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Old 01-03-2005, 06:10 PM   #1
Phoenix_Zero
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: I sleep i a dorm room, I live in my head.
Distribution: Debian/Kubuntu
Posts: 23

Rep: Reputation: 15
Dual Booting XP and Slack10 on an Alienware Laptop


Hello to all,
I know that dual booting is a common topic on these boards but I couldn't find what I needed. I also searched google a bit and didn't come up with much of use. I'm trying to get XP Pro and Slack10 dualbooting on an alienware 51m laptop. Unfortunately I don't know the motherboard on it and the documentation with the machine did not detail it. The processor is a 3.2GHz P4 with HT/800MHz FSB. I have two 512 MB sticks of PC3200 RAM, a 60 GB hard drive and a radeon 9600 mobile.
What I want to do is be able to have a choice of which OS to run right on bootup without the use of a boot floppy or CD. What's confusing me is whether to install Linux first or Windows first and to which partitions? I was thinking of this for my partitions
1. an NTFS partition for XP to live on.
2. a Small FAT32 partition for XP and Slack to share files
3. an Ext3 partition for Slack to live on
4. a Swap for Linux.

However I don't know which to make hda1. Or whether to install Grub to the MBR or the superblock.

I'll admit that I havn't tried the install yet but I'd rather have a better idea of what to do before I go erasing OSes ^_^.
Thank you very much.
Alex
 
Old 01-03-2005, 07:01 PM   #2
SteveK1979
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: RHEL5/6, Solaris 10/11, NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, MacOS
Posts: 223

Rep: Reputation: 42
Hi,

You need to install windows first as you have no control over whether it writes to the MBR or not.

Windows' NTFS partition will be your hda1. When you install windows, create a seperate partition to use as the FAT32 partition, and a 3rd partition which you need to leave unformatted.

Install the bootloader to the MBR, you then add an entry for the chainloader to boot windows, so it will be one of the options along with your linux kernels when you start up your laptop.

I hope those quick notes are enough - you post sounds like you have a fair idea of what you're doing!

Cheers,

Steve
 
Old 01-03-2005, 07:24 PM   #3
Phoenix_Zero
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: I sleep i a dorm room, I live in my head.
Distribution: Debian/Kubuntu
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
thank you very much for your quick and helpful response.
And this may come off as foolish but when you said the bootloader you meant Lilo or Grub right? Not XP's? Also, is there a howto during setup to configure lilo or grub? I havnt heard of a chainloader before (outside of guns, heh).
As a side note, I think that a guide to dual booting should be made and posted as an announcement. If a definitive guide was written I bet that there wouldn't be such an influx of dual booting questions.
Awaiting your reply,
Alex
 
Old 01-04-2005, 05:25 AM   #4
SteveK1979
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: RHEL5/6, Solaris 10/11, NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, MacOS
Posts: 223

Rep: Reputation: 42
Thumbs up

Hi,

Sorry, yep by bootloader, I meant lilo or grub. This laptop I'm typing on right now dual boots WinXP Pro and Gentoo, using the grub bootloader and it works perfectly.

The chainloader reference is an entry into the grub.conf file that tells it to call the WindowsXP bootloader. If I remember correctly, you just create a 'WindowsXp' (or whatever you choose to call it) entry in the conf file and simply add chainloader +1 as the command. I can check by rebooting my laptop shortly!

I haven't tried it with Slackware actually, or with the lilo bootloader, but it should just need an entry for windows with the chainloader +1 command. Or alternatively, use grub!

I think there is a guide somewhere on linuxquestions?

Cheers,

Steve
 
Old 01-04-2005, 12:17 PM   #5
godhugh
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Registered: Dec 2004
Posts: 18

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The Slackware installer and Lilo automatically detected my Windows XP partition when I installed it. I chose to install Lilo automatically to the MBR and it works perfectly.
 
Old 01-04-2005, 03:01 PM   #6
Phoenix_Zero
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: I sleep i a dorm room, I live in my head.
Distribution: Debian/Kubuntu
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks for the help so far, I'm going to try the install either tonight or tommorow night depending on how soon I can backup the files and check to make sure the important ones function correctly. Out of curiosity has anyone managed to use linux on an alienware laptop? (especially model 766). I'm wondering about this because some of the hardware used is proprietary.
Thanks again,
Alex
 
  


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