Dual boot installation Q

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Sun, 20 Aug 2006 00:31:30

Q from a newbie--so sorry if this is a FAQ (I can't imagine that it
isn't,) but I've been banging my head against the wall for two days now
to try to figure this out. I'd like to create a dual boot win
xp/redhat linux install, and xp already exists on the machine. I have
6 drives on the system, and they all show up in xp. I'd like to
install one as Linux. When I run the Linux setup program, only one
disk shows up--the master xp disk, which I've just repartitioned, and
placed xp on one partition. For the life of me, I can't figure out how
to install Linux on one of the external drives--when I boot from the
CD-ROM install disk, and it goes through its installation procedure,
the *only* drive that shows up is "a", the xp master.

Conceptually, I think I need to get the boat loader on the master, have
xp on the master, and some small part of Linux that then directs to the
external drive. But I can't figure out how to do that.

Can anyone help?
Many TIA,

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Douglas Ma » Sun, 20 Aug 2006 00:58:40


The first step is to properly described how your drives are installed
and named. GNU/Linux uses standard unix nomenclature to describe drives,
and Windows does not.

Note: comment inline.

If your target disc for RH is an external USB disk, then that is a
somewhat more difficult problem than installing to an internal disc.
To give more help, you will need to provide more and better
information. What RedHat version are you trying to install?

I'll just stop right here, because a lot of posts come from outer
space. The fly-by posters never respond to requests for more information.
I don't know if you're one of "them" or not ;-)

Douglas Mayne


Dual boot installation Q

Post by Nico Kadel » Sun, 20 Aug 2006 07:49:33

It also sounds like the other 5 drives are on a controller that the Linux
distribution's kernel is failing to recognize. Read what your BIOS reports
about installed drives, then use the "fdisk -l" with a Knoppix CD or your
Linux distribution's "rescue" disk to verify that it sees all the drives.

And don't forget to tell us what your drive controller is, and your Linux

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 01:23:09

Thanks super, Nico & Marcus. I promise I'm not a post and disappearer!
I run a Solaris box at work, need Linux for gEDA (the circuit
schematic suite) and really really want to get this dual boot up and
working on this box. I was out of usenet range for two days, but now
I'm back and itching to get this working!

It "feels right" that my problem is that my drive controller is not
being recognized during the install. The motherboard is an ASUS P5LD2
with 5 IDE Ultra ATA ports and 4 Serial ATA ports on board. All 5 IDE
ports are populated, and I just populated the SATA port with a drive
(that Windows recognizes, but Linux install does not) that I'd like to
run the Linux on. Windows hardware manager reports these for the
on-board controllers: Intel 82801GB Serial ATA Storage Controller and
Intel 82801GB Ultra ATA Storage Controller. CPU is 3.01 GHz Pentium D
and 2 GB on-board RAM.

I'm not sure what the Red Hat Linux distribution is. How can I
determine that from the install CDs? They're a vanilla set that the
University I work at distributes, and are recent as of 3/2006.

Can you give me more information about:

What are you looking for in the BIOS for me to post? I'm unfamiliar
with a "Knoppix CD" (although I'm certainly going to Google that!) And
I have a 4 CD distribution--I don't see a "rescue disk".

Or any other ideas you may have about getting the setup to recognize my

Many, many TIA!

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Nico Kadel » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 02:44:00

It should say at boot time, or you should be able to mount it on a Windows
box and read the README or other files on it. I'd definitely work with a
very up-to-date distribution to get this to work, such as Fedora Core 5.
Supporting the piece of ill-designed, undocumented boards-of-the-munite some
vendors make is very difficult. I've had decent success with ASUS, but
sometimes needed an updated kernel.

You should be able to boot CD 1 in "rescue mode", by typing "linux rescue".
That'll give you a bare minumum OS from the CD itself that can be used to
probe your hardware. RedHat and Fedora also make "rescue" CD images that are
usable for the same technique. It's sometimes easier to make a new rescue CD
and use that to install from installation CD's than to update the kernel on
an installation CD.

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 05:01:39

hanks *super*, Nico. Armed with the data that my drives *should* show
up, and that the installer wasn't finding my controller, I grabbed an
espresso and headed to Borders to pick up Sobell's "Practical Guide to
Red Hat Linux" which contains a Fedora Core 5 DVD in the back, and,
which on going through the install sequence, *does* find all my drives!
I'm now going to re-repartition my root drive back to its original
single partition and restore Windows, then go through the Linux
install. I'm sure I'll have a few more setup questions, but until
then, many many thanks!

Nico Kadel-Garcia wrote:


Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 07:22:21

...and here is stoopid question number one! When installing, with
GRUB, when asked what my default OS should be, I chose hda, my Windows
installation. Now, after installing, Windows boots up, no screen to
choose linux! Should there be such a screen? I can't get into my
newly installed linux!

Many TIA!

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Nico Kadel » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 08:43:53

Where did you instal lthe new boot loader? You should have installed it to
the first bootable drive seen, normally /dev/hda, but in your part-SATA,
part-ATA mix of drives, you probably need to have a talk with and configure
your BIOS to use the same device as you selected to have the boot loader.

It should *NOT* be on the /dev/hda1 partition specifically, unless you want
to have lots of other fun.

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 09:31:18

The box next to "The GRUB boot loader will be installed on /dev/hda" is

Two lines appear below:
Fedora core /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 (which is checked as default)
Other /dev/hda

When the system reboots, it reboots into windows. No choice. Any

Many TIA

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 13:07:09

I've been fooling around with this all night. If I set my boot
sequence in BIOS to the IDE drive that windows is on, then the SATA
drive that linux is on, then in the advanced section of the GRUB setup
in the install, set up the boot sequence to match, and have the MBR put
on sda (the SATA drive), then linux will boot, but the only GRUB
choices are "other" (hda1) which just sits there doing nothing, and the
linux boot--e.g. no windows.

I do sort of have a dual boot system now, though--I can change the boot
order in BIOS to start with either the IDE drive that windows is on or
the SATA drive that linux is on to select the OS, but it seems kind of
ugly to use the BIOS each time to select the OS.

It seems that my GRUB isn't able to boot windows.

Any ideas?

BTW, I really do love this linux when I'm in it :)

Dual boot installation Q

Post by SaGS » Wed, 23 Aug 2006 17:05:27

If [the] Linux [bootloader] won't boot Windows, maybe [the] Windows
[bootloader] will boot Linux.
suggests this is simple enough; start reading at "There is another way
if my above suggestion doesn't work....". Note that I didn't try this
myself, sa cannot say whether it works or not.

Dual boot installation Q

Post by Dude » Thu, 24 Aug 2006 03:48:46

Thanks super, SaGS. I tried the "another way" in that link, but all
that happens is "GRUB" appears on the screen with a flashing cursor.
Any ideas how to debug? Thanks!

Dual boot installation Q

Post by SaGS » Fri, 25 Aug 2006 17:16:40

gt; ... I tried the "another way" in that link, but all

I tested the "another way" yesterday, and it worked fine.

Here's what I did:

(A) Started with
- 1st hd (IDE Primary Master):
- 8G NTFS partition with WinXP up and running
- 8G unpartitioned space (I intended to test-install a 2nd
Linux version here, but did not for lack of time)
- 2nd hd (IDE Primary Slave):
- 8G, unpartitioned.

(B) Goal: install Fedora Core 5 on 2nd hd, and use the WinXP
bootloader to switch OSes.

(C) Booted form FC5 Install CD #1 and started the installation.
(C.1) At "Select the drive(s) to use for this installation" I
unchecked "[ ] hda" and let only "[x] hdb" checked,
because I didn't want to touch the WinXP disk.
(C.2) Let it create default partitions. Here is what it did:
v LVM Volume Groups
v VolGroup00
LogVol01 swap
LogVol02 / ext3
v Hard drives
v /dev/hda
/dev/hda1 ntfs 8G
Free free space 8G
v /dev/hdb
/dev/hdb1 /boot ext3 102M
/dev/hdb2 VolGroup00 LVM DV 8G
(C.3) Selected "(o) The GRUB boot loader will be installed on
"/dev/hda" and "[x] Customize ..." (or something similar)
at the bottom. The list with OSes to boot has 2 lines, one
for Fedora on "/dev/hdb1" and one "Other" on "/dev/hda1".
(C.4) On the next screen (GRUB customisation), I chose to put GRUB
in the boot sector on /dev/hdb1, not wanting to touch the
WinXP disk and to use the WinXP bootloader.
Proceed with the install. At the end there's a button to reboot.
Don't reboot yet.

(D) Problem #1: At this point, you need to reboot but the bootloader
that will be in control (the WinXP one) does not know yet about
(D.1) Insert the Fedora Install CD #1 in the CD drive;
(D.2) Now reboot, from this CD;
(D.3) Enter rescue mode (there are instrutions on the very 1st
screen, basically type "linux rescue")

(E) Now you have booted Fedora in rescue mode.
(E.1) Use "dd" to save the boot sector containing GRUB, namely
the one on "/dev/hdb1", to a floppy.
(E.2) Reboot from hd, into WinXP (no other choices for the moment)
(E.3) Copy the saved bootsector from the floppy to a file on C:\,
and modify C:\boot.ini. You can right-click on
"My COmputer"/ "Properties"/ "Advanced" tab/ "Setting under
"Startup and recovery"; from there you can "Edit" boot.ini,
and choose the default OS and the timeout.
This is the "another way" method described at

(F) Reboot (from hd). Now you have a fully functional WinXP boot menu
with choices for Windows and Fedora.
Note: First time you boot into Fedora, it will finish the
installation (display the licence agreement, etc).

That's all.

Hope this helps, even if I am far from being a Linux expert.

P.S.: In a previous post, you said you managed to boot into Fedora,
but GRUB did not show Windows. So:

Problem #2: At boot time, the GRUB screen shows only the default OS,
not the whole list, and starts a countdow