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paul_m_d 12-07-2003 05:06 PM

Mandrake Install Screwed up MBR; Need to Make Boot Loader CD
I took the plunge today and tried installing Mandrake 9.2 on the new hard disk I just added to my machine. The installation process went smoothly, but when I rebooted for the first time, "Lilo" or whatever that bootloader thing is called just gave me a screen full of 99s. What a wonderful first experience with this superior operating system.

I rebooted with the Mandrake CD and restored my Windows boot record (thank God, since I have months of work on that drive I can't afford to lose).

I don't want to screw with my MBR any more; how can I create a boot CD with a bootloader that will let me choose between Windows 2000 and Mandrake?

My computer configuration is as follows:

HD 1: NTFS partition with Win2K

HD 2: FAT32 partition for data, Ext3 partition with Mandrake 9.2 (I think)

I'd rather make a boot CD than a floppy, because my floppy drive is inside my tower, inaccessible (not enough bays on the front). I'd really appreciate any help; I've read the documentation on Lilo and Grub and I don't understand any of it.


Scruff 12-07-2003 09:55 PM

If I remember correctly, you can choose the 'expert' install, and when it gets to the bootloader install, just ask it to install to a floppy and skip the hard disk install. Been awhile since I installed Mandrake though...

iantri 12-07-2003 10:14 PM

The poster's above comments will get you a floppy -- unfortunately, getting a CD right out of the installer would be impossible.

To do that it would need CD burning support and all manner of things -- Windows won't do this for you either.

What you'll need to do is let it create a boot floppy, then (either in Mandrake or Windows) launch your CD burning software and create a bootable CD (El Torito). Nero will create an image from the disk in the drive for you. Other software, I do not know; I have not burn bootable CDs with any other.

After this you can use your bootable CD.

winglin 12-08-2003 09:37 AM

I normally use the win2k/XP boot loader for dual booting. Here is a useful link (among many):

It's a bit of a technical read, if you're patient. Once you understand the concept you'll discover there are various ways you could do this. Basically, this is how it's done:

1. Install the linux bootloader on the linux boot partition
2. Copy the first 512 bytes of data in the linux boot partition to a file
3. Save the file to your windows partition
4. Edit c:\boot.ini

I don't have a floppy drive on my machine. So to copy the file to windows, I make sure I have a FAT (32 or 16) partition that can be mounted in linux. Either you create this from your linux install or you already have one from your windows install. After I installed a linux distro, I reboot using distro's installer CD and enter it in rescue mode (Redhat and Mandrake has this feature). Then I mount my FAT partition and do the DD command to get the 512 bytes of linux boot partition. After that I logoff and reboot to windows, FAT partition should be automatically mounted on windows. Copy the file to C:\ and edit boot.ini.

paul_m_d 12-08-2003 11:39 AM

Thanks for the assistance. I may try running the installer again and trying to make a boot disk. I don't know anything about the Linux command line, so I think winglin's suggestion is out for now.

I actually tried installing Mandrake on a second, non-critical computer over the weekend. Now it's an expensive paperweight (installation didn't work). I guess Mandrake isn't ready for the desktop yet.


winglin 12-09-2003 03:36 AM

caveat emptor
If you don't want to mess with the command line, be warned, linux might not be for you. The linux experience would just not be the same without learning the command line.

I somewhat agree with you about Linux as a desktop. Sometimes it just takes a lot of technical knowledge to configure the things we have taken for granted as a windows user.

I don't believe Mandrake has really trashed your secondary PC. You could always repartition and install another distro or Windows if you like.

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