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Booting Linux with the Windows NT/2000/XP Boot Manager

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Situation

Your computer contains both SuSE Linux and Windows NT, 2000, or XP. You want to be able to boot both operating systems.

First Approach: Installing the Boot Manager GRUB in the MBR of the First Hard Disk

This is the default setting in the SuSE Linux installation. If you do not change anything in the boot loader configuration during the installation process, GRUB will be installed in the MBR of the hard disk and a boot option for Windows operating systems will be automatically added to the GRUB menu.

Second Approach: Using Windows NT/2000/XP Boot Manager

Although SuSE Linux 8.1 contains a different boot manager (GRUB), the procedure is still similar to that described in Linux and Windows NT (http://support.novell.com/techcenter/sdb/en/1996/12/nt.html ).

Apart from boot sectors, the boot manager of NT/2000/XP is able to start its image files, too. The following instructions enable you to boot Linux with this boot manager:

  • Install Windows NT/2000/XP if necessary.

  • Prepare a data medium (hard disk partition or floppy disk) with a file system that can be written by Linux and read by Windows, for example, FAT.

  • Install Linux. During the installation do not install the boot loader GRUB in the MBR, but on the root partition. Once the installation is completed, a reboot is usually done. However, since the Linux boot loader cannot be accessed yet, proceed as follows to boot the system:

    • Boot from your CD or DVD as for an install.

    • Select "Installation" (already preset).

    • Select your language.

    • In the next menu, select "Boot installed system".

    • The root partition is detected automatically and the system will be booted from it.

  • After the installation, open a root shell and mount the FAT data medium in the system. (For example, mount a floppy disk at /media/floppy.)

  • Copy GRUB's boot sector from the boot sector of the root partition (/dev/sda3 in this case) to the FAT data medium:

       dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/media/floppy/bootsek.lin bs=512 count=1

    This step and the next do not need to be repeated after a kernel update if the boot loader GRUB is used. However, they do have to be repeated if the file /boot/grub/stage2 is modified in any way (for example, when updating the package grub or the system).

  • Boot your Windows operating system and copy the file bootsek.lin from the FAT data medium to the main directory of the system drive C:

  • Append the following entry to the file boot.ini (set attributes):

       c:\bootsek.lin="SuSE Linux"
  • Increase the file's time-out in case it is set to 0 seconds.

  • If the file boot.ini cannot be viewed with Explorer, you can edit it via the Control Panel. For example, in Windows XP: Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System -> Advanced -> Startup and Recovery -> System Startup -> Edit

  • Provided everything worked, a Linux entry will already be available in the NT boot manager the next time you boot.

The Boot Manager Grub Linux and Windows NT

Disclaimer

The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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