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Dual booting Linux with WinXP


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#1 axp

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 02:16 AM

Hi,

I am a complete begginer to Linux. I decided to try it at home. The configurations of my computer before installation was:
A 40gig drive partitioned into 2 drives, C(WinME) and D where D has WinXP

I installed Linux(Lycoris Desktop/LX) on the C drive. I copied the boot.ini file from the C drive to the D drive (was that required?)

After installing I could no longer get into boot up into WinXP (drive D), although it was changed to drive C after installing Linux (as displayed by Fdisk). The windows installation appeared on the Linux bootup menu, but when I selected it, nothing happened...

What went wrong?

Thanks

#2 danleff

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 03:31 AM

I'm going to have to look this one up. No, there was no reason to copy the boot.ini file to the D: partition. In fact, this would not work, since I believe that boot.ini needs to be on the boot sector of the C: partition.

Sounds like you trashed the MBR (Master Boot Record), which needs to reside at the beginning of the drive.

Remember, you have one drive with 2 partitions.

Did you allow a takeover of the total C: partition by Lycoris? In other words, did you tell Lycoris to use the total space on the C: partition?

I don't run Lycoris, but during the install, it should have identified the C: partition as hda1?

#3 SoulNothing

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 05:42 AM

im confused on this mbr too danleff, real quick so theres another way to boot beside lilo

#4 jimf43

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 07:55 AM

Not sure, But I believe that this is what happened:

There are 2 records in the boot sector . LILO overwrites the first. That's how it works, and, so far so good. But, Windows thinks it's on D: , and, it doesn't see the first partition... Soo my best guess is that it's trying to boot as C:... That won't work.

Any way you look at this you're going to loose one of those OSs .

Sorry. Either you must wipe the Linux install and reformat as something XP can see and then restore the boot sector, or, you have to give up the XP. This is why they tell you it's best to install Windows on the first (Primary) partition ;-).

#5 Maillion

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 09:12 AM

Quote:
Hi,

I am a complete begginer to Linux. I decided to try it at home. The configurations of my computer before installation was:
A 40gig drive partitioned into 2 drives, C(WinME) and D where D has WinXP

I installed Linux(Lycoris Desktop/LX) on the C drive. I copied the boot.ini file from the C drive to the D drive (was that required?)

After installing I could no longer get into boot up into WinXP (drive D), although it was changed to drive C after installing Linux (as displayed by Fdisk). The windows installation appeared on the Linux bootup menu, but when I selected it, nothing happened...

What went wrong?

Thanks


Your best bet is to clear both OSs and reinstall XP on the first (C: ) partition of the drive, then install Linux on the second (D: ) partition of the drive. This should straighten things out. As long as XP believes that it is the main OS, or that it is shared with another M$ OS, it should work fine. Linux likes to have other OSs already installed, so it should work OK, too. The only problem that I can see is if XP made a mess of things... 8)

#6 SoulNothing

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 01:27 AM

all right let me ask something while were at this

i have one drive of my 111gb hard driver partitioned as

NTFS: 60GB
Linux:50 GB
Linuxswap 1GB

so i install xp first
then mepis i wont be able to boot xp again or do i need to get a special boot program like i have something called boot ing
not i havent done this but this is what im planning to do.....

#7 Maillion

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 02:28 AM

Quote:
all right let me ask something while were at this

i have one drive of my 111gb hard driver partitioned as

NTFS: 60GB
Linux:50 GB
Linuxswap 1GB

so i install xp first
then mepis i wont be able to boot xp again or do i need to get a special boot program like i have something called boot ing
not i havent done this but this is what im planning to do.....


Microsoft products are not very good at detecting and/or acessing other operating systems, nor other file systems. If you install Linux first, then XP will not know that it is there. It can boot several other Microsoft OS versions, but it is not very well aware of Linux, Unix, etc. Linux, on the other hand is very good at detecting other operating systems, and can boot to them with relative ease. If you install XP first, then Linux can and will add the bootloader to the MBR, and detect and configure for XP. The only problem it will have is the NTFS file system, which it can read from, but not write to. If you need to share data between Windows and Linux, then I would create a partition with a fat32 filesystem, which both XP and Linux can read and write to. 8)

#8 axp

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 04:26 AM

yes, what happned in the end was, I had to get rid of Linux so that i could keep my winxp partition. I had to install WinXP on the partition that Linux used to be (C: ) then after installing the new winxp, it couldnt automatically recognise the other winxp on D: so i had to use the Recovery console and add the other winxp into the boot menu.

whoa, what a lot of work out of just trying linux huh?

Anyway, i like Linux and this time will install Mandrake. But will have to install winXp on C first so that all these problems dont occur again.

By the way, when installing Lycoris, i told it to use the whole of drive C:

#9 Dapper Dan

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 04:57 AM

After you install XP to the first part of your drive, and then begin adding Linux, I recommend using Grub as your boot loader over Lilo. I've installed and used both many times, and it has been my experience that Grub gives far less headaches. If you decide on Grub, make a small /boot partition immediately after your XP to install it to.

#10 axp

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 05:34 AM

yeah I think i was using Lilo last time, im not really sure?

why does the /boot partition have to be after the winxp partition? I was actually planning on having just 3 partitions:

1: Linux
2: Linux Swap (do i need this? I have 256 physical ram)
3: WinXP

In that order. If i have to place /boot partition after the WinXP partition then how large does the partition have to be?

One other thing, how come the Linux formatter is sooo much faster than Windows formatter and Fdisk?? I should use EXT3 for my linux partitions right?

#11 Dapper Dan

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 06:08 AM

Yes you need the swap since you have 256 ram. 510 mb to 1 gig for your swap should suffice. It's always a good idea to put your home directory on it's own partition in case you have to reinstall, you can save all your files. Everybody has their ideas about where partitions work best. If it were me I'd do something like this...


XP -------------------------------------/boot------- / ------swap------/home

Also, be sure to use either Ext3 or RieserFS for your file system. Ext2 will take forever to recover if you shut off improperly. I personally prefer RieserFS when it is available. Mdk has the simplest and best partitioning tool out there so it will be very easy for you to figure out.

#12 jimf43

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:00 AM

Quote:
Also, be sure to use either Ext3 or RieserFS for your file system. Ext2 will take forever to recover if you shut off improperly. I personally prefer RieserFS when it is available.


I've tried them all and, I agree that RieserFS is the least hassle with a desktop. More reliable and faster booting. For me, the only way to go.

#13 jimf43

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:12 AM

Quote:
After you install XP to the first part of your drive, and then begin adding Linux, I recommend using Grub as your boot loader over Lilo. I've installed and used both many times, and it has been my experience that Grub gives far less headaches.


Not sure I agree with that one... Grub can have its own pitfalls. Also, LILO has become more reliable and is probably easier for the new user to understand and use. IMHO, 'all' boot managers are a 'black art' and a pita ;-). Even (or especially) knowing the technical details, I don't feel comfortable with them frown.

#14 Dapper Dan

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 03:00 PM

Can't say I'm ever comfortable rebooting a machine I've put Linux on next to XP either just because of the bootloader! 8) I guess I just have an especially horrible memory of Lilo from all the times I used to see:

lilililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililililil
frown ;( frown ;( frown ;(

Although admittedly I've never tried Lilo at /boot either...

#15 SoulNothing

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 05:11 AM

Im using grub now and prefer that over lilo so far heres what i done and xp wasnt effected sure after partitioning there were alot of partitioned files but other than that it was fine if you can use grub get that

because right now i got

xp
fedora core 1
fedora core 2

#16 sanu

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 07:51 PM

I am pretty new to installing Linux and this is my first dual boot installation.

This is the situation of my dual boot so far...

2 HDD's with WinXP on master HDD and Suse 9.1 on slave HDD....using GRUB. When I start the machine, GRUB gives me an option to select either Linux or Windows (with Linux as default OS). They both work fine but if I remove Linux HDD to bck up data from WINXP to a bckup hdd, all I see is GRUB on the left corner of the screen with no options of OS and I cannot go further than that.

I would like to make WINXP as a default OS so that if I want to work on Linux, all I have to do is swap my data bck-up HDD with Linux HDD.

This seems like a easy problem, I just do not know how to do it...please help.

#17 sanu

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 07:57 PM

I am pretty new to installing Linux and this is my first dual boot installation.

This is the situation of my dual boot so far...

2 HDD's with WinXP on master HDD and Suse 9.1 on slave HDD....using GRUB. When I start the machine, GRUB gives me an option to select either Linux or Windows (with Linux as default OS). They both work fine but if I remove Linux HDD to bck up data from WINXP to a bckup hdd, all I see is GRUB on the left corner of the screen with no options of OS and I cannot go further than that.

I would like to make WINXP as a default OS so that if I want to work on Linux, all I have to do is swap my data bck-up HDD with Linux HDD.

This seems like a easy problem, I just do not know how to do it...please help.

#18 danleff

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 11:34 PM

When you installed Grub, did you install it to the root of the second hard drive, or to the MBR?

The problem is that when you remove the Suse hard drive, the /boot/grub files on the suse drive are no where to be found and therefore, the boot does not complete. Remember, the Grub menu file and other grub boot files are on the Suse slave drive, which holds the directions of how to boot both Windows and Suse.

Why not just add the third backup drive as secondary master or slave and use it when you want to back up data from XP?

BTW, you can make XP the default boot option, if you wish.

#19 tyga

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 05:56 AM

When I first started using linux I made the mistake of putting linux on the primary partition.

Then thinking that all things are equal, I put windows on the primary hardrive (hda or C) and linux on the slave drive (hdb or D, which doesn't show up in windows due to Microsofts refusal to make linux compatible with its own software) It seemed logical tp put the OS's in this order because thats the order i had the OS's on a single partitioned HDD.

Being a linux noob at the time, I managed to destroy the linux install thus overwriting the MBR on the winxp drive, so now I had a useless linux drive and a winxp drive that wouldn't boot.

My solution to this problem, after much head scratching, was to reinsatall, make the primary drive Linux, thus having Lilo or grub as the boot device and windows xp as the slave drive. In this way, if the linux boot loader fails for whatever reason, the windows boot loader is still left intact and fully functional. In the event that you may destroy your linux boot loader, it is an easy task with most newer Motherboards to simply change the boot sequence via the bios settings, no need to swap the ide cables around.

Iv'e done it this way for a long time and have had no hastles ever since. laugh

#20 sanu

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 06:50 PM

Thanx for the reply, Danieff. I might have installed GRUB to MBR but I am not completely sure.

Do u think reinstalling Suse would solve the problem? I just want to get rid of having the Linux HDD connected in to boot into Windows.

Sachin.




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