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Old 12-08-2004, 11:42 PM   #1
pakux
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hd install without dual-boot


hi everybody,

i'm a newbie using Mandrake 10.1 (CE urpmi'ed to Official) at home, in a dual-boot system with XP.

recently i've got a laptop in my office (ibm thinkpad t42); until now out of office i've been using knoppix, but i was wondering to install a linux distro on it. Since i should leave the XP system as untouched as possible, i wouldn't like to make a dual-boot system but rather to install the linux distro and keep it for my own, maybe configuring some other way to boot such as a cd.

your advise on which distro to use and how to configure it should be very appreciated.

thanks.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 01:29 AM   #2
J.W.
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Welcome to LQ. I'm a little confused by your question. If you don't want your Thinkpad to become a dual boot machine, and you also want to leave XP untouched, then you have eliminated the possibility of installing anything else on that machine. Consequently, if you want to run Linux on that machine, your best bet would be to use a Live CD, such as Knoppix. If you're already using it now, why not just stick with it? It's an excellent distro, and it permits you to leave your machine as you desire -- J.W.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 02:24 AM   #3
GlennsPref
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You could make a /home directory and a swap partition on the windows hd.

That way you can save your desktop settings and knoppix will be quicker with a swap file as well as the ram-disk.

Check out the documentation the is on the knoppix disk. There's a write-up there somewhere that talks about the install methods.

Or ask at knoppix.net

also knopper.net
 
Old 12-09-2004, 05:29 AM   #4
jamyskis
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Mandrake 10.1 offers the option of shrinking your partitions when you create your Linux partitions although I advise you to defrag before you do this, as I tried it once with an ext3 partition and lost practically everything on the drive. I don't know how it would cope with NTFS partitions. There is also a boot-disk program at www.zeleps.com but the official line on that is that it doesn't support NTFS. You might be in luck and find that your WinXP laptop is actually FAT32 formatted, in which case the boot disk program would work. Do at your own risk though, and obviously back your stuff up. And make sure you can reactivate your WinXP should things go wrong.

The alternative, if you are willing to pay, is the ever reliable Partition Magic.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 06:48 AM   #5
pakux
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thanks for yor replies...

when i said "leave the XP as untouched as possible" i was referring to the boot sequence, in order to install the linux distro keeping it "hidden". As i mentioned, until now i've used knoppix but i should prefer a hdd installation in order to boost performance and keep settings, etc (maybe the answer is in knoppix itself, will see).

about partition resize, the thinkpad comes with two partitions: the visible one, 70 gb ntfs with winXP preloaded; and a tiny hidden fat32 one, about 5 gb, for system restore purposes. I've already resized the ntfs partition (in a similar way i did when installing MDK 10.1 in my home desktop) ad right know i have winXP in a 30 gb ntfs primary logical, data in a 20 gb extended fat32 in order to allow exchangeability among both operating systems and something like 20 gb unallocated for linux.

apart from using a liveCD distro, any other suggestion on how to configure a boot sequence from cd but use a hdd installation ?
 
Old 12-09-2004, 12:54 PM   #6
J.W.
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So you do want to make your machine a dual boot after all. In that case, if you have already shrunk the NTFS partition, you would just install Linux into the 20G of newly-available disk space.

Perhaps your question is actually how to permit you to choose between booting Windows or Linux when the machine starts up. If so, that will be handled by either lilo or GRUB. (Some distros prefer lilo, other prefer GRUB. It doesn't really make much difference because they both perform the same action) Usually if Windows is installed, that fact will be automatically detected and reflected in the lilo or GRUB file automatically. HTH -- J.W.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 01:27 PM   #7
pakux
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maybe my question was a little bit misunderstood... you're right, i do not want the dual-boot configuration, which means i don't want any menu at start up (grub, lilo or something else). I just want a dummy winXP system to use at work and a linux box out of the office. I already have partially achieved the objective since the XP completely ignores that in the same hdd there is a 30% waiting for the big linux brother through ntfs partition shrinkage, but i don't know how to install it in order to keep it "hidden" but functional.

i would like to have a linux set up able to boot from a cd but running from hdd. Is it possible, or the only way is to use a liveCD distro (i.e. knoppix), just as done until now ?
 
Old 12-09-2004, 03:55 PM   #8
gd2shoe
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Yes, this is possible. It's not too hard in fact. the most common way that I have seen this done is using a boot disk. You stick in the boot disk when you want to boot linux, and pull it out if you want Windows.

I don't know how to do this specifically with mandrake, but the idea is simple. You want to tell the boot loader to install into /dev/fd0 instead of the default /dev/hda. Look for the words boot, lilo, or grub. Make sure you have a floppy inserted in the drive. This only takes the first 512 Bytes of the disk (I think).

I think the Mandrake install disk is smart enough to ask you where to put the boot loader. If it's not, then you'd better have your windows CD handy. If you boot the system, and get a menu (exactly what you are trying to avoid), then boot off the Windows CD and tell it to go into recovery mode, and then into the recovery console. From there you can run the fixmbr command to reset the mbr to the Windows default.
(I think the command is "fixmbr 2" in your case. Try "fixmbr /?" to get instructions.)

If you need to run the fixmbr program, you may want to save the menu to a diskette first. I could be wrong, but I think the command:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
Will do it. Other ways exist to create the boot menu afresh, but it is easiest to do them from linux (you have knoppix so we can deal with that if the time comes. )
 
Old 12-09-2004, 04:11 PM   #9
Boow
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he could save vmlinuz on a dos boot disk and use a program called loadlin which is on the knoppix cd in the dos folder.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 04:16 PM   #10
gd2shoe
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Yes, he could. I just think that installing lilo or grub to a floppy would be easier to use.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 09:24 PM   #11
pakux
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hmmm... actually there should be a little problem: the thinkpad does not have a floppy disk drive

it seems that the most suitable way will be keep running knoppix, perhaps defining a persistent home in order to store personal settings; i'm trying to investigate more on this option.
 
Old 12-10-2004, 12:10 AM   #12
gd2shoe
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I haven't done it, but someone told me recently here in the forums that you can get Windows to boot linux if you alter the boot.ini file. For this, I would expect that you should install the boot loader into the partition (/dev/hda4 or what ever the designation is for your linux partition).

I think you could still use the idea of a boot floppy, and make a boot CD. it would be easy to use, but might be a pain to make. You would create a file, put the boot loader into it, transfer it to the shared partition, use windows and a CD burning tool to create a bootable CD using the file as the boot image. I would be pleased with this if I could get it to work.

Personally, I would just use grub. Why, if I may ask, don't you want to use a boot loader?

Also, I don't know about XP home, but in XP pro you can mount drives in much the same way you do in linux. Go to Start-> settings-> control panel-> administrator tools-> computer management-> disk management. From here you can tell Windows to stop calling the FAT32 partition D: (or what ever letter is assigned), and start calling it C:\MyFATPartition. Then the partition would be treated as just another folder in Windows, sort of the way linux does.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:42 AM   #13
pakux
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i've posted a similar question in the knoppix.net forum:

http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtop...3cc80a3812cf9e)

still not investigated the suggested strategy, but appears to be a suitable solution.
 
Old 01-27-2006, 09:33 PM   #14
pshorey325
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Same question

Ok, so here's what this guy is asking...

He wants to secretly run linux on his computer at work (example), without his boss knowing that he messed with the computer.

Why? Well, if you're tied down on a network without administrator priveleges, the whole experience is a major pain as you cannot load or run programs, go to certain sites, hack into the boss's computer, etc. I hate the windows network and lack of freedom as a regular user, and am wondering the same thing...

What would be the best way to install and run linux on a windows machine, but creating the illusion that there was no change in operating systems, and preventing the administrator from seeing the linux OS?

The obvious path would be this:
1. Download a Linux that runs just from CD, (or any linux***)
2. Burn the disk
3. Pop it in, and install, taking up a few gigabytes of space off the main hard drive, and opting to not install the dual-boot loader. Must choose the linux-only partition, and not Win16/32 partition that's compatible with both OS's. The main windows OS will not see the the new linux partition. You will be able, however, to see the windows partition (NTFS) from linux, although it will be read-only.

***Now, my question: I would rather not run linux from a CD, but install it permanently on the Harddrive. What version of Linux would be the best to use for this purpose? It must be easy to install, and not take-up much space with unneeded programs. Also, if the version of linux does not run just off the CD, and not from a dual-boot screen, then how would one go about configuring a boot-disk to load the linux OS without trying to reinstall it?
 
  


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