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Old 10-29-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
mrmilne
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Question installing multiple os on laptop


hi,
i am very new to this so i will try to be as comprehensive as i can without missing anything. i wish to install linux on my laptop, i also wish to keep windows for my girlfriend to use and so i can still use MSoffice programs that are required for my college work. I havent a clue about linux and ive heard installing multiple os can be tricky for beginners. i have average\good basic computer skills but thats it. just basic computer skills. but i am eager and very willing to learn. any help would be much appreciated. laptops specs as follows. thanks. craig

specs:
Advent 5711
1gb Ram
160gb Harddive
memory 1024mb DDR2
Intel Celeron
 
Old 10-29-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
pixellany
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Welcome!!

The basic drill is:

Backup important data
(If necessary) resize existing partition(s) to create at least 10GB of empty (unpartitioned) space
Boot from the Linux install CD and follow instruction
As part of the install, tell it to create the necessary partitions in the empty space you created.

Most installers will detect Windows and automatically set up the bootloader config file.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
arochester
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Look at "The definitive dual-booting guide: Windows 7, Linux, Vista and XP step-by-step" on http://apcmag.com/the_definitive_dua...stepbystep.htm
 
Old 10-29-2009, 06:09 PM   #4
jamwaffles
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I would, as many others would, recommend using Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com) as its easy to use, and the installer will resize disks for you. To get it working, you must download, purchase or request a free copy of the disc, which is called a Live Disc, meaning you can run it as a pretty normal OS, but slower, from the CD. there is an icon on the desktop called install and you must click on that.

as for disk resizing:

Basically, the disk is like this:

<[+++++++++++========================]> (+'s are used space, ='s are free)

with one, big windoze partition. What linux will do is shrink that partition down to a calculated size, using the free space on the disk, like this:

<[++++++++++====][+++++=============]>

Where it splits the disk is up to you, as the installer will ask you how big you want the Linux partition to be. you can judge where you want it by considering how much disk you will use on each of the OS's in future.

What linux will do is install a bootloader, which will pop up a list allowing you to select which OS to boot up. It is easy to customize this list and ill be happy to show you how

If there is anything else, let me know

James
 
Old 10-29-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
mrmilne
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Thumbs up

Thank you very much for your speedy replies.
i will follow your advice pixellany. i will check the link first though. thank u again. i will post back with my progres
Craig
 
Old 10-29-2009, 06:18 PM   #6
linus72
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Mmmmm....if you wanna get a bit adventurous; I would install a few
just to get comfortable with each and know the differences.

160GB hd is what I have, along with a 80GB stoirage drive, and here is my fdisk -l ( list partitions)

Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 164.6 GB, 164696555520 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 20023 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00061093

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1          79      634536   83  Linux
/dev/sda2            9869       20023    81570037+   5  Extended
/dev/sda3              80        4895    38684520   83  Linux
/dev/sda4            4896        9868    39945622+  83  Linux
/dev/sda5           19741       20023     2273166   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6            9869       14877    40234729+  83  Linux
/dev/sda7           14878       15750     7012341   83  Linux
/dev/sda8           17407       19740    18747823+  83  Linux
/dev/sda9           15751       17406    13301788+  83  Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000374f1

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1        9729    78148161   83  Linux
so, I have 9 partitions (no windows!)
and I have over 25 distinct distros installed either as hd install or most are frugal-persistent(as from USB)

The easiest for most is any Ubuntu, like Xubuntu, etc

ok, say you wanna install slack-13, Ubuntu-9.04, Debian or Sidux, Fedora 11, and maybe PCLinuxOS

I always install Ubuntu or Debian last as they will 99% of the time auto-detect windows and most other distros and will setup the grub menu auto so you dont have too!

always defrag windows before resizing the windows drive/partition
and make sure you have a recovery disc,etc

what distros did you wanna check out??
 
Old 10-29-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
mrmilne
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Thumbs up live cd install

To James,
Thank you, you have put that very well, easy to understand. Yes ubuntu is the distro i would be choosing. So you say if i download ubuntu to disc, defrag, back up, then run live cd. It will partition my harddrive for me and install bootloader? thanks again
 
Old 10-30-2009, 05:32 AM   #8
jamwaffles
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmilne View Post
To James,
Thank you, you have put that very well, easy to understand. Yes ubuntu is the distro i would be choosing. So you say if i download ubuntu to disc, defrag, back up, then run live cd. It will partition my harddrive for me and install bootloader? thanks again
Thats correct , although it is not completely automatic - you have control over how much ubuntu decides to take from you. A fresh install will usually consume about 5GB, so take that into account when considering how much disk you will use later on.

James

Ps. this is my first real help on this forum and i got this warm fuzzy feeling when I read your response XD :P
 
Old 10-30-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
pixellany
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Download Ubuntu
Burn image to disk---this is a specific option in CD-burning SW
Backup existing data
De-frag (if necesary)
Resize windows partition(s)
Boot from ubuntu CD
Create new Linux partitions as part of install process
 
Old 10-30-2009, 10:20 AM   #10
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmilne View Post
defrag, back up, then run live cd. It will partition my harddrive for me and install bootloader?
Which version of Windows do you have? The above instructions are best for XP and older. I don't think they are best for Vista and newer.

The difference is which OS you should use to shrink the Windows partition.

To shrink a partition for XP or older, it is best to dfrag the partition from inside Windows, then switch to Linux and use its partitioning tool to shrink the Windows partition.

For Vista it is best to use the tools inside Windows for both defragmenting the partition and shrinking it. Then use the Linux installer to install Linux into the space that Windows left unpartitioned.

I forget some details of the Ubuntu installer:

The Ubuntu CD is both a liveCD and an installer. In most Linux distributions, if you need to shrink a pre existing XP partition, it is easiest to boot into the Linux CD as a liveCD (not starting the installer) and go into the partitioning tool and tell it to shrink the XP partition. Then you can start the installer and tell it to use the unpartitioned space for new partitions. Some distributions let you do interactive partitioning from inside the installer. I don't recall if Ubuntu does.

Most Linux installers have an option to use the entire disk blowing away anything there before. I would think it would be obvious that is not what you want to do, but I've seen several posts from people who did that and then asked how to fix the results. So read the prompts carefully in that part of the installer.

Typical Linux installers ask at some point during the install process whether GRUB should be installed into the MBR. When you say yes to that, it will install the bootloader, which will be pre configured for dual booting the new Linux system and the previous installed copy of Windows.

Last edited by johnsfine; 10-30-2009 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2009, 05:10 AM   #11
jamwaffles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post

For Vista it is best to use the tools inside Windows for both defragmenting the partition and shrinking it. Then use the Linux installer to install Linux into the space that Windows left unpartitioned.
I had a laptop with veesta on that i wiped as soon as i got the chance. It has 2 or 3 partitions, with 8mb of unallocated space between them. It looks SUCH a mess on gParted and it would be murder to resize.

Obviously I didnt bother and installed Ubuntu straight away. (is that how you spell straight btw?)

James
 
  


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