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6th May 2009


Brian Grainger


The Lin'N'WinNewB Project assumes that the Windows operating system is located on the first partition of the first hard disk drive. This copes with 90% of all PCs out there but here are some PCs where Windows XP is not stored in this place. The following note describes how the Lin'N'WinNewB Project instructions should be modified to cope with this outcome.

If you are reading this I shall assume that you are technically competent enough to work out on which partition Windows is located. Use a Partition Manager tool to determine which partition holds Windows.

Note that just because Windows calls the drive where the operating system is located C: does NOT mean it is the first partition of the first hard disk.

Having determined the partition and hard disk drive on which Windows is located, it is a simple matter to modify the Lin'N'WinNewB Project instructions

All that is necessary is to modify the menu.lst file - in particular the references to (hd0,0) and the reference to hda1 in the PDEV1 parameter.

(hd0,0) Variations

The (hd0,0) refers to the partition holding the kernel and initial ram disk files for loading Linux. The way the Lin'N'WinNewB Project has been written, these files are on the same partition as the Windows operating system. (hd0,0) is the reference for this partition following the Grub naming convention. The first '0' references the hard disk and the second '0' references the first primary partition.

Having been written by a geek, Grub convention names disks and partitions starting from 0, rather than 1. So 0 represents the first disk or primary partition. Similarly, 1 would reference the second disk or primary partition.

For completeness of information you should be aware that:

  • Extended partitions are numbered from 4
  • Grub makes no differentiation between IDE and SCSI drives. They are all labelled 'hd'.

This gives the rule when Windows, and therefore the kernel and initial ram disk files, are located on a different partition.

e.g. If Windows is located on the second partition of the first hard drive then replace all references to (hd0,0) in menu.lst with (hd0,1).

hda1 Variations

'hda1' is a Linux naming convention, rather than a Grub naming convention.

The 'hd' is used by early versions of the Linux kernel with IDE disk drives. Use 'sd' if you have SCSI or SATA disk drives or your Linux version has a recent version of the kernel. This applies to Series 4 or higher of Puppy Linux.

The 'a' is used for the first disk. i.e. when Grub refers to disk 0. Similarly 'b' is used for the second disk when Grub refers to disk 1.

Linux naming convention for partitions starts from 1 (not 0). So '1' is used for the first primary partition, i.e. when Grub refers to partition 0. The first EXTENDED partition is '5', i.e. when Grub refers to partition 4. Always add 1 to the Grub reference.

The same rules apply if the kernel and initial ram disk files have been placed on a DIFFERENT partition from Windows. Change (hd0,0) and hda1 to refer to the appropriate partition, according to the naming convention.

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