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  1. #1
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    Problem dual booting OS's (Windows XP/SP2)

    Okay, I have a PATA drive and a SATA drive. On the SATA drive are 2 NTFS partitions. One is Windows XP SP2. The PATA drive is there for installing different Linux distro's and playing around with that OS as I try to figure out which one I might want to dive into.

    I installed Ubuntu 6.10 on the PATA drive and when I set my BIOS to look at the PATA drive first I get a boot menu where I can select Windows XP if I want to go there and everything boots fine. If I set my BIOS back to looking at the SATA drive first I don't even get the menu - it just boots straight into Windows XP. That's perfect and how I want it.

    I removed my Ubuntu PATA drive and installed another PATA drive so I could install Freespire 1.0.13. Everything went well but I found that when I changed the BIOS setting to look at the SATA drive first and only boot from there, offering no boot menu which is what I wanted, I get the Freespire boot menu. So this is different from how the Ubuntu setup works and it's a small problem. Sometimes I'll remote into my XP machine and need to reboot. Now I can't do that and get back into XP because the Freespire boot menu comes up even when the SATA drive is the first hard drive to boot from in the list in my BIOS.

    Does anyone know how to fix this? I haven't yet simply disconnected the PATA drive with Freespire on it to see if that's all that needs to be done. I can definitely do that and let you know what happens if that's the first step. I only just now thought of it (duh). Let me know what you all think. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Problem dual booting OS's (Windows XP/SP2)

    I suspect you have installed the Freespire bootloader (Grub, I think) into the MBR for the SATA drive. To get rid of that I think you will need to run FDISK /MBR from a Windows boot disk.
    HTH.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  3. #3
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    Re: Problem dual booting OS's (Windows XP/SP2)

    Thanks. That's kind of what I was thinking but I wanted to run it by you all first.

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    Re: Problem dual booting OS's (Windows XP/SP2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by cbaldrey on 16-Mar-07 09:37. Additional information added to original post)</P>Not really understanding fully what your desired default is (I think it's the XP installation), you could modify the GRUB setup (/boot/menu.lst) to select the XP option as the default.

    Remembering that the numerical order starts at 0, count through the menu selections, and replace the current default listed (usually 0), with the number that represents the XP installation.

    I found this Freespire Wiki topic for setting WinXP as the default.

    Hope this helps....
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Problem dual booting OS's (Windows XP/SP2)

    Chris, I like that info. Thanks a ton. I hadn't even thought about making XP the default, but that is what I'd like. Great idea. I appreciate your input.

    So I fixed the problem I originally posted about by booting in the XP recovery console and running fixmbr. That did it. First, though, I unplugged the SATA drive and booted to make sure Freespire would boot fine on its own. Than I unplugged the PATA drive and reconnected the SATA drive to see how XP would do and nothing booted. That's when I decided to run fixmbr and it worked perfectly. So now what I'm going to do is disconnect the SATA drive, reconnect the PATA drive and reinstalled Freespire from scratch (hadn't made any changes so it's no big deal). I'll than have to add XP as an option in the GRUB boot menu.

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