utility partition/bootmagic/MBR questions

Matt_Domsch@Dell.com Matt_Domsch at Dell.com
Tue Apr 9 14:45:00 CDT 2002

> UP is installed, and linux does see it as /dev/sda1.  
> And Win2k is installed at /dev/sda2.
> Please forgive me, but what does VT2 mean?

The second virtual terminal (press Alt-F2 to get there, Alt-F1 to get back).
There's a shell running on it during install.

>    Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
> /dev/sda1             1         4     32098+  de  Dell Utility
> /dev/sda2   *         5       386   3068415    b  Win95 FAT32
> /dev/sda3           387       392     48195   83  Linux
> /dev/sda4           393      4425  32395072+   f  Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
> /dev/sda5           393      4164  30298558+  83  Linux
> /dev/sda6          4165      4425   2096451   82  Linux swap

This is OK.  The MBR has the DOS boot loader in it, which just looks for the
active partition and jumps to that boot sector.  sda1 has a normal DOS
loader in it.
sda2 has the W2K boot loader in it.  
sda3 *should* have the grub boot loader in it.

> I'm not sure how this happened. but  I currently have GRUB in 
> /dev/sda5/boot
> (which is my / filesystem), and BootMagic boots linux from 
> there.  It looks
> like /dev/sda3 (a small primary boot partition) is set up for 
> booting linux,
> but nothing actually boots from there (it does have the base 
> kernel files, but not the recompiled 2.4.9-21).

Wierd.  Something screwed it up then, because clearly /dev/sda3 meant to be
mounted at /boot (and because it's got the kernel files, it was that way
after RHL finished installing itself.

> Can I just copy the recent kernel files
> from /dev/sda5/boot to /dev/sda3/boot, install GRUB, and make 
> /dev/sda3 the active partition and boot from there?

Yes.  But, you're a little confused I think, because there are multiple
parts to grub: code in the MBR or partition boot sector, and files in /boot.
The /boot/grub/grub.conf file shows a commented out line like:
and grub (the first stage) was installed using /sbin/grub-install and is now
in /dev/sda3's boot sector.

Do a '/sbin/grub-install /dev/sda3' so that works, and an 'fdisk /mbr' to
the MBR is fixed up.  Then the only thing you have to do is get grub to
start W2K...  (See 'info grub', Configuration page, for doing this - it's
called "chain loading").

> Do I have to set up a mount point in
> /etc/fstab to mount /dev/sda3 as /boot instead of the existing
> /dev/sda5/boot?

fstab should have:
LABEL="/boot"	/boot	defaults	.....
which would take care of that.

> I'm really learning as I ago - I appreciate your patience. Thanks,

No sweat, we're all learners at something.

Good luck!

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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