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Old 02-17-2004, 01:20 AM   #1
seanb
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian SID, RH9, Slackware
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Debian on dual-boot - will upgrade to SID kill MBR?


OK....

Originally dual booted Inspiron 5000 laptop with Win2K and Red Hat9. Decided after RH decided to drop Red Hat's development, and reading a few articles, I decided to wipe RH9 and put Debian on the other half of the drive...

SO I installed it - painfully. Didn't spend enough time looking up articles and walkthroughs for installing Debian (After one of the folks here specifically told me to! - I might write my own walkthrough to add to the community). Made a ton of mistakes (I thought) with the install and then installed it a second time. Things went much better, but ...

It seems I installed everything on APT (all 8000). SO I do some more research. I figure out there is a better way -check out distrowatch.com - and am planning on reinstalling (3rd times the charm, right?).

One problem:
I read about the backport of some apps, and updating or upgrading to Sid (unstable) in order to have a more up to date system. This may cause some apps to break and causes LILO to reinstall on the MBR. My system is dual boot because I need windows for work stuff. For the short term, I need Redmond Crack.

So if I upgrade to SID - will I mangle the MBR, kill or disable the ability to dual boot, and screw myself? Should I suck it up and go back to redhat9? Should I try to backport the applicatons I want to update and use ADAPT to remove the apps I dont want? So many options... so little experience

I am a newbie. I have only installed RH on 3 systems, Debian on this laptop (do 2 bad installs count?) and slackware on another dell laptop. Please be gentle.

thanks guys

-SeanB
 
Old 02-17-2004, 01:36 AM   #2
Demonbane
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As long as your /etc/lilo.conf is configured properly bad things shouldn't happen.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 01:46 AM   #3
seanb
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian SID, RH9, Slackware
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thanks demonbane for the quick response.

The base install configures LILO for dual boot (placing windows on the boot screen at startup) and it runs fine.

My fear was if I upgrade from Woody to Sid, and LiLo is reinstalled on the MBR (which I would assume would change the config?)... would a properly configured lilo.conf matter? WOuld it just get crushed?

Nice sig file... Praise Murphy.

Thanks again Demonbane
 
Old 02-17-2004, 01:56 AM   #4
Demonbane
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Registered: Aug 2003
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When you upgrade from Woody to Sid using "apt-get dist-upgrade" all you're doing is just upgrading software packages, nothing else. LILO won't magically (re)install itself unless you tell it to do so.
but if you're really paranoid, here's one thing you can do:
assuming your mbr is on /dev/hda (ie you boot from it)
Code:
dd if=/dev/hda of=oldmbr.bin bs=512 count=1
put oldmbr.bin somewhere safe, say on a floppy disk.
then if something chaotic happens(hope not), you can restore it with
Code:
dd if=oldmbr.bin of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1
triple check the dd commands make sure they are 100% correct

Last edited by Demonbane; 02-17-2004 at 01:59 AM.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 01:57 AM   #5
h/w
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Registered: Mar 2003
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Distribution: Debian Testing
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you plan to upgrade via apt-get, right?

i had win32 and rh8. removed rh8, installed woody, keeping win32 intact. upgraded to sid using apt, and im still here.

go for it.
p.s: you might wanna take a backup of what you think is necessary, but i dont see any reason why the MBR would change as long as lilo.conf remains the same. and at no point during the upgrade will lilo.conf be modified.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 02:02 AM   #6
seanb
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian SID, RH9, Slackware
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Thanks fellas... both h/w and Demonbane

Backed everything up today... trying to avoid unneccessary pain with the install and then the LILO thing scared me. I wont lose anything except time if this goes bad.

Still afraid I am biting off more than I can chew with Debian... but I am learning so much

Thanks again

-SeanB
 
Old 02-17-2004, 02:02 AM   #7
seanb
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian SID, RH9, Slackware
Posts: 19

Original Poster
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Nice to know I'm not the only one who is up at 2AM!
 
  


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