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Old 12-11-2005, 09:43 PM   #1
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New to Linux - dual booting with Windows

Ok i've been wanting to install Linux for awhile but have never made the leap. I've tried it before with a Knoppix Live CD and it worked pretty well (the only problem was my mouse didn't work although I have another one that should). My computer is pretty recent, it's no Alien or anything but I got it this year. Anyway I want to put Linux on it without affecting the current Windows XP Pro too much. Although everything i've read talks about partitions I'd like to put them on separate HDs (not only because my current HD is too small for both but I also think it'd be "safer"). I would just try it except I got my PC with Windows on it and I don't have a disk so if I ruin my XP installation i'm ruined.

So what I was wanting was some help on the safest way to install Linux (probably SuSE) without having to re-install Windows. Ofcourse if I do stuff up i'll just go out and buy it but I would rather avoid that ofcourse.
Old 12-11-2005, 11:16 PM   #2
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So... have you gotten your 2nd hard drive yet? Once you do, I'd think the safest way would be
to move your win. drive down to primary slave, and setup the new drive as primary master, and then
install you Linux. From what I understand, booting win. via lilo or grub is much easier then booting linux using the win. boot manager. (I've never used windows to boot linux)

The SAFEST way? during the install of linux, disconnect your windows drive - thus nothing can
happen to it. You can always make a mount point for it later if you want.

And if you don't have your win. CD for a reinstall, you'll need it eventually, I'm sure. Go ask
the folks you got your system from about that.

Good luck
Old 12-11-2005, 11:20 PM   #3
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I'd like to put them on separate HDs (not only because my current HD is too small for both but I also think it'd be "safer").
Since your Windows installation probably takes up your entire drive you are avoiding resizing by using a second drive.
You can try this for a backup boot method for XP if it is needed.
You may already be aware that Linux will see your primary master drive as /dev/hda and the primary slave as /dev/hdb, not as C:, D:, or etc.
Doesn't your Windows offer a way to create a backup using your CD burner? Some OEM version do.
Take a look here for what the install will look like.
Old 12-12-2005, 09:03 AM   #4
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what i would do is install your second harddrive as slave and install linux onto it making sure to install grub to MBR on windows drive. this has worked everytime i have dual booted on single and double Hd's. I would ask whoever you got yur computer from about windows disk. when my wife and i bought new computer from compaq we ere nagged to death till i made image of HD on rescue cd. luckily i had a copy of XP hanging around cause the 2nd disk went south during installation. thank god for five finger IT discounts.
Old 12-12-2005, 09:18 AM   #5
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Definitely... get a second drive!

Easy to install, easy to select to boot from, and when you do it this way, absolutely nothing about your Windows installation needs to be changed. You can switch from one to the other, at first anyway, with the BIOS "Setup" screen.

Now you can put that drive in, boot up any installation CD, select the alternate drive as the target for the installation, and experiment with Linux to your heart's content. All the while having done nothing adverse to Windows.


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