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Restoring GRUB after installing Windows Vista

My Fujitsu P1610 came with Windows XP Tablet. I deliberately purchased my P1610 before Windows Vista became widespread because I wanted the option to have either XP Tablet or Vista. Nevertheless, I was keen to try out Vista when Microsoft sent me my `upgrade' disk, which does a clean install of Windows Vista onto a selected partition.

Unfortunately, installing Windows Vista got rid of my GRUB bootloader, so I could not boot into my Linux system.

  1. Boot the SuSE rescue system using the SuSE installation DVD.
  2. You need to know the identity of the SuSE root partition. In my case it is hda6, which is identified by GRUB as (hd0,5). You can confirm this my mounting the SuSE root partition e.g. mount /dev/hda6 /tmp/TmpDir. You need to create a directory like /tmp/TmpDir. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to create a new directory in /mnt using the SuSE rescue system. Then you can inspect the /tmp/TmpDir/etc/grub.conf created by SuSE during installation.
  3. Execute `grub' in the SuSE rescue system. Use the commands...
    root (hd0,5)
    setup (hd0)
    ...though you will need to change the reference to (hd0,5) according to the location of your SuSE root partition.
Some instructions on the Internet suggest you should save a copy of the Windows Vista boot information, before obliterating it with `grub', as follows...

dd if=/dev/hda of=/boot/vistaboot.img bs=512 count=1
...(/boot/vistaboot.img will need to be changed to a location where the SuSE rescue system can actually save the file) and then use the created vistaboot.img file to change the entry for Windows in /boot/grub/menu.lst...

rootnoverify (hd0,0)

chainloader (hd0,5)/boot/vistaboot.img

boot will need to change (hd0,5) to the identity of your SuSE root partition. However, I did not need to make this change to /boot/grub/menu.lst, I just left it as SuSE had created it for Windows XP Tablet.

What do I think of Windows Vista so far?

  1. Aero looks great. Not much better than SuSE KDE though, and that is without using Beryl/Compiz OpenGL effects.
  2. I find that Windows Vista networking capabilities for things like shared drives seems superior and easier to set up compared to Windows XP.
  3. Of course, Fujitsu provides drivers for Windows Vista, and will no doubt continue to do so for years to come.
  4. Windows Vista takes a very long time to boot. Longer than Windows XP, and longer than openSuSE 10.2. Given that openSuSE is considered the laggard among Linux distributions for boot time, that is quite appalling. In addition, the openSuSE team have made improvement in boot times a priority for subsequent releases such as 10.3, which is due out later in 2007. Who knows when Windows ??? is due to be released, perhaps another five years...
  5. Windows Vista is very resource intensive, even with Aero turned off. More than 512 MB of memory is being `used' before opening a single application. Admittedly, this is probably because software like Internet Explorer is pre-loaded.

next up previous Link to 'computer' page
Next: libdvdcss (using `encoded' DVDs) Up: System software Previous: Fujitsu P1610 hibernate (suspend-to-disk)
David Fong 2011-01-25