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Setting up multiboot systems

From: Richard Owlett
Subject: Setting up multiboot systems
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:10:45 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:20.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/20.0 SeaMonkey/2.17.1

I have to maintain 2 distinct sets of machines:
1. Donated Windows machines at church using donated applications which I'll set up to dual boot Debian so we can migrate to a single OS.
  2. My personal machines
a. one must retain WindowsXP on sda1 with whatever version of Debian
        is current at church
b. one machine dedicated to being a "testbed". It will have Debian Squeeze
        on sda1 and unspecified test installs on logical partitions.

I've experienced crashes resulting in unbootable systems due to messing up the latest install (GRUB dumps me to rescue prompt).

I think I can minimize my problems by forcing the GRUB2 menu to have whatever OS is on sda1 be default.

Having read:
1. "managing a multiboot without stomping the toes of other OSes" beginning at
  3. "Disk Partitions, OS/2, & Multiboot FAQ"

I have the beginnings of a solution in mind.


Is there something else I should be reading in order to:
  avoid known pitfalls
  ask intelligent questions

Thank you.

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