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How to: Dual-boot Windows Vista and Linux

Postby TheMuffinMan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:31 pm

Just wanted to thank you for that first post, I went from dual boot with XP Pro and Suse 10.1 to Vista and Suse and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I couldn't get my GRUB to properly boot windows, thanks a bunch! (Section 1 has a thumbup from me)
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Postby NT50 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:16 pm

TheMuffinMan wrote:Just wanted to thank you for that first post, I went from dual boot with XP Pro and Suse 10.1 to Vista and Suse and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I couldn't get my GRUB to properly boot windows, thanks a bunch! (Section 1 has a thumbup from me)


Thanks for the compliment, glad it helped you.
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Re: How to: Dual-boot Windows Vista and Linux

Postby mlwp » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:19 pm

Excellent guide is there a way I can modify the grub files from vista/XP since I would like to control which OS is booted next time I reboot since often I am working remotely and don't have access to the console
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Postby kd1966 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:24 pm

You control which OS boots through the GRUB; once you have it set up, you will boot to the Linux boot menu and have an entry point for the Windows Vista boot menu, which has and entry point for XP and other older versions of Windows
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Postby wrestler » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:41 pm

Very well done, Imnuts!
Dual-Boot Windows Vista and Linux
After the installation of Windows Vista, you will want to install Linux. DO NOT resize the Vista partition during the installation of the Linux distribution!

Alas, I'm reading this too late!

On my ASUS-Notebook VISTA (home premium) was preinstalled. I've used gparted to resize the VISTA-Partition, afterwards installed Linux. GRUB shows the Windows Options allright, but won't oblige. I've to use the fire-exit-needle to shut down.
The RECOVERY-dvd doesn't work either: No boot. Fire-escape.
SYSLOG under Linux tells me:
NTFS-fs warning (device sda2): load_system_files(): Volume is dirty.
Will not be able to remount read-write. Run chkdisk and mount in windows.
$logfile is not clean. Will not be able to remount read-write. Mount in
windows.

Is there any road to salvation?
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Postby esvdr » Thu May 24, 2007 3:45 am

Hi. I've had a similar problem. I have a PATA drive, installed XP, then Vista. I could boot off either OS. Everything worked well. Then, I installed RH Linux (enterprise) and ever since then, I can go to the Vista Bootloader from Grub, but once I am on the Vista Bootloader and choose "Earlier Version of Windows" (which in my case would be Windows XP), I receive a blue screen with a hex error. Vista boots well and so does Linux, but not XP. I have done the installation for these 3 OS three times and the same thing happens.... XP will not work after installing Linux.

Here is my grub.config file:

title Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS (2.4.21-47.0.1 EL)

rood (hd0,2)
kernel blah blah blah blah
initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.21-47.0.1.EL.img

title Windows Vista and/or Windows XP (yes, I've modified this before, but these are the default TECHNICAL settings)
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

I've already tried putting between the "rootnoverify" and "Chainloader +1" lines the following "makeactive", but this did not help.

I've tried inserting the same thing as above (for Vista) for XP by changing the rootverify (hd0,0) to rootverify (hd0,1), but this did not help.

I've tried so much to fix this problem and have hit a wall now.

Could someone please help?

Thank you.
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Installation backwards

Postby DeviantSpecter » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:55 am

I bought a PC with Vista already installed on a SATA serial drive of 120 gigs and I installed a second 80 gig HDD parallel. I split the 80 gig in half and put XP on the first 40gigs and Mandriva Linux on the second half of the 40 gigs. Now I can boot up XP and Mandriva but I have issues with Vista. If i do root(sd 0,0) chainloader +1 I get a screen crying about needing to restore (which since I got vista store bought I have no cd to reinstall it with). One option that GRUB has passes to vista and I get NTLDR not found. So this is the order I put my OSes in and I pray I didn't screw up because I can't fix Vista as I can't afford to buy a copy right now. The reason I am worried is because everything that Vista read (ethernet card) XP and Mandriva can't seem to find.

FULL menu.lst FILE:

timeout 10
color black/cyan yellow/cyan
gfxmenu (hd1,5)/boot/gfxmenu
default 0

title linux
kernel (hd1,5)/boot/vmlinuz BOOT_IMAGE=linux root=/dev/sdb6 resume=/dev/sdb5
splash=silent vga=788
initrd (hd1,5)/boot/initrd.img

title linux-nonfb
kernel (hd1,5)/boot/vmlinuz BOOT_IMAGE=linux-nonfb root=/dev/sdb6 resume=/dev/sdb5
initrd (hd1,5)/boot/initrd.img

title failsafe
kernel (hd1,5)/boot/vmlinuz BOOT_IMAGE=failsafe root=/dev/sdb6 failsafe
initrd (hd1,5)/boot/initrd.img

title Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1

titles Windows Vista
root (hd0,1)
makeactive
chainloader +1
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Re: How to: Dual-boot Windows Vista and Linux

Postby spacesurfer » Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:04 pm

mlwp wrote:Excellent guide is there a way I can modify the grub files from vista/XP since I would like to control which OS is booted next time I reboot since often I am working remotely and don't have access to the console


You can create two menu.lst files - one with XP default and one with Vista default. then use a CMD file to overwrite the existing one with the one you want to boot to.

e.g. menu_xp.lst and menu_vista.lst.

copy menu_xp.lst c:\menu.lst (to boot xp)
copy menu_vista.lst c:\menu.lst (to boot vista)
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Postby User23 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:49 am

Using the Vista disk management console tool, I could not shrink the Windows partition by enough to install Linux. I even did a defrag, disabled the swap file, and booted into safe mode, but severe limits on resizing the partition were still present, so I had no choice but to let the Linux installer resize it. This is a known Vista bug, which is described in more detail on TechRepublic:

"Repartition your hard disk on-the-fly with Windows Vista" by Greg Shultz

Only now, after the fact, do I learn that VistaBoot support (ImNuts) says you should not let Linux resize the Vista partition. Well, if Vista can't do it, and Linux can't do it, then what CAN? The Linux installer seemed to work fine for me (mostly):

I installed Freespire 2 (which is a bit different from what is described in the instructions at the start of this thread--it uses something called "jiffyboot" to automatically detect partitions, then modify the grub config file for you). After installing Linux, the Vista partition was automatically detected & installed on the grub boot menu, but is not the default option. When grub loads Vista, it bypasses the Vista bootloader completely. Vista runs fine, but the sleep/hibernate feature doesn't do anything now... like it can't write the hibernate file anymore. How can I fix this?
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Postby User23 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:03 pm

Just a follow-up, since I moved forward with this on my own: I checked the drive with Partition Magic and got an Error #108 (Partition didn't end on cylinder boundary!) Something nasty happened when Linux resized that partition (unless it was corrupted to begin with). Also, Freespire's Jiffyboot kept erasing the boot flag on the Vista partition every time Linux started. This did not prevent Vista from booting, but it has the effect of hiding the Vista partition from the repair tool on the Vista DVD, so I had to manually change that in Linux just before booting the DVD. (No doubt somebody else will need to know this sooner or later!) However, an automated repair with the Vista install DVD accomplished nothing. Same for a "bootrec /fixboot" - and "/fixmbr" - and a "chkdisk" repair. Oh yes, that got rid of grub, and I was hoping to install Vistaboot in its place, but somewhere along the line, this only made it worse: it froze during boot and eventually dropped to a BSOD with the error: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. So I conclude that the folks who sucessfully deleted grub with "bootrec" (of which there are many) probably did not have a corrupted partition table too.

An experiment with "Partition Table Doctor 3.5" just blew the poor thing away: after an "automated repair", the Vista & Linux partitions were merged into one large unallocated segment, and now only the Linux swap partition remains. Can anyone suggest a decent partition table repair tool which can scan the drive and find deleted partitions with operating systems installed on them? Maybe nobody cares, but I mention all of this for the sake of anyone else who goes to install another OS on the same drive without using the right partition resize tool. Microsoft seems to have intentionally made it difficult for anything else to peacefully coexist with Vista (but then again, destroying interoperability with proprietary standards has always been their game). Yes, maybe the Linux developers should have tested this more... but what reason would Microsoft have for not properly documenting the workings of NTFS, other than to frustrate the competition? All the more reason to explore other options. I confess to being a heavy multitasker, but Vista is surprisingly slow, unstable, disk intensive and memory hungry on all of the platforms I've seen (not just mine, where I push it to the limit). I hate it, and only want it around for the sake of compatibility, not for daily use. 'nuff said, I guess... but insightful observations always welcome.
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