[ILUG] State of the Booting
linux at esatclear.ie
Wed Nov 24 19:37:33 GMT 2004
Richard Corden wrote:
>>Also what are people's thoughts on bootloaders to recommend/discuss.
>>What do current installers use by default?
>I still use ntloader to start linux, mostly because thats how I first
>got it to work whever that was....
>Anyway, I see it as having 2 potential advantages for the beginner.
>Firstly, no matter what happens to linux Windows *should* continue to
>work. The only addition is the OS selection screen at startup.
>Secondly, I remember that reinstalling Windows used to get rid of the
>linux loader? Does this still happen?
>There is a negative depending on how your Windows is installed...see
Another similar option is to load grub from the boot.ini, (depending on
what's compiled into grub and how it's setup by default) grub can scan
then for a directory like boot/grub on your partitions on your devices
(be it fat, ntfs, extN, resier etc.) and load the menu.lst from there.
I came across this recently and it provides the windows will statup as
normal feature you desire while offering you the full power of grub.
On the second point, yes it still happens (2003 have any new options
anyone, I presume not). I don't think there is anything that can be
done about the issue of what a windows install does, other then
emphasising you should make sure you have a boot disk handy to recover
your bootloader for Linux if you choose to install to the mbr and want
windows around. If you don't install to the mbr then you simply need to
know where to get a copy of grub, how to install it, and have a copy of
your boot/grub somewhere that won't be overwritten in a windows install
(or be able to recreate it).
>>Finally, what are peoples personal recent (i.e. preferably on the
>>latest releases from $YOUR_FAV_DISTRO) experiences with ntfs and
>>Linux? From qtaprted resizing them to using ntfsprogs with/without
>>captive (to write and format). I'm currently doing some
>>experimenting myself and I'll let you all know how it pans out.
>When this is up and running satisfactorily, it will help the ntloader
>situation even more.
>My laptop's recover CDs automatically make the boot drive NTFS. So I
>cannot modify the boot.ini and add my boot record from linux. This
>results in copying my boot record into my FAT partition, rebooting
>into Windows and copying from the FAT to NTFS partition. A real pain!
>Especially when you're playing with building your kernel.
First off, you could use captive-ntfs to modify the boot.ini or copy the
files across, but I'm guessing you wouldn't like to risk that! So far
I can report my test ntfs partition is still alive after mkfs.ntfs, copy
in a few hundred MB with captive-ntfs (oh how slow, about 10M/minute on
a 2GHz P4M laptop), boot it into windows add and delete a few files,
back to linux and resize the partition in half, back to windows and fill
the device to with 300k, back into linux and do some deletes and file
adds and then resize it back out, back to windows ... you get the
idea! I'll keep toying with it and see if it breaks! Unfortunately I
had to drop to the command line to do the expansion (this may be because
I was booted from the drive, not the partition, but the drive) though
qtparted did the shrinking just fine (once, on a linux made simple ntfs
partition! the next time I try will be a tougher test).
But if you use the grub method, it's one step! Edit the boot.ini once
per windows install, add a single line to add a grub option. That's
it! Now you can put your boot/grub/menu.lst on whatever type of
partition you want (and move it at will though remember the first one
will be used, though you can set up menu entries to chain load more of
them if you want).
I learnt about this (and have tested and use the code from)
Be warned, it's 15 pages of a thread in a forum, lots of rambling and in
many ways not exactly relevant to this!
The code I mention is simply grub to run from boot.ini with dos/ntfs and
I failed miserably trying to find a simple floppy image of a bare grub
on my searches so far, so if anyone knows where such a thing could be
found, and if someone knows somewhere else we could link to a grub
suitable for using from boot.ini on ntfs, let me know.
This the approach I intend to document for Windows for those who don't
want to give their mbr to grub/lilo/???
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