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honestly speaking, i not a newbie to linux. i've been using linux for almost 4 yrs now and there is one problem that has bothered me for all this time. i have searched for solution on the net and in many forums (including this one), but failed. let me explain:
i have always used linux (prefer fedora) dual-booted with my windows xp (always installed xp first and then fedora). i boot into either fedora or xp and things work perfectly fine. but problem occurs when my xp crashes and i need to reinstall xp. at that time, xp over-writes the grub boot loader with the nt loader and i loose my linux also in this process. so, i need to reinstall linux after i install xp all over again (i have never seen an option to install only the grub bootloader in the fedora distribution cds/dvds). this causes a lot of frustration. xp crashing is understandable. but, reinstalling linux even when it has not crashed! that hurts!
i have a single hard drive with multiple partitions.
1). is there some way by which i can avoid the efforts of installing linux all over again the second time and yet be able to access it after reinstalling xp?
2). can boot manager tools help me achieve this?
3). can a rescue cd help? but nowadays, there is a single dvd for installation.
Ehh some of the live cd's use lilo but for the most part there are many many that use grub. You could even make you a bootable USB stick to reslove the issue. I have done this many times after reinstalling windows. Just grab you a rescue version that is small and will fit on something with 128mb
I suffered from the same problem for a while. But later i realized that after we install windows, it modifies the grub configuration. Windows makes itself the default as such Linux gets hidden in the background. To recover linux, i edited grub configuration file which works fine for me even now when i install Windows over Linux.
The most efficient and easy way would be to using rescue mode of your installation CD/DVD
Put DVD/CD in the drive and reboot your system.
Once the CD menu opens, type "linux rescue" command.
Once it enters the rescue mode, type "chroot /mnt/sysimage"
Go the grub configuration file and change the "default" value to the one which belongs to linux kernel.
I hope it solves your problem of re-installing linux again and again.