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I'm getting ready to create a Red Hat 9.0 / Windows XP dual boot on a Toshiba notebook. I have a Question about booting. Here is the current configuration of the notebook's drive, from left to right as seen in partition magic's graphical interface (or first to last if you want to think of it that way:
Fat 32; size 35 meg (for Boot Magic which was useless, so currently hidden and unused)
NTFS; size 5 gig; currently has XP Home
NTFS; size 6.5 gig; currently has XP Pro
Fat 32; size 8.5 gig; logical data partition
My thought is to create a dual boot that would look like this (again going from left to right as seen in partition magic]:
[delete 35 meg fat 32 and 5 gig NTFS, hence deleting XP Home]
Install Red Hat 9.0 on free space
NTFS; Size 6.5 meg [unchanged size & location] Windows XP Pro
Questions: Does this sound like a good approach? Should I put Grub in the Master Boot Record or should I put it as the first /boot partition in my new Linux partition? The manuals don't offer much advice here and I've seen conflicting posts saying that putting Grub in the master boot record can really freak out Windows.
Personally I'd put GRUB or LILO in ther MBR - if properly configured , you shouldnt have any problems booting either OS - Let Red Hat create its own partitons in the free space - make a boot disk near the end of the RH install just in case of problems.
the partition setup you have in mind looks good to me...
if you'd ask me, i'd use the 40gb like this (this is only a suggestion):
3gb to 10gb for "root" (depending on how much stuff you plan to install) ...
1gb for "swap" (better safe than sorry)...
the rest for "home" (everybody loves their personal space)...
as for grub (and lilo, for that matter, as it's what i use most), personally, i've always put them on the master boot record... perhaps i subconciously feel it's too much fuss to make a partition specially for boot unless i have like several kernels or something... i don't know... i've worked fine dual-booting 9x, 2k, and xp... and i've done it to dozens of different computers, not just my own. i think there are pros and cons for both scenarios (mbr or /boot) but i don't think it's that big a deal really... in the end, like most things linux, it will be your personal informed decision that matters... or at least, your taste...
NOTE: even if you trash your mbr by freak accident or hostile human (seriously, it's never happened to me), almost every linux rescue floppy or cd out there can wipe mbrs and re-install your bootloader of choice in the blink of an eye. the only times i ever have to re-install the bootloader are when a windows install overwrites it. but it's like one second and it's done re-installing without having to re-configure anything.
Thanks so much to all who replied. I think I will give a try to putting Grub on the MBR and see if I run into trouble. I've had to repair the Boot.ini file enough times making Windows XP dual boots (Windows XP / Windows XP) that I figure if anything goes wrong it'll be routine! I'll post what happens when done.
One last question - I bought the publisher's addition with the Sam's book. Is there any compelling reason not to use this addition of Red Hat 9.0?
Thanks again all! This community is what will make it possible for us to eventually rise up against Windows from the grass roots.
I believe the publisher's edition is similar to the download edition. In both you get less than if you bought a boxed copy, but who cares? if you need more you can download it, right?
On my Toshiba Satellite Pro A10, I first of all installed XP using the recovery disks, then I used Partition Magic to partition the free space. RH9 was told to use the free space for the install and Grub sits on the mbr - and I have had no problems!!
The longest job was installing the updates on both the RH install and the XP install. You will find that straight after installing you won't be able to use Up2Date - head over to the RedHat Network page and download the updated up2date packages and then complete the registration.
Sweet - thanks for the reply!
One last question - does it matter in any way whether Red Hat comes "before" or "after" XP as you read the drive from left to right in Partition Magic? Right now I'm planning to put RH to the left of XP, then XP, then the data partition, but I wondered if it mattered (I presume not since Grub will be on the MBR).
Hello everyone! I am responding to the last post from my successful install of Red Hat 9.0!!! My trust Toshiba notebook is now a true dual boot. Everything went smoothly - I created a 4 gig / partition and a 1 gig swap since I have 500 meg ram.
As usual when adding an OS to a PC with Windows XP, XP was not bootable after the Red Hat install. So I went through the normal procedure of repairing the boot.ini file and now both boot fine. FYI I put Grub on the MBR just like it wanted and all is well. I also put Red Hat's partition to the "left" of windows (as read in Partition Magic) and that was fine too.
Now to get used to this new OS! First step: how on earth do I navigate the partitions so I can see the files in the FAT32 data partition the two machines share??? Is there a Windows Explorer equivelent anywhere here?? Uncharted waters for this newbie.
go to a terminal and do a "df -hT" and/or a "mount" to see if the windows disk is already mounted and where...
usually it'll be mounted somewhere like "/mnt/windows" or something...
if it's not, then just create a folder and mount it there:
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/winblows
then you'll be able to use the command line or a file browser like konqueror or nautilus to navigate the windows file system through the directory you mounted it at...
if you put windows to the "right" of linux, then it won't be "hda1", but more likely "hda7" or something, depending on the partitions you made for linux...
also, the command i gave is for fat32... i don't think ntfs support comes built-in to red hat 9... but i'm not sure... and even if you do get it somewhere, it's not recommended to write to it or use it for anything "critical", as it's very "alpha" and still kinda sucks...
I've been using Red Hat all weekend for school work and email my Open Office docs to my Windows computer so I have them for class Monday! What a pleasure Red hat is.
I tried to mount my FAT 32 parition as you suggested using the following line in terminal:
mount -t vfat/dev/hda5 /mnt/windows
Windows is the folder I created, as you suggested. But it didn't seem to work; when I browse the Windows folder in mnt it says it's empty. I also ran the df -hT line in terminal and all it came up with was the ext3 Linux partition; it didn't list the NTFS for Windows, nor the FAT32. Any ideas why? When I use the hardware browser I can clearly see the hda 4 (extended) and hda 5 fat 32 partitions.
if you tried it just like you posted it, then it won't work:
mount -t vfat/dev/hda5 /mnt/windows
there's a space missing between "vfat" and "/dev"... did you see it? perhaps you just made a mistake posting but if you really tried it like that it shouldn't work...
by the way, it really helps to post the EXACT error message you get... it's better than a "But it didn't seem to work"... like, for example, i have only one disk (hda), so if i try to mount a non-existant drive (hdb), i'd get something like this:
mount -t vfat /dev/hdb1 /mnt/cdrom/
mount: /dev/hdb1 is not a valid block device
anyways, if you are sure it's a fat32 partition, then one of these has to work... you can try each one till one doesn't give you an error... you won't mess-up anything by trying to mount a partition that's already mounted or that isn't a "vfat"... it just won't work, that's all... when you hit the right partition, then it should show up on "df -hT" and "mount"...
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/windows
mount -t vfat /dev/hda2 /mnt/windows
mount -t vfat /dev/hda3 /mnt/windows
mount -t vfat /dev/hda4 /mnt/windows
mount -t vfat /dev/hda5 /mnt/windows
mount -t vfat /dev/hda6 /mnt/windows
mount -t vfat /dev/hda7 /mnt/windows
when you successfully mount the fat32 partition, then you can modify your "fstab" accordingly...
please post the output of "fdisk -l /dev/hda" and "df -hT", as it could help us help you... also, your "fstab" too if you want help setting it up once you know you can mount windoze correctly...