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while installing linux
if u choose to make a boot partiton apart from '/' and swap
then if u make ur boot partitons as a drive say /dev/hda5 then u can ask the insatller to install lilo/grub on he boot partiton (if u do not want to load grub/lilo first)
while if u install on MBR which is in the start of the hdd, no matter what u installed ,grub/lilo will load first since at bootup MBR is looked upon(to see what is there)