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Hi, I am not actually saying that I am a plain newbie to Linux, since I've been using it for one year until now, however, all of that are done under school's Linux box, so I have no idea (absolutely no) of what to do about installing a Linux. I've been thinking of using a Linux at home together with my WinXP on a single PC.
Here is how I want to install it:
1. Drive C : Empty Capacity 17GB (This is where I am going to install my Linux Mandrake 9.2, I've cleaned up the content of this drive for that purpose)
2. Drive D : Windows XP 20 GB (I know you must be puzzled with the fact that my winxp is in drive D instead of C, but it's a long story, it's working fine anyway
3. Drive E:
My question is: How do I do it?
I've come as far as printing out all the Linux Mandrake 9.2 of the installation documentation. I read it carefully and work on the installation step by step. Chose the language, keyboard configured, mouse configured, mount configured. (I think here is the trouble comes out, I mounted the whole 17GB of drive C into the '/', without any '/boot' and 'swap' thing assigned to any space.) I then come to the reboot the computer and when I chose to load the linux with kde and then loading it using the lilo bootloader it wont load me anything. It just ask me to login and then I have no idea what to do after that).
I tried to boot windows instead but it give me something which looks like (I think)
boot : windows
I started to get panicked but I tried to calm down and google any info I could find. I then reinstall the Linux after deleteing the previously mounted partition for Linux. I go throught the whole process again. This time I assigned 100 MB to the '/boot' then 512MB to the 'swap' and the remaining 16GB+ to the '/' type. I used file type 'Journal ext3' for all of them. I then install the bootloader lilo into it.
The exact same problem arise again after I reboot it, I am really in a panic state now. Can anyone help me with this?
I have absolutely no idea about the mounting the partition for my Linux and how to fix the bootloader so that I could have both my windowsxp and my linux. so that the boot loader would be the ntloader first.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Originally posted by Demonbane Does XP boot when you set to boot from drive D in bios?
Do you mean before I install LInux or after it?
There was no problem with loading Windows until after I installed Linux into drive C.
Actually I am not really sure what you mean when you say : set to boot from drive D in bios ".
Um, I think I have got this all wrong. I actually only have one hdd (yes, only 1, primary master and there is not primary slave), with all those four partitions in it. (i.e. C,D, E, and F). And I don't actually remember where my winxp was located (regarding the hdb1 or hdc1, or it could even be hda?). What should I do? Is it a good idea if I try to reinstall my Linux and get it to install properly now (especially the mount partition -- could you tell me how to do it?) and then fix the bootloader for both linux and winxp? Sorry for the confusion I've caused.
If its all in one drive then in most cases its /dev/hda (primary master)
You said you're able to get a prompt after you boot Linux, can you try logging in as root(the password was set during installation), and do "/sbin/fdisk -l" then post the output?
As for the partitioning during installation(I don't think its necessary to reinstall though), If you already have 4 primary partitions after you created the root( mount point "/") then you probably won't be able to anything else.
you don't need a separate /boot partition, and dont swap if you have enough ram(say at least 512). Make sure X is configured properly during installation, its the part that provides the GUI.
Um, I am now unable to access the login menu, since I done something else with it. Before posting, I tried using the Windows startup disk and tried using fdisk /mbr which seem to have completely make my bootloader all disappeared. When loading the computer after reboot, it said 'missing operating system'
Boot with the bootdisk and run fdisk again, set the winxp partition to active then you should be able to boot into winxp if the nt os loader files boot.ini, ntldr, ntdetect.com are in drive d: as you said.
If you can't, tell me your partition layout shown in fdisk.
If these 2 entries are all it shows then chances are your D: is on a separate hardrive. Try setting the bios to boot from D drive, if that doesn't take you into XP then nt os loader was most likely installed in C, which means you may need to do a repair using winXP CD.
But before that use the Mandrake CD rescue mode and restore LILO, do a "/sbin/fdisk -l" and post the output.
I had the same problem once: installed XP on D: (as a extended partition) but durring setup WinXP puts some files on C: (primary) partition <boot.ini, ntdetect, and other, most of them are hidden>. When I formatted C: my computer said also: error and did not boot. My advice: fix windows and see what happend to linux.
I'm sorry. What is the Mandrake CD rescue mode? I'm actually installing the Mandrake from a DVD. Is my files on the windows actually safe? Is it just not being detected by my fdisk?
I tried your advice of using my windowsxp cd repair mode, but it stopped after saying that a particular file 'aeelp.dll'(something like that) has caused an error. And I could never go further than that.
I haven't used the DVD version before but it should be the same, when you boot from it press F1, then type "rescue" then you'll be presented with a list of repair options including restoring the bootloader.
Your files on windows should still be there, but as I mentioned before it looks like its on another disk otherwise it would've been shown in the list, unless the partition was somehow removed.
When you get strange errors booting with windows xp CD most of the time its either hardware issues (bad RAM chip etc) or bad media, I'm not exactly sure when you can do to get around this problem at this point, but get Mandrake back first that should at least enable to you access your files on the windows partition.