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Old 10-18-2006, 10:03 AM   #1
MichaelYoung
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Registered: Oct 2006
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Distribution: Debian Etch Testing
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Dual boot failure(Debian Etch and WindowsXP pro)


I've tried to dual boot WindowsXP pro and Debian Etch testing, but finally failed. I will explain in detail now .
I first installed WindowsXP pro onto my only HDD to the first partition hda1 ,formatting NTFS file system , then I made two more logical Windows partitions, one NTFS, the other FAT32. Second , I set up Debian GNU/Linux on hda3 , with the EXT3 file system , and later I created a SWAP partition. Finally at the step of installing GRUB boot loader , the installer said it detected the previous installed other Operating System(s): WindowsXP pro and it SHOULD be safe to install GRUB to the Master Boot Record to dual boot both of the OSes, and I listened to him, installing GRUB onto the MBR. However, when rebooting after finishing installing Debian , GRUB failed to boot WindowsXP pro. The problem is that when I chose to boot WindowsXP pro and pressed Enter , the typical Windows process bar screen flashed quickly and then the computer reboot itself, after which the GRUB menu come up again , allowing me to choose which OS to boot , when I chose WindowsXP pro, the same thing happened as referred above.
I hunt for help and suggestions anywhere and someone tell me to modify something in the menu.lst file under the GRUB folder , but it does not work at all. Then people suggest that I type in FIXBOOT under the Recovery Console using the WindowsXP pro installation CD , or even FIXMBR, and they mention that FIXMBR will erase GRUB on the Master Boot Record and make Debian unbootable . Keeping this in mind , I tried FIXBOOT instead of FIXMBR, yet still, it does not work. After typing in FIXBOOT under the Recovery Console , it prompted : invalid system drive or system drive not availabe. I posted this on a Debian forum and a fellow told me that perhaps my Windows partitions had been corrupted , but under Knoppix (the Live CD), I can mount all of my Windows partitions without any problem. Eventually , I decided to try FIXMBR , knowing how to fix GRUB under Knoppix. I tried , and I failed. The MBR was rewrited , but still ,the Windows boot loader can not even load Windows onto the RAM ---What's going on ???
After that I fix GRUB under Knoppix and rewrited the MBR. Now I am using Debian Etch , and I can access the latter two Windows partitions under Linux. The only issue that remains is that I can not boot WindowsXP pro .(Since it does not work after even I tried FIXMBR , I do not think it GRUB's fault not able to boot WindowsXP pro).
Does anyone have any similar experience or suggestions , any tips or hints would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx in advance

Last edited by MichaelYoung; 10-18-2006 at 10:06 AM.
 
Old 10-18-2006, 12:48 PM   #2
paul_e_t
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelYoung
I've tried to dual boot WindowsXP pro and Debian Etch testing, but finally failed. I will explain in detail now .
. . . . .
Does anyone have any similar experience or suggestions , any tips or hints would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx in advance
Hi Michael
The problem is not with Debian nor with Win XP . . . . . . . just what each system expects as defaults and how each sys speaks to make an OS boot up. Your problem is not unique with dual booting. Many (not all but) Linux people tout Linux only, really ignore M$ and problems of dual booting with installs coming at you for Linux only no other OS's. One must acknowledge that by shear volumn alone M$ cannot be ignored nor can the common people who use the system. First I must admit that I have not been able to dual boot XP and Linux even though many other people claim to be able to do so. I just cannot afford to lose the info I have accumulated with XP. So o o o o . . . . .Here is how to start:

1. One must be extremely carefull in starting. Each character or symbol must be correctly entered in a set sequence. You have undertaken a very sensative task. One minor error and no work!! Get your system running with a well known stable version first . . . . . . . . . . . . then go to cutting edge.

2. HDD (hard hisk drivers) are cheap now-a-days. So get one extra for Linux use. A good safe start.

3. Determine which boot loader you want to use to boot your computer.

I am favoring, heaven forbid, M$ XP boot looder since XP is unwilling to give up it's place as the MBR #1 spot. One can always go to LILO, GRUB, etc later much easier and safer if you have a lot of data to transition. With M$ one just points to GRUB (whereever you place it try your new second HDD) and then GRUB takes over. Learn GRUB speak!! Hda1 is really hd(0,0)in grub speak. Go to the URL: http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/
check out the Wiki, read the manual, and learn the GRUB language. One must learn much. I make the usual errors.

I will get back to you if I find some specific help. Oh, go back to your options page and let us know your hardware, location, and stuff so it will show up in your side panel. Does your system have a Floppy Drive? It will help.

Paul

Last edited by paul_e_t; 10-18-2006 at 01:03 PM.
 
Old 10-18-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
rickh
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Normally a Linux installation sets up Grub to dual boot with Windows flawlessly. In dozens of such installations, I have never had a single failure.

Post your /boot/grub/menu.lst file. You don't need to include all the commented explanatory lines.
 
Old 10-18-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
Zerthis
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It sounds like something has screwed up your Windows partition, like the fellow told you on the Debian forum. I've been there too (i had the exact same problem). The drive seems fine, since you can mount it, but XP just fails to load.

The only thing you can try is reinstalling XP. If it doesnt help, i suggest you wipe the whole disk and start from scratch. It is hard, but if you loose all your data because of a corrupted partition lable, you are screwed up even more. I've been there, and it is not fun!

If you got important data on it, back it up as soon as possible.

It has nothing to do with the MBR or Grub.

And if you want to wipe the whole disk, use killdisk to do a low level format, just to be sure.

Last edited by Zerthis; 10-18-2006 at 02:42 PM.
 
Old 10-19-2006, 12:09 AM   #5
MichaelYoung
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Location: Beijing
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Menu.lst file and my computer configuration

The menu.lst file under the GRUB folder is as followings :
## ## End Default Options ##

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.16-2-686
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.16-2-686 root=/dev/hda3 ro
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.16-2-686
savedefault
boot

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.16-2-686 (single-user mode)
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.16-2-686 root=/dev/hda3 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.16-2-686
savedefault
boot

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title Other operating systems:
root


# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/hda1
title Microsoft Windows XP Professional
root (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1

My partition table is as followings:
debian:/home/eagleclaw# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40020664320 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4865 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 765 6144831 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 766 3315 20482875 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda3 3316 4652 10739452+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 4653 4774 979965 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda5 766 2040 10241406 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda6 2041 3315 10241406 b W95 FAT32

WindowsXP pro was installed onto the hda1 : the first partition on the only HDD, and Linux Debian was set up onto hda3.

Last edited by MichaelYoung; 10-19-2006 at 12:12 AM.
 
Old 10-19-2006, 02:19 PM   #6
Volhv
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You can try to use NTLDR as your bootloader and install GRUB on linux partition.
 
Old 10-19-2006, 02:28 PM   #7
craigevil
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If windows isnt booting at all it sound like the windows install is bad. I have had several distros on the same drive as Xp all usign GRUb with no problems. Since Kanotix works why not just install it?

I dual boot windows Xp and Debian/Kanotix This is how my GRUB menu.lst looks:
## ## End Default Options ##

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.18-slh-up-2
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-slh-up-2 root=/dev/hda2 ro ramdisk_size=100000 lang=us apm=power-off nomce vga=791

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
title Windows 2K/XP/2003 (hda1)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
 
Old 10-20-2006, 12:27 PM   #8
paul_e_t
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Location: Orlinda TN USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelYoung
The menu.lst file under the GRUB folder is as followings :
. . . . .
My partition table is as followings:
debian:/home/eagleclaw# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40020664320 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4865 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 765 6144831 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 766 3315 20482875 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda3 3316 4652 10739452+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 4653 4774 979965 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda5 766 2040 10241406 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda6 2041 3315 10241406 b W95 FAT32

WindowsXP pro was installed onto the hda1 : the first partition on the only HDD, and Linux Debian was set up onto hda3.
Michael
Can you read any M$ XP or W95 text files from Linux, if not can you mount them from Linux ??
What video card is being used ?
Also is this a lap-top (notebook, etc.) computer?
Paul T.

Last edited by paul_e_t; 10-20-2006 at 12:30 PM.
 
Old 10-21-2006, 11:02 AM   #9
MichaelYoung
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Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Beijing
Distribution: Debian Etch Testing
Posts: 31

Original Poster
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Thanx ,everyone , I've solved the issue

I 've reinstalled WindowsXP pro and then Debian Etch on my Desktop PC , and this time , it worded. I think the problem is that at the first Debian installation, I made a little bit modifications of the Windows partitions , which perhaps damaged the Windows partitions , causing Windows XP pro not able to be booted. This time , I just created a / partition and a Swap and leave Windows partitions intact without any change .I think that's it.
 
Old 10-23-2006, 11:48 AM   #10
paul_e_t
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelYoung
I 've reinstalled WindowsXP pro and then Debian Etch on my Desktop PC , and this time , it worded. I . . . . . This time , I just created a / partition and a Swap and leave Windows partitions intact without any change .I think that's it.
Michael
Thanks for the feed back on the positive result. You've made a good contribution.

Paul T.
 
  


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