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I am trying Linux with the mint cd rom install. I have two hard drives and bootit ng on hdo, with windows xp. I installed mint the first time on hd1 using the install cd. When I booted up I could run the linux but not the windows. I reinstalled bootit ng but had not luck. I reinstalled Linux again and this time tried to get it to install grub on a certain partition but still no luck. I reinstalled it again and this time disconnected hd0 and it worked again and I could run the linux with no problem. But when I connect hd0 I can boot windows but not linux. Bootit sees the other hard drive and can see all the partitions on it but every time I try to boot it just says the partition is not bootable. I have fiddled with various settings and tried setting the embr and hard drive swap but nothing works. Bootit web site had some help pages that said to run grub from a bootable cd and then type grub> find /boot/grub/stage1. I have tried this but always get error code 15 file not found. grub> find /grub/stage1 same thing
I install mint using the following partitions. /boot is about 300 megs. / is about 3 gigs and /home is 8 gigs and /swap is 1 gig.
I feel that if some knew bootit ng then they could tell me what to do in five minutes. The hard drive is there and recognized and the partitions are there the system works but I just can not boot to it with out disconnecting the one hard drive. Doug
Is it necessary/imperative to install Linux in so many partitions?
This is how I would go about it in your case:
Due to zone bit recording in mechanical drives, the fastest partition is the first partition. I always leave plenty of free space on drives.
1: Install bootitng to it's own partition, usually it creates it in the first 8MB of HD 0, allow for creating more than four primary partitions (extended EMBR) or something.
2: Make a large partition to format NTFS and allocate it high (at the slow end of the drive, the back), of the larger drive for shared data between operating systems.
3: Create the first partition at beginning of one of the drives, since this is the fastest partition, I design it to accommodate my hardest working operating system. Typically I make a 10GB Linux native partition for my heavily worked Linux OS, 15GB for most versions of Windows XP, 25 for Vista Ultimate and Mac OS X, etc. For this example, I'll assume you'll install Windows first one the first drive so you can format the data partition.
4: Configure the boot menu by adding an entry for it by clicking on 'boot edit' in the bootitng maintenance screen.
Give it a name in the first field, select which drive contains the boot partition, select an icon to go with the entry, select the partition from the drop down menu. This partition should now show up on the right side in the '0)' partition of HD 0 section. Click the second spot '1)' in HD 0 section to highlight it and click "Fill", select the NTFS data partition. Now you'll have two partitions in HD 0 section, none in the HD 1 section. Put a check in the "next BIOS Device" and click OK twice, then click "Resume" to bring up the boot menu. Making sure the installation CD/DVD is not in the optical drive, try to boot it, it should return an error stating it could not find anything to boot. Do this so bootitng writes the information about the partitions you selected to be shown are written to the MBR of the drive(s). Now go back to "Partition Work" and hit the "View MBR" button for the first drive, the two partitions should appear in the same order with the Windows installation partition marked bootable.
5: To start installation, I usually go back to the "Boot Edit" to put the check next to "next BIOS Device" for the appropriate entry in the boot menu, put the installation disk in the optical drive, return to the boot menu and boot it again, this time it boots the install media and I proceed to install.
After installing Windows, you'll need to boot up the bootitng disk to reactivate bootitng as Windows has taken over the MBR. When that's settled, boot into Windows and try to access the data partition from within Windows and you will be prompted to format it, accept, give it a name in the label field and format it NTFS, after formatting, create a folder in it called "OS_Images" or whatever to hold backups of your clean fresh installations.
Now, I would at this point update Windows to include all service packs, media player 11, IE 8, and all updates from Windows update, do not install no extra software. Then go back to "Partition work" in bootitng maintenance and highlight the Windows partition on the first drive and click "Image" button, at the bottom of the window should say *Paste Pending for Image Create*, now highlight the data partition and hit "Paste", double click on the OS_Images folder, name your image in 8.3 (all upper case) in the 'File Name' field, hit OK, select 4GB as maximum file size, click OK, click Yes for byte to byte validation and wait till completed.
Now install Linux:
I'll assume you decided to install Linux on the second drive to take advantage of first partition performance.
1: Create a partition for Linux as the first partition of the second drive "HD 1", select Linux native as the file system type, I typically make it only 10GB as smaller partitions improve performance over larger ones, and all data is not stored in /home, rather in the NTFS shared data partition.
2: Create a second partition on the same drive for swap, I typically go between 500MB to a GB, if you have 2-4GB of ram, it probably won't get used, select Linux Swap/Solaris as the file system type.
3: Go to "Boot Edit" and add an entry for Linux.
Give it a name in the name field, select "1" in the HD field to specify the second drive, select an icon, in the boot field select the Linux native partition from the drop down menu, it should show up as the first partition in the HD 1 section on the right, highlight the second line '1)', and click "Fill" and select the swap partition. In the HD 0 section (first drive), highlight the first line and click "Fill" to select the NTFS shared data partition. At this point I would not put the Windows installation partition so you don't have issues with the Linux boot loader, I never let my Linux OS's see my Windows OS's and vice versa as there is no need with a shared data partition. Put a check next to "Next BIOS Device" and hit OK twice to bring you back to bootitng maintenance, click "Resume" to bring up the menu. Without any installation media in the optical drive, try to boot it, again you'll get an error regarding nothing to boot, but now bootitng re-wrote the MBR of the two drives to only show the partitions you selected, the Windows installation partition should appear as free space to Linux.
4: Go back to "Boot Edit" and put a check next to "next BIOS Device" for you Linux entry in the menu, you can check the "View MBR" of both drives also to make sure only the three partition appear, put the installation CD/DVD in the optical drive and click OK twice again, then "Resume", then boot Linux from the menu, it should start the installation.
During installation, select custom partition or similar to select which partition will be which, do not let the installer take care of partition allocation automatically. Most often I just need to set up the Linux installation partition as / , it will see swap as swap and use it as such, it will also see the NTFS partition, I do nothing regarding those two partitions. /home and /boot are all within / in the same partition.
At boot loader stage, make sure to install the boot loader in the partition and not the MBR of the drive or you'll screw up bootitng and won't be able to boot Linux with bootitng after reactivating bootitng, (I believe you have experience in this area), this step usually requires you to select "custom" or "advanced" in boot loader stage of installation. In this example, having Linux in the second drive, you would install the boot loader in /dev/sdb1, not /dev/sdb or /dev/sda.
After installing and successfully booting into Linux, make sure ntfs-3g package is installed, make a directory for your data partition, I usually make it /data, put a line in /etc/fstab to mount your NTFS shared data partition in read/write mode automatically using ntfs-3g. Reboot to make sure it's mounted and accessible. Go back to bootitng menu and make an image of your Linux installation partition.
Images are compressed and only include allocated space, most full featured Linux installations produce an image file around 1.5GB in size, Windows XP around 2.5GB. I always select 4GB as maximum file size though, XP Media Center is over 4GB, if you intend to store the images somewhere else, split the size of the files accordingly.
If you want, now that you have a back up image of both your installations, you can play around with letting them see each other if you please by simply adding partitions in the "Boot Edit" part of bootitng maintenance for the OS. If you want to experiment with risky software in Windows or something, make another partition on either drive in the free space I recommended to leave at the beginning of this post, same size as the original and slap a copy of the image in it, be it Linux or Windows, anywhere on the drives, add another entry in the boot menu and allow it to only see the appropriate partitions on either drives and hack away at it without hurting your "every day" use installations. If you put a copy of Windows on the second drive, you'll have to put a check in the "Swap" field of the entry for it in the boot menu. Make sure when setting up another copy of a Linux partition image to put the partitions in the exact same order, in this example it would be the data partition as first partition in first drive, Linux root as first partition in second drive and Swap as second partition. I've moved the swap partition to different areas of the drives also and Linux did not have issues as long as they are place in the same order in the boot menu.
Currently, when I move Linux Debian testing around, I have to reinstall grub to boot the copy, which I do by chroot from another Linux that does boot after configuring the boot menu items to allow it to see the non-booting Linux.
Thank you for taking the time to write that whole tutorial. I have had to go to work the last couple of days so I have not tried messing with this yet. One question I have is the fill button on bootit ng? I have never used that before and I have had this for years on 4 different computers. Also I made the boot, root, and home partitions because I thought I had to. I don't know where the boot loader is now I thought that the installation would place it in the boot partition. I will have to disconnect the hd0 drive and see if I can still boot linux. If not I would start over again but if I can I would like to salvage the installation. I don't understand why bootit keeps saying that each of the linux partitions are unbootable. You would think one of those partitions would boot if the operating system is on there. But thanks for the help I will get a chance to work on this in the next few days. Doug
If you had any experience with Bootitng, you would eat your words. Don't knock it till you've tried it. The OP's question asks for Bootitng guidance, if you cannot answer the question, don't post. Your preferences have nothing to do with the OP's question.
I don't know where the boot loader is now I thought that the installation would place it in the boot partition.
When creating an entry in bootitng menu, you need to specify this /boot partition as the boot partition from the drop down menu in the 'Boot' field of the 'Edit Menu Item' window. And on the right side, use the fill button to add the other partitions you want the installer/operating system to see, such as the swap, root, and home partitions.
As I mentioned, I only make two partitions, one swap and one for root which will contain boot and home as well as everything else except swap. I use the same swap for all Linux installations. Because you are only allowed to have four primary partitions per drive, you will not be able to let your Linux see other Linux installations or shared data partitions on the same drive if you install the way you intend as you will need four partitions, /boot, /swap, / (root), /home.
During Linux installation, as mentioned earlier, you have do 'Custom' or 'Advanced' partitioning, not automatic. When you take this route, you will highlight the boot partition you created and made visible in the Bootitng menu and specify the installer to use it as /boot, same goes for the /home. /swap and / partitions.
But I strongly recommend just using a swap and a root partition only, in case you need to work on another Linux installation on the same drive that won't boot, or if you want it to access a Windows partition etc. Just a couple reasons why you should not eat up all four primary partitions on one installation.
With Bootitng, you can create over 100 primary partitions on one drive, but you can only allow operating systems to see four of them, as that is all the MBR can contain using bootitng EMBR.
You're obviously not here to help.
"Flame wars are a thing of the past".
I use bootitng, running Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X, and two Debian Squeeze 64bit installations, one standalone, the other runs VMware with those three Windows versions as guests.
Before you can run, you have to learn to walk.
Before you can multi-boot, you learn to dual boot.
I don't "simply" run around forums looking to start flame wars such as yourself. I use my operating systems as a means of earning income. And as such, running in a virtual environment is impractical when I need maximum ram memory and processor resources.
"Your preferences have nothing to do with the OP's question". And as I have shown..."different strokes, for different folks".