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Old 05-07-2006, 03:24 PM   #1
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Dual boot with Win XP

I have not been able to install Ubuntu 5.10 as a dual boot with Windows XP. I am trying to use Windows' NTLDR boot loader as people have said Windows has a problem if something other than that is on the MBR. (Is that true?)
What happened:
Installed GRUB on /dev/hda8 (the Ubuntu / ).
The installer gave a message saying to remove cd's etc, that we will now reboot into Ubuntu which I knew would not happen the way I had set it up. So I used SystemRescueCd and mounted hda1 on /c and did:
dd if=/dev/hda8 of=/c/ubuntu.bin bs=512 count=1
Then I edited /c/boot.ini, adding the following to the bottom:
C:\ubuntu.bin="Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger"
On rebooting, the new entry shows up, but if chosen I get this message:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll

I don't really know whether this is related to Linux at all or not, but please help.
Old 05-07-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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You might fine [URL=]this site[/URL helpful. In general, though, it's easiest just putting GRUB on the MBR. GRUB has no problem booting Windows XP and I've used it to dual boot XP and Fedora on a number of laptop machines.
Old 05-07-2006, 03:39 PM   #3
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Well my version of Ubuntu 5.10 installed just fine with Windows aside, no problem, and I'm using GRUB without problems for booting. GRUB (Grand Unified Boot Loader) causing problems..that's crap. You really don't need any 3rd party bootloader or windows bootloader, because GRUB (or LILO if you like older stuff) works perfectly. I wonder where you heard that it wouldn't?

First of all, when installing Ubuntu, you only need to create some free space to your HD - by resizing existing partitions, for example (this can be done with gparted that is on the Ubuntu LiveCD, or Partition Magic, or some other tool like that). Then start the installation and choose to install ubuntu in the free space, and not format the whole HD (yes, this is an option in the installer, and it does the process automatically for you, no need to be afraid of it removing Windows). Install GRUB into MBR (works fine, I've tried -- it has only messed up in an old pc with an old version of win98 for me, and I think it was my own fault back then too). Then boot. My installation, which was done exactly like that, worked - and works - like a charm.

As a precaution some people like to install GRUB not to MBR but to the "first free sector of...", well anyway the 2nd choise in the installers that's usually present. That works well too, but you'll need to make sure the partition in which you install it is selected as "active" (or "boot"). I suggest installing the bootloader to MBR, and if you later want to remove it and put Windows back, just run "fdisk /mbr". As you see in your own thread, Windows's bootloader didn't seem to do the just use GRUB. Why make things difficult if they are easy? I've never met friendlier dual-boot installation than that of Ubuntu's -- at least if you install Windows first, Linux 2nd. Because Windows's bootloader is almost every time the one that fails.

EDIT: by the way, Ubuntu has got a new version coming out next month (last time I heard about the schedule). The latest beta version ("Flight") is stable enough already, I've been using it much and haven't seen big problems (mainly seen them in translations and so); consider getting the Flight6 (if that's the latest now) installcd/livecd/install+live -dvd, since it really is worth it. Or then install 5.10 and update quickly to Breezy

Last edited by b0uncer; 05-07-2006 at 03:41 PM.
Old 05-07-2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by btmiller
GRUB has no problem booting Windows XP and I've used it to dual boot XP and Fedora on a number of laptop machines.
You mean antivirus will not try to "fix" it?
Old 05-07-2006, 03:46 PM   #5
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The other thing I didn't mention is that I already have NTLDR doing dual boot of WinME and WinXP, and Ubuntu only detects XP, how easy is it to tell it there are more OS's than it sees?
Old 05-07-2006, 04:04 PM   #6
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With GRUB you are going to have two-step booting into Windows. First, you pick XP from GRUB menu and then you are given a new choice XP or ME by ntloader.
Old 05-07-2006, 04:06 PM   #7
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OK, I'll do it. Thanks for clearing that up, and thanks for the fast responses!
Old 05-10-2006, 10:25 PM   #8
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micler, the Hardware Abstraction Layer, known as HAL, gives Windows communication with your system hardware. You need it. It has nothing to do with Linux.

It often goes missing or is corrupted in these situations. It is one of those gigantic problems with an easy solution, so, not to worry. A lot more about it can be seen here:

I think everyone who does much with his system runs into the Case of the Missing HAL. I have quite a few times. Not for awhile, so I don't recall which fix method I found easiest and quickest. If you are still tangling with the problem, follow the advice in the URL. I seem to recall you need the HAL that is totally specific to YOUR Windows system (from your CD) so that is why you don't simply grab a replacement from the internet—but I'm not absolutely sure about that.

Normally your HAL.DLL hangs out in your WINDOWS directory, in system32, so some place like C:\WINDOWS\system32\HAL.dll. That is likely the corrupt or missing file. It might also be in your WINDOWS\servicepackfiles\i386\ . Wherever you find it, once it's fixed, it's a good idea to keep a copy of all your boot files—including boot.ini and NTLDR—someplace handy, such as in your system partition, viz. C:\Booteroo, or whatever you wish to call it. ("Booteroo" is obviously not a stock Windows folder, but it is found when somebody looks around "boot", so I like that name.)

Last edited by Grongle; 05-10-2006 at 10:43 PM.


dual boot, ntldr, ubuntu, windows xp

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