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Old 07-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #1
ak14523
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Question Linux Installation Questions: First Timer


Hi guys, I have a few questions.

Note: My preference is user-interface.

New Problem: I have a partioned 1tb external harddrive. I unallocated 200gb of it and installed Linux on it, however, I am having trouble booting Linux. When I change the BIOS settings to boot from USB, Windows 7 just starts. Does anyone know what a fix?

1) Is it possible to DualBoot Linux/Win7 (Have both operating systems on one computer). I want to be able to switch operating systems when needed. Is this possible?

2) ^If so, can I boot Linux off an external hard drive? My computer only has 40gb of space left.

3)That being said, whenever I want to switch from Windows 7 to Linux how would I do that? And vise versa.

4) If I find that I do not like Linux, how would I go about removing it?

5) I'm not to fond of the Distros, but I am looking for one that offers good functionality, and a well designed user interface.

6. Let's look at your


Please and thank you! I hope I have not came out demanding, I'm just a clueless person.


Here are my computer specs:

Ram: 2gb
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate (32)
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz 2.79 Ghz
Disk Space: 45 GB free of 228 GB.


I tried googleing all this, it just seemed really confusing, and I couldn't get a specific answer.

Feel free to point me to any guides!

Thank you so much!

Last edited by ak14523; 07-18-2011 at 02:37 AM.
 
Old 07-17-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
T3RM1NVT0R
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Hi there,

Yes, it is possible to dual boot Windows7 and Linux. I am doing it as well (Windows 7 and Linux Mint 10). It would be better if you would have mentioned with which distro you want to dual boot. Here is the link for dual booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot

The only thing that you need to keep in mind that while configuring the bootloader that it should be on your primary hard drive not on external HDD if you want to install Linux on external drive. You can create partition on external drive but make sure the bootloader is on your system's primary HDD.

For removing Linux from dual boot here is the link that will help:

http://blog.laksha.net/2009/03/how-t...dual-boot.html

In the link they have mentioned using Windows 98 CD. In your case you will use Windows 7 cd and boot to recovery console and then run fixmbr there.
 
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:14 PM   #3
ak14523
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Thank you so much! You do not know how grateful I am!

I wasn't very fond of the Distros, but Ubuntu seems to be the one I'm hearing the most about, so I'll try it out first. Once again thank you so much.

I am having a look at those links now. I would +Rep, but I'm having trouble finding out how to do that on this forum.
 
Old 07-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
The only thing that you need to keep in mind that while configuring the bootloader that it should be on your primary hard drive not on external HDD if you want to install Linux on external drive. You can create partition on external drive but make sure the bootloader is on your system's primary HDD.
Please keep in mind that you will not be able to boot neither Windows nor Ubuntu when the external drive is disconnected, if you set it up that way. If your BIOS is able to boot from USB I would strongly recommend to put the Linux bootloader on the external drive. This way you don't have to connect the external drive when you want to boot Windows, and you simply can boot from USB when you want to start Linux.

Quote:
For removing Linux from dual boot here is the link that will help:

http://blog.laksha.net/2009/03/how-t...dual-boot.html

In the link they have mentioned using Windows 98 CD. In your case you will use Windows 7 cd and boot to recovery console and then run fixmbr there.
The fixmbr command is not available on Windows 7, the correct command is
Code:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr

Just a sidenote: The latest Ubuntu version has a user interface that is controversial, You also may be interested to try different user interfaces. In the end it comes up to your personal preference when you decide which user interface you want to use. For the different user-interfaces I would recommend these distros:
- simplyMepis, openSuse : KDE
- Mint, Pinguy : Gnome 2
- Fedora : Gnome 3
- Xubuntu, Zenwalk, Vector : XFCE
- Lubuntu : LXDE
- Bodhi: Enlightenment
Only a few that came directly to my mind, but Linux is all about choice, so you might want to have a look at Distrowatch to look at even more distributions.
 
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
T3RM1NVT0R
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@ ak14523

You're welcome.

And yes Tobi is right about using the fixmbr command, you have to use it with bootrec.exe /fixmbr option on Windows 7 recovery console.

@ Tobi

Mint also comes with KDE. I am using Linux Mint 10 (Julia) KDE.
 
Old 07-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3RM1NVT0R View Post
Mint also comes with KDE. I am using Linux Mint 10 (Julia) KDE.
You are right, there is a KDE edition of Mint. But besides that it is "only" a community edition and currently switching to Debian Testing as base, which I wouldn't recommend to a newbie, my intention was to recommend some distros which have the specific desktop environment as its main desktop. This way you will get better support from the respective community.
 
Old 07-17-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
yancek
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Since you are new to Linux, I would agree with above posts that you install your Linux Grub bootloader to the mbr of the external. When you have it installed and are able to boot it and windows, you could also download a program called Easybcd to windows7, read the documentation to enable creating an entry for Linux from windows so you don't need to go into the BIOS to boot Linux.
 
Old 07-18-2011, 12:03 AM   #8
ak14523
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Thank you all for the support! Originally I was going to use the wubi.exe method, but it ended up not working? So I'm going to go ahead with the above method. My computer is able to boot from USB so I'll go ahead and do it that way.

Thank you SOSOSOSO much, still confused on what Distro I'm going to use but I'm going to check out that site Tobi put.

Once again thank you soooo much! I really appreciate all this.

Yancek, I will probably do that. Thank you soooooooo much!

You have no idea how grateful I am.
 
Old 07-18-2011, 12:46 AM   #9
ak14523
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Quick question, while installing Linux, what is a bootloader?
 
Old 07-18-2011, 02:07 AM   #10
markush
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Hello ak14523,

the bootloader starts the bootprocess of the Operatingsystem, it resides on a special part of the harddrive where it can be found by the bios.

There is also an option to install a bootloader on the bootrecord of the partition (not the drive), this is used while dualbooting, the bootloader in the masterbootrecord (mbr) of the harddisk calls the bootloader on the Linux-partition (or the Windows-bootloader respectively).

Note that in most cases a modern Linuxdistribution will install everything properly so that you can choose between Windows and Linux when you start the computer.

Markus
 
Old 07-18-2011, 02:14 AM   #11
web tasarım
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Just joined to forum, I wanna say hello to all I hope there will be good shares and will learn lots of things about linux from here regards
 
Old 07-18-2011, 02:15 AM   #12
markush
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Hello web tasarim,

welcome to the forums.

Markus
 
Old 07-18-2011, 02:40 AM   #13
ak14523
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Thank you so much Mark. That really cleared things up for me

I just have one more problem..

I partioned 1tb external harddrive. I unallocated 200gb of it and installed Linux on it, however, I am having trouble booting Linux. When I change the BIOS settings to boot from USB, Windows 7 just starts. Does anyone know a fix?

The drive has two other partions, (excluding the swap partion) on that is 500gb and the another that is 300gb.

Hi Web, welcome to the community!
 
Old 07-18-2011, 03:01 AM   #14
markush
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You will need the bootloader for Linux installed in the mbr of the external harddisk.

Depending on your Bios/mainboard it is possible that you'll have to press a key at startup to confirm that the computer should boot from USB.

Markus
 
Old 07-18-2011, 03:12 AM   #15
ak14523
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Sorry I'm really knew to this, alright so I have downloaded grub-1.99, this is a boot loader, right?

And the MBR is the Master Boot Record, but I'm not sure what that means. Is there anyway you can point me to a step by step tutorial on how to do this?

I'm sorry I'm clueless, I couldn't find a google guide.

Thank you so much though.
 
  


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