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Hello all! Well for some stressfull fun last night i thought i would try installing LINUX( KNOPPIX) on 1 of my many harddrives that also hold many XP installations. After ...
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    Got my dual boot working, have a few questions about GRUB


    Hello all!

    Well for some stressfull fun last night i thought i would try installing LINUX( KNOPPIX) on 1 of my many harddrives that also hold many XP installations.

    After install, i was able to boot both KNOPPIX and multiple XP's.
    Then i said that was too easy, i need more stress, so i installed UBUNTU in place of KNOPPIX, chose to NOT install boot loader, i figured that GRUB was already installed, i wouldnt need to install it again. So after reboot, GRUB gives me an error. Cant load anything..... GREAT!!!! STRESS!!! So i re installed UBUNTU AND the boot loader option, and now everything works again!!!


    MY QUESTION:

    I have GRUB installed on the MBR. It gives me options to load UBUNTU and also WINDOWS XP. But when i choose XP, it then goes to the WINDOWS BOOT LOADER, and from there i select which installation of XP i want to load. I would just like someone to try and explain what is happening here so that i can understand the process better. I thought that when i pick XP in the GRUB menu that it should just start loading XP right there, i dont know why i have to go through the WINDOWS BOOT LOADER as well. Is it possible to edit the GRUB config so that it will just load XP instead of it passing off to the second boot loader??

    Im really scared of messing things up and not being able to load xp again, but this GRUB loader seems very interesting! Just hard to understand some things....


    Hope this makes sense.

    Thanx

    Snork

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome !

    How Windows OSes are installed in your HD(s)?
    GRUB doesn't load Windows OS directly. It loads Windows Boot Loader first. Windows Boot Loader menu appears only if you have installed more than one Windows OS and setup win-win dual/multiboot.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    Hi, thanx for replying..

    I have 2 HDs, multiple partitions on both. originally installed windows on 1st partition on first drive (C), then a few more on different partitions on both drives (i tend to reinstall windows alot).

    So i thought that GRUB would load OS directly, you are saying that it cant be done that way?

    So how is it finding my windows boot loader? I havent configured it at all, just does this by default. I know that i have NTLDR, NTDETECT, boot.ini on my C: drive.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Windows has its partition set as active...it boots without the need for an MBR bootloader but rather from the ntldr on this active partition. If you don't have more than one Windows install you can edit C:\boot.ini and set the default timeout to zero so that it will automatically load the default. This is why GRUB uses a chain loader, because it is passing boot back to Windows. This is similar to how BSD boots.

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    Hmm, OK. So next question. If in the future i am unable to load windows, what steps will i need to take to get it working again?

    If i was to remove ntldr, boot.ini from my c drive, i wouldnt be able to boot it?

    Basically, if i remove all my drives, install a new HD, install linux, then i put my old drive back in that has XP on it, but no loader on that partition, will i be able to boot XP? What would i have to do to make it boot?

    But i guess the easiest solution is to just leave the C: drive in my system and that loader will always be there?

    Is GRUB not able to load XP on its own?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesnork
    Hmm, OK. So next question. If in the future i am unable to load windows, what steps will i need to take to get it working again?
    Boot up from Windows Installation CD and select repair. Execute fixmbr command. It will remove GRUB and Windows OS will boot up on reboot.
    Quote Originally Posted by thesnork
    If i was to remove ntldr, boot.ini from my c drive, i wouldnt be able to boot it?
    Boot.ini file is necessary to boot Windows OS. If you remove it, Windows OS will not boot. GRUB calls ntldr and ntldr looks for boot.ini file.
    Quote Originally Posted by thesnork
    Basically, if i remove all my drives, install a new HD, install linux, then i put my old drive back in that has XP on it, but no loader on that partition, will i be able to boot XP? What would i have to do to make it boot?
    You have to add correct code in GRUB config file i.e. menu.lst ( grub.conf ) file.
    Quote Originally Posted by thesnork
    But i guess the easiest solution is to just leave the C: drive in my system and that loader will always be there?
    GRUB or Linux don't do anything to C: drive or Windows Boot Loader. Dual Boot Setup do not remove Windows Boot Loader under any circumstances.
    Quote Originally Posted by thesnork
    Is GRUB not able to load XP on its own?
    NO. It needs Windows Boot Loader.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    Thanx again.

    My windows CD isnt bootable (dunno why). So cant use the repair option. But i assume as long as there is a Windows boot loader installed somewhere i should be able to configure GRUB to find it and be able to boot windows? Or if the windows boot loader files are gone, i should be able to copy them from CD onto harddrive, then configure GRUB to find the boot loader.

    Does this sound correct?

    Does this sound correct?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    So cant use the repair option. But i assume as long as there is a Windows boot loader installed somewhere i should be able to configure GRUB to find it and be able to boot windows?
    Yes.
    if the windows boot loader files are gone, i should be able to copy them from CD onto harddrive, then configure GRUB to find the boot loader.
    Correct. You can use SuperGRUB CD to install GRUB Or Windows Boot Loader.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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