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Old 07-14-2005, 04:38 PM   #1
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Moving grub.conf to another partition

I am currently running a dual-boot WinXP/RedHat 9 machine. As per RedHat install, my computer runs GRUB to boot. This is fine, for what I have now, but I want to add a 3rd OS (possibly another Linux distro) and at some point remove RedHat. I know that grub.conf is located on my /boot partition along with the other GRUB files. To remove this means I'm left with the GRUB console. It is a very nice console program, but tedious when booting. I'd have to mount the root and options and all that junk every time I boot. I 've grown rather fond of the splash.img and convenient auto menu. Without tampering too much with the MBR, is there a way to keep GRUB the way it is (or close enough with menu and all) and still remove all RedHat partitions? I can't even begin to think how. Please help.
Old 07-14-2005, 04:46 PM   #2
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Every new linux distro installation will ask your for a bootloader install. If you choose not to install the bootloader, your current bootloader is retained but new distro is not bootable until you modify your grub.conf and add the boot info for the new distro.

I suggest you backup your grub.conf and then install a new distro. Choose to install a bootloader and your previous bootloader will be replaced. If you are so fond of splashscreens, you can even make one for yourself.


Edit: You can still keep your redhat and install a third distro, modify your current grub.conf file and you can boot them all.

Last edited by tuxrules; 07-14-2005 at 04:48 PM.
Old 07-15-2005, 02:55 AM   #3
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you ask how to move grub.conf to another partition,'s how:
-find which hard drive is owned by the partition that you want to put your grub.conf
1) open a terminal
-if you want to see a list of all your hard drive partitions (you will have to use a partition with a linux-type file system on it)
-fdisk /dev/hda

-I assume that you don't have access to any other partitions, because otherwise it would be too simple for you to copy the file onto one of them
2) make a directory which will act as an access point for the other partition
-example "mkdir access"

3) now mount the directory onto the partition your going to copy to
-example "mount /dev/hda3 access"

-now if you type "ls access" you will be able to see into (and access) the mounted hard drive partition

4) copy the grub.conf
- example "cp /boot/grub/grub.conf access"
- there you have it, you've copied the grub.conf to another partition.
Old 07-15-2005, 05:06 AM   #4
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If /boot is indeed on it's own partition do NOT do anything.
Remove the (separate) root partition if you like, nothing affected.

However - if /boot is simply a mount point, and actually exists on the same partition (under) the root, you have significant problems. Copying the conf will achieve nothing.
You will need to create a new partition, reboot the RH install CD into recovery mode, re-install grub, (in need) copy the conf across and update it, update the fstab to mount the new partition as /boot.

And ......

The reason all this is required is because the loader uses (relative) sector counts to find the stage files (and conf). You go moving things around (or deleting them), you wind up with the grub prompt.

Otherwise, tuxrules post seems to cover things.
Old 07-17-2005, 07:48 PM   #5
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Well, I just got back from camping and was delighted to see all the helpfull responses. All sugestions look very feasible. It may be later this week when I actually give these suggestions a try. I'll let you know and other advice is still much appreciated. My /boot directory is in fact a separate partition, and my WinXP Partition is ntfs so writing to it is not possible...yet. I think a floppy back-up will have to do, or I'll just set up a FAT32 back up partition for grub.conf. If there is any other possible hang-ups with overwriting boot loaders, I would be interested to know before I try to do it . In all likelyhood my new dostro will use lilo. Otherwise I have settled on CollogeLinux as my third (just to be safe with a familiar OS to me) Thanks again. Cheers
Old 07-27-2005, 02:05 PM   #6
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