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
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:
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.