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I'm trying to dual boot my laptop so I can us XP for some of my programming classes. I've read a bit on how it's done, but I'm afraid I new enough to Linux that I'm lost here.
-I know I need Swap file (2gb because I have 1gb that can expand to 2).
-a /boot (50mb) to load Linux
- a / root dir which is stored in setup??(1-3gb?)
Plus seperate partitions for Windows and Linux.
When I installed FC4 I automatically partitioned it. I went back the other night to try and use Disk Druid, but I don't understand the logic behind LogVol, VolGroup, and how to make more than one /dev/hda because of mount points.
Simply put, you're making it much more difficult than it needs to be!
Good news is that it is fairly easy to accomplish what you want. First off, do NOT partition the drive with a windows tool. The best thing to do is just to leave free space on the drive for linux to be installed into, and let the linux installer partition the space during the install.
You don't need anywhere near 2 Gb of swap space. The old idea of having double the amount of RAM for swap is just that, old. I have between 512 Mb and 1 Gb of RAM on my machines, and not a single one of them use their swap space. With 1 Gb of RAM, 512 Mb of swap space will be plenty.
/boot should be closer to 100 Mb, 50 is really small, and if you try having multiple kernels down the line, you won't have enough space.
The remainder of the space can be split between / (root, which is different than /root) and /home, which is where all your personal files will go.
So, from Windows, just clear some space on the drive, say you'll make it a 50/50 split fbetween windows and linux. You don't need to, that's just for example purposes. Say its a 40 Gb drive, then reduce the windows partition so it only fills 20, and leave the other 20 Gb as free space.
Put in the linux install disk, and reboot. Create the 512 Mb partition for swap, and then you can either make 2 or 3 more partitions, for /, /boot, and /home. Whatever you don't put in its own partition ends up being part of /. Then further on down the line, grub will get installed as the boot loader. It will auto detect windows, and you'll have the choice of what to boot. If you do seperate partitions for each, make /boot 100 Mb, /home maybe 12 Gb, and the final 8-9 Gb for /.
The LVM thing is, in my opinion, a bad idea to force on people. It is fine when you are growing and shrinking spaces, particularly between multiple drives, but forcing every install into a LVM is not user friendly.
A disk can only have 4 logical partitions. To have more than 4 partitions, it turns the 4th into a container, and puts the "extended" partition there. That isn't any issue for you, it just is the way disks partition.
You already have one root, (/), and you can't have 2. The 20 Gb hda3 is your root.
One major word of caution - 99+% of linux users that dual boot with windows install windows first, then linux, not the other way around. The reason for that is that windows will trash the installation of grub, and overwrite the MBR, making it impossible to boot linux. Grub is not so rude towards windows, it detects it and allows it to be booted. So do windows before you do the linux install, or you'll have to work with a live linux disk to "repair" your original and now unbootable linux install.
Ha!! I get it!! yay!!.....oh oh...um... Here's a stupid question. Does the Grub boot loader mess with a Windoze CD?? My computer revs up, like it wants to do something, then goes black. When I got my laptop, I bought it barebone, so it's only ever had Linux on it. I tried restarting outside of Grub and got the same thing except for a "press any key to boot from CD" message.
Grub is the bootloader, so it will be the first thing encountered. If it goes black, it is either because it has some bad information and it won't work, or it just doesn't have any pictures installed, and the default linux boot is black screen with white text.
Linux can't "uninstall" itself any more than windows can. You can use any other install disk to format a partition or an entire drive, but you can't effectively tell linux to disappear on its own. You can use knoppix or any other disk with some partitioning program to clear the data that is on it. Also, if you just remove linux from a disk where it booted to grub/lilo, you'll have to reinstall the windows bootloader to the MBR. The easiest way I have read to do that is to put the XP disk in, select repair, and issue the command "fixmbr" or some such thing, then it boots to windows.
...so should I assume that my windows disk probably has something wrong with it when absolutely nothing happens (from all angles BIOS, grub, restarting)? I can't even get a startup screen from it, so there's no chance to even get into windows repair. I read something about chain mapping Dos and Grub, but I don't think that's the problem here?? The DOS base loads Windows while the GRUB base loads the Linux Kernel right? GRUB can't read DOS right?..and that's why you were saying it's easier to install windows first.
Am I missing something that might have happened to the MBR when I installed Linux?
How would this be fixed?
Thanks for helping me so much on this one. It seems that the further I advance here, the more digressed my questions get. lol
Yeah, it sounds like something got hosed up. You can use either of the install disks, either linux or windows to repait the problem. If you use windows, it will only give you the ability to repair windows. The linux install disk can also be used in repair mode, and it most likely reinstall grub, so at least you can get into linux, and probably windows as well.
I've never had to do that, so you may want to google how to do it. It should be as simple as inserting the CD and selecting repair instead of install.