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Old 09-21-2005, 02:06 AM   #1
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Talking Dual Boot on one hard drive

I have a gateway laptop with a 100gig hdd already installed with WinXp home edition and 512mb of Ram. I have Fedora 3 I think its 4 discs. I want to dual boot this on my laptop with Winxp HE. how do I setup the partitions like how much space and what is needed do I only need the / and swap partitions? also how do make sure that when Windows boots it uses its boot loader and not grub??
Old 09-21-2005, 02:25 AM   #2
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most basic setup is to have a / and swap partition yes. If you only use primary partitions this is most easy setup:
hda1 swap for linux
hda2 / for linux root filesystem
hda3 winXP HE
hda4 left-over (it's nice to have 1 fat32 partition if you want to exchange files between the systems, because winxp and linux can read/write to it)

(replace hdaX with your harddrive / partitions)

I think it's easiest to use the grub bootloader, it's perfectly able to boot windows XP (don't know the exact config, I'm not a grub-user). Basicly grub just starts the winXP bootloader if I'm not completely mistaken...
Also note: it's easiest to install windows first, because it overrides your mbr. If you installed linux before windows, you lost the mbr and you'll have to recover it with a linux CD to re-install grub on it.

I also found a small guide on using the windowsXP bootloader to boot linux: bootloader guide

.-=~ iluvatar ~=-.
Old 09-21-2005, 03:01 AM   #3
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If you want to use the XP's loader instead of lilo or grub, there is a way to have XP's ntldr.exe loader chain load linux. If you google for the terms grub NT boot "how to" you will find many web pages which explain exactly how to do it. Also, the process has been explained many times on this site.

Here is one link on the web. Bear in mind that XP is NT based, and uses the same NTldr to boot. These instructions mention NT, but this will work for Windows XP.
Booting Linux with the NT Loader
Old 09-21-2005, 05:44 AM   #4
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I think it defeats the object of dual boot if one uses XP's NTLDR to boot Linux. NTLDR need Linux's first 512 bytes boot loader in the XP's root partition in order to dual boot. That means the Linux must be installed and bootable first on its own. The copying and passing of the Linux's boot loader is often by a floppy disk and that could mean "hell" to a laptop without the floppy drive!

Nearly all Linux on being install will detect Windows and dual boot it automatically without doing "any work"!

On a hard disk already occupied with XP there isn't one chance in hell to put a Linux partition hda1 and hda2 in front of it. The XP should have occupied it and may even have a hidden partition for backup or swap too.

Thus the logical approach is to obtain unallocated hard disk space, by resizing, after the XP partition for installing one or more Linux. First Linux needs a swap partition of size 0.5 to 1Gb. FC3 can be accommodated in one 5Gb partition or bigger if you plan something big for it.

The installation of FC3, with its boot loader in MBR, will dual boot both.

The problem of dual booting is when something doesn't work out you know how to restore to the original condition with XP. You do this by booting XP's installation disk, drop to recovery console, type "fixmbr"
Old 09-21-2005, 06:39 AM   #5
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do not forget to defrag XP before resizing (does xp needs defrag?
anyway, linux does not)

spacewize, why not 50/50 (zindoze, linux) ?
very zindoze generous here ;-)

Have a partition for /home
Because this will make your life easier if you upgrade or change linux distro,
and it is best practice

Otherwise 10 go for the chore distro, (will be far enough)
and whatever for /home (say at elast 10 Go, depending waht you do)

swaP: you could create 2 in series if you ever think that you will increase
the ram, it will be ready.

While you are at it, you may even create a spare partition of say 6 Go
in case you want to install another distro as well

and yes a fat32 to share file, good idea as previously suggested


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