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Author Topic: HOWTO Boot to VectorLinux using the Windows NT/2000/XP boot menu  (Read 11672 times)
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« on: December 03, 2006, 11:44:16 am »

If you have Windows NT, 2000, or XP installed, want to add VectorLinux, have no floppy drive, and don't want to touch your Master Boot Record, you can add VL to your Windows boot loader very easily. You've seen the Windows boot menu if you've had XP create a dual boot with an earlier version of Windows or have installed the Recovery Console to your hard drive. VectorLinux will become another choice on the boot menu. Here's how to do it:
1.  Windows NT/2000/XP should be installed first.
2.  Then install VectorLinux and when you come to the step where you are asked if you want to install the LILO boot loader, select SECTOR (install to boot sector). This means the boot sector of the partition on which you've installed VectorLinux. Add whatever options you want to LILO. I don't include Windows in the LILO boot menu because I'm offered that choice in the Windows boot menu.
3.  Now you have to create a file that the boot.ini file in Windows will use to get you to LILO on the boot sector of your Vector partition. Use this command, adapted to your configuration, as root in a terminal or console:
dd if=/dev/hda2 of=/tmp/bootsect.lnx count=1 bs=512

As given above, the command assumes VectorLinux is installed on the second primary partition of your first hard drive. On one of my computers VL is installed on /dev/hdd8; on another it is on /dev/hda7, so I use if=/dev/hdd8 or if=/dev/hda7. If you're not sure about the proper identification of your VL partition, do
df -h
at a command prompt and your VL root partition will be the first one listed. It is also listed under this line in /etc/fstab:
#  This is a root Linux partition:

Once you've created the bootsect.lnx file in the /tmp directory, you need to copy it to your Windows drive. If you have a FAT32 drive for Windows, you can simply copy it there. Copying to NTFS drives from Linux is not recommended in earlier versions of VL, but is supported in VL 5.8. You can also copy to a thumb drive or other removable media that can be used in Windows also.

Now boot into Windows as usual. Move the bootsect.lnx file into the root directory of Drive C (C:\). Make a copy of the boot.ini file in that directory. Right-click on the boot.ini file and see if the read-only attribute is checked. If so, remove the checkmark. Now double-click on boot.ini, which should open in Notepad. Add this line to the end of boot.ini:
C:\bootsect.lnx="VectorLinux"

You can put whatever you want inside the quotation marks to identify your VL partition. Save the file, close Notepad, right-click on boot.ini, and restore the read-only status under Properties.

Now reboot. You should see VectorLinux listed in the Windows boot menu that comes up. Highlight it, hit Enter, and you should see a LILO screen with whatever options you selected when you set up LILO. Pick what you want and your boot into Vector should begin.

Note: if you install a new version of VL, you need to create a new bootsect.lnx file with the same procedure and copy the new bootsect.lnx file to C:\ , replacing the old bootsect.lnx file.

If you run into any problems, you can always use your VectorLinux installation CD and use it to boot into VectorLinux or to fix LILO.

If you remove Windows, you will, of course, have to install LILO someplace in order for Linux to boot. If you remove VectorLinux (perish the thought!),  you can delete bootsect.lnx from C:\ and remove the C:\bootsect.lnx="VectorLinux" line from boot.ini. Or simply don't select the VectorLinux option in the boot menu if you don't feel like bothering with boot.ini.
--GrannyGeek
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 05:51:23 pm by GrannyGeek » Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Andy Price
Packager
Vectorite
****
Posts: 237


« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2007, 07:03:18 am »

Thanks GrannyGeek, fascinating to see the Linux approach to adding to the Windows boot menu - this is a Linux forum after all  Smiley

Well, hope you don't mind me giving an alternative method - more from a Windows user's perspective - using a small, free utility called bootpart.exe. Here's how:

Before you install Linux, download bootpaXX.zip from http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm, extract it somewhere and then copy bootpart.exe to the root of your C: drive

Install Linux and make sure you install the boot loader to the boot partition, as explained by GrannyGeek. When you finish the installation let the PC reboot into Windows, then log in to an account with Administrator privileges.

Open a command prompt and move to the root of C: drive by typing cd \
Now type bootpart.exe, press enter, and a list of all your partitions will be given, along with their corresponding numbers.

Find the one you saved the bootloader to - let's say it's partition 7 - and then type:
   bootpart.exe 7 LBA bootsect.lnx VectorLinux

When you press enter, bootpart will create the bootsect.lnx file in the root of your C: drive and modify the Windows boot menu for you.

Reboot and you should get a menu with the entries for Windows and Vector on it... all without knowing what you're doing  Smiley
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MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
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Posts: 1071


« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2007, 09:02:46 am »

I've done both and it depends on where I want my various partitions as to which method I use. BTW bootpart has worked well for me too.
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VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2007, 05:48:17 pm »

I went to http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm and found this, which looks like a deal breaker:
"The only thing I highly suggest is : your active partition on your first hard disk must be a FAT16 primary partition. This may be a small partition."

I have no FAT16 partitions on any computer. One of my desktops has both Win 98SE and Win XP on it, plus several VectorLinux partitions. Drive C on that computer is FAT32. On my laptop and other desktop, Drive C is NTFS. There is no way I could put in a FAT16 partition.

Is is really necessary to have your first primary as FAT16?
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1071


« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 06:10:10 pm »

I have never used it with a FAT16 partition before, always on my NTFS partition with XP. Those were the times when I've wanted XP on the first partition of the disk. Perhaps this would be a requirement (FAT16) for the repair options of ntldr which requires an MSDOS-based platform to finish the repair(s) but that would only be a guess on my part. Typically I follow the command line help to setup my VL root partition and bootpart has done the rest. I've never had a problem yet and have done it a dozen or so times (because I used to reload VL often on my test machine). So to answer your final question: no.
HTH,
Mike
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The plans of the diligent lead to profit...Pro. 21:5
VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2007, 08:17:34 pm »

Thanks for the clarification, mikecindi. I thought that might be the case but wanted some confirmation that it actually worked on an NTFS Drive C.
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
jimwill
Member
*
Posts: 43


« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2008, 06:56:54 pm »

Unfortunately neither of these work for me. I get an error about an invalid or corrupt hal.dll. I assume this is because I never used the WinXP repair console. Is there another way of doing this, besides a floppy or cd boot disk. Can I have VL (which I have installed on hdb1) write the multiboot to windows mbr? Or would it be better to locate where I've buried my WinXP CD (amongst all my VL cd's!) and run the repair console?
any suggestions?
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2008, 07:51:18 pm »

jimwill,

You shouldn't need to run an XP repair console unless you're having a Windows problem. If you're getting a message about a hal.dll error, it sounds as if you do have a Windows problem.

You can check the Microsoft Knowledge Base here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477
"Error Message: Windows Could Not Start Because of a Computer Disk Hardware Configuration Problem"

You can also find a lot of information on this message through googling on
missing hal.dll XP

Check here:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm

Kelly's Korner is a reliable site that has explanations and fixes for all kinds of Windows problems.

I think you'll need to fix the missing hal.dll problem before you can use Windows regardless of what boot loader you use. Good luck!
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
jimwill
Member
*
Posts: 43


« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2008, 05:55:16 am »

Thank you Grannygeek!
  I do value your input. However, I have always been able to boot WinXP, the problem came in when I tried to boot to VL. I looked online and found where I could download HALL.DLL and got it. I (luckily) renamed the current one I had and loaded the downloaded one. Then on reboot I was able to select VL and boot it! Great! Did a few things in VL then logged out and tried to boot WinXP - got a 'software error, contact system administrator'! DARN! Rebooted to VL and since I had mounted the XP partition I renamed the new HALL.DLL and put the old one back as HALL.DLL. Logged out and rebooted, WinXP started ok, but can't start VL!
I kinda think M$ must have changed the setup of boot.ini - here's what mine looks like now -
Quote
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
C:\bootsect.lnx="Vector Linux"

Do I possibly need to copy/modify the line 'multi(0)disk(0)...under the '[operating systems]'? if so, how? As stated before my VL is on hdb1.
Any thoughts?
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gamfa
Vectorite
***
Posts: 245



« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2008, 06:03:00 am »

Another point here...you can boot as many partitions as you want.

Here is my boot.ini on my laptop...

Code:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=C:\bootsda5.lnx
[operating systems]
C:\bootsda5.lnx="Puppy 3.01"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn /usepmtimer
C:\bootsda7.lnx="Muppy"
C:\bootsda8.lnx="Muppy"
C:\bootsda9.lnx="VL 5.9 Std"
C:\boosda10.lnx="VL 5.9-RC3 Std"
C:\boosda11.lnx="Mupuppy"
C:\boosda12.lnx="VL 5.9-RC3 No. 2"
C:\boosda13.lnx="VL 5.9 Gold"
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 06:05:32 am by gamfa » Logged

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jimwill
Member
*
Posts: 43


« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 11:58:44 am »

Ok guys (and gals), I finally got it to work (I hope - if it don't change overnight!).

GrannyGeek's instructions were correct. The only thing that I can think of that I did to finally get it to work was to set boot.ini to 'read only' status! Huh Even though it was not read only when I started editing it!

So for anyone who is having the same problem, the only suggestion I can give is to: MAKE SURE BOOT.INI IS READ ONLY!

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kayza
Member
*
Posts: 2


« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2008, 09:51:21 pm »

I tried both approaches. It looks like Linux loaded, and I was able to run when I first installed, but I have not been able to boot back into Linux since.

First I tried the Linux instructions. I get the boot menu, but when I choose the Vector Linux choice  I just get a blank screen. So, I tried the bootpart.exe program. It did SOMETHING, but has not solved the problem. At least I have an error message, though. When I choose the choice the program creates I get:

otpart.htm
Loading new partition
Bootsector from C.H. Hochstatter
Cannot load from harddisk
Insert systemdisk and press any key

Any ideas?
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Andy Price
Packager
Vectorite
****
Posts: 237


« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 03:29:44 am »

Regarding bootpart I can think of two possibilities (there may be more!):

The first is that you accidentally pointed bootpart at the wrong partition. When you run bootpart without any argument you get a list of all the partitions. Each partition shows up twice, one part is like a container for the "real" partition. You need to choose the second instance.

Either that, or somehow the boot loader didn't get loaded to the sector during installation, so bootpart made a file of an empty boot sector. Considering that the linux method didn't work either then perhaps this is the most likely explanation. You could try booting from your Vector CD and reinstall LILO to the sector.

Hope this helps.
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kayza
Member
*
Posts: 2


« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 06:05:42 pm »

Regarding bootpart I can think of two possibilities (there may be more!):
Aren't there always!

Quote
The first is that you accidentally pointed bootpart at the wrong partition. When you run bootpart without any argument you get a list of all the partitions. Each partition shows up twice, one part is like a container for the "real" partition. You need to choose the second instance.
I noticed it showing up twice, so I tried both. But, it's good to know which one to choose, next try.

Quote
Either that, or somehow the boot loader didn't get loaded to the sector during installation, so bootpart made a file of an empty boot sector. Considering that the linux method didn't work either then perhaps this is the most likely explanation. You could try booting from your Vector CD and reinstall LILO to the sector.
I suppose I should try that. I just wonder about the fact that I got different results from the two different methods.

Thanks!
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