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sfzombie13 07-31-2005 10:15 PM

install fails when i remove 2d hd
i have a sony vaio and tried to install linux. it didn't work and i couldn't get xp back. i took the hd out and slaved it to my dell and installed a dual boot with linux on the laptop hd. why can't i just take it out and put it back in the laptop and install the bootloader from the install disc and have a working hd?

Matir 08-01-2005 12:41 AM

Generally, that should work, though you may need to tweak your hardware settings a bit depending on which distribution you are using.

sfzombie13 08-01-2005 10:49 AM

i installed redhat 9 on hdb1 and mandrake 10.2 on hdb3 with hdb2 as swap(200mb). i installed grub on hdb1 and made it bootable. i then replaced the hd into the laptop, and nothing. i tried a new install of redhat, after an upgrade, and it keeps telling me that the hd has no linux partitions, and that the hd cannot be synced. i can run a live cd on it, and it is working fine when it is a slave on this system, except that now i can't boot mandrake unless i put lilo on hda1, then i can't boot redhat. i am new to all this, and am having a hard time figuring it out. i downloaded a bunch of how tos, but my system got messed up and had to be reinstalled before i got to print them out. on the plus side, i am getting better at command lines.

demerson3 08-01-2005 09:34 PM

It sounds as if this is your first linux installation (correct me if I'm wrong!) Anyways, good job!

I think you should consider picking ONE distro and working with it, as opposed to trying to install both red hat and mandrake. If mandrake works with lilo right now, I think it would be wise to enjoy the system, and work on other aspects of it, as opposed to getting two distros working while you're rather new at it.

Also, I have heard (though I'm not really sure about this) that Sony Vaios have a lot of custom, proprietary hardware... so you might run into some trouble. But they're nice computers, so I'm sure there are a lot of linux programmers trying to make sure they work well.

Good luck!

michael@greg:~> 08-07-2005 03:12 PM

I have a working triple-boot system. I have SuSE, Minislack 1.0.1 and Minislack 1.1 installed on the same hard disc and I can boot to any OS without any trouble. While I do not have Windows installed on my computer I think I can instruct you on how to configure your system to get it to boot the way that you want it to boot. My boot scheme is based on GRUB because it is easy to configure using SuSE's installer. I think that you can easily configure GRUB with the RedHat 9 installer and so my suggestion is based on that assumption.

First, blank your hard disc. You can do this with DBAN ( If you use DBAN, use the "blank" option to blank your hard disc. This will eliminate the possibility of previous installations influencing your current effort. You do not need to go as far as securely blanking your hard disc, which DBAN will do by default.

Second, partition your hard disc with one primary partition for each OS and one extended DOS partition. Within the extended DOS partition, create a logical partition for your swap space.

If you choose to install Windows, install it before the other operating systems. I would put it at /dev/hdx1, where "x" is the proper device.

Then install Mandrake to /dev/hdx3. Configure its bootloader to install to the root of /dev/hdx3. If the installer automatically detects Windows and adds it to the bootloader configuration, remove the option of booting Windows. The bootloader installed by Mandrake should only be able to boot Mandrake and it must be located at the root of /dev/hdx3. Additionally, format and configure the swap space during the Mandrake install.

Then install RedHat to /dev/hdx2. Choose GRUB as the bootloader for RedHat. Install GRUB to the MBR. If the RedHat installer automatically detects and adds options for booting Windows and Mandrake, leave the options as part of the bootloader configuration. If the installer does not automatically detect the other OSes, manually add a boot option for Windows and for Mandrake. Mandrake should be "chainload"ed. You might have to pry around the RedHat installer to find this option but Mandrake will not boot without "chainload" specified. Also, make certain that the options are properly labeled. The options presented at boot time might not say "Windows" or "Mandrake" unless you specify those labels during the RedHat install. RedHat's GRUB should be able to boot RedHat, Windows and Mandrake. After reboot, it should be the first thing that you see after your BIOS finishes loading. Additionally, you should make certain that the swap space has an entry in RedHat's fstab so that RedHat can use the swap space (this should be automatically configured).

If you decide not to install Windows, simply leave out the part about installing Windows and adjust my instructions accordingly.

Please consider adding a fifth partition to use as a safe place to store data. I have a partition that only holds my data. This allows me to play with my OS and boot configuration without endangering my data. If you decide to do this, subtract the space used for personal data from each OS and use the freed space to create a logical partition. If you want all three OSes to be able to access this space format it with Windows as a FAT partition. If you decide not to install Windows, format the partition as EXT3 with Mandrake.

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