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Old 03-03-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
nksmfamjp
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Linux to Windows XP Machine


OK, so I'm ready to commit. . .I want to load OpenSUSE, Mandrake and /or maybe Ubuntu to a Windows XP Home box.

The drive right now is 100% NFTS as a single partition. How can I repartition and make this into a multiple enviroment PC without a reload of Windows XP? I would like to be able to access my Windows based documents if possible.

. . .stupid add on ?. . .Does iTunes run in linux, or through wine?
 
Old 03-03-2009, 02:23 PM   #2
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nksmfamjp View Post
The drive right now is 100% NFTS as a single partition. How can I repartition and make this into a multiple enviroment PC without a reload of Windows XP?
I assume you have enough free space in the NTFS partition to allow shrinking it.

What works best for me (I've done this a few times).

1) Boot into Windows and disable the paging file, then defragment the partition.

2) Boot a Linux liveCD that has some easy partitioning tool, such as GParted, and tell it to resize the NTFS partition smaller. Make sure you leave enough free space inside the NTFS partition to recreate the swap file and for temp files etc.

3) Depending on the version of Linux, it is usually best to create the Linux partitions at that time, rather than from within the installer.

4) When you run the Linux installer read the prompts about partitioning carefully. Make sure you select the option to use the existing partitions you created in step (3) rather than use the whole disk.

5) After installing Linux, you might need to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file to insert a choice to boot Windows (details discussed in other threads). Some Linux installers automate that when they see a pre installed copy of Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nksmfamjp View Post
I would like to be able to access my Windows based documents if possible.
6) Linux can mount your NTFS partition, even Read/Write. Check other threads for discussion. You may need to install a package with newer support for ntfs than the default in your distribution.

7) If those "Windows based documents" are Microsoft Office documents, you'll want Open Office to be able to read and write them. That might be default in the Linux distribution you chose, or it might be a package to install after the main install.

Last edited by johnsfine; 03-03-2009 at 02:33 PM.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
pixellany
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Be sure to backup your data first.....

With a desktop, consider also installing another hard drive just for Linux. This allows you to make NO changes to the Windows installation.
 
Old 03-03-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
T74marcell
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You want to add a lot of Linux distributions at the same time, so I assume you are doing some kind of a private research here. It also appears that you haven't done anything similar so far, so my suggestion is to be rather careful before breaking your entire system (including XP).

To get a taste of Linux try out LiveCD's (like Knoppix) or download the free VMPlayer for Windows. There are a lot of pre-installed distributions for VMPlayer and it will not do anything persistent to your system.

----------
T74marcell

Arch Linux

Last edited by T74marcell; 03-14-2009 at 12:46 AM.
 
Old 03-04-2009, 10:06 AM   #5
nksmfamjp
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Quote:
I assume you have enough free space in the NTFS partition to allow shrinking it.
I have 60 Gb free.

How is it best to back up. I can just put DDocs and Settings on a DVD or 2. Is there a better way?

I'm thinking about Mandrake or OpenSUSE. . .Do they have Live CD versions?
 
Old 03-04-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
pixellany
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There are more ways to backup data than there are computers (Well....maybe not quite.....)

I use TWO external USB hard drives. I will eventually also archive my photos on multiple DVDs.

Almost all major distros now come in a "Live CD" version. Check the individual websites or distrowatch.
 
Old 03-04-2009, 10:52 AM   #7
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Almost all major distros now come in a "Live CD" version. Check the individual websites or distrowatch.
In case we were unclear, typical distros have a .iso file that is both a liveCD and an installer in one CD.

You probably don't need a liveCD separate from the installer. But if you select an installer CD that isn't also a good liveCD, or doesn't have a good partitioning tool, it isn't hard to use a different distribution's liveCD.

I have used my Mepis liveCD (which is also the installer) to pre partition for Centos, where the install media was not a liveCD, and to pre partition for other distributions, where the installer was a liveCD, but I was just more comfortable running the partitioning from Mepis.
 
  


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