Cannot Install Bootloader, XP on hda, Linux on sdb (USB MASS STORAGE DRIVE)
As far as I know, this problem has nothing to do with Linux, as I tried installing Gentoo linux first.
Computer Type: Dell Dimension 8100
60GB IDE: One partition- Windows XP on hda
256MB USB Watch: One partition- NTFS format on sda
200GB External USB2.0 on sdb
sdb1- Ext3 format, 50MB (for /boot)
sdb2- NTFS format, 80GB (for extra XP space)
sdb3- Linux Swap 1GB
sdb4- Ext3 format, Approx. 118GB for /
Ability to dual boot between XP and Mandrake 9.2
Best Case Scenario:
Ability to default boot to XP, use boot disk/CD to boot into Mandrake.
Ability to default into XP, and use a bootloader like Lilo/Grub to give option to boot to either.
Mandrake says it can't make a boot disk, and whenever it installs LiLo or GRUB onto hda's MBR, it destroys it. (Three times and counting so far, but i got my data back each time)
I can install Linux onto my USB drive just fine. I just can't find a way to boot to it. Preferrably I don't want to have to touch my hda more than i have to, as I have important files on there, even though most are backed up.
My Gentoo Experience:
Can successfully boot computer with their CD, and install gentoo linux onto my 200GB External USB drive.
"E1 E1 E1 E1 E1..." etc on boot.
Restart and use XP Recovery Console to rewrite MBR.
My Mandrake Experience:
Can successfully boot computer with CD, and install onto 200GB USB Drive.
Cannot create Boot disk for some reason, so I install Lilo onto hda.
Finish Install, Reboot.
"07 07 07 07 07 07 07...." etc. on boot
Do the FIXMBR trick.
Reboot with Mandrake CD again.
CD Verified that install was done correctly.
Return to Bootloader menu.
Computer boots past the Dell logo/loader bar,
Outputs "GRUB " with a cursor. No options, can't type anything.
Restart and do the FIXMBR trick.
Mandrake 9.2 is installed onto sdb successfully, but i can't boot to it.
Any suggestions would be great. I'm pretty computer literate, as I've been into the programming scene for a few years, but pretty new to linux. I tried to be as descriptive as possible, but if there're any questions, i'll be watching the thread.