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I know this question comes up every couple of hours, but this problem is different. I am not thinking about installing Windows and Linux from scratch. I have already done that months ago. However I bought a new harddrive and wish to migrate my partitions to the new one.
I have successfully copied the RH partition. Since I probably won't be able to migrate windows, I am thinking about reinstalling it ( I can afford to reinstall everything software ).
Now when I try to install Windows from its cd, i receive the following error:
To install Windows XP on the partition you selected, Setup must write some startup files to the following disk:
114471MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]
However, this disk does not contain a WindowsXP Compatible partition.
Here is how the disk looks like:
FAT <- This is where I want to install windows
Now I don't see where the problem is. AFAIK, WindowsXP can be installed on a logical partition? How should I modify these partitions in order to install XP?
Should I insert the FAT32 between /boot and /root??
So what should I do here? I still have this linux partition on my second disk?
Should I erase this partition, create a partition and install windows xp?
What about the /boot partition? Should I leave it? I had read the multi-booting would be easier if it was the first partition on the disk?
Thus the drive would be like this
/ ext3 root
I don't quite have any trouble copying. I use cp -pR. As for the partitioning I use PowerQuest's PartigionMagic. It is an awesome program, but unfortunately it works under windows.
I think i am going to install windows first though. do you think i should leave the /boot partition where it is?
If you install windows first it can have the first partition. You can put /boot after that. Just make sure you install grub in the MBR. It will find it. Also /boot doesn't HAVE to have it's own partition. You can combine that and / . It is your choice.
And... I never (or try not to) use Partition Magic while in windows. Imagine you are resizing and BOOM!! Windows just crashed. Now you are up a creek without a paddle and your information is probably lost. I always use the floppy disks you can make with PM.
Here is what I ususally do.
fat32 for both to share data
NTFS swap for xp
Ok I couldn't wait any longer for an answer so I started some adventure on my own.
Thankfully it is pretty much what you advise me to do. I installed winxp first on a clean drive using NTFS. Then I made some little tweaking with partitionmagic, moved the ntfs partition a little bit so that i could squish the boot at the beginning of the drive. It seemed as if it worked, but apparently it didnt, since boot is /dev/hda3.
Also my root is not a primariy drive! would that be a problem??
It is not about linux, but anyway, does xp need a swap too? I am using home, and it never asked for a swap partition?
The Win XP (or Win2000) swap is something I do. If you have your swap at the end of the drive you supposedly get better performance, nothing earthshattering though. If you have a big enough drive, then why not. That space will be used anyways (Well, most of it). If anything it will keep pagefile.sys from getting fragmented. It is also supposed to increase performance if it is on a totally separate drive.
It is generally not a good idea to move windows down the drive like that. Some system files that you can't change may think that the windows system partition should be the 1st partition on the drive. When it looks at the 1st partition it sees an unrecognizable file system. I've shot my self in the foot like that once and I never tried it again. But in the past I have made it work
If you have enough space I recomend doing it the way I do it. The NTFS swap partition may be unnecessary, but the shared fat32 partition is a good idea if you have lots of mp3s, movie files, documents, etc. When you accidentally wipe out windows or linux (which if you're like me, then you will) your personal files will be safe..... relatively safe.... or... well... remember to backup. Trust me on that one.
Thanks a lot for your help. Though I still have a couple of more questions
I have formatted the partition as NTFS. Can I mount it under Linux just like a fat partition with special options? Does it make a big difference using FAT32 or NTFS under windows?
I already keep all my music, my documents and my movies on their own partitions. I also have a backup partition (yes i have quite a big drive).
I am also really holding on to that separate /boot partition. I am thinking about installing a couple of more linuxes in the near future. I see that you are also using Slackware and Fedora at the same time. Should I keep that partition or would it bother the multiple systems i would install?
I use Fedora and Slack, but not on the same computer. I can't really help you with dual linux OSes on a computer. If GRUB resides in the MBR then I don't see why you would need the /boot partition, but I'd check w/ someone w/ experience with that.
As far as NTFS support in Linux, though.... In RH you can't view an NTFS partition by default. You can make it so, however, with some work. I think you have to recompile your kernel with NTFS read support. As far as I know there is no way to write to NTFS while in any distro of Linux. I don't care to modify my partition where Windows sits so I leave it ntfs for its added stability while in Windows. My data partition I do want to edit. So it is FAT32 so they can both do as they please with it. Some distros come with NTFS read support built in (like Mandrake), but RH and Fedora don't touch it (by default).
While in windows there is no big difference with NTFS and FAT32. NTFS has added security features, which if you are the only one using your computer, doesn't really matter. It is more stable than FAT32. If you are using fat and you system gets the power cut off on it while it is working on a file, you could very easily loose that information (that is BAD if it a registry file). NTFS will not loose that information because of its journalling capablities. Also FAT has limits on partition sizes and file sizes, where ntfs does not. A file cannot exceed 4 gigs in FAT32. If you do video editing that could make a difference. But windows operates just as good on one as it does the other in my opinion.
Yeah well I think I am going to get rid of that /boot partitions. After all multiple OSes cannot use the same /boot can they? And I don't want to create an individul one for each of them. So now I'll have to copy the content of the /boot (that is the drive /dev/hda3 in my case) to the folder boot on my root directory.
I guess the single most important that I gained in this migration business is experience. Everyone should migrate once in a while. Nice entertainment.
Thank you all who have answered, especially to benjithegreat98.
I really dont think the location of /boot matters too much. Just make sure that your swap partition is first partition on your slave hard drive, or whatever you're using as the non-hda hard drive, and then things should be fine. I think my setup is:
I say having your swap on any drive other than HDA because it's best for it to be the first partition, and Windows doesn't like non-Win partitions as hda1
Oh, and use Partition Magic by booting off of floppy disks. I love the program, except it doesn't like my old computer too much any more... Maybe the ReiserFS confuses it?
Wow your setup is quite interesting. Is there any specific reason you sliced up your drive like that? The swap partition is currently not on the first partition, but I will arange it to be so as soon as possible. Do you know if there are specific benefits of that?
I think partiton magic doesn't like drives partitoned by other tools. I hade made my linux partitioning using redhat's installer, and now pm says that BAD to the whole drive. Oh well, it's a selfish program.
Originally posted by graffitici Wow your setup is quite interesting. Is there any specific reason you sliced up your drive like that? The swap partition is currently not on the first partition, but I will arange it to be so as soon as possible. Do you know if there are specific benefits of that?
I have my /usr and my /home on the first hard drive because it's the larger hard drive of the two(11GB fs 3.2GB). I have the *swap* as the first partition so it can read the fastest. I have /var as a separate partition incase it decideds to blow up sometime, and this protects me from having my logs freeze my computer. I have /boot actually on HDA I think as hda1, basically to protect it in case anything happens to hdb. Then I have all the rest of the / stuff on hdb just because it doesn't take up hardly any space compared to /usr and /home.
Oh, it's best to have the swap at the beginning of the drive because the disk spins more quickly (distance wise, not rpm wise) the further out, so it reads the data ther more quickly.
Originally posted by graffitici I think partiton magic doesn't like drives partitoned by other tools. I hade made my linux partitioning using redhat's installer, and now pm says that BAD to the whole drive. Oh well, it's a selfish program.
I noticed that PM didn't like my hard drives after I used fdisk on them. So when I switched back to Windows for a day(wanted to see if i could run some games on my TV with my component video out, didn't work, resolutions & framerates not matching), I used fdisk from slack's install disk, and then once I had the partitions defined, the windows install formatted them. I didn't try partition magic after that, though, maybe that would've cured it. Anyway, fdisk works well, just not as nicely as PM does when it's working.