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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 04-30-2006, 02:34 AM   #1
bobcrowley
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Dual booting IBM Think Pad


I recently dual booted a second hand IBM Think Pad with Redhat Fedora Core 4 and Windows XP.

I had some difficulty, but I found the following procedure seems to work.

1. Obtain Partition Commander (cheaper than Partition Magic) or Partition Magic.

2. BACK UP YOUR DATA!

3. Make sure the whole disk is either the original Windows XP installation, or alternately use the Partition software to create a single disk of FAT32 or NTFS Format only.

4. If not already installed, install Windows XP on single partition.

5. Use Partition software to shrink Windows XP to required size to leave free space for the Linux installation.

6. You can then format the free space as extended type format (Linux type).

7. Install the Linux software.

8. The Linux installation should include the Windows XP under Grub as the alternate boot, although you may have to rename the Label to suit yourself. Or you can put the partition software back on to choose System Commander as the boot method, in the case of Partition Commander. I am not sure what Partition Magic has as I have not used it.

And that should be more or less it.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 02:39 AM   #2
bobcrowley
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Unhappy Dual booting IBM Think Pad

I missed one point in the above post. I would suggest defragmenting your Windows XP installation before you shrink it. This more or less puts all your data "at one end" of the partition, leaving the "other end" clear of data to be shrunk to the required size.

The Partition software should move your data safely if necesary, but it is probably better to defragment first.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 03:09 AM   #3
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcrowley
I recently dual booted a second hand IBM Think Pad with Redhat Fedora Core 4 and Windows XP.

I had some difficulty, but I found the following procedure seems to work.

1. Obtain Partition Commander (cheaper than Partition Magic) or Partition Magic.

2. BACK UP YOUR DATA!

3. Make sure the whole disk is either the original Windows XP installation, or alternately use the Partition software to create a single disk of FAT32 or NTFS Format only.

4. If not already installed, install Windows XP on single partition.

5. Use Partition software to shrink Windows XP to required size to leave free space for the Linux installation.

6. You can then format the free space as extended type format (Linux type).

7. Install the Linux software.

8. The Linux installation should include the Windows XP under Grub as the alternate boot, although you may have to rename the Label to suit yourself. Or you can put the partition software back on to choose System Commander as the boot method, in the case of Partition Commander. I am not sure what Partition Magic has as I have not used it.

And that should be more or less it.
Aside from the correct comment in the second post about defragging, I would note that nobody should trust their system setup to anything running in *bloze. There are open-source partitioning tools available in Linux, and this is where the work should be done. There is absolutely no reason to waste money on Partition Commander, Partition Magic, or any other *bloze-based partitioning app.

It's also not necessary at the outset to waste time formatting the whole drive as NTFS only to have to resize it (with concommitant risk) later. Simply fdisk the partition table to make the first partition NTFS, and install *bloze in this partition. If *bloze is already installed, defrag repeatedly until the system is compacted into the beginning of the partition and then resize with qtparted gui (available on Kanotix and other live CDs) or similar linux-based product.

It also is not necessary to format free space as "extended type format." You have up to 4 primary partitions in a DOS partition table; depending on your needs, you can allocate primary or extended partitions and set the attributes with linux fdisk. Afterwards, either with a live CD or with your installer, you can build whatever filesystem you want in the partition(s) you allocated. Remember that *BSD and Solaris and possibly other *NIX like to live in primary partitions so save one (or a few) for these systems if they're on your agenda.

There is a huge volume of multi-booting threads on this forum but I wanted to add these notes here to avoid confusion by any newcomers who read this thread. Anybody with an interest in multi-booting should not miss Saikee's outstanding and truly awesome "How I boot over 100 distros" thread. Look for it.

Last edited by Randux; 04-30-2006 at 03:14 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 05:48 AM   #4
Emerson
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Quote:
It's also not necessary at the outset to waste time formatting the whole drive as NTFS only to have to resize it (with concommitant risk) later. Simply fdisk the partition table to make the first partition NTFS, and install *bloze in this partition. If *bloze is already installed, defrag repeatedly until the system is compacted into the beginning of the partition and then resize with qtparted gui (available on Kanotix and other live CDs) or similar linux-based product.
Actually things are even more improved. ntfsresize utility can resize NTFS partitions with ease, no prior defragmentation is needed.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 06:06 AM   #5
Randux
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Yes, ntfsresize is invoked by the qtparted gui. But I was not aware that you don't have to defrag! But you are correct: I found the following on http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html

" The widely used and highly reliable Ntfsresize utility non-destructively resizes the NTFS filesystem of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Windows NT4 and Windows Vista. All NTFS versions are supported, used by 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. No defragmentation is required prior to resizing. Ntfsresize is included in the ntfsprogs package, developed by the Linux-NTFS project. You don't need Linux installed to use it because there are several ways to run it, for example by booting one of the many Linux Live CD, DVD or USB sticks (they run straight from the boot media then RAM, not from the hard disk)."
 
Old 04-30-2006, 11:42 PM   #6
lakshent
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Hi I am a newbie, I bought a IBM thinkpad R50e and have Windows XP as the default OS. I would like to multiboot with linux. please recommend a distribution that I can try without a major risk of loosing my data :-). Remember I am a newbie! Thanks in advance
 
Old 05-01-2006, 03:44 AM   #7
Randux
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Since no one has answered your question (it probably should have been a new thread) I will make some generalizations at the risk of oversimplifying.

Basically, any reputable distro can live with any other combination of *bloze and other reputable distros. But I would say that the more the distro tries to automate the installation with GUIs and "protect" the user from having to make decisions, the more likely a bug in that installation script is to trash your data. On the other hand, not paying attention and/or not understanding what you are doing is also likely to result in loss of data.

Read these forums; there are many, many posts on multibooting and distro selection. Ask questions. Verify that what you think is really correct.

You should really pick a distro on the basis of what's important to you. Some people like to have things done as automatically as much as possible. Others like to be able to control everything as much as possible. And there is everything in between.

The best way for someone who is not familiar with Linux to get started with Linux is to use Live CDs. These are bootable Linux images you download as ISO images and burn CDs from. You set your BIOS to boot from CD, and you boot into the new Linux environment without installing anything. Most of the time, these distros don't touch your hard drive. (I can think of a couple of nasty exceptions, but most don't.) This way, you can review many distros and see what you like and what you don't. When you find one that feels right, you can install a real version.

The best places I know of to look for these distros are distrowatch.com and Live CD Forums live CD list at http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php.

Ubuntu is a very popular distro with a good user community and many nice features. I think it would make a good starter distro. But read the posts, try live CDs, and enjoy the Linux experience.
 
Old 05-02-2006, 11:13 AM   #8
lakshent
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thanks

Thank you very much for your kind comments and advice.
 
  


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