[SOLVED] Installing Slackware Linux/LILO but keeping things intact on Lenovo notebook
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Installing Slackware Linux/LILO but keeping things intact on Lenovo notebook
I'd like to install Slackware Linux with LILO on my new Lenovo notebook without disturbing the preloaded Windows 7 that's on the machine already. What I'm worried about is this hidden service partition that's required for the F11 recovery system. I would like to keep this intact and merely give me the option to dual boot using LILO. Is this possible? Does anyone have a sample LILO .conf file I can use?
I have never tried this but I did something similar with a boot CD a long time ago (Slackware 12.0). Use a window partition program to create free space at the end of you drive. Then install Slackware to that partition. Do not install lilo but create a usb boot pen in the installation routine. This theoretically will allow you to install and boot Slackware without touching your hidden Windows partition.
Perhaps someone who has tried it will confirm that this will work.
I second this method with any Linux distro, so long as the installer will permit the user stash GRUB/LILO somewhere else beside that the Windows drive. As long as you keep third party boot loaders away from the hard drive in the notebook, then Windows and the recovery stuff it came preloaded with shouldn't even notice that it's there. The only problem with this is that you will need the USB flash drive (or other storage device) with GRUB/LILO on it to access your Linux install, but you can unplug the drive and free the port after your Linux has booted successfully.
Paragon has a free partition manager which I will swear by for partioning your existing Win 7 drive. Make a partition for Slack and a small swap partition. No need to make either partition active. Install Slackware and when the Lilo menu comes up choose to install automatically to the root of your Slack partition..not the MBR.
Then in your Win environment install the free boot manager EasyBCD 1.72.It will detect any other OS you have and identify it as Linux, BSD etc. It only edits your Win bootloader. It will give you a choice to boot to your Win or Linux partition. Make your selection for Linux and you will encounter Lilo to boot. Its the cleanest way to do it.The site gives info for Vista only but it works fine under 7. Link to EasyBCD 2.0 (must register for beta version)
I'm sorry, but I have to make a critical correction to the above. With Windows Vista and above, you MUST use the partition editor that ships with Windows. If you try to use Gparted to shrink the Windows partition, then you will run into problems ranging from refusal to boot, the recovery software not working, or part of Windows will not work properly. Just Google it.
I once used EasyBCD on a WinXP installation and it worked great. I didn't recommend it at first because the boot menu makes it difficult to hide your Linux installation. Of course, the original poster may not have been interested in such a thing, but I consider a good set up to have on anything mobile. That way, you can play on Windows and then do most of your private/work related stuff on Linux. Just a thought ;-)
With Windows Vista and above, you MUST use the partition editor that ships with Windows. If you try to use Gparted to shrink the Windows partition, then you will run into problems ranging from refusal to boot, the recovery software not working, or part of Windows will not work properly.
IIRC, I used gparted to resize my Vista partition and was fine. Vista ran scandisk the next time it booted up, and that was the end of it.
within windows 7, run diskmgmt.msc from the run dialog, and shrink your main OS drive (probably C: ) not the recovery drive
install slackware to the new space
note: i used grub, so i am going to recommend not installing lilo, although lilo may work just as well, and i assume it does.
install grub and use the standard grub entry for both the main OS and the recovery partition
root (hd0, x)
when you boot to the recovery partition from grub it will begin the recovery process the same as if you were using windows' native tools
i assume the recovery partition will overwrite slackware though, so instead of doing this, i'd recommend creating a backup disk to install windows with, then using the recovery partition to back up your files and settings to
Thanks for all the helpful replies! I had already resized the Windows 7 partition and upon booting into the Windows partition again, it did run checks on the partition. From there I used gparted to create the Linux partitions and installed Slackware. While I do prefer grub over LILO, I went with LILO because that's what is officially packaged with Slackware. Because I formatted the Linux partitions as ext4, I had to grab EasyBCD 2.0 beta to work properly. This definitely is the easiest and "cleanest" method to get dual-boot without touching the MBR!