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RE: dual boot PCs

> Not unsurprisingly, there are other boot loader/managers.
> I've only ever used LILO, but if you don't like it, you
> are welcome to write your own.

Another popular one is LOADLIN, which is uses DOS as the primary bootstrap
loader, then loads a Linux kernel.  This can be used from the Win95 startup
menu with a bit of batch file magic, or run by hand from DOS (or a Windows
boxx started in DOS mode - i.e. Win NT and Win ME users wouldn't be able to
use this method).  I found LOADLIN to be especially useful on a couple of
strange boxes, where LILO got confused by the disk geometry.  DOS and
LOADLIN solved the problem. :)

Another application for LOADLIN is on a system which doesn't understand LBA.
You can position your DOS/Windows partition at the start of the disk, and
have LOADLIN and a kernel image sitting there as well.  If you boot to Linux
with LOADLIN, the Linux kernel will still be able to access the full disk
(as it's not dependent on the BIOS), and load the rest of the system. 

> The Windows analogue are those blocks that the Windows
> defrag tools won't move. The Windows boot loader also
> only knows about disc blocks.

Windows analogue are:

MBR - Loads first sector of active partition - can be used to load LILO from
first sector of Linux partition (Linux has a _lot_ of flexibility here! :)

Boot Record - Loads up IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS from the boot device.

IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS - these are essentially the DOS kernel that Windows
uses, though MSDOS.SYS has changed its status to that of a config file since
Win 95, where in DOS, it contained code.

> I find this thread actually *is* vaguely AMSAT-related.
> A certain curiosity, a willingness to look under the
> hood and delve in to technical details, rather than
> merely being a consumer...

Drawing a long bow, but it does involve the same drive to understand and
make things work. :-)
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