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Old 05-07-2004, 02:26 PM   #1
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Linux NTFS Partition Question

I have thus far been afraid to set up linux to boot from my WinXP partition because I have all my Linux ISO's and other important stuff saved there. I was just wondering how safe it is to let whatever ver of linux I use put their loader on the ntfs boot partition... first off can I do it and secondly will I run the risk of losing my winXP partition if I do? Thus far I have been booting Linux from a floppy disk.... call me a nelly.
Old 05-07-2004, 02:42 PM   #2
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I had very very bad experience with Mandrake...I put lilo on my boot partition and also had it load Win2000 for me......and in the end everything got screwed up
Instead , let the windows boot loader do the booting for you. Try googling arounf for ways to load Linux using Windows boot loader

Hope that helps...
Old 05-07-2004, 02:43 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Duesseldorf /Germany
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MBR not partition


it is allways better to be save that sorry.

But dont worry,
you can install lilo in the MBR without a problem.
Just make sure to enter the dos/windows
section into /etc/lilo.conf

(like this:
and select MBR as install place for lilo:
(like this:

Then you are set to go.

The bootloader dos not directly affect the filesystem used on the hd,
because the mbr (master boot record)
is something like a very small partition before all other partitions.

"Call me paranoid,
but you would be just like me,
if the whole world was out to get you!"
Old 05-07-2004, 02:46 PM   #4
Registered: Jan 2004
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it looks like while I told you "its ok"
someone else tells you "dont!"

It is the first time I heard that the windows bootloader
handels multiple operating systems better than lilo or grub...

Care to comment.. (sorry my questionmark is broken )
Old 05-07-2004, 03:43 PM   #5
Andrew Benton
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I would just like to put in a vote for Grub. You didn't say what distro's you've got. Fedora installs Grub. Mandrake installs lilo but it gives you the option to change to Grub with the Mandrake Control Centre. I've never had any trouble with Windows XP booting from lilo or grub.
Old 05-07-2004, 06:02 PM   #6
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If you have a boot disk for your various OSs, it doesn't matter what you use to bootstrap your system. I have used LILO, GRUB, FreeBSD's loader, NetBSDs loader, GAG. They all worked and I was always successful in recovering what was there before. The only way I haven't tried was loading from Windows loader(either the win9x loader or ntloader). If Windows was on the drive and I had grub/lilo on it, I merely booted with either a win98 boot disk or the XP cd (depending on what was installed and ran the appropriate tool to recover the boot record.)

So, install with grub or lilo (either will do). There are several (and I mean several) threads on LQ here that will show you how to do it. If you need to say goodbye to Linux and go back to just booting with Windows, you can recover 98 by putting in a boot disk and typing at the a:
fdisk /mbr
or popping in your 2000/XP cd and going into the recovery console (hitting "r" at the right time or waiting the 3 or 4 minutes it takes for the installer to figure out if you have a computer or not) and typing
. Reboot after either and you'll never know Linux was there.

Of course, you won't be doing that.


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