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Old 01-19-2004, 02:03 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: win xp pro (want to learn about slackware)
Posts: 4

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Dual booting Linux and WinXP Pro?

Hi. I have Slackware linux 9 or 9.1 (forgot which, think it's .1) and I want to setup a dual boot. I have 2 hard drives of 40 and 80GB. I want to set it up so that I have 20GB for each OS on the 40 GB drive and 80GB storage for the second drive.

How accurate is this guide?
...i can't post a link without having 5 posts...
techtv's website, then type that after .com

And lastly, is there a book/in deph site I can read about Slackware? I heard it's the most treacherous of all distros to jump into, but I'm looking for a learning experience.

1. Format 20GB NTFS for windows on the 40 GB, install windows
2. Format 19.8GB FAT for Linux, leave .2 for swap. Install linux, install .2 swap.
3. "The last bit of magic is to make the Linux root partition active and making sure the Windows partition is not active. If you forget this step you will either jump directly into Windows, or you will get an OS not found error as your computer's BIOS will be unable to decide which partition is the active one."

How do I make a partition active/inactive?

I have 512MB RAM, do I need a swap file?
Maybe I should leave 15GB of the 80GB as FAT for MP3s and stuff?
What else do you recommend? Comments, precautions, etc.
Does slackware recoginze SATA? I have SATA adapters on my drives. It'd be nice to keep them for games and stuff.
Old 01-19-2004, 02:19 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: EST
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
Posts: 150

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You are in almost the exact situation I am in. I just installed Slackware 9.1 a few days ago. I am dual booting windows xp and slackware off of a 40gig harddrive. This is what I did:

Partition 40 gig harddrive using partition magic into 30gigs NTFS, and 9.5 gigs FAT, leaving an extra .5 for the swap drive. I already had windows installed on the HD, so I just rebooted and booted from the slackware CD. I just followed the installation, which might I add was actually very easy to do if youre semi-competent with computers in general, and that was that. During the first install though I set it to boot from a floppy, but I went back and fixed it to use LILO. One thing I might add though, I read from a few different places that your swap drive should be 2 times your systems RAM. Ive got 256 ram, so I made a 512 (well as close as it could get) swap. If you had 512 ram, consider a gig swap drive. Other than that though, your plan sounds fine.

As for the reading materials, I have been searching alot too. The very, very best thing I have found so far is this:

This site is by FAR the best I have come across. It isnt specifically for slackware, but rather linux in general. Its ALOT of reading though (several hundred sections), but its incredibly in depth. I am just starting chapter 8 now and already I have learned an incredibly amount, just in one night. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Also, something I found out the hard way... when you install slackware, your default sound is set to mute... to unmute it you need to type alsamixer from inside a shell and unmute and/or turn up all your channels. If I had known this when I first started it would have saved me several hours of looking for/installing/configuring drivers I already had. Good luck.
Old 01-19-2004, 05:22 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: New Delhi, India
Distribution: L.F.S 5.0 | FreeBSD 5.2 | Debian sid | Gentoo 2004.0 | Slackware 9.1
Posts: 78

Rep: Reputation: 15
Browse the LQ forums and you will find hundreds of threads with the dual booting issue. Its pretty easy once you read a manual or two. Make sure you read standard articles, preferably from the sites of a linux distro.
Regarding the active partition part, i think it makes no difference in practical. I use GRUB bootloader in my MBR and it boots 3 flavors of linux and FreeBSD 5.1 from a second HDD. Even if the FAT32 partition is active, installing a bootloader like LILO or GRUB will do your work. Remember to use FAT32 partition to share music, video files etc between windews and linux. NTFS write support is available now without any major danger (like before) but I think to be on the safer side, stilll use FAT32.

If you have 512MB RA, have a 1gig swap is useless. Keep max 512 swap unless you use your pc for major server tasks. There's no hard and fast rule that swap=ram*2. Earlier it made sense weh ppl had 128 or 256 ram but not anymore.


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