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Old 11-06-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
decado
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Dual booting worries


I want to dual boot Windowx XP (I'm using that now) and a Linux distro, maybe Fedora or Ubuntu.

Linux is something I've used before, a few years back, and I want to get back into it.

However, I've seen some really bad things happen with installs, and I want to avoid all of them. I'll post the specs on this box, which might help. I don't have Partition Magic, or anything like that, so I will need to rely on Linux itself to do the partition work, right?

AMD64x2 4000+, 2GB DDR2, 250GB Sata HDD (Western Digital), HIS X1950Pro IceQ Turbo w/256MB DDR3, IDE DVD burner, onboard sound (Realtek), USB 2.0 x6, onboard 10/100 LAN (nForce), Samtron 17" CRT, Brother HL-2040 laser, Epson Stylus C61 inkjet, BenQ 5250C scanner.

Should that stuff work?

Is it true that you have to start OS partitions toward the 'front' of a HDD? IOW, otherwise, it won't boot? Is there are a max. hdd size for dual booting systems?

I'm worried about the hard drive, because I know someone who installed Ubuntu to dual boot with XP - had about a 300GB hdd, I think - which seemed to go fine, until boot time. Nothing! Windows and Linux, gone. Windows kind of damaged, so some data loss for his troubles too.

So.. how do I not do that?

Last edited by decado; 11-06-2007 at 09:54 PM.
 
Old 11-06-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Welcome to LQ.
Quote:
I don't have Partition Magic, or anything like that, so I will need to rely on Linux itself to do the partition work, right?
The linux partition tools are now more reliable that Partition Magic. In the past PM was needed for ntfs partitions. Parted now hondles these too.

Quote:
AMD64x2 4000+, 2GB DDR2, 250GB Sata HDD (Western Digital), HIS X1950Pro IceQ Turbo w/256MB DDR3, IDE DVD burner, onboard sound (Realtek), USB 2.0 x6,
You're fine to here - suggest a 32bit distro regardless.

Quote:
onboard 10/100 LAN (nForce)
This triggers an alarm - I think this uses the forcedeth drivers. Some distros have trouble with them. If this is a desktop, then it isn't a big problem.

Quote:
Samtron 17" CRT, Brother HL-2040 laser, Epson Stylus C61 inkjet,
fine fine fine... epsom printers are either great or terrible. You won't know till you fire it up. I think brother have linux drivers for those that don't go properly with cups. Google both printers with "linux" and see how others managed.

Quote:
BenQ 5250C scanner.
Check this on the sane project page.

Quote:
I'm worried about the hard drive, because I know someone who installed Ubuntu to dual boot with XP - had about a 300GB hdd, I think - which seemed to go fine, until boot time. Nothing! Windows and Linux, gone. Windows kind of damaged, so some data loss for his troubles too.
That would have been a while ago. 5.10 and, to a lesser extent, 6.06 had issues with SATA drives during install. That's all cleared up now.

Ubuntu 7.10 has a beautiful installer, including an option to guide you through a dual-boot install... and a migration tool so your windows settings move with you. The installer is now particularily good with SATA drives - but won't see some PATA drives if there is a SATA as well.

I have personally experienced zero data losses since 6.10 ... that said, always backup your data. Defrag first.

To top it off, the 7.10 CD has the wubi installer... installs Ubuntu as a windows app. so you can try it out. Get the feel for it - no partitioning, no live session.

Watch
http://www.pcmech.com/article/instal...ntu-linux-710/
... pcmechanic video installing 7.10 RC1 (don't worry, the release version is identical).

This guy does a complete install... the only difference for you is in the partitioning step. Here you pick the option labeled "guided dual boot". Easy.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 02:33 AM   #3
decado
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I went ahead downloaded, burned then booted into Ubuntu 7.10 [i386] (just a look, with a *view* to installing) - well, I tried to. Eek!

Just as well I didn't just install some distro without a peek first..

This is what came up, at the top of a black screen:

[ 0.480000].. MP-BIOS bug: 8254 timer not connected to IO-APIC
[ 0.480000] Kernel panic - not syncing: IO-APIC + timer doesn't work! Boot with apic:debug and send a report. Then try booting with the 'noapic' option

Now, I could probably follow that advice, without too much of a headache. I've even done a bit of command line stuff before - wow!

But the thing is, I'm wondering what the hell is wrong with my PC's hardware! It doesn't sound good, whatever it is.

Or is it most likely a Linux (or maybe Ubuntu 7.10) problem? In which case, am I best off just backing away and putting up with Microsoft and co., or maybe going with another distro?

I would like to persevere, but this is hardly encouraging.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 03:24 AM   #4
dark_angel
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I also have difficulties dual-booting Windows XP with Ubuntu in my desktop (i'm using Linux while everybody else at home uses Windows). Ubuntu wont even fire up from live cd on my desktop. Up to now I haven't figured out the reason why. So I tried Slackware instead. It turned out ok. So far it hadn't given me major headaches (at least not yet). Why don't you try it.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 03:25 AM   #5
decado
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Hmm, did a Google search. Turns out it's a common enough problem, with AMD64x2 processors and Ubuntu (not just 7.10) - hooda thunk it?

So, I just use noapic, make that permanent in the grub config, then it's all OK?

oops, didn't see your post, dark_angel. Slackware is good to go? Are you running an AMD64x2 desktop, and is it a 32bit distro, just out of curiosity?

Last edited by decado; 11-07-2007 at 03:27 AM.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 04:53 PM   #6
bskrakes
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Arrow XP dual boot with Linux Distro

Hi there,

I love seeing people using Linux!!!! It's so awesome. Anyway from the specs of your Desktop PC I don't for see you having any issues... maybe a few. Like you mentioned Ubuntu didn't want to boot due to the AMD cpu, this can also happen with other distro's. I have mostly seen it with Fedora Core, the distro doesn't like the "Cool N Quiet" mode. Also depending on what you do ATI/Saphire/Radeon in the past has had issues with the graphics driver. This has changed since AMD purchased them. They recently released some new drivers which are supposed to be pretty good, I personally haven't played with them, yet. The only time these drivers will become an issue is when you want to game on your Linux distro or when you want to use Beryl - crazy cool graphic interface!!!

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the dual boot system I would suggest using Fedora Core or CentOS. I like both and have used both. I have also used Ubuntu and am not a fan. Fedora Core aka FC isn't as stable as CentOS but handles most of the newer hardware (of course that only lasts for so long unless they update it). CentOS is basically Red Hat Enterprise Linux but a free version, very stable.

Since you already have Windows XP installed, installing either distro should be straight forward (at least from my experience). I could see some people having an issue but would doubt it in most cases if done properly. If you are still worried and un-sure the other very cool solution is to try using VMware Server. This program allows you to run XP and any "Virtual Machine" at the same time. So you could be in XP and have VM running your Ubuntu, Fedora Core, etc. Now you might think this is too much but it really is easy to do! Your system specs look pretty good, at least to try this out. Your AMD 4000 is a X2 correct and you have 2GB of ram - your set. If the VMware solution interests you let me know and I can walk you through it. Other wise I can walk you through the dual boot system.

If you have already got it working well good on ya!

Regards!
 
Old 11-07-2007, 10:02 PM   #7
AceofSpades19
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I would advise running a few livecds to check out your hardware on linux, it might be wise to try PCLinuxOS and Mandriva, both good distros
 
Old 11-09-2007, 06:19 AM   #8
decado
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Thanks everyone for your help. It all worked out OK in the end: I'm using Firefox in Fedora 8 to post this from.

I will add that I think live CDs (or DVDs?) with an option to install are a _great_ idea.

Now, testing the printers and the scanner is next.... wish me luck!

Last edited by decado; 11-09-2007 at 06:20 AM.
 
Old 11-09-2007, 06:29 AM   #9
pixellany
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It is really encouraging to see someone hit a few glitches and then keep trying until it works. Stay with it and you will soon discover all the things that are actually easier with Linux.

How many newcomers to Linux ever installed and set up Windows from scratch? I'll bet if every computer user had to install their own OS and apps, Linux would now have a larger market share.
 
Old 11-09-2007, 10:00 AM   #10
ComputerBob
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My Hardware-Based Dual-Boot PC

I realize that I'm arriving very late to this party, but I'd like to share my own dual-boot experience, just in case anyone finds it helpful or informative.

After dual-booting Windows XP and Mepis Linux for several months, I finally got tired of having to fool with one or the other to keep them both working whenever I'd mess with one of them. So I looked into several possible dual-boot options -- each with their own strengths and weaknesses -- and discovered the one that works best for me and my needs.

I call it My Hardware-Based Dual-Boot PC.
 
Old 11-09-2007, 10:15 AM   #11
Vince0000
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I use (3) SATA drives for a total of 650 gig...

Drive 1 = SuSE Linux (250 gig) SDA1
Drive 2 = WinXP (200 gig) SDA2
Drive 3 = Shared Storage drive between both OS's... (200 gig) SDA3

Here is my MENU.LST WinXP section showing how you map HD1 to HD0 so WinXP boots without complaining. (Note Grub see's SDA1 as HD0 and SDA2 as HD1 etc...

title WindowsXP
root (hd1,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)

I would just let grub do the magic instead of swapping drives, and always hooking / disconnecting cables etc... I like to keep my OS's on a seperate drive also, but doing a WinXP / Linux dual boot works great off 1 drive also of course.

P.S. I would check out SuSE 10.3's Live CD also...

Vince
 
Old 11-09-2007, 11:03 AM   #12
brianL
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Quote:
How many newcomers to Linux ever installed and set up Windows from scratch?
I've got my hand raised, Pixellany. But, as you can see, I am now exfenestrated.

Last edited by brianL; 11-09-2007 at 11:05 AM.
 
  


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