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Old 10-10-2004, 03:21 PM   #1
nomenclator
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Booting to alternative operating systems


I am running windows xp pro in a single partition. This is the way the computer came. I got a donation of Partition Magic -- this version does not include boot magic. I do not have money to buy software; I depend on donations.

My question is, if i make a new partition with partition magic and install a unix version in that partition, will I be able to boot to the unix operating system when I start my computer (or when I click re-start). Or do I need to obtain special software to do that?

It is now apparent that, thw way my computer is set up now, if I have a bootable cd in the cd drive, and I press F8 during bootup, i can get to a screen that offers me a choice of booting from the fixed disk or booting from the cd. I had to make sure the cmos setup was configured to allow me to boot from either cd or fixed disk. If I install another partition (partition 2) with a bootable operating system contained in it, will this screen, that appears when I press f8, also offer me an opportunity to boot from either partition 1 (with Windows xp pro) or partition 2 (with a unix op sys)? Or will I have to install new software before I can do that.

Since I can't afford to buy boot magic -- if I need boot-choice software will I be able to find freeware boot-choice software?

Can anyone tell me?
 
Old 10-10-2004, 03:28 PM   #2
spoody_goon
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Most all distros Linux and Unix come with boot loaders and are easy to set up. Also most (that I know of) come with partition managers as well>
Just currious what what Unix distro was you thinking about using or was you going to go with a Linux distro?
 
Old 10-10-2004, 03:47 PM   #3
nomenclator
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I was planning on doing one thing at a time, spoody_goon.

First step, create a partition. That is enough to keep me busy for awhile. Next step -- you're saying, then, that I don't need boot magic? If that is the case then my next step would be to read up a bit about the various unix operating system "flavors" is that what they are called? that are available, choose the one that I think would be the best. This may take a few days or a week or so of reading.

After that, installing it so that it works should be less than a full day i guess.

So, once I do that, there will be most likely be a "boot loader" included, and I can use that to choose between windows xp pro and the unix op sys, when the computer starts up?

Neat. If boot loader is not included, I can probably find one I can download for free then, no?

Windows XP pro is making my head hurt. All those screens with the absurdly worded check boxes and radio boxes -- I yearn to be able to give my computer commands instead of choosing between absurdly worded pre-selected commands, arranged in an inexplicably nonsensical hierarchy, menu tree.

I'm hoping a unix op sys will be more to my liking.

Last edited by nomenclator; 10-10-2004 at 03:50 PM.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:03 PM   #4
nomenclator
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Oh, I'm sorry -- my next step would be to make a backup of things -- before I start partitioning. I don't have an uninterruptable power supply, so I think that making a backup would be especially important.

And I have a Q about backing up. I'm running Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2. I'm wondering if I should bother making, choice 1, an Automated System Recovery backup set -- which includes a *.bkf file, and a recovery floppy, both made with the Windows XP pro backup program -- or, choice 2, if I should just backup my data files; program settings files (which may be scattered about a bit); and my program distribution files that I obtained from internet downloads. I could rely on my distribution CD's and distribution files, to reinstall programs. I could rely on program settings files to restore program settings. I would have to do some resetting by hand, as some settings would be in the registry rather than in specific files. I'm wondering if, should there be a problem during partitioning, if ASR would really save me a lot time, restoring, as compared to choice 2. I would certainly take me longer to create. I don't know that I really trust it as being reliable. I trust a complete re-installation of Windows XP pro and all the programs, as being reliable.

Either way, I would have to rely on the fixed disk on my other computer, eoMeo1, connected peer to peer with eoMeo2, my newer computer, to contain the backup.

I eventually want to move all my programs and data to eoMeo 2. I still have my fax and voicemail programs on eomeo1. Some other programs too. But this is going to be a long timeconsuming process. For now, I am backing up eomeo1 to eomeo2, and eomeo2 to eomeo 1.

If one of them goes, I am sunk, as I don't have money for more hardware. I have a cd burner in eomeo2. Eomeo2 is a P4 with Windows XP Pro, eomeo1 is a P2 with Window 98 second edition. Eomeo 1 has its fixed disk almost all filled up. 20Gbytes. eomeo1 has 80g.

Last edited by nomenclator; 10-10-2004 at 04:11 PM.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:06 PM   #5
spoody_goon
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If you are a Windows user looking for your first *nix OS I would recomend you go with one of the easy to use Linux distro's like Mandrake, Suse, or Fendora. The install process will include partitioning the hard drive and while they are not the only distros around even the hard cord Linux users recoment one of those three for a starting distro.
Also you can try a "LiveCD" like knoppic, DamnSmallLinux, or Morphix.
Just some ideas, setting up a dual boot system is not nearly as hard as it was in the past and you already have one thing going for you...LinuxQuestions.org

P.S. your are correct in backing up your files there are always things that can go wrong.

Last edited by spoody_goon; 10-10-2004 at 04:08 PM.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:14 PM   #6
nomenclator
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spoody_goon
Quote:
The install process will include partitioning the hard drive
So then I won't need Partition Magic? Do all or most Linux distros include partitioning ability? Or is it just some of them like the ones you mentioned?
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:25 PM   #7
Gkarfield
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man ,
I bought a new disk to have Linux and windows, I made partitions,I did the install, and it ascs where ti should do he installation.
i did something wrong, and lost it, after that i put the old disk on together with the new. and I just changed the hardware switch, whitch is the slave , and the master disk.
but
after a while (a month), I found 'lilo' , with lilo, you can activate any partition as boot (i think, i activated /Dev/hdb1) and did something I don't remember, but now I boot with Linux or with windows, just with the boot loader. if you find "lilo" over there, follow that direction
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:26 PM   #8
spoody_goon
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There are so many I can't say for all of them, I mentioned them because the are the most popular
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:31 PM   #9
Gkarfield
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hey I forgot,
i did an installation in another machine, it has windows 98, it did a partition, (i had a single partition), and installation. now i have a dual boot over there.
hey man , before everything , take care of backup. just to be safe if something goes wrong
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:48 PM   #10
spoody_goon
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Ok this is my opinion and just my opinion

-Download a Knoppix a OS ran from your cd drive here LQ Knoppix

-If you like Linux download Mandrake here LQ Mandrake

-Defragment XP in safe mode

-Install Mandrake from cds it has a very easy graphics installer

-I think you will be plesently surprised at what you will have.

If you deside to do this please let me know how it works out.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 04:49 PM   #11
nomenclator
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I was thinking of doing things like this. with my reasoning being that I would be installing linux and learning what makes it tick, at the same time.

However after reading http://www.andamooka.org/reader.pl?p...4_creatingpart I wasn't able to learn, from that, what I had to do to create a partition. It wasn't step-by-step enough for me. What does "The cfdisk program (or another fdisk like program you prefer) is to be started with the appropriate hard disk as the option" mean?
 
Old 10-10-2004, 05:28 PM   #12
spoody_goon
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My suggestions was just to get you started. If you want to see how Linux ticks then you might want to start with Slackware before you get into building a system from the ground up.
I'm just going off from my own experience that starting simple is a way to go that is less frustrating. Maybe thats not for you it was just an idea.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 07:10 PM   #13
nomenclator
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No-one has responded to my question about 1 vs 2

(1) ASR

(2) a simple data file save, along with some program-setup file saves (ini files and such), plus making sure I have all the original distribution files for all my programs.

I'm not sure I would trust ASR to restore things properly so if I did ASR, I would probably want to do (2) in addition. ASR takes longer. So maybe I should just skip ASR and just do (2)


Anyone have any opinions?

spoody_goon
Quote:
Install Mandrake from cds it has a very easy graphics installer
Maybe, but personal experience has been that I'm usually better off staying away from graphics and clinging to verbage. This is one of the reasons I thought I might like to try a unix op sys rather than stick with just windows.

You know how in Windows Explorer you can list your folders either as "icons," or a a "detailed list." ?? I never use the icons display. I also never use the "windows desktop." It takes me much less time to find what I am looking for if I look for it by name, not by picture.

I rarely uses the toolbar "buttons" in any of my program -- I prefer to go thru the menu hierarchy. Actually, I prefer to just remember the names of things, and write them on a command line. Not only because it is faster, but because I find what the commands do to be easier to learn and remember this way. Menu hierarchies often make little sense to me. I'd find the right choice more easily by going thru an alphabetical list. It is less to remember if I only have to learn the command names. If I have to learn which menu to find them in, I have to learn 3 times as many things. For example, in Internet Explorer, is the "Properties" command under Files, or is it under Tools, or View? It is easier to learn and remember what "properties" does, than to learn what it does, plus have to memorize which menu choice it is under, Files, Tools, or View. It just is not intuitive or self-evident, that it would be under Files. Personally, I would tend to look under View first. Someone else might think that it would make sense if it were under Tools, and they wouldn't be any more or less intutive about where to find things, than I am. The problem is multiplied if you are talking about 4 levels of menu hierarchie.


Last edited by nomenclator; 10-10-2004 at 07:28 PM.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 09:53 PM   #14
nomenclator
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"If you are a Windows user looking for your first *nix OS I would recomend you go with one of the easy to use Linux distro's like Mandrake, Suse, or Fendora. "

I need software that is free. I don't have any money. All my hardware has traditionally been obtained by scrounging parts from discarded computers. My software is all freeware, or is donations of slightly obsolete software from rich people who wanted the latest and sold me their old stuff for next to nothing.

Last edited by nomenclator; 10-10-2004 at 10:16 PM.
 
Old 10-10-2004, 10:01 PM   #15
spoody_goon
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Quote:
Originally posted by nomenclator
I need software that is free. I don't have any money.

You really should look at http://iso.linuxquestions.org/ Most Linux is free at some level. Some is just plan free.
 
  


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