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kjbenner 01-11-2007 10:59 AM

Attempting to Dual Boot XP/Fedora--Invalid System Disk
Hello all,

I'm brand new to linux and have tried to set up my Laptop (Acer travelmate 4220) to dual boot Fedora 6 and Windows XP Pro. I've had XP running on this for a while, and just installed Fedora yesterday.

The problem I'm encountering is that I can no longer boot into XP, and I'm trying to figure out if I accidentaly wiped the old OS or just made it so I can't boot to it (hopefully the latter).

When I start up, It boots into Fedora, if I try to swith from fedora to "other" I get the error message:

rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

invalid systemdisk
Replace the disk, then press any key

For the install, I used PowerQuest PartitionMagic to set up a 10GB Ext2 partition on my Hard Disk when I was still running XP, and used the utility included to boot to the new partition and install Fedora from a DVD I burned earlier. There's three other partitions besides the Ext2 one: there's a FAT32 with XP on it, an NTFS with data from XP on it, and a little 5GB FAT partition created by either XP or Acer.

My hard disk is about 120GB, with only 10 used for linux. When I look at the filesystem in linux, It shows that my hard disk is about 7GB capacity. I hope that's a sign that it's just unable to read from the windows filesystem and that I didn't format over my whole drive.

I'm brand new to linux--the idea between this project was that I could learn Linux while still using XP most of the time. I guess I have a bit of a steeper learning curve now.

I tried to give as much information here that I could--if there's something important that I left out please post and I'll find out and let you know.

Thank you guys for any help you can offer.


Lenard 01-11-2007 11:25 AM

Please show the output from the typed Linux command; /sbin/fdisk -l
(that is the lowercase letter 'L' in the command)

saikee 01-11-2007 12:10 PM

This line

rootnoverify (hd1,0)
tells us Fedora was saying your XP is in the 1st partition of your your 2nd hard disk, as the line is a Grub command and Grub counts everything from 0.

Only you would know where is the XP partition. If you don't then you can ask Grub to report to you as follow.

Press "c" immediately when you see a booting screen. This drops you into a Grub prompt.

Ask Grub to report to you how it sees your 1st disk (hd0) and 2nd disk (hd1) by

geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd1)

The partition where XP resides is always ntfs unless you choose fat32 and so its partition ID will be either 0x7 or 0xc respectively. If your XP is in the usual place of 1st partition of the 1st disk, which is (hd0,0) to grub you can fire it up manually in a Grub prompt by

root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

Adjust the above if XP is in a different partition.

Once you know the correct instruction edit Fedora's /boot/grub/grub.conf to make it permanent.

kjbenner 01-11-2007 02:07 PM

Thank you for your quick responses.
If I enter "/fbin/sdisk -l" i get:

bash: /fbin/sdisk: No such file or directory

I started a Grub prompt and entered geometry (hd0), it returned:

drive 0x80: C/H/S = 1023/255/63, the number of sectors=23441648, LBA

Partition num: 0 Filesystem type unknown partition type 0x12
Partition num: 1 Filesystem type is FAT partition type 0x1c
Partition num: 2 Filesystem type unknown partition type 0x17
Partition num: 4 Filesystem type is ext2fs partition type 0x83
Partition num: 5 Filesystem type unknown partition type 0x8e

if I try root (hd0,2), I get "filesystem type unknown, partition type 0x17)". Same results for (hd0,0) and (hd0,5)

The partition I have all of the XP system stuff on is formatted FAT32, and it should be the second partition on the disk.

If I try the "other" in the grub menu, I now get "error 21: selected disk does not exist" instead of the previous error, although it is still trying to boot hd1, and I only have one hard drive.

Thanks again for your quick responses, I'll post again if I come up with any information or developments.

saikee 01-11-2007 02:59 PM

According to According to the information I have

Partition type ID 12 = Diagnostic partition
Partition type ID 1c = hidden fat32
Partition type ID 17 = Hidden ntfs partition

To boot fat32 partition you need to issue the following command

root (hd0,1)
unhide (hd0,1)
unhide (hd0,2)
chainloader +1

If your Windows really in the 2nd partition, called by Grub as (hd0,1) as Grub counts from 0, it will boot and you should be able to see a "D" drive too in ntfs filing system.

kjbenner 01-11-2007 03:38 PM

Thank you very much, saikee.

Using that code, I'm now able to boot into XP.

I do have to open up the Grub prompt and type that in every time though, so is there a way to make it recognize XP in the options to boot to (It still shows Fedora and Other, with the same error when I try "other")? If I need a third party boot utility, is there one you'd recommend?

You've been a great help in getting this working properly, thank you very much.

saikee 01-11-2007 04:04 PM

Look as I said it in post #3 the commands I gave you are those for you to endit and include into the Fedora file /boot/grub/grub.conf.

The grub.conf execute the commands automatically.

Therefore all you have to do is to replace

rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1


root (hd0,1)
unhide (hd0,1)
unhide (hd0,2)
chainloader +1

You can either log in as root to Fedora, find the /boot/grub/grub.conf and edit it with gedit or drop into the terminal to issue the command

sudo gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf
There is no need for a 3rd party boot utility.

I would be very cross if you do. Grub can boot any system you can install in a PC. There is no PC system that I know a Grub prompt cannot boot!

My Grub currently boots 145 systems. So never mention a 3rd party boot utility at my face as Grub is at least 10 times more powerful and simpler than any of them.

kjbenner 01-11-2007 04:41 PM

Thank you very much, I now have a proper dual-booting system.

I'm sorry I didn't understand what you meant about editing grub.conf the first time: I'm brand new to Linux and I'm still learning the basics. I meant no offense about the third party boot systems, like I said, I really don't understand what all I'm doing quite yet.

You've been a huge help and thanks again.


saikee 01-11-2007 05:17 PM

I am only kidding. Just trying to make the subject less boring.

Enjoy Linux as we all do here. Post questions if you get stuck. I bet it gives up a kick to be able to boot up a Windows manually.

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