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Old 01-13-2003, 06:51 AM   #1
melvynadam
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Question Tri-Boot System Question


I'm a newbie so please excuse me for asking a question which may have been covered elsewhere on this forum - I'm visiting for the first time.
Currently my PII is running just WinME but over the next couple of weeks I'm planning to install Win2K and Mandrake 9.0.
I've never used Linux and know v.little about it but I'm curious (and a geek ) and so running it alongside my current OS seems the most sensible entrance to the world of Linux.
Given that this is my plan (please no messages advising me to dump the evil MS products) can people offer advice on the best path forwards?
I've done some research and it seems that the order of installation should be WinME, Win2K, Linux. What about partitions? Are they all going to sit happily on a single partition? Will Linux and Win2K be accepting of a WinME FAT32 setup?
Length of string question: if I don't put them all together, how big should my Linux partition be? I only plan to install the OS, an office suite and a couple of small utils to start with - I just want to get familiar with the system.
Thanks in advance to anyone who had the patience to read all of that and if you can offer advice too then I'm even more grateful!
 
Old 01-13-2003, 07:14 AM   #2
MasterC
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How much HD space do you have available? I'd say to go no less than 4GB on your linux partition. This will allow a fairly decent install, won't limit your system (causing you to quickly say, that's too bad linux can't do <blank>) and will allow for a slight leeway on things that you may want to install and play with after the initial install. Here's 1 suggestion though, install the "development" packages, you will definitely be happy you did down the road.

As for the order of the install, yes, that is correct, ME, 2k, Mandy (a pet name for mandrake ). You will in the end, during the Mandrake install put LILO into the MBR (LILO is the Linux boot loader, and is capable of handling the boot of linux or the 2k boot loader, which in turn handles to booting of either 2k or ME). There are other options, but for a newbie, this is what I suggest to do as far how to setup your boot loading.

Give them all seperate partitions, don't format the linux partition with any filesystem (assuming you are using something like Partition Magic) if you can help it. This will help you during the Mandy install to see which partition you are going to let Mandy work with during the install (it will probably further split up the allocated space into more partitions, that's fine).

Oh, and not many here will be "coaxing" you into dropping the Evil empire, it's not a war, and half of us still run it dual boot as well (just as the secondary OS for gaming mostly, and a few odds and ends).

Good Luck, and I really hope you enjoy your linux experience. If you run into any problems, Here's some places to search:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/search.php
www.google.com/linux
www.tldp.org

And you might wanna participate in a tutorial over at www.linux.org (also check the links in my sig).

And as always, if you have any questions, post em here, we'll be glad to help if we can.

Welcome to LQ

Cool
 
Old 01-13-2003, 07:56 AM   #3
melvynadam
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Tremendous response and such a quick reply! Thanks so much. My HDD is 42GB (currently split into two even halves with one dedicated to MP3s) so it's no problem to separate 4-5GB off for Linux. In actual fact, I'd thought of the potential for being unimpressed with Linux because of something I'd done (eg makingthe partition too small) and that was one of the prompts to asking this question in the first place so thanks for that tip.
Regarding LILO, I'd read(here) that putting it in the MBR could cause intermittent problems with loading Win2K. I was planning to research other loaders unless people can reassure me sufficiently.
You advised me to give them separate partitions.
To put this into practical steps would I be correct in thinking you'd advise the following?:
1. Fdisk and create three partitions
2. Format one of them and install ME on it.
3. Run the Win2k installation and let it format its own partition.
4. Run the Mandy installation and let it format its own partition.

Thanks so much for the links - I'll be doing lots more reading before going ahead it's nice to be pointed in the right direction.
What a welcome to LQ!
 
Old 01-13-2003, 08:20 AM   #4
MasterC
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You're welcome.

Yes, exactly what you have as far as how to split them.

As far as LILO having that problem, I don't think it exists for most people. However, it would sure suck to be part of the minority it happened to wouldn't it. If you are weary of using LILO, there are other options. You will still use LILO, you just won't install it to the MBR, but rather to the first sector of the linux drive. Then you will configure the NTLDR to boot linux (basically the opposite of using LILO to boot the NTLDR which in turn boots ME and 2k).

If this is the route you want to go, give a search on this site for NTLDR there is defintely an abundance of options for you.

Cool
 
Old 01-14-2003, 07:14 AM   #5
melvynadam
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MasterC, thought you'd find this interesting. Someone else has pointed me towards an article which deals with multi-booting 98, 2K and Mandy and the author goes out of his way to avoid leaving LILO as the default boot manager.
 
Old 01-14-2003, 08:30 AM   #6
Allen614
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There is a quick and dirty without a third party program. I loaded Slackware and Debian to the ntldr yesterday.
Install ML9 and install Lilo to the partition NOT the MBR. Make a boot floppy. After rebooting into ML9 open a root (su) terminal and type: "dd if=/dev/hda6 of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1 (enter)" Substitute "hda6" with the partition where ML9 is installed. This will create a file bootsect.lnx on your / that contains the first 512 bytes of this partition. Copy this file to your C: drive and add this line to "boot.ini" on C. C:\ bootsect.lnx="Mandrake" Reboot and Mandrake should be listed.
 
Old 01-14-2003, 12:28 PM   #7
MasterC
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Quote:
Originally posted by melvynadam
MasterC, thought you'd find this interesting. Someone else has pointed me towards an article which deals with multi-booting 98, 2K and Mandy and the author goes out of his way to avoid leaving LILO as the default boot manager.
Yeah, actually I've seen several articles that suggest this option. I tend to like using LILO, and it has not given any problems so far. Some people say that it has given them nothing but problems, so you may wanna go the "non-LILO" route. There's an abundance of options at your disposal, and it's personal preference with most of them since just about any bootloader will be able to handle something as simple as this.



You might also wanna look into other options as well, such as grub, loadlin, and then there are all of these mentioned over at freshmeat:
http://freshmeat.net/search?q=boot+loader

However, after all that... My recommendation is to use LILO

Cool
 
Old 01-15-2003, 12:47 AM   #8
melvynadam
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DMA

If I turn DMA on within WinME for the HDD will it have negative global ramifications for the other two systems?
I need this setting enabled in order to edit the footage from my digital camcorder.
Thanks again for all of your contributions.
 
Old 01-15-2003, 01:27 AM   #9
MasterC
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I highly doubt it would cause any problems at all. I turn dma on immediately, and haven't had any problems yet. I too use a digital camcorder, which one do you have, and how do you connect it to your PC (gonna assume firewire)? I have a Sony DSC-TRV830. I capture video very well under linux with the dvgrab program. Once you get comfortable with it, you might consider going that option.

Cool
 
  


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