Sorry been away to Tehran, Jeddah and Virgin Island since I last answered the post here.
You can leave the hard disks connected but use the BIOS setting to boot the drive that has no Windows in it first. That way the MBR is the bootdrive that has only Linux in it. If you install Linux this way it should incorporate Windows automatically as a boot choice.
When a computer is new and under warranty one has to steer clear away from messing up the WIndows.
BTW I have added a boot menu that boot 3 XPs in 3 hard drives in my signature together with a bunch of Linux. The principle demonstrates that Linux can deal with Windows in any way we want.
Hi all. I am quiet happy to find this forum. I had many problems using and installing linux. I have manrake 10.0 community edition adn xp at the same hard disk. In some way we managed to fix the problem. But we were unconsious what we were doing.
So while we encounter with installing it to our friends pc we stucked. First I installed xp, booted up the pc with xp cd and before continuing i create another partion and installed the xp to other partion. Then i installed mandrake. But when it comes to answer which part of hard disk you want to install bootloader we choosed "skip". And after reboot we couldnt see neither windows nor linux boot menu. Just a lonely "L" on the blank screen.
Then we tried to fix the problem by going expert mode of linux boot secreen(after pressing F1 and writing expert). When we encounter with the same bootloader menu we choosed MBR this time. Which was a big mistake, now i know, after reading the written explanations.
Now i know what mbr is and how bootloader works. At least i have and idea.
If we change the active partition to the partion where linux installed and if we go the expert menu and choose an option that will grant that lilo will be installed to the linux partition everything will be ok. But i am not sure which one to choose. I am sure it wont be MBR. But i remember something like "first sector of hd" and "skip". Which one is correct choice?
An operating system boots into a PC because the BIOS finds the boot code in the very first sector (MBR) to activate it.
Windows bootloader has no name but can be restored with either by the command "fixmbr" from a XP or Win2k installation disks or "fdisk /mbr" from just a humble DOS floppy with fdisk.exe inside. Either method can restore Windows’ MBR.
For Linux to boot you need a bootloader there. Major Linux use Lilo or Grub but smaller distros seem to stick with Loadin which can be booted from DOS.
Each partition has a first sector too (or also called superblock) reserved for the bootloader and is never used to store files in any operating system. The one in the first primary partition is called MBR and is important because its rear end has the hard disk partition table.
Thus if you want an operating system to boot directly then it needs a bootloader in MBR.
There can only be 2 places you can place a Linux bootloader
(1) In a floppy which becomes bootable automatically
(2) In any of the first sector from "ANY" partition.
Item (2) is the cause of confusion because Linux can be booted "indirectly" from anywhere within a hard drive. If its bootloader is in MBR then it will boot "directly". Elsewhere it needs the assistance of another operating system like a Window or another Linux
It is a characteristic of a modern Linux that during installation it will include any partition for booting as long as it detects a bootloader inside first sector.
Therefore if you want a Linux to boot directly you put the bootloader in the MBR.
If you want the Linux to be booted indirectly, by the help of another Linux, then you put its bootloader in the "root" partition which is its first sector or inside its own partition.
In conclusion you can put a Linux bootloader anywhere to serve your purpose.
Thank you for posting this. It is very informative.
However, I fail to see the point of it. You want to "Virginize" windows? Why? If you never use windows, why put it on your hard-drive? or, if you need to use windows buy a cheap computer off of ebay and put linux on it.
Also, aren't there easier ways of dual bootingl than messing with the BIOS, and switching jumpers on the back of your hard drives?
For example, Mandrake comes with a nifty graphical frontend to the hard drive partitioner that is very newbie friendly.
I don not have any hang up in overwriting the MBR at all. In making a Suse Grab booting 30 operatings systems I constantly lost the MBR because different behaviours of the distros. In the above thread I showed one floppy is needed to restore a system, be it a Grub, Lilo or Window.
There are Linux users having just bought new PCs with Windows. They may have a warranty problem if the original Window is lost and but still wish to learn Linux. They are nervous to get into Linux and I have been asked if there are safe way to preserve their Windows MBR. I am trying to convince them Linux is big enough to accommodate this requirement too.
The end of my 30 operating systems thread show
Window can boot a maximum of 9 Linux,
Lilo can manage 15 and
sky is the limit for Grub.
Thus people keeping the MBR as a virgin has the most to lose!
Hi again folks, take a look at this Slashdot article:warez!!!
Nice to see M$ can't even live up to their own high moral standards; they use pirated software...right in the making of their own crappy windoze XP!
Any of you guys dual-boot like me? You have a legit version of XP like I do? Heh Heh! mount your windows partition and then navigate to /WINDOWS/Help/Tours/WindowsMediaPlayer/Audio/Wav
and open any of those WAV files with a text editor.
right at the bottom of the file: "Deepz0ne ISFT Sound Forge 4.5. SOUNDFORGE?!?!
This is REAL!! And to wit, people are actually defending M$ over this one. Pure, just like a virgin.
This thread apparently has received about 5000 views in the last 12 months so I see a need to update it and add a new section for the laptop owner who has only a single hard disk and no floppy support.
The thread appears to be bending over backward to accommodate the Windows users. However as Linux can adapt, co-exist and thrive in difficult situations I am of the opinion that we should let Windows users know what Linux can do for them.
I need help. I grabbed an old 10 gig IDE hard drive to install elive (from elivecd.org) on it. It all went smoothly, except that if I want to boot to windows xp with grub, I get an error 23, something about an error while parsing the number (?).
The current situation: Windows XP Pro resides on a 200GB WD SATA hard drive, which is my primary drive. Elive is running on the slave IDE hard drive, and it must be able to boot both, Windows and itself.
/etc/fstab says my windows hd is sda1, but on grub's menu.lst says its sda2... How can I find out which one it really is?
Here's my menu.lst config:
# See www.gnu.org/software/grub for details
# By default, boot the first entry
# Boot automatically after 5 seconds
title Elive GNU/Linux kernel 2.6.12
# kernel path-to-kernel root=rootdevice kernelarguments
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.12 root=/dev/hdd2 vga=0x31A
title Elive GNU/Linux kernel 2.6.12 (recovery mode)
# kernel path-to-kernel root=rootdevice kernelarguments
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.12 root=/dev/hdd2 vga=0x31A single
# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
title Other operating systems:
# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda2
title Microsoft Windows XP Professional
title Elive kernel LiveCD
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.11 root=/dev/hdd2 vga=0x31A
title Elive kernel LiveCD (recovery mode)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.11 root=/dev/hdd2 vga=0x31A single
title Memtest | Memory RAM diagnostic tool
I need help!
Ok, so I tweaked my grub thing a bit, but now I get a disk read error. I *think* that instead of using hd1,1 to boot windows, it should be hd1,0. But if I use that, I get something about that partition not existing... :S
Other thing I'm concered about, can I ruin my CMOS if I'm changing the boot priority of the hdds many times a day? : / *please please tell me no!*
Last edited by amgeex; 02-28-2006 at 07:27 PM.
Only two things are infinite: The Universe, and Human Stupidity. And I'm not sure about the Universe.
Sorry as I have been away (Just back from a 3-week German/Austria/Italy skiing holiday 15 minutes ago.)
If you have tweaked Grub's menu.lst then we would not know the original Grub information and may not be able to diagnose your problem correctly.
What you can do though is to invoke a Grub shell while in elive (just typr grub in Bash shell) to ask Grub about the partitioning information of the two hard disks as the way Grub obtained from your Bios by these two commands
With the above and on the second disk (hd1) you should be able to see if (hd1,0) is a partition type 0x7 (or type 7) for NTFS partition usually required by XP. Grub counts from 0 and your XP should have been in the first partition of the 200Gb Sata under the normal circumstance.
My guess is that you have installed your XP as the first bootable drive and so XP would have recorded in its hidden file "boot.ini" and possibly some internal files that it was to be found in the disk (0) and partition (0).
You now appear to have nominated the IDE hdd as the first bootable disk and so XP's original setting is no longer correct.
To overcome the above difficulty you need to put the following two map statements in the Grub commands booting Xp.
I am guessing your XP being in (hd1,0). If this is the case then the following lines should fire it
title Microsoft Windows XP Professional in (hd1,0)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
The two map statements effectively restore the Sata as the first bootable disk (hd0) on-the-fly and so Xp should find its original setting matched again. The re-mapping is only temporary and does not affect the elive setting.