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Mandrake 9.1 out - install advice needed (1 Viewer)

Iain Lambert

Jun 7, 1999
Well, I see that Mandrake 9.1 is out, and Redhat 9 is on the way too. I'm thinking it might be time again to try Linux out.

However, I'd like to ask if there is anyone out there that can help me...

I've installed a few Linux distros in the past, but at the last box rebuild I've now got Windows XP installed. I've got just the one drive, with the first 20Mb holding my XP partition, and the rest left free to put a distro on. What are my chances of still having a working XP at the end of this? I don't want Lilo or Grub stuffing my MBR to the point where Windows won't boot like when I installed Mandrake alongside ME, and I'm not sure if Linux will take having /boot so far away from the start of the disk (this used to be a problem, I don't know if it still is).

Has anyone else done this?

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 17, 1998
Hi Iain,
Right, the way to do it is to install LILO on the the root partition of your Linux distro, NOT to the MBR of the drive itself. You'll need to create a boot floppy during the install so you can get into it.

Once you're into Linux, just copy the boot block of the distro like this (just replace /dev/hda2 with whatever the root partition is)

dd if=/dev/hda2 bs=512 count=1 of=/mnt/floppy/linux.bin

You'll probably need to write it to a floppy as I don't think Linux can write to NTFS partititons yet. If you're using FAT32 you should be able to write it directly to your XP partition if it's mounted rather than go via floppy.

Once you're doing, go back into XP, copy the .bin file to C: and edit your boot.ini file, adding the following line:


You'll then need to set the timeout in the boot.ini file so that you see the NT bootloader menu (you wont see it by default unless you're already dual-booting).

What you'll end up with is is the ability to boot into Linux from the NT menu and with an intact MBR.

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