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Old 03-30-2004, 02:00 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 26

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Fedora/Win xp boot problems

I installed Fedora on my system yesterday, attempting to dual boot with win xp, Fedora installation seemed to go ok, but when I tried to reboot back into windows:

Booting windows
rootnoverify (hd 0, 0)
chainloader +1

.. and then a blinking cursor. Bootloader is Grub now, but I tried reinstalling both Slackware and Redhat 9 with LILO which I've previously successfully dual booted with XP. Back to Fedora now because that is the only thing that I can get my NIC working under.
I have 2 hard drives, #1 is a 40gb drive divided into 2 20gb NTFS partitions, XP installed on first partion, 2nd partition is now blank (but formatted). #2 HD is 27gb. I chose the auto partioning option under Fedora, it has a 100mb boot, 14gb /, and a 500mb swap partition, plus a 13ish gb fat 32 partition. LILO and grub both show the windows boot option. While installing Fedora, I got a message:

Unable to align partition properly. This probably means that another partitioning tool generated an incorrect partition table, because it didn't have the correct BIOS geometry. It is safe to ignore, but ignoring may cause (fixable) problems with some boot loaders.

I went ahead with the install, figuring if anything got messed up, it wouldn't affect the windows installation. I have even tried reinstalling windows on both hard drives, both fixing the existing installation and a fresh install on a newly formatted partion, but after windows setup installs, then reboots, the setup process does not continue. It just wants to reboot from the cd again. If I press any key to force a boot, it just restarts the setup from scratch. If I don't do anything, it will hang after about 10 seconds and I get some odd color blocks on the text screen. I've tried going into the Bios between boots and changing the boot order to both drives, didn't work which is what I expected. From what I remember on my previous xp installs, it automatically continues with the setup process after the reboot. Im guessing the master boot record or partition table somehow got messed up, but have no idea where to go from here. I had previously partitioned the 27 gb drive using cfdisk when I installed Slackware. Using Fedora core 1.90 by the way.

Old 03-30-2004, 03:26 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Alexandria
Distribution: ubuntu 12.04.2
Posts: 217

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Hmmm. Well, I'm not sure whats going on with your setup but I'll tell you how I did my dual boot.

You MUST install windows first. Windows (and various virus checkers) are completely anal about the master boot record.

When you install WinXP, delete all the partitions on your hard drive. Then re-allocate what you want for windows.

Install windows as normal.

When you get windows all updated and happy, restart and insert your fedora disk (or ftp). When it asks to partition the drive, choose manual.

Using the unused portion of the drive, create a root partition and a swap partition to your hearts desire.

Install fedora.

hope this helps. You should be able to find some resources via google search to do a dual boot.
Old 03-30-2004, 05:17 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Montreal
Distribution: Gentoo/Debian
Posts: 365

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Umm. No need to reinstall windows, boot from cd in BIOS.

Put in the windows cd.

Go to the recovery console.


And leave.

But recall, this may make your partitions go wonky, so back up everything just in case. That command will rewrite the MBR bypassing GRUB and it will boot into windows. Hmm. But you have a boot partition, shit. Perhaps use fdisk and delete the boot partition and rewrite the mbr.

And for the GRUB thing, is there a space? AKA in the (hd 0,0)? There should be no space, aka (hd0,0)

Change the hd0 thing in the grub config file, and then try to go into windows.
Old 04-08-2004, 07:21 AM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 26

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sorry for the delayed response

Finally got everything straightened out. The fixmbr thing didn't work, what I ended up doing:

1. Disconnect the 40g drive and format and install windows on the 27g drive.
2. Plug the 40g drive back in, I was able to see everything on that drive, just couldn't boot into it, I tried modifying the boot.ini file, using a floppy to boot to the drive, no luck.
3. I just got windows set up the way I wanted it, transferring email settings and favorites etc. to the new installation.
4. Using Norton Ghost, I transferred the disk image to the other drive. (I want that to be my primary drive, it's faster and quieter)
5. Unplug the 27g drive and boot with the 40g drive to force the system to recognize it as C: (anybody know a better way of doing this?)
6. Plug 27g drive back in, format and install Fedora, this time using the stable 1.0 version.

This was probably not the easiest or quickest way of doing this, but I finally have a dual boot system with printing and dsl working on both.
Thanks to everybody for their suggestions and comments.

Old 04-24-2004, 08:52 AM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 2

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Lightbulb easy does it

first, i had the same problem, when changing my linux distrib from Suse 9.0 to Fedora core 1 i got tha damned blank screen after installing fedora on a previous XP system, when trying to boot XP, on my second hdd - aka dev/hdb1, 4, etc
none of the things U said were ok, i never tried the XP cd, it-s not the problem with the Xp, it`s in the GRUB!
first, resolutions comes easy when you have a Linbux that`s ready to use in 20-25 minutes, so U could easily reinstall this way:

1. U make the XP the default section to be sure it`s gonna boot afterwards, U can change-it from fedora Boot Manager logged in as root - it works perfectly
2. a . U can try booting from the fedora cd if you didn`t put your XP default first, or put the grub on your boot partition of your second hdd, as I did, and try to change the GRUB from the install part, just after it recognizes your fedora instalation and you tell it to change the settings - aka repair - but it didn`t work for me, I had to reinstall from scratch the whole fedora! it just wouldn`t write on my MBR

2. b. make sure( it`s a default setting when U put your XP as the default OS) that the GRUB is written in the MBR(main boot record), that is on the same hdd/partition as the windows XP(or other windows OS-s) - aka /dev/hda1 for a default windows installation - on the C partition of the first hdd(the master one) - other distributions do that by default with the GRUB, see also Suse, Mandrake, Slackware etc

3. get your kicks ridding an xcelent Linux OS along with your old win xp, or other Microsoft Crap Windows

4. wait a little longer for the Fedora Core 2 to appear, it`s already taken care of, this little bug/instalation issue and many more - see the manual editing of the fstab, mounting windows partitions and many other...

5. good luck

any problems, fell free to contact me at, but I worn you I`m not a Linux Guru, I`ve just discovered a few things about it... ;-))))))
Old 05-22-2004, 05:51 PM   #6
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2

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Here's a link that describes your problem. Apparantly there's a suspected bug with parted and a hubbub about whether this was a show stopper bug. I got bit yesterday on my work system. Unfortunately I didn't find the thread till today. Reinstalled my xp system, transferred data back, imaged the system like I should've the first time, then tried to reinstall FC2 again...with the same bad results. So restored the image with Drive Image and went searching on the forums. Below is the link


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