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I have dabbled with Linux in the past (Slackware), but am still rather a newbie to Linux. I'm very familiar with NetWare, Windows and hardware, but can use some help ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Jun 2005
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    Multi-Booting Linux & Windows with partition hiding


    I have dabbled with Linux in the past (Slackware), but am still rather a newbie to Linux. I'm very familiar with NetWare, Windows and hardware, but can use some help on this issue.

    I'm trying to multi-boot 4 OS's, 3 of them 64-bit, on an AMD64 w/ 2-GB RAM and 2 x 250GB SATA drives. Both drives are partitioned equally in half, with all (4) Primary partitions, as follows:

    disk1/part1: XP Pro 32
    disk1/part2: SUSE 9.1 Pro 64
    disk2/part1: XP Pro 64
    disk2/part2: 2003 Std 64

    I used PartitionMagic 8 to partition and format all volumes before installing OS's, having only one HD connected at a time. I installed Linux last, installing GRUB to the root of the Linux partition. Lastly, I connected both HD's at once and installed a boot manager (OSL2000 - osloader.com) from my Server 2003 x64 partition. I have encountered many quirks along the way, and after multiple installs, the above now works to the point that each OS is now useable and booting into them reasonably convenient. I still have two issues.

    1) Have to use "Stealth Mode" and disable "Auto-Hide Partitions" with OSL2000; "Stealth" to get any partition to boot (get "Invalid Partition Signature" from the menu - software bug, trying to get them to respond at all for two weeks now), and "disable Auto-Hide" to get any Windows partition to boot at all.

    2) GRUB can't boot my Server 2003 x64 partition - I get a "Filesystem type unknown" error. It boots XP 32- and 64-bit OK. Which leads to the heart of the matter:

    3) I can't multi-boot and hide my Windows partitions from each other, and we know hoe dirty Windows is under the covers. I can boot any of the 4 OS's now by using OSL2000 to boot Linux (GRUB), and from there choose Linux, or XP32, and via boot.ini, any of the other Windows partitions. Everything is useable, but I can't prevent the XP32 partition from being seen by the other OS's because of it's SYSTEM status, therefore it's prone to future "pollution".

    Linux is stable, secure and self-contained, but I'm still forced to know/use Windows. As I've purchased multiple licenses of OSL2000 and they are unresponsive for two weeks, I want to throw it out, but I don't want to throw $$$ at another BootMan unproven for this particular config (OSL2000 was fine under less "aggressive" configs). Does anyone have a suggestion/solution for this scenario?

    Thanks in advance.

    (Too bad I have to ask - lost the battes to keep NetWare 6 in-house and to bring Linux in on the desktop... although the latter may be a win further on down the road... I like OS's that stay up, stay secure, and don't cross-pollinate under the covers).

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    1,296
    i can only reccomend trying grub again and asking for assistance in irc (irc.freenode.net #grub for example) or the grub mailing list. grub is probably your best bet seing as your not going to get support from your other choices. grub is very powerfull and can allmost certainly manage what you are trying to do (which tbh does not seem that hard)

    Please post the config you used for grub (/boot/grub/grub.conf)

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Chicago (USA)
    Posts
    1,028
    Try installing GRUB to the MBR of the first drive.

    Live CD with the GRUB shell: System Rescue CD
    Just enter "grub" or "/sbin/grub" at the command prompt to get into the GRUB shell.

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