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Old 11-01-2004, 08:01 PM   #1
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Win 2K / Mandrake 10 Dual Boot Bootloader issues

I have used Win 2K for several years, and I would like to start using Linux, but I have been having trouble getting a distribution installed. I would really like to get Mandrake 10 installed, but I have also tried Fedora Core 2 and with either, I always run into problems with the bootloader.

I have 2 hard drives (1@160GB and 1@40GB) and would like Mandrake to have the whole 40GB drive. The 40GB drive used to have Windows on it, but I have moved all of Windows. The whole installation process goes off without a hitch. Whenever LILO starts booting, I just get an "L" followed by a series of "01"'s. I have tried GRUB and get an error. I have also tried creating a bootable floppy with GRUB and get the same "Disk error".

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if more info is needed.
Old 11-01-2004, 11:19 PM   #2
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The best way to do this is to set up a small /boot partition at the "beginning" of your primary master. The same drive which currently has Win2K on it.

This should be a small 32 to 64 MEG PRIMARY partition.

Ideally you'd add some swap space to the end of your first hard drive too, so that Linux could swap to the non-busy drive.


First Hard Drive

Primary Partition 1 /boot
Primary Partition 2 Windows
Primary Partition 3 Linux SWAP

Second Hard Drive

Primary Partition 1 / (Linux Root)

Linux needs to boot from a PRIMARY partition (ideally "early" on the drive.) The kernel is stored in this /boot partition.

Once the kernel is loaded by the bootloader, Linux can pretty much find itself anywhere on your system.

However this will create some minor grief in that you should move and resize your existing Win2K partition a bit.

Programs such as Partition Magic or Acronis will do this for you.

Lilo or grub should then be installed to the Master Boot Record and NOT the partition itself as many mistakenly do because this is offered as an option.

Lilo takes over as an OS/Partition selector, permitting you to choose and boot from either Linux or Windows.
Old 11-02-2004, 09:15 AM   #3
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I'm pretty new to this, but does it cause any conflict to have the main drive with Windows with multiple filesystems on it? I'm assuming that when you say hda should look like this, they would also have filesystems like those listed as well?

Partition1 - /boot - ext3???
Partition2 - Windows - NTFS
Partition3 - /swap - ext3
Old 11-02-2004, 10:42 AM   #4
Andrew Skinner
Registered: Jun 2004
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this is not a problem, I dual boot XP and Linux on the same drive and have also a FAT32 partition (few 100 Mb) so that I can share files between windows and Linux.
Old 11-02-2004, 11:26 AM   #5
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Well, during the install, just lower the windows partitiion to your preferred extent, and then create a partition, make it all the rest of the drive except one GB, ir somthing, then make the rest the swap partition. If you want to learn linux , but don't want a full switch, get mandrakemove, a live CD, at
Old 11-02-2004, 02:28 PM   #6
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For assured compatibility with anything you may do in the future, vis a vis Linux upgrades. the /boot partition should be Linux Native not ext3.

It should be the first partition on the drive (preferably).

E.G. if you are setting up a new system,

Use any partitioning software to set up an initial 64 meg partition.

Install XP but manually configure the partition structure selecting as much of the drive as you need.

Once you have XP up and running install Linux using the rest of the drive(s) as you see fit.

Since the kernel loads from /boot you'd have a hard time creating a structure that Linux doesn't understand. (This is pretty nice BTW...)

As I mentioned putting the swap partition on your the first drive has an advantage if you put Linux on the second drive.

Linux will be heavily accessing the second drive, the first will be unused.

If you put the swap on it, there is less latency during swap operations as the drive will not be busy with other functions, thereby speeding up the system.


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