Posted on 1998-04-28
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I want to install dos, win95, & Red Hat Linux on a pc using the SYSTEM COMMANDER Boot manager.  I had dos & win95 on my pc, installed system commander and things were working perfectly.  I tried to install linux & had trouble.  So, my question is, i have now formatted the drive & am ready to start over - what is the best method - i.e. dos first, then linux, then system commander or dos, system commander then linux.  As you probably know, system commander writes to the master boot record.  Linux also gives you the option to write to the master boot record or first - i forget - root partition...  The last time i tried (ran the linux install) , i put it in the master boot record ( although system commander was already there maybe this was part of the problem )?  I have succesfully installed redhat linux already, and this entails creating a "native linux" partition during setup - I assume this still necessary using system commander, is this true?

Thank you!
Question by:xjeffk
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Author Comment

ID: 1626900
Edited text of question

Expert Comment

ID: 1626901
Heheh this ones simple. First make sure that you have a separate partition set aside for Linux (usually 500M or more is perfect). Then go through and install win95 and or dos. After that install Linux. I hope you know how to do that if not drop me a line and I will give ya a hand
After win95 is installed then immediately install system commander from a floppy disk and reboot. Here SC will recognize win95 and DOS (if DOS is on a separate partition). It would make the most sense though to install DOS first. Then install SC. Then reboot. Then install win95 and reboot. Then install Linux. During the install of Linux it is going to ask you where you want to install lilo (linux's boot manager). There are usually 3 choices
1. Master Boot Record
2. The linux parition (not the exact wording but the same context)
3. And floppy disk

I always choose #2. This way it wont overwrite system commander. Then when you reboot again system commander will show linux. When you choose linux it will then say
lilo boot:
Here you can type linux
and voila there ya go.
If this is your first time installing Linux it can be a real pain so let me know if ya need any help


Expert Comment

ID: 1626902
Could you tell me what is the version of your Window 95? Is SR1 or SR2.

If your window is SR1 , then you can install Dos first , then window 95, then Linux. You don't have to have "SC".
If you got SR2 , then Dos, window 95, "SC", then Linux

both case in Linux , choose update master boot record.

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Expert Comment

ID: 1626903
You don't really need to use System Commander.  Even if you have OSR 2 for Win95, the new versions of LILO can recognize FAT 32 partitions, which is what OSR 2 really gives you.  I would suggest just using LILO to boot all of your partitions.  I would install linux first, use linux's fdisk to partition your hardrive however you want it, then set up LILO to boot your new (now empty) partitions for dos and windows.  Install DOS or Windows in any order, by first using a bootdisk and then by booting to that particular partition when it asks you to restart to finish installing.

If you are hooked on System Commander, though, I'd do win95, dos, then linux, installing System Commander after you install windows.

Hope this helps
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 1626904
Use lilo.

Expert Comment

ID: 1626906
I have noticed that you are all hung up on system commander.  I concur with Sylver in the fact that you don't need SC to do this.  Dos comes with a little menu configuration module (this is the way I think of it) built into dos.  The pertinent commands can easily be found in in dos.  

I have been using this setup to allow me to boot up to linux using loadlin.exe or windows 95.  Starting up in dos mode is a bit more tricky.  First you have to attrib msdos.sys from read only, hidden, and system file just so you can change to params near the top of the file.  They are bootgui=1 and bootmulti=1.

Now of course, using this also assumes that you are familiar with how to create a zImage and have loadlin.exe.

If I haven't been clear enough or you need more info, please drop me a message at

Author Comment

ID: 1626907
drop the question

Accepted Solution

sverkooijen earned 100 total points
ID: 1626908
SC makes a copy of your original MBR in his own directory, i think its called boot.mbr.
Install dos, windows , linux ( lilo in mbr ) then sc.
copy boot.mbr to c:\linux.mbr and configure sc to boot from image linux.mbr.
restore your windows mbr, by booting with win95bootflop en then fdisk /mbr or sys c:

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