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Old 07-21-2005, 04:41 PM   #1
philipogletree
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Jackson MS
Posts: 29

Rep: Reputation: 15
A Few Basic Questions


Hello,

I have a few questions I am hoping someone can answer. I am interested in installing Debian Linux on a machine that already has Win XP Home edition on it. The computer currently has a 40 gig hard drive and I have a second 60 gig hard drive I want to add to the machine. I have PartitionMagic and plan to use Bootmagic as the bootloader.

Question 1
Since I want to use BootMagic is there a parameter or a dialog box that I can use to tell the Linux installation program to not install LILO or GRUB?

Question 2
Do I need to install Linux on a primary partition or can I install it to a logical partition? Do I need to install below the 8 gig limit? Or can that be exceeded now?

Question 3
I want to keep Win XP and BootMagic on 2 primary partitions on the first hard drive and put Linux on the first primary partition on the second hard drive. I was thinking of making the rest of the space on the 2 hard drives multiple FAT32 partitions (staying well below the 32 gig limit) so that I could have the swap files for each operating system on a hard drive where the OS was not located, Win XP would have its swap file on second hard drive and Linux would have its swap file on the first hard drive (in a ext2 or ext3 partition) so that both hard drives could access their swap files and load files from OS simultaneously (to maximize speed). The problem is when I had OS/2, Windows could not see beyond the HPFS partition. If I use ext2 or ext3 on a partition will Win XP be able to see FAT32 partitions located after the Linux partitions? Or will Win XP stop looking once it sees a non-MS file system?

Question 4
If I have multiple versions of Linux on a machine (such as all on the second hard drive) do they each have to have their own swapfile in their own partition? Or can you use a single partition and swapfile for each distro? I am assuming it will be overwritten be new distro booting up.

Question 5
Which video card do you suggest, nVidea seems best but is there a video card which is best in that group?

Question 6
Can Linux run DOS programs like OS/2 could? I ask because BootMagic has a DOS program to run if the Master Boot record gets corrupted and I was wondering if I could run it from Linux to get the system back on its feet?

Thanks
Philip
 
Old 07-21-2005, 05:00 PM   #2
dcdbutler
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Boston
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 502

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Q1. You can still install lilo or grub, just use the option to install it to your root / partition rather than the MBR.

Q2 You can install Linux anywhere (primary or logical) on the HD as long as there is room.

Q3. Not sure really what you're talking about. Linux needs a swap partition - usually twice the size of RAM - formatted as Linux swap. Windows doesn't use swap, it uses pagefile which does not require making an extra partition. Linux can read and write to FAT no probs and can read NTFS, but write to NTFS support is not good. Best to use FAT for this.

Q4 A single swap partition is fine

Q5 nvidia works for me, the recent driver packages from nvidia support all but the oldest of cards and if you do have an old card, you can still probably find support for it.

Q6 Don't really know, however, there's not much you can't solve using Linux, and if you do happen to have any probs with the MBR, you could always install lilo or grub to it and use either of these bootloaders. They're both REALLY easy to use.

Cheers
 
Old 07-21-2005, 05:14 PM   #3
perfect_circle
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Athens, Greece
Distribution: Slackware, arch
Posts: 1,783

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q6: there are DOS emulators for linux. One of the best is dosbox
dosbox.sourceforge.net but I don't know if you can touch the MBR using a dos emulator
Anyway as dcdbutler already said lilo and grub are exellent boot loaders. Even if you use BootMagic, if the MBR gets corrupted you can still use a recovery CD and install lilo/grub to make your system usable again.

Last edited by perfect_circle; 07-21-2005 at 05:18 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2005, 09:49 PM   #4
philipogletree
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Jackson MS
Posts: 29

Original Poster
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dcdbutler

Thank you for the help.

I really appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally posted by dcdbutler

Q3. Not sure really what you're talking about. Linux needs a swap partition - usually twice the size of RAM - formatted as Linux swap. Windows doesn't use swap, it uses pagefile which does not require making an extra partition. Linux can read and write to FAT no probs and can read NTFS, but write to NTFS support is not good. Best to use FAT for this.

I'm sorry. I was not clear. I did not mean to imply that the Windows pagefile needed its own partition because it doesn't. What I was trying to do was put the Win pagefile on another hard drive partition so that the computer when booted to Win would be able to access both hard drives at the same time and thus douoble its throughput.

Thaks again
Philip
 
Old 07-21-2005, 09:51 PM   #5
philipogletree
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Jackson MS
Posts: 29

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
perfect_circle

Hello,

Thak you for the help. I will go look them up at once.

Quote:
Originally posted by perfect_circle
q6: there are DOS emulators for linux. One of the best is dosbox
dosbox.sourceforge.net but I don't know if you can touch the MBR using a dos emulator
Anyway as dcdbutler already said lilo and grub are exellent boot loaders. Even if you use BootMagic, if the MBR gets corrupted you can still use a recovery CD and install lilo/grub to make your system usable again.
Thanks again
Philip
 
  


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