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Old 06-04-2010, 09:31 PM   #1
puppymagic
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Red face Master Boot Record question


Me bought a Dell Inspiron, the HDD was 320,

Me tried to install Slackware. Me first deleted every partition using GParted, created a Linux partition and then a swap partition, apparently there was nothing at all in the HDD, and then I installed Slackware 13.1 smoothly,

and next thing that happened was when I turned on my laptop on for the first time, it gave me a dual-boot. Windows or Linux? and when I logged onto the Windows, out of curiousity, it told me it does not have any file.

I deleted all the partitions again using GParted. and then I turned on. It still gave me the dual-boot screen.

It feels as though the MBR did not get deleted when I deleted all the partitions in the HDD.

What's happening?

thanks, Linux experts @ LQ~!
 
Old 06-04-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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The MBR has nothing to do with the partitions on the drive. Changing the partitions or reformatting the partitions will not have any effect on the bootloader in the MBR.

To change or remove the bootloader, you need to actually install a new one by reinstalling Linux or Windows. If you are using Slackware, the installer will give you the option to install LILO to the MBR, which will remove the dual boot option (assuming you configure LILO properly).

Last edited by MS3FGX; 06-04-2010 at 09:42 PM.
 
Old 06-04-2010, 09:59 PM   #3
hkothari
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Try editing /etc/lilo.conf as root and deleting the windows section and then running lilo again. lilo probably just thought there was something there when there wasn't.
 
Old 06-05-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppymagic View Post
Me tried to install Slackware. Me first deleted every partition using GParted, created a Linux partition and then a swap partition, apparently there was nothing at all in the HDD, and then I installed Slackware 13.1 smoothly
Based on your reported results (not on any knowledge of Slackware) I conclude that the Slackware install software saw Windows when you started the installer, then didn't understand that you deleted Windows, so it tried to set up dual boot.

Quote:
I turned on my laptop on for the first time, it gave me a dual-boot. Windows or Linux? and when I logged onto the Windows, out of curiousity, it told me it does not have any file.
Slackware correctly connected the MBR to new boot code, then incorrectly set the config file for that new boot code to offer a choice for a Windows install that is no longer present.

Quote:
I deleted all the partitions again using GParted. and then I turned on. It still gave me the dual-boot screen.
I don't understand that part.

Quote:
It feels as though the MBR did not get deleted when I deleted all the partitions in the HDD.
The MBR and the first four entries of the partition table are stored together in the first block of the disk. But code modifying the MBR is careful not to modify the partition table, while code modifying the partition table is careful not to modify the MBR code.

Microsoft standard MBR code uses one of the first four partition table entries to find the next stage of the bootstrap sequence. So if you modify the partition table, that modifies the behavior of the MBR even without modifying the code of the MBR.

Various Linux MBR code versions have various ways to get to the next stage of the bootstrap sequence, but they do not use the first four entries of the partition table for that. So zapping the partition table would not stop Linux MBR code from finding the next stage.

However, I would expect that zapping the partition table should stop some later stage of the boot up sequence from finding the config file from which to display the menu. So I don't understand your results.

But as long as it can find the config file, it can display the menu. The fact that the OS's pointed to by that menu no longer exist doesn't affect the display of the menu.
 
Old 06-05-2010, 09:51 AM   #5
saikee
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hkothari's advice is the ticket.

An entry in the boot menu is not a proof of an operating system exists. Lilo always checks it so doing a "lilo -b /dev/sda" will show the booting choice is now an error.

For Grub one can creates a 100+ booting entries "before" installing any of them!
 
  


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