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I am a newbie to Linux and have tried to install linux and windows for dual boots. However, for a number of times only since installed, the window can no longer be booted up again, and showing window in protected mode and deep-blue screen. Did I do something wrong during installation or there is malfunctioning of my machine? In the long run, which distro to choose if I want to keep the dual boot working?
Many thanks in advance.
Did you defragment the windows partition before installing Linux?Did you run the chkdsk -f command in Windows after installing Linux?It could be related to these things.As to which distro you choose,I think that any of them will allow you to dual boot with windows.As you are a newcomer to Linux I would recommend that you try a few distros and keep the one you like.
Use Fedora 9 if you think you would like something Red Hat-ish best
Your name suggests you are using Red Hat. That is probably too old to work well with your machine. You can try to download and burn a booting CD for Fedora 9. It is the most modern distribution of linux which is from the same community that developed Red Hat. It should allows to you boot from the CD in what is called live-evaluation mode. This lets you see what the linux distribution is like without changing what is stored on your machine's hard drive. If you like what you see and the things it allows you to do, you should be able to easily install it on its own partition and dual boot with Windows. Here is a helpful site from them:
Notice it has a get help link. You can talk to the people who develop and use it there.
There are many other live-evaluation linux distributions. You can go to the site:
and look at the right hand side for the most popular ones and try several out.
Sorry I am not able to help you specifically with your errors. Keep posting what you do and what the response is. People will ask you questions and suggest things. As you keep conversing here, people can narrow down what your problem is.
Hope this helps.
It may also have something to do with your BIOS boot option settings. But try a more modern linux distribution than things such as Red Hat 8 or 9....they are ancient by now and and not supported very well for any modern hardware.
If setting up a dual booting linux partition is causing problems, you can try using using wubi:
This installs linux within your currently existing windows partition and does not even require you to burn a CD to use. You start windows normally, then there is an option in your windows start menu to enter into the linux distribution installed on your windows partition.
This allows you to install many different linux distributions over the internet. It is opened like a normal windows application wizard. This method does a full installation of a linux distribution on its own partition, but again does not require burning and booting from a CD. Its starts a net-installation routine.
To repair your boot options for windows, you can use your windows installation CD to rewrite the MBR, then delete the linux partition and reclaim the space for windows. Then you can try to install linux again using one of the options above.
Again write back if you have more questions or problem.
You all have given me some very valuable information on my problem. Indeed, I did try to defrag or rescue my window as well as the information it contained. But the problem was the window could not even finish booting before it hanged and fell into the deep-blue screen.
I had partitioned my hd (80G) into 2 halves, one with linux and the other with window. I am not too sure whether the problem was caused by my hd (hardware) or the partition, or the worst, the OS. I have just format (low-level) of my hd and re-installed window, the only OS now.
In future, which distro will you all suggest, suse 11 or fedora 9 or even some compressed version e.g. DSL. Many thanks in advance.
I am very sorry you lost the data on your windows partition. I was hoping you could boot from your installation windows CD to repair things. Also remember in the future that it is normally possible to boot from a live-evaluation linux CD even if windows will not boot, and then access the files on the windows partition from within the running live-evaluation linux session, to copy the important data to some other media like a CD or USB stick or floppy, or even send it to yourself in something like internet mail or another computer using secure transfer protocols like ssh or scp.
Any of the distributions you named are fine for a beginner (fedora 9, suse 11 or opensuse). Also consider Ubuntu. It is very newbie friendly and has a lot of online support. Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, and SimplyMepis are also great for beginners. It is difficult to say which is best. I think Ubuntu is perhaps the most newbie friendly, but I am sure others might disagree. Ubuntu is great in that for quite some time now, it has been possible to easily upgrade from one release to the next without reinstalling the distribution, or even using an upgrade CD for that matter. It is all easily done over the internet, and you are even prompted to upgrade when a new release comes out. This means that you only have to install it once, and then for years after, simply keep it up to date and even upgrade from one release version to the next using the internet. This is not a big deal for most experienced users, but other newbie-friendly distributions are still working on getting this to work smoothly and without editing and reconfiguring files, something a linux newbie might not be comfortable doing.
Whichever of the distributions listed above that you choose, you will be able to find a great deal of online information and support.
If you have problems, please let us know. Just try some live-evaluation CDs, or wubi or unetbootin if you are planning on reinstalling windows first (which you should do...install windows first, then linux....linux recognizes that windows exists, but windows does not recognize the pre-existing linux installation, which causes boot problems afterwards), and see which one best supports your hardware and favorite/necessary applications with the least effort.
Oh, I didn't know your machine was legacy. Other than the 80 GB hard drive, what are the specs? (processor and RAM). RAM is the big determiner in which distributions will run at all or run well.
If you have less than 256 MB of RAM, ubuntu may not be a good option. You can then try xubuntu, which is ubuntu configured to use the xfce desktop environment instead of the more RAM-intensive GNOME or KDE. If even that doesn't work out, consider simplymepis and the anti-x M7 series:
I have tried to install some compressed linux distros into hd and upgrade it later. But usually, I could only download some basic packages, some commands like ping and others are still missing. I'll try again and hope it works. Thank you very much for all your information and help.