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Vista/XP Dual Boot Disaster - HELP!

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As you review articles on standalone GRUB, be sure to differentiate between those that discuss GRUB as the primary bootloader and those that expect GRUB to be loaded by, say, ntldr.

If, when you install Linux, you mount /boot in a small primary partition, then GRUB (in /boot/grub) becomes somewhat independent of the distro that installed it. Fedora's version makes it relatively easy to edit GRUB's menu file from the boot menu screen. With GRUB in its own partition, you can delete the distro that installed it and still have a functioning bootloader.