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Old 03-25-2007, 02:32 PM   #1
gnanda66541
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Need help replacing Mandrake with Fedora on a dual boot with windows


Ok, what I am trying to do is use Mandrake to partition my hard drive so i can dual boot linux with windows, but I don't really like Mandrake Linux, and I want to replace it with Fedora.

I tried it before and messed up somewhere and need some help. I tried to format the partitions with Mandrake on them, and I was going to install Fedora right after that. However, when I rebooted my computer, the bootloader (GRUB, maybe I should try LILO) came up in a text interface, and would not let me boot into windows or do anything else.

I managed to fix that problem, but windows took back the partitions that I made. So I was wondering if there was a good way to do this and not mess up the bootloader.

(P.S. I'm sorry if you think this is an easy question, but I'm a newbie when it comes to Linux)
 
Old 03-25-2007, 03:22 PM   #2
jay73
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Quote:
but windows took back the partitions that I made.
I don't see how windows can take back any partition providing it's not fat32 or ntfs...

As for installing Fedora, you simply go ahead and do it. The installer has its own partitioner and it will install a new GRUB for you as well.
 
Old 03-25-2007, 03:29 PM   #3
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnanda66541
Ok, what I am trying to do is use Mandrake to partition my hard drive so i can dual boot linux with windows, but I don't really like Mandrake Linux, and I want to replace it with Fedora.

I tried it before and messed up somewhere and need some help. I tried to format the partitions with Mandrake on them, and I was going to install Fedora right after that. However, when I rebooted my computer, the bootloader (GRUB, maybe I should try LILO) came up in a text interface, and would not let me boot into windows or do anything else.

I managed to fix that problem, but windows took back the partitions that I made. So I was wondering if there was a good way to do this and not mess up the bootloader.

(P.S. I'm sorry if you think this is an easy question, but I'm a newbie when it comes to Linux)
jay73's right, just put the install disc in and boot it.

when it gets to the partitoning section, you may need to "custom" partition it. It should still show the partitions as you had it set up last time, unless you modified your partitions with something like partition magic.

Not having ever used fedora, I can't say for certain, but you usually have the choice of telling the installer which partitions you want formatted and which one(s) you want it to place the distro on.

Also, if/when it gets to the bootloader section, tell it that you want it to put the bootloader on the first section of the first hard drive. Yes that will overwrite the windows bootloader, but thats what you'll need so that it can "see" all installed OS and subsequently offer you the choice of what you want to boot (putting the windows bootloader back at some later stage is no big deal if thats what you want to do, whereas making the windows bootloader boot a linux distro is rather more complicated).

regards

John
 
Old 03-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #4
gnanda66541
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73
I don't see how windows can take back any partition providing it's not fat32 or ntfs...

As for installing Fedora, you simply go ahead and do it. The installer has its own partitioner and it will install a new GRUB for you as well.
Oh sorry i should have clarified that, I meant that when i deleted the partitions, it messed up my computer and i had to run a windows recovery program, and it took over the free space from the deleted partitions.


So if i just install fedora on top of Mandrake, it won't mess up the bootloader? Ok thank you i was just checking that out because i thought it may go back to that screen if it cant find Mandrake.

One last question, should i put the Mandrake bootloader on a Linux partition instead of the Windows partition (which is what i did last time)?
 
Old 03-25-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
jay73
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Ok, now I'm confused again: windows took over your free space. Do you mean it took over the partitions where Mandrake was installed? If so, you'll first have to free up some space for Fedora because you simply can't install it to a Windows partition. If not, then yes, you can simply install Fedora over your mandrake partitions. Fedora will create its own GRUB and dump the one that was made by Mandrake.

As for the best place to put your bootloader, that depends on how you booted windows and mandrake before. Placing grub on a partition will only work when mandrake is the only OS on the computer - and then not always (which is why wonder if your GRUB was really on a partition and not on the MBR). If you install a second OS, you either need to place GRUB on the MBR to boot both or you need to configure windows in such a way that it will use its own bootloader to achieve this.

Using GRUB is far easier in my opinion - and quite safe providing you have a windows cd or boot floppy. The reason you got a GRUB error after deleting mandrake is quite simple: OSes need to put certain files on the MBR in order to boot; by installing GRUB, you erased those that windows needs to boot directly so there was no way it could start up once your mandrake/GRUB was gone. If you use a windows cd/floppy, however, you can restore the required windows files to MBR.
 
Old 03-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
gnanda66541
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ok thank you very much, I just found out that the fedora cd that came with a book that i got from the library is Fedora Core 1, so I just need to download version 6 and i'll be good.
 
Old 03-29-2007, 02:36 PM   #7
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnanda66541
ok thank you very much, I just found out that the fedora cd that came with a book that i got from the library is Fedora Core 1, so I just need to download version 6 and i'll be good.
Well I don't know for certain, but I'd guess that Fedora 6 should have a version of qparted or similar to manage/make partitions if the windows rescue munched 'em.

Just shrink it down to an acceptable size and then re-make the linux partitions.

At this stage, I'd suggest something like / (aka root), /swap and /home. If you had room, it might also be prudent to think about a seperate /boot as well, only because if you have room on a hard drive, you might find yourself wanting to try a different distro, but at the same time, not loose the Fedora, if you just have it so that the /boot is a directory within the root partition, it can complicate things some.

The seperate /boot should (theoretically) allow you to just drop the boot files of a second distro into it - without causing any problems booting the Fedora or you windows, it's up to you.

The seperate /home is so that any personal data isn't lost if you find you have to re-install at some stage - as long as you install the same apps, it should "just work" (it always has for me). A re-install or new install of something different won't touch the /home if you make sure that the partition is not formatted at the re-install etc stage.

regards

John
 
  


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