Dell MediaDirect messed up my dual boot
Wierd stuff happened to me. Hoping this will help someone out there.
So... I have an Inspiron E1505 that originally with Win XP preinstalled. I installed Suse Linux 10.2 and was dual booting away merrily.
So what happens? My 2 year old comes along and clicks this tiny "MediaDirect" button that I had no idea existed. It started up and initialized media direct and hey my dual boot did not work any more. -- always loads Windows XP - darn it!!
I was quite leery of messing with the MBR and took the easy way out.
Leave the windows MBR unchanged and add linux to boot.ini. This information is available elsewhere, but am pasting here for reference.
Use a Linux rescue CD (I used the SUSE installation CD) to boot up SUSE.
Login as root and run this command -
dd if=/dev/sda3 of=linuxboot.lnx bs=512 count=1
Replace /dev/sda3 with whatever partition you have for linux's /boot filesystem. Use "df" to find out.
boot into windows XP, copy linuxboot.lnx to someplace in your windows partition (say C:\), and then edit C:\boot.ini to add following line in the end:
and you are set. If you want, you can decrease "timeout" at the start of boot.ini file. I set mine to 5 secs with linux as the default boot.
Now reboot your computer, and you will see the option of booting into linux from windows Boot Menu.
Problems with grub on MBR for Dell machines
Writing this so it may warn other Dell users.
Dual booting nirvana turned into hell after I had grub write the MBR.
Because of the DELL crap, initially Windows refused to boot with the grub-written MBR.
The Dell Utility partition (the first one on the disk) is a really a FAT32 partition disguised with "DE", hence windows thinks its an unknown partition and does not boot from it. Instead windows boots from the next NTFS/FAT32 partition.
With the Grub written MBR, the Dell Utility partition was correctly identified as FAT32, which is not good, since Windows tries to boot from it.
I tweaked grub's menu.lst to "hide" the Dell Utility Partition and Windows booted correctly - but it overwrote the MBR. Linux does not load now - since the Windows version of the MBR has Linux partitions marked as Amoeba (0x93 instead of 0x83).
I think I need fdisk or something to unravel this mess. Any ideas?
Linux native partitions are now Amoeba
Yes that's what I had done. Please read thru my previous post completely.
Now MBR has Linux partitions marked as Amoeba (0x93 instead of 0x83). So menu.lst is not accessible.