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Ok, I don't even have linux installed yet, or have bought it because I have a couple of concerns. I do want to make the big switch from MS to Linux, but I need to know a couple of things first so that my transition will be smoother. Hopefully someone can help me.
First concern: My internet connection at home is through a LAN, and I currently switch between Win98 and Win2000. To have an internet connection work on one I have to release my IP address before rebooting into the other. This is fine, but what happens when I put Linux on my box, too? How do I release my IP address to be used again by Windows?
Second concern: I use star-tools bootstar to dual boot my machine. I've done a little research, but don't undestand the LILO file Linux puts in the master boot record. How do I use bootstar and Linux on one of my partitions together?
I know that there is AMPLE info out there for dual booting windows and Linux, but I want to triple boot Win98/Win2000/Linux. I've only seen one suggestion for that, but it had to do with an existing dual boot with all fat32 partitions. My bootmanager at the moment allows fat32 and NTFS, and hides my win98 partition from win2000. Everything is separate and neat. How will the mysterious LILO file interact with all this?
you edit /etc/lilo.conf and add all of your OS's. you can tell it which to boot by default, and whether or not to give you a prompt, or to auto load one after a given number of seconds if you dont hit ctrl first in order to get a prompt. ive personally had as many as six entries in LILO, and it never gave me any probs
This seems to have a lot of the elements you are looking for. I have not done it so can't advise you further. However, if you take a look around the rest of that site, you will find a lot of good info.
Don't actually use it myself, but I've read that Grub will allow you to boot an NTFS partition. It seems that it might be a little harder to get to grips with as it doesn't use the standard Linux naming methods for different partitions (i.e. it does used '/dev/hdaX', it uses something like hd-0:X) but it does have loads of options (like hiding partitions from eachother). The great thing about Grub is that it comes as one of the options at install-time for Mandrake - so you might not have to do too much fiddling.
One question tho': Is there any particular reason that you swap between Win2K and Win98?
I've managed to riple boot with 98/2k/Linux (both redhat and Mandrake). Let lilo install to the MBR, remembering to add an entry for your win98 drive. Call that entry Windows or whatever you like. If you select that entry it will take you to the normal 2k boot menu (read from the boot.ini file).
Thank you for all of the help. Most of the Lilo/hadX/conf stuff means almost nothing to me, so I'll just have to play with it to understand. In response, I switch between 98 and 2k because 98 is faster and 2k is more stable. Just depends on what I want, gaming speed or reliability for complex operations. One thing that keeps getting missed, though, is that my bootloader (bootstar) has written itself to the MBR, and I know that 98 and 2k won't have any issues with lilo, but will bootstar? I'm not sure what my NT ini file looks like, but because of bootstar it thinks it is the only operating system in my box. Maybe I'm just being overly cautious, but I've even totally crashed Win2k almost beyond use (which I've been told is difficult to do even if you are trying). I just don't want to be completely unable to use my computer because of a totally screwed up MBR.
I have seen a (Windows) program that will allow you to save a copy of your MBR to a floppy disk. Should you need to do so, you can also then re-insert the 'MBR Image' (or whatever) back into your MBR. Can't remember what the program is called - will find out and post here. Never found out if it can run under WINE (a 'Windows Compatability Layer for Linux' - run Win progs under Lin).
With regards to your 'BootStar' being in the MBR. When you install LiLo, there should no longer be any trace of BootStar. Basically Windows (9x and NT based) will create its own 'bootloader' in the MBR that can only see Windows. If you're booting more than one OS, another system is required. Windows itself doesn't have any part that resided in the MBR. You should be OK if:
As stated above, Lilo has principally 2 options. One to load Linux, the other to load Window(s). If you select the second option, the Win2000 menu should appear with options for Win98 or 2000.
I know that something similar works:
I used to have QNX installed as a 'Live' version (i.e. it doesn't have it's own partition, it runs from within a huge file actually on your Windows' C drive. This made an entry into the Win95 menu (on which the Win2000 menu system is based) to boot into QNX. With Linux installed, I was given the option of Lin or Win (no mention of QNX), and when I selected Win, then I was given the option of Win95 or QNX.
Here's a thought. If you wanted to try Linux, without having to learn all about Lilo and stuff, most distros will have the option of doing the above (the 'Live' version). I know that SuSe calls it 'Live Eval' (or something) and Mandrake calls it 'Lin4Win'.
Your internet stuff (by the way, some people are not too happy about double postings ):
OK, all that just went right over my head. And sorry about the double posting, but 6 replies never answered the IP question, which has since been resolved **thanks**. I think I'm just going to have to stop being a weenie and just do it. I'll image my entire drive and save the image to my second HD. If anything goes completely amiss, I'll just re-image. (Which I am totally aware is COMPLETELY against MS liscencing, don't tell on me) Thanks again for all the help. Undoubtedly I'll be returning later with a whole slew of Linux questions once I'm up and running with Red Hat or Mandrake or something.