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I'm a pretty heavy Mandrake User... I've installed many many many times, and they always give you the option to choose which boot loader to use. Lilo is default, so i'm not sure what happened there... Mandrake has a pretty intense installation, giving you full power to what gets installed down to the file. So I could understand how the Boot Loader option could get missed. I like LILO over Grub, but that is what i'm comfortable with, not necasarily the best, alhough it just might be.
I like to keep it friendly and non-combative, some ppl take their opinion pretty seriously, which doesn't help Noobs any. We need to be more user friendly if we want to help Linux take a larger market share.
o ya i forgot to ask but... when i installed mandrake 10 last time it game me some options on loading it, and one i remember was to boot from a floppy disk, if i choose this when i install this time, will this like not even touch the MBR or install grub or lilo? i think ima choose thise option, im 2 paranoid to loose my OS again keke
Sorry to say-- you can choose the option (if it's the actual boot floppy option, rather than the "auto-install floppy" which is a different thing), but it won't work.
The Mandrake kernel (like pretty much all the other current kernels) is too big to fit on a floppy.
Since you have Partition Magic, do you also have Boot Magic (it should have been installed with PM by default).
If so, you can use that instead-- before installing Mandrake, use Partition Magic to make an ext2 partiton (I've used PM for years, and in my experience of working with it, the only Linux filesystem that it does reliably is ext2, although it claims to do ext3. You will reformat the partition(s) to another fs during install anyway, we just want a marker). Then fire up Boot Magic. It will find the Windows partition by default. Add the future Mandrake partition to the menu. You won't be able to boot from it, since Mandrake is not installed, but we want the entry there.
Make a Boot Magic floppy.
Install Mandrake, and install LiLO to the MBR (do not install it to the Mandrake root partition, in my experience under a couple of other distros-- Slackware and Debian-- this will cause LiLO not to install at all. This may not be true under Mandrake, but it's not worth it to take the chance).
Reboot and see if it works (which normally it should, and certainly would under Mandrake 9.2, without the need for a fallback boot loader). If so, all is well. If not, boot from the Boot Magic floppy and re-enable Boot Magic. The nice thing about BM is that it is not "erased" when another boot loader writes to the MBR, it just moves aside and waits quietly. When BM is re-enabled you should have both entries in the menu and both should work.
Hope this helps-- this is how I kept a multiboot of 2 versions of Windows and 5 versions of Linux booting with a minimum of fuss, so I'm pretty sure that it works, but I can't vouch for MDK 10 CE.
Yet another case where dual-booting makes for misery.
Instead, I suggest getting another hard drive and a couple of IDE swap racks.
You can then keep your OSs totally seperate. I've been doing this for years (learned about it on Linuxnewbie.org in 1999!) with much happiness.
Dual booting was cool when hard drives were expensive, but that was a long time ago. Now it just adds ways for newbs to suffer for nothing.
Most folks new to Linux will churn through a few distros before settling on one they like, and having to share space with a Windows install that may have important (or just inconvenient to reload) data is a waste.
Dual-booting is like using a chain saw in your lap. You can do it, an extremely devoted expert can do it all the time, but it is still likely to cause problems.
I do see your point (I'm working on getting off the dual-boot-- from a former multi-boot, so I'm getting better-- myself), but what you're saying is about more than separate HDDs. I have those, with Win on one, and Linux on a different one.
But they're all in the same box, and as long as they are, I'm dual or multi booting.
The only way to keep your Linux and Windows completely safe from each other is to put them on separate boxes and network them together.
That means a lot more than just an extra HDD; it means an at the very least an extra case, and at worst a full second PC. Now I happen to have enough spare parts around to build said second PC, but I still need the case and PSU, a new CD or DVD burner, and a KVM switch for the monitor. Others, without spare mobos, memory and monitors, will need more, which is not necessarily in everyone's budget, especially when it's not strictly necessary.
So please don't disrespect the dual-boot; many people still need it, and saying that it's "a waste" isn't helping them solve their problems with this necessary evil.
What do you mean by the boot floppy option "won't work"? I don't see why it shouldn't, or why a kernel can't fit on a floppy (not sure about the Mandrake default ones, but I made a 1.2M custom monolithic one, and the default ones in Slack can fit on a floppy). Besides, the whole kernel doesn't have to be on there, just the bootloader.
I think the 'root partition' or 'floppy' options are the safest. However, you will need to use something to load Linux if you install to root (the windows bootloader?).
As for the whole 'as seperate as possible' thing, I thnik there isn't much to worry about. Keeping the os's on seperate drives is as seperate as they need to be. Unless you explicitly tell either os to do something, they will not 'mess with each other' at any time except during installation.
If you still want to keep them as seperate as possible, an option less dramatic than getting a new pc is one of those hard drive docks that let you install/remove hard drives easily. That way, you can remove one hd and insert another physically to switch os's.
The Mandrake kernel is too big to fit on a floppy, and a "boot floppy" in the common parlance means that the kernel would be on a floppy. That's what this section of the Mandrake errata is all about: how to make an alternative boot media, by either compressing the floppy so that it holds more data, so the kernel can fit on it, or making a boot CD, or transferring the bootloader instead of the kernel to the floppy.
If one could trim the Mandrake kernel so that it did fit, then one would have no worries and should be able to make a boot floppy using Drakfloppy, but since Mandrake is not Slackware or Gentoo, where you can compile the kernel before installing it, this is not going to work out either. rApT0r is going to be stuck with the default kernel, which, as noted, does not fit on a standard floppy disk without some additional effort, which rApT0r may not be prepared to make at this time.
rApT0r could certainly attempt to install LiLO to a floppy during install. However, this does not mean that LiLO will not also be installed to the MBR... iirc, it means that a pointer will be written to the MBR saying that the bootloader is on the floppy. The whole bootloader. Certainly when I used the instructions on the Mandrake page linked above, I lost the ability to boot from the HDD completely (I could only boot with the floppy in the drive) until I booted from a LiveCD and repaired LiLO. However, that was a transfer of the bootloader from a normal Mandrake 9.2 install (where LiLO was installed to the MBR); perhaps on an initial install this would not occur. I wouldn't trust it, though, or bank my system on Mandrake not having some LiLO stub overwriting the Windows bootloader in any case, making the whole thing for nothing, since that's what we're trying to avoid. I used Mandrake from 9.0 to 9.2, and no, I wouldn't bet on it at all. I admire Mandrake tremendously, but if I've learned one thing, it's when not to trust them, which is why I'm using Gentoo now .
Since I am suspicious of Mandrake's reliability in terms of installing LiLO (I'm pretty sure that MDK will install LiLO to the MBR no matter what you ask/tell/expect it to do), I advised an alternative. I would also normally advise rApT0r to be somewhat more careful during install, but since I had many problems with MDK 10 and have heard of many more, it may be a MDK problem, in which case it's definitely better to go with an outside solution until Mandrake 10.0 CE actually works properly.
A removeable drive dock is less dramatic than a separate PC? Hmm. You learn something new every day. Probably a good thing, given how old-fashoined I am .