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Old 09-15-2003, 09:22 AM   #1
Joker II
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Question Dual Boot WinXP / MDK 9.1 on two disks

Hi there!

Although I read some books and even more forum threads, I did not find an answer to my specific problem:

I have two HDs!
On HD1 Windows XP (prof) resides (FAT32, two partitions: boot-partition + extended)
On HD2 there is one extended partition with one logical drive.
On HD2 (60GB, FAT32) there is enough space to install linux - I would divide it up by 40-45GB FAT32 and 15-20GB Linux.

I want to install Linux (Mandrake 9.1) with GRUB at the second HD.

Here are my questions?

1. Is it possible to install Linux BEHIND the the extended partition (behind the 40GB of FAT32 Windows)?
1.1 If it's possible - is it easy going?
1.2 If it's possible - do I have to set up GRUB manually or does it find it's way around? Where do I have to place it? Boot-partition HD2, MBR 2, MBR 1, HD1 (as a file - heard of before!)?
1.3 If it's possible - can I dual boot Win and Linux easily? Even with the Windows Boot manager?
1.4 If it's possible - do I need a boot-partition for linux? How big (heard about 50-75 MB)?

And in case you say "Well that's not that easy - install it in front of the extended partition!"

2. Is the dual boot easy going or do I have to set up something manually?

The most wanted answer would be: "No prob man - Mandrake can do this job for you without you even noticing!" - but I think that will be just a dream!

PS: If possible I want to use the boot manager from XP - NTLDR

Last edited by Joker II; 09-16-2003 at 08:24 AM.
Old 09-15-2003, 09:45 AM   #2
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You can install behind your FAT32, but I'm not sure how to do it in the Mdk install (or how easy it is).
During the newb install (at least in Mdk 8.1), it'll automatically install GRUB to your MBR(1). If you want to use NTLDR you'll have to find a way around that: either do the expert install, or copy GRUB from your MBR to a file in your XP partition(I don't think XP keeps anything important on the MBR, NTLDR is on the first partiton's boot sector), and clear it so you can use NTLDR again(clear it from a dos bootdisk with the command "fdisk /mbr".)
Old 09-16-2003, 08:29 AM   #3
Joker II
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Any else suggestion?

Don't want to kill all my systems ...

If I put it in front of the extended partition, can anyone answer my other questions?
Old 09-16-2003, 09:25 AM   #4
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Yes u should be able to install it on your second partition in your second harddisk, which must be a primary partition.
I haven't used Mandrake before so I'm not exactly sure how the installer does it's job, but you should do the partitioning manually, and specify to install grub into the bootsector of the partition, not the MBR, if possible, and make sure you create a bootdisk in the final(usually) phase of the installation.

There is not much point installing grub into the mbr of the second harddisk, as it'll only be used if you change the boot sequence in bios.

After you finished installing Mandrake you'll need to boot it with the bootdisk, then extract the bootsector of the linux partition which contains grub. Say your second harddisk is /dev/hdb, you do it by using this command:

dd if=/dev/hdb1 of=mandrake.bin bs=512 count=1

Note because primary partitions are recognized first, so it should be hdb1 (but double check by running "mount" and see where your root is mounted). Then you mount your winxp partition in the first hdd, which is fat32 and makes life a lot easier, copy mandrake.bin into it and add this to your boot.ini:


Next time you boot you should see mandrake coming up in ntldr.

This method doesn't always work(as with my case) because linux doesn't always recognise the order of the disks/partitions the same way bios does. But we'll worry about that when it gets to that point, in most cases it should be fine.

Lastly no you don't need a partition dedicated for booting, you usually just keep it in your root partition. You only need it if you're having trouble booting outside 1024 cylinder boundary(which tend to happen previosuly with lilo, but not sure about it nowadays, lilo never worked very well for me), or if you have some other reasons to keep it separate.
Old 09-16-2003, 09:35 AM   #5
Joker II
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Great - sounds easy

Big Thanks!
Old 09-16-2003, 10:10 AM   #6
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boot partition is needed if you don't have lba mode in your system. because of this the 1024 cylinder limit comes into play and you need a boot partition.
iam not suere about using the ntldr, but if you use grub then
you can install grub on your mbr of first disk. grub will automatically detect windoes and the linux distro you are using.
Old 09-16-2003, 11:30 AM   #7
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Also, if Joker II's Win-C (hda1) is mounted, he can copy to it directly:
dd if=/dev/hdb of=/mnt/win_c/mandrake.bin bs=512 count=1

Last edited by aaa; 09-16-2003 at 11:31 AM.


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