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Old 09-07-2005, 04:41 PM   #1
Cogvos
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Question linux and win XP duel boot question


Dear all,

I have a new (Ye har) PC with windows XP (ugh). Now my old PC had Linux as well as windows, so I know about partitioning, grub, etc. My problem is that this is a Compaq and they have already partioned the hard drive.

To drop into windoz speak for a second. There are two partions. C: and D:. C: has the standard windows and all the progames, data etc and D: has an XP recovery system.
Now on boot the PC displays a boot loader (could be XPs?) where I can boot normally, into the recovery or press F8. Don't know what the last does, and hope I don't have to find out.
My question is this. Can I use the current (windoz?) boot loader to start linux? If so how? Or if not what need I watch out for when switching to grub, or partion magics offering? I am worried that I might loose the option to boot into the XP recovery system due to drive letter changes etc. It's a new machine and I don't want to break it just yet.

Any thoughts?

John.
 
Old 09-07-2005, 05:16 PM   #2
rjwilmsi
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F8 enters Windows XP safe mode, which you use when Windows XP starts messing up (STOP errors etc.). My personal opinion is that a recovery system is a load of rubbish - if your XP install messes up, you just reinstall from the CD (I assume they've been generous enough to give you an actual Windows CD). Of course you make regular backups of all your own files, installers and settings files to CD/DVD, so you can format the drive if it's really necessary.

I very much doubt that the XP bootloader will touch Linux. I think that if you install Linux, choosing to boot XP from GRUB would launch the XP bootloader.

You should be able to install Linux on the C drive by resizing it to make a new partition for Linux. This will leave your recovery system well alone.
 
Old 09-07-2005, 05:24 PM   #3
Emerson
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You folks just fail to search LQ and Google before posting. Try reading forum rules for a change.

Linux can pick up from Windows boot loader!
 
Old 09-18-2005, 06:59 AM   #4
Cogvos
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Many thanks rjwilmsi. They did not give me a windows disk, only an option to create some kind of recovery DVD, which I have done and hope I never have to use.
Emerson, I did check Linux Qs, but confess I forgot Google (doh!) I'll also confess that I don't really understand the link you posted as it's going on about storing Linux.bin on a windows disk (C and grub on a boot partition. What is linux bin if it is not grub? My question was relating to the fact that I have this wretched recovery partition and have no idea what adding Linux will do to it, or the windows boot loader. In effect I will have 3 options in the loader and do not know if this is posible. Still I will now look at google... It was late and I was tired.

John.
 
Old 09-18-2005, 08:13 AM   #5
Emerson
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Re: linux and win XP duel boot question

Quote:
Originally posted by Cogvos
My question is this. Can I use the current (windoz?) boot loader to start linux? If so how? Or if not what need I watch out for when switching to grub, or partion magics offering? I am worried that I might loose the option to boot into the XP recovery system due to drive letter changes etc. It's a new machine and I don't want to break it just yet.
OK. From a Linux user's view feasible would be following.
First. If this recovery partition is important to you, make a backup image of it. 'partimage' is an appropriate GNU tool for this. I have no idea how big this partition might be, if it can be fitted to a CD or DVD - there are ways to use it as bootable recovery disk doing exactly what the recovery partition is supposed to do. This way you can free up the HDD space and do not have to worry what happens if Windows or HDD is fubar.
Second. You wanted to boot Linux with ntloader (this means not to install GRUB to the MBR). This is why I provided that link. When you install GRUB to the Linux partition (it really doesn't matter whether you use separate boot partition or not) you will not be able to boot Linux directly, something has to load it. It can be done with ntloader - see that link again - or with a third-party bootlader. In this case I'd recommend GAG.
 
  


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