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  1. #1

    Dual-booting Win98 and FC3

    I'm trying to dual boot Fedora Core 3 on to a machine with windows 98 already installed. Partitioning is all fine, Fedora installs, but then I hit a problem.

    I'm not well aware of the internal workings of operating systems, or the BIOS. I'm new to linux, too.

    So I was shocked and surprised when the BIOD sort of hung on loading GRUB. I talked to a IT person I know, and they told me that Windows 98 likes to use the MBR to store stuff, and get stuff wiped out by GRUB. GRUB doesn't like the windows stuff, so it doesn't load. I managed to fix the MBR so windows can boot, but I cannot boot linux.

    I'd like to know what I should do to try and dual-boot FC3 and Windows 98. I haven't ever used linux before, and I'm trying to make the switch, so I'm sort of lost. Is there some way to set up a linux boot disk and use it to boot the OS?

    I've tried searching around on the internet, but I haven't understood most of the stuff I've found, or it's about dual booting various versions of windows together.

    Thanks for your time. I've probably asked a highly ignorant question.

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    North Carolina
    I wrote a tutorial last night on this very problem. My tutorial explains how to write GRUB back to the MBR and then add the Windows installation to the OS Selection options. Here is the link:

    I apologize for spelling and grammar in this tutorial...I was up late!

  3. #3
    I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but that's in a different situation, using a different windows version, and a different problem.

    Just to clarify:

    I'm installing Fedora Core 3, on to a system which already has Windows 98 on it. The problem is that I can't just stick GRUB into the MBR, because then nothing boots. Not just linux, or just windows, nothing. GRUB refuses to running.

    I'm looking for a way to get linux to cooperate with Windows 98 that doesn't involve reinstalling Windows 98

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Where my hat is
    Does your BIOS support drives beyond cylinder 1024? If not, you may need to upgrade the BIOS before you can use GRUB. Had that very issue on my PC.
    Registered Linux user #384279
    Vector Linux SOHO 7

  6. #5
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    The Sovereign State of South Carolina
    I would create a boot disk for 98 and install grub to the MBR for FC3. That way your system will default to FC3 unless you insert the 98 boot disk. Unfortunatley, boot floppies are becoming a thing of the past with Linux, since the advent of the 2.6 kernel.
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

  7. #6
    I'm not sure on the BIOS issue. The computer is a Pentium 2, if general age helps. Not sure how long ago it was made, though. The fact that it came pre-installed with windows 98 gives me the general idea that it was a long time ago, though. :P. So probably not.

    GRUB wasn't booting at all, when I installed it to the MBR. Can't run FC3 through it.

    As far as I know, you can't use a boot disk to run Windows 98. You can load up MS-DOS, but If I use the win command there it gets all snappy about not being able to find files.

    Anyway to switch around which partition the BIOS loads on startup? I've got a GNU clone of fdisk on my Win98 boot floppy, and that allows you to select the active partition. It reckons Linux is unbootable, though. :P. Which means that either Fdisk is stupid (I like this option), or I did something silly when installing FC3.

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