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Old 03-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
Fred Forsythe
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Dual booting w/Win7 64 bit?

Last year I built a system around an i7 quad core which now runs Win 7 64 bit "home premium". I've been using PC's since DOS, and except for a brief stint with the abysmal Win ME, I have to say 7 is the most irritating OS I have experienced (I should add that, aside from running it in beta for about a week, I mercifully avoided Vista). In contrast, I did find both win2k & XP serviceable enough. I use this machine as a HTPC, for browsing the internet, and for general "office" duties. I would like to investigate Linux, but have 2 questions:

1) Which Linux variations should I concentrate on? I am especially concerned that the machine be good as a HTPC.
2) How can I dual boot whichever Linux OS I try with my existing Win 7? I MUST be able to continue to seamlessly use 7 at least until I get a replacement working thoroughly.

Any suggestions appreciated.


If it matters, the PC in questions has 7 hdd's, 6 gig of RAM, and drives 2 cloned monitors.

Last edited by Fred Forsythe; 03-14-2012 at 08:44 PM.
Old 03-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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1) Others can answer that - I don't play with HTPC.
2) Stick an install CD in, and boot it.

Trite as that may sound, it's generally true. You will find the Win7 MBR loader code gets replaced, but the open source variants are better and more flexible.
On my i7 laptop I went back to the Win7 loader as the (Win7) hibernate wouldn't work with grub as the loader. No big deal.
Old 03-14-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
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Try XBMC if you want just a HTPC

When you install a linux distribution, your bootloader gets replaced by grub (or lilo) and you will have to edit /boot/grub/grub.conf and add something like:

title Windows 7
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
where hd0 is the first hard drive and 0 is the first partition.
Old 03-15-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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For HTPC you need to first know if your TV card is supported.

Before you get too far along, you might try live cd/dvd's or make live usb's.

Be sure you know how to backup any and all data on the system in case linux won't work for you. If you have to make Windows DVD or recovery dvd's make them now and maybe test them.

Almost all linux versions do pretty well at correctly installing. You put in cd/dvd and boot and follow directions. Not much else but to follow screen and wait. When it reboots it should work. Since it doesn't always, we see them back here often.

One great way to play with linux until you decide to try a dual boot is with a free virtual machine. They are the most easy and safe way to run linux that I now of.


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