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> Triple boot Linux Mint/Win7/XP
post Jul 3 2009, 09:55 AM
Post #1

Whats this Lie-nix Thing?

Group: Members
Posts: 3
Joined: 3-July 09
From: IL
Member No.: 14,660

Hello all,

This is my first post on this forum. I currently have two hard drives: one is SATA and has both XP and Windows 7, another is IDE and was going to have Linux Mint. I currently dual-boot Win7 and XP and have no issues. I like GParted to partition drives, so I used that to partition the IDE drive as ext3. The partitioning went fine. I downloaded Linux Mint x64 (since I have a Core2Duo processor), used it for a bit on the live cd, liked it quite a bit, and decided to install it.

During the install process, Mint wanted me to add in a swap drive, so I created a small partition for that and changed the file system for Mint to ext4. The install went fine. I went to reboot my computer and received a grub error:

GRUB loading stage 1.5
GRUB loading, please wait...
Error 17

It wouldn't boot into Mint or either Windows. I found a few fixes for that error by using Google (namely checking the BIOS to make sure the drive was on "auto") and it was. I ended up getting frustrated and formatting the drive that Mint was on and formatting the ext4 and swap partitions to FAT32 to see if I could get rid of the GRUB error. That didn't work, so I found a fix to change back to the Windows bootloader and all is well with my Win7 and XP.

The problem is, I'd really like to learn Linux on my machine, but I'm also going to be keeping both Windows versions. Giving those up is not an option. It seems like I've found 75 different ways of dual-booting, everything from modifying GRUB, to adding lines to Windows' boot.ini, to changing to LILO, to making a boot diskette (I have no floppy drive), to booting from a USB stick. I've spent 2 days researching this and, after reding all the posts from all the different forums that I could find, I seem to have more questions than answers. For every post that I find that says, "Do this," I find another that says it doesn't work.

So, say I do take the time to install Linux again, and try to figure out how to pick one of those options to make it work. Say I edit GRUB to show Windows. What happens if I still get a GRUB error and none of the OS's will boot? Do I just have to keep installing Mint until I run out of errors? Do I go through all 177,000 Google results for "GRUB Error 17" to find a fix? Do I have to get a floppy drive to use a bootable diskette? What's the easiest way to go about this? I realize that Microsoft, not Linux, is the thing that is making this complicated, and I'm sorry for my ignorance on this. I'd really like to learn Linux, but I'm not a CLI guru and won't become one for a little while. I'm trying not to get frustrated, but it just seems like I already have to know everything about Linux before I even install it and learn how to use it. Thank you for your time, and I would appreciate any help that you can provide.
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