Subject: Re: Dual disk multiboot
To: Eric Haszlakiewicz <haszlaki@UAccess.NET>
From: Kevin Cousins <>
List: port-i386
Date: 05/21/1998 12:51:02
>> As a first pass at a solution, you might like to look into GRUB:
Eric> ...
>> Put your custom boot menu on the floppy..., then, just boot the
>> machine from floppy every time!

Eric> ugh, barf!  you're kidding right?


That's why I described this as only the first pass! :)

Eric> isn't it possible to get grub on the HD?

Of course it is, but I only know how to put GRUB onto the NetBSD disk,
and then it has to be the default boot drive.  In Eric D's case,
NetBSD lives on the SCSI drive.  Putting GRUB onto his NT drive would
be, to me [1], alot like rocket science.

Eric> I'd imagine it would be easier to use a floppy for emergencies
Eric> but it would suck to need one all the time.

Remember, it's /only/ there as somewhere to store the boot loader!
OK, booting /does/ take just that little bit longer, but you get the
added benefit of being able to have all of your operating systems
distributed over all of your disks, IN (almost?) ANY PERMUTATION,
rather than dedicating the boot track of one /special/ drive [2],
which is still possible with GURB, just that /I/ don't know how to do
it and still include either NT or DOS as boot options [3].

For several months last year, I used a GRUB floppy to boot NetBSD/i386
from wd1a---I could work using the environment in which I feel most
comfortable, and I didn't have to touch the installed NT configuration
provided by my employer (on wd0) at the time, leaving the machine
clean (as far as the MIS department were concerned) for when I left.
The MIS people were quite happy to tinker with a mixture of OSes: the
various MS offerings; SUNOS 4.x and 5.x (on both SPARC and i386), but
when it came to relatively simple BSD admin queries---"What IP address
have you given me this week?"---they'd barf every time! ("I don't
understand; I'm not touchin' it!") :)


[1] a mostly clueless newbie, but I /do/ use NetBSD! :)

[2] While I cannot claim to be fully conversant with the intricacies
of disk partitioning (I have always chosen to dedicate entire disks to
NetBSD rather than worry about partitioning) and boot sectors, etc.,
committing to GRUB was extremely simple and painless, even for me (see

[3] In an IDE system, can NT (or DOS) live on a slave disk (or
secondary controller, or, for that matter, on any partition other than
the boot partition (!))?  If so, how?