Installing eComStation 2.1 and Windows 8 with Dual Boot

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By Martin Iturbide

* 2014-07 Update: This instructions also apply for Windows 8.1

I don't now why but I always like to write Dual Boot articles from time to time.

On this time I bought myself a new 2TB Hard disk and installed eComStation 2.1 and Windows 8 in a dual boot configuration.

For this case I choose to use Windows Boot Manager as my boot manager.

This article shows pictures step by step.

Contents

Starting Installing eComStation 2.1

I started installing eComStation on the new hard drive. So I plugged the new HDD and put the eComStation CD-ROM to boot from it.


Choose to boot with "own values" to configure your machine specs:

DualB 0 and 13.JPG

I made the cd to boot with ACPI driver.

DualB 1.JPG

I also has the AHCI mode enabled, so I had to turn this on too.

DualB 2.JPG

It will boot and you will see that I enabled that two drivers.

DualB 3.JPG

ok, it is loading..

DualB 4.JPG

First page of the installation...

DualB 5.JPG

The agreement...

DualB 6.JPG

I'm advanced, came on...

DualB 7.JPG

Yes, it requires a serial number.

DualB 8.JPG

Now it will start looking at your drives.

DualB 9.JPG

Bang... it will show you a drive with a problem. No partition data, no table. Let's fix it.

DualB 10.JPG

It will fix it and click "ok".

DualB 11.JPG

But, you have to pay for such an easy fix with a reboot.

DualB 12.JPG

Now start all over. Select own values and advance forward on the install menu.

DualB 0 and 13.JPG

We are getting the drive information again.

DualB 14.JPG

Bang!!! no installable partitions. Click "ok" to start the volume manager.

DualB 15.JPG

Now we are in the volume manager and we can see our HDD.

DualB 16.JPG

Create volume by right clicking on it.

DualB 17.JPG

We are going to start with the eComStation one at the beginning of the HDD.

DualB 18.JPG

I like the "X"

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Set it size. Some 10GB will be ok. And remember to use it as primary partition.

DualB 20.JPG

Here I went a little bit forward and creating two other primary partitions

  • X: Primary for eComStation 10GB
  • W: Primary for something else (not defined yet)
  • C: Logical for Windows - 500GB
  • D: Logical for some programs. (Please do not make it LVM, it was a mistake on the picture).

So now you see how I'm going to organize the partitions for the dual boot.

DualB 21.JPG

Let's accept the changes.

DualB 22.JPG

And now you see an startable partition to install eComStation.

DualB 23.JPG

Next you will be asked to format the partition that you set as startable to install eCS.

DualB 24.JPG

Select "Start"

DualB 25.JPG

Wait a little bit...

DualB 26.JPG

Once it is formated, you can click "next".

DualB 27.JPG

Select the languages stuff.

DualB 28.JPG

Select the drivers.

DualB 29.JPG

Select the Audio drivers

DualB 30.JPG

The folders set up.

DualB 31.JPG

Here are some packages you can choose to install.

DualB 32.JPG

The network stuff that needs to be installed.

DualB 33.JPG

Here goes the network protocols. Don't forget TCP/IP.

DualB 34.JPG

Sure, here goes my IP... no way all DHCP.

DualB 35.JPG

The network name and workgroup.

DualB 36.JPG

One more "Next Button" to start...

DualB 37.JPG

Now it started installing the files.

DualB 38.JPG

There goes a reboot

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Installing more files

DualB 40.JPG

A Minion shows up there.

DualB 41.JPG

More install, more reboot... I think this is the last one.

DualB 42.JPG

Finally, we have eComStation installed.

DualB 43.JPG

Installing Windows 8

Now we are going to proceed to install Windows 8.

Remember that I set some space on the HDD and I have a 500GB "C:" Logical partition un formatted. On this one I choose to install Windows 8.

Once you install Windows it will break eComStation 2.1 boot sector, but it will not break the partition.

So, you boot with Windows installation CD-ROM

DualB Win8 1.JPG

It asks you for language and keyboard

DualB Win8 2.JPG

Starts setup

DualB Win8 3.JPG

You make MS lawyers happy by clicking "Agree".

DualB Win8 4.JPG

Here you need to select "CUSTOM". Maybe the other option will go terrible wrong.

DualB Win8 5.JPG

Here is where the magic begin, remember that this was how we made the partition on eComStation.

DualB Win8 6.JPG

So we select the partition when when want Windows to be installed. Do not resize the partitions here or everything will be lost.

DualB Win8 7.JPG

Sit back and see how Windows installs the files.

DualB Win8 8.JPG

It boots...

DualB Win8 9.JPG

And here we have the useless "Metro" Windows 8 GUI installed with the rest of Windows.

DualB Win8 10.JPG

Now just lets check how Windows sees the partitions on the "Configurator Manager".

DualB Win8 12.JPG

Installing/Configuring EasyBCD on Windows 8

So, if we are going use "Windows Boot Manager" for dual boot the easy way is to download and install "EasyBCD" program. This program will make it easy and graphically for us to add more OSes on the Windows boot meny.

Once we run the program we see it this way, only Windows 8 is on the boot loader.

DualB EasyBCD 1.JPG

We click "Add new Entry" and put the eComStation partition on it, like it was a GRUB Legacy Linux partition.

DualB EasyBCD 2.JPG

After saving we will see the two entries on the EasyBCD menu.

DualB EasyBCD 4.JPG

On the next restart we are going to see Windows asking us which OS to run.

DualB EasyBCD 5.JPG

Restoring eComStation 2.1 if Windows 8 breaks it boot sector

Windows 8 is a bad boy, so it may break eComStation boot sector when installing. If that happens you only need to boot with the eComStation CD in maintenance mode and select the eComStation partition as startable.

DualB fixeCS-1.JPG

But it is possible that this will remove "Windows Boot Manager". Check on the Windows 8 instructions to recover the Windows 8 Boot.

Restoring Windows 8 if eComStation breaks it boot sector

If when trying to recover the eComStation boot sector on your machine, you noticed it turned off the "Windows Boot Manager" here are some instructions to recover it.

Boot the Windows 8 CDROM as "Repair".

DualB FixW8 1.JPG

Choose "Troubleshoot"


DualB FixW8 2.JPG

Let's go to "Advanced Options"

DualB FixW8 3.JPG

..and lets run the "Command Prompt"

DualB FixW8 4.JPG

We can recover the Windows Boot manager by running "bcdboot c:\windows" from the C: drive.

As a side note it also good for you to read how to use Windows diskpart [1] and how to change drive letters from the command line.

DualB FixW8 6.JPG

On the next reboot Windows Boot Manager will be enabled and both OSes should run without problems.

Errors and Limitations

Geometry Error

Be carefull to resize the partitions from other non-eComStation systems. eComStation still has some limitations to recognize partitions.

For example. If you resize a partition from a Windows program, on the same HDD where eCS is installed, it may break eCS boot and eComStation will not recognize the partitions anymore.

It will show you an error like this one:

DBoot Error2 - Geometry.JPG

The only workarround is to erase the HDD and repartition it with eComStation.


Miss Aligned Boot Sector

This is other kind of error that can show up on eComStation installation.

DBoot Error1 - MissbootSect.JPG

References