After much tribulation, I got my HP Pavilion ze4220 to contain both Linux and Windows XP without having one or the other destroy all record of the other one in the MBR. It's been very hard because I can't make boot disks, so I actually had to create a FAT partition on my drive to act as a go between from linux to windows. Anyway, now I'm trying to edit the boot.ini file in windows to get it to add Linux to the boot loader. I copied the first 512 bytes of the /boot partition into a file called linux.bin, and placed that file in my F: drive (It would be C:, but after three days of Partition magic fiascos and constant reformatting, the letters are screwy) then I added the line f:\linux.bin="Linux" to the end of my boot.ini file. (I've tried both uppercase and lowercase F)
OK, so now when I reboot the computer the boot loader shows up with, apparently, both options. Windows will boot normally from here, but linux does not. it tells me Im missing my hal.dll file, and that the system cannot be booted.
I have changed the grub.conf file, adding to the end of it a reference to Windows XP, since during the installation of linux, grub did not automatically detect it. Im not sure exactly what the syntax of the grub file should be but this is what I added in at the end:
title Windows XP
I've gone through Google so many times trying to figure this out, I'm going crazy. I have reinstalled windows 3 times and Linux over 8 times trying to solve my problems. Currently here is what my harddrive partitions look like:
F: Windows XP, 3.6 GB, FAT32
C: shared partition, 50 MB, FAT
/boot , 50 MB, ext3
/ , 9.5 GB, ext3
swap , 512 MB, swap
D: all of my files and programs, 14.7 GB, NTFS
I shrank down my Windows partition so that the Linux /boot would be under the 1024 cylinder limit. I changed my windows partition from NTFS to FAT32 because I read that linux cant read NTFS, and was trying to get it to be more compatible, but I've done it both ways, and neither works, and neither operating system wants to admit the other is there.
I have 256 MB of RAM, 30 GB of HD space (give or take), and a 1.7 GHz processor.
I don't know what other information I can tell you, but if you think of something, I'm sure I can post what it is... just please someone help me out before I lose my mind!