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Old 09-06-2008, 03:40 AM   #1
banerjeemono
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starting linux installation


well now i am ready to install linux but i just wanted to know that do i have to format the drives present in my computer created by windows xp and also i wanted to know that whether i have to reinstall xp for installing linux. even if my linux installation fails or if my linux installation succeds whatever the case might be, will my computer still work with microsoft xp. its just that i have a lot of work online and i dont want my pc to crash. can someone tell me exactly what will be the worst case scenario
i also wanted to thank you guys to help me with my last doubts
 
Old 09-06-2008, 03:55 AM   #2
pinniped
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First of all - back up your data. It's always easy to click on the wrong thing and destroy your XP installation or data partitions.

If you're only running with that one HD, see if XP has any tools to resize its partition; it may be more convenient to shrink the partition before you run the Linux installer (although most contemporary distros have tools to handle resizing NTFS partitions).

Make sure you have a "rescue CD"; many installation CDs allow you to use them as a rescue CD; you can also use a LiveCD.

Now the most important thing when you start up the installer is READ EVERYTHING - clicking mindlessly or skipping half of the text will get you in trouble for sure; this is how many people end up nuking their whole HD and replacing all the contents (instead of just 1 partition) with their shiny new Linux installation.

After installation, it should be safe to install the bootloader to the MBR; the installers are USUALLY (unfortunately not always) successful at adding WinDuhs to the boot options. So if you don't see a "boot WinDuhs" option, don't panic - unless you clicked and erased the whole HD, WinDuhs is still there and fairly easy to get running again.

If you're daring, don't install the bootloader to the MBR; install it on the Linux partition instead. With some tinkering after the install, you can get the XP ntldr to boot your Linux bootloader. (Requires some instructions, plus a few commands are dangerous to run - make a mistake and your HD partitions are toast.)

Have fun - and take your time - if some instructions are not clear it is safer to stop installation and ask more questions; it is much easier to help in that situation than with the "how do I recover my XP data" sort of questions.
 
Old 09-06-2008, 08:16 AM   #3
pixellany
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One caution: Do you have an installation CD for Windows? If not, it will be difficult to recover Windows if you make a mistake. (Personally, I would not want to be without an installation CD---even if I never installed Linux.)

If you are careful---and backup all your data first---it's pretty easy to get Linux installed without breaking anything.

For resizing Windows partitions, I use the GPArted stand-alone CD. If the Windows system has been running for a while, you should also de-frag before rezing.

The links below in my sig. may help also.......Good Luck!!
 
Old 09-06-2008, 08:32 AM   #4
IndyGunFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
One caution: Do you have an installation CD for Windows? If not, it will be difficult to recover Windows if you make a mistake. (Personally, I would not want to be without an installation CD---even if I never installed Linux.)

If you are careful---and backup all your data first---it's pretty easy to get Linux installed without breaking anything.

For resizing Windows partitions, I use the GPArted stand-alone CD. If the Windows system has been running for a while, you should also de-frag before rezing.

The links below in my sig. may help also.......Good Luck!!
Yep, Gparted Live CD is great for partitioning drives prior to installation.

If it hasn't been said enough yet.. BACK UP ALL YOUR DATA.

Can you give some more info about how you plan to setup your system.. is Windows and Linux going to share a drive, or do you plan to have Windows on one drive, and Linux on another drive? Also, what distribution are you installing.

Worst Case Scenario? You accidentally format your entire drive, have no backup, and no installation CD's to get Windows back, and for some reason, your Linux install didn't work properly, and it will not boot and you can't get online to ask for help. That leaves you with a nice plastic box under your desk w/ a couple 100 dollars worth of stuff in it, or paying someone to fix your mess.

IGF

Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 09-06-2008 at 08:35 AM.
 
  


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