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Old 09-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 83

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Question How to add Windows to Redhat and make a dual boot machine?

Dear Experts,

To begin, yes, I'm already familiar with VM Ware.
But I can install VMWARE and windows without anyone's help.

I currently have a Redhat Linux setup on one hard drive.
Logically, it look like:

MBR | /boot| swap | linux

This has taken a very long time to install and configure,
so this Linux hard drive MUST stay exactly as it is.

I'd like to add a second hard drive, and make this a
dual boot machine with Windows 7 or 8.


Option one:

MBR | Windows

/boot | swap | linux


OR, Option two:

MBR | /boot| swap | linux


Although, being quite familiar with the first method, I
would prefer to do the first option. Windows
always like to dominate a machine.


1) Does anyone have any experience with option 2?
Keep Redhat as is, then, add a Windows partition?
Is this possible? If so, how to do it?

Assuming I do the first option.
I would insert a HDD, and install Windows.

Then, With the Redhat install, is there a way to only install
the MBR and /boot portion onto the Windows HDD?
If so, how to do it?

Thanks a lot!
Old 09-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2012
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It's not recommended to install Windows after Linux installation. Because Windows boot loader over writes linux booting
Old 09-29-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 83

Original Poster
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Thanks for responding.

Yes, that was my sense also.
Any ideas on how to do option 1?
Old 09-29-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal,Quebec
Distribution: Gentoo
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Windows partition have to be primary. BIOS based computer limit the number of primary partitions to 4. If you want to add more partition later, think about this now.

Windows installation will overwrite the bootloader (GRUB). You will have to manually fix it. Do not backup your MBR, just fix the bootloader after the fact. Google will help you, it is a very common operation.

Also, if you dual boot your computer, my guess is that it is not a server. If this is the case, think twice if RedHat Enterprise is really for you. First, be sure you paid for it, otherwise you wont get updates. Both the free CentOS RedHat clone and RedHat own free version, Fedora, may be a better fit for you. Fedora also get updates to desktop applications like Firefox and LibreOffice much more often than RedHat. Redat Enterprise Linux is really built for servers. Also, if you are looking for "Linux", then other distributions like Ubuntu and Mint may be a better fit.

Back to the problem you have. Installing Linux and Windows on the same drive is usually a better idea. Since the SATA era, it is harder to setup disk priority and it sometime change when you plug in more storage, so not having 2 drives with bootloader fighting each other is a better idea.
Old 09-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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Disconnect the Linux disk, connect the Windows disk to the first port on the Mainboard. Then install Windows on it. Now connect the Linux disk to the second port of the mainboard and use SuperGrubDisk to boot the Linux installation. Since your Linux disk is now /dev/sdb and not /dev/sda anymore you have to correct that in /etc/fstab, if you don't use labels or UUIDs. Now install the bootloader (I assume it is Grub) to /dev/sda and update the config file for Grub
grub-install /dev/sda
grub mkconfig -o /boot/grub.cfg
Of course, as usual, before doing anything make a backup (which you should have anyways already).


dual boot, mbr

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