Duel boot w/ windows. I've got it working but it fails at times, why?
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Duel boot w/ windows. I've got it working but it fails at times, why?
And so, here is my menu1st using grub . . . but i dont think my problem has anything to do with this. I have had to reinstall windows a few times, particulary when I have tried to add a third distro. I attempted to install Gentoo, but decided not to complete the installation, cancelling it before I finished. Also, I declined the invitation to install a new boot loader at mbr. . . . so, my main question is why would doing anything to the partitions affect windows so long as I dont directly affect the windows partitions, and secondly, how can I stabilize this when I want to install a third distro? Is there something I am missing here? I've been without windows for a long time, and have triple booted my system before, but would like to keep windows around for a while before I dump it again.(new computer) . . . .
color cyan/blue white/blue
title MEPIS at hdb6, kernel 2.6.15-26-386
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-26-386 root=/dev/hdb6 nomce quiet vga=791
title Windows at hdb1
title Windows at hdb2
Both good questions. first, I never adjusted grub manually. before I installed mepis I ran qtparted and saw that windows(this is by memory) showed the first partition to be 3-4 gigs of fat32, the second to be the rest of the 100 gig partition(ntfs) - a few megs for some hidden stuff. Becuase I've never messed with windows before, I left the fat32 and the hidden alone, shrank the ntfs down to 20 gs and made several more logical partitions to install different distros and such, always 6gigs apiece, with a / and /home. so . . . partition #4 is the beginning of the logical partition, #5 is 1000m for swap . . 6 is / 7 is /home 8 is / 9 is /home etc . . .so #1 is fat 32 #2 is ntfs #3 is about 556ms of hidden file #4 goes into the logical partition . . . . . . . anyway, I then installed mepis at hdb 6&7 using hdb5 for swap, put grub on mbr and rebooted . . . . . . wihndows showed up like it is above, I tried to boot into it and it failed. I then reinstalled windows . . . reinstalled grub . . . and it worked! until I tried to put Gentoo onto hdb8 and 9. I purposefully quit the installation about half way through. Gentoo had already asked me if I wanted to intall grub to mbr and I said NO.
anyway, after restarting my machine, windows had failed again!! I then reinstalled, but am nervous to try to install any more distros. I dont understand why any of this would affect the windows partitions. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I even want the windows, because truthfully, it doesnt seem like i've missed much, but i also hate not knowing what the problem is.
Any more suggestions and comments are more than welcome. so long I i dont lose the mepis during experimentation, I could care less, so fire away with any ideas. i can always get grub reinstalled with the live Distro of Mepis.
First, using the Windows installation CD, partition your drive with however many partitions you plan on using for your Windows and your Linux distros. You only need to format the Windows partition at this time.
Next, install the Windows OS on the system first. Windows has a Darwinian need to seek out and eliminate other operating systems on the same system , or so it seems sometimes. Once Windows is in and running on the partition you want it on, move on to the next step.
Install your favorite Linux distros on the already created partitions on the drive, saving your primary distro (preferably a Debian-based one) for the last step below. Format the partitions using the install disks as ext3, ReiserFS, or whatever. Remember, you only need one /swap partition for all your Linux distros. Do NOT install a bootloader with any distros but the last one you install (see below).
Lastly, after installing all but the last Linux distro, now you can proceed to install this last one. Allow the bootloader to be installed on this one. If it's a Debian-based distro... Mepis, Knoppix, Ubuntu, etc., its GRUB will automagically pickup and correctly configure all the OS's on your system, Windows included. This will now become your primary system bootloader.
This is the easiest way I found to do this on a fresh drive. There are other methods, though. That's the beauty of computers, and GNU/LInux in particular... you have options.
Best of luck!
PS: You can, of course, partition with gparted or some other Linux partition app, but since you have the Windows disk in first, may as well do it with that partition app.
PPS: Don't forget any Fat32 common storage partitions for all the OS's on the system, if you need one. Set it up in the first step above also.
Thank you for your informative reply. It's enough for me that I would put it in a guide to tell newbies how to dual boot with windows . . very helpful!
I am making the assumption that since I already resized the windows partitions and reformated, and now have both systems up and running I am good to go. So, My only other question is . . . can I install another Dstro on my next two partitions (already formatted ext3), and then install grub at the mbr again without losing windows again? Windows installed itself on the hard drive as shown in the menu, all I did was resize one of the partitions down to 20 gigs. So . . . is it now stable? would reinstalling grub again after installing another Distro screw it up? Logic says no, . . . but maybe there's something i'm missing.
It shouldn't. Installing GRUB as the bootloader on that last distro that you install should pick up the Windows entry correctly. You shouldn't have to do anything. In the above "how I did it" tutorial, I make sure to use a GRUB from a Debian-based distro because I find that Debian's GRUB bootloader is the one most likely to pick up all OS's on the system.
Thank you for your help! As a side note, why keep windows at all? just for the games? printer control? something else? Aside from having advanced printer control without having to work for it, I'm not seeing much myself>.. but then, i hav't used Windows in quite some time . .