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Old 10-21-2009, 05:01 AM   #1
FelixSK
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Install Windows & Linux. Which first?


Okay folks, since i'm a newbie, i want to dual boot Windows & SuSe & i have a 100GB disk. Would want to give Win 50GB and SuSe 50GB. Which should i install first? I know nothing about the dual boot thing though i've read something small about it. Thanks.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 05:10 AM   #2
brianL
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Installing Windows first is easier, less chance of problems arising.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 05:13 AM   #3
MrCode
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Yeah, I would install Windows first, because when you install Suse afterwards it should install the GRUB (or LILO) bootloader and it'll use that one instead of the Windows bootloader. You should still be able to access Windows through GRUB/LILO, though
 
Old 10-21-2009, 05:20 AM   #4
dar_beh_dar
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windows first then LINUX

I can only answer your question empirically.

From experience you always get trouble booting your LINUX if you install it first.

My suggestion:

1.) First install windows
2.) Make sure windows is installed in a primary partition ( i've
seen bootloaders such as GRUB unable to boot windows from an
extended partition )
3.) Make sure there is space ( unallocated or partitioned ) for
LINUX
4.) Then >after< windows has been installed successfully,
install LINUX following the steps given by your particular
installer.

Steps 2.) and 3.) can be taken care of using the facilities provided by the windows installer during installation, or you can use something like PQ magic to resize and release space after a windows install.

Installing Windows and LINUX on one disk is a bit like getting seated in an airplane: You want the arrogant guy to sit in the window seat and take the aisle seat yourself so you can get in and out when you need to, otherwise you may hit complications.

Windows has a habit of manipulating the MBR / partition-tables, which could lead to your newly installed LINUX becoming unusable.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 07:35 AM   #5
johnsfine
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If you will be using the disk a lot in Linux and more than in Windows, you might want to distinguish between first in time and first physically.

The first physical portion of the disk is faster than the last physical portion. The very beginning of the disk is about twice as fast as the end, and portions in between vary proportionally. So the OS getting the physically first partition is getting faster disk access. You might want to choose that based on your intended uses of the two OS's.

It is extra work and a little confusing to reserve the physical beginning of the disk (using gparted on a Linux liveCD) before installing windows, but it does work and Windows can be told to install into just the unpartitioned space. Then, depending on which Linux distribution you chose, you might want to unreserve the beginning and then have Linux also install into the unpartitioned space. Or you might want to partition that space yourself (in gparted) the way you want Linux to use it and tell Linux to install into existing partitions. If you partition for Linux before installing Linux, that can be done while reserving the space before installing Windows.

It is also possible to install Linux completely before installing Windows, but it is enough harder that everyone answering above was correct to suggest installing Windows first (in time).

Windows needs a primary partition. Linux can use primary or logical partitions and probably should have at least two partitions: One of just a few GB (maybe less) for swap and one larger for everything else. Some will suggest splitting /home out from everything else, so Linux may use three or more partitions.

If you want Linux physically first, but Windows installed first, and you want to install Windows before even deciding how to partition for Linux, you could start by creating an extended partition that will later contain logical partitions for Linux, then have the Windows installer use the rest of the disk for one primary partition. The Linux installer will later be able to understand an empty extended partition and use it for whatever logical partitions you want at that time.

The amount of swap ought to depend on how you will be using the system. But you almost certainly won't know enough to accurately choose the right amount of swap from your first Linux install. For typical home use of Linux with just 50GB of disk space allocated to Linux, assuming you have from 0.5GB to 3.5GB of ram, I would suggest 1.5GB of swap partition.

Last edited by johnsfine; 10-21-2009 at 08:55 AM.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 08:03 AM   #6
thorkelljarl
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Either or...

As the others have explained, Windows first is the easiest and most direct, but the reverse is certainly possible. If you install Vista first and have to change the Vista partition, you should use the Vista partitioning tool to avoid problems with the Vista boot loader.

If you need to exceed the HDD four partition limit, it is more straightforward to install Windows, then linux. Windows should be on the first primary partition and the remaining space may be formatted as an extended partition with as many logical partitions as is needed for linux.

However, other arrangements, such as suggested by johnsfine in his last paragraph, are certainly possible as long as Windows is in the first primary partition.

Here is a link with several short guides for the basics, XP/linux, Vista/linux, linux/XP, linux/Vista. Look at the list at the right.

http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vi..._installed.htm

If you are using Vista and have problems, this is good to have.

http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 10-21-2009 at 09:53 AM.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 08:17 AM   #7
pixellany
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I would not allocate the partitions that way. I recommend something more like this:

#1: 10-15GB Windows (Yes it is best to install Windows first)
#2: 10-15GB Linux
#3: Linux swap--at the end of the drive
#4: Extended--for the rest
#5: Shared data, maybe 50-60 GB
Leave the rest unpartioned for future additions.

Even better: Have a 2nd drive just for data. Mount this to whatever OS you happen to be using on the main drive.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #8
divyashree
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixSK View Post
Okay folks, since i'm a newbie, i want to dual boot Windows & SuSe & i have a 100GB disk. Would want to give Win 50GB and SuSe 50GB. Which should i install first? I know nothing about the dual boot thing though i've read something small about it. Thanks.
Remember alwayas 1st window n then linux which is easy..

It'll be messed up if u r doing the reverse though the reverse is possible..
 
Old 10-21-2009, 01:23 PM   #9
FelixSK
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10-15GB Windows (Yes it is best to install Windows first)
#2: 10-15GB Linux
#3: Linux swap--at the end of the drive
#4: Extended--for the rest
#5: Shared data, maybe 50-60 GB
Leave the rest unpartioned for future additions

@ Pixellany :
1) Do you mean that with the new 100GB, on installing WIN i create a partition of 10-15GB and leave the rest unpartitioned & unformatted, then install Linux and give it 10-15GB + 1GB swap starting from end of the WIN installation and also leave the remainder unpartitioned & unformatted.

2) Do i create the extended partition during the Linux installation (What do you mean by "extended for the rest")?
3)What is "shared data"? And when do i create this?
 
Old 10-21-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
FelixSK
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@ Pixellany :
1) Do you mean that with the new 100GB, on installing WIN i create a partition of 10-15GB and leave the rest unpartitioned & unformatted, then install Linux and give it 10-15GB + 1GB swap starting from end of the WIN installation and also leave the remainder unpartitioned & unformatted.

2) Do i create the extended partition during the Linux installation (What do you mean by "extended for the rest")?
3)What is "shared data"? And when do i create this?
 
Old 10-21-2009, 01:24 PM   #11
FelixSK
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10-15GB Windows (Yes it is best to install Windows first)
#2: 10-15GB Linux
#3: Linux swap--at the end of the drive
#4: Extended--for the rest
#5: Shared data, maybe 50-60 GB
Leave the rest unpartioned for future additions

@ Pixellany :
1) Do you mean that with the new 100GB, on installing WIN i create a partition of 10-15GB and leave the rest unpartitioned & unformatted, then install Linux and give it 10-15GB + 1GB swap starting from end of the WIN installation and also leave the remainder unpartitioned & unformatted.

2) Do i create the extended partition during the Linux installation (What do you mean by "extended for the rest")?
3)What is "shared data"? And when do i create this?
 
Old 10-21-2009, 02:12 PM   #12
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixSK View Post
2) Do i create the extended partition during the Linux installation (What do you mean by "extended for the rest")?
3)What is "shared data"? And when do i create this?
A lot of the partitioning decisions depend on how you intend to use the computer.

Some users might intend to use a large fraction of their disk space for "documents" of various kinds that they might work on from either OS. The extreme example might be movies uploaded from a DVI camcorder. You might want to do the initial transfer of the movie to the computer using Linux, because such things tend to be much easier in Linux. But then you might have a preference either way (or just want to try both) for which tool in which OS to use to edit the movie. Then you might want to compress/encode the result multiple ways, some of which might be Windows specific and others might run better in Linux. Then you might want to be able to play the movie from either OS.

Maybe your documents are word documents or spread sheets or still photos or something less common. But the concept behind Pixellany's suggestion is that a significant amount of your disk space might be filled with things that you want to work on from either OS.

That is not true of everyone who has a dual boot. You might have things you work on in Windows and other things you work on in Linux and very little overlap.

The easiest place to keep anything you work on from both is in the Windows partition. It is easier to set up robust read/write of a Windows partition from Linux than to set up robust read/write of a Linux partition from Windows.

But it may be safer to put the shared content in a third place. I don't know enough to give you a good estimate of the risk level of writing files in your Windows bootable partition from Linux. I know it is relatively safe. I don't know if it is very very safe. I don't know whether it is safe enough that a separate partition for shared files is pointless.

If you decide you want partitioning involving "extended for the rest" in any sense, especially if you want to put swap or windows boot or something else physically after the extended (to take the slower physical area), you must plan ahead. Compute the size you will want after the extended, so you can pre compute the size of "the rest", so you can allocate the extended partition.

If you do want a partition for shared files, it could be a logical partition inside an extended, as Pixellany suggested, or it could be a primary partition. That doesn't matter much. If you create a partition for shared files at all, you probably want to use Windows to create the partition and format the empty file system within that partition.

Last edited by johnsfine; 10-21-2009 at 02:26 PM.
 
Old 10-21-2009, 02:52 PM   #13
pixellany
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As already stated: "It depends."

My perspective is as follows:
1. I only rarely use Windows--it is not installed onany of my personal machines, but I do have some Windows SW running on WINE.
2. I do a lot of distro-hopping, testing, experimenting, etc.---some of which tends to break things.
3. I'm paranoid about my data--especially all the photo files

This perspective has led to the following configuration:

HD#1: 250GB, used only for the operating systems. The advantage is that I can add a partition to test something without ever worrying about where to find the space. Since the disk contains only transient data, I can crash the whole thing without losing much.
When installing OSes, I never bother with separate partitions for different directories---just allocate ~15GB to each OS and (becasue data is on a separate drive) I'd have to work really hard to fill it up. (And one SWAP partition--at the end, out of the way--serves all the OSes.)

HD#2: 250GB, shared data This disk gets mounted to whatever OS I'm using--typically to ~/docs.

Backup: 2, yes TWO, external USB drives. These are never powered on at the same time, and then only to take a snapshot. In addition, the photos are backed up on DVDs.

I prefer to have shared data on Linux filesystems, because the permissions management is more rational. From Windows, I have always had good luck with the ext2fsd driver which allows full read/write of ext2/3 from Windows.

Storage is cheap and there are major benefits in having what might appear to be "too much"

Last edited by pixellany; 10-21-2009 at 02:53 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2009, 01:50 AM   #14
FelixSK
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@Johnsfire: Oh yeah, I intend to have a partiton that's Read-Write by both Windows & Linux.
 
  


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