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Old 04-05-2004, 12:59 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Problem dualbooting XP and Linux. Lilo isn't cutting it...

I apologize in advance if I'm duplicating another post. I haven't been able to find anything about my problem.

I'm fairly certain that my HD set-up is the root of my problems, so I'll outline that first:

DISK 1 (40 gigs):
PRIMARY: - C: [everything- ntfs] this is my primary drive... has Win XP Home

DISK 2 (80 gigs):
PRIMARY:- D: [~70 gigs - ntfs] use this for file storage
- [~ 7 gigs - Linux Ext3] this is where I'm trying to install Linux
- [~ 300 megs - Linux Swap] ... obvious

And the rest of my system (though this shouldn't be an issue):
Dell Dimension Desktop
Pentium 4 2.26 GHz
512 MB Ram
nVidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200 video card

Alright, here's the problem:
I'm running Windows XP and that's all well and good, but I'm looking to play around with Linux as a second OS. I got an image of the Knoppix CD, burnt it and love it. I decided to install Linux, and that's where the problems started.

Debian was suggested by a BSD-loving friend of mine, so I attempted the (unhelpful) Debian install. While I managed to make it through the install without toasting any of my drives, the Lilo loader pretty much destroyed my Master Boot Record. Upon starting up (after getting through the bios stuff) my computer simply filled the screen up with "07 07 07 07"etc... which is, Microsoft included, the least helpful error message I've ever seen.

Eventually I used the "fixmbr" command off the Win XP CD, and was able to boot back into Windows.

Since then I've retried the Debian install, as well as trying the much-more-helpful Knoppix install. Unfortunately after every install, I get the same booting error, and have to use the XP CD to recover my MBR.

I created a Lilo boot disk with the Knoppix install, and while my computer wouldn't boot normally, the disk did get it to a boot menu. A few issues:
- Lilo somehow sees two Windows installs
- Linux won't boot from that menu. it simply says that there was an error, and returns me to the menu
- Windows will boot properly off the disk

Anyone have any suggestions or ideas?


Old 04-05-2004, 02:20 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 74

Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi there,
I would recommend that you try using a easier distribution (like Mandrake or Fedora) if this is your first attempt at setting up linux. If you really want to get into the complexities of linux that Debian offers, I would recommend, which has very easy to follow installation instructions. Anyway the problem seems to be with lilo, and the best thing I can suggest is to try using grub, which seems to solve 90% of problems. I could not help you with installing this under Debian though.
Old 04-05-2004, 06:12 AM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Utrecht Holland
Distribution: Fedora, Debian, Mandrake, OSX, OpenBSD
Posts: 76

Rep: Reputation: 15
Well, i had the same problem with my computer. It was when I used mandrake 7 & 8.

I don't know why but lilo has some trouble with your linux on another HD than your Windows XP. So i fixed the problem by putting both opps on the same hd.


Old 04-05-2004, 02:01 PM   #4
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Thanks... I'll take both of those into consideration... I just ran out of blank CDs, so I'll have to wait until I pick up more before I can burn another distro and try to ruin my system again.
Old 04-05-2004, 07:30 PM   #5
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Registered: Apr 2004
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bglnelissen, your suggestion worked.

With a little PartitionMagic finesse, I was able to make 7 gigs of space on my main HD, and throw Linux on there. Lilo is now properly loading, and properly booting Linux.

Thanks all!
Old 04-05-2004, 07:40 PM   #6
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: cali
Distribution: Mandrake 10 Community
Posts: 26

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whoa almost the same thing happened to me with mandrake 10... check it out i just posted and i didnt no u did
mine also had 2 windows, dunno why, but mandrake 10 would load perfectly just not windows!

p.s. i tried fixmbr from the 2k cd console and it didnt work :-(

Last edited by rApT0r; 04-05-2004 at 07:41 PM.


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