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Old 12-09-2006, 02:51 PM   #1
37Seconds
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Dual Boot How To??


I am trying to install Linux (MyahOS) on a computer that has WinXP Pro already on it. I want the system to be a Dual Boot system, but am not sure exactly how to do so. I tried once before (several years ago) with Fedora, but ended up screwing up the MBR and could not repair it and had to reinstall Windows.

Here is how my computer is set up. I have 2 hard drives (120 GB and 300 GB). Windows is on the first partition of the first hard drive (120GB), a 50GB NTFS partition. There is another 70GB FAT32 partion on that hard drive for storage of various data. On the other hard drive I have a 70GB FAT32 partition for backing up the FAT32 partition on the first hard drive, a 200GB FAT32 partition for backing up another drive that is on my home network, and a 30GB unformatted partition (where I want to install Linux).

The 30GB partition is at the end of the 2nd drive.

I need a "How To" since I am a newbie to Linux. I have heard that the "/boot" for Linux must be on the first hard drive. Is that true?

MyahOS Linux installs LILO as the boot manager. Is this any worse/better than GRUB and if worse is it possible to switch it to GRUB?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

If any further details are needed, let me know and I will try to provide them.

Thanks again.
 
Old 12-09-2006, 07:55 PM   #2
frazelle09
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i had thought that you would want to install Linux on your first drive, the one with Win on it. i've done this. i used GPartEd, a program to resize your partitions. It worked just fine. Then, used Freespire, (which is free), and installed it on the second partition.

Worked like a charm. If you wish i'll post the link(s) for the info.

Have a great evening!
 
Old 12-09-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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I would rather install Linux on the 2nd hard drive as that is where I have room for it on my configuration. If anyone has any details on how to properly install a Dual Boot this way, please let me know.

Thanks!
 
Old 12-10-2006, 05:16 AM   #4
tredegar
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I have never heard of MyahOS, and wonder why you, as a (complete?) newbie, would choose such an obscure distro for your first install! kubuntu and ubuntu are currently considered the top distros for ease-of-use & easy install, so you might think about one of those. kubuntu looks nice, and I like it a lot.
I suggest you backup your essential windows data files before you start. Most installations go smoothly, but yes, you can still click on the wrong option and accidentally reformat your windows partition(s).

Kubuntu can be run (albeit rather s-l-o-w-l-y) from the install CD, without it touching your hard disk at all, good to see if your hardware is supported. Then you can install it with the "Install" Icon on your desktop.

Before you install, open a terminal window and type the following command:
sudo fdisk -l
(that's a minus "ell" not "one"!)

This will list the partitions on your hard disks.
Make a note of these, but....
/dev/hda1 will probably be your windows NTFS partition
/dev/hda2 will probably be your 70G FAT32 partition
/dev/hdb1 will probably be your 70G FAT32 "backup" partition
/dev/hdb2 will probably be your 200G FAT32 "other backup" partition

When you choose to install, you can (usually) tell the installer to use the free space on /dev/hdb, but you might have to choose "Set partitions manually".
You need two partitions as a minimum for linux:
/ which is "root" (give it 29GB)
swap which is swap space (give it just 512MB)
Some people like /home to be on a different partition, in which case allow / just 5GB and give the rest to /home, but this is not essential for your first install.

Make sure only / and swap (and /home, if you have chosen this option) are going to be formatted, format them as "ext3". Swap gets formatted as "swap". Make sure you are not formatting your windows partitions (you did make a note of which these were, didn't you?)
Double-check everything, then let it continue.

(k)ubuntu will automatically set up grub so you can dual-boot linux or windows. MyahOS will probably set up lilo the same way, but I don't know. grub & lilo are both bootloaders and achieve the same thing. I started with lilo, but am now happy using grub, it doesn't seem to matter! Yes, you can change your bootloader lilo<->grub later.

Quote:
I have heard that the "/boot" for Linux must be on the first hard drive. Is that true?
No, but both lilo and grub will take over the MBR, but don't worry, you'll still be able to choose to boot windows.
Besides, if you are using (k)ubuntu, you can always re-boot from the "live" CD, get to a command line in a terminal, and fix up most things that are messed up (except a reformat of your windows partition!). Very comforting.

So, just get started, take care, and have fun. People here will help you if you tell them what went wrong, or just what it is that you do not understand.

Last edited by tredegar; 12-10-2006 at 05:18 AM.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 11:19 PM   #5
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tredegar,

Thanks for the response!

I have chosen to use MyahOS as my flavor of linux after messing with Fedora (while at school), Kubuntu (live DVD), and MyahOS (live CD).

MyahOS seemed to have better support for my hardware and a generally better feel for someone (at least me) that is new to linux.

I plan on starting with MyahOS as my first install of Linux, then if all goes well I may install a different flavor of Linux (maybe Kubuntu) when I am more comfortable using Linux.

I will try doing what you have recommended and see how things go. Like you said, since both MyahOS and Kubuntu can be run off of CD/DVD, I can still use them to try and undo anything that I may have messed up.

Thanks again.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 11:29 PM   #6
pixellany
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Myah--based on Slackware (ugh)
--optimized for gaming--maybe that's the niche??

I'll echo the other comments: For beginners, stick with the top 5 or so on the Distrowatch "hit list". This is a generality only--you may well do fine.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 11:40 PM   #7
indienick
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I remember my first distro was an obscure one too, CollegeLinux.
I turned out alright....I think.
The only reason I stopped using it was because it's no longer being maintained.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 11:45 PM   #8
pixellany
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indienick--I think I just figured out your sig--you are from the Ukraine?
 
Old 12-13-2006, 01:16 PM   #9
indienick
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Most certainly am.
 
  


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