This way I can let XP own the MBR and not have to know what files linux needs or change them if the kernel gets updated. I don't know how many linuces this would work for, but it seems simpler for Fedora and if others agree, might be worth adding to the documentation. I could even make some suggested changes to the docs for submission to whoever is responsible if wanted. I'll check back in a few days and see if that is desired.
You have two separate partitions, each with it's own bootsector (or PBR) code, which you alternatively load through "something".
There are only three places where you can normally have boot code:
- the MBR
- the PBR (or boot record) of first partition (hd0,1)
- the PBR (or boot record) of second partition (hd0,2)
From what you report, the PBR on (hd0,1) is the XP PBR (invoking NTLDR) and the PBR on (hd0,2) is the "whatever" Linux installed (typically a GRUB - not grub4dos bootsector).
The "something" can then be residing ONLY in the MBR.
The default XP MBR can ONLY directly boot - without any choice possible - the PBR of the partition marked active in the partition table (also inside the MBR), no more, no less.
So, what you reported is either (no offence intended ) inaccurate or missing some steps/details.
The only "possible" explanation I can see right now is that you have three partitions and have grub or grub4dos in the third one.
Please try detailing the steps you took, which version of grub4dos you used (if any) or what version of GRUB (coming form Fedora) you are using, how you did the partitioning, etc., etc.
FYI the normal booting process of a linux distro (most use GRUB) is:
BIOS->Standard MBR->GRUB PBR of active partition->menu.lst->whatever
(things are slightly different if GRUB2 is used, but substantially the same)
The normal booting process of a XP is:
BIOS->Standard XP MBR->Standard XP PBR of active partition->NTLDR->BOOT.INI->whatever