booting linux grub or lilo from windows using boot.ini
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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Read a tutorial on how to boot linux using boot.ini. This works.

This lets you keep your mbr and boot.ini natively, and then uses boot.ini to start grub, which must be installed on the partition root, not on the mbr.

From within your linux, when you first reboot into it [this means you need a linux boot floppy too when you first install], you follow the directions to create the linux.bin file. I found it easier to just copy it to my home directory, then from there to either copy it to a floppy, or to copy it to a fat32 windows partition.

Once you get the linux.bin file made, you just copy it to your windows system root partition, usually c:\ on standard windows installs, follow the directions to add linux to your boot.ini, and that's it. If it works, it works right away. I've had problems with this in the past, but it's worked the last time I did it. Fun fun.

Nice for xp installs though, xp service packs tend to overwrite the mbr without tellling you, which means you have to reset grub to the mbr if you used grub as primary boot loader.

Key steps:
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Run the following command: dd if=/dev/hda2 of=/mnt/floppy/linux.bin bs=512 count=1
Substitute the path for the if= parameter (the input file) with the appropriate partition from the previous step. E.g., set if= to /dev/hda2.

then update your boot.ini:

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Run notepad [sic: use a real text editor for this, it's easier] and edit C:\boot.ini. Note that C:\boot.ini is a hidden system file, so it probably won't show up in Windows Explorer. To edit the file, try: Start->Run and enter: notepad C:\boot.ini. Add the following line at the end: c:\linux.bin="Linux"

That's really all there is to it. For some reason every time I've tried creating the linux.bin file directly to floppy in linux it's never worked, but when I write to say /home/docs it works fine, then I just copy it where I want it.

For even more multiboot stuff, for every new linux distro you install, just update the targetted linux grub partition menu.lst file to allow you to boot from the newly added distro partitions, it's easy and keeps things nice and clean, and it's easy to add distros too.
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