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I am looking to start a dual boot with Windows XP and Linux. I have tried Live CD distros and had trouble installing them to my hard drive. I have considered Linux XP, but i can't find anywhere to download it. I've also looked at Mandriva Linux. My computer has 128 Mb RAM and 648 MHz processor. I am looking for a Linux that will install straight to a second partition on my hard drive, not a Live CD. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
The place to go to search for Linux distros to try is distrowatch.com (no leading www). When the page is loaded, scroll down a bit and see the top 100 listed on the right hand side. Click on the Search keyword at the top of the page and scroll down to see a place to list distros by category. Select the category you want and scroll down to see them listed.
My opinion, for what it's worth, for the very new to Linux, coming from M$windows, are Knoppix, Kanotix, and PCLinuxOS. They are easy to use, have good hardware detection, etc. Start learning with those, then graduate to more demanding distros.
Your problem is not so much about the choice of distribution but rather how to install a dual boot system.
My suggestion is to start with installing Windows on the first drive (the one that Windows treats as drive C). When installing the chosen Linux distro AVOID auto partitioning, use manual partitioning and make sure that your Windows partition is unchecked, so it will be kept unchanged.
I'm using Fedora Linux, there it is possible to define additional partitions for booting - that's where you can add Windows as another boot alternative.
This has worked for me in the past with Windows98 and Win2K, never done it Windows XP because using VMware it was in the end easier to have some Windows system available.
Be aware that Windows XP takes some measures to fight dual booting and might refuse to boot if the Master Boot Record has been changed by Linux installers.
You should Google for more detailed information on this.
Using VMware on a 128MB RAM box is not a good idea, but then again, running Windows XP below 512 MB of RAM is also very brave.
OK i have changed my plans for what i am doing. for some reason my computer bios doesnt support booting to more than one hard drive or partition. i am going to use linux as the only OS on the system. Windows XP performs a lot better than you would think with my 128 ram. i think linux would perform fairly well too. i want a linux that is very windows-like. i have considered linux XP. it seems very windows-like. i have the minimum requirements for it, but i am far off from the reccomended. any reccomendations on that? or could anyone suggest something very "windowsy"?
Well, there's no doubt that extra RAM would help enormously, and it's dirt cheap these days.
For ex Ms people, the Ubuntu series is popular (KUbuntu , XUbuntu etc).
you might find these links generally worth reading: