multiboot windows linux question!?!?

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multiboot windows linux question!?!?

Postby len444 » Tue May 28, 2002 9:31 am

:arrow: :?: tried to do a win98/win2k/ rh7.3 linux multiboot last night- actually attempted to install red hat 7.3 to an existing system that has a dual boot already. the machine will boot up to win2k screen, where i can choose win98 or win2k- works fine as previous- i need to use the linux boot disk to get into linux- not bad actually, just wanted to have it installed, so that i could choose between the 3 os's. i believe the thing that did it was not loading the boot loader to the mbr, instead i loaded to linux, and made windows/dos default os.

1)question- if i loaded boot loader to mbr, then i would select linux as default, as it can see vfat partitions? there was a reference to putting winnt4 on primary linux partition- this must be because ntfs and linux are incompatible? i've have both windows os's on fat32, so linux boot loader would be ok w/ mbr?

2a) is the /boot partition the only one that needs to be primary? i've seen reference to others making the swap a primary as well? is this right or wrong? i believe the manual is deficient as there is no specific reference to making anything primary

2b)well, for the time being, i can at least get into linux and check it out- perhaps this is a safer setup (could boot loader screw up mbr, sinse i've got a dual boot as it is?)?

3) is there an ideal order to setting up the linux partitions, such as /boot <swap>, and/(root), or should it follow the chronology as in the manual, w/ <swap>, /boot, and /(root) [i did it /boot, <swap>, /(root)- i've seen reference to having root last, so this is not an issue, just swap, and /boot order?]

4)is disk druid sufficient at removing linux from it's partitions?

linux.iso site is great, though i did err in burning the cd's, so i ended up throwing out 7 disks (rh7.2, and7.3), just because i had selected track at once, not disk at once as i should have! downloaded (all 5 at once w/ dsl) of the rh7.3 iso at 11:30ish am saturday and had all the files downloaded in 2 1/2-3 hrs (non peak time- registered 90 hrs at midnight when most download, so it can vary!)!!!! md5sums all checked out as well.

any input is appreciated! 8O 8O
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Tue May 28, 2002 11:45 am

)question- if i loaded boot loader to mbr, then i would select linux as default, as it can see vfat partitions? there was a reference to putting winnt4 on primary linux partition- this must be because ntfs and linux are incompatible? i've have both windows os's on fat32, so linux boot loader would be ok w/ mbr?

Linux can see almos any parition, including FAT, FAT32 and NTFS. The refference you spoke of is about the 1024 limit. Most operating systems cannot boot, if the parition is past this limit. And yes LILO will be fine in the MBR, this is why it does not come up right now, you didn't install it to the MBR.

2a) is the /boot partition the only one that needs to be primary? i've seen reference to others making the swap a primary as well? is this right or wrong? i believe the manual is deficient as there is no specific reference to making anything primary

You can really think of it that way. Yes both partitions are essentially Primary paritions, but under linux they are designated differently. You should use the linux version of FDISK to gain a better understanding.

2b)well, for the time being, i can at least get into linux and check it out- perhaps this is a safer setup (could boot loader screw up mbr, sinse i've got a dual boot as it is?)?

Linux is easy to screw up. I installed it 8 times the first try before it worked quite right. Upon installing LILO it should be able to figure out you have other boot paritions and ask you to set them up accordingly. Unless you do it manually...then it gets complicated. Check How-tos for more info.

3) is there an ideal order to setting up the linux partitions, such as /boot <swap>, and/(root), or should it follow the chronology as in the manual, w/ <swap>, /boot, and /(root) [i did it /boot, <swap>, /(root)- i've seen reference to having root last, so this is not an issue, just swap, and /boot order?]

I have always setup 2 partitions. 1 Swap and 1 Boot+Root. Swap is supposed to be double the RAM size, especially if your using X.

4)is disk druid sufficient at removing linux from it's partitions?

Disk Druid is a handy tool for editing all parititions, and yes it will remove Linux aswell. Though I preffer the control of FDISK (linux version) myself.
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Postby len444 » Tue May 28, 2002 9:34 pm

:arrow: :!: :!: :!: hj, thanks for your reply!- added a confirmation to what i figured was correct- i deleted the ext formats, and swap file from the hdd, then rebooted, used win98fdisk to remove dos partitions- ran into a remaining dos partition that i couldn't remove (not the one that i set up for the linux os ie. swap, root, and boot), so i went back into install w/linux, used it's fdisk to remove that partition, then for lack of confidence (or lack of clarity w/ rh linux fdisk- probably easy once you get the hang of it), i rebooted into dos, set up the partitions (w/win98fdisk), then rebooted into linux install, and used disk druid to set up the partitions for linux- complteley formatted hdd w/ ext3.
so then i resumed the install, and actually accepted all the settings for boot loader, completed the install, and now have the linux boot loader (grub) that shows a choice of dos and linux, so when i choose dos, it loads the win 2k loader, w/ the choice for either win98 or win2k- everything seems to function, though linux will need some tweaking- loaded my matrox g550 dual head video card, yet only getting one monitor- mouse controls are strange- probably not using the correct mouse model- gnome seems basic, kde allows better fine tuning of mouse- so first encounters has me favoring kde. some familiarization is to be expected w/ something that i've never used before!

HJ- i set up 3 small os partitions at 3500m/ea, and 3 larger partitions of just over 9000m each, w/ the intention of evaluating either distros, or different configurations-

question here is:
will 3 distros be doable (anticipate doing a 'force primary partition on innermost hdd partition w/ swap first at 1000m, putting me over 1024 cyl@ ~8gig), and how would that work w/ red hat boot loader- would that become default, adding a listing of distros to it (tentative for now)?

is there support for multiple monitors?

again, thanks for your reply- tried the forums at iso site, found replies to take a while, the forums/site seems quite new- great resource though! :)
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Tue May 28, 2002 10:08 pm

Yes there is support for multiple monitors, again, check the how-to's people have written about them (if any), I have seen it done.

Didn't quite understand the last question completely, but if your asking if you can load more then 1 distro on a hard drive, it is possible. Just don't load Lilo until the last installation is complete.
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Postby len444 » Wed May 29, 2002 7:22 am

sorry for the lack of clarity- 3 distro/config question relates to making 3 smaller os partition on a single 40 gig hdd (w/ 3 larger partitions for data- perhaps defined for each os), and loading 3 os's -you say the boot loader would be installed last.


how universal are the boot loaders w/ linux? do they have groupings of distros (possibly similar) that can use the same boot loader :?:


[yes i will check the how to's- perhaps i need to refine my search techniques, as i've spent a lot of time- perhaps i can reduce this time spent- :arrow: :!: other alternative is to ask an expert when the answers just seem to allude me :!: - reams of data to look through- perhaps all this data needs to be ordered/ linked better- or i need to better understand how to search for the specific elusive document. ]
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Postby somedude » Wed May 29, 2002 10:02 am

You can conceivably have more than one Linux distro on one hard drive. Furthermore, they can share the swap partition, and even the /home if you set it up on a separate partition. I had at one time two distros on the same hard disk, on three partitions: /hda5 was Mandrake 8.0, /hda6 was Mandrake 7.1 and /hda7 was my swap.

You could load Lilo or Grub every time you install Linux and it should recognize all other o/s's present. If you want to install all three distros at the same time (relatively speaking) you are better off loading Lilo last.

If you want to nuke Linux completely you can use windoze's fdisk to remove all Linux partitions (non-DOS, he, he) and then fdisk /mbr to restore the master boot record. This one (fdisk /mbr) isn't very well documented, but useful.
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Postby len444 » Wed May 29, 2002 3:56 pm

:arrow: :!: somedude, i tried to delete non dos, as well as dos partition w/ win-fdisk, yet had 1 partition that i couldn't get rid of, so i used linux fdisk to remove it, tried to figure it out, but came up short, so i went back to win fdisk for the creation of partitions, and finished off w/ disk druid (swap, [/boot], & [/](root) definite lack of clarity w/ linux fdisk- time to search around and see if i can find some explanations so that i can better understand it!

:!: so use the same swap file- that is handy to know in setting up the partitions- for myself that frees up a gig of space (second and third partitions).

:?: any distros that allow for easy tricking out, perhaps stripped down- more code based, yet something that is perhaps instructional for someone that is learning? i'll probably end up installing and removing a bunch of versions (perhaps that is where cdrw disks would be better than cdr disks). ???
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Postby somedude » Thu May 30, 2002 10:52 am

fdisk from Linux has a help option, I use it all the time, but I can't remember the command, it may be h

you could even share the /home directory. it's useful to have it all the time, regardless of distro. but then again, you could mount it if you need it. just write down the partition information as you set it up for each distro.

tricking a distro??? into what?
most installers will allow you to set up partitions
I myself use Mandrake, which is pretty easy to work with.
Word of advice, NEVER let the installer automatically assign partitions! It will wipe everything out on the hard disk. Pick custom instead.
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Postby len444 » Thu May 30, 2002 4:44 pm

Word of advice, NEVER let the installer automatically assign partitions! It will wipe everything out on the hard disk. Pick custom instead.


:idea: this seems to resound w/ most of the sites visited, as they were all related to multibooting- yes that is advice well taken. so what kind of beast do i want to create? fantasy and reality, and a time frame to accomplish it- the intelligent see what is doable, yet it is always good to set your sights far, as other things might reveal themselves along the way! :idea: :!:
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Postby Wyrm73 » Fri May 31, 2002 10:50 pm

Len, was the partition you could not get rid of formatted with EXT3? I had that exact problem. Partition Magic 7.0 didn't even know what to do with it. Linux FDISK is the only thing that I found that could handle EXT3.
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