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Old 02-22-2005, 04:03 PM   #1
DigitalB
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Trying to Install Linux on a XP machine


HI there. I'm a linux newbie who's trying to learn more about the operating system. I currently have XP running on my system and I want to install a version of Linux on the same computer. I bought a second harddrive to install linux because I read that's the easiest method. I have a few questions before I continue though.

First off, how should I set my harddrive's jumpers? Should I leave my original hd with XP as a Master and install the new hd with Linux as a slave? Vice versa?

Am I trying to achieve a dual boot? I don't think I'll be switching between operating systems too often but it would be nice to be able to access files from both OS's (although it's not necessary).

If anyone could help me out, i'd be extremely grateful. Thank you.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 04:10 PM   #2
darkleaf
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Just jumper your second hd to slave. Linux doesn't have a problem with being on the slave drive. Windows has for sure and you'll get some trouble if you change the jumpers there.

You can easily get a dual boot. If the installer doesn't create it by itself it's simply adding a few lines to lilo to make it so that you can choose what to load when you boot your machine.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 04:11 PM   #3
zonen
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Something I found for a computer with to drives, http://enterprise.linux.com/article....19205&from=rss
 
Old 02-22-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
Knurpht
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Indeed, most installers give you GRUB or LILO as bootloaders. But do mind about your partitioning. Linux can read+write FAT32 and read NTFS, but XP cannot read reiserfs, used by SuSE and others. So take care that you have enough FAT32 for data you want to work from "both sides" with.
Take a look at my post about XP/Linux bootloader problems as well. Saves a lot of trouble if you know what's going to happen......
 
Old 02-22-2005, 04:43 PM   #5
KimVette
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Re: Trying to Install Linux on a XP machine

Quote:
Originally posted by DigitalB
HI there. I'm a linux newbie who's trying to learn more about the operating system. I currently have XP running on my system and I want to install a version of Linux on the same computer. I bought a second harddrive to install linux because I read that's the easiest method. I have a few questions before I continue though.
Good choice for just starting out - it is the easiest method and it gives you the most flexibility (Not to mention more space for MP3s!! )). Just one thing though: make sure you have a bootable Windows XP install CD to boot from, so that if you muck up Linux, you can remove Grub or LILO from your boot drive by using fixmbr and fixboot from the Windows Recovery Console.

Quote:
First off, how should I set my harddrive's jumpers? Should I leave my original hd with XP as a Master and install the new hd with Linux as a slave?
Correct - then you won't have to worry about modifying boot.ini or any other Windows system files.

Quote:
Am I trying to achieve a dual boot? I don't think I'll be switching between operating systems too often but it would be nice to be able to access files from both OS's (although it's not necessary).
I'd go with the dual boot configuration rather than wipe out Windows, if that is what you're asking. As far as sharing files between the operating systems is concerned, you have several options:

* Run ext2 in Linux, install the ext2 driver in Windows, and then you will have read-only access of the Linux partition from Windows. Note: You will be limited to a 2GB max file size, so authoring DVDs and doing large video editing jobs will not be an option. You can also enable NTFS support in Linux so you can have read-only accesss to your Windows partitions.

* run ReiserFS in Windows, have (for practical intents and purposes) no limit on file size, but no access of the partition from Windows. You can enable NTFS support in Linux so you can have read-only accesss to your Windows partitions.

* A combination of either of the above options, only your new (slave) HDD would be split into three partitions: 1 Linux, 1 swap, and 1 Fat32. File sizes will be limited to 2GB but you will have read-write access from both Windows and from Linux.

Note: NTFS write support is possible from Linux but is not stable enough to be considered reliable. I wouldn't use it except in a pinch.

Quote:
If anyone could help me out, i'd be extremely grateful. Thank you.
I just want to comment on your post. You demonstrated good manners and a total absence of juvenile 1337 5p34k -- in a very well-written post. Not only that, but the thread topic header was actually descriptive of the topic. I admire that. Welcome to LQ!!

Last edited by KimVette; 02-22-2005 at 04:55 PM.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 05:28 PM   #6
Gkarfield
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a) u can switch the jumbers every time u want to switch (the new new newbie way. Ii did that in the beginning)
b) with lilo, or grub
c)from the bios. just say witch disk is primary and witch one is slave


by the way, I put suse in a box at the office. and it did a kind of partition, shrink-ed the fat space (win98) and made space for linux.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 06:03 PM   #7
DigitalB
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Thanks to everyone for their help. This is an awesome forum!
 
Old 02-22-2005, 06:56 PM   #8
vectordrake
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I agree with everyone above. Very good advise from all. I will put forth another option to consider, though, as I've found it to be less intrusive for the newbie.

I suggest swapping the drives, making the Linux drive the master, for one good reason, which KimVette already touched on - the bootloader. If you install Linux on the master, you can write LILO or GRUB to that drive and boot Windows from the other. If you need help with the configuration file to get Windows added, come back here. I've done it several times (and there are others here who have had way more experience than me).

WHY???? you say?

Simple! If you have a problem with either OS at any time, they're both bootable without any serious intervention. If you fsck up the Linux and need to "get online" or whatever, you can swap that drive out of the machine and put the Windows drive back in the master spot, as if Linux (or the second drive) were never there! Same goes for a corrupt Windows. If you can't get in, you can still select Linux from the bootloader.

Its a simple concept, but doesn't seem to be popular for one reason or another. Since you're just beginning, I thought I'd let you know about this way, as it has merit.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 07:24 PM   #9
DigitalB
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I'm thinking about physically removing my original harddrive with xp, and install the brand new hd to load linux. That way, when I install Linux, i know for sure nothing with XP is being corrupted. AFter the linux installation is finished, i'm going to reattach the original harddrive and play with the bootloader configuration so it reads both the new Linux OS and XP.

What does everyone think? Does that sound like a good idea?
 
Old 02-22-2005, 07:30 PM   #10
vectordrake
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I like that idea. Put it back in as the slave drive, and then you can edit the bootloader config file to "see" it. I can help you write that line, if you want. That way, you have the advantage of simply removing the Linux drive and replacing it with the XP drive if things go wrong (or if you decide against Linux - like that will happen). Good luck.
 
  


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