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Win95 and Linux

Posted on 1997-03-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I am thinking about changing to Win95 (no criticism please, its just for games :), and I would like to keep Linux running. I have heard horror stories about Win95 setup overwriting existing Linux partitions, so I was wondering wether there is a URL/document which I can look at that describes how to set up Win95 with Linux, resp Win95 with another OS ?
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Question by:ansgar
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I currently run Win95 and Linux.  They coexist quite nicely together.  A few things to keep in mind:  Win95 must reside on the primary disk and the primary partition.  Win95 is an arrogant operating system and expects to be the only one present on the machine.  Lilo (linux boot loader) must be loaded in the MBR (master boot record) although your native Linux partition can be anywhere as well as your swap.  The master boot record starts at sector 0 cylinder 0 of your primary hard drive.  When you install Win95 it will overwrite your current MBR with the dos boot loader.  The linux boot loader (lilo) will need to be restored by typing lilo at the linux promt...be sure your /etc/lilo.conf is correct.  I have never incurred any damage to my dos or Linux partitions as a result of running them on the same system...however the saftest setup is to use seperate hard drives.  The primary hardrive being dedicated to dos and the secondary hard drive being dedicated to Linux.  The times I have heard about people trashing dos/Linux partitions is when they reside on the same disk.  Do not manipulate dos partitions with linux fdisk and conversely do not manipulate linux partitions with dos fdisk.  You will definitely run into partition damage.
The dos boot loader can be restored with fdisk/MBR from dos safely if the linux loader barfs due to misconfiguration.  You can bring linux back up with a boot disk and restore lilo on the MBR after you correct the errors in your lilo.conf.  Make sure your linux and dos boot disks are good and have the required files on them ie, fdisk.exe, format.com, etc

You can get all the documentation you need from the following:

http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX-3.html,
Linux+DOS+Win95 mini-HOWTO,
LILO mini-HOWTO

http://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/Bootdisk-HOWTO.html

ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO

Lilo
Written by Werner Almesberger. Excellent boot loader, and the documentation includes information on the boot sector contents and the early stages of the boot process.
Ftp from: tsx-11.mit.edu: /pub/linux/packages/lilo/lilo.vvv.tar.gz also on sunsite and mirror sites.

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