Dual boot FC16-XP nightmare - clean install
I just want to report that I had a very, very difficult XP+FC16 dual-boot clean installation, perhaps the most difficult linux installation in nearly 10-years. Apparently this was down to constrictions imposed by grub2 (not fitting the conventional MBR space), and the lack of a functional out-of-the-box alternative.
Apparently something to this effect has already been reported as a bug. Yeah, I'll vouch for that.
Here's what I ended up having to do, after 1) successful clean install of XP, and 2) failure of FC16 in install a usable bootloader from the installer DVD:
- install fc15 (which as expected installed a usable MBR and grub-legacy.
- upgrade install FC16 over FC15. This left the original, FC15 MBR and grub legacy in place -- but inexplicably wiped the entry to boot itself from grub.conf (only windows was listed on reboot).
- attempts to chroot into the FC16 partition from a live CD and run "/sbin/grub-install" failed (not found). I was also unable to launch grub from the command-prompt to essay a repair, nor could I "yum install grub" to FC16 (yum reporting "grub2 is already the newest version").
- I then installed fc15 to another partition as a 'backup' OS for recovery purposes (I was getting tired of rebooting the live CD into a barely usable Gnome 3) -- however this time it failed to overwrite the MBR to point to itself (MBR still pointing to grub-legacy on FC16 partition, with only a Windows entry. Oh the irony).
- by inspecting grub.conf on the new FC15 installation (from a live CD), I was able to guess a plausible entry (changing the (hdx,x), uid and kernel versions), and add it to grub.conf on FC16.
- Finally (8-hours later), I have a working dual boot of XP + FC16.