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Old 05-16-2006, 11:25 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2006
Distribution: Fedora Core 5
Posts: 6

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FC5/XP Pro dual boot: Can't load XP from GRUB

Hi all,

I'm in the process of setting up a Linux system for the first time. I'm using a dual boot with Fedora Core 5 and WinXP Professional.

I'm currently having problems accessing WinXP from grub. FC5 (default OS) loads nicely, but when WinXP is chosen, the system hangs after printing out these:

Booting Windows XP Professional ....

chainloader +1

I can still access the contents of this partition with XP on it through XP installation disc so I'm puzzled as to why XP isn't loading.

I have currently allocated the 1st 50+ MB of the hard disk as the /boot partition, with grub installed on it. WinXP Pro is found on hda5

Here's the printout from fdisk -l

Disk /dev/hda: 250.0GB, 250059350016 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 32301 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 7 52888+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 8 32300 244135080 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 8 3475 26218048+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda6 18214 32300 106497688+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda7 3476 8917 41141488+ b W95 FAT32
/dev/hda8 8918 14465 41942848+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda9 14466 17933 26218048+ b W95 FAT32
/dev/hda10 17934 18210 2094088+ 82 Linux swap/Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sda: 257MB, 257949696 bytes
8 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1015 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 496 * 512 = 253952 bytes
Thanks for the help in advance.
Old 05-17-2006, 06:14 AM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Saint Amant, Acadiana
Distribution: Gentoo ~arch
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Welcome to LQ!

AFAIK Windows can boot only from primary partitions of first disk. I do not understand how it ended up in a logical partition in your case but I'm not a Windows expert indeed.
Old 05-17-2006, 07:09 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Gtr Manchester
Distribution: fedora 4 , redhat 9
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did you system boot okay before you installed linux.
if so what was the original partition table, layout before you installed linux.
as i think the grub.conf is wrong..

also do all your boot files exist on hda,5

Old 05-17-2006, 07:19 AM   #4
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Location: Saint Amant, Acadiana
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/dev/hda5 > hd0,4 for GRUB

However, I noticed another thing. Currently your Linux partition has bootable flag set and Windows partition has not. Windows won't boot without bootable flag set. Linux does not care about this flag.
Old 05-18-2006, 10:26 PM   #5
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Registered: May 2006
Distribution: Fedora Core 5
Posts: 6

Original Poster
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Hi all,

Thanks for the assistance. Managed to get the dual booting up and running after an exhaustive 7 attempts. Would like to share my experiences since it could be likely that others might face the same problems in future.

The big culprit is none other than Windoze itself and the way WinXP Setup CD partitions your drive

WinXP setup CD allows you to create 4 partitions... I had the impression that it would be sensible enough to create the maximum amount of primary partitions (that is 3 primary and 1 extended). However, it creates only 1 primary partition, with the other 3 partitions being logical drives on an extended partition.

As a result, my WinXP ended up on /dev/hda5 (a logical drive) instead. (Thanks for pointing that out!)

Originally, I tried to partition the drive using Linux rescue, but apparently XP doesn't seem to like the partitions I'm creating (even FAT32 partitions), resulting in error messages, partitions not being seen in XP, etc.) Also encountered frequent problems of the XP Setup CD not booting up after partitioning my drive in linux rescue.

How I got around in getting my dual boot up are as follows (from an empty hard disk):


1. Run XP installer from bootable WinXP Setup CD

2. Create at least 1 partition (can be FAT32 or NTFS). You must install XP on the 1st partition. This is the only requirement. Whatever other partitions you create is of no interest.

3. Once XP is up and running, load into administrator account.

4. Run compmgmt.msc

5. Click on disk management.

6. Keeping your 1st partition (the one with XP installed), you may now readjust your leftover space to create more primary partitions and logical drives. This gets around the crappy partitioning style used by the WinXP setup cd.

I made my partition as follows:

- Primary partition 1, WinXP (no change)
- Primary partition 2, space allocated for Linux swap partition
- Primary partition 3, space allocated for FC5
- Extended partition, with a number of logical drives

If you would like to access the partition within Linux, do ensure that it is declared FAT32 (Note the size limits for FAT32 partition though).

7. Reboot computer with FC5 install disc.

8. During install process, all you need to do is to modify /dev/hda2 (swap) and /dev/hda3 (location of FC5).

Click edit, and reformat /dev/hda2 as swap.

Similarly, reformat /dev/hda3 as ext3, mounted on /

9. I chose to install GRUB on the MBR. Didn't give me any problems this time despite encountering BIOS 1024 errors in my first 3 earlier attempts. I guess that all should be ok if you do your partitions correctly.
Hope that this would be of use to others


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