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Subject: XP Cannot Create Virtual Dard Disk File
ankur
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Post at 14-5-2007 17:47  Profile | P.M. 
XP Cannot Create Virtual Dard Disk File

i made 350MB virtual hard disk, also my winXP installation was reduced with the help of XPLite, from 1.3GB to 300MB(uncompressed), i'm using WinXP SP2 cd as source, in Chapter 2 when i compressed the disk with GZip and added entries to The GRUB4DOS menu.lst file, after reboot xp did not detect the new virtual hard-drive. I have 512 MB of RAM and Pentium D 2.8 GHz.
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windrv
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Post at 15-5-2007 13:12  Profile | Blog | P.M. 
First of all, please check if you have installed da correctly. If you bring up da and find that there is a RED CROSS over the da scsi controller, the virtual memory disk driver is not installed correctly. So follow the Help Documentation to install the driver correctly.

If the driver is installed correctly, you can try to mount up a blank disk image file (created by the Build Disk Image tool of da) to form a ramdisk using the VDisk Manager from inside XP to see if the blank disk image file can be turned into a virtual memory disk drive. Or to create a virtual memory disk drive in memory rather than mounting up a disk image file on disk.

Also you can use da to make a blank partition image file and load it up as a ramdisk drive by grldr before xp starts up by adding a title to menu.lst as follows:

title Boot blank img 300M
map --mem=-614400 --heads=255 --sectors-per-track=63 (hd0,0)/300m.img (hd1)
map --hook
chainloader (hd0,0)/ntldr

the above title assumes the 300m.img file is created as a 300Mb blank partition image file (.img file) by da and is placed on the 1st partition of the first hard disk.

You can create this blank partition image file by using the Create Blank Image tool of da. You do not need to create it in full size.

The command:

map --mem=-614400

tells grldr to make it into full size using 300M as size when loading it.

The parameter above is:

--mem=-614400

i.e. minus614400

which is (minus)300M x 2048

if the size of the partition image file is to be 500M, then it is:

--mem=-1024000

i.e. minus1024000

which is (minus)500M x 2048

You can leave the following parameters:

--heads=255 --sectors-per-track=63

as they are. No need to change them.

The above assumes the partition image file is not created in full size.

This saves a lot of time for loading it up before xp starts up.

If the partition image file is created in full size, you need not add the above 3 parameters, grldr can calculate them automatically.

So please try above to see if you can see the blank virtual memory disk so created detected under your xp.
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ankur
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Post at 15-5-2007 22:02  Profile | P.M. 
Yes, the driver is installed correctly and i also was able to mount my 300MB disk using VDisk Manager.

i tried your method but all in vain, also i would like you to give one info. that whenever i execute these commands and run WinXP it utilizes the amt. of RAM (ie. 300MB in my case) but does not detect that it is actally a hard drive!
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windrv
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Post at 16-5-2007 08:25  Profile | Blog | P.M. 
If you are able to mount up your disk image file using vdisk manager, then there should not be much trouble.

The problem of not being able to mount the disk image file up before starting xp may be due to either of the following reasons:

1. There are many many versions of grldr out there on internet, some are experimental and unstable. So please use the version of grldr that is obtainable from the grubinst package from http://www.disklessangel.com

2. there may be something wrong with the menu.lst you created, such as mistyping of some commands, etc.

So you may wish to copy and paste your menu.lst for me to see here so that I can further analyse the problem you are facing.
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ankur
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Post at 17-5-2007 12:14  Profile | P.M. 
actually i'm using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to test my system, i created a virtual hard disk of 4 GB with 2 partitions on it, and as you said my windows XP (full) is installed in C:\ and XP (which i have to ramboot) is in D:\ (both are of 2 GB). also i exactly copied the menu'lst file as you gave in DiskLess Angel Tutorial, so i'm having no errors in that and also i've worked on Grub before this very well, so i know it's programming (no doubt on that).
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maxchock
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Post at 17-5-2007 13:04  Profile | P.M. 
i have same problem also. I'm also using nlite to trim down the size of XP, But I'm using VMware server version to test run. I download the GRUBFORDOS from the disklessangel tutorial website.. shouldn't be the problem..

Is it becoz of the nlite?? Did disklessangle actually tried on the nlite version of XP??

Thanks.
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windrv
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Post at 17-5-2007 13:09  Profile | Blog | P.M. 
Have you tried it on real machine rather than virtual machine?

Is there a possibility that the error is introduced because of using virtual machine?

Please provide more information or details about which step it goes wrong and are there any error messages, etc. before your problem can be further analysed.
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windrv
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Post at 17-5-2007 13:13  Profile | Blog | P.M. 


QUOTE:
Originally posted by maxchock at 17-5-2007 13:04
i have same problem also. I'm also using nlite to trim down the size of XP, But I'm using VMware server version to test run. I download the GRUBFORDOS from the disklessangel tutorial website.. shouldn ...

No problem for nlited version on real machine.

Of course, it depends on how small you nlite your os image. Some system services / files that are required by the virtual memory disk driver should be present before it works.

May be you could try it on real machine and see if the problem is due to running it on virtual machine.
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ankur
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Post at 17-5-2007 14:02  Profile | P.M. 
Yes i have indeed tried this on the real machine after virtual pc, but no luck
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windrv
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Post at 17-5-2007 14:43  Profile | Blog | P.M. 
Thank you very much for your trial!

There are two versions of demo now released on our website:

1. XP Demo

2. 2k3 Demo

If you open the About box of DA, XP Demo appears as 1.0.3 version and 2k3 Demo 1.0.4 version.

The XP Demo version should work.

If you use the 2k3 Demo version, then you may continue to do likewise using the help documentation for Diskless Angel XP version with the following two points to be noted:

1. If you build a disk image file using our Diskless Angel, after mounting it up under our Vdisk Manager, the disk image file may not automatically appear under Windows Explorer as a drive or may appear as a RAW drive.

For this, you need to do two things to be able to use the disk image file:

1.a. You need to bring up Windows' Disk Manager (Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Computer Management->Disk Management) and assign a driver letter to the disk image thus mounted up by Diskless Angel

1.b. After assigning a driver letter by the Disk Manager, you should be able to see the disk image so mounted up. But it may be recognized only as a RAW disk image. So you have to format it as you wish using Windows Explorer; if you wish to save space, you may use Compressed NTFS format.

You can then use Volume Copy to copy the live 2k3 Windows image into this virtual disk provided that this virtual disk image file is put in a partition that is different from the Windows system partition.

Or you may wish to mount up this disk image file as a non-system virtual memory disk before Windows 2k3 starts up on hard disk as Chapter II of Diskless Angel XP advises for copying live Windows image from hard disk to virtual memory disk. Afterwards, you can use the Build Disk tool to build the virtual memory disk into a disk image file for use later.

This rebuilt disk image file should work. But you may also have to copy it once again into a new file using Windows Explorer and use the new disk image file thus copied for successful loading under grldr as explained in the Help Documentation.

2. If you mount up the disk image file directly on hard disk for copying the live Windows image, after such operation, you should bring up Diskless Angel 2k3 and use the Change Disk Signature Tool to reset the Disk Signature of this disk image file to all zeros before this disk image file can be used for booting up as a boot-up virtual memory system disk for use later.

Please note that for Windows 2k3 Server, you should use the Diskless Angel 2k3 Server Version, this new release is not interchangeable with our previous release.

Hope the above could solve your problem.

I have just tested it works under VirtualBox.
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