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ProfessorTomoe 10-20-2006 10:29 AM

Need specific example - dual boot FC5/XP on IDE + SATA NTFS drive pair
 
I know I'm going to come off looking like a complete newbie here no matter what I do, so please forgive my lack of comprehension in advance.

Despite being up and running since 1992 with an old 80286, despite being a former tech support staffer, despite having run a dual boot OS/2 Warp/Win3.1+DOS system, and even despite reading as many forum entries as I could find here and elsewhere, I am having one hell of a time trying to figure out what I need to do to get my specific system working as a dual boot WinXP/Linux setup.

Here's what I have right now, running Windows XP SP2:

HD 1 (C:) - 100 GB IDE, completely NTFS, 23 GB free
HD 2 (E:) - 200 GB SATA, completely NTFS, 80 GB free (will be more once I get some files off to DVDs)

My DVD burner is my D: drive.

I would like to install Fedora Core 5 somewhere on this system, and if possible I'd like to avoid messing with the BIOS boot order, reformatting anything, or resorting to removable drives. To date, I have not found any specific examples that cover IDE/SATA/dual NTFS configurations. That's why I'm here.

I have an unused/not yet installed copy of Partition Magic 8, but I hesitate to let its BootMagic program handle the bootloader tasks. I've read several horror stories in my quest for a solution. I was planning on letting it handle any NTFS partition resizing duties on both drives, though, plus I'd like to use it to shrink my E: drive a bit and convert part of the new blank space to FAT32 for data sharing between OS sessions.

Now, with the above in mind, I have two questions:

1. What would be the safest and most efficient way to handle this with the two drives I have?
2. Could I avoid this by just buying a third drive for Linux only (it'd have to be SATA), and if so, how should I set that up?

Any help you can offer would be most appreciated. Thank you for bearing with me on this!

lord-fu 10-20-2006 12:03 PM

Hello,

Quote:

1. What would be the safest and most efficient way to handle this with the two drives I have?
The easiest way is to partition off the amount of space you want for your *nix installation. Make sure this space is after C:(windows does not play nice)

Quote:

2. Could I avoid this by just buying a third drive for Linux only (it'd have to be SATA), and if so, how should I set that up?
Yes if you have free space available for the partition above.

Quote:

I would like to install Fedora Core 5 somewhere on this system, and if possible I'd like to avoid messing with the BIOS boot order, reformatting anything, or resorting to removable drives.
Going to have to format the partition above, *nix has its own filesystem types. Lilo, or Grub is the better choice for bootloading as well.

Quote:

Any help you can offer would be most appreciated. Thank you for bearing with me on this!
No problem.

kaiserbeto 10-20-2006 02:12 PM

The way i'd do it is to reinstall Windows on your 200 GB drive and move all your files there. Then install FC on the 100 gb drive. GRUB (use GRUB unless you have a specific reason to use Lilo) will automatically detect your Windows install on C:\ during the install process so you'll be able to dual boot no problem.

Otherwise, you can use DiskDruid during FC install or partitionmagic to resize your 200 gb drive. However, i've never been a fan of live partitioning (resizing drives when there's already data on there). Not to say it's bad and will automatically cause problems ... but it always just leaves me with an iffy feeling.

The easiest way i guess would be to get a 3rd hard drive. Just plop linux on there and once again, it'll detect your Windows install. But I'm cheap and would want to make the most efficient use with what I already had :)

ProfessorTomoe 10-20-2006 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lord-fu
The easiest way is to partition off the amount of space you want for your *nix installation. Make sure this space is after C:(windows does not play nice)

Can I put the Linux partition on my second (SATA) drive, or does it have to be on the same drive as the XP install?

Quote:

Originally Posted by lord-fu
Going to have to format the partition above, *nix has its own filesystem types.

Sorry for the confusion here - I meant I didn't want to have to wipe out my XP install and reformat the whole drive. I know I'm going to have to plop in some ext3 and swap formatting on the Linux partitions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaiserbeto
The way i'd do it is to reinstall Windows on your 200 GB drive and move all your files there.

This is one thing that I specifically want to avoid. Having to reinstall XP and all of my pro audio apps is definitely a deal breaker. XP has to stay as is, where it is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaiserbeto
The easiest way i guess would be to get a 3rd hard drive. Just plop linux on there and once again, it'll detect your Windows install.

If I do this, where should I tell GRUB to go? Should it install itself on the current C: drive's MBR, or should it go elsewhere?

Thanks again for everyone's help!

Hitboxx 10-21-2006 04:31 AM

I believe option 2, a totally new disk for linux is more suitable here since you don't want any hassles of 'hara-kiri' and don't trust partitions resizing completely. Yes, let GRUB reside in the MBR of C:.

ProfessorTomoe 10-21-2006 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shrikant.odugoudar
Yes, let GRUB reside in the MBR of C:.

Now, if I do this and something screws up, a simple FDISK /MBR from an old Win98 system disk (or FreeDOS) will get me back to my pre-Linux boot functionality, right?

Hitboxx 10-21-2006 09:32 AM

YES you are right.


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