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Old 11-21-2010, 12:43 PM   #16
niklo
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2handband: I will check your website out, thanks!

Thank you all very, very much for your time and your answers. I'm gonna remove Windows 7 (since I only use it for Microsoft Excel and such in school and ) and instead only use Slackware, it seems simpler to get Slack to boot when it is the only OS installed. I just want Linux to boot properly so I can start trying things out and learning that way. Wish me luck
 
Old 11-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #17
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impert View Post
@ Erik_FL
I have a question - hypothetical, because I have no intention of using or installing Windows - and a comment.
Suppose I have a Windows installation, which I shrink and confine to say half my disk drive on sda1 and sda2. I then boot a linux live CD, create an extended partition sda3, and some logical partitions within it, say sda5 - sda10. I install linux to some of these, and using dd, make a backup of the MBR. Next I install Grub to the MBR, and use it to chainload Windows, and my second, third . . . nth linux distros. I then joyously delete and expand some of the logical partitions within sda3. Later I decide to use Windows to boot my linux, so I restore the (Windows) MBR with dd. I have not touched the Windows partitions sda1 and sda2. Will Windows still boot, and can I then use Windows to boot my remaining linux/linuces?
So much for the question.
For the comment. Since it is easy to chainload Windows using either Grub 1 or Grub 2, and since with chainloading no editing of grub.cfg or menu.lst is necessary, I can't see the advantage of using Windows to load linux. Even if you stopped using linux entirely, the overhead of a small boot partition with Grub 1 on it is negligible, in my view.
What do you think?
To answer your first, question, Windows will still boot since you have not changed the location of the first Primary partition where the Windows boot sector resides. Changing the logical partitions inside an extended partition also does not change the partition table (start and end of the extended partition). Your partition table will still be correct. You will not be able to boot your Linux systems from Windows because there will no longer be any boot sector that starts up GRUB. You will have to install GRUB to some partition boot sector.

Technically what you described is an invalid configuration since you should not put GRUB in a logical partition. A boot loader's files (for the boot loader program) should be in a Primary partition. Assuming that GRUB was working installed to a logical partition, you could make a copy of the GRUB MBR to a file and then use Windows "bootmgr" to chain to the GRUB MBR file. You could also install the GRUB boot sector in some primary partition, or possibly the logical partition. Then you could make a copy of the GRUB partition boot sector into a file for Windows "bootmgr". In fact, after you copy the GRUB boot sector to a file, you don't have to leave GRUB installed to that boot sector on the hard disk.

Logical partitions inside an extended partition each begin with a partition header that describes the size and location of the logical partition. When you create, delete or resize logical partitions those headers are changed inside the extended partition, but not the MBR partition table. The MBR partition table is only changed when you create, delete or resize the entire extended partition. Operating systems that do not understand logical partitions can then treat the extended partition as a single, unknown (I.E. primary) partition taking up space on the disk.

I can only say why I use Windows to load Linux. I most frequently boot Windows and occasionally boot Linux. I am also much more likely to change my Linux system than my Windows system. I prefer to leave Windows as "normal" as possible. If I reinstall, upgrade or do other things to Windows then Windows Setup is less likely to get confused or leave my system un-bootable.

Of course the automatic, default boot configuration for Linux is always easier to install if everything works correctly. However, I frequently see questions from people who tried to install Linux and have an un-bootable Windows system. Many people do not have a Windows Setup disc or any way to repair Windows (the fault of computer retailers).

Whether GRUB or "bootmgr" starts first isn't the big issue, in my opinion. Installing a boot loader directly to the MBR is a bad idea. I think it would be better if Linux distros installed GRUB to the Linux partition's boot sector and then marked that partition as the "boot" partition. At least then Windows could be repaired easily by changing the boot flags. Most Linux distros have a live CD and the programs to change the partition boot flags.
 
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #18
2handband
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niklo View Post
2handband: I will check your website out, thanks!

Thank you all very, very much for your time and your answers. I'm gonna remove Windows 7 (since I only use it for Microsoft Excel and such in school and ) and instead only use Slackware, it seems simpler to get Slack to boot when it is the only OS installed. I just want Linux to boot properly so I can start trying things out and learning that way. Wish me luck
Good luck! I hope to have a page on installing Slack up tonight, and a basic config tutorial in the next two days.
 
Old 11-21-2010, 01:12 PM   #19
Erik_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niklo View Post
2handband: I will check your website out, thanks!

Thank you all very, very much for your time and your answers. I'm gonna remove Windows 7 (since I only use it for Microsoft Excel and such in school and ) and instead only use Slackware, it seems simpler to get Slack to boot when it is the only OS installed. I just want Linux to boot properly so I can start trying things out and learning that way. Wish me luck
Good Luck, and take a look at Open Office (free from Oracle/Sun). That can open and create Office compatible files.

Also, take a look at a free program called VirtualBox that will let you run Windows on a Linux system. I use that a lot. VirtualBox can combine the desktops so that you don't have to think about which OS a particular window happens to be running under. You can stack the Windows task bar just above the Linux tool bar and easily access either one. That's called "seamless" mode in VirtualBox. VirtualBox will actually run many different operating systems since it creates virtual (imaginary) computer hardware that looks like a PC. You can use it to run other Linux distros without changing your current Linux OS, partition layout or boot configuration.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 02:16 AM   #20
niklo
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Erik_FL: Thx, I'll take a look at VirtualBox.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 09:23 AM   #21
2handband
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niklo View Post
Erik_FL: Thx, I'll take a look at VirtualBox.
I wrote an article on virtualizing Windows with virtualbox here:

http://genek.net/LinuxAdventures/vir...tion/vbox.html

I need to update it to include instructions for installing Vbox on Slack... which fortunately is really easy to do. If you need to know before I get around to that, just ask here.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 09:27 AM   #22
2handband
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BTW, you expressed interest in my website; weekly news just went up at the homepage.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 12:36 PM   #23
Erik_FL
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Originally Posted by 2handband View Post
BTW, you expressed interest in my website; weekly news just went up at the homepage.
That's a great web site. I'm quite impressed with the amount of information and how easy it is to navigate the site.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #24
impert
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@ Erik_FL,

Thank you for the reply. Your first paragraph answers my question nicely.
However you surprise me when you say:
Quote:
Technically what you described is an invalid configuration since you should not put GRUB in a logical partition.
All my distros except two have Grub1 installed in their root partition, and they are all logical partitions bar one. The exceptions are Fedora 13 which has a separate small /boot partition, because Grub1 cannot or could not handle btrfs, and the default linux system, which has Grub2 installed in the MBR, and which boots all the others by chainloading.
All this works perfectly.

Quote:
Installing a boot loader directly to the MBR is a bad idea. I think it would be better if Linux distros installed GRUB to the Linux partition's boot sector.
Someone, either at Canonical or Grub, seems to think that the MBR is the only place for right-minded people to put Grub 2; there is a finger-wagging message that upbraids those who are heretical enough to try putting it in the / partition.

Quote:
I frequently see questions from people who tried to install Linux and have an un-bootable Windows system. Many people do not have a Windows Setup disc or any way to repair Windows (the fault of computer retailers).
In the light of this your preference for leaving Windows "normal" is understandable.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 04:25 PM   #25
2handband
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_FL View Post
That's a great web site. I'm quite impressed with the amount of information and how easy it is to navigate the site.
Thanks! I'm going to be aggressively updating it over the next few weeks. Check the news on Mondays for info on what's been changed or added.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 04:35 PM   #26
untitledtrack
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I usually use the DVD of slackware so perhaps the USB stick approach is different? It seems overly complicated.
When I reinstall windows on a dual-boot system it rewrites the MBR so I can't boot linux anymore. To overcome this I put in the DVD, go to setup, and do the "Add swap", "Target", "source", and then "configuration" to setup Lilo.
See: slackbook.org/html/book.html#INSTALLATION-SETUP
I skip the install step since I already have everything installed.
This takes only a few minutes and then I have linux back. If lilo didn't configure properly the first time, perhaps you can use the expert method (it isn't too complicated).
Again, if this method won't work with the USB stick, I apologize for the waste of time.
 
Old 05-22-2011, 07:13 PM   #27
ErdwinJC
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How i got dual boot lilo to work with windows 7 home 64 bit installed first and slackware 13.37 64 bit installed second on the same hard drive.(I would assume this would work for slackware 13.1 as well!)

write this command down on a sheet of paper before you attempt this,

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

If what you are about to attempt fails, throw in your windows 7 recovery disc and select the command prompt option and type that in. it will Fix windows 7 Master Boot Record(MBR) So you can boot into windows 7.

I installed Slackware 13.37 64 bit using ext4 and put lilo on MBR, it loaded lilo and could go into slack but windows7 64 bit got goofed up, so i rebooted, went into slack through lilo, ran liloconfig and created a new lilo head, and installed it on the super block instead of the MBR.

Added my linux root partition(/dev/sda8), wrote lilo to disk, rebooted, booting off my windows 7 recorvery cd, went to command prompt, typed in,

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

, Rebooted and went right into windows 7 with no problems.

From there i got easyBNC program,
ran it and added my linux root partition(/dev/sda8) that i wanted to boot into.
Wrote it to mbr.
Rebooted back into windows 7 and it works,
rebooted and selected linux to boot into and it pulled up lilo with no problems, booted into linux and here i am now typing this out to you all in KDE. Cheers, Time for supper!

Last edited by ErdwinJC; 05-22-2011 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something.
 
  


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