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Old 05-06-2004, 05:49 AM   #1
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dual boot question

im pretty new to linux. been meaning to piddle around with it and start learning it for a few years now, but havent taken the time. Im not in a position at work where i can start to learn. My previous HDD went south on me, so im having to reinstall everything. what i would like to do is dual boot between windows 2000 advanced server and mandrake 10.0
Is there anything out of the ordinary that i should be aware of, or anything to be wary of when doing this?
right now, i plan to have them on the same drive.

Old 05-06-2004, 05:57 AM   #2
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install windows first, or you'll get your bootloader screwed up...after windows, install mandrake. and oh, I think you shouldn't install the bootloader to main boot record (MBR), because according to what I've seen, it can cause serious problems. I'd suggest you make a small partition for the bootloader and install it there - make it primary partition after installing windows and then install bootloader (in Mandrake's install setup) to the active partition. that's all of the important things, I guess..

oh, and remember to make a bootdisk for your os'es...might come handy if you happen to screw something up big time saves a lot of time.

so, shortly:

1) install windows
2) make small boot partition, activate it
3) install mandrake, put bootloader to the small partition that's active
4) make bootdisks

if you ever happen to need to reinstall windows, then do this to prevent damage: make your boot partition unactive (not-bootable), activate windows partition (make bootable). then reinstall windows, and it won't destroy your linux/boot partitions...when ready, deactivate win-partition (make not bootable) and activate the linux's bootloader-partition again (make bootable). this might sound like a little hassle-thing, but believe me, it saves you more than much (I know, I've done it and thanked it since the first time). if you do the normal installation and not this, reinstalling windows crashes your bootloader and might do something else too and this trick also keeps your windows's own bootloader untouched, which means that if you ever remove linux, you don't have to reinstall windows's bootloader, but only make the win-partition active (bootable) and it runs like in the old (bad hehe) days

Last edited by b0uncer; 05-06-2004 at 05:58 AM.
Old 05-06-2004, 06:02 AM   #3
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hi icewlf, it's really quite easy, all that I would really recommend is to install windows first since it does not really consider other operating systems when installing so it can give you headaches when overwriting your linux bootloader. so you need to partition your drive, if you can boot with a stiffy and use fdisk that will do, but the other way is to start installing linux, and only complete the setup up to the point where it has partitioned your drives for you. 10GB is plenty when it comes to linux, but of course if you can spare more that would be better. once that is done, you can install windows (it will grab the first partition it finds). once that's done, just put in the mandrake disk and click through the install.

for dual-boot machines, the best setup is to make your windows partition a FAT32 partition, since linux can then natively read and write to your windows disk, which means you can store files and stuff there and access / modify them easily from linux.

another thing, when it asks you where to install the bootloader, don't select the master boot record, it's not selected by default so just keep the default setting. then sit back and enjoy, you've chosen an excellent distro.
Old 05-06-2004, 08:11 AM   #4
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Thanks. I parttitoned my disk with 45GB for windows, a 15GB fat32 partiotion to share files, and then left 20GB free for linux. I figure if i end up needing or wanting more shared space, ill pop in another drive and format it for fat32.

Windows is installing now. Once i get it set, i'll set up linux. THanks for the help and the suggestions.
Old 05-06-2004, 09:48 AM   #5
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You will also need a small swap partition
Old 05-06-2004, 12:49 PM   #6
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yeah, something like twice the amount of your RAM memory I heard back in the days for the swap. like if you have 256MB RAM, then make 500MB swap, and so on...altough it doesn't mean that if you've got 1GB RAM you'd need a 2GB swap it's just a memory rule for smaller RAM-amounts...

I'd say that spare some few hundred megs for swap or something..? if you people have opinions about this, spit them out..but that works.


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