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Originally Posted by action711 Well the second time i installed it I disconnected the windows drive and linux booted fine, and I thought I could just disable the windows drive ...
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  1. #21
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by action711
    Well the second time i installed it I disconnected the windows drive and linux booted fine, and I thought I could just disable the windows drive in bios when I wanted to boot linux, but this didn't work, when booting linux I got a black screen with "grub" and a flashing cursor at the top and no response to anything.
    Right, so when you installed Linux by itself with no other drives plugged in the installer put GRUB on the MBR and all was well... until you plugged back in the XP drive (which I imagine is your primary master) and Linux freaked out because the name of its drive (probably /dev/hda) was changed to something else (probably /dev/hdb). So when GRUB tried to find a Linux kernel on /dev/hda (the XP drive), it didn't know what to do. At that point all you needed to do was reinstall GRUB either on the XP drive or the Linux drive.

    but before when I tried to install grub on the windows drive it couldn't find the drive, says:

    /dev/hdb1 does not have any corresponding BIOS drive.

    and so I did fdisk and got these results"

    http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/7941/dscf000150im0.jpg

    I'm about to do a fresh install tonight, with xp on primary and Linux on secondary. But it's not going to work.
    I'm curious why your XP drive has 5 partitions. Normally Dells come with 2: the NTFS partition upon which XP is installed and a small FAT32 partition where Dell puts their recovery diagnostic tools. If that's the way it came from the factory, I wouldn't worry. It's just a strange setup in my opinion.

    As long as you have the XP drive plugged in when you install Linux and you point the bootloader to the XP drive, it should work. If not, I'm sure you'll report back.
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    it's got 5 partitions cos I have set it up like that, adding a partition for the swapfile, and another for extra storage, another for my backups.

    I understand why Linux freaked put after I put in the XP drive. But when I tried to re-install grub on the XP drive it couldn't find the drive:

    /dev/hdb1 does not have any corresponding BIOS drive.

    And I did choose the right radio button to install grub on the XP drive when I installed it.

    Not sure now how to go about it.

    So if I disable the XP drive in the BIOS and boot to Linux, what dev do you think that Linux will think it is on, if you get me? If I disable a drive in the BIOS can Linux see it anyway?

  3. #23
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by action711
    it's got 5 partitions cos I have set it up like that, adding a partition for the swapfile, and another for extra storage, another for my backups.
    A swap partition for Windows XP? I've not heard of that before.

    So if I disable the XP drive in the BIOS and boot to Linux, what dev do you think that Linux will think it is on, if you get me? If I disable a drive in the BIOS can Linux see it anyway?
    It seems to me like if you're going to that much trouble to enable/disable a drive in the BIOS every time you boot, why not just swap out the power plugs? Sure, you'd have to open up the case whenever you wanted to swap, but I don't see it as any harder than popping into the BIOS every time to change a setting.

    I'm not sure how the BIOS disabling would affect Linux. I do know that if you install Linux with only one harddrive plugged in, GRUB assumes that drive is /dev/hda and configures itself accordingly. I honestly don't know if disabling /dev/hda will automatically cause /dev/hdb to get bumped up or not.
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    it's got 5 partitions cos I have set it up like that, adding a partition for the swapfile, and another for extra storage, another for my backups.
    hey ! you dont have 5 partitions....partition number 4, hda4 is Extended... its just a pointer to fifth partition...
    this is bad partition structure.... three primary partitions and only one Logical... you CAN NOT shrink/resize primary partitions...

    So if I disable the XP drive in the BIOS and boot to Linux, what dev do you think that Linux will think it is on, if you get me? If I disable a drive in the BIOS can Linux see it anyway?
    How you disable XP drive in BIOS. ?? well ! i think i dont have this feature.
    i guess, if you disable XP drive, then Linux wont see it and Linux disk will become hda.

    you are planning for fresh install... dont uplug or disable windows drive this time and make it Master....


    EDIT: i also didnt hear about swap partition in windows. windows use concept of virtual memory and it doesnt let you allocate space for that. you can increase or decrease its size only.


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    I think I might be onto something this time, or maybe not.

    Going through the intall, one of the first things it asks is which drives to put Linux on, previously I just clicked for hdb, but if I click for both drives can I then put grub onto hda and the Linux install onto hdb?

    But when I click to continue it asks me to choose a partition for /, and I don't know how big to make this. To be honest I don't know what I'm doingg really, but i have a study book on Linux and will read it before I install.

    Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    I'm scared to damage my XP partition as my XP cd doesn't work anymore.

  6. #26
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by action711
    I think I might be onto something this time, or maybe not.

    Going through the intall, one of the first things it asks is which drives to put Linux on, previously I just clicked for hdb, but if I click for both drives can I then put grub onto hda and the Linux install onto hdb?
    No! Doing this will mess with your partition scheme on the XP drive. You will be asked later during the install about GRUB. Specify it then, not when you're at the partitioning step.

    But when I click to continue it asks me to choose a partition for /, and I don't know how big to make this. To be honest I don't know what I'm doingg really, but i have a study book on Linux and will read it before I install.
    About 6-10GB is a reasonable amount, depending on how much software you're installing.
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  7. #27
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi !!

    plug-in both disks.....

    windows disk ....... primary master
    Linux disk ........ primary slave or secondry master or anything....
    make sure that its not primary master....
    you can check this by simply booting up after plugging in both disks... if system boot up windows then windows disk is primary master and you are ready to install Linux....

    now.... start installing linux....
    during installation, in boot loader section, select "install GRUB in MBR of /dev/hda"
    thats all........ you will get a nice dual boot.........



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    right, I'm trying it again. Got both drives attached as you said and will install Linux on hdb with default settings, then choose hda to install grub on.

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    It's done it again!!! No choice of Linux in the OS menu. I even selected Linux as the default OS to boot during the installation.

    Well, I knew it would.

    How can I access the MBR and see what's written?

    Or shall I try:

    chroot /mnt/sysroot
    grub-install /dev/hda

    first?

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    well I tried

    grub-install /dev/hda

    and got

    /dev/hdb1 does not have any corresponding Bios drive

    fdisk -l shows both drives, with a boot section on hda1 and hdb1, so from this I'm guessing that grub wasn't installed on hda as requested in the installation but went onto hdb1 instead.

    So what now? cover it in petrol and burn the thing?????

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