Procedure installation XOSL on disk prepared by the help of EZ-BIOS or EZ-Drive, v1.4 ENG
EZ-Drive (also named EZ-BIOS) is a DDO (Dynamic Drive Overlay) program, which is intended to handle hard disks with more than 1023
cylinders (aprox. 7,8GB) when your BIOS can't. It was adopted around the time disks got bigger than about 504 MB. (see XOSL HOWTOs and FAQs)
Tips introduced here are absolutely without guarantee. Before starting any installation make sure that you read Manual and FAQ for XOSL several times. This way you can avoid some unnecessary problems. If you have questions, suggestions, tips etc., send them
to my e-mail address email@example.com.
- Installation of EZ-BIOS and XOSL (author Jaromir Rezek)
- Installation of EZ-Drive and XOSL (author Tau)
- Change boot sector signature
Installation of EZ-BIOS and XOSL
Here’s a procedure, how to prepare disk with EZ-BIOS (version MaxBlast 1.27s) and then to install XOSL (version 1.1.5).
The procedure is almost the same as installation of EZ-Drive and XOSL from faq 1.0 XOSL (with some real experience)
Written by Jaromir Rezek and revised by Jiri Sanek.
- By using EZ-BIOS you have to prepare disk in the following layout:
By using Partition magic or Ranish partition manager you need to create the following partition layout:
- create FAT16 partition about size aprox. 16MB
- the rest of free space leave as extended
- Note: EZ-BIOS install floppy will write EZ-BIOS into first primary partition (16MB) as "mini boot manager", so that it is booted after system start.
Backup MBR and XOSL installation - IMPORTANT: reboot your computer only if allowed:
- remove logical partition and extended partition created by EZ-BIOS, but not that 16MB primary partition (EZ-BIOS is inside)!!!!!
- create small 16MB primary partition for installing XOSL (remember keep it as hidden and inactive partition, for the reason see Note) bellow
- create next hidden primary partition for installing Windows (Windows 9x must be installed to primary partition only)
- further create next primary partition (!! attention it's 4th. primary partition !!) or extended partition and logical disks
(during creation of partition remember 1023 cylinder limit, if your BIOS does not have INT 13 extensions incorporated - see FAQs about XOSL)
- Note: If you left 1st. primary partition active and non-hidden, you can anytime reboot computer during creating partitions.
Only before reboot, remove system floppy disk and while loading EZ-BIOS press CTRL key (startup screen will appear to offer booting from floppy
or drive C:) or let finish loading of EZ-BIOS with operating system, that you choose when the EZ-BIOS disk was created.
Restore MBR and set XOSL
- Now activate 2nd. partition for installing XOSL and hide 1st. partition with EZ-BIOS by using Ranish partition manager.
- Backup your MBR. Allways use floppy for that (maybe with freeware program MBRWork, which is quite easy to use and also capable of some other interesting stuff).
- Install XOSL to a dedicated partition without (!!!) reboot. But don't choose to install "Smart Boot Manager" to boot from CD-ROM or
else you'll lose your first track on the hard disk where EZ-Drive is located. You can install "Smart Boot Manager" manually, but install it on a floppy not on hard drive.
- Note: If it happens that before installation of XOSL your computer restarts for some reason, press CTRL key while EZ-BIOS starts and then boot from floppy.
Finish MBR backup and XOSL installation as in point No.3
- Use some disk editor to change that partition boot sector signature from XOSL's 0534Fh to standard 0AA55h which EZ-Drive can boot
(disc editors see that number on partition in the form 4F53 or 55AA).
If you are using Windows Startup floppy, you must first lock disk for direct access by command "lock c:".
- Restore your MBR from backup.
- Reboot your computer, setting the preferences of XOSL as usual, but hide partition with XOSL in all Boot items or change that partition File
system ID to "XOSL's type" 78h or similar (Ranish Partition Manager directly from XOSL can be used for this purpose). Remember also not to activate
any other partition except this. Don't worry about booting Windows from a non active or even from a logical partition. XOSL can handle that easily.
Important summary to the end: (those are my recommendations, you don't have to agree with them absolutely)
- Before you make any changes to partition layout or before any later installations of operating system do not forget to backup MBR.
- Start Windows9x installation with switch /ir ("setup /ir" - installation doesn't write to MBR), before that however, make that partition bootable
by using Windows Startup floppy ("sys a: c:").
- !!!! Never boot from floppy or booting CD-ROM before starting EZ-BIOS, any changes on disk can cause data corrruption !!!!
- Anytime you want to boot from floppy, use appropriate XOSL boot item for that and to boot from CD-ROM use Smart Boot manager placed on a floppy.
If you want to avoid booting from XOSL use EZ-BIOS boot menu (pressing CTRL key).
- I would say: "to the end of drive lifetime" don't handle partition, where the EZ-BIOS is located, otherwise your data might be corrupted.
- Note: If you make a mistake during EZ-BIOS installation or you just need different partition layout,
uninstall EZ-BIOS using Advanced option in EZ-BIOS installation. Do not forget to save changes otherwise uninstall fails!
Uninstallation does not have to be succesful for the first time, so try rebooting computer and accomplishing uninstall again.
Reboot computer once more after that, just to be shure.
Example of partition layout:
- Prim. part. - EZ-BIOS - 16MB (or less - I have other helpfull programs here) - hidden
- Prim. part. - XOSL - 16MB (or less) - activate
- Prim. part. - Test - 2 GB - hidden
- Extended part. (logical disk)
- Win98 - 1GB - internet
- Win98 - 2GB - game
- Win98 - 2.7GB - work
- Data1 - 10GB - here is limit 1023 cylinders
- Data2 - 10GB
- Install - 10GB
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EZ-Drive and XOSL installation
Here’s a second procedure, how to prepare disk with EZ-Drive (using version 11.39w, this version probably does not require boot sector with signature 0AA55h) and then installing XOSL (version 1.1.4).
Written by Tau.
Introduction note: Installation procedure comes out from tips Installation EZ-BIOS and XOSL and from XOSL FAQs 1.0.
Quote from author: "Because I played around with the hard drive (with all data saved safely on backup media by hints in FAQ. :)) ), I tried to do lots of things and it yielded at last."
- System installation and EZ-Drive installation (EZ-Drive installation floppy from Western Digital - Data Life Guard). EZ-Drive installation creates FAT16 or FAT32 partition on drive, depending on which floppy you insert during its installation:
By using MS-DOS Fdisk (I used v6.22) remove all created partitions (remove all logical partitions, then extended partition and finally primary partition (FAT16 option) or single primary partition (FAT32 option)).
Reboot, while loading EZ-Drive press CTRL key and insert and boot bootable floppy. Run fdisk and create new primary partition. (I created the smallest allowed by fdisk - 7.8MB, if you make it under 32MB it will be FAT12)
Reboot from floppy (again with pressing CTRL key...), format partition (our 7,8 MB disk - C:) and run installation XOSL to a dedicated partition.
In BIOS settings set boot sequence "C,A" or "HDD, Floppy" or "HDD-0 only" :-) (This setting can be done later on, but it is better to do it now, preventing that you boot OS from floppy before EZ-Drive loads.).
After starting XOSL, create Boot item "Boot from floppy", boot it from MS-DOS boot floppy, then by using fdisk create a new primary partition and reboot. Boot item "Boot from floppy".
Format disk C:, use label "MS-DOS" and install MS-DOS).
Reboot and hide partition with MSDOS in XOSL Boot item "Boot from floppy" and boot from Win9x Startup (or Install) floppy. By using fdisk create a new partition and format it right after reboot. Label it "Win9x".
Back up MBR by using MBRWork.
In XOSL create Boot items "MS-DOS v.6.22" (boots second partition, hide all other partitions) and "Windows ME" (third partition, no need to hide anything). Run WinME installation.
After WinME installation press CTRL key (EZ-Drive), boot from floppy and restore MBR.
- MS-DOS installation floppy will cause, that EZ-Drive creates FAT16 partitions - always 4xFAT16
- WIN9x installation floppy will cause, that EZ-Drive creates FAT32 partition - usually only one
The layout of harddisk:
- Prim. partition - 7,8 MB - EZ-Drive v.11.39w (!! this version !!) + XOSL v.1.1.4 - active + hidden
- Prim. partition - 2,1 GB - MS-DOS , FAT16
- Prim. partition - 2,1 GB - Win ME , FAT16
- Prim. partition - 13 GB - Data, FAT32
Note for MS-DOS on second primary partition: They say, that it is possible to install MS-DOS only on the first partition (in this case perhaps just first visible), however it's interesting, that EZ-Drive affects MSDOS run.
I compared it with MSDOS on harddrive without EZ-Drive. I find small difference in behaviour of EMM386, but these are just details (for instance information about memory allocation) (EZ-Drive needs some memory to run, maybe that is the difference. -Thanks Filip :-) ).
Note for the 4th. prim. partition: It can be extended partition containing one or more logical partitions.
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Change boot sector signature
- technique - by using any disk editor - In Ranish partition manager (which is part of XOSL) choose partition that XOSL is installed.
Press F4 key. Column "Starting sector" displays number of first sector. Write it down on paper. Next try to use in your disk editor function "Go to absolute sector" and there type in the number of our absolute sector (from paper). Within this sector there is Head 1 and Sector 1, and at the end of sector 1 you can find record of Partition Table Signature 0534FH.
- technique - PTS Disk editor
- In PTS Disk editor select option "Partitions", in neighbouring window choose partition that XOSL is installed (in picture it is "Unknown-15.6M") and select "OK"
- Then by scrolling down choose end of Sector 1 (head 1) and at the end of sector 1 you can find record of Partition Table Signature 0534FH, re-write it by number 55AAH.
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XOSL - excellent bootmanager
czech version http://xosl.zde.cz, http://xoslcz.sourceforge.net/
BootDisk - useful tools and boot disks of all kinds
BootPart - interesting program for multibooting in general
DISKED The DISK EDitor For IBM-PC/XT/AT Computers - command line disk editor
PTS Disk Editor versin 1.04 (latest free version found)
MBRWork - interesting freeware program to backup, restore or erase your MBR
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Authors: Jaromir Rezek and Tau
Written and translated from Czech language: Jaromir Rezek, Jiri Sanek
Revised and spellchecked: Filip Komar