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Copyright 2017, Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

August 2006


Advanced Partitioning

Getting OS/2's Boot Manager, eCS, and Windows XP Professional 64 Bit Edition to Play Nice with SUSE Linux 10.1

by Tony Butka

OK, I admit it - I wind up with totally odd partitioning schemes. I'd love to say that this is the case because I write articles on OS/2, or that there is a plan, but the honest truth is that I'm a relatively unstructured kind of guy and stuff just seems to happen. With that cautionary note, let me explain a little about the partitioning scheme on my almost new MSI/AMD 64x2 3800+ machine with 2 GB of RAM. After a number of fits, starts, and wipes, the partitions now look like this:

Dev Size Type Details
/DEV/HDA 80 GB Hitachi IDE0
/dev/hda1 76.6 Gb NTFS Win XP Pro
64 Bit OS
/dev/hda2 7.8 Mb OS/2 Boot Manager
/DEV/HDB 150 GB Seagate IDE1
/dev/hdb1 72.3 Extended
/dev/hdb2 2 Gb Linux Swap Swap
/dev/hdb3 20 Gb Linux Native /
/dev/hdb4 54.6 Gb Linux Native /home
/dev/hdb5 4 Gb HPFS ECS 1.2
/dev/hdb6 19.5 Gb HPFS OS/2 Shared
data /dev/hdb7 9.7 Gb HPFS ECS 2 Beta
/dev/hdb8 39 Gb FAT32 Shared Data
/DEV/SDA 400 GB WD SATA
/dev/sda1 372 NTFS Data

See, now you know why I explained my partitioning scheme before I got up the temerity to show it in all its glory. What happened is that I originally got the system with an 80 GB Hitachi IDE drive to install Windows Professional x64 Edition (knowing that it does not like to play nice with other partitions/Operating Systems after the install), and with a nice big 400 GB SATA drive for Data. Then once I had that all going ok, I wanted to install eCS and got a good deal on a Seagate 150 GB IDE drive. So next came eCS, then I installed SUSE Linux 10.1 for the AMD x64 chipset. That proved to be a mistake, because the SUSE installer automatically installs GRUB to the master boot record of the first drive. Boom, bye bye Boot Manager. Somehow in all the ensuing zapping and midnight madness, I wound up with Boot Manager moving from the first partition of the second IDE drive, to the end of the first IDE drive, but that's another story. For our purposes, go figure.

Anyhow by using DFSee to refresh the MBR on the first drive (NEWMBR 1 is the actual command) I was able to get back my eCS partition, but at the expense of not being able to boot SUSE Linux. Grrh! And when I tried to do a SMP install of the new eCS 2.0 Beta, well... lets just say that on this setup the 2.0 Beta of eCS does not like to install using the JFS file system (even though I did want to try it out). Fortunately the 2.0 Beta itself does install using HPFS, but alas so far without SMP support (more on this in another article). So there I was with my munged up system and no joy.

With Linux installed and active, it picked up the OS/2 Boot Manager at the end of the first IDE drive (with an INIT13 problem) and showed it in GRUB, but if I tried to boot to BM it would hang. If I fixed the INIT13 problem with a new boot record, GRUB went bye bye and no Linux, although I could boot both eCS versions and Windows x64. Sigh...

OK, enough whining, obviously I found a solution or I wouldn't be writing this article, would I? Here's what worked for me, although there may be a simpler and kinder solution out there. (Actually there is one. Buy DFSee, and contact Jan Van Wyck to get it right the first time). Otherwise, install Windows first (of course) and if it's XP Service Pak 2, preferably on its own drive. Or, if you have to shrink the drive like on a notebook, shrink the drive BEFORE you actually start up XP and go through the initialization process. Next, install Boot Manager & OS/2, and put Windows & OS/2 on the Boot Manager menu. Then, install Linux - Mepis or Ubuntu are the easiest, although on my 64 bit dual core system I like SUSE 10.1 a lot. Whichever version of Linux you install, by default they all seem to use GRUB as the boot loader and put it in the master boot record of the first hard drive by default.

OK, now you can boot (probably) to Windows and Linux, since GRUB will pick up both of these systems. Depending on where OS/2 Boot Manager is located, it too may be picked up, but usually not. If Boot Manager won't work, the trick is to boot to SUSE Linux, and then startup YAST, the configuration tool. Give the root password, and go to the Boot loader Configuration tool. From there, you will see a tab for boot loader options. It will show GRUB as the boot loader, and then give you a choice of either using the master boot record of the first hard drive, or, the boot sector of the partition that your SUSE linux is installed to. Choose this option (in my case it was /dev/hdb3, save, and reboot. In other versions of Linux which don't use YAST, there is an equivalent administration & configuration tool.

When you reboot, either use the DFSee boot disk, or boot to Windows and run DFSee. From the command line, change the master boot record by issuing the command

       NEWMBR 1 
which will change the master boot record keeping the partitioning scheme. Now, reboot and you will see OS/2's Boot Manager come up nice and pretty! Use DFSee to add your SUSE partition to Boot Manager. Or, of course, you can also use eCS's LVM to do the same, but I like DFSee a lot as you may have guessed. Either way you now have a triple booted system with Linux, OS/2 and Windows all coexisting.

Happy computing!


The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

Copyright 2006 the Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.