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I am planning to install multiple OS's on my computer i.e. Redhat Linux, Debian Linux, WinXP and Win2000(80GB HDD). So I was looking for some beginner and intermediate level documentation/tutorials on the subject. Any links to tools which would help me do the partioning/formatting are most welcome. I would be very grateful if some of you could help out here. Thanks in advance.
Excellent explanation! The only 2 things I would add/change is allow less space for NTFS, maybe 5GB per OS so something like:
[fat32, 30 GB] [ntfs, 5 GB] [ntfs, 5 GB] [empty 40GB]
Fat for filesharing between OS's and for filebackup, etc on winbloze, ntfs for w2k and XP installs, and software additions, empty 40 for Any linux distros and files for them.
And when you install, do install both Winbloze first, and then linux, but put lilo (I would suggest using lilo, but that is simply personal preference) into the MBR, and use lilo to boot all the OS's. Just an example, the bottom half of your lilo.conf would look something like: image = /boot/vmlinuz.rh
label = RedHat
root = /dev/hdb2
Thanks to your links, I have a fair idea abt the partitioning process now.
#1. I just wanted to know if Redhat Linux 7.1 has any problem in reading / writing to a NTFS partition.
#2. And I will be installing XP,Win2K and then Linux. I would like to use LILO as my boot manager. So I need to know if Linux will have any problem in writing to the MBR overwriting whatever XP and Win2K wrote on it earlier.
In response to your first question, Linux has trouble writing to a NTFS partition and may eat your data. This is in part to Microsoft not releasing any data publicly on how their NTFS system works. As a result, people who want to write drivers for NTFS has to experimentally hack it to see what works and what doesn't.
If you think about it, companies like Symantec must know how NTFS works before writing Speedisk or Disk Doctor utilities, probably under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. I wonder why Micro$oft doesn't release this data to the Linux folks--the little Penguin that could. Enough sidetracking...
If you must enable NTFS, use it as read-only. Alternatively, if you want to share data between NTFS and ext3, use a FAT32 as the transfer medium. Linux has no trouble reading and writing FAT32. NTFS is, after all, much more complicated, compared to FAT32.