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Old 11-30-2005, 07:14 AM   #1
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Lilo question for second HDD


This is partly to do with Vector Linux but mostly to do with Lilo.......

I have two HDD in my system; the first disk has Windows XP (but let's ignore this disk for now) and my second disk had bootable Windows XP in one partition but it didn't normally get booted as I made this HDD a slave drive. I could boot it via the bios as it gives me options of where to boot from if I press F8....

Anyway, I've used Partition Magic to create the following partitions at the 'end of' my second HDD:

hdb5 : 2GB Root
hdb6 : 500MB swap
hdb7 : 500MB home

I then booted from Vector SOHO disk and installed to these partitions.

Now, my problem is that I want to make it so I can 'dual boot' my second disk (hdb, via the BIOS) but I don't want to affect hda...and I'm not sure how to do this. Prior to installing VLSOHO, the root and home partitions were FAT32 as I was trying SLAX out and I did manage to get lilo to dual boot "hdb" via setting up the /etc/lilo.conf then using the following command:

lilo -m /mnt/hda2/SLAX/ -S /dev/null

I'm quite new to Linux so I'm not sure how I can do the same thing but to get VL to be the option via the boot menu (or what I should put in the /etc/conf to do it will be different from Slax).

Can anyone help?


PS: Prior to installing VL, I was trying Slax and the partitions were as follows:

hbd5, 7 : FAT32
hbd6 : Swap

After setting up Lilo, I could dual boot the system OK. Since repartitioning for VL, if I try to boot off drive B, I get a screen full of '99' I've obviously trashed the MBR for this drive. Is there a way to recover this for XP prior to actually trying the dual boot option to get VL running?
Old 12-01-2005, 01:22 AM   #2
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Location: Boise, ID
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Welcome to LQ. I think it would help if you could describe exactly how each drive is partitioned, and what's installed in each partition. From the sounds of it, you've got XP on /dev/hda, and XP installed on /dev/hdb, plus Vector on /dev/hdb. Are you trying to dual boot XP (/dev/hda) and Vector (/dev/hdb), or XP (/dev/hdb) and Vector (/dev/hdb), or actually triple booting XP (/dev/hda), XP (/dev/hdb), and Vector (/dev/hdb)? I wasn't clear on what your final goal is.

You can use the fdisk command to get information about your partitions. Become root then
fdisk -l
Note that's a lowercase "L". If you could also post your fstab file (which will be in the /etc directory) that would be important info too.
Old 12-01-2005, 07:23 AM   #3
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Registered: Nov 2005
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Thanks for the welcome and reply

I have two HDD:

Drive "A" : Two NTFS partitions: Bootable Windows XP installed on first (primary), second is logical XP 'swap' file.
Drive "B" : Four partitions. Primary is NTFS with bootable Windows XP installed* [hdb1], remainder are logical - linux [hdb5], linux swap [hdb6] and FAT32 [hdb7], respectively.

* I have bootable XP installed on both as I purchased a new HDD (drive A) but made the previous one the IDE slave as a backup just in case I needed to boot into XP because the first became faulty.

What I want to do is to have a bootable Linux installation on Drive B using the partitions I've created. But, I want to set drive B up so that, if I boot from it (either via the bios or by swapping the drives), I can choose whether to boot XP or Linux.

Now, I could be misunderstanding this but it's better safe than sorry.....

First try, made hdb5 and hbd7 FAT32 (hdb6=swap) and copied the live linux Slax to hdb5. I then followed the instructions on their site to get this drive to 'dual boot' to either XP or Slax.....that worked OK. When I booted from drive B, I got a Lilo menu asking to boot XP or Slax....

I then found (maybe incorrectly) that I could only use Slax as root and didn't like the implications of this. So, I decided to install Vector Linux to the second HDD. This meant "changing", via CFDISK, hdb5 to Linux, hdb7 to Linux before installing VL. When VL had installed, it gave me some choices about overwriting the MBR etc...which I took to meaning it would be overwriting the MBR on hda...which I didn't want.

Anyway, I had a load of trouble with VL and my GF4Ti4200 card (it wouldn't allow a config of other than 800x600 except in Vesa mode...) so that has come off the disk, too.

What I'd like to achieve is the following:

a. Bootable Win XP untainted on hda.
b. Bootable Win XP on hdb.
c. Bootable Linux (don't care what it is) on hdb.
d. Shared data area that both Windows and Linux can see (and write to) as one of the partitions on hdb (FAT32?).

I'd also like to be able to set linux up as dual boot without having to swap HDD's around etc. I'm not sure if that's any clearer but....



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