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Old 04-02-2005, 06:32 AM   #1
syb-pi
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dual booting


Is it possible to dual boot linux and win xp via boot disks instead of installing lilo boot loader? How can the boot loader be bypassed?
I have Win XP installed on the primary hard drive and intend to install Mandrake 10.0 on the secondary hard drive. I originally installed Mandrake and had no end of trouble with the boot loader so have uninstalled.
What file system should be installed on the new hard drive to take Linux?
I am a total newbie so if anyone can help it would be appreciated.
 
Old 04-02-2005, 07:03 AM   #2
RonRussell
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I don't know too much about using boot discs. Years ago when I was experimenting with SuSE, it booted with discs, and I found it inconvenient. There are other boot managers which work very well, since you have Windows already, look for System Commander, which allows any operating system you can name to be booted. It installs on your primary (Windows) drive, and is very customizeable and easy to use. When I was using it, I used it for Windows and BeOS. I don't use a boot manager anymore because I use Mepis Linux, and don't have Windows on my computer at all.

Last edited by RonRussell; 04-02-2005 at 07:04 AM.
 
Old 04-02-2005, 07:10 AM   #3
fatblueduck
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what filesystem should be installed on the new system to take linux?
- it's really up to you. You will probably need to partition three parts of your hardrive (at least) for mandrake.

a default configuration (space, partition, filesystem)
--one partition for your boot directory (50mb; primary, ext3)
--another partition for your swap files (550mb; logical, linux swap)
--a third partition for you root system (??mb; logical, ReiserFS)

I've never used a boot-disk.
I will say, however, that LILO (in my opinion) is simply awful. Its slow and clunky and doesn't give you a command line option or any of that.

Do yourself a favor and learn how to use grub. Its fast, efficient, configurable, enjoyable.

If you haven't setup grub before, but are going to try it, make sure you have a live cd of some sort, so that if you mess up you can fix it.
 
Old 04-02-2005, 07:17 AM   #4
Nathanael
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whats wrong with grub??
i use grub and i am quite happy with it to be honest!
 
Old 04-02-2005, 03:04 PM   #5
J.W.
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You can simply choose to not install either the lilo or GRUB bootloaders, and boot from floppies if you prefer. Just make sure that the floppy is set to the first boot option in the BIOS boot sequence.

That being said, lilo and/or GRUB are both really useful, and if you were having difficulty with them, I'll guess that it's just due to a minor typo somewhere in the file. If you're willing to give it another shot, and you post your partitioning scheme along with the lilo.conf or GRUB file, I'm sure that someone would be able to determine what would need to be changed. -- J.W.
 
Old 04-02-2005, 08:50 PM   #6
syg00
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There is another option of course that should allow you to install, and feel comfortable.
Flip-flop the primary disk in the BIOS. When you want to boot XP, set (leave) it as-is.
When you want to install (and later boot) Mandrake, change the boot options so that your current secondary becomes the primary.
A little bit of messing around, but a more robust system than floppies.

That way you can safely install to the MBR (of the "other" disk), without affecting XP at all.
Then when you boot that disk you'll get the grub (preferably, but lilo will work too) menu to boot Mandrake. It'll probably also offer a Windows option, but as I don't use Mandy, I don't know if it will do the drive mapping corrected from the installer. I'd just ignore the Windows option on that menu for now.

To get to XP, just change the drives in the BIOS, and boot the other disk. You'll be presented with the ntldr as normal, and be none the wiser.

Later, when you get a bit more experience, you can use the Linux boot loader to handle both, and not have to worry with the drive swapping.
 
Old 04-03-2005, 01:48 AM   #7
mugwump84
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I remember reading something about the windows XP bootloader insisting that it be on the mbr, so that you use the the WIndows bootloader to boot grub/lilo.

Can't remember where I read it, but might be helpful.
 
Old 04-03-2005, 03:29 AM   #8
syg00
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Close - Windows NT derived loaders will always install themselves in the MBR, and don't have the sofistication to be installed anywhere else. Been this way since I started using them in NT 3.1

Yes, you can use ntldr to load grub/lilo, but it isn't straightforward or simple.
Likewise you can chainload ntldr from grub/lilo.

In fact, on my laptop I have a circular chain - both menus have an entry for the other, so I can always get to where I want to be if I miss the timeout in either menu.
 
Old 04-03-2005, 05:38 AM   #9
Nathanael
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i guy i work with, his laptop is running grub (onlu) and he boots either into win xp pro or suse 9.1 (ok - i admit, that hurts) but still, he is using grub only - no nt loader!
i could get his brub config files if you wish!
 
Old 04-04-2005, 12:03 AM   #10
PhilDEE
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Try using the Windows bootloader and a program called BootPart to place GRUB in it. Just install GRUB to the first sector of a Linux partition rather than the MBR and then get the Windows bootloader to point to it.

www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm
 
Old 04-04-2005, 12:22 AM   #11
RKendrick
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My understanding is that BootPart only works on a FAT32 boot partition. Mine is NTFS. Has anyone had success using bootpart on an NTFS boot partition?
 
Old 04-04-2005, 10:27 AM   #12
syb-pi
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Thanks everyone for useful tips.
How do I go about installing grub - remember I don't know the first thing about Linux.
I'll have a look at System Commander on XP and see what comes of that.

Booting into Lilo seems an awkward way of getting into XP or Mandrake and I wondered if there were boot options to bypass all that rubbish!

Another question - if I am in Mandrake can I then go straight into XP or does it mean restart and boot into
Mandrake and vice versa.

Sorry if I am asking stupid questions but I am no geek!
I have messed about with computers since Win 3.1 but this is something else.
 
Old 04-05-2005, 03:13 PM   #13
mugwump84
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You'll have to reboot. (I don't think loadlin works with XP)
 
  


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