I'm crazy enough to write this even if you are not going to read it - explaining it to others helps me seeing clearer.
And to correct some wrong statements you made...
Just yesterday there was a thread here (in OTW) which discussed the issue you are referring to in your first paragraph.
That last sentence puts the truth quite eloquently and I too need to remind me of this sometimes.
Apparently you got hit by a few things which in turn made your situation look so awkward - nothing really bad but to solve it, a certain knowledge is needed, which you did not (yet) have.
Its about a few things:
the automatic installer helps you the best it can - and it did in fact not destoy anything.
If you wold have known more about how partitioning worked - and if you had used another tool - you would have immediately seen what happened.
If you then knew how to setup the bootloader - everything would have worked fine.
-there can be 4 primary partitions at the most on a disk - if you want more partitions, you need to create extended partitions.
-what your starting point was, is still not clear - you had 3 partitions...these where created by windows and it could have been eighter of the following:
one primary and two extended
two primary and one extended
three primary partitions
You (or the automatic partitioning tool) should have just created (more) extended partitions.
The tool fdisk is not as easy to comprehend as it's more graphical counterpart - cfdisk.
Maybe you see better what happened when using this one to do the job...
After this you know the names and numbers of your partitions.
These you need to set up the bootloader (grub).
The address you gave here along with your comment:
Of course, I canít load Windows directly with GRUB
is a good source of information - but there are really more easy to grasp tutorials on how to set up grub.
(even here in the forum are lots of references to howtos wikis and examples)
and the conclusion you draw is - of course I need to add - wrong - sorry!
I'll give you my setup as an example - together with my partition-layout
Disk /dev/hda: 60.0 GB, 60011642880 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7296 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 869 6980211 7 HPFS/NTFS --> WindowsXP
/dev/hda2 870 873 32130 83 Linux --> /boot for linux
/dev/hda3 874 901 224910 83 Linux --> linux swap partition
/dev/hda4 902 7296 51367837+ 5 Extended --> the "container" for the rest
/dev/hda5 902 7211 50685043+ 83 Linux --> / (root) partition for linux
/dev/hda6 7212 7296 682731 83 Linux --> I made this to meet my personal preferences
/dev/hda1 to /dev/hda3 are primary partitions then comes one extended (/dev/hda4) which holds all the rest.
/dev/hda4 is not a partition I can use - it is just the container for all the rest.
It would have worked equally with only one primary partition - the second (and firs extended) would have been the container for all the rest of the partitions...
this is the file /boot/grub/menu.lst
kernel /kernel-2.6.15-gentoo-r1 root=/dev/hda5 video=radeonfb:1024x768-16@60
kernel /kernel-2.6.15-gentoo root=/dev/hda5 video=radeonfb:1024x768-16@60
The linux kernels are referenced by:
- which points to the /boot
partition (where the kernels are - which is the same as /dev/hda2
, since grub starts numbering the partitions from 0 instead of 1)
and then by:
kernel /kernel-2.6.15-gentoo root=/dev/hda5
this line could have been also: kernel (hd0,1)/kernel-2.6.15-gentoo root=/dev/hda5
for a little redundance
the statement at the end: ...root=/dev/hda5
tells the kernel where it finds the / of linux /dev/hda5
in this case
rootnoverify (hd0,0) --> it is on the firs partition of the first disk and it does not need to be mounted by grub
makeactive --> make this grub's root - ( it really is in (hd0,1) )
chainloader +1 --> points to the same location NTLDR does when booting windows - and boots it
all you need to do is:
add another entry like this one to grubs configuration-file
replacing rootnoverify (hd0,0) for rootnoverify (hd0,1) if the second windows is on the second partition