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Old 06-13-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
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Unhappy Tripple boot; Win98, XP, Linux (Ubuntu?)... Bootmagic, 98 & XP already on.

Hello there, I was not sure if this should be in newbie/Ubuntu/laptop/[other]- please move if necessary!

I have just got a shiny new laptop for work.

My intention was to use an external HDD and boot Linux up from it for my own use, however, it appears that I can not boot from a USB HDD. - although I can boot from a USB stick.

Said laptop has Symantec Bootmagic 8 installed, with Win98se(for work DOS apps) and XP sp3 (lotus notes etc)

So... My next idea is to use a cover disk from Linux Format (UK). Ubuntu 8.04 as I understand has the ability to install alongside Windoze, however will this mess up the Symantec Bootmagic menu?

I can get into the Bootmagic8 configuration through 98 only. I think I can work out how to give the Bootmagic8 a third option (Linux) but am worried that Ubuntu will not see Win98 when it installs and put its own bootmenu in the MBR giving me only Linux and XP. Therefore removing 98 and along with it the Bootmagic software. Not sure how I'd explain to the Linux-phobic IT department at work that 98 has disappeared and Linux has appeared!.

I can not access 98 files or OS when in XP and vice versa.

Thanks for any help!

Machine specs are as follows:
Thinkpad T61.
2Gig RAM.
2.2 T7500 Duo.
109GB HDD (xp partition?)
Old 06-13-2008, 11:54 AM   #2
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Since the laptop isn't yours but is your employer's, you don't have leave to install software unless it's approved by said employer, and even then said employer would probably prefer that any such installation be done by IT personnel.

You would be well advised to spend a few hours doing internet research on the subject of getting a USB drive to boot. If the stick can boot, so should a hard drive.

Having said that, if you still intend to install software and risk losing the privilege of using that laptop (and possibly your employment) then use winxp software to make a partition in which to install ubuntu. When you install Ubuntu, select that partition as the one to install into. Be carefull when you reach to stage of configuration of the bootloader. Watch for an option to install Ubuntu's bootloader into the root partition, and not to the MBR. Then, when installation is complete, reboot into windows and configure Bootmagic to add Ubuntu to the Bootmagic menu.

If it turns out that Ubuntu didn't have an option to install it's bootloader to the root partition, all is not lost. When you reboot, select windows from the Ubuntu boot menu. When windows is running, start bootmagic and look in the configuration options. You should be able to restore Bootmagic to the MBR quite easily.

If, in your attempt to install Ubuntu you happen to install over one of the windows partitions, I hope you have a backup of said partition that you can restore (such backups should be the norm before meddling with partitions anyhow). Otherwise, you will have some explaining to do at work.


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