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I'm completely new to Linux--or if I hope to be, once I get it to work on my computer.... I know this is probably the most common problem newbies ask ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Can't dual boot FC4 & XP


    I'm completely new to Linux--or if I hope to be, once I get it to work on my computer....

    I know this is probably the most common problem newbies ask about, but I SWEAR I've read up on this a lot, and I can't figure it out.

    I went through the install process for FC4 without any problems, and I had it install grub in the MBR (/dev/hda). But when I reboot, it just loads XP like nothing happened.

    I've also tried going through the process, but putting grub in /dev/hdb1 (the other option). Same deal.

    I have 2 hard drives on my system, with FC4 going on /dev/hdb (but they're both huge (200 and 160 GB) so I wouldn't be averse to partitioning one and installing everything on it, if that would help.

    I don't know if any of these factors could be causing problems, but I'll lay them out on the table, just in case they're relevant:
    1. I have a Gateway (I've heard there can be problems with Gateways, but I don't know what these 'problems' are).
    2. The factory settings on the computer have system recovery files in a separate partition (/dev/hda2)--could the bootloader be confused about which partition it belongs in?
    3. I have Win XP Media Center Edition--I can't imagine why this would matter.
    4. Anytime I try to install FC4 (I've tried about 4 times), when I finally reboot, the computer "kind of" restarts, ie it turns back on, but nothing comes up on the screen. So I have to manually power down, turn off my power strip, and restart. Same thing happens when I run Knoppix from a CD-ROM. No such problem rebooting from XP, so I suspect it's Linux-related, but I'm clueless.
    5. I'm using the x86_64 build of FC4, since I have an Athlon64 processor. Again, don't know why this would matter, but I know this version of Fedora is relatively new.

    Thanks in advance for any advice, hints, etc.

  2. #2
    Linux User
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    Try creating a boot disk and booting from that.
    registered linux user: 387197

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer
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    Boot up KNOPPIX, on the desktop open up your Fedora drive, go to /boot/grub, open grub.conf and paste it here.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing
    Boot up KNOPPIX, on the desktop open up your Fedora drive, go to /boot/grub, open grub.conf and paste it here.
    (FWIW, I found this file at: mnt/hd1/grub/grub.conf (not /boot/grub) - Let me know if it's not what you're looking for)

    #grub.conf generated by anaconda
    #
    #Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
    #NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
    # all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
    # root (hd1,0)
    # kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
    # initrd /initrd-version.img
    #boot=/dev/hda
    default=1
    timeout=5
    splashimage=(hd1,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
    hiddenmenu
    title Linux Fedora (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4)
    root (hd1,0)
    kernel vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 ro root=dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
    initrd /initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img
    title Windows XP
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1
    title Win XP 2
    rootnoverify (hd0,1)
    chainloader +1


    FYI: When installing, I was puzzled why it thought my "Other" OS was located in /dev/hda2 (=D:\ on my computer), instead of /dev/hda1 (C:\) where I assumed it was--so I set it up to include both locations on the GRUB menu. Don't know if this was necessary or not, but that's why grub.conf shows two options for XP.

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer
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    Change the 5 in "timeout=5" to something like 999999999999. Also delete "hiddenmenu" and that second entry for XP.

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
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    Thanks for the hints.

    I wasn't having any luck when changing the grub.conf file, so I just tried installing FC3 in lieu of FC4. I have no idea why, but it worked on the first try.

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