-   Linux - Newbie (
-   -   Installing Linux and WinXP on separate partitions (

rosol11 06-24-2004 12:49 PM

Installing Linux and WinXP on separate partitions
Hello everyone,

There's a thing about RH9 installation I'd like to ask about: I'd like to make Linux and WinXP coexist separately on my 40GB HDD.

The point is that - as everyone well knows - one has to reinstall Windows a lot more often than Linux.

A stardard installing procedure results in a couple of partitions - the active one is always the Windows partition, the boot loader is installed in MBR and whenever Windows crashes and I reinstall it, the LILO boot loader of course don't appear, as the MBR has been erased by new Windows installation.Then I have to run Linux from the rescue mode and re-execute lilo, which is troublesome and inconvenient.

The solution I seek is having an active partition with Linux on board and the LILO boot loader installed in the first sector of boot partition (the Linux partition). Then, whenever I am forced to reinstall Windows the LILO boot loader would appear enabling me to choose the desired operating system.

The problem is that I don't know if it would work, because Windows installs its own boot loader in MBR and thus gives me no choice I desire. Could the solution be installing Linux in the beginning of hard disk space and additionally making the Linux partition active?

Conclusion : what shall I do to have LILO launched always with the start of booting procedure, regardless of the fact whether I have Windows reinstalled or not? I should add that by Windows I mean WinXP_PRO.

Thank You in advance, Friends!


andrewdodsworth 06-24-2004 01:35 PM

Not a straight answer to your question but because of the frequency of security updates to Windows even reinstalling from original disks is only the start of a long update process. Therefore I use Norton Ghost to take a disk image once I've done a clean install, installed anti-virus etc software and applied all the security updates. This is then my base recovery disk and restoring takes a fraction of the time. What you can then do is say once a month restore back to the base, apply all the online updates (plus any new trusted software) and create a new Ghost image which is your new base. That way you always have a clean install handy.

Norton Ghost works with anything on your disk so once you've got a fully up-to-date clean dual boot Windows/linux installation you can take a Ghost image of that.

j_pooria 06-24-2004 03:28 PM


About your problem, have your ever tried making two primary partitions?
Then,you may easily install PowerQuest BootMagic ( most of the time comming with PowerQuest Partition Magic) in a few minutes and easily switch between you primary partitions of any type.

If you wanted to do so, I suggest you make a small partition and mount it with /boot, so if you lost couldn't boot your linux, you can only make your /boot again ,instead of installing whole linux files again.

I hope it works!

Good Luck!

rosol11 06-25-2004 12:36 PM

Thanx for any replies You made, Friends,

I appreciate Your advice, but I think I've been misunderstood a bit. I am not looking for a software, especially not for Windows software, which is as reliable as Windows itself :)

I also do not look for any bootloader other than LILO/GRUB, as the Windows-ones get useless together with deleting Windows partition - don't they?

The solution I seek is the tricky partitions management. BTW I have yet another question: if I mark any partition as PRIMARY, would it mean that the operating system boots from this particular partition?

Anyway I'd like to have an option to run Linux ALWAYS - anytime, no matter if Windows works OK or has just been completely deleted. I'd like to have LILO launched regardless of what has hapened to my Windows partition, giving me an option to run Linux and reconfigure /etc/lilo.conf in order to remove the non-existing Windows installation.

This is what I seek for and I'll be extremely grateful for ANY help :)



andrewdodsworth 06-25-2004 02:03 PM

You can have up to 4 primary partitions but only 1 active partition which is the one that you boot from. Switching active partitions is done using fdisk in Windows world and ... fdisk in the linux world.

Use Grub as your boot manager in the mbr as normal.
After having to reinstall Windows it will overwrite the mbr but grub writes its stage1 data on the linux partition. You can then switch the active partition to the linux one and reboot.

However, this is still pretty messy and rather than relying on boot managers etc the easiest way for you to do what you want to do is to put in a second hard disk. This could either be your permanent linux installation or quite simply a basic linux installation. If you muck up Windows and have to reinstall then all you need to do is switch boot devices in your BIOS on start up.

rosol11 06-26-2004 07:11 AM

Thank You all,

the thing I'm about to do now is to apply some experiments to my HDD and partitions and we shall see. CU online !


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:52 AM.