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Old 08-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
bertoh
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Hard Drive setup for dual boot


I am new here so go easy. I just upgraded HDD as the 150Gb was near full. Installed 500 Gb and migrated my old XP system over with no problems. I decided to try Mint12 Kde, running off DVD. When I go to install to HDD I get a little spooked with the partioning. What is a good way to divide up the drive for XP and mint, 50/50?, how many partions on the mint side?? and what are good size partitions for the home/root/swap etc.
All help appreciated
PS XP is using 114GB at present
 
Old 08-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
bertoh
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One more thing my old 150GB drive is still in the case unplugged. Any benefit to formatting it and install Mint there?
 
Old 08-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
camorri
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There are lots of options, and opinions. If you can afford a 50/50 split, that would be good. You have to decide what will work here.

For a linux system, I always recommend a root partition of 15 to 20 gig. 10 will work if you are limited. No need for anything bigger than 20. Swap. It all depends on how much ram you have. I have 3 gig of ram, and my system almost never uses swap, so it is possible to not have a swap at all. If you have say 2 gig, then a 2 gig swap is more than you need. If you have 1 gig or less, make a swap of 3 gig. The rest is for /home.

Basically all your files go in /home/youruserid/ The root partition is for system files, and apps you install in addition to what the distro provides. The reason for /home on its own partition, is when you install a new version of the OS, you have your data on /home, you can format the /root partition, and get rid of any old stuff that may have accumulated. Easy to maintain.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 08-21-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
camorri
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Quote:
One more thing my old 150GB drive is still in the case unplugged. Any benefit to formatting it and install Mint there?
Sure, if this is a desktop and you can use both disks, go for it.

One more thing to think about. If you plan on accessing files from either system, add a /data partition and format it to fat32. You can use NTFS also, although I see no advantage in that. Linux uses different file systems than windows. Linus has supported fat32 for a very long time. NTFS support is now read/write, however, I would not trust it to any data I did not have backed up.

Last edited by camorri; 08-21-2013 at 03:42 PM. Reason: added info.
 
Old 08-21-2013, 04:02 PM   #5
bertoh
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Thanks camorri. I have a NAS with current backups so I feel somewhat safe, but I would like to be able to use the music and photos from XP system in linux. If I go the 150GB drive for Mint, will it be a reboot F12 to change between xp and mint, because my wife and kids probably have no interest in Mint and reboot would be a pain
 
Old 08-21-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
camorri
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There are two ways you can do this. One is to dual boot. When you install Mint, you have to set up the ability to boot either system. This is normally done with GRUB2 with Mint. You can select either OS with Grub. You can set one as the default. Setting XP as your default will allow your family that ( currently ) have no interest in linux to boot XP without any intervention. If your system was up running XP, then yes, you would have to boot into linux.

The second way is to install VirtualBox from Oracle on the host system. XP would be your host system, and Mint the guest. You could do it the other way around, have Mint as the host, and XP as the guest. The only problem with v-box is it divides the ram between the two systems. If you do not have enough ram, then you may find you are not happy with the performance of either. BTW, v-box is not the only visualization system available. I found v-box easy to install, and then to add guest systems.

I run XP as a guest on my Slackware system. I have 3 gig of ram, so the performance is good enough on both. This way you can have both systems running at the same time, on one system. I only use XP for my scanner. The scanner works best with the software HP provided, rather than the open source drivers that are available for linux.
 
  


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