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How to boot Linux using floppy in dual boot scenario?

Posted on 2003-12-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I would like to dual boot Redhat Linux 9 and XP but have Linux boot only from floppy so as not to have to modify the MBR.  What is the best procedure for this using Redhat 9 and XP?  I have XP installed now...

Thanks for any insight!
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Question by:davis
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by:paulqna
ID: 9860246
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by:sr75
sr75 earned 25 total points
ID: 9861301
If you do not want to change the Windows MBR, there is a way to have it boot Linux.

Run this from the command line with a floppy in the drive

  dd if=</> of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1

(</> represents the location of your root filesystem, probably /dev/hdb2). This creates a file of the first 512 bytes of your / and this is exactly what windows needs to boot linux.

Copy 'bootsect.lnx' to a floppy to transfer to Windows.

Boot into windows and get your bootsect.lnx file and put it wherever you want
 
Now you have to add a line to boot.ini. (do a search and open it.  After you modified it close with X and save)
   "C:\<bootsect.lnx's path>="RedHat Linux 9 (shrike)"

   [boot loader]
   timeout=30
   default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
   [operating systems]
   multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
   C:\bootsect.lnx="RedHat Linux 9 (Shrike)"
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by:davis
ID: 9861951
Two quick questions:

1- If I were to follow the procedure above, would the Floppy be necessary to boot? (that is what I am looking for)

2- If I wanted to remove Linux, all that is needed is to remove the partitions and all is gone?  Anything else necessary?

thanks!

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by:sr75
ID: 9862707
1.  Only when doing the disk dump (dd) of the /.  after that Windows should be able to load the file you create and copy to windows.  This will allow you to multi-boot windows and linux and not change the windows MBR.

2.  Yes.  and remove the Boot.ini entry.  Then that is it.
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pjedmond earned 100 total points
ID: 9866468
During the install of RH 9.0 you get the opportunity to make a boot floppy. This floppy enables you to boot without altering the MBR or any of the non Linux partitions - basically when you want to boot into linux, insert the floppy, when you don't, then don't. When asked whether you want to insert a boot loader anywhere just say no:)

By doing it this way, you don't even need to change the boot.ini file
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by:arn0ld
ID: 9871562
To avoid removing the diskettte, you can use lilo (or grub- i do not use it) -
create lilofd.conf containing (e.g.):
boot=/dev/fd0  ## MUST

other=/dev/hda1
table=/dev/hda
label=Windows

image=/vmlinuz #or /boot/vmlinuz
label=Linux
root=/dev/hda2

Then
lilo  -v -v   -C   lilofd.conf

==Even Better==
If you :
fdformat  /dev/fd0h1440
mke2fs /dev/fd0
mount /dev/fd0   /mnt/fd0
cp /vmlinuz to /mnt/fd0
, you can add to the conf:

image=/mnt/fd0/vmlinuz
        label=LnxFlop
        root=/dev/hda2

and have a semi-quasi rescue diskette.

BTW, I ALWAYS boot from floppy - great grief avoider

And, of course, get  toms:    http://www.toms.net/~toehser/rb/

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by:davis
ID: 9876405
Thanks very much for the feedback!  
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by:boyzen
ID: 11904071
Her's is my QUESTION!

I installed redhat 9.0 a few months ago, but now I've lost the boot diskette.The default OS on my system is win XP which means I can't boot from linux during startup.  How do I edit boot.ini to see the 2 options to get access to linux again?
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