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Re: Win95 and Linux: Was: Verified Re: Unidentified subject!

Carey Evans wrote:
> "David E. Scott" <DaveScott@1000islands.com> writes:
> > Sounds like very good advice. Since I don't have a backup system for the
> > Win95 partition, I have to move very, very carefully. I think if I can
> > once determine 1) the best boot method for this system, and 2) figure a
> > way to install a bootable Win 3.1 system into the second primary
> > partition, and 3) determine just where these various boot programs and
> > sectors are located, I'll be in a much better position to move ahead
> > with adding more packages.
> I think to start with when installing Linux, you should create a boot
> floppy and leave LILO out.  This should be easier to use with a Boot
> Manager setup.  You might also want to stick with Boot Manager if you
> want to boot Win95 and Win3.1 off different partitions.  However, I
> don't think you'll be able to use it as a staging area - my Boot
> Manager setup only lets one bootable partition be active at once.

	Thanks for the note. This is interesting. I do want to be able to keep
Win95 and Win 3.1 in separate partitions. I also want to use the Win 3.1
partition (since it's a FAT partition, compared to the FAT32 partition
Win95B uses) as a file system that linux can access. Currently Linux
can't access fat32 without some add-ons. 
	If Linux *could* access fat32, then I could use it as the msdos
partition for when I want to move/copy files between the Win and Linux
environments. I'm assuming you mean by staging area, the intermediate
fat15 partition where I'm planning to put the Win 3.1 system.
	The docs for Partition Magic say something along the lines of: there
can only be one bootable partition (the Boot Manager partition) and it
takes care of activating and deactivating the other partitions. 
	I was able to set up Boot Manager such that when I showed the partition
table, the fat15 partition was listed as drive c:, even when I was
running Partition Magic out of the fat32/Win95 partition!! Very curious!
;)  And when I boot up with a diskette, and switched to drive c:, I
could tell by the size of the partition that I was looking at the fat16
partition. I ran sys c: and sure enough, the operating system showed up
in that fat16 partition and it didn't overwrite the Win95/Fat32
partition files, because that partition was "hidden" to it at the time.
	Another item, and this is really off-topic, Brian Livingston, a
columnist for InfoWorld, write the Window Manager column, said in a
recent column that it's possible to set up a dual boot in the Win95
partition by adding in some patches documented in
http://www.infoworld.com/printlinks/. This adds back in code that was
removed with OSR2. However you won't be able to run 32bit disk access
because of Win95's use of IFSHLP.SYS "which boots in real mode during
startup. Also you can't do a permanent swap file in Win 3.1 after the
patches easily: you have to boot to dos, issue the LOCK command, start
Win 3.1, set up the swap file, quit win 3.1, and issue Dos unlock
command. Excuse the off-topic info, but perhaps some folks that are in
the borderline between windows and linux like me would find this
interesting and useful.

> To install Win3.1, configure Boot Manager with that partition as
> another bootable partition.  Try booting off it, which will fail, but
> will deactivate the Win95 partition and make the Win3.1 partition the
> primary DOS partition so you can install DOS and Win3.1 onto it
> instead of over Win95.

As noted above, there was a way we were able to deactivate the Win95
partition without having to resort to this, but we couldn't get the Win
3.1 partition to behave the same way. 

> Once you have Linux installed using the boot floppy you can read the
> LILO docs.  In a similar situation, I installed the LILO boot record
> onto the Linux partition (/dev/hda5?), then pointed Boot Manager at
> it.

Then once the LILO boot record is set up in the linux partition, is it a
safe assumption that I'll be able to dump the boot floppy?

> There are patches to make Linux work with FAT32, but I don't need this
> support and I don't have the URL handy.

Yes, I'm aware they exist, but that seems to be an extra source of
potential problems. I'd like to avoid that as much as possible.

Another potential problem relates to the fact that my Win95 partition is
2.5 GIG (shrunk down from 5GIG when I installed Partition Magic). The
Partition Magic docs said the Boot Manager had to be located within the
first Gig, I think. I tried it at the high-end and at least for the
Win95 and linux it seemed to work without a problem in my system. The
docs for lilo also say something similar: it should be located beneath
the first 1000 cylindars.

Could it be that some of what I'm seeing is the result of either the
Boot Manager or the LILO boot record being located above these limits?

One suggestion has been to use Partition Magic to "move" the Win95
partition up enough to make room for these boot records down at the
bottom of the drive. Pretty scary that: moving the Win95 partition with
all its contents and hoping that everything will still work. Comments?


--David E. Scott      Ohio Administrative Services
DaveScott@1000islands.com       acq_scott@ohio.gov

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