Re: Installing Debian over Redhat

From: Andreas Janssen (
Date: 07/05/04

Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2004 11:37:28 +0200


Blacky (<>) wrote:

> We just finished spending a whole week downloading the latest Debian
> discs from

If you have enough bandwith to download the cd images, it would have
been a better idea to download disc one or the netinstall iso and
install the rest directly over the net.

> I'm running Win2000 on my main partition and redhat 9 on another
> partitian using ext3 as the file system. I'm using GRUB as my boot
> loader.
> What will happen if I install Debian over Redhat? Will it over write
> the redhat bootloader?

First of all, you can't install Debian over RedHat (well, you can, but
you certainly don't want to). What you probably want is to format the
RedHat system partitions (which can be done during the installation of
Debian) and install Debian. During that, the boot loader files in
your /boot directory will be removed, and the space will maybe be
overwritten with new data. You won't be able to use the Grub that is
installed on your system anymore.

> I cannot afford to reinstall Win2000 if it is going to mess up my boot
> record.

If you installed Grub in the MBR, then replace it with lilo when you
install Debian (if you install Debian 3.0, you cannot choose Grub
during installation). There is no need to reinstall Windows for that.

If Grub is installed in some Linux partition, tell the Debian installer
to put lilo in that partition, and everything will be fine.

And you can of course backup your boot sector using dd. But after you
installed Debian the old backup will be useless, except maybe for the
part that contains the partition table, if it is left untouched.

best regards
        Andreas Janssen

Andreas Janssen <>
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