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Old 07-15-2004, 01:05 PM   #1
escordeiro
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Question Install Linux on HD where Windows is installedJ


Hello there,

I have a large hard disk on which Windows XP is installed. I would like to install Linux as well, but my HD is not partitioned...what steps should I use to make the installation safely?

I was considering making backup of my important files and a few programs so that I wouldn't have to download them again, then formatting the hard disk and partitioning it using the Windows installer, so that only then I would install Linux on the other partition...is that the best path?

Regards!



[edit] Oh, and by the way...which distribution would you recommend? I am a Java developer so all I would actually need is a desktop system with easy installation features so that I don't waste too much time trying to setup the system [/edit]

Last edited by escordeiro; 07-15-2004 at 01:09 PM.
 
Old 07-15-2004, 01:10 PM   #2
ajmatson
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Partition?

The best program I have used it Powerquest Partion Magic.

I jsut used it to resize my Hard drive in half. Booted Linux Cd and selected to install on unused space. Then to be safe I did not install GRUB or LiLO I made a boot floppy. That way is anything happens to either windows or linux I could wipe only that part and still boot the other.

It works great. I am using Windows XP Pro and MEPIS 2003.10.2 this way with no problems
 
Old 07-15-2004, 03:38 PM   #3
bsandeep
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Lightbulb Installation

Yeah,I would opt for Partition Magic too.It does its job to perfection.Still,i think it would be really wise enough if you can keep a backup of your downloads and documents.You can use LILO or GRUB to select your boot OS.

If you are very heavily into Linux,I would recommend RedHat Fedora distribution.If you are just a casual user or wants to know more about Linuk then the best bet for you would be Mandrake and Suse distributions.

Still better,try to get a Live CD like Knoppix or Suse LiveCD.Boot it up from the CD drive and you can have a feel of linux.U reboot the machine and it reboots into Windows.

Hope that helped.
 
Old 07-15-2004, 06:57 PM   #4
escordeiro
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Yes, that does help, thank you very much.

Partition Magic is a paid software, right? I'll try to find it anyways, since I've always heard good things about it.

I have previously tried out Mandrake on my old computer and found it really easy to install and use, but it didn't have (or I couldn't bring myself to use) a nice installation software such as apt-get (altough I know many distros don't).

I have also tried Kurumin, which is a Knoppix-based distribution, and it's nice to play with and to show to those who don't know what Linux is, but not for anything serious =]

Thanks again and best regards!
 
Old 07-15-2004, 11:24 PM   #5
ajmatson
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Quote:
[Partition Magic is a paid software, right? I'll try to find it anyways, since I've always heard good things about it.

Partition Magic is the best. Well worth it if you partition alot or build your own computer. You can get a demo version to see if it will work for you at:
http://www.tucows.com/preview/222189.html

I hope this helps
 
Old 07-16-2004, 12:52 AM   #6
OldBob
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escordiero,

Since you are open to distos, I know Red Hat [8.0 or 9.0] and Mandrake [9.0 or 10.0] have "built-in utilities" [similar to Partition Magic] that will make room on HD for Linux to install.

VERY IMPORTANT !!

1) Back up your WinXP files, just in case !!

2) As you do the installation, read each screen VERY CAREFULLY.
And select "USE AVAILABLE SPACE" NOT "USE ENTIRE DRIVE".
 
Old 07-16-2004, 08:51 AM   #7
escordeiro
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Quote:
Since you are open to distos, I know Red Hat [8.0 or 9.0] and Mandrake [9.0 or 10.0] have "built-in utilities" [similar to Partition Magic] that will make room on HD for Linux to install.
So basically I could use those distros' installation utilities to partition my hard drive instead of doing it before the install, is that it? Are they trust-worthy?

Thanks a lot!
 
Old 07-16-2004, 09:22 AM   #8
OldBob
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escordeiro,

A little background,

I have a TRIOS hard drive switcher and three hard drives.

#1 Drive = 40 gig with Win98SE [primary Windows drive]
#2 Drive = 20 gig dual-boot Win98SE & Red Hat 8.0
#3 Drive = 10 gig Mandrake 9.0

When I decided to try Linux, I bought switcher & 20 gig drive.

I partitioned drive [10 & 10] and first installed Win98 in one partition. Then when I installed Red Hat I "opted" to use "available space" which in this case was the other partition.

CAUTION: One "wrong choice" here and distro formats entire drive and Windows is gone !!

If you already have Windows installed with the "existing partitions" then either Partition Magic OR the distro partition utility will have to "squeeze" Windows to make room.

I don't really know which is "safer" I have heard of some people's Partition Magic "disasters" !! So this is why you want to "back-up" BEFORE you try either method.

Good Luck !
 
Old 07-16-2004, 09:58 AM   #9
chandj
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Another thing to note, make sure to you defrag your windows hard drive (along with backing up your data). This is reccomeneded because when you use the "squeeze" method, it pulls from free space at the end of ther hard drive or partition. Sometimes, if your drive is quite fragmented, it may corrupt some of your filesystem.
 
Old 07-16-2004, 10:15 AM   #10
escordeiro
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Good points everyone...

I think the best path is really to defrag the hard disk, backup important files and set the Linux installation utility to "use available space"...

My previous experience with LILO and GRUB make me think that there is no need to create a book floppy, since the Windows boot will still be available on a menu.

Thank you all for the help
 
Old 07-16-2004, 01:49 PM   #11
osvaldomarques
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Dear escordeiro:

As you are brazilian as I am, I suggest you to use Conectiva. It is descendent from RH and is best customized for our needs.
 
Old 07-16-2004, 06:05 PM   #12
escordeiro
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I have tried Conectiva 8 a few months ago and my experience was not so good...it just wouldn't allow me to use all my hardware devices, though Mandrake and Kurumin do.

Thanks for the sugestion anyways!
 
Old 07-16-2004, 10:35 PM   #13
OldBob
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escordeiro,

You seem to have a "good plan" and Linux installation doesn't get any easier then Mandrake 9.0 or 10.0.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 07:23 AM   #14
mjjzf
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This is a slightly bizarre suggestion to a beginner, but you may want to do it "advanced style", to be more exact: Input the partitions manually. Mandrake features the excellent program Diskdrake and it doesn't really get very complicated, especially if you tale a look at the homepage first.
You will need your root partition (signified by a "/" - you'll know what it means when you get there). You may want to create an additional Reiserfs partition for storage. That way, if you get in trouble with your system on the root partition, you can re-install and still find your files on the storage partition. That is my recommendation! Finally, you have to create a swap file - the rule of thumb is, it should be twice the size of your RAM.
If you want to be able to access the Linux partitions from Windows, you can use the program Ext2fs. It is very useful. The new version has read/write ability, which I don't really like - I would prefer read-only, Windows being insecure by definition - but it is very useful for getting documents, mp3s, whatever you might need between the platforms.
As for the kind installer program, the package manager in Mandrake's System Configuration is quite easy to use. It has 4 options: Install, Remove, Update and a setup for choosing the mirrors to download updates from. Besides, using the brilliant urpmi program from the command line is extremely easy. Simply enter
Code:
urpmi gaim
to install Gaim. The program will look through the package list of the install CDs, and if it does not find the program package there, it will look at one of the on-line install mirrors, download and install. There is a homepage for setting up the download mirrors at Easy Urpmi. No beginners know how to use the command line; this page tells you what to type! It is very practical when you have installed the system, got to know it - and want to tune it up a bit by selecting a download mirror that is closer/faster.
Good luck with your Mandrake adventure.

Last edited by mjjzf; 07-17-2004 at 07:34 AM.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 04:04 PM   #15
escordeiro
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Cool

Well, all I can say is this to all of you:

this has been my best experience in both community help and OS installation.

I have backup my files and run defrag for my original Windows partition, and then proceeded to the Mandrake 10 installation boot CD. All steps where easy to understand and very well explained in a very simple and detailed manner, so I had NO problem at all.

And I am now posting from my Mandrake 10 Linux distro, with no surprises and no errors. Thank you all SO much for all the help!!
 
  


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