Find the answer to your Linux question:
Results 1 to 5 of 5
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1

    Dual Boot XP/Linux Help?

    Hi, I recently decided to install the 2005 version of Mandriva Linux. I'm guessing the installation went alright, but right now I can't boot up Linux. Basically I have my Xp installed on a smaller drive with the Linux partition on a larger storage drive. When I reboot my computer, it usually goes straight into Windows.

    I used Bootpart to add Linux to the boot list, but when I select it during bootup, it tells me that it "cannot load from harddisk." I'm not too sure where to go from here, I tried reinstalling with Lilo, but no matter what, it seems to always go straight into Windows. Am I somehow configuring all of this wrong, or does it have to do with the fact that I have XP and Linux on different hds?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    North East England
    first, I'm not a lilo expert, but some points to consider.

    When you boot up, your BIOS (after doing its POST checks) will look for an operating system. It looks in the places that it has been told to look. This boot device order can be set by you within the BIOS (you usually need to press either Delete or F2 while your PC is doing the POST check (counting RAM etc.)). When it is told to look for an operating system on a hard disk, it looks at the first sector (called the master boot record or mbr for short). This sector (all 512 bytes of it) passes control onto either an operating system (like WinXP or Linux) or a boot loader (like Lilo or grub).

    If you have more than one hard disk, the BIOS will search the mbr of these hard disks in the order that you (or the original installer) have setup. So, if the first mbr that the BIOS comes to has a pointer to WinXP, then WinXP will be loaded. If, however, the first mbr that the BIOS encounters has a bootloader (lilo or grub) then that will be loaded, and you'll get the option to load Linux or WinXP (or any other operating system that you happen to have).

    I suspect that you have loaded your boot loader on one mbr , but that your BIOS is looking first at the other disk's mbr (this assumes that you have more than one physical hard disk (not talking about partitions here, but the hard disks that partitions live on).

    Or it could be that you haven't told lilo on which hard disk your Linux is on .

    have fun


    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

  3. #3

    Dual Boot

    First, always install WinBLOWS first since M$ will whack any other bootloader. If you already have both installed then use your linux install CD to fix LILO...Boot off the Linux install CD and when prompted hit the F1 key. At the promp type /sbin/lilo and that should reinstall LILO
    I don't know about GRUB since I've never used it...

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ohio, USA
    When you install lilo doesn't it give you two options as to where on the disk to install it? I forget what the second one is, but I know one is to the MBR (master boot record) of your harddrive. I have never been able to get a boot loader to work right ( for dual booting with windows) w/o installing it to the mbr. Just something to try (or double check)

  6. #5
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzkraig
    I have never been able to get a boot loader to work right ( for dual booting with windows) w/o installing it to the mbr.
    That's because a bootloader on the MBR is the only way to boot the system. You are given the alternative to install it to the first sector of a partition so that the bootloader on the MBR can chainload the bootloader on a partition. Once you have a working Linux, that's the best way of installing the bootloader for additional distros that you want to be able to boot as an alternative (dual-boot, etc) to the first distro.

    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts