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I have a system with a 250GB SATA drive with Windows XP. I installed a second 300GB SATA drive and want to install both Fedora and openSUSE on that drive. ...
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  1. #1
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    Triple boot XP/Fedora/openSUSE with two drives


    I have a system with a 250GB SATA drive with Windows XP. I installed a second 300GB SATA drive and want to install both Fedora and openSUSE on that drive. Then I want to use grub to allow booting any of the three OS's.

    I installed Fedora 6 using about half of the space on the new drive. The install went normally as near as I can tell. When the system rebooted it went straight to Windows XP, no grub menu. I then tried to boot again directly from the second disk but just get a blank screen. Obviously I'm missing something.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Check the BIOS

    Is your BIOS reporting a second SATA drive?
    Also, see some other comments by doing a search on this site
    using "SATA" as the keyword. There are plenty of similar
    questions on this site with answers.

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    Yes, the BIOS is reporting the second drive. I can even select it as the HDD in the boot priority. If I do that then I get he blank screen that I mentioned in my first post.

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    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by root4Linux
    Yes, the BIOS is reporting the second drive. I can even select it as the HDD in the boot priority. If I do that then I get he blank screen that I mentioned in my first post.
    boot up from Fedora Installation CD/DVD and execute 'linux rescue' at boot: prompt. this will drop you at shell prompt. execute this
    Code:
    chroot /mnt/sysimage
    less /boot/grub/grub.conf
    fdisk -l
    post output of those commands here. post only 'title, root. kernel and initrd' lines of grub.conf file.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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    Thanks for the help but I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.

    I was trying to keep the first disk (sda) pristine with just XP so I was telling the linux install to only use sdb. The install created all of the linux partitions (including /boot and I'm assuming grub as well) on the second drive (sdb). I'm assuming that it was not updating the MBR on sda so the system had no idea that grub was even there. So, when I booted the system just continued to do what it had always done which is boot up XP.

    I finally cleaned off all the linux partitions and started over. First I squeezed the XP NTFS partition by about 100MB to give me some room on sda. Then I let the openSUSE install use both drives. It created the boot partition on sda and the rest of the install on sdb. Now I get the grub menu on boot with both openSUSE and Windows XP.

    Next step will be to get Fedora installed alongside of openSUSE on sdb. To late to do that tonight. Maybe this weekend.

    Thanks again!

  7. #6
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Well Done !
    but this is not a good method imho. if anything goes wrong with Windows Harddisk, SuSe will not boot. SuSe harddisk is dependent on Windows Harddisk now.
    best way is, keep Windows Harddisk intact, install everything in Linux Harddisk only.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by devils_casper
    ...keep Windows Harddisk intact, install everything in Linux Harddisk only.
    That's what I did originally. I installed linux on the second drive with nothing but XP on the first drive. The install finished with no errors but I could not get linux to boot.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    you had to SWAP harddisks. GRUB must be installed in the MBR of Linux Harddisk and Linux Harddisk must be plugged in as Primary Master.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by devils_casper
    you had to SWAP harddisks. GRUB must be installed in the MBR of Linux Harddisk and Linux Harddisk must be plugged in as Primary Master.
    Not certain but I think I did that. After my original install with linux all on the second drive, I entered setup during boot and selected the second disk drive. I'm not sure if that's the same as swapping the SATA cables.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    you have to SWAP SATA cables. Linux Harddisk must be plugged in as Primary Master during Installation.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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