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Re: Windows multiboot (aaargh!)

On Thursday 11 September 2003 08:30, Carel Fellinger wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 11, 2003 at 12:07:08AM +1200, cr wrote:
> > This may seem an odd place to ask this, but I'll bet some of the folks on
> > this list know more about the technicalities of booting Windoze than
> > Windoze users do   ;)
> I know next to nothing about Windows and prefer to keep it like that:),
> but as I've kids that, like kids like, like to play games, I've been
> forced to atleast find out how play this trick.  (example at the end)
> From experience, Win95/98 needs to be on the first drive, needs to be
> in a bootable primary partition which needs to be the only/first primary
> partition.

On the first drive?   I only ask because DOS, at least, ignores any drives it 
can't recognise (so it ignores my ext2 in /dev/hda and my CD-ROM in hdb and 
regards my /hdc1 as C:  and my /hdd1 as D:).   But Windows may be more picky.

> Don't despair, GRUB is perfectly capable of _hiding_ specific partitions
> in the bootprocess, and many(?) BIOSses allow to swap the order of drives.

Or I can just physically swap them over.    My machine usually has its 
covers off...      

> So create on the disk of choice enough primary partitons, use GRUBS to
> hide all but one, swap the BIOS drive order such that the drive of
> choice seems to be the first one, and all is swell.
> Well it should be, but experience has learned me otherwise:(
> The biggest problem being ghost/phantom drives appearing under windows.
> I used to think it was related to windows weared way of determining to
> use or not to use lineair addressing mode on large drives, and hence
> its inability to obey the partitioning scheme used.  So I was very
> carefull to partition disks in such a way that the 1024 cylinder (this
> being one of the clues windows uses) felt on a partition boundary.
> But nowadays I think that what's really needed is to take care that all
> windows partitions have there first sector(s?) cleaned prior to letting
> windows format those, as it seems that windows prefers the partitioning
> information it finds in that(those) first sector(s) to the real partition
> table, and what is worst, there is a bootstrap problem as windows format
> prog assumes that info is valid and hence will use it unless it's cleared.

Thanks, I'll bear that in mind.

> As far as I know the 1024 cylinder thing is still very much relevant
> to Win95 as wel as chosing the right partition type, so probably the
> safest is to partition carefully.  And be warned, I've lost linux
> partitions (on my fathers machine thanks to my sister) using windows
> tools to repartition, reformat and reinstall windows:(  --this was
> prior to me being very carefull to wipe the first sector, so maybe it
> works better now.  Anyway, i've always used linux tools to do the
> partitioning, the only way for me to be able to _predict_ the end
> result--
> ...
> > I'd like to be able to boot into DOS, Win95 and Win98.
> ...
> > I'm just wondering how practical that is.    Can W95 and W98 coexist on
> > the same disk in diferent partitions and still both be bootable?    If
> > not, any
> Yes, that's what I've been doing for years.  Though the safest thing
> would be to have seperate disks for each windows install and use the
> BIOS capability to swap drives, you could do like I do (and pray:).
> My disks lookes like:
>     # two bootable windows partitions on hda
>     # one bootable windows partition on hdb
> My /boot/grub/menu.lst lookes like:
>     title   Windows from second disc
>     map (hd0) (hd1)
>     map (hd1) (hd0)
>     root    (hd1,0)
>     makeactive
>     chainloader +1
>     title   Win95 from first disc second partition
>     hide    (hd0,0)
>     unhide  (hd0,1)
>     root    (hd0,1)
>     makeactive
>     chainloader +1
>     title   Win98 from first disc first partition
>     unhide  (hd0,0)
>     hide    (hd0,1)
>     root    (hd0,0)
>     makeactive
>     chainloader +1

Many thanks for that!    I was wondering if it was practical, most of the 
Windows 95/98 dual-boot 'howtos' I've found seem to put 95 and 98 in 
different directories on the same partition.   Which I could do, but keeping 
them separate and using GRUB as you've shown there seems to be tidier.    
Many thanks for confirming it's possible.


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