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Old 11-07-2006, 10:00 PM   #1
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Smart Boot Manager & Xandros

Hi all,

New here, new to Linux, about to jump into a lake with the pc chained to my ankle.

My problem, which has been spinning me in circles for weeks, has to do with Smart Boot Manager and Xandros. To make a very long story very short, I have long used SBM in a Windows multi-boot setup with complete satisfaction. Am now trying to factor Xandros into the equation and everything has gone belly-up in a big way. When SBM is installed, Xandros insists I do not have any hard drive, even after it boots from one. Because of this, it also reports a hardware error if I try to configure the boot menu. As soon as SBM is uninstalled, Xandros works fine again.

The problem is I need SBM, or something like it, to autohide different partitions on the fly while booting to keep the different Windows versions from tripping over each other. Lilo just doesn't have this functionality.

Can anyone help me with this? Is it a bug in SBM or Xandros? I am out of ideas.
Old 11-08-2006, 11:11 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: P.E.I. Canada
Distribution: Any nix or other OS I can get my hands on!
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I have no experience with SBM, but one I have used in te past is GAG. Give it a try, you will need to have grub installed to the /root directory of xandrose with either 0 or a couble of seconds delay if you want to keep the failsafe boot option.
Old 11-08-2006, 11:13 PM   #3
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GRUB hides primary partitions. Did you try GRUB? SBM only comes on a floppy, doesn't it? I would hate booting from a floppy on a permanent basis.
Old 11-09-2006, 12:14 AM   #4
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Smart Boot Manager

Thanks for your responses guys. I finally stumbled across the answer on a Debian site yesterday and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Unbelieveably (or not, take your pick) Debian-based Linux versions actually *read* the text in the MBR. If they don't like what they see, they do strange things. Use a disk editor to blank out the words 'Smart Boot Manager' and everything works fine. I have to say this is the strangest one I've encountered yet.

Other than this little idiosyncrasy (which could be argued to belong to Xandros), SBM is a wonderfully intelligent and versatile boot manager that I have used with great pleasure for many years. It is OS independant and fits entirely in the MBR so can be installed direct to the hard drive. It certainly doesn't have to be run from floppy or CD, though it can be. What makes it so good is its configurability. Since it can hide or unhide partitions on the fly as it boots and also automatically change the active partition, multiple Windows versions such as XP and 98SE can peacefully co-exist on the same drive, along with Linux. This isn't possible via Lilo, since that makes all Windows partitions visible to each other.



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