Start64!Windows Vista Beta2 Build 5308 32 and 64-bit operating systems have recently been released. Now we extend the previously created 64-bit test environment with options of switching to the new systems.

In our previous article we created a 64-bit test environment with the aim of being able to study 64-bit Windows XP 64 safely while keeping the system that we currently use. Now we extend the previously created system with 32 and 64-bit Windows Vista operating systems. After the two new Windows systems have been added, 32-bit XP still remains the default operating system with the other three being selectable at system start.

The present situation is basically different from the former setting options, as the BootPart utility cannot be used under any of the Vistas.  The underlying reason is that the boot process that has been used ever since Windows NT 4.0 has changed with the new operating systems (for example there is no boot.ini file while one of the features of BootPart is editing this file). The new boot process component is Boot Configuration Data (BCD). We carried out the installation with the same trick, by “setting the partition active”, and the results were just what we had expected. During install it came to light that booting is different in Vista, so it is conceivable that now there is no need of setting the partition high before install in order to prevent the mixing of the operating systems. This could be the subject of another test; the question has arisen just now, at this point.



First we created two new partitions with the disk manager in the area left unused last time and we gave them the names vista32 and vista64. 

Creating two new partitions
Creating two new partitions

 Installing and adding 32-bit Vista

We set the partition named vista32 active, and then we install the 32-bit system. We chose advanced installation options. This might not have been necessary this time, but as we are dealing with an unknown operating system, we do not know, what it would have done with the default settings. The point is that this way the partition to be used for the installation process could be selected; of course we chose the one named vista32. Nothing remarkable occurred afterwards; some processes take place differently than what we are used to in case of installing Windows, but everything is structured in a logical way, so there was no problem. The only shortcoming was that the progress indicator performed poorly during the install; perhaps it will still be improved in the final version.

After the installation was over, we opened the disk manager and we set the partition named xp32, containing 32-bit XP, as active. Accordingly, upon restart the 32-bit XP booted. After this we changed the settings in boot.ini and we saved the new boot sector using the BootPart utility:

We listed the bootable systems with the bootpart program started without any parameters:

c:\prov>bootpart
Boot Partition 2.60 for WinNT/2K/XP (c)1995-2005 G. Vollant (info @ winimage.com)
WEB : http://www.winimage.com and http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
Add partition in the Windows NT/2000/XP Multi-boot loader
Run "bootpart /?" for more information

Physical number of disk 0 : d769d769
 0 : C:* type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249901 KB, Lba Pos=63
 1 : C:  type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249932 KB, Lba Pos=40499865
 2 : C:  type=6  (BIGDOS Fat16), size= 19968795 KB, Lba Pos=80999730

This showed that 32-bit Vista resided on partition number 2 (it also turned out that BootPart did not accurately recognise the file system of the partition containing Vista, but this has no importance at this point). Accordingly, we started the bootpart utility in the following manner:

c:\prov>bootpart 2 c:\vista32.dat "32 bit Vista"
Boot Partition 2.60 for WinNT/2K/XP (c)1995-2005 G. Vollant (info @ winimage.com)
WEB : http://www.winimage.com and http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
Add partition in the Windows NT/2000/XP Multi-boot loader
Run "bootpart /?" for more information

Physical number of disk 0 : d769d769
 0 : C:* type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249901 KB, Lba Pos=63
 1 : C:  type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249932 KB, Lba Pos=40499865
 2 : C:  type=6  (BIGDOS Fat16), size= 19968795 KB, Lba Pos=80999730

Writing a boot sector using LBA position 80999730 (0x4d3f532)
c:\vista32.dat written
C:\BOOT.INI updated

We therefore saved the boot sector of partition 2 to the c:\vista32.dat file and we named the new system “32-bit Vista”. After restarting three systems were already available to be chosen from, so we passed over to the test.

 

Installation and adding of 64-bit Vista

Before installing 64-bit Vista we set the partition named vista64 as active (this can be done from any of the operating systems). After this we installed the system using our experiences regarding 32-bit Vista; we chose the partition named vista64 for the installation. We may note at this point that at the installation phase where partitions are dealt with it is possible to set a disk controller, and fortunately floppy disk drives are not the only option any more: CD/DVD drives or USB devices can also be selected. Installation was even much longer than in the case of the 32-bit system. While 32-bit Vista installed 8.3 GB data, the 64-bit version created a system containing 12.4 GB of data. Another reason of the lengthy process can be that while the 32-bit system just fit into 512 MB memory, 64-bit Vista already depended heavily upon virtual memory, as it needs 1 GB of memory in the first place. Once a firewall, an antivirus software and the other usual utilities are installed 1 GB is also likely to prove insufficient for working with 64-bit Vista. 1.5 – 2 GB of memory are therefore not luxurious in its case.

Installation was finished successfully, the 64-bit system was started in order, and so we could come to adding it to the list of bootable systems. To do this we found the disk manager and we set the xp32 partition, containing 32-bit XP, as active. Upon restart the 32-bit XP booted. We listed the bootable partitions with the bootpart program started without any parameters:

c:\prov>bootpart
Boot Partition 2.60 for WinNT/2K/XP (c)1995-2005 G. Vollant (info @ winimage.com)
WEB : http://www.winimage.com and http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
Add partition in the Windows NT/2000/XP Multi-boot loader
Run "bootpart /?" for more information

Physical number of disk 0 : d769d769
 0 : C:* type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249901 KB, Lba Pos=63
 1 : C:  type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249932 KB, Lba Pos=40499865
 2 : C:  type=6  (BIGDOS Fat16), size= 19968795 KB, Lba Pos=80999730
 3 : C:  type=6  (BIGDOS Fat16), size= 17647402 KB, Lba Pos=120937320

This shows that the partition containing 64-bit vista is marked by number 3; we issued the next command to save the boot sector and to set boot.ini accordingly:

c:\prov>bootpart 3 c:\vista64.dat "64 bit Vista"
Boot Partition 2.60 for WinNT/2K/XP (c)1995-2005 G. Vollant (info @ winimage.com)
WEB : http://www.winimage.com and http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
Add partition in the Windows NT/2000/XP Multi-boot loader
Run "bootpart /?" for more information

Physical number of disk 0 : d769d769
 0 : C:* type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249901 KB, Lba Pos=63
 1 : C:  type=7  (HPFS/NTFS), size= 20249932 KB, Lba Pos=40499865
 2 : C:  type=6  (BIGDOS Fat16), size= 19968795 KB, Lba Pos=80999730
 3 : C:  type=6  (BIGDOS Fat16), size= 17647402 KB, Lba Pos=120937320

Writing a boot sector using LBA position 120937320 (0x7355b68)
c:\vista64.dat written
C:\BOOT.INI updated

The following things happened: we saved the boot sector of partition 3 to the c:\vista64.dat file and we added the “64-bit Vista” entry to the boot.ini file in the proper manner. After this we could already choose three systems for booting. It is worth examining the boot.ini file, it will show what we exactly did or what BootPart did. Vista contains an improved firewall by default, as well as the Windows Defender antispy program. Qualities of the firewall are not known at the present; considering the experiences of the past, however, a more advanced firewall is probably going to be needed. Windows Defender offers appropriate protection, but at present there is no antivirus program specifically designed for 64-bit Vista. This is a major security problem. In our next article we will examine what we can do in this field and what options there are in case of other important programs (archivers, file managers etc.). This next article is likely to be written after the release of the public RC0 test version; up to then there may still be changes in the available software selection. Tabloid news suggest there is chance that version RC0 will be out by mid-April.


facebook-3 twitter-3 rss-3 email-3

logo-bottom