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Old 04-12-2004, 08:10 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Windows XP Boots by default

Here's a newbie question:

System is a HP Pavilion a305 (Celeron 2.7 Ghz, 512 RAM, 2 hard drives). Primary drive is Windows XP (a la HP), secondary has Fedora Core installed. Install went fine, but, can't boot into Linux without boot floppy in drive. Options on restart are not available - boots into XP. With floppy in drive, system boots into Fedora.

When I installed Fedora, I couldn't boot into XP, had to restore via HP restore.
I'm new to linux (and windows, for that matter - Mac only since 1992). The HP I bought as a toy to learn Linux. No problem if I have to reformat, erase, whatever. What did I do wrong?

Is the boot loader all bollixed up?


Old 04-12-2004, 09:20 PM   #2
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do you have lilo installed?
you can see the manual.. man lilo
lilo -v

Last edited by zurron; 04-12-2004 at 09:22 PM.
Old 04-12-2004, 09:28 PM   #3
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Fedora core uses Grub, something must have gone wrong with your install because it Installs by default. Unless you chose not to install it...
Old 04-12-2004, 10:22 PM   #4
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If you can boot into Linux with a floppy, you shouldn't have a problem. Look for the grub file in your /boot directory. Then follow the instructions given here:

Old 04-13-2004, 02:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice. I did not install LILO, but grub, and used the defaults to install. I do get the splash screen asking if I want to start up with Linux or DOS. If I select DOS, then I get the HP "system restore" and have to rebuild XP to factory default. The 40 gig drive has a 10 gig partition on it that's my "recovery" partition, and it looks like that's the first partition on hda. Is it because there's an invisible partition for restore on the hda where the boot loader is?

Thanks again.
Old 04-13-2004, 02:45 PM   #6
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Those hidden partitions often cause problems...
In Linux, as root:
Post the contents of the /etc/grub.conf text file here.
Post the output of 'fdisk -l'.
Old 04-14-2004, 01:16 AM   #7
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Well, I was able to fix it. I reinstalled (again) and this time, when Fedora asked where to boot the bootloader, i put it into hda/2 (that's the visible partition of the preinstalled hard drive), and had DOS (windows xp) be the default. Worked great. Now, all I have to do is install 18-20 security updates for Winders, and then get to playing with Linux.

The MacOS was NEVER this complicated. Pick a drive to install the OS on, install and boot. Wanna change things? No prob. Set the startup disc from a control panel.

Thanks for all the advice.


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