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Old 10-25-2005, 02:54 PM   #1
delval
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changing distro in a dual boot system


Hi,

I have a dual boot system with Windows XP and Suse, and would like to switch to another distro, probably Mandriva, removing Suse. What's the way to go? I'm an old timer in Unix and Linux but I'm really not fond of administration/installation issues, so this may sound as a newbie question. Basically all I know about LILO is that it is there. Do I need to reformat the Linux partition? (If so, how?) The whole disk? Or can I just pick a distro and hope that a fresh install (including possibly a network install?) will detect the partitions and just overwrite the right one after asking me? What should I backup? Both the Windows and Linux "user space"? Or just the Linux one? Etc.

Many thanks

AdV
 
Old 10-25-2005, 02:58 PM   #2
XavierP
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Hi and welcome to LQ All you need to do is to put in your Mandriva disk and to tell it (during the install) to use your existing Linux partitions.
 
Old 10-25-2005, 03:05 PM   #3
jailbait
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"What should I backup? Both the Windows and Linux "user space"? Or just the Linux one? Etc."

You should periodically back up all of your data, not just on special occasions. You should keep at least 2 generations of backup. When you do something risky like an install you should take your normal backup just before the install.

"I have a dual boot system with Windows XP and Suse, and would like to switch to another distro, probably Mandriva, removing Suse. What's the way to go?"

You should install Mandriva as a third operating system in its own partition. After Mandriva is working then erase SuSE by reformating the SuSE partition.

"Basically all I know about LILO is that it is there."

LILO is configured in a file called /etc/lilo.conf. You should configure the SuSE /etc/lilo.conf to triple boot Windows, SuSE, and Mandriva. Then install Mandriva on its own partition and do not allow the Mandriva installer to install any bootloader except to create a boot floppy for Mandriva. When Mandriva is stable then configure the Mandriva /etc/lilo.conf to dual boot Mandriva and Windows. Then install the Mandriva lilo bootloader on your MBR using the lilo command. Then reformat the SuSE partition and use it for something else.

------------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 10-25-2005, 03:14 PM   #4
chemdawg
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Quote:
Originally posted by jailbait
You should install Mandriva as a third operating system in its own partition. After Mandriva is working then erase SuSE by reformating the SuSE partition.
[/B]
Ideally, this is the correct answer. However, if he has a dual boot system, there's a good chance he doesn't have another partition for Mandriva. In this case, I would do as XavierP posted. For just a dual-boot, you shouldn't need to know much about lilo - mandriva should take care of adding the Windoes OS. Just a hint from someone who HAS tried both 2005LE and 2006, 2005LE seems to be much less buggier and may be the best Mandriva has come up with thus far. As far as install, there's no difference.
 
Old 10-25-2005, 07:06 PM   #5
saikee
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Generally a user can norminate an existing partition for a new Linux installation and choose the alternative to have the partition formatted before installation. A good installer can give the choices of either to reform or to add new files to an existing partition.

There is not much to choose between Lilo and Grub as the boot loader but Grub is easier because it does not need a validation every time its configuration file is altered.
 
  


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