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Lilo booting WinNT,95,Linux on 3 seperate HD's

Posted on 1997-06-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Hi!

To the point:  I've got Win95 on my first EIDE hard disk
(hda) and Linux on my second EIDE hard disk (hdb).  I dual
boot with LILO which is located on the hda's (drive c's)
MBR.

I just scrapped a hard drive from an older computer and got
it working with this current computer.  It is currently an
empty drive formatted as DOS, fully recognized by my bios.

My configuration is:
hda - Win95
hdb - Linux
hdc - new drive.(I want to make this WinNT 4.0)
hdd - CDROM

I wish to add NT:
I've worked with NT4.0 and I'm aware that it has it's own
bootloader.  I know this will interfere with my LILO
bootloader configuration.

Questions:
1.  I've read that LILO is only bootable from the first two
drives. Namely, in my case, hda and hdb.  Does this mean
that I won't be able to boot my hdc (WinNT) from within
LILO?
OR ...
does this mean that you can only write the MBR to the first
two drives..which, in my case, has been done since the MBR
is on hda already?  This this "first 2 drives" limitation of
LILO something that I need to be concerned with judging from
my current configuration?

2. I have data on hda and hdb that I dare not risk losing.
Is the safest way to proceed to? ...
        a. Make a WIN95 boot disk with CDROM drivers.
        b. Disconnect hda and hdb COMPLETELY from computer.
      (protect my MBR on hda as well as all my data on both)
        c. Boot up Win95 boot disk with CDROM drivers and
           install WinNT4.0 from hdd (CDROM) to hdc.
         (I'm guessing that I might have to switch hdc and
          hdd to hda and hdb respectively, for the NT
          installation.  The Primary chain may need to be
          filled first?)
        d.  WinNT will be loaded on hdc and whatever NT
           Bootloader is added will at least not have
           touched my real Bootloader on hda which I will
           put back on when I put my drives physically back
           on the computer again (step e.)

        e.  Reinstall the hard disks back into their
            original configuration hda, hdb, hdc, hdd.
        f.  edit lilo.conf to reflect WinNT option.
        g. run sbin/lilo

        voila?

Anyone who has any advice as to whether this seems reasonable, please let me know.  The main thing to know is
that I can't fiddle with repartioning and installing the
OS's in a certain order.
It needs to be this way.
I have Win95 and Linux currently and need to figure out a
way to ADD WinNT to my current system using the 3rd disk on
hdc.
Thanks!
-Stephen
smatteso@silcom.com
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Question by:smatteso
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Expert Comment

by:n3mtr
ID: 1627875
Try these places for more info:
http://www.linuxhq.com/HOWTO/mini/Linux+NT-Loader
http://www.linuxhq.com/HOWTO/mini/Linux+WinNT

If you want a real answer up the points.
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Author Comment

by:smatteso
ID: 1627876
Increased points from an insulting 12.5 to a reasonable 150.

I'd just like to reemphasize my concern over using LILO to
boot all 3 drives.  I've read that LILO can only boot
from the first 2 drives.  If I load WinNT on the 3rd IDE drive,
will it mean I can't use LILO to boot WinNT?  If so,
is it possible to boot to WinNT4.0 from floppies?  Will the
WinNT bootloader be able to function better with booting
NT from my 3rd drive, hdc?  Is everything I've heard about
LILO's limitations true?

Thanks for the comment n3mtr!
-Stephen Matteson
smatteso@silcom.com

 
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by:
n3mtr earned 600 total points
ID: 1627877
Answer below(I like to lock the question before beginning a long answer)
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Expert Comment

by:n3mtr
ID: 1627878
Q1: Lilo is able to boot the 3rd and 4th drive as long as they are supported by your bios and the OS can take being loaded from those drives(I'm sure NT can).
Q2: I'm not sure if it will work, I'm not an NT GURU.  NT may complain being moved from hda to hdc.  If you have the time, it seems like the safest way. Give it a try.
The other way would be to backup your MBR from all drives(that would include partitions). And then install NT.  You will then have to check your partitions and reinstall lilo from a boot disk(adding NT).
Steer clear of NT's disk administrator; I've heard it has messed up some peoples linux setup(partitions).
comment back if you have any questions.
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Expert Comment

by:n3mtr
ID: 1627879
BTW NT loader can be setup to boot linux, but everytime you run lilo(change kernal or option in lilo.conf) you have to set it up again.  LILO in the MBR is the way to go.
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Author Comment

by:smatteso
ID: 1627880
n3mtr,
Cool.  So it looks like keeping LILO as my boot loader is
not only possible, but also the way to go.
You pretty much answered all my essential questions.
The only thing left to do is to actually do it!
As with anything involving computers, I'm sure it will be
absolutely trouble-free, no problems! <with a hint of sarcasm>
Thanks,
Stephen

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