Bug#418421: Etch installer creates GRUB boot-entry for a hidden non-OS recovery partiton
SATA 160GB Disk (as delivered by manufacturer)
- partition 1: recovery, -no boot, -hidden
- partition 2: Windows XP, -boot
1st IDE - Master DVD-ROM (as delivered)
1st IDE - Slave 80GB Disk (added by me for Debian Etch)
To be careful I did NOT want to install GRUB on the SATA disk, rather select boot-order through BIOS hard-disk ordering later on. But this is of a minor interest to the problem...
During installation process the boot-loader GRUB gets configured. It detects correctly Windows XP on sda2 (resp. hda(1,1) in GRUB notation (which already might confuse new users) - the second partition of a SATA-disk) and reports it as sda2 and asks for confirmation and entering information to /boot/grub/menu.lst. GRUB was installed to the first (selected by BIOS) disks mbr (which is hda).
BUG: The first reboot shows the GRUB screen and there is TWO(!) entries for only ONE(!) Windows XP. In /boot/grub/menu.lst there is under the linux entries:
# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
title Other operating systems:
# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda2
title Windoze NT/2000/XP (loader)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
# on /dev/sda1
title Windoze NT/2000/XP
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
What I know now is: while the first entry is correct, the second entry refers to the first partition on the sata which is a recovery partition and actually hidden(!) (for reasons that XP still believes it is the first partition on that disk).
Despite I was not planning using it, I was curious what that is all about. First this was very confusing to an inexperienced user (me), hence I was not aware of a second partition on the SATA disk (but who is?). Since it seems to be common practice nowadays for manufactureres of PCs to install a cute little hideaway recovery partitions, many people, who install Debian on such a system could end up in confusion and trying fixing MBRs and/or reinstalling system images and making a real mess.
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR: either ignore hidden partitions completely, and as a courtesy point it out specifically to the user, or inform the user and ask him what to do. As a quick fix a comment in menu.lst referring to that issue would suffice. Furthermore the installer could give examples based on the individual situation found at the users PC.
P.S.: as mentioned I was not planning on using the entry for Windoze XP in GRUB, I am now aware that it cant work for my situation:
I installed GRUB on the first hard-disk (selected by BIOS) on which Debian resides. In order to boot Windoze XP (with an Acronis boot-loader - it came like that!) it MUST be the first (unhidden) partition of the first hard-disk.MAP did not work for me. So GRUB has to be installed on the disk where XP resides (which I wont do - I will remove the Redmond-OS eventually - Windoze Vista?!? Hasta la vista Windoze!!!
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