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Debian/XP Dual boot


i installed linux debian on my machine first and then i installed XP on top. i am now not being able to dual boot as the grub loader doesnt appear. it goes straight to XP. i would like to boot Debian Progeny 2.0 DE via XP's boot loader if possible.

id appreciate your help
1 Solution
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
try to find the old "boot magic" somewhere and install it

if u cant get it
search for anything working as a "Boot Manager"

ur debian aint lost anyway
Windows has replaced the bootloader in the master boot record.
You can boot from your debian install disk and re-install the boot loader (grub or lilo).  
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To use the NT boot loader from XP you will need to create a BOOTSECT.LNX file. Boot into Linux and run this command:

dd if=/dev/hdb# of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1

Replace the pount sign (#) with the value of your Linux /boot partition. If you did not create a separate /boot partition then use the value that points to the root (/) partition. Now copy the file bootsect.lnx to the root of your C: drive. Then create an entry in the boot.ini file under ther [operating systems] section like this:

C:\BOOTSECT.LNX="Debian Linux"

If you want Linux to be the OS loaded automatically then change the default line in the [boot loader] section to this:


Note the file is normally hidden and read only. You will need to clear the read only attribute to save the edited file.
fmh002Author Commented:
i ended up re installing debian as i had no way to log on to debian os.

now the bootloader is that of debian.

strokesj56 let me try doing what you have suggested.
fmh002Author Commented:
i read the debian manual and i concluded that there is no way this can be done.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
fmh002 - I disagree - My post had a link with instructions for doing this, instructions which were effectively quoted by Stokesj56.  There was no feedback on these suggestions, just fmh002's post saying he read the manual.  While that's always a good thing, there are clear instructions of how to do this.  If there was no way to boot into linux, that should have been posted, as there are several ways to get into linux using boot cds and telling the loader which install of linux to load.
fmh002Author Commented:
"i ended up re installing debian as i had no way to log on to debian os.
now the bootloader is that of debian.
strokesj56 let me try doing what you have suggested."

if you read my quote well you will realise that there is a sentence that says there was no way i could boot into linux. and the feedback was posted.

secondly your instructions did not work as debian has got a different version of grub that progeny ppl have customised.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You posted the comment of "no way to log on to debian" AND that you reinstalled it.  If you First said "How can boot debian now, because XP's taken over, someone would have told you how.  For example, one way would be to boot Knoppix and fix it from there.

Did you TRY the solution of making GRUB boot with the XP loader?  Did you POST the results of the attempt?  Did you try to upgrade GRUB to a newer/different version?

There were several suggestions of what to do and no feedback from you on the results.  The next posting was three lines of a less than detailed response of what'd been going on.  Followed a week later by a comment that the manual says it can't be done.  I don't feel the options for doing this were adaquately explored by you and that the question in and of itself has been answered, well enough to be PAQ'd and not Deleted.
fmh002Author Commented:
well, whatever the case, the point is that i am no longer interested in this post and my problem is not existing anymore. i have got over it and now im trying to figure out whom to give the points. i do not want to waste my time and i have clearly mentioned that i could not log on to debian. if you want to discuss and justify this and that please go ahead. i will simply split the points equally between the others.
Closed, 100 points refunded.
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