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Author Topic: Lilo Dual Boot VL WinXP problem  (Read 1659 times)
MrNoj
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« on: June 16, 2008, 01:29:43 am »

I've done some research and found a lot of similar problems and solutions to those, but my problem is just enough off from those to make the solutions null and void. Here goes;

I have a box with two hard drives, one SATA with WinXP, and one IDE with VL Light. When I have BIOS set to boot from the SATA disk first, WinXP boots fine. When I have BIOS set to boot the IDE disk, I get Lilo, asking which OS to load, VL loads fine from that, but when I try loading WinXP, it craps out on me. I want to be able to have the IDE disk as the primary, load Lilo from the MBR, and be able to load WinXP from Lilo. Side note; the reason that I'd like that is that I'd like to be able to take out the IDE disk at any time and have the computer act as though it had never seen Lilo or Linux before,  the computer is a loaner and I'd like to be able to return it in more-or-less the same condition that it was loaned to me in.
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 05:10:27 am »

You should have several options.

1) If there is a floppy drive, set it before the SATA disk in BIOS boot sequence. Install LILO to an old AOL floppy disk. Pop in the disk when you want VL.

2) Use this method: http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1073.0

3) Install LILO to MBR of the SATA disk. To undo, boot into recovery console using an XP CD, run "fixmbr" (or just set XP as default in LILO and set delay to 1).
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MrNoj
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 03:16:55 pm »

I've found a method that works if you have two IDE drives, but that's not a possibility for me considering that I'd have to disconnect the DVD -R drive to open up one of the spots on the one IDE cable that the Mobo allows. Here's the method that I've found for IDE;

http://osdir.com/ml/user-groups.linux.india.help/2004-08/msg00262.html

If I'm not mistaken there should be a way to do the same thing with the two drives being IDE and SATA by changing the 0x80, 0x81, and hdb to something else. The big thing that I don't want to do is hose up something on the WinXP drive, I have an uncanny ability to do that when I'm playing with another persons data.
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nightflier
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 05:22:27 pm »

Looks like the above procedure alters the mbr of the boot drive. If you want to avoid that, the floppy method is by far the easiest. You can also boot VL using the install CD by following the instructions on the options screen.

Adding Linux to the XP boot menu only involves editing the text file boot.ini and copying another file to the hard drive. Little chance of doing serious damage there (but I bet I could do it Wink )
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MrNoj
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 06:13:02 pm »

I don't mind messing with the MBR so long as it's not on the WinXP drive, so that's not a concern for me so much. As far as the floppy method, not an option, it's a pretty new computer with no floppy drive. I didn't think of using the VL cd to boot, that would be a feasable method. But now I've got an idea in my head and need to know for academic purposes. I'll post a reply if/when I figure out how to do it.
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exeterdad
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 06:25:53 pm »

You can always use dd to make a backup of the (original windows) mbr.  Install lilo and use it to your hearts content.  Then when you are about to return the machine, just restore the mbr before you check out and turn off the lights Wink

Did a quick Google and came up with this short and very simple article explaining it better then I ever could.

http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-how-to-backup-hard-disk-partition-table-mbr.html

Oddly enough, I just used this method today to install VL alongside Vista on my wife's work laptop.  Her's must be returned intact as well.
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nightflier
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 06:57:39 pm »

The problem you are running into here, is that Windows insists on being on the first (boot) hard drive.

To use the VL install CD to boot, just type "linux root=/dev/hdXX ro" (replace hdXX with the location of your VL install). This way you don't touch the XP drive at all.
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Masta
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 10:52:43 pm »

Also check if your system has a F8 function during power on. Power on the computer and as soon as you hear a bios beep (some don't beep at all, I guess), press the F8 key repeatedly, it should bring you to a boot menu, and from there you can select which drive to boot from.

That is how I select to boot from one of my SATAs or IDEs. And you don't have to change anything in lilo or whatever. If your system doesn't have this function, I guess the other help are better to go on .
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MrNoj
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 11:30:32 pm »

Masta just came up with the best solution that I've seen so far. I still want to figure out a Lilo way of doing it just because I like figuring out junk like that, but forcing a boot selection like that would be the best bet. I know I won't be needing the VL drive as much as the WinXP drive (my family is using the box too, and my wife seems to get confused when stuff doesn't look exactly like she is used to), having the SATA Windows hd as the primary boot and using F8 would work great for me.

Thanks for everyone's help, you guys are awesome and creative thinkers to boot, I'm pretty sure that there's 6 different solutions to my problem in one thread. Cheesy
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