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More dual-boot fun!


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#1 Renard

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 05:05 AM

Ok, my question is two parts - completely seperate, and I'm not sure if they'd both apply here.

My first issue is this:
I recently installed suse 10 to a removable hard drive (removable drive bay). I have my main install of windows xp pro on my first (hda0) drive, where grub loads from. When I remove my drive from and insert another one and try to boot, grub refuses to allow me to boot into windows. Any ideas?

My second question is more basic, and might just be a bad install of my nvidia drivers:

How the %$*( do I get twinview working? Having used it for so long I'm incapable of only using one monitor at a time.

Thanks in advance!

#2 danleff

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:34 AM

Even though you installed Grub to the MBR (Master Boot Record) the actual stage files reside on the hard drive in the Suse install /boot directory. Only the part of grub that catches the MBR resides on the MBR that directs things to the actual location of the grub stage files, menu.lst and device.map files.

This design if by default, as it is expected that you would have a hard drive installation. Doing otherwise, you need to get fancy.

Thinking more about this, I think that I will try it on my test system.

Unless you installed grub totally on a small boot partition on your hard drive, you are missing critical files that tell grub what to do.

I have never done it this way, but given recent events where I trashed my Suse install (which resulted in no grub boot amymore).

In terms of dual monitor setups, I don't have one, but doing a google search on suse dual monitors or suse twinview should give you some good hits. For example;

this hit.

Also, check the same search on the Suse forums.

Here is one example.




#3 Renard

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 06:23 AM

Thanks for the response, danleff -

I figured that was the case after removing the drive and trying to boot - it was looking for files not on my main IDE0 (hda0) drive. I'd be interested to find out what you find. In the meantime, should I just use something like partition magic to wipe my MBR on IDE0 and set the boot order in my bios to work around it?

As far as the twinview goes - I did my research before asking. Mu video xconf file doesn't contain a section about twinview. I'm thinking it was a possible bad install. Should I just try to reinstall the drivers? Do I need to remove some files first before I attempt such a thing?

Thanks!

#4 danleff

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:58 AM

Quote:
In the meantime, should I just use something like partition magic to wipe my MBR on IDE0 and set the boot order in my bios to work around it?


PartitionMagic, I don't think, will just erase the MBR, but in fact the whole partition. You don't want to do that, as then you lose Windows. Well, maybe that's not such a bad idea!

Your MBR has been written over by grub. I'm not sure what you mean about switching the boot order in the bios, unless you mean that that is how you have been booting SuSE to begin with. But the same rule applies. Your Windows installation is on hda1, or your primary master drive. Grub has overwritten the MBR, so your ability to boot into windows sans the removable drive attached the system is gone.

You can fix the MBR via the Windows recovery utility, but this will erase the grub references in the MBR and being able to boot into SuSE is lost.

You can make a boot floppy in Yast before recovering the MBR in Windows, so windows will boot. Then you can use the floppy to boot into SuSE when the removable drive is attched to the system.

You can just always make sure that the removable drive is always attached.

Finally, you can do a minimal installation of Suse on soe free space on your hard drive. I just did this when my system crashed. This way, all the grub files are always there and you can dual boot with or without the removable drive on the system. You would just have to add the relevent additions to the menu.lst files on the minimal hard drive installation to have the option to boot from the removable drive.

In terms of Twinview, in SuSE, from what I have been reading, you need to add the appropriate additions to the xorg file manually. See;

this appendix of the NVIDIA readme file.

Also read the second link I gave before from the SuSE forums, where a reader comments on this.

But, please, heed the warnings about backing up your original xorg.conf file. This will save you possible headaches.

#5 Renard

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 11:50 AM

Yeah, I noticed that upon installing PM8 today - guess I'll have to try and use the fixmbr off the restore console.

And what I mean by changing the boot order - make bios ignore all other HD's except my suse HD, thus booting the system. Obviously this isn't how I've done it with this install, but that method actually worked well with a prior fedora install (I wiped it out in an ill-advised attempt to play with Windows Vista), so assuming I can just wipe out grub's existance, I'll just use that method. Should fixmbr resolve that? Or should I wipe suse again as well?

- the twinview issue I'm assuming at this point is simply a bad install.


#6 Renard

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:22 PM

Quick update - after using fixmbr to remove grub from my boot, I can no longer boot from the linux drive. Looks like I'll have to reinstall again, and this time not use any boot loaders what so ever.

#7 danleff

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 06:41 PM

As I said above;

Quote:
You can fix the MBR via the Windows recovery utility, but this will erase the grub references in the MBR and being able to boot into SuSE is lost.


So now, you need to decide what method to install SuSE and be able to boot it. If you don't install a bootloader (grub) you need a way to boot into SuSE. by not installing a bootloader, you assume that you will use another method to boot into Linux (that you have a plan how to do this), such as the small install, as I mentioned, on the internel hard drive, install grub in the MBR. You can then add the removable drive to grub, after making a few changes to the /boot/grub/device.map file and menu.lst files for the removable drive. Grub will then allow you to boot into Windows and the small hard drive install, where you can make the changes that you need anytime.

Before you go any farther (do any further changes), boot Suse in rescue mode and make note of the /boot/grub files (menu.lst and device. map) and write down the values that they show for the removable drive and then you can add them to your small hard drive install of Grub, in the /boot/grub directory.

The removable drive will probably show in the device.map file as something like;

(hd1) /dev/sda


Make note of that and the total entry for Suse in the menu/lst file (the first entries that you will see in that file) such as;

title Suse whatever
kernel (hd...)/boot.......
initrd (hd...)/boot....


These can be added to boot SuSE off the removable drive.





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