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Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

John Love_3
Regular Advisor

Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

I've got an Omnibook 900B with a 20GB drive.
I created a 10GB partition and installed Win2kPro. All is well.
Now, I want to install Linux on the other 10GB. I used Partition Magic to create the ex2fs partition on the other 10GB.
I'm a little worried about ruining the win2k install.
What is the easiest/best way to create a dual boot system on one drive split in half?


Mark Fenton
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

Since you've already partitioned the drive, you're mostly there.

The next step would be to install the Linux OS on the e2fs partition with LILO installed on the e2fs partition, NOT the MBR.

NTLDR is quite capable of loading Linux, you merely have to tell it where the Linux partition is. Any text editor can edit the boot.ini (save a backup, of course!), and all you need is a line to point to the linux partition. We set up machines in class to do the same thing (though we were using NT4.0 there, and we weren't using a single linux partition, rather a more normally formed complete install with separate /, /usr, swap and etc.)

Best of luck!
Rob Mallard
Valued Contributor

Re: Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

I am running Win2Kpro and Red Hat Linux 6.2 on my laptop. I did as you did and installed Win2K first then used Partion Magic to make a 2 GB partion for Linux (I also created a FAT32 partion to be used by Win2K and also to mounted by Linux). I, however, put the LILO loader on the MBR. I have had no problem with LILO calling the boot loader for Win2K, NT or Win98.

John Love_3
Regular Advisor

Re: Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

Strange things are afoot. I used partition magic to create a second partition (WIN2K only saw a 10GB drive, not 20GB).
I did that and rebooted. The Win2k loader came up and stopped after about 2 seconds.
Could not get it to boot.
I haven't even installed Linux yet.
Very strange!
I'm a little worried about makine lilo boot to Windows or Linux.
Rob, how is your lilo.conf file configured. Did it see the Windows partition and create a secondary (backup) boot option for it automatically?
Any other "gotcha's" I need to look out for?
Thanks again, both of you.
Mark Fenton
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

Curious! I've had win2kpro on a large (20GB) drive before and never had a problem with it seeing the whole drive.

Ron is absolutely correct that LILO can load windows 2k/nt, whatever. I just thought that since you already had the windows on, it'd be less muss and fuss to add the linux boot, like we did in class.

To quote from the book on how to get NT to load Linux:

a) Boot linux with a linux boot disk
b) dump the first 512 bytes of the boot disk to a file, here called bootsect.lnx:
# dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1

c) copy this file to the C: drive of the WindowsNT disk

-- first we have to mount the C: drive under linux, meaning we have to create a mount point for it
# mkdir /winnt
-- if the win2k drive was set up as fat32, then:
# modprobe vfat (load the fat32 support module)
# mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /winnt
# cp /bootsect.lnx /winnt

Then we booted into windows and edited the boot.ini, adding:
C:\bootsect.lnx="Redhat Linux"

The advantage to using ntloader to load linux, is that switching back to a straight windows implementation is that much easier -- no need to wipe LILO from the MBR, which, while easy to do, is easy to forget how to do.

As far as Windows not seeing a 20GB drive,I expect that it's merely because Win2K doesn't do e2fs, (which you said you'd reformatted the partition to, no?)

Additional info on dual booting systems:

among others. Try looking up "dual boot linux windows" in your favorite browser.
bob caz
Occasional Visitor

Re: Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

Just a note--I got a dual boot on my hp e60 netserver running w2kpro and mandrake 8.0.I used install disk to make partitions and use lilo to load.
John Love_3
Regular Advisor

Re: Win2kPro and Linux dual boot?

All kinds of problems. I had to remove all partitions, and re-install Win2k. Somehow, when I created the 10GB (not used by Win2k) partition with partition magic, it totally screwed up my Win2k install. It would not boot. Recovery mode, etc.. etc.. etc.. failed to fix it.
I'm a little hesitant to do anything now, but it's not in my nature to give up, so I'm sure I'll be doing it again soon.
Thanks to all!