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OK I know that there lots of pages out there about how to create a dual boot system on a single machine. I have been reading through them and keep finding a similar problem: all advie that you create a boot disk. Well, that seems sensible to me but I don't have a floppy drive so I'm in a bit of a pickle!
Currently I have WinXP running on my machine (that's how it came). Now I want to create a bunch of new partitions and install linux. Is it possible (and safe) to do this without a boot disk or without using a floppy in some way?
Looking forward to using linux again.... PLEASE HELP!!!
Distribution: Slackware 10, Fedora Core 3, Mac OS X
Since you don't have a floppy drive, i take it you can boot from the cd ? check the bios for that information.
Most installation cd's can be used as a recovery cd like a boot floppy to let you fix things or boot into your new system (I know that the slackware can). Also you can download cd rescue disks off the net which are like a boot floppy, but on a cd (obviously).
Boot floppies are usually recommended due to the fact that the installation does not always go quite right and windows does not like things installed onto the Master Boot Record that are not windows things.
You should be fine though with just an installation cd.
The safest way possible is to add another hard drive, make it a master, install linux on to the new drive, place the boot loader on the mbr of this drive. You may need to modify e.g. grub setting to map hd1 -> hd0 for booting windows XP though ;-)
Well, unfortunately, although it doesn't need a floppy but it needs a new drive :-(
You don't mention which distro you are using/trying.
I use mandrake and to be honest, I knew the square root of f*** all, when I first tried it.
I just put the first disc in and booted - I'm pretty that it was more by luck, than judgement that it installed OK, with everything I needed to dual boot.
If it's mandy that you try, then you don't need to create a boot disc. In fact, if you do a "standard" install, then it won't even offer you the option. That only comes with the "expert" install and yes, if my memory serves me correctly, you can use the first cd as a recovery/rescue disc (it even offers you the option to restore the window$ MBR if that's what you want - but if you did, then you have some sorting out to do before you can get back into linuxmandy).
You could always get the mandy disc(s) and put them in the drive when in windows and run them, there should be a bit of a tutorial to see what can/should/might happen.
OK, so if I understand correctly, having the installation CDs should be sufficient and a boot disk is unnecessary(?) However, the next part of the problem is that I need to reduce the single big NTFS partition that I have so I can put a few more on (or get a new hard-drive, but I'll hold off on that one for the moment So, is there a straightforward way to resize an existing NTFS partition without purchasing commercial software? And, of course, I would like to keep all existing data intact. However, that's a luxury and it wouldn't be the end of the world if it was simpler to wipe everything and start from scratch. Simple is preferable
i've heard bad things about the mdk resizer, so use it at your own risk. if your not concerned about your files, or could just burn them to a disk, i would do a fresh install. do windows first, use the first part of your drive. i don't know about xp, but 2k gives the option of being able to choose the size of the partition that you want to make.
you could also try out partimage for linux, the nfts filesystem is still experimental, but hey what the hell. if you go with this route, drop back a line and tell us how it worked for you.
It seems to be that the questioner wants to know how to get around this without buying a floppy - there could be technical issues!
I should point out that although I am running mandrake 9.1 I actually used partition magic 8.0 to resize my ntfs partition before installing the mandy 9.1, so, sorry, I can't really help in respect of that.
But keep at it, I sense that the best option isn't that far away!