Redhat Dual-Boot Woes


I run XP off a 20 GB hard drive...I just installed a 250 GB hard drive that I want to use for storage of all my DVD .iso's and such...for shits and giggle, I decided to install Redhat 9.0 on the new hard drive as well.

No problem with the install, or so it seemed, until I rebooted. Got a GRUB hard disk error. I was told GRUB blows, so I re-install Redhat, using LILO as the boot dice again, all I get is a "L"...can't load XP, because if I could, I'd just format the new hard drive because I really don't care that much about linux.

I can load Redhat from the boot disk only, but don't know what I can do from there

How the hell can I fix this?

If it matters, the 20 GB HDD (with XP) is pinned to master, while the 250 GB HDD (with Redhat) is pinned to slave

fdisk the drive and make sure the Win XP part is the marked active partition.

you can then delete the Red Hat partition at your leisure. do I go about doing that? I can't seem to get to the command prompt

ok, just reread this.

do you have the XP drive set to be the first hard drive in the boot sequence in the BIOS?

I'm pretty retarded when it comes to this stuff

I have the boot sequence as SCSI, C (the hard drive with XP on it), A

I've fucked around with just about every boot sequence imaginable, and still no luck

SCSI? that shouldn't be there.

put A drive first, assuming it's a floppy drive, and then put C after it.. put SCSI at the bottom.

fuck fuck fuck

I can't even get fucking linux to boot off the goddamn disk any more

I've tried everything

I tried to use a MS-DOS boot disk (since XP sucks and doesn't carry a boot disk function), but I can't get off the A:\> prompt

any suggestions? In retard-speak please, so I understand


the SCSI must have been the CD-ROM... I hate it when they label it in a stupid manner like that.

put it in SCSI/A/C order.

can you check the pins again? drives don't always have the same pin format, so make sure you check the manuals for both drives to confirm.

how should I arrange the pins? which hard drive should I set up as the master? The one with XP, or the one with Redhat

I literally unplugged the hard drive with Redhat on it, and still now go, with whatever startup scheme I try, I get the fucking "L" at startup

if I installed the new hard drive in another computer, and formatted the disk, then installed it back into my computer - would that solve my problems?

you MUST have the pins set correctly, otherwise it won't boot right.

I have no clue how you should do it for your drives, use the manual or Google for your drive model.

if the pins are set correctly, and you have the right boot order, it should boot your XP drive, since you didn't do anything to it

unless, of course, you screwed up the XP drive and installed LILO on it.

and let's theorize that I did that in one of my dozen or so installs of Redhat today

well, then LILO went on the Master Boot Record.

you have to clean/format the Master Boot Record... XP fdisk or Linux fdisk will do this.

then, install XP over your present copy of XP to get your MBR to point to your boot partition and put it back to normal.... or I think there is a way to quickly fix the MBR from the XP disk without reinstallation.

or you can wait for one of the Windows guys here to give you a better option.

it's been a bit since I've done shit like this, so that may be a better idea.

yeah, in fact, wait for a while until you get some other responses.

Okay I only read a couple of the replies and I don't really agree with them so I wanted to drop in my 2 cents really quick (before you did anything you can't undo) and then I'm going to go back and read everything.

You don't need ot format anything, you don't have to lose anything on your XP 20 gig drive.

You need a Windows boot CD, you need to boot off the cd to DOS and then restore/recreate the orginal (windows) bootloader. You wont be able to dual boot into RedHat but if you have a floppy it should still work for booting into it. When you start your computer as normal if you do everything right, it'll just boot up like it's only windows. I'm right now thinking that this will solve your problem without having you lose anything. Let me re-read the thread and think about this more but I wanted to put this answer there before you deleted stuff you might have wanted to keep

RobRPM2222 has caught the correct and he used his 16,000 post to do it.

I accidently called it the bootloader in my previous post, but yes it's the Master Boot Loader (MBR) and yes there is a way to fix it off the WinXP CD without having to re-install windows, I'm sure of this b/c I've done it before. Sadly though I don't remember how I did it before, but on the plus side I was told exactly how to do it by people on here, so either do a google search for how to fix/restore WinXP MBR from the CD or ask on here and hopefully someone will remembre off the top of their head. I'll also check to see if a friend of mine is online, he manages to remembre all those little dos tricks and commands and I'm 99% sure he'll still remember how to do it

Augh, when correcting myself above I called it the Master Boot Loader, RobRPM2222 was correct it's called the Master Boot Record, I'm just way out of it. When doing a google search for info look for Master Boot Record as it's called or MBR b/c that's its common acronym

well, did this last night before sicko's reply...

Put in XP CD, got on DOS...formatted the 250 GB hard drive (no big deal, since all it had on it was Redhat), then typed "fixmbr" who would have known that the solution was so easy....

Now I need to see if I should play with fire and try to install Redhat again

no worries about formatting the 250, I think you said you didn't care about all that, but as long as you've got you important stuff that was on your Window's drive so you didn't lose anything.

If it was up to me, yeah I'd install RedHat again. What I would do though is I would use Partition Magic on the 250 gig drive to make an 8-10 gig drive with the EXT3 Linux file type. Depending on what you're doing (using it hardcore seriously vs just learning on it) you'll probably never use more then 8 gigs (assuming you're just using it to learn about Linux), but since you have a 250 gig drive then I'd say go a head and make it 10 gigs. Then so you never have to go through the same thing again, I'd say when you're installing the Linux when it gets to the point about installing Grub or Lilo boot loaders, simply don't install either of them. Then when it gets to the point about making a floppy boot disk, DO THAT. Now whenever you boot the system everything is normally, nothing has changed except it's not like a 240 gig hard drive. And when you wnat to boot into linux you just have to put in the floppy and boot. I've made back ups of my boot disk by saving the files in a directory on my windows OS. HOwever, I've never had to test to see if putting them on a floppy would still work as a boot disk.

2 things about RedHat though, by itself it can not play MP3s or read from NTFS partitions. RedHat has their excuses for doing that, so you have to look online for third party stuff that'll do that for you. It might not be able to play DVDs also, but I don't remember hearing that I think it's more of just me thinking about it now. I'm sure someone with more info can come on here and answer that one.

Other things you might want to look into, using VMWare on your WIndows drive. If you're not familiar with it VMWare will basically take the space you assign to it and make "virtual" computers there. So basically when you tell VMWare to open a virtual computer that you've installed there, within the window it's almost just like a computer is booting up and you're just watching it in that window on your desktop. Really cool and it works really well for me. I've got to 8 gig linux distros running through it, for whenever I want to play with LInux without havnig to reboot. However, I have had trouble getting a couple Linux Distros to install on them (Slackware), but stuff like RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, etc all installed fine without any problems. And although they run fine, I would like to have more RAM in my system b/c I think they'd run even better....I only have 256 right now, but VMWare is only allowed to use 192 of it I believe.

Another thing you might want to look at are various Live-CDs which basically you put in your computer, then use them as boot CDs. Instead of booting to windows your system will basically run Linux in your RAM. This is everything from simply command promt versions to all out full versions with graphics and all. Knoppix (Debian based) is probably the most popular one of them, it has just about everything you would need on the CD. They say it's like 2gigs of stuff on the CD but everything is compressed and is only uncompressed when needed. Anyways, it's really nice but a bit bloated b/c it does have EVERYTHING. THere are other versoins out there, some of them are basically Knoppix, but the creators just took stuff out to make them smaller. THen there are other versions also. To find out more about Knoppix, go to Other decent sites for learning about different distros are and but for all I know you already know all this stuff, either way let us know if you need documentation, I have some good Linux documentation sites bookmarked at work which I could post for you