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Old 08-03-2006, 02:23 AM   #1
Lorg
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GRUB or ntbootloader; XP, Ubuntu, and Solaris


Hi,

I am trying to triboot a Dell Precision 530. I started with 3 hard drives--two directly off the motherboard, the third running off a Promise Technology Ultra 133 TX2 PCI card. I had two older drives and one larger new drive. One older drive had my previous (Windows) configuration--I have kept it intact so far, since it has much critical data on it.

I decided I wanted the new drive to house a fresh copy of Windoze XP, the second older drive to boot Ubuntu, and (eventually) the older Windows drive will house Solaris 10.

I configured hardware as "New Windows" in primary master slot, "New Ubuntu" in primary slave slot, and "Old Windows" on Promise. I loaded the new Windows on the new drive, and Ubuntu on the second drive, overwriting the MBR with GRUB. Both drives then booted beautifully, and I rebooted several times in Windoze as I installed software. I did accidentally try to open the Linux drive from Windows, whereupon the Linux drive disappeared from the drive list (I presume because Windoze can't read est3).

Remembering that I wanted to look for some data on the "Old Windows" drive, I then swapped the "New Windows" and "Old Windows" discs. When I later swapped them back, GRUB could no longer boot, issuing error 15. But nothing I did (as far as I know) altered the boot sectors on the main primary and secondary drives.

Since I need to make some changes, I plan to just reload WinXP and Ubuntu from scratch using the NT bootloader so that Windoze can boot even if another OS tanks.

Questions:
1) Why did swapping drives, then swapping them back make GRUB fart?
2) Tutorials (including those on this forum) say to mount the non-NTFS windows partition, but when I loaded WinXP it just created one large NTFS partition for everything--it did not create a 32M FAT32 partition. Is this normal? Can I still dual boot like this, or do I need the FAT32 partition?
3) Can Solaris 10 be handled in the same manner as Ubuntu, by installing it to its own drive and adding an entry to boot.ini? Are there any significant differences?
4) Using the ntbootloader method, can either Ubuntu or Solaris boot in an emergency by moving the appropriate drive to the primary master position? Would this screw up either OS (since the drive would be renumbered in Unix/Linux)?

Thanks for anyone who can help a nOObie better understand the boot sequence.
 
Old 08-03-2006, 03:01 AM   #2
konsolebox
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about the tutorials, 'info grub' can be a start. HOWTOs can be found in google. just search 'grub howto'. you'll find many there. 'partition howto' might also be helpful.

remember that the there are two places that grub can be placed in the hard disk. in MBR and in the root of the partition. the MBR is always the first loaded in boot so mostly grub is placed there. if grub is modified by windows, grub will surely not load.

there are also some times when a partition is marked hidden. you can unhide them in grub using the unhide command.

Last edited by konsolebox; 08-03-2006 at 03:37 AM.
 
Old 08-03-2006, 03:28 AM   #3
Lorg
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Yes, I've seen many of these

Yes, I've seen many of the tutorials here and elsewhere, most of which work from partitioning drives rather than trying to create separate bootable drives, and most using GRUB (though a few on the web use ntldr or lilo). As I noted above, I am aware that GRUB can write the MBR, and in fact did that the first time--that is not what I am trying to do. I am moving to using ntldr so Windows has a clean installation and (hopefully) each OS is bootable if a drive experiences catastrophic failure.
 
Old 08-03-2006, 03:44 AM   #4
konsolebox
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do you mean you want to grub after ntldr?

if so, install grub in a partion (root) then copy the first 512 bytes of the partition to a file (e.g. grub.bin) using the dd command. copy the file to the ntfs partition then set it as an option in boot.ini.

please refer to this topic too: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=468550
 
Old 08-04-2006, 12:47 AM   #5
Lorg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konsolebox
do you mean you want to grub after ntldr?
Yes, that is what I am currently planning unless I find information that leads me to conclude another boot method is preferable. Since Solaris 10 can boot with GRUB, I had concluded it was simpler to make Ubuntu and Solaris boot in the same manner as I then only have to learn one boot program well. I had (as noted above) found some tutorials; they already cover basic installation for Linux using ntldr.

So, does anyone have answers to the primary questions I posed? I'd like to know more about how GRUB reacts to drives being physically rearranged and/or reordered in the boot sequence, and whether I should anticipate any problems peculiar to handling Solaris in the same manner as Linux. The boot problem that I described above was something of a surprise to me given what I've read about GRUB. I'd like to avoid further surprises.

Thanx to anyone who can describe how GRUB works under these circumstances.
 
Old 08-04-2006, 12:53 AM   #6
Lorg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konsolebox
copy the file to the ntfs partition then set it as an option in boot.ini.
I presume this means that I don't need more than the one NTFS partition as long as the BIOS is LBA-capable?
 
Old 08-04-2006, 04:19 AM   #7
konsolebox
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it's not really the hard disk type. it's about the partition types that grub can handle.

you'll simply add an option to let ntldr load grub. after that let grub load the other operating systems. this is just the same as setting grub as the main loader. please refer to this wiki guide:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Dual_Bo...NTLDR)_and_why
i hope it can answer all your questions.

you can also search for more grub info by searching in google 'grub howto'

Edit: btw if your in a terminal, you can also do 'info grub'.
good luck

Last edited by konsolebox; 08-04-2006 at 04:23 AM.
 
  


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