3 OS in a PC

Is that possible to have Win98, Win NT and Linux into a single PC ?
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tanc02Asked:
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tromadorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This is no problem at all.

Install Windows 9X first, then Windows NT - remembering to save room for the Linux partition.

Then install Linux, ideally you want the root filesystem on the first HDD.

Set the active partition to be the root filesystem of the Linux install, and configure Lilo to load either Linux or Windows 9X (from it's partition). Install Lilo into the Linux Bootsector, cos NT sometimes gets upset about it being in the MBR.

Then, to boot linux, go direct from Lilo. To boot 9X/NT, choose the 9x partition from Lilo, and use the standard Microsoft boot menu to choose between 9X and NT.

Just remember the following tips.

Partition the primary drive so that you can include at least a basic root filesystem on it, even if you are going to mount /usr or some such from another drive.

If you want to access the windows partition from all 3 operating systems, make sure it's FAT16. Do this by saying 'N' when MS-DOS fdisk asks about support for large drives.
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j2Commented:
Yes, and easy too.

http://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm

And just read the instructions.

Also read

http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/mini/Linux+NT-Loader.html
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Just install LILO through the expert mode and you should be ok. Install it to the MBR. Just remember to mark every partition that has a different OS as bootable and to leave Linux as being the first partition, first HD.
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tanc02Author Commented:
EatEmAndSmile, can you give me more information on your
comment. I like that ! Because I think it will be easy to
do and j2's suggestion only works on the first Fat16, and
I must have Fat32.
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j2Commented:
EatEmAndSmiles comment won't work with a FAT32 boot partition either. NT _requires_ the active boot partition to be Fat16 or NTFS.
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Well, I've succesfully installed both Linux and Winblows 98 (FAT32) on a friend of mine's computer with the option to select your OS at boot time or just hitting ENTER or waiting a few seconds for it to boot into Linux.

 All I've got to do was make sure Linux was in hda1, then I ran liloconfig, used the expert mode, added a Linux entry and the Winblows entry, then I installed it to the MBR and that's all. I've used a very up-to-date version of LILO, though. The one that comes with Slackware 7.0.

 Tell me if you need more tips.
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j2Commented:
Ok, tanc02 said he required NT to be part of the multiboot. NT _requires_ fat16 or NTFS on the active boor partition.
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jomysterCommented:
Probably, I have two operating systems on my computer on drive C:. I guess that as long as you have enough harddrive space you can. I would be a bit worried about partitions(FAT32) or something so I wouldn't.
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jomysterCommented:
Yes, I believe it is if you have a bunch of different drives and a different partition for each because NT needs fat16 or something. Windows 98 is FAT32 and with Linux (the one I'm using anyway) you don't need to change partitions.
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Hmmm, I don't want to mess with your goals, tanc... But while reading these last posts, I was thinking about this Windows 98, NT thing... Wouldn't you be satisfied with Windows 2000 only? I've heard it's a mix of NT and 9X... Just a thought... I'm not used to the Win world for a long time...
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tromadorCommented:
No good, Win 2K workstation doesn't even support NTFS, AFAIK. Win2K server is not likely to be on the shelves for some time yet.

We'll have to wait a while before they merge the 2 source tree's properly.
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j2Commented:
w2k supports NTFS / NTFS5 / FAT16 / FAT32.

Win2k has gone gold and has been shipped to duplication a week or two back.

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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Regardless of any limitations, we should care only with our friend's use for Windows... If he could attend to all of his applications with a single Windows version, it would be nicer.

 I'm just lost about all of this filesystem discussion. Looked to me that tanc02 doesn't care about the filesystem used, since it works. So he could partition and format his hd the way he wants... I dunno.
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j2Commented:
Eat: Wrong.

He cannot "not care" since the various OS's _requires_ certain filesystem prerequisites.
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tromadorCommented:
Not necessarily, J2.

He could run the whole thing on FAT16, including the linux, but only if he used UMSDOS (yack!) for the Linux install.

Of course he would lose the additional functionality provided by NTFS under NT, and he would be using the most horrid way of running Linux, but it *is* possible.
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tromadorCommented:
Not necessarily, J2.

He could run the whole thing on FAT16, including the linux, but only if he used UMSDOS (yack!) for the Linux install.

Of course he would lose the additional functionality provided by NTFS under NT, and he would be using the most horrid way of running Linux, but it *is* possible.
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j2Commented:
Yes, that is what i said, by doing that he would have found a common denominator among the requirements / options. Nothing new there.
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
As I said before... Depends only of the application tanc02 will have for the system. I don't get it. What's the problem about having an ext2 partition, a swap partition and then another FAT / FAT32 / NTFS partition? I don't get it, what's the problem?
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j2Commented:
The problem is (once more) that NT _requires_ the active boot partition and the NT boot partition (MS definition of Boot partition here) to be Fat16 or NTFS.
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Ok, then format it either as FAT16 or NTFS. I still don't see a problem about it.
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tromadorCommented:
No, it doesn't.

You can use Lilo to boot the FAT or NTFS partition, even if the active partition is the EXT2 partition.

When NT installs, it will change the active partition, but you can change it back later.

I successfully ran a 9X/NT/Linux/Netware quadruple boot machine using this methodology for over 6 months.
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j2Commented:
Yes, that means the boot partition is fat16 or NTFS. Note that i said "Microsoft definition of boot partition"
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tromadorCommented:
OK - OK, I think we actually agree here, and I'm not going to argue the semantics of it :).
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tanc02Author Commented:
I am confused, can I run my wish on Fat32 ?
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
tanc02: Yes, you can. That was the case when I made the installation I mentioned above.
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j2Commented:
No, NT will not work if you choose Fat32.
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
I believe there's a big miscommunication problem here... Let's put things straight:

 Answering to the question, yes it is possible to do what you want, just create your partitions, like:

 hda1 - Linux Native (for Linux root)
 hda2 - Linux Swap
 hda3 - NTFS / FAT16 (for Windows NT)
 hda4 - FAT32 / FAT16 (for Windows 9X)

 The swap partition is the only you don't need to mark as bootable.

 You could also have only hda3 instead of hda3 and hda4 for Windows 2000. I believe W2K would meet your needs for WinNT and Win9X.

 After installing you Windozes, you may need to boot Linux with the installation CD or a boot disk once more to rerun "lilo". Sometimes Windows installations screw with the MBR, but after running "lilo" again, it would be restored.

 Try it and tell me what you get.

 Don't forget to install LILO to the MBR.
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j2Commented:
tanc02: Tromador seems to have performed this precise operation, which makes him a good source.

Eatemandsmile is a stated "windows hater" who hasnt (according to his own statements) even been running NT.

I myself has been running NT for quite some years, and never got a reliable setup with anything else then a fat16 system partition (MS definitions here). (Especially not since the NTFS filesystems where altered in SP4 and SP6 afaik)

I would take whatever advice Tromador gives you,seeming that he has had this in a stable enviroment,  and pretty much disregard most of the comments made by EatEm.
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Oh, my... Man, you're the one... :)

 Didn't I agree with tromador?

 I don't hate Windows, I just don't use it for my own health. I've been working with WinNT for about one year, so I guess I understand a little bit how it works.

 tanc02 really appreciated my suggestion, and I'm trying to make sure he succeed on his problem. tromador has also contributed a lot. I really dunno why you keep posting replies to every post of mine (in every thread I'm involved, it seems) only to try to prove that you're right and I am wrong. I thought this forum was up to help people, not to check out who's Mr. Knows It All.
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tromadorCommented:
EatEmAndSmile - no. You must *NOT* install Lilo into the MBR, as NT can hate that (depends on the precise partition structure).

You install Lilo into the boot sector of the Linux root partition, but tell it that it can also boot the main windows partition.

Only the Linux partition is marked bootable, as any other configuration is illegal in any case.

J2, trust me, you can do it with NTFS :). There are no changes in SP4, or SP6 that I am aware of, otherwise I would be having problems with all my NT servers here in the office, or needing to run some kind of conversion program, which I haven't.

My partition structure (when I did it) was this.

HDD 0
Partition 1: Primary DOS FAT16 Partition (95/Netware dos component Installed here)
Partition 2: Linux EXT2 (Mounted on /). Bootable - Lilo in boot sector
Partition 3: Linux Swap
Partition 4: NTFS (NT installed here)

HDD 1
Partition 1: Linux EXT2 (Mounted on /usr)
Partition 2: Netware SYS: Volume

My /etc/lilo.conf was something like..

boot = /dev/hda1
delay = 50
vga = normal    # force sane state
image = /vmlinuz
  root = /dev/hda1
  label = Linux
other = /dev/hda3
  label = dos
  table = /dev/hda
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tromadorCommented:
Hmm... in retrospect, that lilo.conf is completely wrong for the partition table I describe... this would be more correct.

boot = /dev/hda2
delay = 50
vga = normal
image = /vmlinuz
  root = /dev/hda2
  label = Linux
other = /dev/hda1
  label = dos
  table = /dev/hda

That'll teach me to do too much cut and pasting without looking first :)
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EatEmAndSmileCommented:
Hmmm... Just to add: What about vga = extended?
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tromadorCommented:
Irrelevant to the question in hand, but vga = normal is always safe.
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Lars_GCommented:
TANC02: to resume the little flamewar we had around here: YES it can be done, not it is not as terrible or hard as it looks, and third, I give a small advice of my own (I have right now that same on my machine, I got linux, win98 and winNT 4.0 at the same time) I would recommend for you to make two windows 95/98 partitions, a booteable fat16 small (bout 400-500 Mb for including drivers) partition where you install your system... and a larger fat32 one for normal use.... this way NT doesn't gets picky about fat32 in the main boot partition (if you install windows 98 first that is) and also your configurations drivers and system's most important data for win98 is located in a drive in a file system you can read, use, work on and repair booting from any dos, win 95 0, win95 A, win 95 B or win 98 floppy....

Attently. Lars.
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