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Boot loader question for suse 9.1 -- newbie

Posted on 2004-09-28
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OK.  Multi part question. Shouldn't be too hard to answer. Just long. I have a 2 HD system.  All hardware is good for suse 9.1.  I have xp pro installed on first partion (c: -- 90 GB) on disk 2.  I have server 2003 (f: -- 20GB)installed on second partition on first hd.  Disk 1 is only for data.  Both hd are s-ata (no primary, secondary, master, or slave).  I used partition magic to create a 10 GB partition (Ext2) after my server 2003 partition for the linux install and a 1 GB partition for the linux swap file.  I tried to install linux once before. I think it did something to my mbr but i'm not sure.  I know that grub or lilo has to be installed within the 8GB, 1024 cylinder of the hd, but how can I do this if i want to install linux as my third partition -- 110GB after the 1024 cylinder.  I am obviously a newbie so I need step by step instructions on how to install suse, which boot loader to use, the boot loader location (default is 1.SCSI, 186.30 GB, /dev/sda, ATA-WDC WD2000JD-OOH (MBR)) the disk order (default is /dev/sda,/dev/sdb), available sections, active boot loader partition (default = no), replace code in mbr (default = no), add saved mbr to boot loader menu (default = no).  Should I set mount point of dev/sdb5 to /windows/C? Also, after partition magic set up the linux partition, i didn't get the normal option to boot into my two windows OSes.  It said that no OS was present.  I'm not sure if that was supposed to happen.  Maybe first partition was not active?  I really want to understand how this stuff works (MBR, lilo, how boot loaders of lnux and windows can work together).  To visuallized the hard disk situation:


disk1: _________________________________________________________________
         |                           (e:) data dev/sda                                                            |
         --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

disk2: ___________________________________________________________________________________________
         | (c:) xp pro                     |  (f:) server 2003               |    linux ext2     |  swap  |  empty space                    |
         |     90GB                         |    20GB                             |    10GB           |   1GB   |      30GB                          |
         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Question by:atistler
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by:jlevie
ID: 12176781
You can use PartitionMagic or parted to shift all of the partitions on disk2 down by about 100Mb and use that for a Linux /boot partition. Or you could squeeze the partition on disk1 and leave room for a 100Mb /boot at the beginning of the disk. Before futzing with the partitions like that I highly recommend doing a full backup of your system, just in case something goes "horribly wrong".
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by:atistler
ID: 12177269
so why does server 2003 boot up ok? that is not within the first 8gb of disk 2.  can i just install the /boot loader of linux (grub or lilo) in the first 100mb and install the rest at the end of the disk.  how do i do that. sorry for being such an idiot.
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jlevie earned 500 total points
ID: 12180863
>  so why does server 2003 boot up ok? that is not within the first 8gb of disk 2

The boot loaders work differently for windows & linux.

> can i just install the /boot loader of linux (grub or lilo) in the first 100mb and install the rest at the end of the disk

Yes, that's the idea. All that's needed is a Linux partition, say 50-100Mb, entirely located below the 8Gb boundry. The rest of the Linux installation can be anywhere.

Since there's no free space on either of your disks within that range it becomes necessary to use a partition manipulation tool to move things around to make room for the /boot partition at the beginning of the disk, see above.
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by:atistler
ID: 12192868
ok, still cant figure it out.  grub messed with my mbr so i had to do some stuff with bootcfg and used boot magic. i think grub changed my active partition and disabled my xp partition.  Is there an easier way to install linux using boot magic? Can I put grub on a fat32 primary partition at the beginning of disk 2 along with boot magic and then make that the active partition? Do I have any idea about what i'm talking about? Probably not. Or is it easier to put the linux boot (grub) on hd0 (a: drive) and keep the linux system and swap partitions where they are?  What do I write in grub to recognize these partitions?  Help me please!!
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by:jlevie
ID: 12194382
What I'd do is to make room for a /boot (50-100MB) partition at the beginning of your boot drive, which I presume is disk2, and install Grub in that disk's MBR. Then you can configure Grub to boot either OS.
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