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OwlBig 01-16-2014 11:50 AM

Windows 7 + Slackware 14.1 dualboot SSD
Hello linuxoids!

I want to install dual boot for Windows 7 and Slackware linux on my 120 GB SSD, OCZ Vertex 4. Here is what I tried to do for now:

1. Clean format SSD and create 1 partition for windows ~70 GB, free space remains unallocated.
2. Install Windows 7 on new partition
3. Creating linux partition(ext4) ~45 GB + linux swap ~4 GB with cfdisk
4. Installing full setup of Slackware 14.1 from DVD, Lilo goes to MBR with default settings.

But when I reboot after installation (no errors, everything seems fine) there is no boot choice(lilo doesn't load I think) and windows starts like a boss.

Photos of fdisk -l and cfdisk /dev/sdb - my SSD drive:

What I do wrong?

Didier Spaier 01-17-2014 09:08 AM

Hi OwlBig and welcome to LQ!

Maybe just change the boot order in your BIOS, SSD up and HD down, else it will keep trying first to boot from /dev/sda (assuming it has a MBR).

flokofcgulls 01-17-2014 09:48 AM

It looks like your system drive is setup as /dev/sdb, and I'm guessing /dev/sda is a larger drive you're using in Windows, like as a D:\ drive for file storage? I normally setup my system drive as /dev/sda, and let /dev/sdb be my secondary storage, so Didier's suggestion would be a good thing to check if you're doing it the other way around.

Also take a look at the file /etc/lilo.conf, down at the bottom you should have a block for each bootable system. Mine looks something like this, if I were to edit it to match the info from your screenshot.

# Windows bootable partition config begins
other = /boot/sdb1
  label = Windows
  table = /dev/sdb
# Windows bootable partition config ends
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz-generic-3.10.17
initrd = /boot/initrd-3.10.17.gz
  label = Linux_3.10.17
# Linux bootable partition config ends

The "other=" line should point to the 100Mb system-reserved partition that Windows creates during setup, if I recall correctly. If you have to make any changes to this file, you must run the lilo command immediately after, which writes the changes to your MBR.

One final mention is that since you're using an SSD, you probably want to partition it with fdisk and not cfdisk. From what I understand the cfdisk program cannot properly align your partitions, and will degrade the performance of your SSD, while fdisk is able to do this correctly. This is unrelated to your problem but I thought I'd mention it as an FYI, since I didn't know about it for quite a while after I set mine up.

Hope this helps get you going.

kfritz 01-17-2014 10:33 AM

What does the "boot=" line look like in your /etc/lilo.conf? I suspect you wrote to the MBR of /dev/sdb, and as has been pointed out above, you're booting from /dev/sda.

I have dual-boot with Windows 7 as well, but I just use the Windows bootloader. AlienBOB has a nice tutorial:

The downside with this is that every time you run lilo (i.e. when your kernel is updated), you need to copy off your MBR onto your windows C: drive.

rob.rice 01-19-2014 12:28 PM

I'm assuming your new to linux
use you install boot media it will tell you how to boot in to your linux partition
login as root
run "lilo"
now reboot select linux at the boot prompt hit enter

Didier Spaier 01-19-2014 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by rob.rice (Post 5100912)
I'm assuming your new to linux
use you install boot media it will tell you how to boot in to your linux partition
login as root
run "lilo"
now reboot select linux at the boot prompt hit enter

This advice is probably not relevant here as lilo is probably installed but not on the hard disk that the BIOS try to boot from (see previous posts).

lukameen 01-21-2014 12:55 PM

Your OS installations are using the Win 7 bootloader. You need to use the dd command to create a bootsector file and use bcdedit to configure the windows boot menu to give you the choice to boot slackware.

Here's a link with Alien Bob's excellent instructions on how to do this. Just follow the steps.

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