LinuxQuestions.org
Did you know LQ has a Linux Hardware Compatibility List?
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 02-28-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
ShadStar
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: South West of the United Kingdom.
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
Posts: 36

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question dual-booting with an existing windows dual-boot


Hi guys,

I guess I'm asking a real basic question here but I thought I would seek some wise advice before trashing by bootblock.

I am completely new to Linux in general, and have been playing with knoppix, and I felt that I would like to progress to a full distro. Having read around a few forums I decided to go for SuSe (although I would accept alternative advice if any were to be offered), it seems to be the most friendly for new users and is easy to set up with server software if I should need to (future project).

Anyway, on to my question, I already have a dual-boot option installed to boot between my Windows XP and Windows Vista installs (which are both installed on my primary drive), and I would like some advice on the safest way to install SuSe (or other) and incorporating it into the existing boot menu without losing my Windows boot-options. Will grub over-write the existing bootsector or will it create it's own and just chain to it? I would like some advice on this please

I have a completely seperate empty 120Gb hard drive to play with for the SuSe install, which is installed on a seperate ide controller, so my Windows installs are confined to my primary drive.

Also, do I need to create all three partitions for SuSe or can I take the option of having the swap partition on my primary drive, and a single partition on my other drive?

Advice at this point very much appreciated.
 
Old 02-28-2007, 12:33 PM   #2
bigrigdriver
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian Squeeze
Posts: 5,776

Rep: Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311
Do some research on how to configure the ntldr to add an option to boot SuSE, (or any other Linux distro). When you install Linux, be careful that the Linux bootloader is installed to the root partition, and not the MBR.

Linux doesn't care where the swap partition is, so long as it can access it. Indeed, if you have enough ram, you probably don't need a swap partition.

SuSE can be installed into one partition, if that's what you want. If you want to install it into several partitions (or install several distros), I'd suggest you make the entire second disk an extended partition, then subpartitions inside that to hold the distro(s) you choose to install.

Or, you can install SuSE, and install the grub bootloader to the MBR. SuSE should write the config file (/boot/grub/menu.lst) to include the windows installations. If it doesn't (I've never known it to fail), the menu.lst is easily edited manually to add windows menu entries.

Setting the default OS to boot is done in the menu.lst also. The line 'default=0' means that the first OS in the menu list is default. Change the default to 1 (second) or 2 (third) for some other OS. Or, cut and paste to rearrange the order so that the default of your choice is first in the list.
Search these boards to find thousands of threads on the issue of dual boot: windows and Linux.

There is a timeout (usually 'timeout=8') which gives you 8 seconds to choose which to boot, or let the default boot when the timeout expires. Change the timeout to any value you choose.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 02-28-2007 at 12:34 PM.
 
Old 02-28-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
ShadStar
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: South West of the United Kingdom.
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
Posts: 36

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Smile

Thank you, that is very helpful. I wasn't aware that I could install SuSe without installing grub into the mbr, I assumed that I had to use the grub bootloader and then chain to the windows bootloader.

My original thinking was to install SuSe to the second drive, then use the bios boot priority option to boot the pc to the first or second drive independantly, thus by-passing any tri-boot problems.

I did try an install "dry run" before posting to this forum, but I got a little concerned when I chose the option not to install the grub bootloader, and a message came up telling me the system may not boot, so I cancelled and came here for help before I broke something

I will certainly examine the boards closely for similar issues and will post a general reply back as to my success (or failure).

I will, of course, mirror my primary drive before trying any of this

Thanks
 
Old 02-28-2007, 03:05 PM   #4
ShadStar
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: South West of the United Kingdom.
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
Posts: 36

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
note about ntldr

Just a quick note for other members, if you need to mess about with bootloader options for Windows Vista, and you are already dual-booting with xp (like me ), then DON'T play with the boot.ini file in the xp partition!

If you want to manually add a menu item to the Vista bootloader to include your Linux distro (as kindly suggested above) in the Vista bootloader, then boot into Vista and use the bcedit.exe program to do so. Failure to do this will result in a trashed bootblock!

I haven't trashed mine but I share this info for other newbies who may want to use this method. I think it would be safer and easier to use the grub option as suggested above and let it deal with the bootloader options. I will be trying this as soon as I have backed up my primary drive.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dual boot -fedora core 4 and windows xp- problem booting from windows xp cd r_desu Linux - Newbie 4 06-17-2007 04:33 PM
Windows XP not booting on Dual Boot with RH9 Orion-Linux_Noob Linux - Newbie 3 06-28-2006 12:34 PM
dual booting using windows boot manager? texasnoob Linux - Newbie 5 10-06-2004 08:22 AM
Dual dual booting with Suse 9.1 pro and windows 98SE UDflyer Linux - General 1 07-30-2004 02:37 PM
Problem dual booting.....Windows does not boot raj_verma Red Hat 7 06-11-2004 09:10 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:44 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration