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Old 11-30-2004, 12:49 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
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Question Dual-boot Linux and Windows on 2 drives


Part of my system configuration has 2 seperate IDE hard drives: one primary and one secondary. Currently I use the secondary drive as a backup destination drive for the primary ie, for Windows.

What I would like to do is the following:

1. Keep Windblows XP on the primary drive.
2. Partition the secondary drive for Linux use and also to continue using it as a backup device.

I am going to init. the secondary drive and then use "Partition Magic" to create the two partitions: 1 for backup 1 for Linux.

Now, as for as GRUB (or LILO) is concerned: which MBR should I use? The one on the primary or secondary? In other words, where should I install GRUB in this configuration?

Thanks in advance.
Old 11-30-2004, 01:01 PM   #2
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Create at least two partitions for linux. One for the root filesystem and a small swap partition (depends on your RAM, I have 512MB swap and 512 MB RAM, swap gets hardly ever used). I would also recommend an extra partition for /home (makes it easier to update/change the OS. But this is totally up to you

I prefer grub, because you don't need to re-install it after kernel updates/changes in configuration.

You'll need to write grub into the MBR of the primary partition (or at least the first one in your boot order).
Old 11-30-2004, 01:01 PM   #3
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you want to stick your MBR on your primary drive, you can overwrite windows' bootloader and then point grub or lilo to boot windows and linux respectively.
Old 11-30-2004, 01:48 PM   #4
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When you repartition, let me suggest that you NOT partition, format, or allocate the space you free up for linux.

Instead, let the linux installer do that for you. For example, in RedHat/Fedora's anaconda installer, there's a dialog early on which will prompt you to either remove all partitions, remove all linux partitions, or keep all partitions and use available free space. Select the last of those options.

If you're using linux's fdisk, set up your partitions (/boot, /, swap, etc.) on hdb2 (in your example).

As to HOW to partition that drive space, I tend to agree with abisko00 about having a separate partition for /home. Having a separate partition for /var is also sometimes a good idea.

Here's how I have most of my systems:

/boot (100MB)
swap (RAM x 1.5)

The size of the last three depends on system role and available space.
A full install of Fedora Core 3, (all packages) for instance, is 6+ GB, so figure 10GB for / (root).

/var size may need to be large is you have a large web site, and/or retain a lot
of logs (snort logs, for example).

At any rate, beyond boot, root, and swap, it's largely up to you.

Amd yes, the boot loader will go to the MBR of C: (or whatever the Windows boot drive is.)


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