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Old 02-18-2005, 06:09 AM   #1
Barry Bingham
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Question Dual-booting 32 and 64 bit Fedora on separate SATA drives


I have two SATA drives with RAID disabled. On drive sda I have a fully functioning installation of Core 3 32bit and all my data. I decided to attempt to install the 64bit distro on drive sdb but so far without success. I want for now to be able to boot it from a floppy rather than mess with the loading of the 32bit install on sda.

Core 3-64 appears to install onto sdb OK under anaconda and I do a grub-install to create a boot floppy. However on reboot with floppy in place I simply get a grub command line. QTParted shows me that the partitions and data are all there on sdb. Trying to boot from grub - or creating grub.conf & menu.ist simply tells me that there is no kernel to load. Previously I successfully installed FC3-32, Ubuntu-64 and Mandrake32 (before settling on FC3-32 as the most stable by far!) on separate partitions of sda using grub-install to a floppy rather than writing to MBR and the distros booted according to the boot floppy used.

I just want to try out 64 bit on this Athlon-64 without losing the existing 32 bit install which runs everything and which I now use as my main system. Guess I've missed something really obvious relating to the fact that this time the distros are on separate drives or separate SATA drives, but what? Any suggestions gratefully received....
 
Old 02-18-2005, 10:02 AM   #2
aus9
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I have played with a kernel 64 with suse ftp 9.2 and it works for me but I did not like the way suse has some of its config files.......now my point

if you have a cd burner create partimages using a knoppix cd then play with any distro.

consider tho that 64 bit is still not fully mature......I still had to have some 32 bit stuff on my suse.
 
Old 02-19-2005, 01:51 PM   #3
Barry Bingham
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Thanks aus9. Unfortunately knoppix won't work with a SATA set up (not even the latest 3.7). But in any event there's no problem in creating partitions on the second hard drive - the problem is in booting to the finished installation from floppy. I can create and mount partitions on sdb from my fedora 32 bit on sda. Perhaps the only way to have two distros on two SATA drives is to put the/boot and / partitions for both distros on sda and use sdb for two /home partitions? Or to enable RAID and use the two as a large single striped drive - unfortunately this would mean a reinstall of my present FC3-32 which I'd rather not do if I can avoid it..........
 
Old 02-20-2005, 06:59 AM   #4
aus9
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Barry

not sure what you mean....I use knoppix all the time and I only have one sata drive?

you are not trying to format the drive as ide like?

try cfdisk /dev/sda or sdb rather than /dev/hde

(2) I still have some fun with my bios.....I had to enable raid.....for it not to fail to find my sata.....but I think thats because sata is still only 2 years old

3) I don't understand why you need a floppy.....I recommend a grub floppy so people feel safe in my tutorial but you can use grub in the existing mbr and modify your existing /boot/grub/menu.lst to point to another drive is that what you want to hear?
 
Old 02-20-2005, 08:07 AM   #5
Barry Bingham
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aus9

Thanks again - interesting that knoppix works for you on a SATA. I find that if I use the standard install (kernel 2.4) it just gets to the tux header and hangs. If I use the "experimental" kernel 2.6 it gets to a balack screen and never goes beyond it.

The reason I've been using a floppy is that it seems that everytime I boot to a different distro from the mbr grub menu, it is necessary to do a linux-rescue and fresh grub-install to regain access to the original distro. For this reason I tried to keep just my main distro on the mbr loader and use floppy for experimentals.


Since posting, I have persuaded FC3-64 on sdb to boot - but only by reinstalling and allowing grub to go on the mbr on sda using the x64 install CD/rescue. Then, I reinstalled grub from x32 via linux rescue and edited menu.lst to load x64 too. This works, BUT: everytime I boot into x64 from the menu, subsequent attempts to boot into x32 will not get beyond the udev storage media checks until..sigh..I reboot via install DVD/linux-rescue and reinstall grub!. The same applies when booting into x64 after successfully booting x32.....

BTW, even before I installed a second drive and x64, I would find that FC would hang on boot after the udev storage media line after many yum or up2date transactions. Generally it would be OK after hitting the restart button... but occasionally I had to do a linux-rescue grub reinstall.

Both x64 and x32 go like a charm once actually booted.
 
Old 02-21-2005, 01:07 AM   #6
aus9
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sometimes its your video card and framebuffer option.....fb that is the culprit.

at knoppix first screen try this
knoppix vga=normal

other cheats are here
http://www.knoppix.net/wiki/Cheat_Codes

if you have 1G of ram try toram
 
Old 02-22-2005, 05:51 AM   #7
Barry Bingham
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Thanks aus9. I'll try the knoppix cheats. However I do seem to have got a successful dual boot of 32 and 64 bit distros on separate SATA drives - but the two in question are FC3-32 and Ubuntu-AMD64. As long as I installed Ubuntu with grub onto MBR and then restored FC3 loader, copying menu.lst ubuntu entries fron /boot /grub of sdb onto anaconda's menu.lst on /boot/grub of sda, all is well.

I tried this countless times with Fedora 64 and it simply would not work without requiring grub installs after every boot. But Ubuntu-64 and FC-32 seem perfectly happy together - even after upgrading the ubuntu kernel. Only if you use Fedora's grub as "master", though. Editing the ubuntu loader by copying in fc32 entries got me nowhere... Bizarre.......... That said FC32 still sometimes needs two goes (just reboot - no need to reinstall grub) to boot after an upgrade. So it looks to me like this is a Fedora issue on my system.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 07:37 PM   #8
WhatsHisName
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Barry Bingham: Unless I missed something in your description, there is an easier way to deal with the Grub problem when you install a second distro. Just have the “new” Grub installed to “the first sector of the boot partition”, not the MBR, and update the original grub.conf to reflect the presence of the new disto.

For your example, during the 64-bit FC3 install, have Grub placed in “the first sector of the boot partition” (not the MBR). Then, after the installation has finished, boot into 32-bit FC3 to configure the Grub menu by mounting the 64-bit “/boot/grub/grub.conf”-containing partition and copying the relevant lines from “64-bit” grub.conf to the “32-bit” grub.conf. That way, the “32-bit” FC3 Grub remains the “master” over the other distro.

Every time you update the 64-bit kernel, the new boot information will be written into the “64-bit” grub.conf and you will need to manually update the 32-bit FC3 grub.conf with the new boot info by mounting the “32-bit” “/boot/grub/grub.conf”-containing partition and copying over the relevant lines from the “64-bit” grub.conf. It’s really easy to do.

Hope that helps.
 
Old 02-23-2005, 03:10 AM   #9
Barry Bingham
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WhatsHisName: Thanks - Of course you are right. In my cack-handed way that's a l m o s t what I finished up doing in a more roundabout way with Ubuntu-64. I've updated kernel twice, including an upgrade to "Hoary" from "Warty", mounted /boot on sda in order to copy relevant entries from menu.lst on /boot (sdb) to the menu.lst in /boot on sda used by the loader on mbr.

Still doesn't explain Fedora's occasional reluctance to boot after an update though - it did this when it was the only distro on the system. And at the end of the day with FC64 and FC32 both on the system what I had was two menu.lsts in two /boot sectors with entries copied from the one on sdb to the other on sda being used by grub on the mbr. Which is what is working now with Ubu64 & FC32. But when I've finished playing with Ubuntu, I'll have another go at FC64 installing to first sector of boot on sdb as you suggest and see if it impacts on the previous need for grub-installs. Thanks for pointing this out - I sometimes despair at my capacity for over-complicating stuff aka "not seeing wood for trees"....

Barry
 
  


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