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Old 08-11-2002, 04:43 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2002
Distribution: RedHat 7.3
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Unhappy DualBoot and no clue

I'm lost. Here's the way it was and now is:

I have a 40 gig hd and 20gig hd. Both on my ATA-100 channels of MB.

On the 40 gig I have 3 partitions in NTFS format. I have Win2k installed.

On the 20 gig, I have Linux RedHat 7.3 installed. All partitions on this drive are ext3. During the installation, I chose to install GRUB as my boot loader and chose to install it NOT in the MBR but in the first sector of my /boot partition because I was afraid of allowing GRUB to be installed to the MBR as the MBR resides on a NTFS partition.

Now here's the kicker:

The only way I can choose between OS is at post, my ATA-100 bios setup lets me decide which physical drive is to be the boot drive. As Win2k is on one drive and RedHat on another, I just choose the drive containing the OS I want.

Win2k boots fine. No problems.
Linux stalls. All I get is GRUB and it stalls indefinitely.

Yes all I get is the word GRUB and that's it. As Linux newbie, I have no clue what to do. Tried booting from boot floppy and wind up with same thing. Boot from CD and all I get is Install.

What should I do? Reinstalling Win2k as to make my 40 gig drive's partitions Fat32 IS NOT AN OPTION. I have info on that drive that I CANNOT LOSE.

Basically, I wanted to install Linux to learn. But this is getting be a major headache.

Please help.

Old 08-11-2002, 08:16 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: 28N,82W
Distribution: XP,Ubuntu 9
Posts: 472

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I guess I have some clues, but not to all of your queries..

First of all, changing the boot drive through BIOS is a very bad
idea. Linux numbers the drives as, /dev/hda, /dev/hdb ... and
so on (last letter increases for each drive).
If 40GB drive was set as bootable drive whle you installed Linux,
the the hard coded value in most of Linux files is /dev/hdb. But
when you set 20GB as bootable drive, then that (20GB) drive
which was earlier hdb now becomes 'hda', becase it is not the
first drive. Therefore you will not be able to boot.

I am not experienced in GRUB, so can't answer your questions.
My suggestion to set 40gb drive as bootable, and try to boot
Linux from floppy. Chances are high that it will work this time
(becase, now your 2gb drive is /dev/hdb, the one Linux is looking

A NOTE of caution: Linux is a very nice operating system, and is
very stable, user friendly. However, for newbies, it takes a while
to learn it. SO, do NOT loose interest in LInux.

Hope this helps,
Old 08-11-2002, 10:57 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: tx
Distribution: WinXP,Vista Ultimate, Ubuntu 8.04, Server2003
Posts: 5

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You may wish to read the following how to on booting linux from the nt boot loader.

the how to references nt4.0 and linux, but I have used the same procedure to dual boot win200 server, winxp and mandrake 8.2.

hope this will help you. I do not know if it will work with grub you may have to use a linux boot disk to run linux and install lilo instead.


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