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Old 12-17-2006, 03:12 PM   #1
rdyas
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Problem Installing Centos Dual-Boot on WinXP with 2nd HD


Hi All

Apologies if I have missed something obvious, but I'm new to Linux and dual boot.

I am trying to install Centos Linux on my Dell Dimension 8250 which is already running WinXP. I have a second 120G hard drive which I can devote to Linux and would like to set up dual boot.

I have downloaded Centos and created a DVD using easyCD. That worked fine and I can run the Centos install.

When it got to the bit about disk partitions I deleted the suggested partitions on /dev/hda (my first hard drive the disk with WinXP on, I think?) and added the following for /dev/hdb:
partition label size
--------- ----- -------
/dev/hdb1 / 110 Gig
/dev/hdb2 /root 100 Meg
swap 1 Gig (twice RAM)

So, nothing touching /dev/hda as far as I could see.

I tried twice, once asking to install GRUB boot loader on /dev/hdb and again without asking for GRUB to be installed.

Both times, the install said it completed fine, but when I rebooted it just hangs and I can no longer boot to windows. When I installed GRUB, I get a prompt GRUB> which does not seem to accept any input and when I dont install GRUB I get a message saying the boot failed and prompting with 2 function key options for retry or setup.

Each time I have had to restore my C: drive to recover WinXP.

I read about configuring windows boot loader by creating a boot.lnx file using the dd command. To do this I booted from the Centos disk, typed "linux rescue" and chroot /mnt/sysimage to get linux prompt. I use the command:
dd if=/dev/hdb1 of=boot.lnx bs=512 count=1
to create a linux boot file, but the first 512 bytes of my boot partition seem to be blank, i.e. if I type:
dd if=/dev/hdb1 | hexdump -C | less
I get a line of 00's

When I copied this boot.lnx file to my restored C:\ drive and configured windows boot loader, I get the 2 options for WinXP and Linux, but when I select the Linux option I just get a blank screen.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong?

many thanks in advance

Roger.
 
Old 12-17-2006, 03:54 PM   #2
Brian1
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Registered: Jan 2003
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You mentioned deleting partition on hda. What was deleted there. Since grub was not installed to /dev/hdb from above then I say you deleted your windows partition which is why it can't boot windows. Just my guess from the info provided.

The best way would to have a 100 meg /boot on either drive is fine. I would put it on /dev/hda myself. Then create whatever ones on /dev/hdb. One for / and any other divisions you perfer. I like a /home for backup purposes. Now the swap does not need to be twice the ram size. Back in the days when ram cost money and had a 32meg machine it was recommended to use twice that size as a minimum for swap. Now the grub boot loader needs to be installed to /dev/hda MBR.

Brian
 
Old 12-17-2006, 03:55 PM   #3
IndyGunFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdyas
When it got to the bit about disk partitions I deleted the suggested partitions on /dev/hda (my first hard drive the disk with WinXP on, I think?) and added the following for /dev/hdb:
partition label size
--------- ----- -------
/dev/hdb1 / 110 Gig
/dev/hdb2 /root 100 Meg
swap 1 Gig (twice RAM)

So, nothing touching /dev/hda as far as I could see.

Each time I have had to restore my C: drive to recover WinXP.
Roger.
OK, first, you're contradicting yourself. In one sentence you say you've deleted the suggested partition on /dev/hda(your windows disk)..., then you say, "So nothing touching /dev/hda... Well, you're deleting the partition, thus why you need to restore C: to recover Windows XP.

Second, you are making this way way to complicated. Its been a long time since I've installed Centos, but I'll try to help as best I can....

Since you've got a dedicated hard drive for Centos(a very good decision), when it comes time to install, there should be a "take over" option, basically where Linux will do a complete takeover of a selected drive (I could be confusing this with Ubuntu's installation, but I think Centos does it also). If you have this option, simply choose the drive, and hit next, it will automatically configure a Swap partition and a file system. With 512mb of Ram, its pretty unlikely you're gonna need that swap space, but its still a good idea. Once it does that, accept the changes, and continue the install process. When it comes time to install Grub, instal it in the MBR of hda(or hdb, whatever), just make sure whatever drive you put GRUB on, is set to be the first boot drive in your system bios.

IGF
 
Old 12-17-2006, 04:38 PM   #4
rdyas
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Registered: Dec 2006
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thanks for the quick responses folks

I thought the partition plan was the proposed plan for linux to use, but I think you are right and I am removing my winxp partitions. I have run up the installer again to have another look and the hda partitions are of type FAT32 and NTFS which is the format of my existing c: drive partitions.

I'll take another backup and then try re-installing, leaving the hda partitions alone, specifying new hdb partitions and installing GRUB on the hda MBR.

many thanks
Roger
 
Old 12-18-2006, 05:06 PM   #5
rdyas
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Registered: Dec 2006
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Original Poster
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Hi again

Partial success - reinstalled leaving existing WinXP partitions alone and accepting the default option of installing GRUB boot loader on the MBR of hda disk. Install completed OK but when it rebooted I just get the prompt "GRUB " but no menu and no keyboard echo, typing just fills the buffer.

I can boot into linux using the centos cd and typing "linux rescue" at the prompt.

Having restored just the MBR of my C drive I have recovered WinXP, so I am guessing that I now have WinXP and Linux installed but need to configure the GRUB or windows boot loader to give me the option to boot into Linux - any suggestions?

many thanks
Roger
 
Old 12-18-2006, 08:03 PM   #6
Brian1
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Seymour, Indiana
Distribution: Distribution: RHEL 5 with Pieces of this and that. Kernel 2.6.23.1, KDE 3.5.8 and KDE 4.0 beta, Plu
Posts: 5,700

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Lets give this a try.
Do ' linux rescue ' to boot up.
chroot /mnt/sysimage
/sbin/grub-install /dev/hda
Reboot

Brian
 
  


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