MBR and grub/lilo?
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Thread: MBR and grub/lilo?

  1. #1
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    MBR and grub/lilo?

    This may seem like an unbelievably stupid question but could someone please explain to be the difference between the master boot record (MBR) and the grub/lilo bootloaders. Its something thats been confusing me. Is the MBR the windows equivilent of grub or lilo? Or is it a location where grub and lilo are placed and run from when the pc boots.

    Do all pc's have an MBR or just ones with a windows OS?

    Thanks,
    Ironic

  2. #2
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    The MBR (Master Boot Record) is just a space on your disk where the bootloader is held. All pc's have MBRs (that I know of) just as most OS's have their own boot loader, it just happens that Linux uses Grub and/or lilo. From my experience with the Windows bootloader it only loads Windows whereas lilo and Grub will load pretty much any OS you would care to put on your computer (correct me if I am wrong someone). It's not a stupid question at all. We all have to start somewhere.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. YOur post and a few google searches have cleared up my questions.

    My next question was actually going to be if I could use Lilo or grub to boot, say, XP. I like this place, people answer your questions before you ask them

  4. #4
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    Make sure that you either install XP first or make an NTFS partition as the first partition on the hard drive. XP is evil and always wants the first chunk of the drive, so it will corrupt your linux install if linux came first and you didn't leave the first partition for win.
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  5. #5
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    I have XP installed first anyway so I should be ok but this article ( http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...ptember10.mspx ) says that normally one should install Linux first and then XP?

    DO you mean that XP would install its own bootloader over whatever the linux distro installs initially?

  6. #6
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    DO you mean that XP would install its own bootloader over whatever the linux distro installs initially?
    Well it does that too, I forgot to mention that. If the first partition is not where windows is installed, it likes to have a fit and won't install. It will overwrite the begining of the first partition to install itself, thus corrupting linux.
    [H]ard|OCP <--Best hardware/gaming news out there--|
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  7. #7
    er0k
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    Originally posted here by hobbdebub
    The MBR (Master Boot Record) is just a space on your disk where the bootloader is held. All pc's have MBRs (that I know of) just as most OS's have their own boot loader, it just happens that Linux uses Grub and/or lilo. From my experience with the Windows bootloader it only loads Windows whereas lilo and Grub will load pretty much any OS you would care to put on your computer (correct me if I am wrong someone). It's not a stupid question at all. We all have to start somewhere.
    you can configure an NT system to run linux off its boot loader. or basically any OS. You just have to do quite a bit of tweaking. there are tuts all over the net for this though.

  8. #8
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    Make sure that you either install XP first or make an NTFS partition as the first partition on the hard drive. XP is evil and always wants the first chunk of the drive, so it will corrupt your linux install if linux came first and you didn't leave the first partition for win.
    Not quite true actually. Take a look at my partition table:

    cfdisk 2.12

    Disk Drive: /dev/hda
    Size: 41174138880 bytes, 41.1 GB
    Heads: 16 Sectors per Track: 63 Cylinders: 79780

    Name Flags Part Type FS Type [Label] Size (MB)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    hda1 Primary Unknown (78) 97.10*
    hda2 Boot Primary Linux ReiserFS 3000.07*
    hda3 Primary NTFS 8000.01*
    hda5 Logical Linux ReiserFS 4999.94*
    hda6 Logical Linux ReiserFS 1000.20*
    hda7 Logical Linux ReiserFS 4999.94*
    hda8 Logical Linux ReiserFS 4999.94*
    hda9 Logical Linux ReiserFS 8000.01*
    hda10 Logical Linux 1000.20*
    Logical Free Space 5076.78*

    The NTFS partition, which is the 3rd partition, is my XP install. I use XOSL boot loader on my primary MBA (/dev/hda). All I do is partition my hard drive, install XOSL, install Linux, put its boot loader on hda2 (/boot), install XP, then run XOSL's restore command. I then configure XOSL to boot off of the OSes' partition, hda2 for Linux, hda3 for XP, etc.

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