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Old 01-06-2004, 04:09 PM   #1
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Questions about Bootloaders, updating, installing and managing

Hi, I am planning on setting up solaris 8, Linux mandrake (or redhat dunno,) along wth my Windows xp professional installation, XP is already installed.

What I wanted to know is specifics on bootloaders. I know Mandrake has one that is loaded when you install it when a windows installation is already on the hard drive. What I want to know is ways of accessing, manipulating and saving that bootloader for when I install another system over it (like solaris, or windows 98 for arguements sake).

<correct me if I am wrong here>

from what I know, once you install an os, that os overwrites the bootloader (lets say I install linux first, then Winxp, winxp would overwrite the bootloader linux installed before. What I need to know is how to install multiple os's using the mandrake bootloader that gets installed when I install linux.

Are there specific install directions or orders when installing os's (winxp is already installed).

Would I have to reformat partitions for linux to use (or can linux/solaris) be used under NTFS.

Is there a way to create a bootloader boot disk (if thats even a word). So that I can reinstall a bootloader, tell it where each installation of each os is (lets say it gets corrupted for some strange reason).

What if one of my os's gets corrupted and I need to reinstall, how would I do that without overwritting the bootloader. And also how would I tell the bootloader that there is a new os at this place.

Thanks for the information and have a nice day.
Old 01-06-2004, 05:02 PM   #2
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Specific order in os installation: Windows Always First, older ones before younger. Not sure about Solaris. Linux installers should have an option specifying whether to install bootloader or not.

Partitions for Linux/Solaris: Linux can't write to NTFS well, so that can be used as it's main partition, and probably can't be even if it did write to it well. not sure about Solaris, though I think that it's unlikely for it to be on NTFS. You will need to shrink your XP partition to create space for the other os's. Windows can read from Linux ext2/ext3 formatted partitions using certain software like explore2fs.

Backing up bootloader to floppy (in Linux):
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
Insert floppy after Windows install or similar, Linux will boot as usual, from there reinstall bootloader.

See above. Linux can be informed of new os additions in it's bootloader configuration file. This is either /etc/lilo.conf (for Lilo bootloader) or some other file (for the Grub bootloader, location varies).

Last edited by aaa; 01-06-2004 at 05:12 PM.


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