to work with Chameleon (see Reply #16 by hb76). Using hb76's instructions, I have successfully in place edited the following byte (in red) of the MBR (which is actually just the installed copy of Chameleon's boot0):
0x060: c6 04 00 b3 01 80 ff 01 75 0a 80 3c 80 75 0f 30
to
0x060: c6 04 00 b3 01 80 ff 01 75 0a 80 3c 68 75 0f 30
(This should only be attempted by advanced users that have a way to recover from a corrupted MBR, which can render a system inoperable. Try this at your own risk!).

I used HxD in Windows (it worked just fine despite hb76's warning). In OS X, iBored should also work. More advanced users could even just use dd to write the byte change. Needless to say, I think this patch should ultimately be added to Chameleon (NBI version, if not mainline as discussed in the patch thread--has not happened as of RC4). With this small change, one can multi-boot with Chameleon, Windows will hibernate and sleep properly, and OS X will still boot normally (except possibly in the unusual case where the first HFS+ partition on the disk is not the Mac boot partition).

[EDIT - Forgot to add (though it is in hb76's detailed instructions,) that after doing the byte-patch you have to set the Windows partition to be active in order for hibernation to work in Win 7.]


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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default 12-27-2009, 01:17 PM

That's good to know - but it would be even better if there was an option or smarts in NBI to not make this necessary each time.


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HotDog HotDog is offline
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Default 12-27-2009, 03:23 PM

It sounds like you guys use Windows quite a bit, and it seems like every time there is an update it requires some major gymnastics with Windows to get it running again. I've been running XP in VirtualBox over SL. Seems to be fine, is quite snappy, really, and goes along with the update flow with no problems. I finally gave up on the dual boot try mostly for the reason cited above. VB seems to be one decent answer, any may prove to be the way of the future for most OSes.


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