Ok, I finally got this windows xp and red hat linux 9 dual boot on one hard drive to work!! I figure I should post everything I did in case anyone else has the same problem:
Windows XP pro was already installed on my computer (FAT32 file system). I used Partition Magic 7 to created unallocated space out of unused space in the windows partition (at the end of the hard drive).
I rebooted with the Red Hat installation cd 1. I went through installing everything, using automatic partitioning of the unallocated space (but reviewing the partitions it created). I chose Grub as my boot loader but placed it on the first sector of the boot partition (/boot). I put it here rather than on the MBR because I read how people ran into trouble a lot of times (especially with being able to boot windows) when they did this.
After the installation, I rebooted and then I was not given any option to start linux, windows just started automatically like always. So now I basically followed the instructions in this article:
I put cd 1 back into the drive and rebooted. At the boot: prompt, I typed “linux rescue”. I then changed to the root by typing “chroot /mnt/sysimage”. Here I found out which was my /boot partition by using the “df” command. In my case, my boot partition was /dev/hda2. So then I typed “grub-install /dev/hda2”. I displayed my /etc/grub.conf file by using the “cat” command and verified that it had an entry for windows (it called it dos).
Next, I copied the linux.bin file to a floppy by doing the following. My /dev/fd0 device was not listed in my /etc/fstab file, but I was still able to mount it by creating a directory called “floppy” in the mnt directory. After creating the directory, I made sure I had a floppy in my a: drive (as it is called in windows) and typed “mount –t msdos /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy”. After mounting, I typed “dd if=/dev/hda2 of=/mnt/floppy/linux.bin bs=512 count=1”. This copied the file to the floppy. I then exited and rebooted into windows.
I copied linux.bin from the floppy into the c:\ directory. Then I opened the boot.ini file in notepad by going to Start->Run and entering “notepad C:\boot.ini”. I then added the line c:\linux.bin=”Linux” to the end of the file and saved it.
I was able to alter the file but it is possible that someone else’s file may be set as read-only. You can’t even see the file in My Computer because it is hidden. To make it visible and uncheck read-only so you can alter the file, you can go to Tools on the menu->Folder Options->View and then select “Show hidden files and folders” and deselect “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)”. After this, you should be able to see the boot file. You can then right-click it and select Properties. In the dialog box, unselect read-only so you can alter the file. After you alter the file by adding that line to the end, save it, and change all the settings back to how they were (i.e. recheck read-only, etc).
After this, I rebooted. A text window came up and gave me the option of booting into windows xp professional or linux. If I chose windows xp, xp started like it usually does. If I chose linux, then I got another window asking me to chose linux or dos. If I chose linux, then linux started up. Because it was my first time starting it, I had to go through a little set-up tutorial and on the final box before linux started, I got this error:
Could not look up internet address for x1-6-00-5b-1b-99-60. This will prevent GNOME from operating correctly. It may be possible to correct the problem by adding x1-6-00-5b-1b-99-60 to the file /etc/hosts.
I said log in anyway and everything seemed ok. This is the last question I have about my setup. What should I do here? How do I add whatever that is to /etc/hosts?
Otherwise, I am very happy with this setup because if I ever wanted to make my computer windows only again upon booting, I just have to alter the boot.ini file and it will start up just in windows as if linux wasn’t even on my hard drive.
Dell Dimension 8100
256 MB RAM
32 MB NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS/GeForce 2 Pro
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card