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Old 09-16-2004, 08:48 AM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: RedHat Fedora Core 2
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Post FC2 + Grub + XP + Bios = HUGE PROBLEMS


i'm fairly new to Linux (about a week using now). I have installed FC2, after a lot of hassles going through other distros.

I decided to dual boot along side Windows XP, but for some reason or another , the bootloader (grub) has decided to make my option to boot to Windows XP obsolete.

on further inspection, the entire windows partition has dissappeared. no worries though, it was only 40Gb of data lost.

anyways, i have tried to reboot with my XP cd by changing the bios settings, and my system goes straight to Grub, showing only my linux boot.

at first i thought it was just my XP cd having the problem, so i tried with several other XP install CDs, to no avail. if i put in my linux CD's, it boots from the cd's without any problems.

so far, this has been really frustrating for me, as i would still like to use XP every now and then.

upon talking to friends that use linux, i have done the following:

1) reformatted the drive using QTParted on a linux LiveCD from boot.
- tried to install XP, could not read from CD

2) nuked the drive using Darik's Nuke on a linux LiveCD from boot.
- tried to install XP, could not read from CD

3) got fed up, and re-installed FC2 for now, so i have something to work on.

i considered a possible BIOs conflict with FC2, and I would like to know if anyone else has a similar problem or solution to getting XP back on my system (even if it means dropping linux for now)

also, i have no floppy drive on my system. how do i load the executable file to update my BIOs? and, if i cannot read from any CD except for Linux CDs, how do i do the update?
Old 09-16-2004, 09:34 AM   #2
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Chicago
Distribution: Slackware64 -current
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I dont think its a bios. FC2 has some problem dual-booting with windows but thats a bug in FC2 and not necessarily in the bios. I use FC2 and several other distros but booting is not a problem.

As far as winxp cd's are concerned, try your original cd. May be your xp cd is bad. If thats the case, well can't say much about that.

Remember, you need to install xp first and then any linux distro. If you pop in your xp cd, it would take care of everything. By everything I mean partitions, formatting and filesystem.

also, i have no floppy drive on my system.
Get one. Its very useful especially while working with Linux.
Old 09-16-2004, 09:42 AM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Switzerland
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 66

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first, to update your bios, you should see on the manufacturer's page, where you download the bin file ; there should be at least one executable that updates the bios coming with it. on some boards this can be done whithin windoze (berk), usually it's from dos.

for grub, I've had problems with windows XP too. I fixed it this way:
booted off a linux CD and ran fdisk. made a few partitions, as follows:
  • hda1 (linux boot, reiserfs, about 30-60MB)
    hda2 (windows, ntfs, needs to start before cylinder 1024!, at least 2-3GB )
    hda3 (linux swap, like 500MB)
    hda4 (extended)
       hda5 (linux /, reiserfs, usually around 3GB)
       hda6 and beyond: (whatever else you may want, try to put /home separate fom / it's a good idea)

set the bootable flag to hda2, write changes to disk and exit.

install windoze, it should boot fine.

then install linux, make sure the bootable flag is still on hda2 and install grub on the mbr. If you do not leave the boot flag on the windows partition, it will either not work or fsck up you boot process when booting windows.

to boot on windows, simply make an entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst that looks like this:

title           Windows 2000
rootnoverify    (hd0,1)
chainloader     +1
proceeding this way shouldn't give you a problem, and if you can't boot off your windows CD then I don't know... make sure you've set up your bios right, and if your CD-Rom drive is SCSI don't count on it. it's supposed to work, but I've never been able to boot off a scsi CD (even though it's detected before boot)

if you've installed linux before installing windows (which seems to be that case), try to adapt your partition table so it fits my example. it shouldn't make a difference to widows since it doesn't even see the linux partitions (except when installing, it lists them as "unknown type" so don't overwrite them

have a nice day (before MS spoils it ;-)

Last edited by lopette; 09-16-2004 at 09:46 AM.


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