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Linux on separate big disk in Win98 Dell box : bootable? - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Hi All, Can anyone briefly confirm that I should be able to install Linux on /dev/hdb1 and have Win98 on /dev/hda and have LILO successfully launch either OS on bootup? I originally had a single drive /dev/hda with 3 partitions on it. First partition was Win98 and 2nd and 3rd were for Linux. Then one day I couldn't boot Linux anymore. It indicated the partition table was corrupted on /dev/hda. This I believe is old news and somewhat doented on various newsgroups with Windows overwriting the MBR. However, I now have a big 80GB disk and I have partitioned it ...

  1. #1

    Default Linux on separate big disk in Win98 Dell box : bootable?

    Hi All,

    Can anyone briefly confirm that I should be able to install Linux on
    /dev/hdb1 and have Win98 on /dev/hda and have LILO successfully launch
    either OS on bootup?

    I originally had a single drive /dev/hda with 3 partitions on it.
    First partition was Win98 and 2nd and 3rd were for Linux. Then one day
    I couldn't boot Linux anymore. It indicated the partition table was
    corrupted on /dev/hda. This I believe is old news and somewhat
    doented on various newsgroups with Windows overwriting the MBR.

    However, I now have a big 80GB disk and I have partitioned it to have
    20GB Linux and 60GB Windows (along with a swap extension) while
    retaining the original 4GB disk that had Win98 on it and I used
    Partition Magic to simply delete the existing 2 Linux partitions and
    make it strictly win98. Thus, I have /dev/hda as Win98 (4GB) and
    /dev/hdb1 Linux ext2 (18GB); /dev/hdb2 Linux swap (128MB); /dev/hdb3
    FAT32 (60GB).

    However, I have found that I can't get LILO to actually boot Linux. In
    fact, on bootup, it jumps right into Win98 startup. I then found a
    BIOS setting in this PC (Dell Dimension XPS D300) which allowed you to
    swap the order of the hard disks on bootup. When I swapped them, the
    graphical version of LILO popped up and my Linux installation worked
    great. But now Windows won't start up (lilo reported "L?"). Now
    arguably I should be happy with that as I am not a big fan of Windows
    but the wife has a different opinion. Anyways, when I installed Linux
    on /dev/hdb1, it warned me that Linux may not startup b/c of the 1024
    cylinder limit but I proceeded anyways because I was installing Linux
    at the beginning of the disk and hence within the first 1024
    cylinders. Should I expect to make this boot without having to use the
    floppy disk boot system?

    Thanks experts!
    Will Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Linux on separate big disk in Win98 Dell box : bootable?

    Will wrote:
     

    .... yes, i can confirm this to be possible
    ..
    --
    /// Michael J. Tobler: motorcyclist, surfer, skydiver, \\\
    \\\ and author: "Inside Linux", "C++ HowTo", "C++ Unleashed" ///
    You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.

    mjt Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Linux on separate big disk in Win98 Dell box : bootable?

    On 27 Oct 2003 12:51:24 -0800, Will wrote: 

    I have two systems, win98/XPhome which dual/triple boot from hda and hdb
    using lilo. When you change /etc/lilo.conf to have your new
    drive/partitions you have to do a lilo -v to install the changes.
    Bit Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Linux on separate big disk in Win98 Dell box : bootable?

    > I have two systems, win98/XPhome which dual/triple boot from hda and hdb 

    This is my config currently as a result of my new hard drive from last
    week.

    Dell XPS D300 PII 300MHz / 64MB RAM
    /dev/hda1 Linux ext2 root filesystem (10GB)
    /dev/hda2 Linux swap (128MB)
    /dev/hda3 Win 98 (60GB)
    /dev/hdb Win98 (4GB) bootable
    /dev/hdc CDROM

    I believe I inadvertently must have configured my new 80GB drive as
    primary master(??) because its is interpreted by Linux/BIOS as
    /dev/hda. And my bootable drive running *only* Win98 is /dev/hdb. I
    gather it the jumper settings ... (I would have put this new disk on
    the secondary IDE cable but the Dell case design made it impossible to
    string the CDROM and the bootable disk off a single standard IDE cable
    (too far apart).

    Can you have the MBR on a /dev/hdb instead of /dev/hda which in turn,
    specifies as a part of its partition table, that /dev/hdb1 is the
    bootable partition? I guess I am wondering if there is an implicit
    assumption that the MBR is always on the primary master disk?

    Or could I still have the MBR on primary master disk which then points
    to /dev/hdb1 for Win98 boot and /dev/hda1 for Linux boot. If so, is
    this a boot loader config issue and/or a BIOS setting? This makes the
    most sense if possible.

    I think part of my confusion is the word "bootable" ... does bootable
    mean which disk has the MBR or does it mean which partitions have a
    bootable OS resident?

    My current lilo.conf looks something like this:

    boot=/dev/hda
    map=/boot/map
    install=/boot/boot.b
    prompt
    timeout=10
    message=/boot/message
    lba32
    default=linux

    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2
    label=linux
    read-only
    root=/dev/hda1

    other=/dev/hdb
    optional
    label=Win98

    Should this work? I would expect Lilo/Grubb to install itself in the
    MBR of /dev/hda which would then allow me to boot either primary
    partition(/dev/hda1 (Linux) or /dev/hdb1 Windoze)?

    If you install LILO in a root partition (and not as the MBR), I gather
    you would have to use another bootloader (0S/2 bootloader, NTldr, etc)
    that is launched from the bootstrap code in the MBR?

    Thanks for your patience!
    Will Guest

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