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I currently have WinXP installed on my primary drive. I have recently bought a second hard drive, which I haven't physically installed yet, and on which I plan to install Linux (Slackware). This is how I plan to do it:
1) Make the recently bought drive the primary master.
2) Make the current drive with WinXP the primary slave.
3) Install Slackware Linux on the primary master.
My first question is, are there any inherent problems with my plan?
My second question concerns LILO, since at some point in the install process, I will install/setup/configure LILO: should I install LILO to my Linux root partition or to the MBR? I can't see that it makes any difference in my case. But I don't fully understand the MBR.
Just one issue there, I've always understood that windows needs to be on the primary drive in a dual boot setup, or it won't boot. If anybody has windows running as a slave to linux, feel free to correct me.
As for the second question, I always set up lilo in MBR and I've never had problems.
here's the scenario:
WinXP WILL boot as slave, but it must THINK it's the master.
You can do this by editing your lilo.conf/grub.conf whichever you choose to use.
your easiest bet: install lilo/grub on the MBR of your XP disc (primary master)
this way you make every OS happy
Personally, I'd just leave Windows as the primary master, and install Linux on the slave. Within LILO, you can specify which OS should be the default, and functionally, it doesn't make a bit of difference which OS is on the master drive and which is on the slave. Just to be clear, the instructions listed already in terms of steps you can take to fool Win into thinking it's on the master are perfectly accurate and will work.... I personally don't see any value in making things more complicated than they need to be.
As for installing LILO in the MBR vs other places - suffice it to say that you can find just as many people saying you should always install it into the MBR as you can find who say that you should never install it into the MBR. Personally, I've always installed it into the MBR, and have never had any problems with it.
Lastly, if LILO is a relatively new topic for you, be advised that the term "lilo" is somewhat interchangable, and can refer both to the lilo.conf file (in /etc) in addition to the lilo program (in /sbin) Not be confusing, but changes to lilo (meaning the file) will only take effect once you re-rerun lilo (meaning the program). To clarify, after you edit lilo.conf and save your changes, you will need to become root and run: /sbin/lilo
The only reason I mention this is because frequently, a person will make a change to lilo.conf and discover that nothing has changed, and the solution to that issue is to run /sbin/lilo. In any event, good luck with it -- J.W.
Thanks for your responses. Of course, I only have more questions.
1) If I install LILO on the MBR of my winxp disk, won't WinXP complain or just overwrite that? I thought WinXP (unlike Win98, for example) had problems when aliens invaded their MBRs.
2) Now, with the primary master having Linux on it (and LILO on its MBR), and the primary slave having WinXP on it, I need to edit lilo.conf and fool WinXP into thinking it's on the primary master (heheh, stupid WinXP). You've kindly given me the grub version of this trick. Anyone know the lilo version? I'll look for it myself later today, and if I find it, I'll post the answer back in this thread.