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Old 02-09-2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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How to dual boot Suse linux and XP with only recovery disks and one hard drive

I just thought that someone might be interested in this now or down the road. As far as I know this is the only turtorial describing this process. If you know of another way I could put this on the net please pm me or post it here.

How I dual booted Suse linux and windows XP with my HP computer on one hard drive that didnít come with a windows XP disk and only recovery CDs. 2/8/2006

This is a very common setup when you buy a modern computer from a computer manafactering plant like HP, Sony, Emachine or others.

First I reformatted my computerís hard drive and deleted all partitions (I did this with the Windows XP disk I had lying around, you can do this with a fdisk or other method, google ďreformat hard driveĒ). Then I put in the HP recovery disks and loaded Windows XP that way. I installed all my programs and made all my settings to my liking. Then I backed up all my important files (DO THIS AND DONíT WORRY ABOUT THE TIME IT TAKES).
After backing up I put in a Windows XP disk that I had lying around to delete the recovery partition that the HP recovery disks made and did NOT make a partition in the extra space that it created. So now I have 1 partition with windows xp on it and all my files; then 7 Megs for windows to use as Swap; and the rest as unpartitioned space. (You can use partition magic or other software to do this. You will NOT lose XP or your files as long as you stay out of the first and largest partion)
Then I put in the first Suse Linux cd to install the operating system. I went through all the options and came to the install review screen. Make sure that it says something similar to what you see here w w w ., the most important part is that it mounts /devsda1 to windows instead of something else.
If you want to make sure that it is configured correctly click on Partitioning to see the following screen:
w w w .
The dev/sda is your harddrive. The /dev/sda1 is where your windows is loaded in. /devsda2 is where Linux puts their swap. /dev/sda3 is where linux is installed.
After you are sure that the windows partition isnít messed with, other then mounting it, click next and install.
You will probably see this next screen w w w . It is talking about formatting the Linux partition and NOT windows XP. Even if it does mess up for some odd reason you should have a backup.
Go ahead and click install.

After it is finished it will then want to restart so allow it to do so. Then it will resume and ask for the rest of the 4 disks remaining to install.
After this process is completed you can set up your network and password for linux and other various things. If you wish to have the most updated Linux install the updates (this will take a while and is not recommended if you have dial up).
After you are done it will restart you computer.
It will boot up like normal until you see the GRUB boot loader. You can choose SUSE, Windows or a safe version of SUSE. If you click on Suse it will load and you will have Linux before your very own eyes. But if you select Windows XP you will either see your regular windows XP or a horrible black screen telling you that you donít have the hal.dll in your system32 folder. But WAIT donít panic this is not the case, all that has happened was that the GRUB boot loader over-writ windows boot loader. To fix this small problem put in a Windows XP disk and select the repair option. Then follow these directions:

1. Type bootcfg /list to show the current entries in the BOOT.INI file. At this point you may get a message telling you that the boot.ini file does not exist. The next step will correct this error.
2. Type bootcfg /rebuild to repair it. This will scan your hard dives for installations of Windows XP, 2000 or NT and display the results. Follow the on-screen instructions to add your Windows installations to the boot.ini file. Those step will be:

1. Total Identified Windows Installs: 1
(1) C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
Type y and hit enter
2. Enter Load Identifier
This is the name of the operating system. When you receive this message, type the name of your operating system, and then press ENTER.
3. Enter OS Load options
When you receive this message, type /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.
>>>Note: The instructions that appear on your screen may be different, depending on the configuration of your computer.
4. Remove the windows XP cd and type ďEXITĒ

Now your computer will reboot and you will be directed to the GRUB boot loader again. Now if you select linux or windows they will both work and you are done with this tutorial!
Old 02-09-2006, 02:51 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo 64
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Might want to add that to the wiki?


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