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Old 03-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
Soapm
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Dual Boot


How can I turn my current Win8 laptop into a Linux dual boot without destroying the current windows installation? This is on a laptop which of course didn't come with the Windows disc.

Since the drive is 1TB I really hope to have 200 gigs for Windows, 200 gigs for Linux then the remainder (minus swap) formatted with ntfs-3g so the files can be accessed from either OS.

If I have to destroy the Windows installation then I may opt to purchase a SSD drive which will be smaller but more battery friendly and faster.
 
Old 03-21-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
TroN-0074
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Make sure you create a recovery image from your existing windows installation, in case you need to restore it.
Back up all the data that is important to you into a external drive or other media available to you.
Download the Gnu-Linux distribution that you are planning to install and burn it to a DVD or make a bootable flash drive with the image of your distro of choice.
Make sure you have made the changes necesary to your boot sequence to allow your machine to boot from the CD or Flash Drive, if secure boot is an issue you must disable that first
Boot from the recenly created bootable media (DVD or Flash Drive) and use it to reduce the partition volume of your current windows installation, use Gparted for it, it is available in the live image of lots of distros, Ubuntu, linux Mint and others.
Create the partitions you wish to do, for linux 15 or 20 GB for root is good, then about 200GB for home, Plus you mention you want to create a partition for sharing files with windows.
Make sure you write down the partitions you are creating with Gparted so you remember the lavel of each target during installation.

I usually like to reboot into windows after I have modified the partitions just to make sure windows still usable at this point.

After you have made sure windows still usable boot back into the distro you want to install and proceed with the installation. Remember to select the target partitions on where you want your root, and home and where you want to mount your share partition.

Good luck to you, post more questions if you have more dont be shy.
 
Old 03-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
Soapm
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So I understand, basically I will boot with a live CD and use GParted to set up the partitions and pray I did it right.

I will probably use Debian Wheezy though I haven't made a final on that part.

Thanks for all the tips in your step by step, I will be sure to follow them during the process...

Last edited by Soapm; 03-21-2013 at 05:04 PM.
 
Old 03-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
Shadow_7
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Most recent machines support booting from usb. You can setup a USB linux and just boot that (32GB for like $20 now). You don't have to touch your bootloader or native disk or anything risky. If you have two USB linux's you can use one to copy the other onto a partition on the native disk. That plus a few mods to fstab and the bootloader, and you can be off and running fairly quickly.
 
Old 03-21-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
Soapm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
Most recent machines support booting from usb. You can setup a USB linux and just boot that (32GB for like $20 now). You don't have to touch your bootloader or native disk or anything risky. If you have two USB linux's you can use one to copy the other onto a partition on the native disk. That plus a few mods to fstab and the bootloader, and you can be off and running fairly quickly.

I'm sure what you said is very dynamic but it went right over my head. I have a USB drive so you're saying to use it instead of the live CD. Got that I think, the last part about copying over files instead of doing an install went right by me. Is there a link to instructions?

Also, how do I get Debian to install one of the later kernels during the install so i don't have to try and build it later?
 
Old 03-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
Soapm
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Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
Make sure you create a recovery image from your existing windows installation, in case you need to restore it.
Next questions, I finally figured out how to create the recovery image and still can't understand if it can reinstall the OS if I fdisk the drive or if it fails and I have to replace the harddrive. I'm not digging Windows 8 at all.

But anyway, now that I have the image on a 64 gig thumb drive I was wondering if I can also put a Linux ISO on the thumb drive with grub so it can be a dual boot recovery thumb drive?
 
Old 03-22-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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You cant re install the OS from a recovery image created from the current installation. That image will only be good to repair the boot loader in windows if you decide to remove Linux in the future. You can use it also to bring windows to default settings and especially can be will also be good to go back to an early stage of your windows installation.

The recovery image for Linux is the live CD itself or bootable flash drive.
To be safe I would suggest to find a 1GB flash drive and use it for installing your Debian OS.

The experience I had with Debian I don't recall being a live session so I don't know if it had Gparted in it. However I remember having all my partitions ready when I installed it. I found very helpful having the list of partition listed on a piece of paper, otherwise I couldn't remember what was what.

Good luck to you!
 
Old 03-23-2013, 04:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
The experience I had with Debian I don't recall being a live session so I don't know if it had Gparted in it. However I remember having all my partitions ready when I installed it. I found very helpful having the list of partition listed on a piece of paper, otherwise I couldn't remember what was what.

Good luck to you!
Thanks, makes sense... Now to figure out this UEFI situation, looks like it throws a curve ball into the mix so I want to know what to expect before I take myself down.
 
Old 03-23-2013, 07:35 AM   #9
tommcd
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Here is a great tutorial on hot to set up a dual boot system using Ubuntu: http://members.iinet.net.au/~herman546/p23.html
That tutorial uses Windows 7, but the install should be essentially the same for Windows 8.
That site is an excellent resource for dual booting Ubuntu + Windows: http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/
 
Old 03-24-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
Shadow_7
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http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...apds03.html.en

The above is basically what I was referencing. Your existing linux could be a liveCD/DVD image of linux.

In terms of copying an existing install, you basically mkfs the filesystem for the destination install. Make a tarball of an existing install (that you are NOT booted to, again liveCD/DVD). And extract the tarball on the new filesystem. Change /etc/fstab to match it's "new" location. Change the bootloader to load the "new" location. And drive on. Not a novice level task, but it really is that simple.

Since USB storage devices are bootable on modern machines, you never have to touch any internal harddisks. Bootloader or otherwise. You can even do all of this install on some "other" machine, and boot it on a different machine. As long as the CPU type is the same. x86 or otherwise. One caveat with the above link is that it skips a few admin steps (passwords and users), and you need to chroot from a 64 bit kernel to install a 64 bit version of linux. It's a bit simpler to use the standard install tools with most distros, but you don't "have to", if you have a little bit of command line prowess and understanding of linux. And of course the UEFI stuff sort of muddles things up a bit, but many early adopters of the UEFI (restricted boot) setups have a bios option to disable it.

Last edited by Shadow_7; 03-24-2013 at 07:20 PM.
 
Old 03-24-2013, 09:50 PM   #11
Soapm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
And of course the UEFI stuff sort of muddles things up a bit, but many early adopters of the UEFI (restricted boot) setups have a bios option to disable it.
This is what I have, I can turn off the UEFI and boot linux then turn it back on to boot Win8. I got that working. I would like to have them both on the same grub menu but after this long of a weekend I am satisfied with what I have for now.

Finding drivers and tools for a i5 processor on a ivy bridge was difficult. Then finding tools to make the Sony laptop functions work was even harder. The problem is there are so many old website out there that's it''s hard to know if the info applies to you or not. I found a great step by step for Sony leptops to include utilities to then realized looking at another site that the guy must have had a duo processor. One thing nice about forums is that the post are dated, most how to's arean't...
 
Old 03-25-2013, 04:29 AM   #12
tommcd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soapm View Post
Finding drivers and tools for a i5 processor on a ivy bridge was difficult.
The drivers for the i5 CPU are already present in the Linux kernel, and just about anything else in the laptop should just work right out the box as well, since the drivers are all in the kernel.
Do your wired and wireless internet connections work? Do you have sound?
As long as these components work, there is no need to install additional drivers.
If they do not work, then you may need to enable and or download and install the drivers or firmware to make them work. This is common for Broadcom wireless chips, for example.

If you have any doubts, open a terminal and post the output of:
Code:
lspci -k
The lspci command will list all the hardware devices on the laptop that the Linux kernel recognizes. The -k option will list the kernel driver in use for each component.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soapm View Post
Then finding tools to make the Sony laptop functions work was even harder. ...
Now that can be a tough one indeed. The reason these Sony laptop functions may not work out of the box is because they are private and proprietary tools of Sony that are specific for that laptop. If Sony made these tools open source they would "just work" straight away. However, if Sony keeps this stuff a closely guarded secret, it can be difficult for the Linux kernel developers to add this functionality to the Linux kernel.
In other words, the problem here is with Sony, and not with Linux.
I had the same problems with an older Acer laptop that I have.

Last edited by tommcd; 03-25-2013 at 04:32 AM.
 
  


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