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Old 02-24-2005, 06:51 AM   #1
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Dual-boot Fedora Questions


I have a Dell Dimension L700cx (700 MHz Celeron) running Win Me on the original 20 Gb hard drive and the original BIOS (I think A09), and I was considering installing Fedora 3, or possibly 4 when it comes out in June, but I had a couple questions. I have read about problems with dual-booting on certain systems, I believe mostly post-Win XP. I checked the message boards on Dell's website and here, but I didn't see anything too specific. Would that problem affect a system like mine? Is it necessary to risk upgrading my BIOS before the install? I don't mind wiping my hard drive clean and then installing both Fedora and Windows, but I would prefer not to. Thanks a lot for your help.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 07:11 AM   #2
morrolan
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The problems that fedora causes are simply HDD geometry problems due to the way the 2.6 kernel series reads the partition table (I think).

I had this problem with FC2, I'm now on FC3 but I haven't checked the geometry yet, although a dual boot with FC3 and WinXP using Grub is working fine.

I only noticed the problem when I used Partition Magic 8 under WinXP to repartition my XP so I had a small FAT32 part that I could write too, as I don't fancy the idea of writing to NTFS quite yet.

I solved the problem as follows:

Boot into a live CD such as Knoppix, unmount and remount the affected HDD (will be hda in single HDD systems) and then I did the following as root on Knoppix:

Code:
root@knoppix]#  sfdisk -d /dev/hda | sfdisk --no-reread --force -H255 /dev/hda
Please be aware that this may not be the same for you if your HDD geometry is different - I suggest finding out the info of your HDD geometry first using a liveCD first before trying this.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 10:57 AM   #3
redir
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I put FC3 on my existing win2k box and used parted to partition the hd. So far I have absolutly no problems though I rarely use the win2k anymore. Mine incedentally is on a Dell Demension. It can't hurt to upgrade the bios imo. I don't really know anything about your bios but I did have problems on a different machine running Red Hat due to acpi settings in bios that was solved with an upgrade. You can always do that after you install the dual boot anyway.
 
Old 03-25-2005, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thanks and a question

Dear morrolan and redir,
Thank you both! I'm sorry for not replying until now.
I decided to take the plunge and install no matter what, and I bought Fedora 3 Bible by Christopher Negus. In chapter 2, he says the problem I was talking about was only related to Win XP. What a relief! I appreciated you very detailed post, morrolan. Thankfully, I didn't have to use it!

Unfortunately, I am having another problem
( http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=305864 )
which is the other reason I'm writing.

Quote:
Originally posted by redir
I don't really know anything about your bios but I did have problems on a different machine running Red Hat due to acpi settings in bios that was solved with an upgrade. You can always do that after you install the dual boot anyway.
redir, I think my problem could be BIOS related. What problems did you have on that system?
 
Old 03-25-2005, 02:03 PM   #5
redir
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I am not really sure what the problem in bios was but the up graded bios solved the problem. It was interesting too because after googling my problem and the machine which was a particular bare bones kit circa year 2000 some one out there actually wrote a bios for the problem.

Basically the machine would just lock up. I am guessing the bios lacked acpi and when the OS tried to go into power reserve stage it confused the system. And it really had nothing to do with dual booting just that the OS and hardware were not compatible...
 
Old 03-25-2005, 03:24 PM   #6
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I upgraded my BIOS, just in case that was causing my graphics problems. Unfortunatly, that didn't solve the problem. Rats.

What a story about your BIOS! It never crossed my mind that people would just write a new one for a problem they were having.
 
  


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