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Hmm. To a new user like myself, setting up LILO and fixing it if it doesn't properly detect WinXP might be trouble. I'd have to agree with you though - it sounds like LILO is indeed superior (but aren't all things superior at the cost of complexity?)
I'm dualbooting windows 2000 and Red Hat 7.1 and have tried both aproaches and found both working fine.
Using lilo gave me alot less trouble than the one using ntloader.
This is how I did to use lilo.
First installed w2k and then installed linux. When installation asks me if I want to install lilo then I tell it to install to /dev/hda (MBR).
When lilo install it make a backup of the existing master boot record, the one containing directions to ntloader.
Red Hat configured everything automatically.
When booting the lilo shows up, and if I choose windows then the ntloader runs and give me the options from ntloaders boot.ini file.
If you're a newbie I'd stick with LILO. It means you get a two-level menu (LILO first, then NTLdr if you choose NT) but it's easier to manage when you change your kernel..etc (no need to change the boot image that NT is using)
LILO can boot any Windows OS currently available including XP - it is not an issue of 'detecting' it as all you need to do is add:
other = /dev/hda4 (assuming that XP's root partition is number 4)
to your lilo.conf file (with the other bits like label=..) and it will load the XP boot loader.
If you have multiple Windows OS'es installed (I have 98SE and 2000Pro) then the partition you want to boot from LILO is almost always the C: drive, not the drive that NT/2000/XP is installed on.
I have C: (/dev/hda1) as Win98SE and D: (/dev/hda2) as Windows 2000. The Windows 2000 boot loader is installed in /dev/hda1 (no choice about this, it just is) because Windows and DOS always boot from C: to start with. The line I have in lilo.conf is:
other = /dev/hda1
label = Windows
and that works perfectly (LILO prompts for Linux or Windows, if you choose Windows, the 2000 boot loader prompts for 98 or 2000).
The multi-level menu is a little inconvenient but it is very easy to configure - if you change the boot options in Windows 2000 it will *NOT* overwrite LILO, and if you change kernel..etc in Linux then you need only rerun lilo to make the changes.
Possibly confusing point (don't read if the above was satisfying):
I *actually* use GRUB now, and it has the impressive ability to read FAT16/32 partitions (as well as many Linux/BSD partition types). This means that I can actually boot Windows 98 *directly*. The Windows 98 boot sector is stored in a file called c:\bootsect.dos by the 2000 installer - since this is just a boot sector, GRUB can load it directly - giving me a single three-way menu: Linux, 98 or 2000. This is the same end result as using the NT/2000 boot loader, however once the initial setup has been done, it seems much easier to modify - installing new kernels does not require updates to the contents of the Windows drives or to the configuration of the Windows boot loader.
GRUB is quite difficult to use initally, however - if you're a newbie, stick with LILO. =)
Sounds like the ticket for sure. WinXP for me indeed boots from the C: drive, which would be /dev/hda1 I'm guessing (all of my drives, C-F are primary/logical partitions of the same physical drive.)
I heard something about LILO being installed to /dev/hda - is that the equivalent of /dev/hda1, or does it mean something different? (I'm going to read the manual again tonight for clarification on that point, so if you don't want to respond to this point, it's okay - I'm going to RTFM hehe.)
I'm wondering - you said that the NT bootloader is executed if you select Windows after placing those lines in lilo.conf - there is no way for LILO to directly launch XP? If not, it's no big deal of course. I could always do GRUB later on (if that can boot into 2k directly.)
On booting with GRUB:
Hehe, no way would I do that - I'm a newbie remember! :) It's not a big deal anyways, since the only OS I'll be running is WinXP Pro. I'm tired of 98SE, and 2000 - both give me plenty of problems, while XP is the first Windows OS that has actually worked for me in all situations.
/dev/hda refers to the whole disk, /dev/hda1 refers to the first partition. In the context of LILO (or bootloaders in general), installing to hda means in the master boot record of the drive (this is the first thing loaded) whereas hda1 means in the boot sector of that partition.
LILO is a very small program and fits in the master boot record - this means it can give you the choice of any partition on the system to start. When it's used to start Windows (any version), it transfers control to the boot sector of the C: drive. (It maps the kernel into memory and invokes it to start linux).
Installing to /dev/hda1 will overwrite Windows' boot sector and stop it from starting (unless you did complicated things to back up the boot sector first and invoke that from LILO instead).
When I say the NT boot loader, that applies to 2000 and XP as well (they all use the same or very similar boot loaders). The boot loader always runs, but you can make the menu not appear by editing the startup options in System in Control Panel - this will make it appear to load XP directly from LILO (nothing else comes up inbetween) - the XP loader is still doing the 'work' but does not prompt for user interaction.
GRUB loads Windows/DOS partitions in exactly the same way as LILO so the same thing would apply. Neither GRUB or LILO know how to start the XP kernel directly since it's a Microsoft thing but they can pass control to the MS bootsector which can.
There's not a lot of point using GRUB to start a dual-boot machine unless you change kernels often and have a lot of kernels hanging around (GRUB lets you load any kernel on any partition, without configuring them in advance - good for emergencies when your backup isn't defined in lilo.conf)
Okay, all of that made sense. My question is: is it default for LILO to install itself to the MBR? I read a few questions a while back about someone having problems if LILO wasn't installed within the first 1024 cylinders on the disk. (The newer versions apparently do not have this problem.)
Sounds to me like the perfect solution - LILO, and then have it launch the XP/NT bootloader if I select Windows. Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to add that line to my lilo.conf
Yeah, LILO needs to be in the MBR, it just takes over sorta. I like it alot, works great for my dual boot. And yeah, LILO has been able to finally get past the 1024th cylinder problem also. You should be fine.
Originally posted by taz.devil Yeah, LILO needs to be in the MBR, it just takes over sorta. I like it alot, works great for my dual boot. And yeah, LILO has been able to finally get past the 1024th cylinder problem also. You should be fine.
Sorry, i didn't see that you were looking to add to the lilo.conf and particularly what it is? The 1024th cyl. is fixed by adding (without the quotes) 'lba32' as the first line of the file. If that's what you were looking for?
I was just wondering why the 1024 problem existed in the first place? If LILO installs to be within the first 1024 cylinders (that is the MBR?) by default, then where did the problem exist before? Did it occur if people wanted to have LILO reside somewhere other than the MBR?
Well, the MBR is at the very beginning of the harddrive. 1024 cylinders into the drive is quite a ways for a system that wants to use the very beginning. Honestly I don't know why it's the 1024th and not the 899th. Got me there. But every OS wants "priority" as it is, and so you can't have two using the MBR and one of them gets to shove-off! =) and are forced to use a disk or loadlin. I just took em' a while I spose to fix it. Another plus about Linux eh'? Take it easy, i'm sure there is a better explaination out there...