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-   -   SuSe 10, Win XP - dual boot, 2 seperate HDD's, GRUB question (

Thanh-BKK 12-05-2005 11:23 PM

SuSe 10, Win XP - dual boot, 2 seperate HDD's, GRUB question
Hello :)

I am a newbie too, and last week i have installed SuSe 10.0.0 to dual-boot along with Win XP. Which works fine, no problems.

SuSe is on a second physical HDD, which is meant to be removable (rack). That same rack was to be used for a third HDD to serve as backup drive.

However now, when i remove the (Linux) HDD, Windows won't boot - GRUB starts loading but fails to do so. Yes, GRUB is installed in the MBR of the first (internal) HDD.

I do understand that the MBR only points to the location of the "program" GRUB which seems to be on the second (Linux) HDD, and once i remove that, GRUB can't load. So i have to keep that HDD in all the times - which of course causes me being unable to use the backup drive.

Now, is there a way to move GRUB onto the first HDD, so that if i remove the Linux drive, still can load GRUB and have it boot Windows?

All partitions on the first drive are NTFS.

Or, is there an alternative boot manager that can do such job? I.e. boot Windows only if the second HDD is not present (or better, if LINUX is not present) and give me a choice between Linux and Windows if it IS present?

Right now i have the third HDD in a external USB case, but that won't work in Linux (only as root...) and is horrible slow in Windows (ever backed up 120 GB over USB 1.1???)

Any advise greatly apreciated......


Emerson 12-06-2005 06:36 AM

The GAG boot loader will do the job.

Ynot Irucrem 12-06-2005 07:00 AM

If you want to keep GRUB, you can slightly resize your windows partition so that there is space on that disk (50MB should be enough), then, using YAST in SuSE, install the boot loader in a new partition on the windows disk.

syg00 12-06-2005 07:01 AM

Well it (GAG - sorry, intervening post arrived) will if you reinstall grub to a partition so a (sufficient) boot sector record exists.
The XP loader is also an option - but suffers from the same requirement.

grub4dos is another option.

Typical of Linux - options aplenty.

Thanh-BKK 12-06-2005 08:16 AM

GAG a no-go, floppy required.... will try NTLDR method
Hello again :)

Thank you very much for your advise. i have tried the GAG solution here with my office machine - however it fails due to a lowly reason: GAG neds a floppy, and neither here nor at home i do have these available, and honest i don't want to waste a bunch of money to get a 10 pack of diskettes just to accomplish a single task. yes i know i got two floppy drives in my home machine, but i've got no disks! And for some strange reason GAG won't do with a CD even tough it says it would.

I found a somewhat more difficult version, which comes close to ideal - if not being THE ideal, involving the original Windows boot manager NTLDR, which, using some utility called "bootpart", can be tricked into booting Linux.

To be honest, i like the way GRUB boots..... maybe i'll try that way first, with resizing a partition (i got 16 MB unused space on that HDD, do you think it's enough? Can that be on the end of the HDD? (i've read somewhere that it must be in the first 1024 sectors or something like that?)

or maybe i'll screw all this and get one more IDE controller PCI card to which i will hook up the rack for my backups, and put the Linux HDD as a second internally, fixed HDD. i've got exactly one more PCI slot and also exactly one more 3.5" drive bay free.

But one thing for sure: The penguin will definitely stay in my system :) I would almost ditch XP alltogether if it weren't for the millions of little apps that i use daily and the better hardware support (TV out, internal dialup modem, USB storage, web cam etc).

Oh and why on earth does Bluetooth work so much better in Linux than in Windows?????

Thank you all..... i really appreciate your help.

With kind regards......

your Thanh

syg00 12-06-2005 04:59 PM

Surprised GAG doesn't do the job (I don't use it as it doesn't fit with the way I set up my systems).
Putting grub at the end should work o.k. the 1024 cylinder issue is only a consideration on old BIOSs - any box from the last few years should be o.k.
NTLDR will chainload grub "natively" - it doesn't need anything else. Short version;
- ensure you have a fat partition sharable by XP/Linux
- install grub to (root) partition
- dd first sector to shared partition
- boot XP, copy the dd'd file to C:
- include line in boot.ini
- reboot
More expansive explanations all over the web - including serveral here on LQ.
I generally don't recommend it, but might be the best fit for your situation.

Thanh-BKK 12-06-2005 09:21 PM

Hello again :)

I don't really know what you mean by "dd" but i did what i found on the net yesterday - and to my own surprise, it worked first try :)Now i got GRUB booting both Windows and Linux, and i can take that second HDD off and it still works :) Yaiyai! I'm getting there, slow but sure :)

I got some more questions, i made a thread in the "Hardware" forum but nobody there answers me.... so i'll delete that thread and make two more here in the newbie section. At least there are helpful people reading this section :)

Linux rocks, by the way! I love it, every day a little more :)

Kind regards.....

your Thanh

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