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bootloader fails to install, then fails to work, also cant make rescue diskette

Posted on 2003-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I'm installing Mandrake 9.2 for dual boot on an XP machine.

Everything was fine but when it got to the bootloader (lilo, as default) installation stage, it gave an input-output error. I then installed grub, and it continued without error messages but whenever I reboot it just puts me straight into windows XP without any error messages. What do you think the problem is, and how should I fix it?

As well as fixing this I would also like to try out the version of linux I just installed, but I don't know how to make a rescue diskette with the system in this condition. I can get into rescue mode but because the system is so minimal, it seems not to have the mkbootdisk command. Can I download a boot disk from somewhere.. the system is a fairly standard i586? Or can you suggest a way to make one?
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Question by:glebspy
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by:b_vishwajit
ID: 9725369
Did you install XP over linux or the other way?
You should always make your partitions first and then you have to install XP first on the windows partition and Linux on the Linux partition. That should solve your problem.

The order of OSes you install matters here.
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by:glebspy
ID: 9725449
I did install XP first and then put Linux into the free space. I've never had any problem like this in the past.

I got back to the stage where it lets me make a boot disk, but it then says "mkbootdisk failed". I tried with LILO and grub, and with hda hda1 and sda for the boot device.
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paullamhkg earned 2000 total points
ID: 9736485
well you can get a linux boot disk here http://dilbert.physast.uga.edu/~andy/minilinux.html but those are just for rescue your linux system.

For how to create a boot disk have a check here http://tldp.net/HOWTO/Bootdisk-HOWTO/.

"when it got to the bootloader (lilo, as default) installation stage, it gave an input-output error" I think this is because your 1st partition is in NTFS file system, and the lilo need to seat into 1st partition, but during your linux installation it can't write the lilo into NTFS, that's why you got the input-output error.

For GRUB.

If you already have Linux installed:
Run the following command (e.g. assuming /boot is /dev/hda2): grub-install /dev/hda2.
If you don't know which partition contains /boot, run the df command and check the output.
Edit /etc/grub.conf and make sure there is an entry for your version of Windows. For reference, here is a copy of my /etc/grub.conf file.

Determine which partition contains the /boot partition by running the df command. You'll see output like this:

Filesystem           1k-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda3              8665372   1639580   6585612  20% /
/dev/hda2                46636      5959     38269  14% /boot
/dev/hda6               513776    189504    324272  37% /osshare
none                    256624         0    256624   0% /dev/shm
From this output, we see that /boot is on /dev/hda2.
Make a copy of the Linux boot sector onto a floppy or onto a FAT32 partition. We'll name this copy linux.bin.

To make a copy onto a floppy:
Mount the floppy drive if it's not mounted (assumes /mnt/floppy exists): mount -t msdos /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
Run the following command: dd if=/dev/hda2 of=/mnt/floppy/linux.bin bs=512 count=1
Substitute the path for the if= parameter (the input file) with the appropriate partition from the previous step. E.g., set if= to /dev/hda2.

To make a copy onto a FAT32 (vfat) partition:
Mount the FAT32 partition if it's not mounted yet. If it isn't listed in the df output, it hasn't been mounted yet. Check out here http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux/partition-share-HOWTO.html#linux

Run the following command: dd if=/dev/hda2 of=/osshare/linux.bin bs=512 count=1
Substitute the path for the if= parameter (the input file) with the appropriate partition from the previous step. E.g., set if= to /dev/hda2. Substitute the path for the of= parameter (the output file) with whatever is appropriate for your system. The example here (of=/osshare/linux.bin) is for copying onto a FAT32 partition called osshare.

Reboot into Windows
Copy the linux.bin file to C:\
Run notepad and edit C:\boot.ini. Note that C:\boot.ini is a hidden system file, so it probably won't show up in Windows Explorer. To edit the file, try: Start->Run and enter: notepad C:\boot.ini. Add the following line at the end: c:\linux.bin="Linux"

If your C: filesystem is NTFS (not FAT32), you must edit C:\boot.ini as a user with administrator-level privileges.
To make C:\boot.ini writable, you can either :
Use Explorer:
Go to Tools->Folder Options->View and select Show hidden files and folders and deselect Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
Right-click on the file, view the Properties and uncheck Read-only. You can now edit the file.
After editing the file, restore the settings to their original state.
Use the command-line:
Make the file writable: attrib -R -S -H C:\boot.ini.
After you've finished editing the file, put the settings back: attrib +R +S +H C:\boot.ini

here is the sample boot.ini file

[boot loader]
timeout=5
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
c:\linux.bin="Linux"

Reboot again. You should be able to pick either Windows or Linux. Selecting Linux will start GRUB


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