Originally posted by daverutt
I'm currently running windows 2000 and have a download distro of Mandrake 10. I have been trying to set up a dual boot system but so far have failed miserably. My windows installation is partitioned into a 20 gb C: drive and a 100 gb D: drive, both are NTFS.
I followed the instructions i found here
and selected the "use space on the windows partition" option when it came up. On the next screen i was asked if i wanted to use either the C: drive or D: drive to install my linux os on. As i'd defragmented and chkdisced the C: drive i tried to install it on there and kept getting an error message saying that the format of the C: drive wasn't supported. I then selected the D: drive as the drive to install Mandrake on and everything seemed to proceed swimminlgy, until i got to the bootloader screen. Now according to the guide i was following I would need to install the bootloader in the MBR of the drive. As I had installed Mandrake on the D: drive i wasn't given an option to put it anywhere, it just installed it automatically. When i got to the final configuration screen i checked the bootloader config and there was no option to change it to the mbr so I left it as it was. I then followed the remainder of the installation and rebooted and after the intial load screen all I got on the screen was a black background with a capital L and a flashing cursor next to it.
I left it for a while and nothing further happened so i restarted and the same thing happened. To get my computer to do anything I had to reinstall windows again.
I was just wondering where i went wrong, was it in trying to install it onto the D: drive, should it always go onto the drive that has windows on it? What was wrong with the C: drive that meant that it's format wasn't supported? Would some software such as system commander help me with my dual boot or am i destined to only be able to run windows?
Any help at all would be awesome
The L with the flashing cursor (I think) means that you are trying to boot beyond the 1024 cylinder limit. Did you see an option anywhere during the install that referred to "forcing" LBA in the bootloader? Plus, do you have an option to use GRUB (another type of LILO)? Rather use GRUB if you can.
As for the bootloader going on the drive that has Windows on it, I think that is yes - the best option is to put GRUB (preferably - don't use LILO - my opinion) in the MBR of the primary master IDE drive. GRUB should then be able to boot Windows and Linux just fine. It is strange that the Mandrake Install does not give you the option of choosing WHICH physical drive to put the bootloader in.
The "format not supported" message might refer to the fact that the C drive is NTFS formatted - Linux cannot yet write NTFS reliably (I heard recent kernels can read it fine) so that might be why you get that message? Where do you get that message?
Don't know what System Commander is.
As for not ever being able to dual boot, I dual boot XP and RedHat 9 on a single 40GB WD HDD. I made sure to install XP with FAT32 as the filing system (forcing Windows to do this is easy - just format the drive with DOS format before installing XP, then during XP install elect to "leave the drive as it is" when it wans to make it NTFS). I also made sure using the XP partitioning tool that comes up during installation to leave enough "open" space for the Linux partitions on my disk (30GB for Windows, 10GB for Linux and swap). I then installed XP, booted from RedHat Linux CD#1 and installed RH9. I made sure to select forced LBA, acknowledged the warning that it does not work on older BIOSes, and chose to install into the hda1 windows partition MBR (which is given as an option by the RH9 installer). Everything worked fine on reboot.
Maybe you should examine the Mandrake install screens carefully? The Force LBA option is not explicitly specified in Rh9's install functions either, you have to notice a small two-line note at the bottom of one screen to be aware that you can force LBA on the bootloader.