Multiple OS boot loader?

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Profile KD [SETI.USA]
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Message 928446 - Posted: 24 Aug 2009, 18:39:04 UTC

Any recs on a (Windows-based) multiple OS boot loader that will work with Vista64 (and Win7 later), Linux, and FreeBSD?

Something that behaves like Boot Magic used to. (Able to select OS on boot.)

I know Windows has a built-in boot loader, but I don't trust it. I want a stand-alone (Windows-based) boot loader.

I've always put LILO at the beginning of the Linux partition and had it called up by Boot Magic.

I don't want to use any Linux Bootloader in the MBR. I want it to be Windows based as Windows will be my primary OS on this laptop.

Thanks..
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Message 928455 - Posted: 24 Aug 2009, 19:58:07 UTC - in response to Message 928446.  

Don't know about the latest of the Windows boot loaders, but the usual "trick" is to partition your disks how you want, install the various Windows variants, and then lastly load up the Linux/BSD distros.

A Windows install will trash any other OSes you might have there, so hence install Windows first.

When installing the Linux distros, the mainstream distros are very OS friendly and will load grub as the bootloader into the MBR and give you a menu of ALL the OSes on your system.

If you really want to get clever, you can chain from one bootloader to the next.

Or you could have the MBR of one disk used for Windows and the MBR of a second disk used for others, or even install the bootloader onto a USB memory stick and boot from that, or all manner of permutations. You have a choice.

Easiest is just to boot up from grub :-) Anything else needs careful setup.


Hope that helps.

Good luck,
Martin

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Message 928456 - Posted: 24 Aug 2009, 19:58:23 UTC

How about this one? http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm
Old enough to know better(but)still young enough not to care
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Message 928457 - Posted: 24 Aug 2009, 20:03:21 UTC - in response to Message 928446.  
Last modified: 24 Aug 2009, 20:04:02 UTC

I don't want to use any Linux Bootloader in the MBR. I want it to be Windows based as Windows will be my primary OS on this laptop.

For any good bootloader, it doesn't matter which you use. They all should do exactly the same job. The only difference will be in how they look and for how the config is changed.

To keep all the 'automation' for making any changes to the bootloader, then you should try looking up how to "chain" into the grub bootloader from whatever Windows bootloader you wish to use.

But does Windows ever make any changes to it's bootloader?...

Good luck,
Martin
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Message 928460 - Posted: 24 Aug 2009, 20:20:03 UTC
Last modified: 24 Aug 2009, 20:32:41 UTC

Came across BootIT while googling, Considered it for a minute, but it looks like it needs it own partition. Plus, its $35. I'm not cheap, but for $35 would expect it to be near perfect.

Found some GPL/sourceforge stuff out there, like Smart Boot Manager (doesn't work with Vista) and GAG (too intrusive).

Found a perfect one: Boot-US

Its not intrusive and works great. Written by some German doctor who is asking for 15 EU, which I'll be happy to give.

Yeah, I like having a (Windows configurable) boot loader that will, in turn, call up LILO to load Linux. I'm sure GRUB works well, but "grew up" with LILO so trust it.

Definitely don't trust Window's built-in boot loader. Don't even know if it would boot Linux and don't really care. Even if does, it probably has a "feature" to remove Linux/FreeBSD/etc from the boot list the first time you do any Windows updates...

Downloading Slackware now. :-)

Used Partition Wizard Home Edition to resize and make free space for Linux and FreeBSD. Great free program, very similiar to Norton Partition Magic before it was gobbled up by that BS evil company Symantec.

Thanks...
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Message 928609 - Posted: 25 Aug 2009, 13:39:37 UTC - in response to Message 928446.  

If you install GRUB into the first sector of your /boot partition, then your MBR is still windows-compatible. If Linux is removed, you can just change your active partition and boot Windows normally. Otherwise, GRUB is a very good bootloader. It can be secured if necessary too.
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Message 928622 - Posted: 25 Aug 2009, 15:04:01 UTC - in response to Message 928446.  

Any recs on a (Windows-based) multiple OS boot loader that will work with Vista64 (and Win7 later), Linux, and FreeBSD?

Something that behaves like Boot Magic used to. (Able to select OS on boot.)


I've never used BootMagic (packaged with Norton Partition Magic), but I'd guess it works like VCom's SystemCommander 7.05 that I've used for many years on various PCs for multi-booting Windows / Linux. I use XP Pro 32-bit, and I've read reviews of the replacement Partition Commander 8/9/10 (now sold by Avanquest) that say Vista is problemmatic; Avanquest claims Partiton Commander version 11 is compatible with 32- and 64-bit Vista & XP.

I know Windows has a built-in boot loader, but I don't trust it. I want a stand-alone (Windows-based) boot loader.

I've always put LILO at the beginning of the Linux partition and had it called up by Boot Magic.

I don't want to use any Linux Bootloader in the MBR. I want it to be Windows based as Windows will be my primary OS on this laptop.

Thanks..


On my PCs, I first pre-partiton and pre-format all partitions using Partition Magic (boot from PM CD) e.g. sda1 for Windows XP OS, sda2 for Windows data, then an Extended Primary partiton containing sda5 for Linux /root, sda6 for Linux /home, and sda7 for Linux /usr. After installing Windows OS into the first primary partiton (sda1), I install System Commander into that Windows OS. When installing Linux, I'll set LILO bootloader to boot Linux from the /root partiton (sda5). System Commander v7 will auto-detect the Linux installation (if it doesn't, I'll go into SC's Settings menu and set /root to be bootable then Add linux to SC's boot menu).

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Message 928624 - Posted: 25 Aug 2009, 15:42:54 UTC - in response to Message 928622.  

You can use WIndows XP/Vista themselves. THere is a file, usually hidden, at C:\BOOT.INI that gives you a menu on what and where you want to boot. It's well documented and you should find it in the hep section or google.
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Message 928641 - Posted: 25 Aug 2009, 22:58:39 UTC

I know the O.P. didn't want to spend a lot of money on this, and what I'm suggesting costs money.

If you've used VMware, you'll never go back to a simple multi-boot.
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Message 928703 - Posted: 26 Aug 2009, 4:05:06 UTC - in response to Message 928641.  

I know the O.P. didn't want to spend a lot of money on this, and what I'm suggesting costs money.

If you've used VMware, you'll never go back to a simple multi-boot.

What about SUN VirtualBox? It does not cost anything for private use and I am thinking of installing it on my Linux box.
Tullio
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Message 929090 - Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 18:25:54 UTC - in response to Message 928703.  

What about SUN VirtualBox? It does not cost anything for private use and I am thinking of installing it on my Linux box.
Tullio

I've only used VMware. I know that Microsoft has a product, and there are others, including open source alternatives.

One thing I really like about VMware: it is very cross-platform. I can copy VMs from my desktop machine to my laptop and they run fine.
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Message 929097 - Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 18:34:28 UTC - in response to Message 929090.  

VMWare Rules
"Living by the wisdom of computer science doesn't sound so bad after all. And unlike most advice, it's backed up by proofs." -- Algorithms to live by: The computer science of human decisions.
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Message 929145 - Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 22:39:33 UTC
Last modified: 27 Aug 2009, 22:44:40 UTC

Got Vista 64, Slack 64, and FreeBSD 64 all installed and booting correctly.

Boot-US in MBR and Slack/FreeBSD's loaders in their root partitions.

Yeah, I know virtualization can be very, very, convenient but just not into the whole deal with having to use emulated "generic hardware". 'sides, it also kills CPU cycles that can be going to Boinc. :)

RE: Window's boot.ini, NTLDR, whatever its called these days. Can it boot FreeBSD? Still don't trust it even if it can. Probably has a "feature" to automatically remove other OS's other than Windows every time you do a Windows update...
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Message 929180 - Posted: 28 Aug 2009, 2:24:43 UTC - in response to Message 929145.  

Yeah, I know virtualization can be very, very, convenient but just not into the whole deal with having to use emulated "generic hardware". 'sides, it also kills CPU cycles that can be going to Boinc. :)

When you boot multiple operating systems on the same hardware, you have to make sure that every OS that crunches gets an opportunity to complete the work and report back.

Virtualization takes some clock cycles (surprisingly few) but you won't lose work because it was reported too late to get credit.
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Message 929189 - Posted: 28 Aug 2009, 3:18:52 UTC
Last modified: 28 Aug 2009, 3:20:10 UTC

At the recent BOINC workshop in Taiwan, last April, Ben Segal of CERN in his video and slides presentation of LHC@home mentions a project to build and install CernVM, a virtual machine alongside with BOINC, on users PCs, to allow them to run Linux programs from CERN on their systems. Also, on the BOINC home page, there is an article on the Citizens Cyberscience Center, sponsored by CERN, United Nations and Geneva University to promote distributed volunteer computing.
Tullio
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Message boards : Number crunching : Multiple OS boot loader?


 
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