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Multiboot / Boot from image / Boot partition into RAM
I want to split my HDD into multiple partitions. By constraints, to have a fresh version of Windows XP on this computer. The only way to put XP on the computer is to use the Restore DVD, which basically wipes everything.
Afterwards, I want to multi-boot with some operating systems. I'm thinking about using Debian. I want to create a fresh install of Debian. Maybe I'll put some programs on there, too.
Also, I want to do something a bit different. I want to get a couple of live-linux versions and put them on the harddrive. Afterwards, I want them to boot into RAM. Now, I'm really curious about this whole part.
Is there a way I could...
1. put multiple live-cd OSs onto a DVD.
2. Load one of the many OSs on that CD.
3. Load it into RAM and use it
I'm not sure how that would work, because I don't know if the filesystems would conflict. I'm not sure if I could leave all of them in .ISO form and somehow have something translate them into their filesystem and have that loaded into RAM. Not too sure. Would I have to partition a DVD for that? Can a person even partition a DVD?
If that's not possible, then what's the possibility of putting some clean versions of Live OSs onto the Harddrive, having a selection, and then choosing one to load into RAM for usage?
The Live versions of linux load totally into RAM, right? Because I don't want a single thing touching the harddrive. I only want things read from the harddrive when it comes to the live versions. In other words, upon booting the live OS, it loads totally into RAM. Afterwards, it detaches from the HDD and only uses RAM. To the Live OS, the HDD does not exist. Is this possible?
Now, the main point I want here is that everything is clean and fresh each time I reboot my computer. So, basically, nothing can really destroy the OSs except a CD to alter the harddrive from boot.
Each time I reboot my computer, I want to see a clean version of Windows XP. So, somehow I need to create an image. I also want to do that with Debian. Is there a way I can partition the hard drive to do this? How should I go about imaging things?
Now, my knowledge is rusty. I remember people yammering about XP having copy problems when it comes to HDDs. Maybe this was about taking an image and putting it on other drives. I'm not too sure about this, though. I'm wondering if there are snags or limitations to this whole project.
Also I want the ability to reimage and replace any of the operating systems whenever I update them with new programs, settings, and etc. How do I do that?
I think the last thing that would make it all worth while is some type of boot CD. In other words, I'd like the computer to automatically load into Windows XP. I'd like to keep the windows MBR, thus having Windows XP load without any menu screen. BUT i'd like a boot CD that lets me choose which operating system I want to boot to when I need to choose something else.
I've got a lot of ideas on this stuff, but I don't know where to really start.
How do I accomplish what I have described?
If anyone needs clarification, just ask.