MandrakeUser.Org - Your Mandrake-Linux Knowledge Base!


*DocIndex - Installation

Booting GNU/Linux III

* Using Other Boot loaders
* 'loadlin' - Booting GNU/Linux From MS-DOS
* Uninstalling LiLo, GNU GRUB and GNU/Linux

Related Resources:

Loadlin+Win95 mini-HOWTO

Revision / Modified: Sep. 19, 2001 / June 17, 2002
Author: Tom Berger


* Using Other Boot loaders

Even if you other boot loaders than those provided by Mandrake to boot Linux, you still need to install either LiLo or GRUB into the boot sector of the root partition of your Mandrake system (i.e. the partition the '/boot' directory is located in). For this, you have to perform an installation in 'expert mode'. In this mode you will have the choice where to install either LiLo or GRUB to.
If you don't remember the device name of the root partition, go back to the 'partitioning' installation step and have a look at the 'diskdrake' partition layout.
If you want to switch to another boot loader later on, refer to the previous pages of this article for instructions. If you want to use the Win2000 / XP boot loader, read the article on Multi booting WinSE, Win2k, Mandrake.

* section index * top

* 'loadlin' - Booting GNU/Linux From MS-DOS

loadlin lets you boot GNU/Linux via MS-DOS or via a boot menu during booting Windows. You might prefer this to using LiLo or GRUB if you don't want it to change the boot-record of your hard drive. Notice that this method will not work with Windows NT, 2000 or XP.

You will need to know how GNU/Linux calls the partition where the '/boot' directory is located. Usually this is the first GNU/Linux partition on your disk. Use either the mount command or 'diskdrake' to find out.
If you need help with GNU/Linux' partition naming scheme, read this paragraph of the 'Mounting' article.

'loadlin' is no longer provided on the Mandrake CD. I'd suggest you get Winux which includes it, but also provides a nice graphical configuration interface. However, if you insist on using 'pure' 'loadlin', here are instructions:

  1. Create a directory like 'c:\linux'. Copy 'loadlin.exe' to this directory.

  2. Copy your GNU/Linux kernel image ('vmlinuz-[version]') from '/boot' to 'c:\linux' and rename it to 'bzimage'.

  3. To boot GNU/Linux, boot into MS-DOS mode and - being in 'c:\', type

    linux\loadlin bzimage root=/dev/[GNU/Linux root partition] ro

    'bzimage' is the name of your kernel image file, 'root' points to the partition where the GNU/Linux root partition '/' resides and 'ro' is short for 'read-only' (see above).

Ready. Remember that every time you update the kernel you have to put an updated version into 'c:\linux\', too.

You can make this much more convenient, e.g. by starting 'loadlin' via the Windows boot menu.

* section index * top

* Removing LiLo, GNU GRUB and GNU/Linux

Uninstalling Linux and getting rid of the boot loader are two different things.

The best way to proceed is to delete the Linux partitions from within Linux using either 'diskdrake' or cfdisk /dev/[device] ('device' usually being 'hda' or 'hdb'), then booting into the other operating and cause it to reinstall its boot loader. In DOS/Windows, that would be achieved by issuing the command

fdisk /mbr

which replaces LiLo or GRUB with the Windows boot code. In Windows 2000 / XP you would boot into the 'system recovery console' and run these commands:

fixboot [drive]

command (with 'drive' being the 'drive letter' of the system partition). That's all.
In Mandrake Linux 8.2 and later, you can also use the rescue system from the CD to restore the previous boot sector.

If you've already removed the boot loader, you can try to remove the Linux partitions with Windows' (well, DOS') own 'fdisk' program. This program will usually detect 'incompatible' partitions and offer to delete them. Notice however, that NTFS partitions - if present - might also be deleted if the program is run from within Win9x or from DOS!
A second possibility is booting the rescue system from the Mandrake CD (hit F1 key on first screen and then type 'rescue') and use the included 'fdisk' program to delete the Linux partitions.
A third way would involving third party programs like Partition Magic or the free of chargeRanish Partition Manager.

* section index * top

Legal: All texts on this site are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. Standard disclaimers of warranty apply. Copyright LSTB (Tom Berger) and Mandrakesoft 1999-2002.