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I'd like to get into the world of Linux and I've decided to install Red Hat 9 on my machine at home. The machine in question is an XP box which I am dropping a second hard drive in just for RH. There are still a few critical apps I need in Windows so this looks like the best way to go. Besides the obvious, like installing the second drive and putting RH on it, what else will be involved in this process? I'm still not clear on how I can choose which OS I want to boot into. I still want XP to be the default OS, but what kind of utility do you use to switch? Also, am I correct in assuming that this program would have to reside on the primary hard drive with XP? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
After you have connected the HD insert the RedHat CD (I mean the first one) and it will lead you in the process of installation; it will allow you to make partitions, give them format and install RH in your new HD (at least this is the steps I followed installing Mandrake and Debian, but it is the same in RH, sure).
Along the process of installation the 'lilo' program (there are more options but this one is the more common one) will be installed and it manages the process of booting and it will allow you to choose which OS you want as default and many other things. As far as I know you are right assuming that this program will use the MBR (the very first sector of yor primary HD) but it is clever enough to permit you boot XP still after installing linux.
I hope I can be helpful.
Thanks for the info. So if I pop in my second hard drive, will Linux see it as /dev/hdb? And in terms of making a boot disk towards the end of the install - do you mean an XP or Linux boot disk? When exactly is the best time to do this?
Sorry if these are lame questions!
At the risk of telling you something you already know, be sure that you've got all your drives (including the CD) jumpered correctly before you start, otherwise, you'll liable to burn a couple of hours pulling your hair out. My recommendation would be to verify that your current drive (the one with XP) is the Primary Master, the CD-RW is the Secondary Master, and that the second drive (to contain RH) is the Secondary Slave. The rationale here is that if you've got 2 hard drives, you can get better performance by putting them on separate ribbon cables than to make both drives share a single ribbon (especially since the CD-RW is likely to be idle most of the time). Granted, in a dual-boot scenario where each OS exists only on a single drive, you probably wouldn't need cross-drive access, but even so I consider it a good practice to observe, particularly if you later want to start accessing the Windows partitions from Linux.
In any case, as Skyline previously indicated, under this approach, your second drive would be /dev/hdd. -- J.W.
Thanks, I'll have to check into this. This machine currently has 1 hard drive, a DVD and a seperate CD-RW. I'll definately look into this when I install the 2nd hard drive , it shouldn't be too confusing. Thanks.