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Re: dual boot PCs

On Fri, Jan 05, 2001 at 01:46:45AM +0000, laura halliday wrote:
> Even if all you're booting is Linux, there still has
> to be a boot loader that the PC boot ROM can invoke.
> Since there is no OS or file system at boot time, all LILO
> knows how to do is load block such-and-such through block
> such-and-such from a particular device into memory and
> start it executing. This is why you must run lilo when
> you install a new kernel, and it's also why you can
> delete a kernel file and the system will still boot -
> until the blocks on disc are reused by new files, their
> contents are still there.
> The Windows analogue are those blocks that the Windows
> defrag tools won't move. The Windows boot loader also
> only knows about disc blocks.

The alternative Linux/Unix loader, GRUB ("grand unified boot" IIRC)
is a bit smarter; it can read the ext2fs file system and locate
the kernel, so you don't need to rerun it after upgrading the
kernel. It does have to keep an absolute location to your
grub configuration file though.

Also, I think the Windows loader is a bit smarter than that
these days. It used to be (around DOS 4 and earlier) that the
system file (IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS, or IBMBIO.COM and IBMDOS.COM)
had to live in a certain location on the partition, but I think
this limitation was relaxed in DOS 5 and later.

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>
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