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Old 06-27-2005, 10:09 AM   #1
Fritz_Monroe
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Dualbooting, a newbie's experience


I wanted to pass on what I learned this weekend. Hopefully it will help other newbies out there. I'm also open for suggestions as to how this would have been done "better."

This weekend I set up my system to multi-boot with Win98, Slackware and Mepis. I ended up removing Mepis and loading up Vector. This was installed on an old computer. It's a 450 MHz, 192 Meg RAM, 2 8 gig IDE hard drives and a Sony CD-RW. The drives are brand new, so I partitioned them so primary master is 3 gig FAT32, 4 gig Linux, 500 meg linux swap. Primary slave is 2 4 gig linux partitions. The entire reason for setting this up is to learn.

First thing I learned was that just because your computer doesn't allow a CD boot device doesn't mean you can't boot off CD. Get a copy of Smart Boot Manager. Put this to a formatted floppy by using rawrite. Boot off the floppy and you can select to boot off the CD. This will allow you to make use of live CDs, or just boot off the CD to do an install.

Second thing I learned is the Mepis installation program will not, by default, allow you to install the distro on one drive and have the swap partition on a different drive. Now there may be some configuration that allows this, but as a newbie, I wasn't able to do this install. It did allow me to install the distro and swap to the primary master drive and worked great. Other than this minor issue, the install program works great.

Third thing I found out was that you can install some distros from a directory within your DOS partition. I installed Vector linux by using the hard drive instructions on the Vector linux installation guide. This works great. Installed without a hitch and works great.

Fourth I found that since Vector was on the slave drive and LILO was on the MBR of the master drive, I was not able to edit the lilo.conf file. It gave an error about being on a different drive. I didn't worry about this since I knew I was going to load something else on the master drive. I loaded Slackware and had no problem editing the lilo.conf file.

Lastly, all 3 distros saw that I had Windows installed and made the dual boot automatic. Slackware asked if I wanted to dual boot. The other 2 assumed that I did want to dual boot, this is a good thing for a newbie.

That's about all I have for now. Sorry for the long post, but hopefully this will help other newbies getting set up to dual boot.

F_M
 
Old 06-27-2005, 10:38 AM   #2
Bluenoser
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Re: Dualbooting, a newbie's experience

Quote:
Originally posted by Fritz_Monroe
First thing I learned was that just because your computer doesn't allow a CD boot device doesn't mean you can't boot off CD.
Many times the BIOS simply isn't configured correctly by default. Enter the BIOS by hitting F1 or DEL as soon as the pc boots and change the boot order so that CD is first, then floppy, then the hard drive. Save the changes and then reboot.
 
Old 06-27-2005, 10:57 AM   #3
Fritz_Monroe
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Re: Re: Dualbooting, a newbie's experience

Quote:
Originally posted by Bluenoser
Many times the BIOS simply isn't configured correctly by default. Enter the BIOS by hitting F1 or DEL as soon as the pc boots and change the boot order so that CD is first, then floppy, then the hard drive. Save the changes and then reboot.
No way to boot from CD on this one. I know because I built this one. Been working with PCs for years, and this was just prior to manufacturers making CD boot as the norm. I saved a couple bucks building it that way.

F_M
 
Old 06-27-2005, 11:11 AM   #4
masonm
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As far as using a swap on a different drive, just do the install without a swap and then edit the fstab afterwards.
 
Old 06-28-2005, 07:54 AM   #5
Fritz_Monroe
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I updated the fstab file on the Vector partition to point /home to the same partition as Slackware uses. Will this cause me any problems in the future? Will the distros start overwriting data? I'm using the same user names and passwords on each distro.

F_M
 
  


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