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Old 07-15-2004, 11:17 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: US
Distribution: SuSE 10.0
Posts: 58

Rep: Reputation: 15
Fedora 2/XP dual boot on laptop

I need some help. My old laptop had RedHat9, and I actually managed to screw that up so that it won't boot properly and refuses to connect to the internet.
Oh well, life goes on. Now I wanna download FC2, play with it, and then dual boot it on my new 600m XP Home laptop (with centrino, no less). XP bothers the crud out of me, and I got rather spoiled with RH9 in the one month it worked. But big corporations just don't like to have Linux drivers and such. Gotta have Coaster Tycoon 2.
Where can I find REALLY GOOD directions on how, step by step, I can create my nice little dual boot system? I've had so many friends screw up dual boots, I want to do this right even if I am an idiot.
Some suggestions on Fedora/Linux-basic newbie guides would also be appreciated.
Thank you!

Oh hey, does anyone know a printer/scanner/copier that would work with this config? It's hard enough to find one Linux-compatible.
Old 07-15-2004, 11:27 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Glendale AZ
Distribution: Slackware 10
Posts: 152

Rep: Reputation: 30
How to install dual boot

Well, first off you'll need to install windows XP. Then get Partition Magic 8 from your friendly IRC channel. Partition off about 10 gigs for linux (that's all you need really). Partition a little swap space (200 MB). Make sure you make the linux partition "EXT3" and the swap space "swap"

Then.. Install linux on the linux partition you've made. you can boot off of the CD. If it asks about partitions, do them manually and set the mount point on the linux partition to "/" (without quotes). Also, the Grub boot loader really sucks and it's a pain in the butt to configure (IMHO). LILO is a lot easier. IF you get the choice, use LILO as your boot loader. You will find that if errors occur, the /etc/lilo.conf file is MUCH easier to handle than dealing with GRUB's crap.

That's really all there is too it. I'd suggest using Slackware 10 and doing the "install everything" install. That's perfect for newbies and slackware is a LOT cleaner than Redhat or Fedora ever dreamed of being. There's a link in my signature to my website and what I did to install linux on my laptop.

Oh and btw.. Use google, man. There are TONS of helpful sites out there of people who installed linux dual booting, etc.
Old 07-16-2004, 12:13 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Redhat
Posts: 35

Rep: Reputation: 15
I don't suggest Fedora. Even if I'm a linux newbie () I tryed it severals times and it screwed my windows partitions due to a bug (see ) . If you still want to try it, I highly suggest you read this guide: as it will tell you how to bypass the bug.
Old 07-17-2004, 12:23 AM   #4
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: US
Distribution: SuSE 10.0
Posts: 58

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Figures. I spend 4 hrs getting nice little burned FC2 cds, and someone tells me to go with another distro.

I'm so confused! I tried the almighty RH9 and screwed it up with all the tricky terminal installations. Then, Mandrake 9.1 is said to be idiot-proof. Then, I read that it's rather buggy and lacks flexibility. Next, FC2 seems to have the best nerds all working on it. People say it's great fun and doable even by a noob. But NOW, Slackware.

I'll read up on it, but I guess like most noobs I want some multimedia, abiword, evolution, and a printer without too much of a headache. Hell, I figure since I'm going to an ultranerdy engineering school in six weeks, I'll pick it up from there.

But I have to GET to that point first!!!!!
Old 07-20-2004, 08:02 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Delaware
Distribution: Fedora Core 1/Debian Woody
Posts: 47

Rep: Reputation: 15
Go with Fedora if all you want is something easy to use, stable, and fast (enough). I just switched from XP Pro to Fedora Core 1 (I would have used FC2 but I heard there are a lot of bugs, plus I've had trouble with kernel 2.6.x in the past...) and I couldn't be more happier. I just installed everything, and within about 2 hours, I have everything working properly (NVIDIA 3D drivers, internet and routing for my laptop, samba, multimedia keyboard, FireFox, VNC, etc), and it's fast as hell (faster then the fresh install of XP that I had before).

Here's some distributions I've tried in the past on my system (the P4, specs in sig):

Slackware 9: Faster then fedora during boot-up, didn't really seem any faster during regular usage or during heavy CPU work (compiling, etc). I couldn't get a few devices working, but if I invested more time into it then I could have. If you have time, this would be the best distribution (except, no apt-get, which sold me on Fedora) it is very newbie friendly, but I just didn't have the time to get all the dependencies and programs I needed working correctly.

Mandrake 9.1: Slower then Fedora (for KDE usage), very bloated, got almost everything working (no NVIDIA 3D drivers or multimedia keyboard), but overall it seemed like Windows was a better choice then this (no offense, just my $0.02). Now, on my older computer (P3-500, 256MB PC100) Mandrake works great!

Debian Woody: VERY FAST AND VERY STABLE - I could not manage to crash X-windows! apt-get is definetly a plus, but, this requires quite a learning curve and isn't as newbie friendly as something like Fedora or Mandrake. I run this on my older laptop and it is around the same speed as Win98SE. There are almost no GUI configuration programs which made it hard for me.

Gentoo: I tried this, and halfway through the install I gave up - just took too much time. I'm sure if you have time this is an awesome distribution, and it seemed fast during the install, but too advanced for me.

That might give you some help to decide, but really, it comes down to personal preference. You might even to decide to do what I did (after my fedora partition ran out of space - 10GB with a full FC1 install lasted me about 3 days lol), which is wipe out my windows partition (30GB), install Fedora in it's place, then run VMWare Workstation and have XP inside that - works well for those occasional windows-only programs (I haven't run into anything that important yet though - Vmware hasnt seen any action).

I'll read up on it, but I guess like most noobs I want some multimedia, abiword, evolution, and a printer without too much of a headache.
Just give Fedora a shot (hell, you already have the discs burnt, what do you have to loose ), I think you will like what you see. I probably sound like a Fedora-fanboy, which I am, but you don't know how glad I am to finally be Windows free! I've been dual booting between Windows XP and different linux distributions ever since I built this computer and I finally found one that replaces windows! Good luck, and if you need any help feel free to ask, in all my tweaking I've picked up a few things!

Old 07-21-2004, 11:44 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: US
Distribution: SuSE 10.0
Posts: 58

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

After FIVE tries, I finally did get FC2 to install (don't try the "everything" install, it mysteriously quits at the end of cd 3). It does look pretty slick, and I'm looking forward to customizing it. That's the true beauty of Linux- you can make it YOUR laptop. I haven't really gotten to play with much. My network card is apparently an "a," which doesn't work with my new router, so I've got to fork over $50 for a new one. Unless, of course, the dual boot with my new laptop and its internal wireless works out.
I really do like the feel of Red Hat's Linux distros, so I'm going to make this work. My newest question is about this "apt-get" thingy and synaptec, which sounds like the answers to my rpm woes. Does anyone have an idiot's guide to what these are and how to use them? I can't figure out what to download off of ... all the .rpm files? Just the source file? What?
Old 07-21-2004, 12:12 PM   #7
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: US
Distribution: SuSE 10.0
Posts: 58

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Ok, I've gotten to play a bit. This is great! All the stuff that drove me bonkers with RH9 is ALREADY INSTALLED in FC2. How great is it to just find xmms already there? Sweeeeet.
I'm beginning to wonder just what's already on my laptop and how much I have to actually go get. How can I tell if apt-get and symantic are already there? Or if I need to update them?



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