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I'm going to install Suse 9 Linux in one of my two hard drives (the other one has windows xp). I'll be at home for 2 weeks. Then my brother will use the computer. As my brother doesn't know about linux, he will only use Windows. I don't want him to have any problem. My question is: Can Windows XP be by mistake or by itself's fault blocked so my brother could not get it into? I mean, can the menu which gives you the option to choose the OS you want to start with be deleted or something?
Well, the easiest way to prevent booting into anything other than Windows is to not install LILO or GRUB in the boot partition; only Windows will be bootable then. You'd have to use a boot CD or something to boot Linux.
I had XP & the bootloader (Grub, in the master boot record) on my first hard drive, and SuSE on the second hard drive. (sounds like a similar situation to yours)
You shouldn't have any problem with XP & SuSE. And no, the menu/bootloader can't be deleted by accident easily.
Your brother should have no problem booting Windows. Grub & LILO aren't confusing at all. And as tinkster said, you could disable the LILO prompt by default. Not sure how to do that but I'm sure a google search would find something.
I always advocate the easy and non-intrusive way, if you're hesitant about Linux. Swap the drives. Put the Windows one second. I know the objections will start here. "But Vectordrake (my name is Corey, BTW), you can't make Windows go after. Its a bully and insists on being first!"
Let it think it is. I do this myself for a reason. LILO stays with Linux. NTLoader (or wininit) stay with Windows. There are two ways to do this with LILO. I don't know GRUB well, so I will let someone else explain that, if necessary. If your distro doesn't add Windows to the list automatically, you can do it yourself. The stanza in your /etc/lilo.conf file will look like this:
or, as the traditional method shows (and what Mandrake 10 did for me with LILO 22.5.8):
I happen to have Windows installed on both drives at the moment (as the second drive is going 'bye bye Windows soon', and 'hello Gentoo')
I like the new method. Its more foolproof, elegant, and less typing involved, of course.
The advantage: If you pull the Linux drive, you don't have to rewrite the MBR to get into Windows normally (cos its the way you left it), and you don't have to worry about not booting if you wipe Windows off the machine (you just comment out the stanza in the /etc/lilo.conf file and run lilo - and perhaps do the same in /etc/fstab if you're mounting it as well).
I've had too many installs crap out on stage one of the bootloader when doing it the other way, and the fighting to get it right is too much work. A screwdriver and 5 minutes fixes that problem easier and quicker for me. Suit yourself, though.