Linux Step By Steps

Dual Booting : Caldera eDesktop 2.4 and Windows ME

compiled by Lourens Steenkamp <>

1. Introduction:

This is an overview of the steps required to create a dual boot environment using eD2.4 and Win ME.

The following senarios will be discussed:

- a new machine with Win ME pre-loaded, the partition will be  shrunk using either 'GNU Parted 1.4.8' or 'fips 2.0'  before installing eD2.4 onto the same drive;
- adding a second drive to an existing Win ME machine and installing eD2.4 onto this second drive.

This Step-by-Step assumes that you understand the installation procedures  for both eD2.4 and Win ME. Caldera installation documentation is supplied with the retail version and is also available at -> OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 User's Guide

Kindly note that no warranty is given or implied by this Step-by-Step. You follow these instructions at your own risk.

2. Before you start.

2.1 Dual booting on a single drive:

Before installing eD2.4, you will need to make room for it on your disk. Choose your poison, will 'Gnu Parted' or 'fips' be used to shrink your existing partition?

'fips.exe' (ver 2.0) is on the Caldera CD, /col/tools/fips or at

You will need to download RESTORRB.EXE, FIPS.EXE, ERRORS.TXT, and the documentation (fips.doc, fips.faq). Acquaint yourself with these documents.

Gnu Parted : I assume that you will only have access to a Win ME  machine. You will therefore need to download a boot disk image from and use 'rawrite.exe' to write the image to a floppy.

You will find rawrite.exe on the eD2.4 CD,/col/tools/rawrite  or at

Should you have access to a Linux machine, Gnu Parted is available at or

Acquaint yourself with the 'USER' doc available on the Gnu site ( Note that most of the info in this doc relates to using Gnu Parted on Linux so do not tilt when reading this document.  The important section for you is "2.1 Running Parted"

Gnu Parted is a newer product than fips and is, in my opinion, a better option to choose. Gnu Parted is larger to download, assuming that you download the disk boot image, but it is easier to use than fips.

2.2 For all senarios:

Download, read and read and read  "Zen and the Art of Using GRUB, Revisited. (Ref. #010119-0025)" from
6&3=zen+and+the+art+of+using+grub+revisted (also available on the SxS site)

GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) is the default bootloader for eD2.4, understanding GRUB is very important. The time invested in understanding  GRUB will be valuable to you when you start with kernel upgrades, or in the unlikely event of needing to recover Linux, and in the likely event of Win ME messing with your mbr (Master Boot Record).

Remember that as a general rule, M$ products do not recognise the existance of any non-M$ O/S.

Other GRUB and related docs can be found at:

3. Preparation

3.1 The Win ME already installed senario

3.1.1 Create a Startup Disk for Win ME:

Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Startup Disk -> Create Disk

If you wish to use fips, create two Startup Disks!

Label the one 'Win Me Startup', (the other 'fips bootable',see 3.2.1.)

Test the Startup Disk(s) by booting them

3.1.2 Gather hardware info from Win ME:

[Right-Click = RC , Left-Click = LC , Left-Double-click = DC]

RC My Computer -> LC Properties -> LC Device Manager -> DC in turn on each of the following sections (Display Adapter, Sound, Network card, Modem) -> RC on the displayed device(s) -> LC Properties -> LC on Name and then on Resources writing down all the info provided.

3.1.3 Check that all your hardware is compatible with eD2.4, see:

Pleeeease note that your hardware needs to comply with the above, do not blame Caldera should you try to install eD2.4 on unsupported hardware. This is particularly true for Winmodems, Winprinters,  AMR (Audio/Modem Riser) devices and some AC'97 Audio implementations.

3.2 Create either of the fips or the Gnu Parted disks

3.2.1 fips 2.0 boot disk

Win ME does not directly support format a:/s or transferring system files during formatting with Explorer.
Access the 'fips bootable' disk created under 3.1.1 with Explorer and delete all BUT the following files to create a bootable floppy:
Now copy the folowing fips files to this floppy:

Test this disk by booting it.

3.2.2 Gnu Parted boot disk

From Win ME

-> Start -> Run -> Command

cd to the directory into which you downloaded the Gnu Parted  boot disk image and rawrite.exe. insert a blank floppy into drive a: and type in following:
rawrite ....
Label the disk 'Gnu Parted boot'

4. Shrinking the Win ME partition.

Here you will be making space onto which you will install eD2.4. Remember to allow sufficient space for both O/S's.

4.1 Using fips:

4.1.1 Run Scandisk and Defragmentation within Win ME
DC My Computer -> RC Local Disk C: -> LC Properties ->
LC General tab -> Check Capacity [write down the amount of
Used space and Free space]-> LC Tools tab -> LC Check Now
under Error-Checking Status -> LC Local Disk C: ->
LC Thorough & Automatically Fix Errors -> LC Start.
LC Close when complete.
LC Defragment NOw under Defragmentation Status.
Close when finished.

4.1.2 Ensure that the 'Free space' from 4.1.1 is sufficient to satisfy  the eD2.4 installation requirments.
You will need, in my humble opinion, at least 3GB of free disk space to do a half decent eD2.4 installation and have a useable

4.1.3 Shutdown and boot with the 'fips bootable' disk

4.1.4 Enter the following at the prompt to run fips: fips

Follow the fips prompts (indicated in UPPER CASE):
press any key to continue
[your existing partitioning scheme is displayed]
press any key to continue
fips does some checking on the disk

use the left / right cursor keys to decrement / increment cylinders
by 1, use the up / down cursor keys to decrement / increment
cylinders by 10
[You will be setting the size you wish the resized Win ME partition
to be. fips will not allow you to make the resized Win ME partition
smaller than the size of the existing data]
press the enter key to continue
[your new partitioning sheme is displayed]
press r to reedit or c to continue
press y if you are happy with the scheme
[note that a DOS partition has been created as the second partition]

4.1.4 Reboot into Win ME and run Scandisk on the Win ME partition;
See Scandisk under 4.1.1.
Check that the partions are as you intended them to be.

4.1.5 No gremlins? Well done.
Please proceed to the eD2.4 installation steps, 5.

4.1.6 Had something gone terribly wrong with the above proceedure,
you should be able to revert to your original partitioning
scheme using RESTORRB.EXE and A:\ROOTBOOT.000 on the
bootable fips disk. Please refer to the fips documentation.

4.2 Using Gnu Parted:

4.2.1 Shutdown Win ME and boot the 'Gnu Parted boot' floppy

4.2.2 Enter the following command at the (bash #) prompt
followed by the enter key;
[Ignore the warning about LBA geometry]

4.2.3 Enter the following command at the (parted) prompt
followed by the enter key;

An example of the display for a small disk used for this test;
Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags
1 0.031 4110.380 Primary FAT boot,lba
[the Gnu Parted commands are also displayed]
This disk has 1 partition, starting at 0MB, ending at 4110MB.
For now, ignore the ".031" and ".380" parameters.

4.2.4 Enter the following command at the (parted) prompt
followed by the enter key;
resize 1 0 xxxx
(where xxxx is the size in MB for the new Win ME partition)
You are telling Gnu Parted to resize partition 1,
to start at 0 MB and to end at xxxxMB.
In this example, I entered 'resize 1 0 2000'
the resultant partition is displayed in 4.2.5

4.2.5 Enter the following command at the (parted) prompt
followed by the enter key;

An example of the display;
Minor Start End Type Filesystem Flags
1 0.031 2000.280 Primary FAT boot,lba
[This step merely confirms the partition size]

4.2.5 Enter the following command followed by the enter key;

4.2.6 Reboot the system into Win ME and follow steps in 4.1.4

4.2.7 Everything OK? Great stuff.
Please proceed to the eD2.4 installation steps, 5.

4.2.8 Something wrong? You will need to use your undo the above
steps using Gnu Parted and then use your Win ME Startup disk.

5. eD2.4 Installation Steps:
Ensure that your hardware is compatible!
Kindly follow the eD2.4 installation documentation and substitute
the following where applicable.

5.1. Personal recommendations;
do a 'Standard' install,
should you need assistance to configure devices then use the
info gathered in 3.1.2.

5.2 Follow the eD2.4 installation documentation noting the
following Important Steps / substitutions

5.2.1 'Select Target' - fips
Had you used fips to shrink the Win ME partition, you
will need to follow the 'Custom (expert only)' route when
partitioning your disk. You will need to delete the FAT
partition created by fips and then partition this space for
use by OpenLinux. The FAT partition that you will delete
will be referred to as /dev/hda2 should you be using
an IDE drive.

5.2.2 'Select Target' - Gnu Parted
Had you used Gnu Parted to shrink the Win ME partition, you
should probably follow the 'Free disk space' route and allow
eD2.4 to allocate all free disk space to OpenLinux.

5.2.3 Install 'All Packages' as this will allow you to get a good feel
for the product.

5.2.4 Do remember to create yourself as a user,
the 'root' login is only for to be used for special tasks!

5.2.5 'Setup Boot Loader'.
Ensure that the following are ticked :
/dev/hda Win 95 FAT 32 (LBA) Windows
as well as
Write master boot record

5.2.6 On the 'Rescue Disk' screen, insert a blank floppy into the drive,
select the 'Write Disk' button.

5.2.7 Select 'Finish' when the floppy has been written.

5.3 How did that go? You have a login screen!
No, there are no multiple reboots before you are up and running!
Welcome to OpenLinux.
Before you begin your new and magical journey, please complete the
following step, I know that it is hard to resist playing ...
Please remove the Rescue disk and label it as eD2.4 Rescue, do
add today's date and the Kernel version 2.2.14.
Special task ahead so login as root and complete the KDE

5.4 Remember GRUB? Time to create a GRUB disk.

5.4.1 Label a floppy disk as GRUB, add today's date, add the Kernel
version, and insert it into the floppy drive.

5.4.2 Grab the following document that you downloaded:
"Zen and the Art of Using GRUB, Revisited" and go to the
'How to create a GRUB boot floppy and menu interface' section.
5.4.2 Click on the 'K' icon (bottom left of your screen), position the
mouse pointer over 'Utilities', click on either 'Konsole' or

5.4.3 Check the configuration in your menu.lst file by type the
following command followed by the enter key:
cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
Your output should look similar to the following,
(depending on whether you followed 5.2.1 or 5.2.2)
-I have removed the open lines:

# /boot/grub/menu.lst - generated by Lizard
# options
timeout = 5
splashscreen = (hd0,4)/boot/message.col24
default = 0
title = Linux
root = (hd0,4)
kernel = /boot/vmlinuz-pc97-2.2.14-modular vga=274 noapic
nosmp debug=2 root=/dev/hda5
title = Windows
chainloader = (hd0,0)+1

If you have the two "title" lines (Linux & Windows) you have followed
the steps correctly. Do not be concerned if your 'root = (hd0,4)' for
Linux is not identical to the example. Remember that these parameters
indicate drive 0 and the partiton number where /boot/grub is located,
the example indicates partiton 4.
If you do not have two "title" lines, you missed something in 5.2.5
so you should redo the section "Installing GRUB on your system" in
"Zen and the Art of Using GRUB, Revisited" and then return to these

5.4.3 Type in the following commands in turn, each followed by the
enter key:

mke2fs /dev/fd0 mount /dev/fd0 /mnt
mkdir /mnt/boot
mkdir /mnt/boot/grub
cp -pa /boot/grub/stage? /mnt/boot/grub
cp -pa /boot/grub/menu.lst /mnt/boot/grub
[the menu."l"st above = lowercase "L"]
umount /mnt

5.4.4 Run the following command:
grub --batch <<EOT
[now enter the following, each followed by enter at the ">"
root (fd0)
setup (fd0)

5.4.5 You are done!
Remove the GRUB floppy, remove the eD2.4 CD.
Close the Consol / Terminal window.

5.4.6 Keep the GRUB, eD2.4 Rescue and Win ME Startup disk in a safe

5.4.7 Acid Test time, restart your machine
-> K -> Logout -> Shutdown - Shutdown and restart

5.5 After the restart, you will be presented with the options of
booting either Linux or Windows.

5.6 Should this not happen, do not panic.
I would suggest that you boot your machine with the GRUB floppy and
follow the "Booting a system from the GRUB floppy" section in
"Zen and the Art of Using GRUB, Revisited".
Remember that you should have Win ME on (hd0,0) and the :
find /boot/grub/menu.lst
command at the grub prompt will indicate the
root value for Linux.

6. Adding a second drive to an existing Win ME machine and
installing eD2.4 onto this second drive.

6.1 This is for a number of reasons that I will not go into now, the
recommended approach to dual booting OpenLinux with any M$ O/S.

6.2 I assume that you have already correctly installed the second hard
disk into your machine.
The Win ME disk should be the Master on your Primary IDE controller
for reasons that M$ can explain <grin>.

6.3 The rest is really easy and has been outlined in the above!

6.3.1 Create a Startup Disk for Win ME as in 3.1.1

6.3.2 Gather hardware info from Win ME: as in 3.1.2

6.3.3 Check that all your hardware is compatible with eD2.4 as
in 3.1.3

6.3.4 Follow the steps outlined in 5, disregarding 5.2.1 as 5.2.2
is an easier approach for a fist-time installation.
There will be a difference in /boot/grub/menu.lst,
the output should look something like:

# /boot/grub/menu.lst - generated by Lizard
# options
timeout = 5
splashscreen = (hd1,1)/boot/message.col24
default = 0
title = Linux vmlinuz-pc97-2.2.14
root = (hd1,1)
kernel = /boot/vmlinuz-pc97-2.2.14-modular vga=274 noapic
nosmp debug=2 root=/dev/hdb2
title = Windows
chainloader = (hd0,0)+1

Your 'root' value for Linux should now be a partition on (hd1,x)


7. HELP??

With OpenLinux, help is always at hand but you need to play
your part in this magical learning experience!

- Check your own work first;
- Read the recommended documentation;
- Visit the Step By Step site (URL and mirrors near
you), these documents have been written to answer FAQ;
- Search the Caldera user-list archive :;
- Search the Knowledge Base and Solutions
at ;
- Subscribe to the Caldera user-list:
To subscribe to the list, send a message to:
<> ;
- Submit your questions to the list:
Please review the introductory FAQ for this list by sending an
email to

Please remember that this list has many experienced and knowledgeable  members willing to assist you.
Kindly respect their selflessness by first attempting to use the resources listed in this section.
Should you still have a problem, kindly following the netiquette outlined in the 'Newbies' section on
index2.html (or a mirror near you) when submitting  questions to the Caldera user-list..

Have fun.