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ctsiow 11-03-2007 12:11 PM

changing distro on a dual boot laptop
My first question here, I hope I have put it in the right forum...
I currently have a dual boot laptop, running xp and debian etch. I would like to drop etch and load suse 10.3 instead and see how that runs. My question is how do I go about removing etch and loading suse? I loaded grub onto the MBR and I am worried that I will not be able to boot into xp or access the free space once I delete the etch partitions.
The hd is an 80 gig disk parted into 2 ntfs parts with 11 gig free for Linux. Currently I have separate parts for /home, /boot, /, /var and /tmp and swap and I assume I need to remove these and just do a normal install using suse but what happens to grub in the mean time?

I hope these questions make sense!

leosgb 11-03-2007 12:33 PM

That is pretty easy to do. To replace your current linux system all you have to do is to delete the linux partitions (make sure you dont kill your windows one) and use the freed space for the new system.

Regarding booting windows, as long as you install grub again and have the same configuration (in the menu.lst) you will be safe.

Nowadays most installation managers have some form of partition system that will allow you to delete the old partitions and then re-create them, or you just need to tell your new system that those are its /tmp, /var, /, /home...

Good luck.

jay73 11-03-2007 12:48 PM

You don't even need to delete anything, you can simply overwrite.

ctsiow 11-03-2007 01:15 PM

If I just try to overwrite I assume suse installer will use the same partitions then and just clean them out. I will give it a go tonight I think. If the overwrite fails I will delete the parts and start again.

leosgb 11-03-2007 01:46 PM

It will overwrite the root and possibly /var. /home will remain the same as well as /tmp (maybe a few extras for /tmp). I did this before when I had to reinstall my system here. I didnt delete any partition. Just select the same locations for the same stuff and you will be safe.

ctsiow 11-03-2007 03:52 PM

What an easy job! Just let it go and I have had no problems what so ever. system quite happily boots into default suse and windows when I need it to through the grub loader.
Thanks for the replies. Gave me lots of confidence, most important when playing with a live system!

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