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Old 06-01-2009, 09:33 AM   #1
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installing RedHat on Windows Vista without destroying the Windows partition

I've tried 2 times now to install RedHat on a Windows Vista laptop to give me a little experience working with Linux.

Ultimately, I somehow destroyed the Windows partition (twice) and had to reinstall windows with all my software.

I somehow don't get it. There's a way to keep an existing partition, in this case, my Windows Vista partition. I am yet to figure out how to do this. I keep killing the Windows partition, which is what most of you will recommend I do anyway. For now, I have to keep Windows because I am such a newbie to the Linux world. I have yet to figure out the extreme basics in Linux. For example, I could not successfully add a printer to Red Hat. Until then, I still need a printer and therefore, I need to use Windows.

While installing the Red Hat software, I remember a series of questions about the partitions. This is where I am confused what to do. I tried searching google for this topic but haven't found the answer I need.

anyway, if anybody has successfully installed Red Hat (I am not interested in any other distribution of Linux) alongside your Windows OS (XP or Vista) so they both work together, I need to have a conversation with you.

Maybe I am just retarded. I need a few tidbits of advice as to what are the proper steps to use both my windows partition and Red hat partition. Since I blew 2 attempts at installing Red Hat, I won't try again until I hear from some of you veterans.

Thanks in advance.
Old 06-01-2009, 10:04 AM   #2
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I have dual booted Red Hat, Fedora and all sorts of distro's with all versions of Windows many times without ever destroying another partition, wether it be Linux or Windows on that partition.

What version of Red Hat are we talking here?

XP is fine with all Red Hat versions, but with Vista, you need a recent version of the GRUB bootloader that supports Vista's partitioning mechanism. GRUB 0.94+ IIRC.
Old 06-01-2009, 10:12 AM   #3
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I don't believe you are retarded, you need some direction on how to proceed.

The trick, if you want to call it, is to find a partitoning tool that will shrink your existing windows partition. Windows, by default will grab the entire disk, for example if you have a 100 gig disk, a windows will take the entire space. You need to decide how big a windows partiton you need. Then you shrink that partition, leaving empty space, not allocated to anything. This can be done with Partition Magic. You could also do it if you partitioned your disk before you installed windows. But since you have it installed, you will need to shrink it later.

There are linux programs that can do it also, I would not recommend you try them yet, you don't have a lot of experience.

Once you have the empty space you need, then you can install linux to that space. Almost every distro will have tools built in you can use to add the partitions for linux. Then you install it to that space.

You will also have to install a boot loader, most likely grub. That will allow you to boot either system.

Ask questions, it would help if you knew more about the size to partition to, so if you need help, ask, before you do something to cause another re-install.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-01-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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well back in 1999 redhat 7 had I remember had an option to load what we call a frugal install.
where it takes a chunk of your hard drive turns it into a folder. in that folder is an image of a ext2 partition. then the system is installed to that folder. but there will be a boot loader lilo or grob put on your master boot record MBR.

So now when you boot you have a choice of linux or windows. what you do on the install is set up your partition and swap and it is loaded on your c drive. I found this to be a little hard on windows scandisk. make sure you defrag your c drive first.

The best option is to defrag your c drive Then boot your cdrom red hat then do a custom partition re size the windows partition from the rear to the front. then use that left over space to create a ext3 partition and you must leave enough space for a swap partion for ram.
about 1 gig should do. your ext3 will be mounted as /<----- the installer will format it and install the system. It will over write your MBR and then when you reboot the machine you will have the option of windows or linux and you still have all your windows folders and linux can read them.
good luck
Old 06-01-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Although I use Debian and not RedHat,
maybe my experience could be useful.
I have a long story of coexistence of XP+linux
on one computer. It is never obvious to install them both.

You do not need to erase you Windows,
but certainly you need to shrink the space which it occupies, since you need some space for your Linux. That means you will need to re-size the Win partition, for this there are tools, you can not do it by hand. There is an XP program called
Partition Magic, i used it several times.

Then you will have some free space and you will install your Linux inside.

There is one problem which I came across sometimes:

if you install first Linux, and then Windows,
it can happen that you will be able to boot only Windows, since XP occupies the boot sectors of the disks for itself, and no other OS is welcome. So I usually install first Windows,
and then Linux, who has a good boot manager,
(lilo or grub) taking in account all OS which exist on your box.

Hope this helps

Old 07-10-2009, 05:32 AM   #6
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how to install vista over redhat

Nothing to add for the problem, can you tell me how to install back my vista over redhat5, as it doesnot boot from vista, xp what should i use.

Old 07-10-2009, 06:25 AM   #7
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There are these guides. Note the recommendation about using the Vista partitioning tool to shrink the Vista partition as much as is possible in vista_first. The site has several more guides and is useful at least as a starting point.

If you are beginning with an empty HDD, you can use a live-cd such as PartedMagic to divide the disk before you install a Windows OS. Windows can then be installed on the first partition without any boot problem associated with changing a Windows partition. After installing linux, Grub should pick up the Windows boot loader and chain load.

There are some versions of linux whose partitioner will propose that linux be installed so that it overtakes HDD space used by Windows. Be cautious when using a partitioning tool with a GUI that only shows you its size in GB/MB.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 07-10-2009 at 06:45 AM.


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