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marvinudy 05-06-2009 08:49 PM

again-dual boot windows XP, 1st drive-linux Mepis 8.0 2nd drive
A friend who is learning Linux installed a larger second(primary-slave) PATA drive to continue his Linux education but insisted on leaving Windows XP on the first(primary-master) PATA drive with no alterations to any part of the Windows XP drive including the MBR or changing master/slave orientation and using remapping in Grub.

The motherboard BIOS has the ability to choose the boot device on start up by using the F-11 key during BIOS boot. This method assumes the users computer also has the ability to select a 'boot drive' during the boot-up process.

Steps we followed

(1) Did nothing with the Windows XP drive (Primary-master).

(2) Installed Mepis 8.0-32 on drive #2 (Primary-slave) on a primary partition, ext3 formatted, executing the following steps during the setup and install process after formatting the new (Primary-slave drive):

(A) Instruct the install program to use manual disk partition selection and select to install Mepis 8.0 onto sdb1 (new Primary-slave drive).

(B) Instruct the install program to install the GRUB boot loader in the MBR of the sdb (master-slave) drive.

(C) Instruct the install program that the system will boot from the sdb (master-slave) drive.

(D) Reboot the computer after completing the install process and use the F-11 or other appropriate key to select the new drive as the boot device.

(E) Select the default entry in the graphic boot loader menu and expect to see an error message of "file not found".

(F) Hit the enter key and a standard 'Grub' menu will appear.

(G) Highlight the first entry of the menu and hit your 'e' key on the keyboard to 'edit' the entry. You are now looking at the actual boot sequence from the 'menu.lst. in the installed Mepis 8.0.

(H) Highlight the first entry not preceded by the "#" sign of the menu which should be labeled as:
"root (hd1,0)".

(I) Hit your 'e' key on the keyboard to edit the entry as follows: Change (hd1.0) to (hd0.0) and hit the enter key followed by the 'b' key to boot the newly install system. If done correctly, your new system should boot up correctly.

(J) Log in as 'root' and use an editor such as 'nano' to edit the "boot/grub/menu.lst. file. In each of the first three entries, change all the 'root (hd1,0) settings to (hd0,0) and save the newly edited file.

(K) Reboot the system and during the BIOS boot sequence select the appropriate key to boot the second (primary-slave) drive as your boot drive.

You should now see the graphic boot menu and be able to boot into the second drive, primary partition 1 with your newly installed Linux.

archtoad6 06-09-2009 09:23 AM

There are several "sdb (master-slave)" references, I assume you meant "sdb (Primary-Slave)"; & should edit your post to correct this.

IMO, you should never tell anyone to "hit" the keyboard, say "press" instead; or if you want a 3-letter word, use "tap". :)

johnsfine 06-09-2009 09:51 AM

1) An exact "cook book" sequence of instructions is nice, but I think it is also nice to have a concept level description of the underlying issue that requires the unusual steps:

As seen by Linux, the first drive is sda and the second drive is sdb. The Mepis installer is run in a mode in which the first drive as seen by Grub is hd0 and the second drive is hd1.

But to boot from the second drive without touching the first, you used a BIOS feature that reverses the identities of hd0 and hd1 temporarily during the boot.

So when Grub was installed, the second drive was hd1. But when Grub is run the second drive is hd0 (but in Linux it is still sdb).

So after Grub is installed you must edit menu.lst to show the correct (as reversed by the BIOS) identity of the second drive.

2) I forget what state the Mepis 8 installer leaves you in after installing Grub. I think you have the opportunity to do other tasks before allowing the next reboot, but I'm not sure.
So your steps D through I might be replaced by something much faster and simpler. If I'm wrong about the ability to get in before that reboot, your D through I could still be replaced by something simpler, though not faster.
2a) Before that reboot, use the running liveCD system to navigate to and edit the menu.lst file on sdb1. You can probably do that from the Mepis button while the dialog asking you to reboot stays up unanswered. Even while the installer is running, Mepis liveCD is a full featured multi tasking OS.
2b) Reboot back to the liveCD to edit that file before booting to the second hard drive.

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