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Old 09-22-2005, 11:19 PM   #1
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Help set up Boot to Linux via WinXp Bootloader

Okay, I have not installed LiLo btw since the Vector installation doesn't enjoy doing it for me...

But I cannot install LiLo in the MBR, I have to put it somewhere where it will not corrupt the current MBR which contains vital information on how to work with the HP Recovery partition.

I am not sure where to start, I can boot Vector Linux into the shell and begin working with it, but I'm not Linux professional so I'd enjoy some assistance.

I need to get LiLo on the system and then somehow get the Xp Bootload to boot Linux... I already have the boot.ini file modified with a Linux entry and I believe I need to get a Linux.Bin file or something onto a Fat32...

Any advice, tutorial or assitance would be greatful.
Old 09-22-2005, 11:31 PM   #2
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this worked for me when i did it a loooong time ago:

also if you have a floppy drive, you could always install lilo to a floppy for a quick and dirty fix. when you wanted to boot linux, just pop in the floppy, or even just leave it in to boot from all the time, and just take it out if you ever need to use the recovery partition.
Old 09-22-2005, 11:40 PM   #3
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The boot loader for the XP is the same as what NT uses. You can google for "Linux NT boot howto" for several web pages explaining how to do it. Also, search this site because your question is answered here at least once a week. What the process entails is saving lilo to your root partition instead of the MBR. Then using the dd command to save the first 240 bytes to a file, which you copy (via a floppy or common fat32 file system because you can't write to ntfs from linux) to the C:\ drive of XP. Finally editing the BOOT.INI file to add a linux entry.
Old 09-23-2005, 09:58 AM   #4
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Okay, lovely article posted above there answering 90% of all my questions.

Now I need some plain old Linux skill advice.

I can get into the Installation shell of VectorLinux but from there I apparently need to chroot to the root directory (so I'm actually in Linux) and then manually install Lilo to the first sector of the linux boot partition (also the root in my case -- swap, root, home).

From that point I have enuf instructions on how to copy the first 512bytes from the boot sector where LiLO is to a Fat32 Drive for which Windows can then use to boot linux up...

So what and how would I go about chroot into Linux from the installation shell (it is already installed) and then put LiLo into the first boot sector (NOT THE MBR!!!, I also don't have a floppy drive on this comp).
Old 09-24-2005, 06:04 AM   #5
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You need to edit your lilo.conf file and then execute the command (as root) /sbin/lilo.
Where lilo is written to, is determined by the "boot=" entry in the /etc/lilo.conf file.
For example, if your Linux root directory is on the third directory of the first ide drive, then you would have the entry "boot=/dev/hda3". The partition name may be /dev/hda5 if your third partition is extended. It would be a good idea to use the "fdisk -l" command to list your partitions before editing the lilo.conf.

Be sure to watch the output of the lilo command. If you made a syntax error in the lilo.conf, or have a device entered that doesn't exist, then the boot loader won't be written and you won't be able to boot.

Now, if you want to write the partition mbr to a file, use the "dd" command.
dd if=/dev/hdb1 of=bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1

In this example, the file produced is called bootsect.lnx, however the name is arbitrary. This is the file that you need to copy to the XP's C:\BOOT.INI file.

For example, you may want it to look like this:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows XP"
C:\BOOTSECT.LNX="Vector Linux"

You will need to change the attributes of the C:\BOOT.INI file before editing it. Remove the Read Only and Hidden Attributes in dos, then use EDIT C:\BOOTSECT.LNX="Vector Linux" to edit it. Finally, change the attributes back the way they were before.


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