Interesting Multi-Boot Dilemma

#1
First seeing ubuntu added into the VIsta/XP dual boot easy enough setting the root as the mount point the next step was first trying OpenSolaris 2008.11 and then Fedora 10. Both were installed to the first partition on the ide hard drive where the installer for both placed it's own boot loader there.

When selecting the ide drive from the boot device menu after each was to see a working installation both would load right up being the default OS there. Repeat efforts to add each into the BCD with EasyBCD saw a non working entry there while ubuntu will still load as usual.

The question now will a reinstall of either seeing the Vista primary made the mount point followed by repairing the Vista mbr see any new entry load either following a reinstall where the mount point has to be selected at that time? Note that both were live disk to hard drive installations.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
(if i'm understanding you correctly....)
Is Ubuntu's menu.lst being used or is it OpenSolaris who added the entries for the other installations to its own menu.lst when you select the entry for linux? This is sort of tricky because I believe it uses the first menu.lst it can find in the auto configuration (unless you've manually set it up). In this case, it'll use the menu.lst of whatever distro is installed first and this could be a problem if you overwrite the boot code for OpenSolaris since its version of grub is the only one that can boot it. Here I would get rid of Fedora/Ubuntu and reinstall OpenSolaris and the others again with grub to thier own partitions. If these distros are on a seperate drive from Windows I would make sure OpenSolaris code is in the mbr and its partition is given the active flag. I'd verify that a new entry will boot OpenSolaris first and than go back and get the other entries from the other distros and copy them over to OpenSolaris menu.lst.
 
#3
OpenSolaris was replaced by Fedora 10. The Fedora installer reformatted the first partition where OpenSolaris had been installed. Each has their own individual boot loader.

Since this is done across three drives seeing a working triple boot of Vista, XP, and ubuntu NeoGrub was already installed to the Vista host/boot drive. The drive layout is Vista(sata #1), XP(sata #2), Linux(ide #1 and only) where both the OpenSolaris first and later Fedora 10 installers automatically made the ide drive the boot drive to first see OpenSolaris load when booted from later to see Fedora load that way as well.

The installation had to custom installed since the Fedora installer then asked if the entire drive or select partition would see the disk image copied to. Steps #4 and #5 seen in the Vista/Fedora dual guide were also looked over for this as well. http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Fedora

The first partition was selected as the root/mount for Fedora's version of Grub there. In the image of the Disk Management tool here you can see the cursor points out which drive/partition saw Fedora installed onto.

 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
There's a lotta factors here though. One key point is to remember regardless of the physical setup of your hard drives is that the device the BIOS is attempting to boot your system from first well always be considered disk 0 (or 1st disk). The other disks may be ordered differently as well, depending on how the BIOS/bootloader sees them.

For example, a linux disk that is second in the system may actually be considered first if you boot straight from it, but say you boot from your first disk that is Windows and use NeoGrub to boot Linux. In this case, the Linux disk would most likely be second but maybe another depending on how many disks you have.

That is why we get a lot of users with grub troubles. Most of the time, it is a matter of how they are trying to boot Linux that thier disk numbers are messed up in menu.lst and need to be slightly modified.
 
#5
As you will see from the screen shot here I already have one distro in a working triple boot with Vista and XP already. With the help of a free tool the Linux partitions appear as logical drives in Windows. The default drive sees Vista there.



The main item of concern here was the need to use the "custom layout" option while installing Core 10 apparently passing steps #4 and #5 in the wiki since that is intended for a basic dual boot with Vista not adding XP and another Linux distro into the mix. The option to uncheck the box for installing the Fedora boot loader and simply seeing it's root set as the mount point is being looked at as one means to see the distro load when selecting the entry made by EasyBCD.