The standard disclaimer applies. The document is provided on an "as is" basis. The author provides no warranty whatsoever, either express or implied, regarding the work, including warranties with respect to its merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. You can easily ruin your hard disk when trying to do something similar to what I am reporting here.
This is a kind of a field report about my (Bernhard Treutwein) experiences with Grub and other boot managers. Although it worked for me, there is some chance that it might ruin your system with only some keystrokes. Do not blame me, if it does not work for you, feel happy, if not I might find some time to answer questions or give you a hint where to proceed. I only report what I have done successfully.
If your BIOS does not allow booting from USB, you can install PLoP.
Donwload the PLoP bootmanager and install it in your master boot record. Install Grub Grub Legacy in a dedicated (or not so dedicated) partition. See my Notes on using Grub together with Native ETH-Oberon but use setup (hd0,2) instead of setup (hd0) i.e.:
grub> root (hd0,2)
grub> setup (hd0,2)
Contrary to PLoP's documentation, I was not able to chainload from Grub back into PLoP and we (PLoP's author and I) have no idea why and we were not able to resolve it. Maybe it is due to my special motherboard/BIOS, maybe I did something wrong, heaven knows.
But it worked the other way (booting PLoP & chainloading Grub).
Bernhard Treutwein, 4. March 2010
btreut (at) lrz (dot) uni-muenchen (dot) de