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Old 05-26-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
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dual-booting Vista/Linux on a laptop

I'd like to try to dual-boot Linux on my Dell XPS-M1330 laptop along with my copy of Vista Home Premium edition (I was none too impressed with vista and would like to begin a phased withdrawl after acclimating to linux).

Which version of Linux would be easiest for a computer-illiterate, windows native? And is there a way I could keep my music files (maybe in a seperate HDD partition) so that they are accessible from both linux and vista?

In any case, most of the how-to guides I've read have been above my head and I would appreciate any help someone could give.

Old 05-26-2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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You can use the most distributions for this, for example openSUSE ( The dual-boot option can be configured while the installation (often automatic configuration).
But you should make a backup before starting the installation.

Best Regards
Old 05-26-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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Let's see - on mine I I have Ubuntu and ArchLinux and I'm typing this from Fedora 9.
Ooops forgot OpenSolaris.
And yes, I still need Vista as well.

As easy as falling off a log. Use the Vista tools to shrink the major partition. Looks like Vista won't allow you to go below 50%, but that should do. Create a new partition for your music from Vista and copy (move) them over. Check it all works o.k. with a re-boot. Leave the rest of the space unallocated.
Get a distro (any of the top few at should be o.k.), and install into that unallocated space. Let grub/lilo (the bootloader) install into the MBR - most (all) popular distros will detect Windoze and add a boot entry for it.

All done.

Edit: I would recommend getting a 64-bit distro to make best use of your hardware. All of the above work fine.
Edit2: My Fedora is a new install - might be better option for a first-time user. The wifi is handled much better than Ubuntu (almost unusable on a standard install).

Last edited by syg00; 05-26-2008 at 05:31 PM.


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