Dual booting

  Gaz_dc 00:37 20 Oct 04

I have recently wrecked my hard drive by installing Fedora Core 2 as a dual boot with WinXp. All is back now, but I am loath to do this again. I now want to keep Windows completely separate from Linux, ie on separate disks. I have 'acquired' a 20G hard disk from work and checked it works by using it under XP.

Now what I want is a boot loader that will allow me to choose which disk to boot from, not which OS to boot. I want XP as default on c: and Linux on the slave drive, but intend experimenting with different distros. I don't want to have to touch the MBR on the master Hd again after setting this up, even though I change distros.

Hope this makes sense and thanks in advance!


  temp003 08:25 20 Oct 04

Not familiar with how Linux works, but you can read up on OSL2000 which says it supports Linux as well. click here

I have tried OSL2000 on a setup involving 2 hdds, multiple partitions, but all were Windows OS's. Worked fine.

As far as I'm aware, any boot manager will write itself to the MBR, in order for it to "intercept" the normal booting and give you the choices. I'm sure you're aware of that. OSL2000 works in the same way.

OSL2000 always installs itself to the MBR of the primary master, so if you're using the XP hdd as the primary master, to that limited extent the MBR on the XP hdd will be changed (but it's nothing drastic). During the installation of OSL2000, you get a chance to back up the MBR on to a floppy, which can be restored. (In any event, the original MBR can be rewritten by using a 98 floppy or XP Recovery Console).

  Diodorus Siculus 08:33 20 Oct 04

My Linux (Suse9.1 personal) installed the boot manager to a floppy and when starting needs the floppy to be in the drive. Thus nothing is written to the hdd mbr.

Does fedora have that option when setting it up?

  Gaz_dc 19:20 21 Oct 04

I have come up with a way to do what I want myself and am posting both to thank people for the advice and to let others know how I overcame the problem.

I have set the 20G Linux hard drive as the master and the 120G WindowsXP drive as the slave. I can now experiment to my hearts content with different distros without fear of wreaking the MBR and boot sector of my windows disk. Even if a distro now fails to install properly and corrupts the disk I can always set the BIOS to boot from the second hard disk straight into Windows.

Hope this is of help to someone.

  Diodorus Siculus 20:12 21 Oct 04

Gaz_dc - thanks for that; it is a good option.

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