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   Linux FAQ > 4. Compatibility with Other Operating Systems
Question:  4.13. Can Linux Boot from MS-DOS?

If LILO doesn't work, and if the machine has MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows, you may be left with a computer that won't boot. This can also happen on an upgrade to your Linux distribution. Re-installing LILO is the last thing that the installation does. So it is vitally important when installing or upgrading Linux on a dual boot machine, to have a MS-DOS or Windows rescue disk nearby so you can FDISK -MBR. Then you can go about using LOADLIN.EXE instead of LILO.

This config.sys file is one possible way to invoke LOADLIN.EXE and boot MS-DOS or Linux.

   menuitem=DOS, Dos Boot
   menuitem=LINUX, Linux Boot
   shell=c:\redhat\loadlin.exe c:\redhat\autoboot\vmlinuz vga=5 root=/dev
   STACKS = 0,0
   rem all the other DOS drivers get loaded here.

This creates a menu where you can directly jump to LOADLIN.EXE before all of the MS-DOS drivers get loaded.

The paths and options are peculiar to one machine and should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. See the LOADLIN.EXE docs for options. They are the same as LILO, and options are just passed to the kernel, anyhow.

[Jim Harvey]

This FAQ is from Linux Frequently Asked Questions with Answers, maintained by Robert Kiesling

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