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Old 03-08-2005, 11:20 AM   #1
FrankyG
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Registered: Mar 2005
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Attempt triple Boot XP/XP/Linux, active partition problem.


Hi,

Please bear with me on the long post, itís a bit of a sagaÖ
I started to install Suse linux 9.2 on my PC, which has the Current setup;

My first XP install on an IDE drive, I think C was the active partition.
Disk 0, C (WindowsXP with Boot.ini), D (Programs) E(Storage)

I then added a 200 GB SATA drive and installed a fresh copy of XP

Disk 1, G (WinXP, copy of Boot.ini) H (DATA) J (Backup)

All partitions NTFS

I then used Partition Magic 8 wizard to install a new OS, which proceeded to create a couple of partitions before the C partition. I assume that the wizard is creating 2 extra partitions for Linux install and one for Linux Swap file. Anyway, the procedure didnít complete correctly so I manually continued as best as I could. By the time I finished with PM8, I had created 2 extra partitions at the start of Disk0. I also got a warning about not having an active partition, which I ignored (yes, that was dumb!) and continued. Iím concerned that Iíve pushed the existing C partition past the 2 Gb boundary (is this significant?) and made C invisible from within Windows. (assuming PM8 made the Linux partition active?)

Onto the Linux install; When I got to the partitioning options, I choose the custom option. I wanted to select the first 2 partitions on disk0 to install Linux and its swap file, but I canít select these 2 partitions using the check boxes. I get the message that I have to start with the highest numbered partition, or something like that. All I can do is select the whole drive, which I donít want to do. So, I have to abort the installation and reboot.

Upon rebooting, I try to load windows (from grub) but get an error along the lines of ĎCanít find Operating Systemí At this point, my feeling was that there was no active partition hence no booting. This was done in the wee small hours, so Iím a bit hazy on error messages etc.

Now I booted from my Norton Ghost Recovery CD which allows me to carry our operations on the boot.ini and MBR. So I changed the active partition to G (WinXP) which had a copy of boot.ini on it which I copied there earlier.

I rebooted into grub, selected boot from hard disk and was able to successfully load WindowsXP from the G partition. To be honest, I may well have missed out some of the steps I had to take to get back into Windows, but thatís all I can remember until I get more sleep!

Now, from within Windows, every partition is visible except C (and the 2 unformatted partitions for Linux). However, when I fire up Partition Magic, it sees everything. Now for the questions..!

I intend to put the partitions back the way they were before I started, am I correct in thinking that C ĎShouldí be the active, boot partitionÖand that it should be within the 2GB boundary?

I would like to get rid of my old Windows install on the C partition, and then setup a dual boot Linux/XP system. Iím happy to read up the correct way to have a dual boot system, but Iím not sure how to get Windows to boot from G(WinXP) when C is formatted? If I can get to this point, Iím sure Iíll be able to install a dual boot linux/XP system. Sorry for the long post, but Iíve tried to provide as much information as might be needed straight off .

Many thanks,

FrankyG
 
Old 03-08-2005, 11:42 AM   #2
abisko00
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
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I am not sure if I understood everything correctly, but I think the final outcome was to give up on your current windows installation on drive 0 (don't use Windows drive letters, since they can mean either a partition or a whole drive).

For the Linux installation, I would always prefer to let the installer doing the partitioning instead of PM8 or other third party software. If you can, leave empty space, so the Linux install can find its place.

To boot the Windows installation on your second drive should be not problem if you apply the trick mentioned here after you installed Linux on the first HDD (drive 0).

I hope this helps to find the start.
 
Old 03-08-2005, 11:48 AM   #3
FrankyG
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Yes, you are correct. The final outcome is to forget about the windows install on Disk0 and have a dual boot Linux(disk0)/XP(disk1) system. I don't mind losing the 2nd partition on disk0 either (currently D:Programs)

I'll check out that link now...

thanks for a speedy reply

Regards,

FrankyG
 
Old 03-09-2005, 06:21 AM   #4
FrankyG
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Ok, some progress. I managed to restore the partitions to the way they were and boot into my newest copy of windows. I then deleted a couple of partitions from my first drive (the windows partition and a data partition) hence trashing my current boot.ini and boot partition.

I then proceeded to install Linux and let it format the partitions I just deleted and carry on with the install, which went smoothly. After completing the install, it rebooted and presented me with the grub boot menu. Boots into Linux no problem, but can't boot into windows on my second drive...not really surprised about this. Can anyone suggest how I can get my windows install working so that I have a proper dual boot system?

I was thinking of booting from my Windows CD, using the recovery console to copy NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM onto the windows partition and then running FIXBOOT. I've got a feeling this might screw up the grub boot loader though! If it does, can I then run a repair on the linux installation? I'm happy I've got a fully working Linux install now (pleasantly surprised how easy and how much just works 'out of the box' ) but I do need to get this XP install up and running again. Thanks for any help...

Regards

FrankyG
 
Old 03-09-2005, 06:40 AM   #5
mozetti
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I'm pretty new to Linux, but I did have a dual-boot XP/Slack for awhile. WinXP is very touchy about it's location and how it boots - Linux, on the other hand, is pretty flexible all around. I think your best bet is to let boot.ini be the "master" boot loader. You can add entries to it that would point to your GRUB, so when you want to boot into Linux, boot.ini comes up and displays Win & Linux as choices - you choose Linux and it goes to Grub to do the Linux boot. If I were doing this (which i might be since i just got a new 200GB SATA HDD, too), I'd set it up like this:

Disk0:
Part-1 - WinXP w/boot.ini bootloader, Active Partition
Part-2 - Data
Part-3 - Linux
Part-4 - Linux-Swap

Disk1:
Part-1 - WinXP(2) - also loaded via the boot.ini on Disk0 Part-1
Part-2...
Part-3....

Hope that helps.
 
Old 03-09-2005, 06:54 AM   #6
abisko00
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Quote:
[i]I was thinking of booting from my Windows CD, using the recovery console to copy NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM onto the windows partition and then running FIXBOOT. I've got a feeling this might screw up the grub boot loader though! [/B]
Yes it does! But that's no problem for Linux. You can always boot the installed system from the SuSE boot CD and restore grub in the MBR.

I am sorry that I did not realise that the bootloader was on disk0 (I am too long out of the Windows business). I think your idea is worth a try, so you don't need to install anything again. I am not even sure if FIXBOOT is a necessary step. Maybe it is sufficient to have the files present on disk1.
 
Old 03-09-2005, 07:31 AM   #7
FrankyG
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Reading elsewhere, it looks as if copying NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM onto the windows partition on the 2nd Disk might be enough to allow it to boot from the GRUB menu. If that doesn't work, then I'll edit the menu.1st file as you suggested http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2002/09/fhassel_grub_win1.html I hope this works! I'll report back tonight...

Regards,

FrankyG
 
Old 03-09-2005, 07:04 PM   #8
FrankyG
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Here's what I had to do;

Fire up Winxp CD and launch Recovery Console, then attempted to copy NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM from CD to C:
COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C:
COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:
X=CD drive

This appears to work, however it actually copies the files into C:\Windows.

At this point I re-booted and tried to boot into Windows, didn't work. Then booted into Linux and confirmed that the above files Had NOT been copied into C:

back into Recovery Console, tried the FIXBOOT command, but told me there was no valid system partition.
Also did a FIXMBR...and then something weird happened. Instead of dropping back to the default C:\Windows prompt, I was now at C:\. At this point I decided to repeat the COPY commands above, which did work this time..dropping them into the root of C:.

Re-booted again and Linux wouldn't start (because of the FIXMBR command) so put in the SuSE 9.2 CD and booted from it. Choose Install, and when appropriate, select the repair existing installation. When I was back into Linux, I then edited the menu.1st file and appended the following to the Windows section. (the bold text)

title windows
root (hd1,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)


Further info HERE

Re-booted and volia...I could boot into Windows or linux. Job Done

The Key, I think, in this instance was being able to copy the 2 boot files into the root of C:. I honestly don't know how I managed to get the command propmt to C:, but I'm just glad it did! Maybe someone more informed might comment on this, hopefully making this more of a complete solution. (*see below)

Thanks for all your help,

FrankyG

ps writing this from within XP

* I just came accross THIS which explains what needs to be done in Windows to allow the root of a drive to be available from within recovery console. Not altogether helpful if you can't start windows!

Last edited by FrankyG; 03-10-2005 at 05:51 AM.
 
  


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