Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

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Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

Postby Spewbacca on Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:37 pm

I'm trying to provide my 9 year old niece the opportunity of choice...
So we're staring with baby steps(hopefully)
AKA Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

My question is, what do I need to change so the user is offered a boot selection via grub ?

Here's a little background...
System had XP running as only OS.
Did typical XP disc prep stuff ccleaner, chkdsk, defrag etc.
Read 'The definitive dual-booting guide' a couple times.
Ran installer from Linux Mint 4.0 Live CD desktop.
During setup I used the manual partition process and config'd
the 30GB HDD as :
Windows XP: 18 GB
Ubuntu Linux: 6 GB (/ )
Linux Swap: 1 GB
FAT32: 5 GB (share between both OS's)
To be extra protective of the working Windows installation, I chose not
to install GRUB to the MBR, I selected the advanced button.
http://tinyurl.com/ywf3m6
Then chose device for boot loader installation as: (hd0,1) what I believe is hda2.
No ?
Initially I had also flagged hda1 & hda2 bootable:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 2254 18105223+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 * 2255 3008 6056505 83 Linux
/dev/hda3 3009 3737 5855692+ 5 Extended
/dev/hda5 3009 3129 971901 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda6 3130 3737 4883728+ b W95 FAT32

But during reboot it quit with "Invalid partition table" error,
so I booted from a CD and toggled off the hda2 boot flag
Now fdisk reports:

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 3736.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs(e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)
Command (m for help): p
Disk /dev/hda: 30.7 GB, 30737595904 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3736 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 2254 18105223+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 2255 3008 6056505 83 Linux
/dev/hda3 3009 3737 5855692+ 5 Extended
/dev/hda5 3009 3129 971901 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda6 3130 3737 4883728+ b W95 FAT32

Now the system will again boot up and run XP normally, without a choice(no grub), of course.
So again I ask...
My question is, what do I need to change so the system will boot via grub?

Thx!
--Spewy
Spewbacca
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Re: Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:17 pm

Spewbacca,

The first thing I would suggest you do is to download and burn to cd a program called "Supergrub." This is a really handy disk to have around. With it you can boot into almost any system. It also offers the ability to "fix" an install so it will boot again, including Windows.

Supergrub is a powerful tool and can be very helpful at times. It can also do harm if used improperly and indiscriminately. What I want you to do is to use it only to boot into one of your installs. Don't "fix" anything.

With the Supergrub disk in the cd drive, reboot. When you get the grub screen select to boot into Mint. This should bring Mint up normally from here on.

You know, there is an old saying that goes, "you can't have your cake and eat it too." Grub is a mature, stable, and solid method of booting. You can't stay with the false comfort of the Windows loader and still get the benefits of grub. Just take a deep breath, ditch it, and move on. :-)

I am assuming a few things here. If I am incorrect, tell me before you follow my instructions.

1) I am assuming that your bios has the ability to support a boot out to your Linux partition. Looks like that is 18 Gig. into your partition table. Note: It probably will if the BIOS isn't too old. Most newer computers have that support in the BIOS. If this isn't the case, look into updating the BIOS before going any further.

2) sda1 = XP install

3) sda2 = Linux install, all to /

Ok, Let's get going. You should have a normal desktop in front of you. Remove the Supergrub disk from the cd drive. We are going to install Grub into the hard drive mbr. Open a terminal and type:

sudo grub

root (hd0,1)

setup (hd0)

quite

Ok, you now should be able to reboot and get the grub boot screen. If everything was detected correctly you will see an entry for Windows there also. Don't panic if something isn't right. It can be fixed. :-)

Fred
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Re: Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

Postby Spewbacca on Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:49 pm

Thx! Fred

The first thing I would suggest you do is to download and burn to cd a program called "Supergrub."

Done!

1) I am assuming that your bios has the ability to support a boot out to your Linux partition. Looks like that is 18 Gig. into your partition table. Note: It probably will if the BIOS isn't too old. Most newer computers have that support in the BIOS. If this isn't the case, look into updating the BIOS before going any further.

I'm a wee bit confused :oops: The Linux partition is 6 GB (/ ) /dev/hda2 * 2255 3008 6056505 83 Linux, Windows XP: 18 GB is /dev/hda1 * 1 2254 18105223+ 7 HPFS/NTFS . The bios is the final available from
http://tinyurl.com/24xyjl
(bios_7vt6prz_f5)
Ok so now LM 4.0 has booted.
We are going to install Grub into the hard drive mbr.

Is this what you meant by saying
you can't have your cake and eat it too
?

I didn't want it in the MBR 'cause I had the opposite trouble once before. The system would boot Linux but not XP
--Spewy
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Re: Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:09 pm

Spewbacca,

OK, but you are going to have to get rid of the Windows pointer in the mbr if you want to use grub. There are other loaders, but the Windows loader will have to go to boot anything but Windows. Putting grub on the linux partition won't do anything for you. You won't be able to boot Linux with it.

Why could you not boot into Windows? I know, foolish question. If you knew that you wouldn't be here. :-)

Lets do this. Open the file /boot/grub/menu.lst and post the contents here. Let's see why you can't boot Windows. We will fix that first and maybe that will give you a little more confidence. :-)

Fred
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Re: Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

Postby Spewbacca on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:44 pm

To late...
I followed the instructions in the previous post and currently can boot both LM 4.0 or XP.
THX! a bunch Fred, that worked like a charm! :D

Now the other system build that wouldn't boot XP but did boot LM
Here's the skinny on that...
All was well with a generic 'out of the box' install until I ran the the initial apt-get update / apt-get dist-upgrade. and installed the 200+ updates. Then no more booting into XP, only LM :?

Uh oh.... :shock:
New trouble to report with the current LM4.0 system I installed the restricted nvidia driver and the screen has a scrolling pattern. I've punched the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace enough to gain a console. Got an idea to toss my way for this?

TIA
--Spewy
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Re: Dual boot - XP & Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:52 pm

Spewbacca,

Glad you got your boot problem squared away. :-)

I can't help you much with proprietary drivers. I don't use them. One of the reasons I don't, you just discovered.

Start a new thread. There are others that are much more knowledgeable on driver issues.

Fred
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