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My Special Idea


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#1 Slim Nelson

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:13 PM

Hi everyone, I just had this idea the other night and I don't know how to do it, or if it's possible.

I've been using this Entertainment Hub program called XBMC that let's me organize all my media, I have it set to pull everything from my external hdd like movies, audio, pictures, etc. and then it pulls information like covers, cast, year, bios, and etc from the internet, all the information on whatever movie or album it needs to. It is quite a big program so sometimes it crashes when running because of all the other processes I have going on.

 

So my idea was to only boot up this program by itself as a dual boot or something along those lines. I already have a dual boot set up so I was hoping that my idea would have it's own custom boot option added to the list. For example, If I just booted up my computer, I usually have to select between Windows and Linux. I would want to be able to select my custom boot instead like...

Windows Vista
Ubuntu 12.04
XBMC

 

And if this custom boot was possible, the only other factors I would need to figure out would be that the program get's information on movies and audio from the internet, so I would need to have an internet connection possible along with my firewall and antivirus running. Plus being able to access my external of course.

Thank you for any help in advance. -Slim


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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 06:21 PM

I don't think your ambition is possible - the XMBC web-site says it is available for both Windows and Linux ( as well as others ) but this implies you need an operating system to run it on so you will not be able to set XMBC up as a third bootable system.

 

You say it crashes from time to time because of other demands on your system. Would it be effective to run it under Ubuntu which I believe requires fewer resources than Windows to run ?  Alternatively, have you considered increasing the amount of RAM on your system ? And, are you using the latest version of XMBC ?

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Slim Nelson

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:58 PM

I really appreciate your input, that definitely is a bummer though. <_<

I will try running on Ubuntu to see if it gets any better.
I have considered upgrading my RAM, I just haven't really got around to looking for a reliable website to buy from, do you know of one?
 
Version is up to date.

Also, you said that it is not possible to set up XBMC as a third bootable system because it needs an operating system to run it.
Is it still possible to set up a single program to boot up by itself as it's own option instead of booting through an operating system? Or something similiar?

And lastly, I was searching around a couple days ago, trying to figure out anything that I could still do and I came across this:
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XBMCbuntu
 
Correct me if I'm wrong. But with XBMCbuntu, I can run XBMC portably off a jump drive? So could I set up my computer on startup to run from the USB drive to only boot up XBMCbuntu? Or does this sound a little unlikely? :huh:

Edited by Slim Nelson, 06 June 2013 - 09:59 PM.

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#4 smax013

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

I really appreciate your input, that definitely is a bummer though. <_<

I will try running on Ubuntu to see if it gets any better.
I have considered upgrading my RAM, I just haven't really got around to looking for a reliable website to buy from, do you know of one?
 
Version is up to date.

Also, you said that it is not possible to set up XBMC as a third bootable system because it needs an operating system to run it.
Is it still possible to set up a single program to boot up by itself as it's own option instead of booting through an operating system? Or something similiar?


XMBC is a software application. So, it needs an OS in order for it to run. So, at the end of the day, you will need bootable partition or drive with an OS on it that you can then install XMBC in/on. Since XMBC supports Linux, you could setup a third bootable partition (or drive) to run Linux (or another install of Windows) and then install/setup XMBC on/in that OS on the third partition.

And lastly, I was searching around a couple days ago, trying to figure out anything that I could still do and I came across this:
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XBMCbuntu
 
Correct me if I'm wrong. But with XBMCbuntu, I can run XBMC portably off a jump drive? So could I set up my computer on startup to run from the USB drive to only boot up XBMCbuntu? Or does this sound a little unlikely? :huh:


That is basically a "flavor" of Linux with XMBC pre-installed/configured as part of that Linux install. From the following site:

XBMCbuntu is the XBMC Media Center software bundled with a embedded operating-system, for that set-top-box feeling.


Note the bold is my emphasis.

It appears it makes use of Lubuntu 12.10 as the OS.

And, yes, it appears that you can set it up on a USB flash drive (or an external USB drive) assuming your computer supports booting from a USB drive (older computers may not). You can also install it as a third bootable partition (or drive).

#5 Slim Nelson

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:49 PM

And, yes, it appears that you can set it up on a USB flash drive (or an external USB drive) assuming your computer supports booting from a USB drive (older computers may not). You can also install it as a third bootable partition (or drive).

 

I've been a little busy lately to go to walmart and buy an extra flash drive to do that on. But.... Before I do that....

Just one last question and possibly an alternative. Can I create a batch file or something like a program that when I launch it, it kills all the processes possible and runs XBMC. So basically, there is my boot menu option right there, but through Windows...? And of course, I will need to run everything back up when I decide to close XBMC, so I will have to make that possible within the batch file or program.

Possible? :huh:


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#6 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:55 PM

I've been a little busy lately to go to walmart and buy an extra flash drive to do that on. But.... Before I do that....

Just one last question and possibly an alternative. Can I create a batch file or something like a program that when I launch it, it kills all the processes possible and runs XBMC. So basically, there is my boot menu option right there, but through Windows...? And of course, I will need to run everything back up when I decide to close XBMC, so I will have to make that possible within the batch file or program.

Possible? :huh:


I suppose it might be theoretically possible, but even if it is, I am not sure how easy it will be to setup and even then it might fully work the way you expect. Frankly, even assuming it is possible, it is likely way less work to just buy a USB drive or second internal hard drive (assuming you are dealing with a desktop computer) and run XBMCbuntu from it. Or even get a second computer to run XBMCbuntu on (maybe some older, used computer).

#7 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:00 PM

I have considered upgrading my RAM, I just haven't really got around to looking for a reliable website to buy from, do you know of one?


I noticed no one ever answered this, including me.

For my Macs (at least the ones that I can actually upgrade the RAM on), these days I buy my RAM from OWC (www.macsales.com).

In the past, I have used Crucial.com for both Mac and Windows computer RAM. I would use them today but I like OWC for my Mac since they cater specifically to Macs and my one active Windows desktop is a self built desktop using "performance" oriented RAM that I bought through NewEgg (another place to buy RAM). If I had a more typical consumer grade Windows computer, I would certainly use Crucial.com again.

#8 Slim Nelson

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:58 PM

Thank you for your continued help. :thumbup2:
And I actually ended up doing that batch file idea, I got some help through the programming forum at BC.
The batch file or powershell I should say, is what they recommended me use, helped me kill a couple small running programs when XBMC was launched, it didn't help dramatically but it does run better.

As for XBMCbuntu, before I did the batch file, I tried just installing XBMC onto Ubuntu and it just really wasn't the same.. Apparently the XBMC program isn't as updated for Linux as it is for Windows and it would only update to an older version than what I was using on Windows and things were very different and not as good obviously because of the much older version. I couldn't use a lot of the settings I preferred also.


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#9 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:04 PM

Thank you for your continued help. :thumbup2:
And I actually ended up doing that batch file idea, I got some help through the programming forum at BC.
The batch file or powershell I should say, is what they recommended me use, helped me kill a couple small running programs when XBMC was launched, it didn't help dramatically but it does run better.

As for XBMCbuntu, before I did the batch file, I tried just installing XBMC onto Ubuntu and it just really wasn't the same.. Apparently the XBMC program isn't as updated for Linux as it is for Windows and it would only update to an older version than what I was using on Windows and things were very different and not as good obviously because of the much older version. I couldn't use a lot of the settings I preferred also.


Your other option is to install another version/copy of Windows on another partition. You could leave it as a "clean version" of Windows with only minimal stuff plus XBMC installed.

The other overall option might be to update to Windows 7 (assuming your computer will work with Windows 7). While Vista got better and a little "leaner and meaner" with the later Service Packs, Windows 7 is generally still "leaner and meaner" than Vista. So, that might help as well.

#10 Slim Nelson

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:06 PM

How much room off my harddrive would another partition of Windows take? Roughly?

And if you could refer me to an informative harddrive partitioning tutorial or something along those lines, that would be fantastic. :santa:


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#11 smax013

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 12:59 AM

How much room off my harddrive would another partition of Windows take? Roughly?


Depends on the version of Windows you are using as well as what features you install for Windows. It will also depend on overall size of the drive as that can potentially affect the size of the "blocks" the drive uses (the short explanation without any "techno-mumbo-jumbo" speak is that files can potentially take up more room on a large drive than on a smaller drive due to how the drives & formatting actually work). It will also depend on how much space you need for XBMC.

I can say that my Vista install (on its own separate drive) for my desktop computer uses about 35 GB. This does include a few programs and files, but not that much. My Vista version is a 32 bit Home Premium. It is on an 80 GB drive. The listed minimum recommended drive space on the box is "a 40 GB drive with at least 15 GB of free space available" (I would NOT recommend 15 GB, however).

For my Windows 7 install (again on its own separate drive), which has less things loaded on it than the Vista drive, is about 30 GB. It is 64 bit Windows 7 Professional. It is on a 150 GB Velociraptor drive. The listed minimum recommended is 15 GB for 32 bit and 20 GB for 64 bit...again I would certainly not recommend the minimum.

For my one XP install that I use for gaming with minimal other things installed (again on its own separate drive), it takes up about 25 GB. It is 32 bit Windows XP Pro. It is on a 160 GB drive.

I would say you likely do not want to go below 40 GB, but you might be able to squeeze it down a bit further.
 

And if you could refer me to an informative harddrive partitioning tutorial or something along those lines, that would be fantastic. :santa:


Here is a guide for re-sizing/shrinking existing partitions:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/shrink-and-extend-ntfs-volumes-in-windows/#shrink

Here is a guide for actually then creating/formatting the partitions:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/partition-and-format-a-disk-in-windows/

The above are using Windows built-in utilities. Note that for Vista, I believe it will do non-destructive partitioning (i.e. in theory, it should not wipe your whole drive)...but I still STRONGLY recommend backing up the drive even when doing non-destructive partitioning.

Here is a guide if you want use GParted:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/resizing-adding-partitions-with-gparted-live/

Overall, I personally prefer to install different OSs on different drives. And I usually do the installation of the new OS with all other drive disconnected. This eliminates me having to monkey with a Boot Manager as it is usually a pain in the rear to "fix" the Boot Manager if you ever remove an OS. By doing it the way that I do it, I just remove the drive. Of course, my method requires you to be using a desktop with space for multiple drives (or maybe a laptop that can accommodate two drives).




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