zBoot Manager Version 2.13 (2003.11). By Jingcheng Zhuang, ZBMsoft.com

Please visit http://www.ZBMsoft.com for more information.

What's new? 

Quick guide: 

If you are very familiar with partitioning, you can directly run zBoot Manager after boot your computer with a DOS startup floppy disk. Please press <F1> whenever you need help. zBoot Manager has a very friendly interface and online help by which most users can use it without carefully reading this readme file.

1. Release notes
2. Prepare to setup a multi-boot system.
3. How to setup a multi-boot system with zBoot
4. Some notes
5. A simple example
6. Warranty, copyrights, registration, and contact info
Please make a DOS boot floppy disk( you can download one at http://www.zbmsoft.com)  and boot from the floppy disk to run zBoot Manager.

1. Release notes

Thanks for choosing zBoot Manager. First of all, it is important that you read this file carefully before installing zBoot on your computer. This version can even boot your computer from the 2nd hard disk. zBoot Manager supports disks of any size and up to 8 systems. Each system can include up to 4 primary partitions. It can support many kinds of operating system, i.e. Dos, Windows(3.1, 95/98/ME, NT/2000/XP), Linux, ... And you can use password protection to any systems installed. 

2. Prepare to setup a multi-boot system

Using zBoot to setup a multi-boot system is very easy. However, you should plan first, gather some information before starting. Following are some general questions:

  1. How big is your hard disk?

  2. How many operating systems do you want to install? In this version, you can have up to 8 systems on one hard disk. Of course, you can always come back to add more, or delete some of them.

  3. For each system, how many partitions and how big is each partition? At the same time, you should decide which partitions will be shared partitions, which will be visible for several systems at the same time. In this version, you can have up to 4 partitions for each system.

Notes: For each system, you must have one bootable partition. If possible, you do not need to setup extended partitions and logic drivers, i.e.,  if you want to setup 3 partitions for Windows or Dos as C:, D:, E:, simply create three  primary partitions. Primary partition gives you the flexibility to modify it later without affecting other partitions. For each system, you can select up to 4 partitions from the partition list, including bootable and shared partitions.

 After having answers to the above questions, you are now ready to install zBoot

3. How to set up a multi-boot system with zBoot

If your hard disk is in use already, it is always a good idea to backup the current MBR(Master Boot Record) before installing zBoot. To do this, use the "Disk Tools" from the main menu of zBoot after running zBoot.

  1. Run zBoot. At DOS prompt, type "zBoot" to run zBoot.  After starting zBoot, it displays the main menu and you can start setup now. Note: You can press <F1> to get online help, and press <ESC> to exit.

  2. If you would like to backup the current MBR, you can do it now. Use the  "Disk Tools" from Main menu.

  3. Step1. Setup Partition list. Create a list of partitions here. Once again, if possible, do not use extended partition, i.e., if you want to setup 3  partitions for Windows or Dos as C:, D:, E:, you only need to create three primary partitions (i.e. Win32 LBA) for that. In this step, just create all partitions you need. In next step, you will assign some partitions to some systems.

  4. Step2. Setup zBoot Menu, here, you can setup up to 8 systems and for every system, add up to 4 partitions ( from partition list created in last step) into it. Press <F1> to get online help. NOTE: do not forget to set a bootable partition for every system. The two steps above would not write anything to your hard disk yet, if  you want to undo what you have done, simply quit zBoot and run it again.

  5. Step3. Install zBoot manager to your hard disk. This will actually write the information to your disk and make your system a multi-boot system.

Now, you have set up a multi-boot system. Restart your computer and select a system from the Boot Menu, if that system hasn't been installed yet,  it display:

 "Booting from: <System Name>"
 "OS loading error!"

Reboot your computer, start from CD-ROM or floppy disk, format if necessary, and start installing the operating system as normal.

After you install some operating systems, i.e. Windows 98. It modifies your current MBR and the zBoot Menu will not show up. To recover, run zBoot again and directly use the function "Step3. Install zBoot manager to Hard disk" from Main Menu.

4. Some notes

  1. Normally, your bootable partition will always be "C:". Please make sure not to install OS to incorrect drive. You can check it with "dir c:" at dos prompt.

  2. Normally, you should create Windows 32 LBA partition for windows if you are using are using a large size hard disk.

  3. If you want to install Linux, you should install it at the beginning of the hard disk with at least two partitions. the first one is "Linux Native"(>1G) and the other one is <Linux Swap>. When you install Linux system, use Custom install. Set the mount point of the "Linux Native" to "/". and make sure that LILO is installed to the first sector of Linux partition and not to the Master Boot Sector!!!

5. A simple example

This is an example showing how to set up two versions of Windows( Window ME  and Windows 98) on a 30G hard disk. In every version, C: and D:  should be included. We need to assign one bootable partition for every system.  Other partitions can be shared between them.
 Here is our plan:

 for Windows ME:  C:(6G, bootable partition)
 for Windows 98:   C:(4G, bootable partition)
                              D:(20G, shared with the D: of Windows ME)
 The total space is 6 + 4 + 20 = 30G.
 Obviously, our partition list should include three partitions:

 1. Windows FAT-32  LBA, 6G     for booting Windows Me
 2. Windows FAT-32  LBA, 4G     for booting Windows 98
 3. Windows FAT-32  LBA, 20G   shared partition between Windows Me and Windows 98.

 Now, start your computer with a floppy disk and run zBoot

  1. Use the first item "Setup Partition list" in the main menu, and setup three partition list here, they will be displayed in the above window. When it is done, press <ESC> to return to the main menu.

  2. Use the second item "Setup zBoot Menu" in the main menu, at the first window, press <R> to rename the system to "Windows ME" and use the <TAB> to switch to the window below. Press <INS> to add  partitions to current system, it will display the partition list and you can select one at a time. You should add two partitions (6G and 20G in this example) to this system and move with the UP/DOWN to highlight the 6G partition and press <SPACE> to make it bootable.

  3. Use <TAB> to switch to the left upper window and press <INS> to add another system and enter the system name: "Windows 98", and follow the same steps as above to setup this system. Press <ESC> to return to main menu when you are done.

  4. Select "Install zBoot Manager to hard disk" to actually make your computer a multi-boot system.

  5. Remove your floppy disk and restart the computer, it will display the boot menu:

     Select a system to boot...[30]
     Windows ME
     Windows 98

You can use UP/DOWN to select and press <ENTER> to conform it. Now select the "Windows ME" it will display:

     Booting from: Windows ME
     OS loading error!

at this time, restart your computer from CD-ROM or floppy disk, and install the Windows ME to C:. After it is done, you will find that the boot menu will not be displayed when you restart your computer. Do not worry, Windows ME does not aware you have a boot manager, just restart your computer with the floppy disk and run zBoot again, and select "Install zBoot manager to hard disk". It will then restore your boot menu. Note: you can use step 1 and 2 to check the setting before you use the step 3.

Now, restart your computer, you can see the menu again and you can select  the "Windows ME" to start Window Me. Or you can follow the same steps to install another system.

6. Warranty, copyrights, registration, and contact info

For further information about this software. Please visit web site: http://www.ZBMsoft.com 

Email: zboot@zbmsoft.com

Copyright 2002-2003  ZBMsoft.com. All rights reserved