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Hello! I need to ask a question or two about dual boot.
I'm using Acronis Disk Director Suite 9, which is somewhat new, and Partition Magic to create a dual boot setup. (I'm using BOTH partitioning programs separately, to test out how user-friendly they are when creating a dual boot setup.)
I'll be installing a version of Linux on the new partition--either Linspire 4.5, Suse, or Xandros. I haven't decided which version I'll be installing. Probably Linspire, but this depends on the responses to my question.
I have to install the new OS using a boot floppy, because partitioning software doesn't support installing a new OS from a bootable CD.
This means I have to create a boot floppy or boot floppies to install Linux.
So, how do I go about creating boot floppy sets for Linux, directly from the CD, without actually installing Linux?
Keep in mind, I am creating a dual boot setup not to test Linux, but to test out partitioning software.
Installing using Linux's partitioning tool is a different and separate matter for me. This means I have to work within the programs' parameters, and that means booting to the new partition with floppies.
This is a pretty distro specific question but you might just try sticking the install disk into a windows box. The windows autorun should (at least it does for Red Hat 9 and Mandrake 8) have an option to create a boot disk.
If that doesn't work you might try googling it. I have seen sites that let you download linux bootdisks
It is not your partitioning software that takes care of booting up your system - it is your bios.
If your bios does not support to boot the machine up using a CD - then you will have to use floppies.
If your bios has the ability to boot from CD-s then you can do that or use floppies - this does not depend on the software you created your partitions with.
I may be wrong here - since I do not know the programs you mentioned - but a partitioning program is just that - the computers bios enables the computer to boot - meaning to access and execute code found in the mbr of an installed disk or CD or floppy (which then itself takes over to do whatever it is designed to do) - that is how I know (or think to know?) it is working.
To boot a linux you will have to have a boot-disk with a kernel on it which will recognise the filesystem used on the partition this linux is on - some distibutions provide support for a lot of them via boot/rescue-disk but this is not the only issue when booting into a system - generally it will be working best if you use a boot-disk specifically made for that linux. If you do not know what kind of linux you will be booting - you could succeed in getting it to work - but most of the time you will just get some basic functions and a lot of error messages during boot if you succeed at all - and this will not be the fault of neither the boot-disk nor the linux nor the partitioning-software...but that the kernel you are trying to boot the systen up with does not support the features expected (and needed for proper operation) by the system you try to boot.
Partitioning software comes with OS managers. For example, Acronis Disk Director Suite comes with Acronis OS Selector, and Partition Magic comes with Boot Magic.
Let's forget about the actual partitioning software, and deal with the OS Managers.
The OS Manager software will examine the primary partitions, and, based on the OS you select, will make its partition active.
So, I'm dealing with the OS Manager software now. According to Acronis, whom I contacted, their OS Manager currently only supports booting up from floppies.
Boot Magic I haven't used yet, but I think the same applies. I had to make boot floppies to install Windows 2000 onto a dual boot system that was running Acronis OS Selector.
Now, I realize Windows 2000, Windows XP, and various versions of Linux have built in partition managers and boot managers, but I need to work fully, wholly, completely within the parameters of the OS Selector Software.
I'm working with Linspire and Suse. I have to use floppies, period, end of conversation, no ifs, ands, or buts. And I will absolutely be damned if I can find Plain English, For Humans, information on how to create them.
Yeah, I've found some sites that explain how to create floppies, but they were written by Martians. <grin>
If there are any freeware tools out there that can simplify or streamline the process, that would be great. If anyone can just post a URL where these tools can be found, I'll take it from there.
"After installation Acronis Disk Director Suite 9.0 lets you create a bootable diskette or CD to manage partitions on a computer with any operating system."
From what I gather, I'd say: it lets you manage whatever you have installed - this includes making boot-disks... but you will have to have installed the OS, for which this program will support you in creating a boot-disk (or floppy)...
I think I'm completely wrong, and completely misunderstood how Linux installs.
(Hey...at least I admit when I'm wrong!)
I downloaded some free versions of Linux, plus I have Suse Linux, and they all appear to offer various partitioning paradigms upon installation. Apaprently, they have built-in mechanisms that will partition the hard drive to establish a dual boot setup, and also have a built-in boot manager.
I haven't fully installed any versions of Linux yet, so I do not yet know exactly how the installations work, or if they do, indeed, offer a built-in OS selector. But it does seem like they do, and I'm no longer all that concerned about Acronis or Partition Magic's Boot/OS managers.
Another thing I believe I can do, if I choose to, is partition the drive and create an unformatted primary partition, onto which I can install Linux. Linux will probably format the unformatted partition with a Linux file system.
This I'm not sure of yet, either, because I haven't tried it, but I get the feeling a third-party OS/boot manager just isn't necessary after all.
Nor are boot floppies.
Thanks for the responses, everyone, and sorry for the lack of understanding about this.
I do have another question, which I haven't found an answer for yet, during my research. I'll post the question elsewhere in a new thread. Knowing me, I'll find the answer five minutes after posting the question. <grin>
there is nothing wrong with being wrong - you did not really know and where asking - and now you do know...
Every linux-distribution comes with the necessary tools to install them - this includes software to partition and/or repartition harddisks, to make filesystems on them and to install them (need to have a filesystem - prior to installing) and to manage the boot-process.
The boot-managers available in linux allow you to boot any operating system including all windows-versions.
Of course any linux-distribution will leave an existing windows installation untouched - or can wipe it - just as you like it.
Advise: should you encouter a question during install - asking you if you want to take the chance to create a bootable floppy or CD - do it! It will save you trouble later, should something not go as expected - especially while configuring your boot-manager