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Dual Boot Mishap

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by scorpio101, Sep 19, 2004.

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  1. scorpio101

    scorpio101 Thread Starter

    Sep 19, 2004
    I have a problem with my computer that consumed up most of yesterday. Loaded Fedora onto a second internal hard drive using Grub, I believe on the partition not MBR. Now, computer boots with Fedora but not Windows XP. Primary hard drive with XP is listed on hard ware devices in Fedora but can't be accessed. I reintstalled XP (didn't reformat drive) but still won't boot. I know I should configure Grub boot loader using a text editor but don't know the line code to use, or how to save it properly. Any suggestions much appreciated.

  2. saikee


    Jun 11, 2004
    Timely question when I posted a boot menu booting a bunch of Linux and several WIndows, ha!

    If will help us to sort your problem out if we know

    List of hard disks and their partitions. If you are in FC2, just click system tools/terminal, type fdisk -l and copy and paste the output here.

    Also Grub controls the booting process by a file /boot/grub/menui.lst. Post it here and we can take it from there.

    Your Windows should boot unless you have a 3rd party boot manager controlling the Windows booting.
  3. scorpio101

    scorpio101 Thread Starter

    Sep 19, 2004
    Thanks Saikee for your prompt response. I'm trying to get you the information you requested to help solve the problem.
    Terminal will not reconize fdisk command. I am posting response to my instructions.

    [[email protected] jeff]$ fdisk -l
    bash: fdisk: command not found

    However, under Hardware Browser it displays the following:

    Drive/dev/hda (Geom: 155061/16/63) (Model: WDC WD800BB-00CAA1)
    Drive/dev/hdb (Geom: 19929/255/63) (Model: Maxtor 6Y160P0)


    hda1 1 155040 76309 ntfs
    155041 155061 10 free space

    hdb1 1 13 102 ext3
    hdb2 14 19799 155206 ext3
    hdb3 19800 19929 1020 linux-swap

    Terminal can not find grub file

    [[email protected] jeff]$ boot/grub/menui.lst
    bash: boot/grub/menui.lst: No such file or directory
  4. saikee


    Jun 11, 2004
    OK we now know you boot with hda and it got only Windows.

    Hdb has the Linux and you might have /boot set up as hdb1 while rest of the Fedora is in hdb2 with swap in hdb3.

    The reason fdisk -l didn't work is you have to log in as the root user in order to have the privilege. You need to switch user (type "su" and supply the password of the root user. The command prompt will change slightly possibly with the word "root" included).

    I would suggest to you to do the following

    (1) Protect the installed Fedora by making a bootable floppy if you haven't done it already. To make a new one, log in as root user and at terminal mode type "grub-install /dev/fd0". That floppy will boot your Fedora if you lose Grub in the MBR.

    (2) Restore the MBR of Windows. You try this to get confidence on dual boot by knowing that you can get everything back whenever you want. There are two methods.

    Method (A) - you boot with the XP installation CD, go to recovery console and in command prompt just type "fixmbr". Exit and reboot and XP will be back to normal.

    Method (B) - Just get a DOS or Win9x bootable floppy with fdisk.exe program inside. Boot it up and type "fdisk /mbr". Exit and reboot.

    The above will allow Windows to overwrite Grub in the MBR of hda and your Fedora should become unbootable. That is when the bootable floppy comes in.

    (3) Having restore Windows MBR you boot up with Fedora floppy and reinstate Grub. Same procedure as making the Grub floppy except this time you type

    grub-install /dev/hda

    You now have the PC boot to Fedora exactly where you start. However this complete loop shows you how the various bootloaders work. People don't lose the systems. They couldn't find them because they don't know where the bootloaders are.

    (4) Finally you can amend Grub's boot menu to include Windows for booting if it hasn't got the necessaryu entries. You can use Linux editor "vi" if you haven't got GUI. If you have Fedora desktop just click the same file and open it with "gedit". In terminal mode (as root user!) you type

    "vi /boot/grub/menu.lst"

    Grub will boot if it has the following 3 lines

    title Windows XP
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1

    The second line tells Grub the Windows is at hda1 and there is no need to verify it as a Linux bootloader. Grub counts from zero and (hd0,0) means first partition of the first hard disk from the booting sequence.

    I think you are pretty close to master your dual boot.
  5. scorpio101

    scorpio101 Thread Starter

    Sep 19, 2004
    Thank you so much for your help. I'm trying now and will let you know how I make out.

    p.s. I'm now aware of the need for baby steps with Fedora before making the leap to dual booting.
  6. Sting3R


    Mar 14, 2004
    easy resolve!

    there is a program that was made by powerquest and now symantec has acquired it....."Partition Magic". Great program! I installed it on xp last night.....set up the linux partition and rebooted to the redhat install disks and it installed and is running fine on a dual boot. I wouldnt recommend using the "automatic partition" within the fedora install. This will take over the MBR and make your life a nightmare. Simply install the partition as an ext3 file system.....place the partition behind the windows partition and make your DOS the primary. You also want to make sure the linux is a "logical" partition.

    hope this helps!

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