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Dual booting Linux with WinXP

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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

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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?

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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 ;-).

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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)

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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.....

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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)

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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No need to apologize, I did the same thing when installing a Debian system. Did not realize it until I booted into the system. User danieff?

 

The easiest solution would be to keep the back-up drive as a third drive in the system, as I described above. If this is not possible...

 

You can see from the posts, that a lot of folks have different solutions on how to dual boot. There are a lot of options that work. that what is confusing to some.

 

Re-installing Suse will do the same thing that you have now, unless you choose to install it on the same drive with XP. This is one solution.

 

You can make a floppy disk with grub on it, so that you can boot Suse when you want it. This way, you can keep XP as the main OS and use the floppy when you want to use suse. When you get comfortable with it, you can install it as your main bootloader, if you wish. But, be aware, floppies can be unreliable. Of course, i do this all the time.

 

You can buy an external USB enclosure and place the back-up drive in it and just plug the back-up drive into the system when you want to use it in XP and back-up the system. This way you do not have to swap drives or change bios settings to change the first boot device in your system when choosing the OS that you want.

 

You can add Suse to the XP bootloader (boot.ini), but this is a bit more complicated for a new Linux user. Some will disagree with me on this. There is a post on the forums on this that I can look up for you.

 

In any case, you can recover XP as your boot loader now. There are two main ways of doing this, either with the rescue feature via the XP install cd, or via a floppy and restoring the MBR. Again, folks here will have a variety of opinions on this, the documented correct method versus what has worked for them.

 

Decide what you want to do, then we can move to a solution. There are a lot of folks with solutions to this problem that have worked for them.

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Hi Danleff,

 

U r right, there are a lot of solutions out there but if u think your solution will work then I will do what u tell me to fix the problem.

 

As u mentioned earlier, I have a back-up HDD as a third drive for now but I still like to learn how to solve the problem.

 

I would not like to install Suse on the drive with XP as I will not have enough space left on my HDD.

 

I think booting linux from a floppy disk is a good idea (I can backup the floppy contents just incase it gets corrupted).

 

Just tell me how should I go about doing it from the situation of dual boots that I have right now (previously described and updated in this reply).

 

At some point I would like to know how to add Suse to XP bootloader but I like to create boot floppies for linux first.

 

Please help.

 

Sachin.

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First of all, there's no need to reinstall anything!!

axp, to get your WinXP back you'll probably need to start in

recover mode and run [tt]fixmbr[/tt] (this will repair the master boot record).

Secondly, as danleff already mentioned, there's a way to add Linux to XP's bootloader. Take a look at this thread:

http://www.ntcompatible.com/thread.php?id=24668

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Oops, I thought that I was clear, going ne step at a time.

 

If you want to just recover the XP bootloader, you can use the fixmbr option, provided that you have a Windows XP install disk (XP was not pre-installed and you don't have the install cd).

 

If you do this, essentually you have lost the ability to boot Suse on the slave drive, unless you have the full Suse install disk (cd), or know how to recover Suse otherwise.

 

You can boot both right now, as long as you don't remove the Suse drive from the system that has grub installed on it.

 

If you keep both drives in the system for now, you can boot into Suse and work from w/i Suse to effect a solution using the NT (Windows XP) bootloader. I just did this with my backup system. It's easier (I think) than working from within XP to change the attributes of boot.ini. I did it with lilo, but have not researched using grub yet.

 

Once the XP bootloader (boot.ini) is set, then you can choose/swap your other drives (other than XP)when working in XP. Just don't choose the option for Linux on boot.

 

Of course, the best option right now is to find a solution you feel comfortable with, which may be to boot Suse using Grub (since it is already there on Suse) via a floppy disk. By using the fixmbr, you allow a boot to XP (via the hard drive) only and can boot Suse at will from the floppy.

 

If you think XP will be your main OS and feel that you need to swap hard drives (the suse hard drive and the backup drive), then you can start with the fixmbr solution, once you have the Suse grub boot floppy made.

 

If suse will be your main OS, then you will probably want to have Suse on a hard drive that you will keep in the system all the time, using Grub as the botloader.

 

Nebulus is right, you do not need to reinstall anything right now, rather decide how you want to boot the system/how you want your hard drives set up. The effect the solution.

 

Personally, I would look toward a fixed solution, so swaping drives or the bios order of booting is not necessary.

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