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Old 12-15-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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Failure to dual-boot Windows XP and Fedora 10

I have had considerable experience in multi-booting Windows systems: raw Dos / Windows 98 / Windows 2000 / Windows XP, but I am a complete neophyte working with Linux. I have downloaded a Live CD copy of Fedora 10, copied it to a CD and am trying to learn how to load and operate Linux from that. I am working with a laptop computer (with CD/Rom drive or floppy drive alternatively, but not both simultaneously). I can boot from the CD and bring up a copy of Fedora 10 that gives me the option to copy to the hard drive. I then quickly reach the critical point of how to set up the Linux partitions.

Using Partition Magic I have partitioned the hard drive with a Dell primary partition (16 KB --that came with the computer), a Windows XP primary partition (roughly 12 MB), and a Linux primary partition of 2.6 MB formatted as Ext3. (These are physically located one after another.) I have three other logical DOS partitions for DOS data and then a Linux swap partition.

I have been able to install the Fedora 10 onto the hard drive setting the linux partition as root and identifying the swap partition. The problem comes when I shut down or restart. I am given the choice of booting to the Fedora partition or "other" partition. I can reboot to Linux without trouble, but if it try to boot to "other" (the Windows XP partition) the computer sits and does nothing.

On the other side of the fence, but using a boot rescue disk, I can reboot the computer to Windows. There I have Boot Magic installed which gives me a dual boot option of XP or Linux. I have set that to identify the location the root Linux partition to boot the latter. Logging into the computer I then have no trouble booting to XP, but if I choose Linux, the computer just sits and does nothing. Obviously, the Boot Magic is not finding the location for the Linux /boot directory on the one side and Fedora is not finding the right place to boot XP on the other side.

I would very much appreciate some help in setting the correct parameters.

Last edited by wmgentry; 12-15-2008 at 11:19 AM.
Old 12-15-2008, 01:35 PM   #2
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Boot Fedora ask for a terminal become su
Run the commands cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
Fdisk -l {L lower case}
Give us the output of both commands
Old 12-15-2008, 02:17 PM   #3
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You need an entry for xp in the Fedora file menu.lst (or it may still be called grub.conf) which is in the /boot/grub/ directory in order to boot xp from the Grub bootloader. To boot from xp, you need an entry for Fedora in the boot.ini file. Post the output of 'fdisk -l' as previously suggested to get detailed instructions.
Old 12-15-2008, 03:38 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies. I was able to solve the problem by reinstalling from the CD and found in the SETUP procedure a selection that allowed me to place the boot information at the start of the root linux partition. This satisfied the needs for the Boot Magic boot loader and it is working fine now.


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