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larkl 11-26-2011 03:46 PM

Dual Boot trouble with XP and dual drives - (Sort of fixed)
First off, I'm a reasonably experienced linux user, having been through RH6, Debian, Feather, Vector, and finally Pup. I had Pup on my old PC and was still using Vector on my newer PC that dual boots with XP. I found myself consistently using the Pup, as I was always popping in to get on the Internet "for a few minutes". So, I decided to bit the bullet and install pup 5.2.8 in frugal on the newer PC (Gateway, 2.6gHz, 2g RAM, dual SATA drives).

Previously, I knew that the best approach is to install XP, then install Linux, this seems to work better with the boot manager. I thought, I'll just put Puppy on the linux partition and be done with it. (partitions, puppy = /dev/sda1, XP = /dev/sda2, /dev/sdb1 is used for backups).

Puppy went well, but XP won't boot. Grub looks fine, just like before. So I decide to reinstall XP. I start it, THEN GO DOWNSTAIRS AND TAKE A NAP. Big mistake. I come back and it's tried to restart and nothing. Some sort of "can't find the partition error".

I finally figured out that XP had placed it's boot manager on the second drive. Took me awhile, as I spent maybe an hour trying to restore the boot manager (grub) on the primary drive. Turns out it was OK all along. I finally started rebooting with each drive unplugged and was able to figure out what was going on. I put grub on the second drive MBR using the puppy tool. This was a mistake. Now I have two grubs and I can't figure out what's trying to boot. I ended up booting with only the second drive installed and used an AEFDISK floppy to install a fresh bootloader on the MBR.

What a hassle. I haven't had the energy to try the XP again. I rarely use it and there's always the spousal XP across the room.

aus9 11-26-2011 05:49 PM


I don't use puppy but you should still be able to proceed.

1) consider putting linux on biggest fastest drive...remove cables and install xp on the "second drive" with no other drive connected. Once complete....move the drive cables so it becomes bios drive 2

2) connect cables to the linux drive and install your bootloader but it should install to first drive.

if it does not want to....that is an error in puppy sorry.

3) assuming success....grub2 has os-prober and puppy should have an entry for xp in its bootloader menu. so you leave bios option to boot first drive and good luck

b) if puppy did not install xp into its bootloader menu....then use bios to swap drive order to get to xp

jonyo 11-26-2011 08:14 PM

sounds like you got into unknown, untested or who knows what area

puppy certainly is not meant to cover all the bases or possibilities,

always best to inquire first,

it is very easy to end up with a ton of damage to, if not smoke whatever may be on a HD, just by not being familiar with a particular distro, despite what may be promoted as easy and safe,

there are also many ~easy known ways to dual boot pup with xp, including i'm sure using 2 HDs

depends what you are after exactly

Larry Webb 11-27-2011 04:32 AM

I am having trouble trying to follow your partitioning. If you can run 'fdisk -l' (small -L) and post results. Also download boot info script. and give us the results.

Boot Info

8-bit 11-28-2011 07:49 PM

What version of Grub did you use?
I use Grub for DOS and it seems to work better.
When one installs WinXP, it will by default try to write its bootloader to the primary hard drive.
As a for instance, I have two hard drives with the first reserved for Vista and the recovery partition.
I installed Easy BCD on it and the second hard drive has a fat partition, a NTFS partition, and two linux ext2 partitions.
Grub and menu.lst is installed on the first ext2 partition on the second hard drive.
Confused yet?
As a matter of fact, I was concerned with keeping Vista bootable and so disconnected the drive it was on to set up linux on the second hard drive.

Keep the faith, you will get there.
Also, remember that Puppy was originally designed to be run fully off of a live CD or DVD with saved settings and data being saved back to the CD or DVD as a session.

jonyo 11-28-2011 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by 8-bit (Post 4536869)
What version of Grub did you use?

you also don't have to mess with the standard win mbr when choosing the well tested Lin'N'WinNewB option,
in witch you don't even have to burn a cd, and can easily multi boot as many pups as you like, or even other distros,

always best to inquire first tho, or of course at least be well backed up if working with anything important,

the easiest way to go about it is install win first and run pup live cd (if able or capable) with a save file witch typically takes a few extra minutes,

vmware is easy also then you can use both at the same time and not bother with dual bootin, or grub, might need some ram tho,

many of these option also don't require messing with a standard typical separate linux partition, tho i much prefer those witch are of course optional and are typically easy to setup with pup

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