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Sorry to bug everyone with probably the same problem, but i've searched and searched and tried almost everything to solve this one to no avail.
Well, ive split my 120GB hard into 20GB for windows, 65GB for data and the rest for linux (ca. 35GB) where mandrake has split the 35GB automatically (into home, swap etc). i used the dd command and succesfully copied the first 512 bytes to the windows volume and added a "Mandrake 10" option to my boot.ini
The problem is, when i select "Mandrake 10" all i get is an "L" in the top left. assuming this was something to do with the 1024 cylinder limit i proceeded to update my (rather new!) bios. The bios, it tells me, did not need updating. the drive is recognised correctly in the bios and LBA is set to be enabled if supported (which the bios reports IS supported).
Can anyone offer any insight as to why my linux installation is not booting!?
Can you clarify why you had to use 'dd'? Last time I installed Mandrake it just set up Grub and off I went. If you are using LILO, switch to Grub - it lets you interactively browse the available disk from the boot prompt, load kernels etc.
i used the "dd" command since im keeping NTLDR (i had the same sort of problem as already described in my first message using both LILO and GRUB... so i decided to try using NTLDR and alas.... problem not cured!)
hmm, ive just re-read that and it didnt really clear up the issue! i used dd to copy the forst 512 bytes of the linux boot partition to a file ive named "man10.mbr" and that now resides on the windows partition so that NTLDR can boot linux... in theory.