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Old 31st January 2006, 06:02 AM
voam Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 15
How to triple boot, adding xp home to 3rd disk, keeping boot sectors safe

I haven't seen this exact configuration discussed yet so I decided to post this. In short, I am looking to add another hard drive with windows xp home but don't want to mess up my boot sectors, how to I proceed?

I currently have a dual boot computer that uses 2 serial ATA drives. First I installed Windows x64 Professional on the first hard drive ( /dev/sda ), and then installed Fedora4 386 on the second drive ( /dev/sdb ). I have found that not enough devices are compatible yet with 64 bit windows so I want to install xp home on a third drive ( /dev/sdc ) I assume.

Now how do I do this without messing up my boot partition entirely? Last time I attempted something similiar I ended up reinstalling windows, then fedora, but that was when the system was fresh and is not an option now as there has been lots of customization done. Can someone point me in the right direction?

So how do I install windows xp home on a new drive without destroying my ability to boot into 3 OSs?

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Old 31st January 2006, 10:13 PM
landoncz Offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Florida, USA
Age: 38
Posts: 338
The easiest way might be to disconnect the two hard drives that are already configured, and just connect the one new hard drive. Install XP home as normal this way. Then, use grup or whatever to chainload the XP home installation. That is, cross that bridge when you come to it

I'm sure there are other more "elegant" ways to do this, but I would diconnect the two current HDs for now if I were you, just to make sure XP doesn't get MBR happy...
Fedora Core 6 on Asus Z63A 14" Laptop
2.0 Ghz Pentium M
1 Gig RAM
100 Gig 7200 RPM

# rm -rf /dev/brain
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Old 31st January 2006, 10:23 PM
bob Online
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FedoraJim's got a good how-to for dual booting that is along this line: http://www.fedorajim.homelinux.com/
Linux & Beer - That TOTALLY Computes!
Registered Linux User #362651

Don't use any of my solutions on working computers or near small children.
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Old 8th February 2006, 10:16 PM
voam Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 15
Fedora Jim has an interesting article but does not quite apply to my situation. He says something like "Never install grub to the windows mbr ever again." Well I already have grub installed on the windows mbr. He also deals with ide and I am dealing with sata drives.

My plan of action is to disconnect the two existing hard drives and install the third hard drive. I will install windows xp home on that. Then I will plug the other two drives in and edit grub.conf to handle the second windows disk.

Anybody see anything wrong with this approach?


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Old 9th February 2006, 01:17 AM
Mat Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: lair of a unix daemon
Posts: 1,155
worked for me..
in fact, when I tried to Windows onto a new hdd (after FC) the setup complained, that it wasn't able to write on the primary disk (even before I was able to choose where to install Windows). which didn't surprise me, since the first hdd had only ext3 partitions on it.

so, I unplugged it.. installed windows to the now only disk... plugged the 1st drive back in.. edited grub.conf and all was set..

so, voam, go ahead

Man will always find a difficult means to perform a simple task
(Rube Goldberg)

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Old 9th March 2006, 05:28 AM
voam Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 15
Thumbs up success

Just to follow this thread up for future reference....
Temporarily disconnecting the other drives and installing xp on a single new drive worked. Then I plugged the old drives back in played around with grub to make it work. It helped having a grub boot floppy to see exactly how grub.conf had to be modifiied. The only surprise for me was that the the new drive had to be "mapped" to the first drive in grub so windows would play nice. All is good...

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd1,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sdb2
# initrd /initrd-version.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.14-1.1644_FC4)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.14-1.1644_FC4 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
initrd /initrd-2.6.14-1.1644_FC4.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
initrd /initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img
title Windows XP x64 Pro
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
title Windows XP Home
map (hd0) (hd2)
map (hd2) (hd0)
rootnoverify (hd2,0)
chainloader +1
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