utility partition/bootmagic/MBR questions

Matt_Domsch@Dell.com Matt_Domsch at Dell.com
Tue Apr 9 11:18:00 CDT 2002

> From: Hank Eskin [mailto:heskin at bellatlantic.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 10:45 AM
> Subject: utility partition/bootmagic/MBR questions
> Hello All,

(this was sent to linux-poweredge-admin, not the whole list, so I'm copying
back the whole list as that was intended).
>    I've setup my PE2550 to dual boot between RedHat 7.2 (it's primary
> function) Win2k (a small partition mostly just to "have it 
> there").  I've
> installed BootMagic to as a boot loader, and it works just fine.  When
> booting Linux, Bootmagic boots up GRUB, which then boots the 
> proper kernel.
> Of course, as you all know, I've lost access to the Dell 
> utility partition,
> which I can access if I boot from the utility CD.  But here are my
> questions:
> - If I restore the MBR with "fdisk /MBR", what partition will 
> normally boot?

Whatever partition is marked "active".

> - What would you recommend as the boot loader to use in the MBR?

fdisk /mbr, then put grub in /boot, not in the MBR.  Don't use BootMagic,
grub is perfectly capable of booting NT from that point.

> - Is there any way to get BootMagic to boot the Utility 
> Partition (I tried
> it - it just hangs at "Starting MS-DOS...").

Not having used BootMagic, I'll defer.

> - What is the safe/proper order to reset things so I can get 
> access to the utility partition AND dual boot RH/Win2k?

The easiest way to do all this is to:
1) start with a clean drive
2) Use the Dell Server Assistant CD to create the Utility Partition (assume
Linux sees this as /dev/sda1)
3) Install W2K, but keep that partition small. (assume Linux sees this as
(at this point, when you boot, both W2K and the UP should be bootable).
4) Install Linux, and put grub in /dev/sda3, not /dev/sda (the MBR).
(before rebooting, switch to VT2, run fdisk /dev/sda, and make sure that
partition 3 is active, not the others)

Grub can then boot W2K or Linux for you, and if you press F12 during POST,
you'll get into the UP instead.

You can clean all this up after the fact, but it's a bit harder.

> Thanks in advance!
> -Hank


Matt Domsch
Sr. Software Engineer
Dell Linux Solutions www.dell.com/linux
Linux on Dell mailing lists @ http://lists.us.dell.com
#1 US Linux Server provider for 2001!

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