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Well.. I know it sounds pretty weird, but I can't help wondering what can happen... I never had linux ever in my life and I don't know anything about what will happen except the pretty easy to use install guide. The true question is what will it do to my XP system... Here is a brief description of the system's disks:
Hard Disk 1: (40 GIG)
Partition C (NTFS) --> Windows XP partition (35 GIG)
Partition (no letter) (FAT) --> Recovery Disk
Hard Disk 2: (40 GIG)
Partition F (FAT32) --> Now empty... intended for Linux (10 GIG)
Partition G (FAT32) --> DATA Disk (30 GIG)
I know that I should put dual boot and have XP as my primary OS and stuff like that but frankly I have no previous xperience with this stuff so it all sounds a bit peculiar... For example.. how will it know that after I install mandrake it should be the secondary OS not the primary OS... If it does think that Linux is the primary one how do I "convince" the machine that XP
is in fact the desired primary OS.
So yeah... here is the problem in a nutshell...
When you say primary and secondary OS, I think you simply mean which one will boot by default-very easy to set
With Mandrake9.1, just set your BIOS to boot off the cd, and turn off Plug 'n Play. Stick in the cd and reboot.
Then when going through the install, you'd just pick the second harddrive, the blank FAT32 partition, and using the easy interface, change that to an ext3 / partition, a swap partition and maybe a /usr partition. All you really need is the / 'root' partition, and a small swap one (double your ram but not more than 512megs). Check out this site for each install screen to expect btw.
I suggest taking some time to pick the installed packages individually, read their descriptions. You dont need anything from the servers to be able to browse the web or collect emails like normal.
Mandrake will install Lilo as your boot manager by default. Select to install it into the Master Boot Record unless you want to start Mandrake via floppy (no need to).
Near the end is an option to reconfigure everything, in that you can select Lilo and make XP (autodetected) the default.
mandrake has a really really clever installer to use, and things like default os is easy to specify there (and also a doddle to change later on after installing it all)
if you are scared as much as you say, then here's somethign i'd strongly suggest. swap your drives over, and install linux on the primary master, not slave drive. this means that the boot loader will be kept on the linux drive, and won't ever ever go near trhe windows drve at all (you could even safely remove the windows drive while you install). You will then need a couple of extra lines in your bootloader config file to then lie to windows to make it think that it is on the master when you go to boot it, other than that it's a much safer way to install it, and removing all trace of linux is simply a case of plugging the drive back around that way again.
Distribution: RedHat (RHEL, FC, CentOS), openSuSE, Mac OS X
Don't be afraid ... do backup first though.
Mandrake is a good beginners Linux so you should be right for the most part. Mandrake 9.1 should be able to work with your NTFS partitions, but don't bet on it. Your setup with the data drive in fat32 is excellent because you will be able to share things across the two operating systems. Windows won't see Linux, and Linux can't write to NTFS (9.1 was claimed to be able to, but i don't know if it can)
So from that side of things you're set. Be mindful of what you do though, you want to install to the empty partition and not let mandrake do that part for you. So tell it to install to the empty space.
Mandrake should install grub (GRand Unified Bootloader) and boot to linux and XP just fine, changing the default bootoption isn't too much of an issue either, but you might not be comfy with it straight away (i can't tell you how to do it, but relax, it's easy, mandrake propably even provides a tool for it)
Installing Linux is a big step towards learning alot about computers, and seeing why we don't love Microsoft. Also since you know we exist here, you're reasonably safe. Never the less, before you take the plunge, back up. I'd love to re-assure you that everything will be fine (odds are it will) but there are things you should consider:
USB mice and keyboards can be a problem (they might not be, but can be)
external serial modems are almost certain to work in linux, so if you have a setup that might be a problem, check online for the drivers first, and then take the plunge.
Don't be afraid, once linux is running life will be better.
Yes but you see acid.... The computer ain't mine... it's my fam's computer... If it was mine I would have jumped into the install and fiddled arround with it and I would have come up with the right way in the end... but since messing up the family's machine will mean in the end the full suspension of my computer user rights for the rest of the summer I am now looking for "The safe way..." so that in fact nobody except the interested members of the family (ME) will use Linux and the rest will practically not know anything about it...
Childish but true
Distribution: RedHat (RHEL, FC, CentOS), openSuSE, Mac OS X
hmm ... that's a problem then, maybe you should invest in your own dedicated hardware, or, get someone who's done this before over there. it would definitely take the edge of it.
Incidentally, if you must not screw up, then simply don't: format the windows partition and you'll be fine (you'll be doing them a favour ... :P ) erm ... maybe that's a bad idea.
there is a simple way of getting familiar with the installation, and that would be to use a spare hdd, and disconnect the others, and give it a dry run, but that involves fiddling with hardware. An other alternative is to use zipslack (i think it is) which is a part of the full slackware package, that way you can try it out ... course it isn't the same thing.
Well.... after checking all the replies so far I think I will just boot up the install disk and do everything right.... fingers crossed about the Os stuff....
Thanks to Proud, Acid Kewpie and Chakkerz for their advice... and Chakkers although I believe that Linux is way better than Microsoft I am sure that the change will make my family (btw I don't have that much of a computer oriented family ... well dad is god damn good with hardware but I'm afraid that as far as software goes he is still in the windows rules fase) ignore the benefits and still ban me from the comp.... wouldn't want that to happen would we :P
Dad being good with hardware indicates to me that there is
still a little adventure in his soul. Hit him up for a loan, or
better yet find a way to WORK for $350-400, buy your own
used comp, wipe the hd and go for it. Use the search function
on this forum, "router" might be a good start, to get an idea
for a good basic sys. Get dad interested and you are good to
Originally posted by eldiablo Yes but you see acid.... The computer ain't mine... it's my fam's computer... If it was mine I would have jumped into the install and fiddled arround with it and I would have come up with the right way in the end... but since messing up the family's machine will mean in the end the full suspension of my computer user rights for the rest of the summer I am now looking for "The safe way..." so that in fact nobody except the interested members of the family (ME) will use Linux and the rest will practically not know anything about it...
Childish but true
that's the point of swapping the drives, you can take out the windows drive, and place it in a padded locked case while you install linux.. can't really get much safer than that....
No No acid... U c the point I was trying to make was that, the computer not being mine I am not allowed to open it up, problem being nobody trusts me with that yet (can't really blame them for not trusting me but I have to say it becomes annoying sometimes)
But never mind about that... Just installed linux and I am proud to say that it works perfect... It found most stuff at first run and now I'm fixing up the last minute Apache details.... as for the boot it was all there... just needed a little bit of brushing up here and there... The installation didn't affect any of the partitions.
Now I'm writing from windows since I was testing how good it is after linux installation... and it is unharmed (It can be reasoned that this is not necessarily a good sign but yeah... u get what I mean )
Again thank you all for the help... well guess it's back to linux... c ya all around !!!
In case you haven't done it yet, I must reitrate what eveyone else here said. In fact, I did it slightly differently, I actually had the install resize my windows partition, but you don't need to worry about that. Linux is a good operating system, and it's worth that risk if you got patience.
one thing though: if you have an ATI Radeon card, be sure to select Xfree86, not Xfree86 with video accelleration because that caused a lot of problems on my ATI Radeon 32MB SDR card.
If you got cable or DSL internet, you won't have a problem with the internet. I think it gets more complicated if you have dial-up.
And (probably unlike most Linux users), I would not reccommend using KDE. use Gnome, I think it's better. My kde screwed me up.
you may not want to install lilo or grub bootloader to the MBR, if you have virus software in xp it may complain and cause problems,
you would be better off copying the linux boot sector to a file then putting the following line in your boot.ini file for xp:
Yes now after a day comes the Lilo problem. Well here is the background information. Well yesterday after installing linux and seeing that it hadn't done anything bad to the computer I started to give a closer look to KDE. Finally I accessed the Lilo program and guess what it said. The boot configuration is erroneous at the moment and that it mention pressing a button (My english won't help me remember what the button was... but I remember it started with a p)...
So i pressed the p button and the Darn thing changed all the entries, well all the linux entries. Now I had only four entries, none of which was linux:
1. NT (that's how it recognized the XP... but that's hardly a problem)
2. map (default)
3. A bunch of numbers that didn't make much chance to me
4. hda2 (which doesn't make any sense since it is the windows partition)
After rebooting I came back to find that only the NT entry worked... I was left without much option since XP can't access the logic partitions made by linux and when searching for Lilo I came to the conclusion that I had installed it on the Linux partition.
So I booted up the install cd this morning and went for rescue. I guess the best option here was booting from console but since it was my first day I didn't know anything about what to say in that darn console, so I just settled for reinstalling Lilo... which in the end resumed itself to the 4 options above...
Desperate as I was I went for reinstalling Linux but in the end chose Upgrade system to latest version (completely unnecessary since I had 9.1 installed) which in the end brought the Lilo config onto the screen. There were again all the options: Linux and Windows and as well the four above. So I removed the 4 above and settled for the other ones. No everything seems to run fine. All the things installed yesterday also work fine....
My question is... How come this happened? How can I avoid it in the future? and what should I type in console in case this does happen again?
No.... made the changes in linux and then when I rebooted the four choices came up and I didn't know what to choose... since map was set as default I tried that and then I went for Xp since map didn't work.....
After Xp I rebooted and tried the leftover 2 which again didn't work....