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I want to multi boot a few linux distributions on a two disk computer using a boot loading software: System Commander 7. System Commander will not load any linux's from CD alone. I MUST make bootable floppies. I need to know how. I have several distributions on CD as ISO images. I want to be able to load all of them... so I need to know how to make a bootable floppy for each one using windows XP.
That isn't how it works. The boot loader installs the new OS on the restart, so it is running when the new OS installation takes place. I would bypass the bootloader if I booted from a bootable CD. Not what I want to do at all. I want as many distributions as I can have on this computer.
Sorry, I feel a little lost now. This is my view on how dual (or more) boot works:
You have several partitions, each holding one operating system. If you want to load a new OS, you boot from CD, tell the OS installer which partition(s) you want to use and install the OS on that partition. Then you (optionally) install that OS's boot loader on that partition (say, hda2). (MS Windows can't do that, they always write to the MBR since they feel that they are alone in the world.)
After that, you configure the boot loader that lives on your MBR (hda) that it should add an option to boot the OS that is now installed on hda2.
How does your system work? I'm intrigued since I'm not an omnipotent guru on this subject myself.
I understand what you're trying to do, what distro are you going to use? I can only give generic instructions without knowing.
What you need to do is get rawrite from here, run it, and then choose the correct file to write to your floppy. The file should be named something like boot.img, and it's usually in the images/ directory of your CD. I don't know the exact filename, since they differ between distros.
I see in the product review what your refering to about System Commander preparing the disks for installing an OS. Can you provide more info on what actually the bootloader does during this step?
It seems reasonable that System Commander can not install the OS but a boot floppy would still bypass the bootloader. Can you provide additional details from the manual on how it wants to install an OS?
1. I want to install a bunch of them for fun. Including Lindows, Xandros, SuSe, Vector, Mandrake, I just want to learn Linux and play around with different distros. I went overboard and downloaded ISO images for about twenty distributions!
2. I was hopeful about this System Commander 7 software from Vcom and I also have Partition Magic 8 (ebay is great). I figured that I could load all of these Linux onto my two disk Pentium pro and see if I could learn Linux and decide which distro(s) I liked the best to put on my newer better computer.
3. Then.... the floppy problem.
4. As for what the bootloading software (SC 7) wants or does is hard to tell because it is a pretty all-encompassing wizard that does it all. You merely select the add a new OS wizard, it asks you what kind of OS: anything from BeOS to Linux and everything else you can imagine. It then reboots and asks for the floppy, there are no other options. No floppy, no go. I am surprised and disappointed.
5. Just checked my email, and Vcom emailed me back and said that all I have to do is hit control - alt - delete and it will boot from the disk. I will let you know.
I prefer GRUB, others may prefer LILO, it's just a matter of preference really.
They're probably both equally well suited to what you want to do, and easy to use.
You can get information on GRUB by typing 'man grub'
I'm not sure about other distros, but Fedora Core 1 only includes GRUB
Well, here is where things are now. The tech support for system commander sent me some fairly complicated instuctions for loading the OS's without having a floppy. Apparently, the goal is to get the GRUB in the MBR.
I tried to load JAMD Linux which is RH 9 based.
It seemed to install ok. but , when I try to boot into JAMD Linux I get a black screen with GRUB> on it. What did I do wrong? According to the system commander installation instructions, if I did my install right the OS selection screen should show a Linux at GRUB_MBR. Mine shows it at GRUB_MBR GRUB, I believe. Any ideas as to whether I have a problem here or whether I am in good shape but need to type something at the GRUB. prompt?