Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop - Solaris

This is a discussion on Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop - Solaris ; My old laptop died recently, so I grabbed a Dell D630 to replace it. It came with Windows Vista installed. After some mucking about I have managed to get this to dual boot with Solaris 10 (05/08). The first thing ...

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Thread: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

  1. Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    My old laptop died recently, so I grabbed a Dell D630 to replace it. It
    came with Windows Vista installed. After some mucking about I have managed
    to get this to dual boot with Solaris 10 (05/08).

    The first thing I did was to have Vista resize the NTFS partition to leave
    enough space for Solaris. That seemed to go fine.

    Next, I did a default install of Solaris 10 (05/08) from the DVD media.
    This also went okay, but didn't detect the onboard ethernet which is a
    Broadcom 5755 or something similar. (I later fixed this with the BRCMbcme
    package from the Broadcom website. Note that there is not a Solaris x86
    driver for this particular card, but the one labelled as being for
    something similar seems to work. The file was sol86-10.4.5.zip.)

    Then I rebooted into solaris, and all was happy! That is, until I
    attempted to reboot into Vista, only to discover that the Solaris install
    of grub had upset Vista in a way which seems to be quite well known.

    I managed to repair Vista by having grub make the Vista partion active, and
    then booting the Vista installation DVD and asking it to repair the boot
    disk. It seemed to notice that the MBR wasn't the way it thought it should
    be, and wrote itself a new copy. After that it was able to boot into
    Vista, and I could boot into Solaris by using the installation DVD to get a
    grub session, then using rootnoverify (hd0,3), chainloader +1, boot.

    Now, the recommended way to avoid this problem is to install a Nevada
    release (B70 or later, I think) rather than the generic Solaris which I had
    chosen. The later versions of Nevada have corrected the problem with grub
    overwriting the part of the MBR record which Vista likes to call its own,
    and so the two can coexist happily. However, rather than install the
    latest Nevada build, there is an alternative, which is simply to use
    installgrub from one of these later builds.

    So, boot from the sol-nv-b91-x86-dvd, and go into a single user shell as
    soon as possible. It will notice that you have a Solaris install already,
    and offer to mount this on /a. You don't need to do that, but do take note
    of the device name so you can installgrub to the correct place. Then, at
    the shell prompt:

    # /sbin/installgrub /boot/grub/stage1 /boot/grub/stage2 \
    /dev/rdsk/

    After that, boot from the DVD once more and have grub make the Solaris
    slice the active partition:

    rootnoverify (hd0,3)
    makeactive
    chainloader +1
    boot

    If anyone has any other suggestions on this topic I would be pleased to
    hear from them, but the above has worked for me.


    --
    Dr Tristram J. Scott
    Energy Consultant

  2. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Jul 2, 5:34*am, tristram.sc...@ntlworld.com (Tristram Scott) wrote:
    > My old laptop died recently, so I grabbed a Dell D630 to replace it. *It
    > came with Windows Vista installed. *After some mucking about I have managed
    > to get this to dual boot with Solaris 10 (05/08).
    >
    > The first thing I did was to have Vista resize the NTFS partition to leave
    > enough space for Solaris. *That seemed to go fine.
    >
    > Next, I did a default install of Solaris 10 (05/08) from the DVD media.
    > This also went okay, but didn't detect the onboard ethernet which is a
    > Broadcom 5755 or something similar. *(I later fixed this with the BRCMbcme
    > package from the Broadcom website. *Note that there is not a Solaris x86
    > driver for this particular card, but the one labelled as being for
    > something similar seems to work. *The file was sol86-10.4.5.zip.)
    >
    > Then I rebooted into solaris, and all was happy! *That is, until I
    > attempted to reboot into Vista, only to discover that the Solaris install
    > of grub had upset Vista in a way which seems to be quite well known.
    >
    > I managed to repair Vista by having grub make the Vista partion active, and
    > then booting the Vista installation DVD and asking it to repair the boot
    > disk. *It seemed to notice that the MBR wasn't the way it thought it should
    > be, and wrote itself a new copy.


    somewhat snipped

    > If anyone has any other suggestions on this topic I would be pleased to
    > hear from them, but the above has worked for me.


    Vista is such a PITA - a RAM warthog and resource waster.
    I dont know if VirtualBox works on Vista yet but VMWare Player
    does last time I checked. You need to use a pre-built "appliance" for
    Player though
    and there are not too many out there to download. I ended up building
    one of my own
    but its only Update 4.. Anyway once you have a working appliance you
    should be able to upgrade it to something more recent...
    I suggest 2 GB of RAM for Vista+VBox/Player

    I ended up buying a new HD for my laptop and installed Solaris only on
    it.
    Spent about 80 dollars and saved untold hours of messing about : >



  3. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 08:47:41 -0700, usenetpersongerryt wrote:

    > Vista is such a PITA - a RAM warthog and resource waster.
    > I dont know if VirtualBox works on Vista yet but VMWare Player
    > does last time I checked.


    I just checked my install of VirtualBox-1.6.2 and it does support both
    Vista and Winblows Server 2008.


  4. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 11:29:16 -0500, Dave Uhring wrote:

    > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 08:47:41 -0700, usenetpersongerryt wrote:
    >> Vista is such a PITA - a RAM warthog and resource waster.
    >> I dont know if VirtualBox works on Vista yet but VMWare Player
    >> does last time I checked.

    > I just checked my install of VirtualBox-1.6.2 and it does support both
    > Vista and Winblows Server 2008.


    What about the other way around? The OP might actually "need"
    Vista as the host. However a horrible a thought though that may be : >
    Maybe thats what you meant.
    And does VBox play nice with earlier version of Solaris?
    Seem to recall its more Nevada friendly.
    Nice thing about these hosted OS offerings is you dont have
    to dick around as much with drivers etc. Well... Maybe less

  5. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 14:10:46 -0700, AGT wrote:
    > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 11:29:16 -0500, Dave Uhring wrote:


    >> I just checked my install of VirtualBox-1.6.2 and it does support both
    >> Vista and Winblows Server 2008.

    >
    > What about the other way around? The OP might actually "need"
    > Vista as the host. However a horrible a thought though that may be : >
    > Maybe thats what you meant.


    Gaaaack! Running a nice stable OS on a POS like Windows is just
    incomprehensible.

    But Sun does seem to have both x86 and amd64 versions of VirtualBox
    available for the Windoes platform. Damn if I'll ever waste a drive or
    even a PeeCee partition for that crap. XP does run OK as a vbox guest and
    wastes less than 4 GB of HDD space.

    > And does VBox play nice with earlier version of Solaris? Seem to recall
    > its more Nevada friendly. Nice thing about these hosted OS offerings is
    > you dont have to dick around as much with drivers etc. Well... Maybe
    > less


    I have Solaris 10 u5 installed as a vbox guest; host is Nevada b_91. Like
    the other guests it runs on only one processor and in 32-bit mode but it
    does run OK, even in 512 MB of allocated memory.

    VirtualBox is available for Solaris 10 in both x86 and amd64 models. The
    OP's Vista should run acceptably well as a guest there, unless his version
    of Vista is the OEM version and *locked* to the hardware.

    If that's the kind of Vista he has then he probably would have to use
    Windows as the host and Solaris as the guest.


  6. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    Tristram Scott wrote:
    > My old laptop died recently, so I grabbed a Dell D630 to replace it. It
    > came with Windows Vista installed. After some mucking about I have managed
    > to get this to dual boot with Solaris 10 (05/08).




    > If anyone has any other suggestions on this topic I would be pleased to
    > hear from them, but the above has worked for me.
    >




    I thought that on laptops, Nevada would be a better choice than the
    plane, well supported Solaris 10. More things are likely to work, there
    is a Laptops forum on the OpenSolaris forums etc.

    Since I've installed Solaris, I've only booted Vista to play freecell
    once or twice - the version for Solaris is pretty poor in comparison to
    the Microsoft version.

  7. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 23:49:28 +0100, Dave wrote:
    > Tristram Scott wrote:
    >> My old laptop died recently, so I grabbed a Dell D630 to replace it. It
    >> came with Windows Vista installed. After some mucking about I have managed
    >> to get this to dual boot with Solaris 10 (05/08).

    >
    >> If anyone has any other suggestions on this topic I would be pleased to
    >> hear from them, but the above has worked for me.

    > I thought that on laptops, Nevada would be a better choice than the
    > plane (sic), well supported Solaris 10. More things are likely to work,
    > there is a Laptops forum on the OpenSolaris forums etc.


    nevada requires a bit more work than adding a few patches here and there
    does it not? Also its getting further and further away from Update 5 all
    the time. So it may not be what the OP is looking for.
    i agree though that the laptop support is better: often it
    actually installs -AND- reboots OK. Amazing stuff : >

    > Since I've installed Solaris, I've only booted Vista to play freecell
    > once or twice - the version for Solaris is pretty poor in comparison to
    > the Microsoft version.


    But if you are talking about xsol its much harder to "win"... : >
    And if we were to have a poll I'll bet the XP version would be the
    favourite over Vista's offering!


  8. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 23:49:28 +0100, Dave wrote:

    > Since I've installed Solaris, I've only booted Vista to play freecell
    > once or twice - the version for Solaris is pretty poor in comparison to
    > the Microsoft version.


    http://pysolfc.sourceforge.net/


  9. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 16:43:00 -0500, Dave Uhring wrote:

    > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 14:10:46 -0700, AGT wrote:
    >> On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 11:29:16 -0500, Dave Uhring wrote:
    >>> I just checked my install of VirtualBox-1.6.2 and it does support both
    >>> Vista and Winblows Server 2008.

    >> What about the other way around? The OP might actually "need"
    >> Vista as the host. However a horrible a thought though that may be : >
    >> Maybe thats what you meant.

    > Gaaaack! Running a nice stable OS on a POS like Windows is just
    > incomprehensible.


    : > So's the World of "IT" in general
    Mr Gates wouldnt be so rich if we all got paid a dollar an hour for all
    the time wasted getting his junkware to work - he'd be broke!
    Think I could buy a used Ferrari with my refund.

    > But Sun does seem to have both x86 and amd64 versions of VirtualBox
    > available for the Windoes platform. Damn if I'll ever waste a drive or
    > even a PeeCee partition for that crap. XP does run OK as a vbox guest
    > and wastes less than 4 GB of HDD space.
    >> And does VBox play nice with earlier version of Solaris? Seem to recall
    >> its more Nevada friendly. Nice thing about these hosted OS offerings is
    >> you dont have to dick around as much with drivers etc. Well... Maybe
    >> less

    > I have Solaris 10 u5 installed as a vbox guest; host is Nevada b_91.
    > Like the other guests it runs on only one processor and in 32-bit mode
    > but it does run OK, even in 512 MB of allocated memory.


    Ive posted before that my laptop and the VBox it has cant even
    run Freecell w/o the screen jittering when I drag something around.
    But its an older version of VBox.

    > VirtualBox is available for Solaris 10 in both x86 and amd64 models. The
    > OP's Vista should run acceptably well as a guest there, unless his version
    > of Vista is the OEM version and *locked* to the hardware.
    > If that's the kind of Vista he has then he probably would have to use
    > Windows as the host and Solaris as the guest.


    Thats certainly the case for me. The Acer I bought didnt even come with a
    Vista DVD just a modified BIOS of some sort and a "special" partition
    which probably has a ghost image of some sort. Pretty tacky.
    Sure I could ORDER a DVD for an outrageous price.
    Instead buried under a ton of icons it turned out I could make
    a bootable set of CDs for "repairing" my disk.

    It made sense? to try VMWare Player on it and that did work.
    But I ended up buying another drive and putting XP on that..

  10. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 16:29:09 -0700, AGT wrote:
    > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 16:43:00 -0500, Dave Uhring wrote:


    >> Gaaaack! Running a nice stable OS on a POS like Windows is just
    >> incomprehensible.

    >
    > : > So's the World of "IT" in general


    "In general", yes, but not everywhere. There are a few places where
    reason and logic still prevail.

    > Mr Gates wouldnt be so rich if we all got paid a dollar an hour for all
    > the time wasted getting his junkware to work - he'd be broke! Think I
    > could buy a used Ferrari with my refund.


    His EULA promises you a $5.00 USD refund if his crap fails to work.

    > Ive posted before that my laptop and the VBox it has cant even run
    > Freecell w/o the screen jittering when I drag something around. But its
    > an older version of VBox.


    I just played a few cards of FreeCell on XP running as a guest on b_91; no
    such problems at all. But the machine is an amd64 running at 2500 MHz.
    VirtualBox version is 1.6.2 and it's easy enough to update.

    You might also want to install PySolFC on Solaris. It's a huge set of
    card games written in Python and does include FreeCell, although its
    FreeCell is a bit cruder than that in Windoes.

    http://pysolfc.sourceforge.net/

    > Thats certainly the case for me. The Acer I bought didnt even come with
    > a Vista DVD just a modified BIOS of some sort and a "special" partition
    > which probably has a ghost image of some sort. Pretty tacky. Sure I
    > could ORDER a DVD for an outrageous price. Instead buried under a ton of
    > icons it turned out I could make a bootable set of CDs for "repairing"
    > my disk.


    My son bought a Gateway desktop machine with Vista installed. A complete
    restore DVD was included, and he had to use it. The POS just decided that
    it did not want to boot up one day.

    > It made sense? to try VMWare Player on it and that did work. But I ended
    > up buying another drive and putting XP on that..


    Update your VirtualBox and see if that makes a difference. It certainly
    works well enough here although I haven't put even an hour on the billyware
    installed in a vbox.


  11. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    Dave Uhring wrote:
    > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 23:49:28 +0100, Dave wrote:
    >
    >> Since I've installed Solaris, I've only booted Vista to play freecell
    >> once or twice - the version for Solaris is pretty poor in comparison to
    >> the Microsoft version.

    >
    > http://pysolfc.sourceforge.net/


    Lovely, never heard of it before. Thanks.

  12. Re: Solaris and Windows Vista on a laptop

    AGT wrote:
    > On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 23:49:28 +0100, Dave wrote:
    >> Tristram Scott wrote:
    >>> My old laptop died recently, so I grabbed a Dell D630 to replace it. It
    >>> came with Windows Vista installed. After some mucking about I have
    >>> managed
    >>> to get this to dual boot with Solaris 10 (05/08).

    >>
    >>> If anyone has any other suggestions on this topic I would be pleased to
    >>> hear from them, but the above has worked for me.

    >> I thought that on laptops, Nevada would be a better choice than the
    >> plane (sic), well supported Solaris 10. More things are likely to work,
    >> there is a Laptops forum on the OpenSolaris forums etc.

    >
    > nevada requires a bit more work than adding a few patches here and there
    > does it not? Also its getting further and further away from Update 5 all
    > the time. So it may not be what the OP is looking for.
    > i agree though that the laptop support is better: often it
    > actually installs -AND- reboots OK. Amazing stuff : >
    >


    Thanks to everyone for their comments on this thread. I intend to look
    closely at the VirtualBox technology in the near future. My immediate need
    is to have both Windows and Solaris available so that I can go and visit
    some clients with a working laptop. I seem to have that under control now.

    I tend to favour the official Sun releases over Nevada builds as it puts me
    in a better position for raising support cases when things go wrong. I
    don't pay Sun for support for my laptop, but I do have contracts for my
    desktop and server machines. If I keep the laptop configuration in line
    with the desktop machine then it is usually much easier to replicate
    problems and then raise a support call.

    When I have a few days spare I will have a go at installing the latest
    Nevada build as a comparison. Last time I used a Nevada build (12 months
    ago) I did indeed find it better out of the box for the laptop, especially
    for wifi.

    Clearly I should also look at VirtualBox. I'm hoping that the 4GB of RAM
    will suffice for that.

    --
    Dr Tristram J. Scott
    Energy Consultant

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