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I've tried to install mandrake on my computer that has Windows XP on it. In the installation itsays that it installed a bootloader for linux (like Lila or grub or sumthin) but when I start up my computer, it just starts in windows XP without ggiving me a choise. I have tried booting the CD and "fixing" the bootloader and ive tried to reinstall mandrake. Can you help please?
Did you at any time run "fixmbr"? The boot loader should be installed to the mbr and would then give you the option to go to Mandrake or Windows. Repairing Grub/Lilo comes up a lot on these boards, try a search for the answer.
If all else fails, what I do for a dual boot machine which had Windows on it originally is, I tell Linux to make a boot floppy. You might want to re-install with these options instead, if you can't find a better solution.
With a boot floppy, Windows and the motherboard BIOS do not even have to know that the Linux drive exists (which is just how I like it). To switch to Linux, I just stick in the floppy and reboot - no keys to press! Once Linux is loaded, you can remove the floppy and use the port for other things. When I need Windows again, just remove the floppy and reboot. Windows has no idea what just happened!
This trick requires your motherboard BIOS to have "floppy boot" somewhere in it's boot-check routine before loading from the hard-drive.
I decided to do it this way because - well, I noticed that "repairing Grub/Lilo comes up a lot on these boards"!