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Sound like the questioner already has linux installed on his 40GB hard drive, using all available disk space and now he would like to install windows. Why is another question to ponder.
If I read everything here correctly, then you can't. Not without resizing a partition and leaving some free, partitioned space for windows to use, AND, you will lose boot info from the master boot record(not sure about installing Windows 2000 or XP, they have boot loaders also, just not sure how smart they are? or malicious as it were...)by installing windows. SO,
first you have to backup you boot record (MBR) information (just in case)
Then you have to create a linux boot floppy so you can start the system after a Winblows install in order to repair lilo or grub or whatever
All this is very technical (I don't know how to do it all-but I'm sure you'd get enough help here:-)and time consuming and prone to errors...
Depending on your circumstances, it may be easier and safer to backup all your Linux configs(and data just in case), then fdisk the drive and make two partitions. One for Windows and one for linux...
Format and install one of the partitions for windows...(again, it has been so long since I have used linux that I am not sure about fat32 or ntfs support in linux boot loaders-last I used Linux I beleive it was fat16 or nothing for the boot loader; because windows cannot read a linux partition you must use a Windows file system format and only fat16 was suitable at that time---anyone else have more info on this---I would be interested also), then install Windows. After that, install Linux normally and let it write to the MBR (master Boot Record) in order to create the "dual" boot menu...
OR, get vmware and run Winblows in a Virtual Machine (a file) right on your linux partition.....you'll need to have enough procesing power and ram to do this, but it would prevent having to do all the above...
jatcan is correct, I do already have it installed but I dont have anything on it that I cant stand to lose. I would be perfectly willing to totally reformat and reinstall everything. It may sound crazy but I do have a legit reason to want to dual boot. for one its a laptop and two I am VERY new to linux. I am haveing a hard time making everything work well on it and can barely ever get it to go online, which as you all know is very necissary for everything from help to files. So my solution is to dual boot it since I have the windows key it came with anyway. That way I will be able to at least get online most places to download files and get help and then later on transfer them to linux via cd or external hdd. If I understand right you were suggesting taking my 40 gigs and making two partitions, one windows one linux. how would I do this? also, you were talking about vmware. I have no understanding on what that is but, would it work to use the hardware that doesnt work with linux yet? what exactly is it?
Are you trying to install windows itself into the Linux filesystem? Bad idea, if you ask me. Why would you do that, just because you are curious about what would happen or if you could make it work?
Or perhaps this part of my reply will be more helpful.
Partition = a section of the hard disk platter allocated to be a separate section recognizable by the hardware as distinct from the other sections of the disk platter.
Filesystem = a way of formatting and organizing data within a partition so that the hard disk can read the data and hand it back to the rest of the computer components.
Linux usually installs with an EXT3 filesystem these days. EXT2 is the old Linux filesystem. EXT3 is a Unix-like filesystem that uses / for the root directory of the entire filesystem, and views accessible partitions as directories under that root directory. For example, if you have three partitions formatted as EXT3, then Linux "mounts" / to one of them, and then mounts the other two as being the top levels of whatever directories you choose. That's where the word "mount" comes in - Linux views each partition as "mounted" to the root filesystem directory tree as sub-directory trees, so that a system can have tons of disks with tons of partitions, and they all appear to be one big fat happy file system.
Windows XP installs with NTFS5 as a filesystem which labels each partition as a drive letter: C: D: E: for example. There is no "top level" master of the file system, so Windows XP gives every computer a "My Computer" view that is little more than a batch of symlinks to each of those partitions (drives). Each drive letter can either be a physical drive (if the drive only has one partition), or it could represent a partition. Essentially - each drive letter always represents a partition in Windows world.
Windows 2000 will install as either a FAT32 or a NTFS4 filesystem. FAT32 is a less secure (hahahahahaha as if that were possible, but it is) file system than NTFS.
Windows ME, 98, 95 all install with FAT 32 or FAT 16. These are just like NTFS, except that NTFS allows encryption, multiple users, and has an administrator mode (similar to but much, much less secure than the UNIX root mode).
I say all of that because your question sounds like you didn't understand exactly what a partition is (an allocation of disk space with a particular filesystem in mind) and what a filesystem is (a way of organizing an allocated disk space).
If you want to install windows on the same hard drive as linux, and you have already installed Linux, you are probably s.o.l (s*** out of luck).
You could back up your Linux data, then get out the Windows disk, and begin the installation process. This will wipe out everything on the disk. Allocated 20GB for Windows (or whatever amount - no less than 8GB for Win XP), and use the built in tools to create the WIndows partition.
Windows requires that it lives in the first partition on the disk and that the partition be a Windows filesystem. The first partition on any disk drive is called the Primary Partition, and every additional partition is considered a Logical Partition. Windows has to live in the Primary partition. Linux is nice and is willing to live in a logical partition.
Once you have Windows installed and configured, then reinstall Linux to the remaining free space on your drive.
That is going to yield the optimum situation. Linux will take over the master boot record of the disk drive and allow you to pick an operating system, because unlike Windows, Linux is nice and doesn't get jealous if you use Windows.
Then you will be set up for dual boot.
Other options exist.
If you want to run Windows software under Linux, you can try installing WINE, which is a software package (free) that, once installed, let's you grab your Windows software (for example, Adobe Photoshop) and install it into Linux and run it under Linux without having Windows installed on your machine. Some software runs OK like this, some blows so hard that it just crashes all over the place. Wine is free, and it is worth every dime you pay for it.
If you want to install a Windows operating system you can boot from within Linux, there is a product out there that does that, but it sucks, it's slow, and I'd question your sanity if you did that. Linux is pretty friggin' slick these days. I made the switch back in 1999 for two years to Mandrake 8, and Linux just wasn't ready for primetime.
I made the switch again two months ago, and I have to say, Linux is now every bit as capable as WIndows, plus no viruses, no spyware, no adware, and no disk defragging required. Just use it and enjoy. The only trade offs? SOme software (always free) is a little unstable and crashes a little more than a WIndows user is used to - BUT, and this is a big but - when it crashes, it does not take the whole box down with it. You just kill it, restart the program, and keep going.
Windows has a tidy GUI for everything, and Linux is missing some of that. Linux software is has bad documentation in many cases and inconsistent installation processes. Also, the command line is necessary in Linux whereas in Windows you can live without it, however, the command line in LInux is so powerful that if you ever play with it any, you'll wonder how you lived without it.
Hope that answers some of your questions.
My advice: Don't install windows. Figure out what you want to do, and then figure out how to make Linux do it.
Originally posted by Dunadan1821
jatcan is correct, I do already have it installed but I dont have anything on it that I cant stand to lose. I would be perfectly willing to totally reformat and reinstall everything.
Good. That is going to be necessary in order to put Windows in the primary partition. I don't think that even partition magic 8 can resize a partition from primary toward the back of the disk. You have to destroy all partitions and start over.
That is different from formatting - formatting means you get a partition ready to use. The tool for destroying and making partitions is FDISK, and the windows version can only handle Windows filesystems, so only use it to destroy partitions and make your Windows partition. Let Linux make its own after you are done installing Windows.
It may sound crazy but I do have a legit reason to want to dual boot.
I dual boot.
and two I am VERY new to linux. I am haveing a hard time making everything work well on it and can barely ever get it to go online, which as you all know is very necissary for everything from help to files.
If you can get online once with Linux, as long as you don't bork anything up, you should always be able to get online with it.
So my solution is to dual boot it since I have the windows key it came with anyway. That way I will be able to at least get online most places to download files and get help and then later on transfer them to linux via cd or external hdd.
When you partition your hard disk, I recommend you put Windows XP on a 6GB partition, and then create a 4 GB partition called SHARE after it using FAT32. Then, install Linux to the remaining 30GB in three partitions: /, Swap, and /home. That way, you can use the Share partition to read/write files from either file system.
If I understand right you were suggesting taking my 40 gigs and making two partitions, one windows one linux. how would I do this?
Just start installing Windows. It will have a "partitioning" routine in the installation process. Destroy all partitions, and then make a 6GB partition for Windows. Then you are done.
Then after you are finished installing, stick in the installation disks for Linux, and make the share partition (FAT32) and the partitions you will put Linux into (EXT3 and Swap).
also, you were talking about vmware. I have no understanding on what that is but, would it work to use the hardware that doesnt work with linux yet?
At your level, you are never going to use VMWare, just forget about it.
thanks for all your insight. I guess I will stick with just linux. It is just so frusterating that I cant get some of the hardware to work and the biggest problem with that is that without my wireless card I cant get internet there. The ethernet is there but because of the screwy internet setup here I need to make a vpn connection to get online which believe me iv tried using cipe for many hours with no luck. my last and usually most reliable internet methode, dialup, is not recongnized by linux either. that is why I wanted to use windows.
Originally posted by Dunadan1821 thanks for all your insight. I guess I will stick with just linux. It is just so frusterating that I cant get some of the hardware to work and the biggest problem with that is that without my wireless card I cant get internet there. The ethernet is there but because of the screwy internet setup here I need to make a vpn connection to get online which believe me iv tried using cipe for many hours with no luck. my last and usually most reliable internet methode, dialup, is not recongnized by linux either. that is why I wanted to use windows.
Linux will do wireless networking. Linux will also do dial-up. However, unlike Windows, Linux will not "just do it for you" in most cases. You are going to have to do some reading about how to set up dial up networking on your machine on the net. If you can't get on the net, then I recommend you go the dual boot route.
i am using fedora core 2.
in my situation do you think it wise to just dual boot? I have the disk right here.
I like the idea of a 6gig win and 4 share to go back and forth with 30 for linux since eventually i want to phase windows out completely.