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Old 09-22-2004, 07:38 AM   #1
ece30675
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Dual Boot XP/SuSE Linux, FDISK question


Iíve read the HOWTOs below to setup a dual-boot config with WinXP Home SP2 & SuSE 9.1 Pro.

http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Multiboot-with-GRUB.html
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/index.html

I want to split the disk like this:

10MB to boot WinXP, (FAT16)
30GB WinXP, (NTFS)
20GB Linux, (Linux)
1GB Linux Swap, (Linux)
29GB Shared Music, (FAT32)?

I have some questions before I roll up my sleevesÖ

Should I partition the drive beforeI install Linux? If so, can I use FDISK from XPís recovery console to do this? Or should I partition the drive from within Linux after installaion? Iíve read both HOWTOs a few times and Iím confused

Iím not installing DOS or Win98 so I wonít need the Windows 98 emergency disk & the DOS bootable disks, right?

Does anyone happen to know an easy way to convert the block size into MB to calculate the size of each partiton?

Whatís the best way forward? Thanks in advance everyone
 
Old 09-22-2004, 08:39 AM   #2
bruno buys
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What exactly is this 10mb xp boot? I don't think you need this. The rest of the scheme is ok. If you do not create this 10mb partition (you don't need it), you are left with 4 partitions and you'll not really need to create an extended one to house logicals. Only 4 primaries.
1 GB swap is wasting space. Make a ~200/300 mb and save the rest on your fat32 data sharing.


"Should I partition the drive beforeI install Linux? If so, can I use FDISK from XPís recovery console to do this? Or should I partition the drive from within Linux after installaion?"

You should install xp first. When installing, partition just for xp. Leave the rest of the disc unpartitioned. After xp is set, boot the suse cd's and run it. Suse's got a nice and easy partitioner based on parted. It will let you calculate how many mb's a block has (depends on the disc).
Suse will detect the unpartitioned space and will let you install there. But to make this custom scheme you have to ask for the expert partitioner, and be given full control of the process. Don't be afraid, its rather easy.

You don't need the win98 disks at all.

The math would be :
total capacity of the disk / total number of blocks

Any linux fdisk can tell you these two infos.
 
Old 09-22-2004, 09:25 AM   #3
ece30675
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Thanks for the quick reply!

I included the 10MB FAT16 partition as recommended: "... first partition is for booting Windows 2000. 10MG should be plenty to do that. This partition will only contains the file necessary to boot NT such as boot.ini, ntldr, ntdetect.com, etc... ...". But if you're sure this isn't needed, I'll forget the idea.

The HOWTO also says not to install GRUB until later, as this will prevent Windows from booting? What do you think?

Here's my game plan:

>Install XP inside a suitable partion (i.e. 30GB big) using setup
>Install SuSE - Create remaining partitions during install
>Add entry to grub.conf for WinXP
>edit boot.ini file?

I'm concerned XP won't boot after I install SuSE. Have I missed any steps after the Linux Install? I've tried this sooo many times and I want to get it right!

Thanks for the advice
 
Old 09-22-2004, 10:05 AM   #4
bruno buys
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I included the 10MB FAT16 partition as recommended: "... first partition is for booting Windows 2000. 10MG should be plenty to do that. This partition will only contains the file necessary to boot NT such as boot.ini, ntldr, ntdetect.com, etc... ...". But if you're sure this isn't needed, I'll forget the idea.

This setup is kinda unusual, you don't need to do that. Most winxp installs create only one big partition and run perfectly ok. I'm not sure whether xp will allow you to partition any way you want. Xp's partitioner is very bad, actually.
Anyway: try to run xp install and choose to partition just part of the disc. You only want to create the first 30GB partition with it. If it won't allow, abort and try another way.

Concerning grub: Unfortunately, people here have complained winxp not booting ok after suse/grub install. I couldn't figure exactly why, it has to do with disc geometry.
You can choose to install grub on the begining of the suse root partition, instead of mbr, it is more secure. To boot it you can either create a suse floppy or use "smart boot manager" very nice boot loader, full of features. http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/3.7

">Install XP inside a suitable partion (i.e. 30GB big) using setup
>Install SuSE - Create remaining partitions during install
>Add entry to grub.conf for WinXP
>edit boot.ini file?"

I never did the last two. I dont know. I owuld instead, do:

Install xp and partition just for it.
Install suse, create remaining...
Tell suse setup to install grub in the begining of the root partition.
Create a suse floppy to boot it.
Do not edit win stuff.

But this is personal taste. Feel free to follow or ask for more advice.

Good luck!
 
Old 09-22-2004, 02:03 PM   #5
ece30675
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How do I make a boot disk for SuSE? Is there a prompt during the installation?

If I choose not to install GRUB, am I right in saying that I can just as easily boot Linux from the floppy each time? (At least until I've figured out how to edit grub.conf anyway!)

Thanks once again guys
 
Old 09-22-2004, 05:05 PM   #6
ece30675
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During SuSE installation there's an option: Activate Boot Loader Partition inside the Boot Loader Setup. It's set to NO by default, should I enable this or not? HELP!
 
Old 09-22-2004, 05:10 PM   #7
bruno buys
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You'd better accept the defaults.

Suse will prompt you about creating floppy disks.
 
Old 09-22-2004, 05:22 PM   #8
ece30675
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I've changed the 'Boot Loader Location' option to '/dev/hda3' (my Linux partition) and left 'Replace Code in MBR' option as 'Leave Untouched'. I should be OK, right?

I intend to do this next:

Issue command to create a 512 byte copy of the Linux boot sector:

dd if=/dev/hda3 of=/mnt/floppy/linux.bin bs=512 count=1.

Then copy the 'linux.bin' to C:\ directory and edit 'boot.ini' to point to this location.

Seems OK?
 
Old 09-22-2004, 07:05 PM   #9
bruno buys
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To the point of the dd command, its ok. Editing boot.ini is something I never did.

Anyway, if you have a xp install running ok AND your suse install has a boot loader in hda3, you can boot it using smart boot manager. There's a win version that you can install and create a boot floppy that will boot suse correctly.


EDIT: This is suse! the mount point for floppy is /media/floppy, not /mnt/floppy.

Last edited by bruno buys; 09-22-2004 at 07:07 PM.
 
Old 10-02-2004, 10:44 AM   #10
jschiwal
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The small initial partition looks a little like how many laptops are partitioned. A small fat16 hidden partition precedes the NTFS partition. Incidently, one tends to not have the problems getting lilo or grub installed after a XP installation.
 
  


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