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> Install issues, Are grldrs in grub4Dos & distros the same?
B Gold
post Oct 10 2007, 03:52 PM
Post #1


Group: Members
Posts: 1
Joined: 10-October 07
Member No.: 11,175

Hi, I'm a linux newbie, though have played around with LiveCDs for some time
(am A+ certified, lotsa windoze experience FWIW)

The boot options for mixed systems (winxp, linux distro) seems a real horror show
either LiLO which (except for its devotees) seems supplanted by Grub
Which seems only an expert's appn (who else could type in a grub command line interactively...)
(chainloaders, mappings hooks etc)

Grub fails almost every time on my notebook PC
It worked for Puppy Linux but no other distro seems to 'know' how to modify an existing grub menu. insane!
I was only able to install DSL (grub) after i deleted the existing grldr

Which brings me to my objective and my question(s) (yes i have RTFM (grub4dos tutorial etc):
keep using my XP boot.ini and use that to include grub4dos to load a linux distro (eg DSL)
which I have/will install to hda3 (ext2 fs) [which I guess grub calls hd(0,2)?]
I have done this successfully (AFAIR) w/ PuppyLinux; I know about "Distro"=c:\grldr

1. Is the "grldr in the grub4dos interchangeable with the grldr installed by a distro (eg DSL)?
2. If not/IOW, can I install a distro and access/copy its grldr into the grub4dos grldr?
can I use a windoze text editor or must this be conducted under linux?
3. IOW I want to use the grldr (commands) that DSL installs (IOW that work) but with the grldr for grub4dos (if specialized)
I don't much care where grldr as long as i can avoid the mbr option

IOW i cannot figure out from the tutorial etc exactly WHAT pieces of grub4DOS are different from GNU grub and what aren't-
is it the grub.mbr (and is that CALLED that even if not installed IN the mbr? I guess in the mbr it is what IBM calls an IPL,
initial program loader [should that be IBL?]<g>)? is it grldr? is it menu.lst (/rant or is that menu.1st and WHY oh WHY must linux use
a lower case L or 1 which are indistinguishable in small type?!/end rant)

Sorry if my frustration is showing. Any help appreciated. this stuff shoulda been in the tutorial.

Thanks (TIA)

-Bob G
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post Oct 11 2007, 11:54 AM
Post #2


Group: Advanced user
Posts: 1,132
Joined: 14-July 06
Member No.: 2


1) I cannot say if any Linux distro comprises any version of grub4dos
2) grub4dos is really grub, with some features added (and some not yet implemented)
3) main additions:
a. ability to DIRECTLY chainload DOS, FreeDOS and NT/2K/XP/2003/VISTA system files, i.e. respectively IO.SYS, kernel.sys, NTLDR/SETUPLDR.BIN, bootmgr
b. ability to be used as no-emulation CD bootsector
c. ability to be run (grub.exe) from DOS
d. ability to be chainloaded (grldr) from an entry in BOOT.INI
e. ability to boot from CD-ROM also on motherboards that do not support it.
4) main differences:
a. not all grub commands are implemented
b. unlike original grub, which is divided in "stages", grub4dos is "monolithic" with the exception below
c. There are three "main" grub4dos files:
c1. grldr.mbr this is an IPL (that installs to MBR + a few of the first hidden sectors of the HD) that loads directly the grldr file that must be present in the root of a HD or in one of the default paths
c2. grldr this is the "real" grub4dos that can be, besides directly loaded by the grldr.mbr, also loaded directly from a bootsector (in most cases) by either renaming it to ntldr or by hexediting a bootsector invoking ntldr as to invoke grldr and chainloaded from an entry in boot.ini by NTLDR
c3. grub.exe that is grldr compiled as .exe, so that it can be called from a running DOS or FreeDOS system
d. unlike on linux, grub4dos files are seeked in:
- "root" of the partition
- "root"/boot/grub/

The configuration file for ANY of the three version is called by default menu.lst.

I know about "Distro"=c:\grldr

Actually an entry in BOOT.INI is in the form:
c:\grldr="Text to be displayed"

The documentation for grub4dos is actually scarce, but if you browse the board here, and do a search for threads with "grub4dos" on 911cd you will find almost ay aspect of it explained and/or discussed.

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