NT OS Loader + Linux mini-HOWTO
Bernd Reichert, <email@example.com>v1.11, 2 September 1997
This document describes the use of the Windows NT boot loader to start Linux. This procedures have been tested with Windows NT 4.0 WS and Linux 2.0.
The NT OS loader likes to have the boot sector from the other operating systems available as a file. It reads this file and starts the operating system selected, i.e. either Windows NT in different Modes or any other OS.
Try to install Windows NT first. If you want to use NTFS for your Windows
NT-partition, keep in mind, that the todays production version of Linux
cannot access NTFS partitions.
An alpha driver that can read NTFS-Partitions is available at
Another Mini-howto recommends not to use NTs "Disk Administartor" to create the Linux swap- and root-partitions. It is sufficient to see the free space there. I also recommend to use linux's fdisk later.
Now boot linux from diskettes, create the swap and root-partition. Fdisk assumes the ntfs-partition to be a HPFS-partition. This is normal. Boot again from diskettes and install Linux as you like.
Just in case the installation procedure suggests that you could mount the HPFS partition which it has found: Ignore it.
When you come to the Lilo-Section, specify your Linux-root-partition
as your boot device because the Master Boot Record (MBR) of your
harddisk is owned by Windows NT. This means that the root-entry and
the boot-entry in your
If you have two disks and your Linux resides on the first partition
of your second disk, your boot-entry in
Run lilo with a kernel that matches your system. Check the kernel by booting from diskette first if you are not sure.
If you cannot boot Windows NT now, you have a problem. I hope you have created a repair-disk recently.
There is a NT-programm called bootpart written by G. Vollant that can do
the jobs from the next two points for you. Bootpart is available at
If you want to know how things are working together, use the procedures described in point 5 and 6.
You have to boot from diskettes until the NT-part is fixed.
Now you have to peel the bootsector from your Linux-root-Partition. With /dev/hda2 as your linux-partition, the dd-command is:
There is something wrong if your bootsect.lnx has more than 512 bytes.
Now copy the file bootsect.lnx to a DOS-formated floppy if this is your way to transfer files to the NTFS-Windows-partition.
You can copy it with
Copy the file from the diskette to
What lilo.conf is for linux is
Now change the file boot.ini with an editor, notepad for example, as follows:
Only the last line has been added in this example.
Restore the attributes after you have saved
After a shutdown of your Windows NT and a restart your should see the following:
A new copy of bootsect.lnx must be transfererd to
If things do not work as expected, check bootability with a floppy disk.
Run lilo with a diskette inserted. Now try to boot from the diskette.
If your Linux on
If the floppy boots your Linux partition, you can peel of your boot-sector for the NT OS loader with:
You can keep this diskette as your rescue-diskette just in case your Windows NT installation breaks.
Any comments are welcome.