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My current situation:
I have a laptop running Windows 98 in the first partition. The second partition of the disk is a FAT32 data partition used by Windows. The third partition of the disk has linux installed. Lilo is configured to provide a selection menu when starting up whether to start Windows 98 or Linux.
This configuration is working fine for a long time now. Until now, I needed Windows 98 for specific client projects because I needed the possibility to boot in full MS-DOS mode for certain timing dependent proprietary software. Fortunately I don't need that software anymore, and I would like to upgrade the system to Windows 2000. That OS gives me the possibility to install software which doesn't run under 98. It also gives more stability to my laptop than 98.
Now I face a potential problem however. I would like to keep the third linux partition on the disk and have it bootable. Unfortunately, after reading some documentation, Windows 2000 replaces the bootloader when installed, and thereby makes the linux partition unaccesible. There are some step-by-step guides to install linux and Windows 2000 on one disk, but these guides all assume that you install linux AFTER Windows 2000. I already have linux installed. According to the information I read, it is necessary to have Windows 2000 in the first partition. Because this first partition is now occupied by Windows 98 and I will overwrite it with the newer OS, this is not a problem for me.
Can anyone give me some hints how to install Windows 2000 in such a way that I can make the linux partition accesible again after the installation?
I always thought that Windows 2000 needed its own boot loader in the MBR of the disk.
You would use LILO to point to the Windows boot loader.
Good mentioning of the bootable CD. I have one, so I can try the installation of W2K without the risk of the Linux partition becomming totally inacessible.
Right. You should be able to boot to the CD, then at the "boot:" prompt enter something like "root=/dev/hd?" to tell it to boot to your Linux partition until you get LILO setup properly.
I believe you will setup in lilo.conf but google it just to be sure.
Yeah, something like this:
The same as you would for a dual-boot system where Linux is installed last.. except that you have to apply this configuration after you install Windows by booting to another bootdisk or bootable CD.
To get a very low downtime of my main laptop, I decided to first setup the wanted Windows 2000 on a comparable laptop. After installing the needed application software and testing the configuration, I used Norton Ghost to transfer the Windows 2000 partition from that laptop to my main laptop. I placed the Windows 2000 partition over the existing Windows 98.
Although I had made copies of the MBR before this transfer, just to be sure, those were not necessary. The partition to partition transfer didn't overwrite the existing MBR and I was able to restart with LILO in both Windows 2000 and Linux directly after the transfer was completed. The only thing I have to change is the name of the Windows entry in the LILO menu. It is still called "Windows 98".