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Old 03-10-2007, 02:41 AM   #1
mepnoob2005
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Registered: Mar 2007
Location: canada
Distribution: SimplyMEPIS 6.5 final
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DSL and grub


I would like to install dsl but I don't want grub to wipe out what I have going right now. My question is this; can grub be loaded to root or to the partition that dsl is installed to and not the Mbr of hda? I have 9 bootable os's and I want dsl too. All of my extra linux operating systems are chainloaded into the grub that SimplyMEPIS 3.4.3 has installed to the Mbr of hda. I have my other linux systems all installed with grub to root. If I can install grub to root on dsl then I would install it. Otherwise I have to think about it. I guess that I could copy my boot/grub/menu.lst from my 3.4.3 to the dsl one. Then install grub to root on the 3.4.3 install so I can chainload it from the dsl grub but I am not sure how long i will try dsl so i would prefer loading grub to root or to the partition that dsl was on.
For example; if I were to put dsl on hdb9 then could I install the dsl grub to hdb9 ? Or would I have to say (hd1,8) to grub to get it on hdb9 ? If I installed grub to root on hdb9 with the dsl install then I would only put
title dsl at hdb9
rootnoverify (hd1,8)
chainloader +1
in my main grub/menu.lst to make it boot. Probably the same for the grub in dsl but i don't know for sure. I am going to be installing 3.3 Rc1.
Thanks in advance for any help on this matter.
 
Old 03-10-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
stress_junkie
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 and CentOS 5.5
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If you back up your MBR then you won't have to worry. Then if the MBR gets messed up you can boot a live CD or whatever Linux is bootable and restore the MBR. If you want to back up the MBR on /dev/hda then the following will work. Since you have logical partitions in an extended partition you will also need to use sfdisk.
Code:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/hda-mbr.dd bs=512 count=1 conv=notrunc,noerror
sfdisk -d /dev/hda > hda.sfdisk
Then if you need to restore it you can use these commands.
Code:
dd if=hda-mbr.dd of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1 conv=notrunc,noerror
sfdisk /dev/hda < hda.sfdisk
Then reboot or, even better, power cycle the computer.

You can find more information about the sfdisk command using the man utility.
Code:
man sfdisk
I back up the MBR in my regular backup script. I put the MBR backup in the root directory, then I back up the root partition.

And yes, I have successfully restored an MBR using this method.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 03-10-2007 at 08:04 AM.
 
Old 03-10-2007, 11:15 AM   #3
mepnoob2005
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Registered: Mar 2007
Location: canada
Distribution: SimplyMEPIS 6.5 final
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Talking Re; If you back up your MBR.....

Thanks for the reply but I don't think that I need to back up my Mbr of hda. If I really wreck it I can use the xp disk and fxmbr (or is it fixmbr, I forget) to re-write the mbr and then use one of my MEPIS cd's to re-install grub. I don't ever use windows and I do not need windows at all for myself but when I pass this computer down to my 5 1/2 year old son he will want to use xp to play his cd rom games. That's the only reason that xp in on my system. He dual boots xp and SimplyMEPIS 3.4.3 himself on a p3 930 Mhz, 512 Mb ram, dell gx150.
So I don't think that will have to back up the Mbr or does the install of dsl sometimes fry the Mbr?.
I read somewhere that the frugal install of dsl will put grub on the same partition as dsl is installed to. Is that true? How is frugal install different from the standard install of dsl ?

What do you do, while running the live disk, to start the installation process ?
How does grub go if you install dsl to a flash drive?
I don't really want a boot floppy. I'll lose it.
I am starting to think that it may be ok to let dsl install grub to the Mbr of hda and then just copy my current boot/grub/menu.lst to the dsl grub/menu.lst.
Then all I would have to do is install grub to root on the 3.4.3 install and add a line like this to dsl grub.

title 3.4.3 at hda7
rootnoverify (hd0,6)
chainloader +1

Is that the way the chainloaded entries look in the dsl boot/grub/menu.lst ?

If it is then I should be able to edit all my other nine chainloaded systems into the dsl grub.

So I guess the question now is how do you start the install process and is the dsl installer difficult? Is it command lines ? Or is it like the knoppix installer? I have knoppix 5.1.1 installed too.
Thanks in advance for any help. Sorry to flood you with so many questions.
 
Old 03-10-2007, 12:16 PM   #4
stress_junkie
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Registered: Dec 2005
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I'm shocked that you are going to give a Windows system to your own son! That borders on abuse! You should be ashamed.

I haven't installed DSL in a long time so hopefully someone else will help with your questions.
 
  


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