March 7th, 2006
Avyakt recently compared Microsoft Windows and women. In the same vein, I recently found out what an insecure OS Windows can be.
I recently gave in to temptation and bought a 250 GB hard drive (only S$150!) and decided I might as well give in to my gamer urges as well, and proceeded to install Windows on a partition of the new hard drive (my primary hard drive runs Fedora and Gentoo). I hate dual-booting from the same drive and much prefer to have installations on separate hard drives for independent re/un-installation.
Now, my last computer had this nice “Boot” menu in BIOS - I could select which hard drive to boot from. In my current setup, I have to actually go in and change the boot sequence, which is a pain. So, I figured, that there must be a way to get GRUB to boot Windows off a second hard drive. Off the top of my head, I thought
chainloader (hd1,0)+1 would do the trick (set root to 2nd hard drive, 1st partition, and boot from the MBR). Doesn’t work.
Turns out Windows must be booted off the “first” hard drive - it refuses to boot if its in second place. So here’s the solution:
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
You have to pretend Windows is really on the first hard drive (mapping hd0 to hd1), even though it really isn’t (note the chainloader is still given hd1 as a parameter). Only then will Windows boot up.
These comparisons just continue to stack up. It’s uncanny.