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Old 07-15-2009, 10:58 PM   #1
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How to Dual-Boot XP and Fedora 11 (XP installed first)?

Hi all,

I am planning to install Fedora 11 on a laptop which already has Windows XP SP3 on it.

Since I am very inexperienced with Linux, I would be glad if anyone could point out to me where to find a good and detailed walkthrough indicating all the steps that need to be performed.

I did find several well-written walkthroughs describing how to install previous versions of Fedora or other linux distributions (mainly for Ubuntu). I am not sure, however, if those instructions would apply also to the installation of Fedora 11, so that's why I am asking here.

I've also read the Fedora 11 documentation, but there is no mention of Windows/Fedora dual booting, except briefly on an appendix regarding partitioning, but it is not clear to me how to proceed using that succinct information.

Thank you for your help.


Last edited by Haldemar; 07-15-2009 at 11:02 PM.
Old 07-15-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hi -


1. Get/make a bootable install CD of Fedora
2. Make sure you've backed up Windows (the "make a backup" caveat applies for *any* significant change you *ever* make, for *any* operating system!)
3. Insert your Fedora CD and run "install"

That's the same for most distros. Steps you find on the web for Ubuntu should apply equally well to Fedora.

Here's a guide for (an older version, but still applicable) Fedora:

'Hope that helps .. PSM
Old 07-17-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
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First of all, thank you for the very useful link!

1. Get/make a bootable install CD of Fedora
2. Make sure you've backed up Windows (the "make a backup" caveat applies for *any* significant change you *ever* make, for *any* operating system!)
3. Insert your Fedora CD and run "install"
It looks very simple this way!
However, I am somewhat alarmed since googling around I found that really many people experienced problems of some sort with dual-boot installations Windows+Linux.
It looks like the most common phenomenon is that it becomes impossible to start Windows, which must then be reinstalled, and this is something that I would vigorously want to avoid! I do have a backup of my data, of course, but reinstalling an OS can always be problematic. Plus, my machine is a new laptop, so it comes with preinstalled WinXP, and no installation disk (I requested one, but I was replied that it might take a couple of weeks before it is delivered).

So, if anybody has any suggestions on how to stay on the safer side, please let me know (yeah, I understand that not dual-booting would be the ideal solution, but that's not viable unfortunately)


Last edited by Haldemar; 07-17-2009 at 05:42 PM.
Old 07-30-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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Smile xp and fedora dual boot

i also got a similar problem as yours (after installing fedora the xp can not start). plus my fedora also can not start. that is no panic and that is the way i solved it:
1. since i always has a 2gb as dos partition on almost all my computers, so it is a relative easy matter to make xp boot for c: by booting dos. from fdisk i found the c is not in active status, so from fdisk make it active. now xp starts up ok.
2. for fedora since i purposely installed it in a separate partition with bootloader also installed in the same partition (not the mbr) as fedora, so i know after install, it wont boot immediately. but it is a simple matter to make it boot: again i boot up the pc with a grub4dos floppy and boot up the fedora from there. then when i am in fedora, i copied the bootloader 512 bye to my c: drive and added that entry to boot.ini. now i am using that boot.ini menu to choose xp or dos or fedora when i startup.
3. i know you can go other approach by modifiying menu.lst in fedora to make xp boot, but my personal experience tell me the boot.ini approach is simpler and easier to deal with.

hope that will point you to the right direction. any question please give some follow-ups

good luck!
Old 07-30-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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Something nobody's mentioning here
is that Fedora 11 must have a /boot partition, ext3
and must live in a ext4 type partition

The Live CD uses Ext4 filesystem by default and the default partition setup creates a separate small 200 MB /boot partition formatted as Ext3 since GRUB boot loader in Fedora 11 doesn't support Ext4 yet. You can customize the partition scheme however since the Live CD essentially transfers a complete image to the hard disk, it isn't possible to choose a different filesystem.
so, keep this in mind!


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