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Old 03-16-2006, 02:17 PM   #1
Harpo
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Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Distribution: Suse 10.0 Retail, 10.1, 10.2, 11.1, Edubuntu 7.04, Mandriva 2010
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How Best To Install Dual Boot?


Hi

I am looking to install Suse 10 (Retail) as a dual boot with XP. I have done all the preparation suggested/required to do this. My specific question relates to how do I best install as a dual boot. I have a lonely SATA drive (250GB)(HDD2) that I have installed for this purpose, but have heard some horror stories about the MBR getting munged up when installing linux on a separate drive from XP. However, I would like to do this if it is not too difficult as I am new to Linux. I would appreciate it if someone could point me in the best direction to succeed. Even if it means installing on same disk as XP.

Thanks
Harpo
 
Old 03-16-2006, 02:52 PM   #2
victorh
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Registered: Jul 2005
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Hi Harpo, you don't have to worry too much. You can install SuSE in a separate drive, but you have to check carefully the following:

- When you are prompted where to install GRUB, choose to install it in the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the first hard disk. Most likely this hard disk will be the one when you have XP. Normally SuSE brands this first hard disk as /dev/hda or /dev/sda depending on the type of hard disk.

- When partitioning the new hard disk, choose to do it manually, then create the following partitions:
Swap partition (double of your RAM, not more than 1 GB) - Primary partition
Root partition (ext3, 15 GB is enough space) - Primary partition
Home partition (ext3, 20 to 30 GB depending on the quantity of data you have) - Logical partition
Aditional ext3 partitions (you can install other distros, or use them for your multimedia data) - Logical partitions

As you can see you have plenty of space, you can leave the space blank and when you need it create more partitions. The size of the partitions depends on your necessities, use the above sizes as reference.
 
Old 03-16-2006, 03:01 PM   #3
RobertP
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If you use a separate drive, there should be little possibility of a foul-up. One proviso: do not rearrange the drives after the install! You would have to change a few config files afterward.

When you boot your install CD, at some point the installer will ask where you want to install. Make sure you specify or click /dev/hdd2 if that is the partition on this new drive where you want to put everything. Most people prefer having a few partitions to separate regions of the hard drive by function, but for a newbie, one partition is ok. I assum /dev/hdd1 will be used for swap?

At another point, you will be asked where to install the boot loader. You want it to be in the master boot record (MBR) of the new drive, I guess. Before you go to boot your new system, change the BIOS to give both choices, the XP drive and the Linux drive. You can activate a BIOS menu at boot time or you can have the Linux bootloader give you the choice. That will likely be the default as Linux knows XP is there at installation, usually. If you want the Linux bootloader to be booted every time, the BIOS should be told to boot the particular new drive. You can always edit the Linux bootloader configuration. This procedure should not alter anything about your XP partition, so it should be OK, unless XP detects the change and wants to give you grief like phoning home and asking for clearance... I hope you find you can do without XP, so you will not have such problems and you will free up space. If you need the XP to write to the Linux partition, it must be a win32 fat partition. Safest thing is to have Linux read the XP partition to move stuff over.

Good luck.

Last edited by RobertP; 03-18-2006 at 07:08 AM.
 
Old 03-17-2006, 10:45 PM   #4
Harpo
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Registered: Mar 2006
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Distribution: Suse 10.0 Retail, 10.1, 10.2, 11.1, Edubuntu 7.04, Mandriva 2010
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Thank you for all your help. I have this thing purring like a lizard.
 
  


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