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Complete newbie here. I have XP Pro running now and I am trying to install Mandrake 9.1 as a Dual Boot. Do I need to setup a new partition before I try to install? I believe I read somewhere that the Linux partition needs to be FAT, it can't write to NTFS, is this right? Is there any certain way I should set these partitions up? Can I do this through Windows or will I need a certain app to do it.
I tried to install last night and ended up having to reinstall windows, fun. The installer had the options of 1. erase disk, 2. Use Windows Partitions, or 3. Custom Partion. I told it to use Windows partition and it gave me about 300mb to install on, so that wouldn't work. So, when I tried to reboot I got a boot menu. Safe Mode, or Use last known good config. Neither would boot, so I tried to boot from my xp disk and it tells me I have to reinstall, my harddrive showed up as completely empty.
I'm going to try it again tonight after work so if anyone wants to give me a few pointers or point me towards a good How-to I'd appreciate it.
I'm a newbie also, but I heard Linux dual boot does not work well if it co-exist with Windows XP or 2000 (NTFS file sys). I've had similar experience with Windows 2000 and Red Hat 9.0. I installed the Red Hat and chose the dual boot option. I wound up have to fix my MBR to get my W2000 back, but I was still able to boot up RH9.0 using boot floppy.
I thought Linux requires different file system than FAT or NTFS. I'm not sure if you can install Linux on Windows file system, but since I'm a newbie and have only played with no other distro that red hat, big possiblity that I am wrong.
For partitioning I usually use Partition Magic, you can run this program on Windows.
You can try re-install the Linux without dual boot option, and boot up from floppy.
You need to make space for Mandrake before you start installation. I understand your Windows uses NTFS. In such case, you need to find a Windows tool to resize the partition (not allocated space will be for MDK). Partition Magic can do it. I've also read that there's such a tool included in WIndows.
Mandrake doesn't use FAT (it can, but it's not a good idea). Linux uses its own filesystems. That's why you shouldn't create partitions for Linux before installation (the third option leads to partitioning program, it can create new partitions). You'l have quite a long list of Linux filesystems. The ones you need: Linux swap (swap partition), ReiserFS or Ext3 (for normal partitions, there's no big difference which one of the two you choose).
If you can install XP again, run WIndows fdisk, delete teh current partition and make smaller one. Then install Windows. When done, start Linux installation.
Distribution: Red Hat, openBSD,Mandrake,freeBSD,SunOS
If you are installing afresh on a harddrive you should install windows first, because windows will try to eat up the whole drive if you install linux first and then windows. Your windows installer should give you the option to format your partition or modify or whatever it is called. This may seem a little daunting but it is not that bad. You want to do it yourself though, you don't want the windows installer to do it because it will take up the entire drive. You will have to choose how much space you want windows to take up, leave enough for linux. You should make sure that windows partition is fat32 or vfat but not NTFS because then when you mount the windows partition from Linux you can't write to the windows partition (everything will work if it is NTFS, but you just can't write to windows from Linux).
Then once you have windows installed, you put in the Linux cd and install that. Again, you want to modify the partition yourself. You use disk druid or whatever it is called and it will be a graphical screen. You will see the windows partition, but you want to format whatever is left over for linux. You want it to be ext3 or ext2 (ext3 is the best). You can get more complicated than this. For instance I divide my Linux partition into 2 with one for / and the rest for /home
This way when I want to upgrade my Linux system, I can save my home directory.
You should also have a swap parition as well but this maybe getting too complicated.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by devinWhalen; 11-06-2003 at 04:28 PM.
Ok this is what i did when i installed my Red Hat 9.
Like your situation i was a XP Pro user. Downloaded the Partition Magic 8 tool mentions in the first reply to you thread. Before using this tool i set my disk on a defrag. When finished i created a 256MB partition for the linux SWAP and another 10GB for my linux RH9. When installing linux came to a partition screen and formated the SWAP and 10GB to the correct file table.
256MB SWAP to SWAP and
10GB linux to ext2. And from there on in and was smooth sailing. Those are the main partitions you need.
Linux hates NTFS. Can read from them but has problems writing to them. FAT or FAT32 are better suited.
And a final word on partition magic, be very carefull. be sure EVERYTHING is backed up because loosing everything is a common occurence and actually reading the docs provided is strongly advised.
Generally most linux install cdz come with partitioning software.
Thanks, sounds good. Just to make sure I got this right, I need to get partition magic, resize my Windows partition and leave however much I want for Linux. If I want to be able to write to my Windows partition from Linux I need to convert it over to FAT. The only thing is I don't think you can go from NTFS to FAT unless you reformat. So I'll have to just start from scatch if I want to do that.
Will the Linux installer setup the boot configuration so when I power on I can choose what OS to boot to or will I need a floppy? Thanks, sorry if I sound like an idiot.
*Check this with someone who knows thier stuff, as I am a newbie *
To add to what devinWHALEN said,
if you choose to use two main partitions plus a swap partition(a good choice) make the "/" partition just large enough to hold your operating sysyem plus a little more space for adding more apps later on . It doesnt have to be exact, a gig and a half or 2 gigs should be ok.
That will leave the majority of your space for the "home" partition, where you'll save all your goodies. I have been told haveing a huge "/" partition when it isnt needed can also slow your system down a little.
Dont know for sure, like I said check this with a pro.
Continued gratitude to all those who help us newbies
Yeah there will be a section for choosing a boot loader during the install process. Most give an option, GRUB and LILO are the two most common and LILO is the better. NTFS partitions will have to be reformated to fat or fat32 in order to have full functionality.