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  1. #46
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    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Well, your grub.conf looks fine. Let's see if it's the dual booting bug. As root, do:

    Code:
    fdisk -l /dev/hda
    and note the C/H/S values. Repeat for /dev/hdb. The one we're particularly interested in is the number of heads (it will probably report as 255).

    Now go into your bios and see how the HDs are set up. If they're using AUTO for the access mode (and reporting 16 heads), try changing to LBA and see if the disk geometry match what linux reported. I suspect the Windows disk is set to AUTO and using a geometry of 16 heads whereas linux is expecting LBA and 255 heads. That might explain why when GRUB tries to call the linux boot loader, it fails.

    For example, my windows box with a 30GB HD reports 59560/16/63 C/H/S in the bios when set to AUTO (the default) and 3737/255/63 C/H/S when changed to LBA access mode. Now, dispite being set to AUTO in the bios and clearly showing 59560/16/63 C/H/S, when I just booted the Suse 9.1 LiveCD and checked the disk geometry with the fdsik command above, linux reports it as 3737/255/63 C/H/S.

    Ned

  2. #47
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Pyongyang, Illinois
    Posts
    1,000

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    BIOS showed 255 heads on AUTO. I fiddled with settings and found one that showed 16. When I tried to boot into Windows from I got bounced back to the splash screen. Tried a few times with different setting and the same result. It's really annoying that a major distro like Fedora 2 was released with such a horrible bug. I've always heard that Linux was far less buggy than Microsoft products but that sounds like BS to me now. This is my first experience with Linux and I'm not impressed.

  3. #48
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    Posts
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    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Success at last! I changed my grub.conf entries for Windows as follows:

    title Windows XP
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    rootnoverify (hd1,0)
    chainloader +1


    I found the suggestion at
    http://forums.devshed.com/archive/t-120052

    Looks like Windows and Grub had different ideas about the numbering scheme for the hard drives and it was just a matter of reversing the order. I've been working on this for hours and it turns out the fix was a lot simpler than most of the stuff I was reading on the web.

  4. #49
    Joined
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    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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    585

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Divebrake,

    Glad you got it sorted before I finished reading your post. I was going to suggest the same.

    The root problem is your Windows was installed in a 1st boot disk and it will not boot unless you put the disk at the front of the booting queue.

    Grub gets over this problem by renaming the hd0 and hd1 to cheat Windows.

    And the bugger went for it!

    This is the common trick Linux uses to beat Window at its own game. Window wants to monopolise the booting system and does not expect other systems present. Dual boot in Windows is a big deal but every Linux was born to multi-boot.

    Last weekend I stuck a DOS, a Win98 and a Win2000 into a box with a bunch of Linux. Each of these system was created in a C drive. Using cfdisk I then hide one to creat another primary partition for the next one. After I put all of them in by amending the Grub to boot them. All it take is to hide the two I don't want and unhide the one I want to boot. As they are housed in a second disk so I have to map the disks like you have done.

    The hiding and unhiding are to cheat Window that it is in the C drive.
    The two Map statements are to cheat Window that it is the first boot disk.

    This is the relevant part of my Grub that boots the three of them

    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: empty @ hdc1 ###
    title DOS 7.1 @ hdc1
    hide (hd1,1)
    hide (hd1,2)
    unhide (hd1,0)
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    root (hd1,0)
    chainloader +1

    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: empty @ hdc2 ###
    title Win98 @ hdc2
    hide (hd1,0)
    hide (hd1,2)
    unhide (hd1,1)
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    root (hd1,1)
    chainloader +1

    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: empty @ hdc3 ###
    title Win2000 Pro @ hdc3
    hide (hd1,0)
    hide (hd1,1)
    unhide (hd1,2)
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    root (hd1,2)
    chainloader +1

    Note: Grub counts from zero so (hd0,0)=hda1. In the above (hd1,1)=hdc2 as hdb was a CDROM.
    Last edited by saikee; 10-29-2004 at 09:02 PM.

  5. #50
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    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Divebrake
    Success at last! I changed my grub.conf entries for Windows as follows:

    title Windows XP
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    rootnoverify (hd1,0)
    chainloader +1


    I found the suggestion at
    http://forums.devshed.com/archive/t-120052

    Looks like Windows and Grub had different ideas about the numbering scheme for the hard drives and it was just a matter of reversing the order. I've been working on this for hours and it turns out the fix was a lot simpler than most of the stuff I was reading on the web.
    Brilliant

    Glad you got it sorted in the end - sorry I sent you on a wild goose chase

    Hopefully now you've got both installed and booting your linux experience will improve. It's not that linux is buggy, just that MS and Linux intupret HDs and partitions in different ways, plus a lot of bios implimentations for overcoming legacy HD size boundaries are fudges on top of more fudges.

    Don't forget, MS makes no effort whatsoever to assist in dual booting with other OSes - it's the linux community that has put in the effort. If you installed linux first, and then installed windows, windows wouldn't even recognise there was another OS installed and would just wipe your MBR leaving your linux OS totally inaccessable, and it wouldn't even warn you it was going to do so in the process.

    Ned

  6. #51
    Joined
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    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Ned Slider,

    I said I would give your Window method of dual booting a trial and I did.

    In according with the Linux scumbag tradition, i.e. quantity and not quality, I tried to make it boot all of my 26 Linux.

    Thus I have tried to add my 26 Linux bootloaders into XP's boot.ini.

    XP only manages to display the first 9. So including its own, XP seems to have a limit of booting no more than 10 operating systems. Its screen seems static like Lilo whereas Grub's screen can keep on scrolling.

    In conclusion

    Grub (Version 0.95) can boot as many operating systems as I can find. It once compiled a menu with 61 entries without my intervention.

    Current Lilo (Version 22.5.9) can manage a maximum of 15.

    Windows NTbootloader can manage only 10.

    Here is my attempt to pile all 26 Linux bootloader into XP's boot.ini file. XP took in only the first 9.

    [boot loader]
    timeout=300
    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:\HDA2.LNX "hda2"
    c:\HDA3.LNX "hda3"
    c:\HDA6.LNX "hda6"
    c:\HDA7.LNX "hda7"
    c:\HDA8.LNX "hda8"
    c:\HDA9.LNX "hda9"
    c:\HDA10.LNX "hda10"
    c:\HDA11.LNX "hda11"
    c:\HDA12.LNX "hda12"
    c:\HDA13.LNX "hda13"
    c:\HDA14.LNX "hda14"
    c:\HDA15.LNX "hda15"
    c:\HDA16.LNX "hda16"
    c:\HDA17.LNX "hda17"
    c:\HDA18.LNX "hda18"
    c:\HDA19.LNX "hda19"
    c:\HDA20.LNX "hda20"
    c:\HDA21.LNX "hda21"
    c:\HDA26.LNX "hda26"
    c:\HDA27.LNX "hda27"
    c:\HDC6.LNX "hdc6"
    c:\HDC7.LNX "hdc7"
    c:\HDC8.LNX "hdc8"
    c:\HDC9.LNX "hdc9"
    c:\HDC15.LNX "hdc15"


    XP failed to display the lower color section but booted the upper 9 Linux distros successfully.
    Last edited by saikee; 11-04-2004 at 02:54 PM.

  7. #52
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    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    ROTFL - that's brilliant saikee

    So the NT bootloader comes in at a resounding 3rd place behind lilo and grub.

    I must admit, having used all 3, grub is certainly my prefered favourite

    So, did all the linux's boot from the windows bootloader (well, at least the first 9)?

    Ned

  8. #53
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    585

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    I stated in the last line of my reply that it did.. I have now highlighted it. I am quite confident if I switch any of the 26 Linux bootloaders into the first 9 positions they will boot satisfactory. NTbootloader did exactly what it was told.

    Basically the PC boots to the Suse's 30 bootable entries. I can select XP and boot the 10 choices in there. As Suse is among the 10 by choosing it I come back to Suse boot menu. All my Linux bootloaders are chainloaderable to each other (on average with 3 to 10 entries but can be amended to the full limit) and so I can jump between the boot screens of Lilo, Grub and NTbootloader to check every one. All my 30 systems boot satisfactory by any way I choose.

    NTbootloader has a static screen and one line per booting choice. The 10 choices are dictated by the space reserved between Windows remarks.

    Lilo needs to to be run every time its lilo.conf is amended. It will automatically issuing a fatal warning if more than 16 entries is detected.

    Grub has scrolling screen and hence and keeps on accepting booting entries.
    Last edited by saikee; 11-03-2004 at 06:19 AM.

  9. #54
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    1,096

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Quote Originally Posted by saikee
    Grub (Version 0.95) can boot as many operating systems as I can find. It once compiled a menu with 61 entries without my intervention.
    The name stands for GRand Unified Bootloader and it's not exaggerated

  10. #55
    Joined
    Apr 2001
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    Crouched behind a camera with a wide lens
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    4,117

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    This has been a very informative thread. talonracer, I've been lurking (ok, read it all at once) and have learned a lot. Ned, you got the 'dd' method from Linux in a Nutshell, did you not? I did that with FC2 (before I did the scheme at the bottom of my post). I believe that it would be possible to insert a 100 meg /boot partition, but you would have to install linux first.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    what you would do (assuming a single hard drive) is to select 'custom configuration' or something similar during the installation and create a couple partitions:
    /boot, ext3, 100mb at begining of the drive.
    /opt, vfat, as much room as you need for windows (many mount points (/, /boot, /etc) must be mounted on a linux partition, thus the /opt. at least I think it's /opt. don't worry about it, just so long as we create the parition)
    /, ext3, as much space as you need for linux.
    swap, ext3, usually double your ram (to a recommended max of 512)

    now, delete the vfat parition. the purpose of this parition was to make it easy for us to start the / and swap partions at the right space on the disk, leaving a 'hole' of un-formatted space. now, after the installer formats all this (alternative method: you could use fdisk via Knoppix to format this stuff), restart the computer. don't worry about screwing up the installation cause we'll be installing over it anyways. install windows to the free space (creating a new parition and not nuking the ones we just created), which in the proccess will put windows on the mbr.

    After you've installed windows, boot again to install linux. reformat the /boot and / paritions, but don't delete them or create new partitions. allow linux to over-write the mbr. it will detect the windows install and give you the option to boot into that.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Ned, Saikee, etc, does this sound right? I havn't tried it myself, but It sounds like it should work....

    Another solution, one that I'm using right now:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    hda1 (C: ) NTFS 5GB Windows installation parition
    hda2 ext3 100MB /boot
    hda3 ext3 5GB /
    hda5 swap 1GB Linux Swap (didn't think to put it at 512MB rather than doubling my RAM(512)
    hda6(D: ) vfat 20GB My Documents, personal data, music, videos, etc.
    /hdb1(E: ) vfat 30GB Installed programs, games, etc.

    by keeping my main windows partition below 8 gig I avoid the dual boot problem. you think,"5 gigs isn't enough" but it actually is. by installing most of your big programs (office, games, etc) on the E drive (hdb1) I avoid filling up the windows drive. you're safe to install small programs on the C: drive (gaim, special hardware programs (nVidia, ATI, etc), FAH ), as they don't take up that much space. using this parition scheme I can access my personal data and programs from either windows or linux. SuSE, FC2, and Debian all recognized windows and put it in the grub list. SuSE even mounted all three non-linux paritions (NTFS and both vfat's) automatically.

    Another advantage of this scheme is that when your Windows installation gets goofed up (it happens all too frequently) you still have your data and can re-install windows fairly easily. or, to keep all the registry schmuck written by the installers of your programs, use the method here and clone your windows parition (either to another harddrive, or a dvd if it's small enough). this will allow you to restore rather easily.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Ok, I'm really tired, it's 5:15 AM and I havn't gone to bed yet. My spelling above probably has glaring errors, but hey, it's late. hope this helps other people.

  11. #56
    Joined
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    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    clawhammer,

    In term of the number of Linux I installed I would not be able to cope by combining them together using a unified tree system for the files.

    I went for one partition per operating system. My XP is in hda1 with about 26Gb. Thereafter each Linux is in either 10 or 5Gb each. I am sure there are a lot of duplication but it is easier for me to maintain. I run two disks, hda and hdc. The cfdisk print out are as follows

    cfdisk 2.12

    Disk Drive: /dev/hda
    Size: 203928109056 bytes, 203.9 GB
    Heads: 255 Sectors per Track: 63 Cylinders: 24792

    Name Flags Part Type FS Type [Label] Size (MB)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    hda1 Primary NTFS [^C] 26213.97
    hda2 Primary Linux ext3 10001.95
    hda3 Primary Amoeba 10001.95
    hda5 Logical Linux swap 3002.23
    hda6 Logical Linux ext3 10001.95
    hda7 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda8 Logical Linux ext2 10001.95
    hda9 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda10 Logical Linux ext3 10001.95
    hda11 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda12 Logical Linux ext3 10001.95
    hda13 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda14 Logical Linux ext2 10001.95
    hda15 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda16 Logical Linux ext3 10001.95
    hda17 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda18 Logical Linux ext3 10001.95
    hda19 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda20 Logical Linux ext2 10001.95
    hda21 Logical Linux ext3 [/12] 5000.98
    hda22 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda23 Logical Linux ext3 [/12345] 5000.98
    hda24 Logical Linux ext3 [/1234] 5000.98
    hda25 Boot Logical Linux ext3 [/123] 5000.98
    hda26 Logical Linux ext3 [/1] 5000.98
    hda27 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hda28 Logical Linux ext3 4671.96

    cfdisk 2.12

    Disk Drive: /dev/hdc
    Size: 60040544256 bytes, 60.0 GB
    Heads: 255 Sectors per Track: 63 Cylinders: 7299

    Name Flags Part Type FS Type [Label] Size (MB)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    hdc1 Primary Hidden FAT16 [MAXTOR60GB ] 49.36
    hdc2 Primary FAT16 [ ] 1998.75
    hdc3 Primary Hidden HPFS/NTFS 5000.98
    hdc5 Boot Logical FAT16 3002.23
    hdc6 Logical Linux ext3 [/] 5000.98
    hdc7 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hdc8 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hdc9 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hdc10 Logical Linux ext3 [/hdc10] 5000.98
    hdc11 Logical Linux 5000.98
    hdc12 Logical Linux 5000.98
    hdc13 Logical Linux ext3 [/123456] 5000.98
    hdc14 Logical Linux ext3 5000.98
    hdc15 Logical Linux ext3 4976.30

    The above partition tables are related to the 30 operating system Grub menu I put up in this thread..

    I have to do a bit of hiding and unhiding for the DOS and Windows partitions in hdc because I installed everyone of them in a C drive. Basically I installed one, using cfdisk to hide it, installed the next one, hide it again to get all three into the same disk.

    You will note in my Grub menu that I have empty partitions, without a Linux, ready for booting. When I get a new distro I simply install it in one of the empty partitions, ask its bootloader to be installed in the root partition and the new Linux will become bootable from the Grub menu in the MBR.

    My personal data is currently stored in a separate disk accessible by all operating systems, except DOS and Win98 which have a problem with large disks.
    Last edited by saikee; 11-10-2004 at 02:37 PM.

  12. #57
    Joined
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    Crouched behind a camera with a wide lens
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    4,117

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    right, right, but you're crazy I don't think most people, esp. newbs, will be installing 30+ distros

  13. #58
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Southern Ontario
    Age
    45
    Posts
    13,194

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    Saikee, I think you should change your title to something like, "Boot Loader Junky!" This way everyone will know where you're coming from.

  14. #59
    Joined
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Age
    70
    Posts
    585

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    So you guys don't like "Linux scumbag" in my signature?

  15. #60
    Joined
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Age
    70
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    585

    Re: Latest Linux adventure!

    He is a letter I wrote for Grub when he asked me for a reference of his future emplyment

    To Whom it may concern

    As a theatre (PC) owner I want to see a different play from time to time. I do this by instructing my chauffeur (boot loader in the MBR) to fetch the director (operating system) of the play into the theatre.

    The chauffeur professions are staffed mainly by nationals of NTLRD, Grub and Lilo. NTLDR drives for the director Windows while Grub and Lilo serve mainly Linux directors. Due to the language problem it is very difficult to get a chauffeur to drive for a foreign client. However there is no problem at all for my MBR chauffeur hands over the duty to the chauffeur of the requested director and let him do the driving to the theatre.

    The multi-boot problem only arises when a theatre owner (PC user) cuts corners and does not employ a chauffeur for each director, even it costs him nothing as in any contract a director will have his own mansion (partition) with attached accommodation for the chauffeur in servant’s quarter (sector 0).

    Among the chauffeurs the passing of the driving from one to anther is known as chain-loading.

    The three chauffeur nationals of NTLDR, Grub and Lilo have different characteristics.

    Like his director NTLDR is quite bossy. He normally refuses to fetch the other directors if his boss isn’t the requested one. However common sense prevails that he now agrees to pass on the request to other directors only if their chauffeurs have been previously rounded up to standby in his compound “C”. This is extra work for me. The guy simply wouldn’t lift a finger for the others. Despite having a large compound “C” he wouldn’t allow more than 9 other chauffeurs to come in for the standby duty.

    Chauffeur Lilo is friendlier. He would go personally to the requested director’s mansion to brief his driver. Unfortunately Lilo has a small car and a small fuel tank. It could run out of fuel if he is asked to pass more than 15 mansions. It may not have anything to do with his age but Lilo is forgetful. You need to remind him every time if the driving route has been changed.

    It now appears chauffeur Grub is by far the best one. The guy is honest, easy-going and energetic. He would go anywhere to fetch whatever director by asking his chauffeur “move it, move it”. He is pretty bright too and need very little instruction.

    Due to their performance records I have no hesitation in recommending Grub as your MBR chauffeur.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    One Grub floppy to boot all systems

    Latest discovery (although it has been there all the time, Read Grub Manual on how to make one)

    A bootable Grub floppy, with only Stage1 and Stage2 files inside and therefore non-distro specific, can boot any operating system I can throw at it with the same 3 lines of command ( for any DOS, Windows or GNU/Linux)

    root (hdi,j)
    chainloader +1
    boot

    Where i=hard disk number and j=partition number, bearing in mind Grub counts from 0.

    It is quite mind boggling to me that one can load up a floppy and boot any system up in the hard drives without the prior knowledge of what the PC has got.

    At Grub prompt the command "geometry" can be used to list all the partitions, "hide" and "unhide" command can be used to made selection from several DOS/Windows partitions for booting. If the DOS/Windows is in a different drive the "map" command can re-map the MS system to boot into a "C". Grub's bread and butter work is of course to boot Linux.

    The system is always bootable if it has a bootloader implanted in (hdi,j).

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