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Old 07-02-2011, 11:33 PM   #1
sv3456
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Post URGENT: Fedora Installation


I purchased a Dell Desktop for my research lab two weeks ago. It came with 2 HD, each 250g. Windows 7 Professional came installed in HD (C). I want to installed Linux in the second HD (D). I took the computer to the local Best Buy store over a week ago today to have them perform the installation. Since they could not download the software, I took the CDs for v 14 (the latest Fedora version, 15, seems less suitable for my needs), which I downloaded from the Stanford University mirror.

Best Buy have had problems with the installation of Linux in HD (D) for reasons difficult to understand. They claim Windows was interfering with the installation and that it was necessary to uninstall Windows in order to install Fedora. The bottom line is that when I went to pickup the computer today I found the folling:

(1) Windows 7 Professional and all software all the vendor-installed software have been erased;
(2) A window 7 for Home office has been installed and upgraded to professional, using a product key different from that provided for Dell
(3) Fedora v.15 was installed and it appeared that there two installations of the same version
(4) To log into the system using Linux it is necessary to restart the computer if I was using Windows. Similarly, if I want to use Windows and I am using Linux, I have to restart the system. This is rather time consuming and inefficient.
(5) They claim Fedora v.14 could not be installed

Questions:

A. Is there a way to avoid restarting when require to switch from one OS to the other? Each OS is in a separate HD.
B. Why was it not possible to installed Linux in the second HD without perturbing Windows?
C. Why was it not possible to install Fedora v.14? Do you know of any bug with the CD files from the Stanford mirror?
D. When we power the computer, it starts with a blue screen for manual starting of Windows. It is necessary to hit any key in order to be directed to window where the options appear as follows: (1) two long description of the Fedora vs. installed that happened to be the same in both cases. (2) Others for Windows. Is this correct?

Thank for your help and assistance.

Best,

S Montero
 
Old 07-02-2011, 11:46 PM   #2
frankbell
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The problem here is that you went to Best Buy. They barely understand Windows.

Without a first hand view of your computer, the best I can do is take a shot at your questions based on the information provided.

Regarding Questions A and B: A proper install of Linux to HDD 2 should not disturb an existing Windows install on HDD 1. In contrast, an install of Windows to a computer with an existing Linux install will normally trash the Linux bootloader, because Windows is unfriendly to dual boot, even with other versions of Windows. The most likely scenario--and I'm guessing here--is that Best Buy made a mistake that wiped out your Windows, then tried to correct it and didn't want to fess up.

Regarding Question C: No way of knowing, but it's a reputable source.

Regarding Question D: "Dual Boot" means that a reboot is required to change operating systems. This normally means that, when you boot the computer, you will get a boot menu for choosing which OS you wish to boot to. Without seeing your computer first hand, this sounds as if it is within normal limits for the behavior of a dual boot computer.

Last edited by frankbell; 07-02-2011 at 11:47 PM.
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:01 AM   #3
paulsm4
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Hi -

I second Frank Bell: Best Buy was a mistake. Sorry

Ideally, they might be able to bring it back to the state it was in when you brought it to them. Demand to talk to the manager. They *ought* to have a policy of making backups before they do any "professional installations". Who knows - maybe they actually do. Heck - maybe you can even get your system AND your money back. It would be nice

The second step is easy: installing Fedora 14 in a dual system configuration is a snap. Just get or make a bootable CD or .iso (it sounds like the stuff you downloaded from the mirror should work just fine), and go for it.

Post back if you run into any questions or problems with the install. It's generally as simple as booting from the CD/DVD and saying "install". And yes, it should detect and preserve your Windows partition(s) with no problem: it'll just resize a partition to make way for Linux.

But the first thing is to stabilize the mess Best Buy created for you. Good luck!
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:01 AM   #4
xjonquilx
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Quote:
A. Is there a way to avoid restarting when require to switch from one OS to the other? Each OS is in a separate HD.
You can run one operating system inside of another without rebooting through use of a virtual machine, which is software that mimics another computer from within your current operating system installation. I usually recommend the VMware Player as it is extemely easy to set up and use. But there are others like VirtualBox that to my understanding are just as good.

I would also like to agree with the others about Best Buy. From the sounds of it, they borked your operating system installations... the situation you're describing is by no means "normal".
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:14 AM   #5
markush
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Hello sv3456,

I agree with everything said here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsm4 View Post
... And yes, it should detect and preserve your Windows partition(s) with no problem: it'll just resize a partition to make way for Linux....
it will even be easier since the OP states that the computer has two disks and Windows running on one of them.

The easiest method to get Linux and Windows running without the need of rebooting is a virtual machine. You could install VirtualBox (for example) and install your Linux inside VirtualBox.

Depending on the needs of performance, you may consider to install Linux _instead_ of Windows on the computer and run Windows inside a virtual machine.

I'd recommend if you need the computer for your job and don't have the time to find your way through the installation, find someone who is experienced with Linux and let him/her do the job. Nowadays there should be enough professional Linux-supporters around.

Markus
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
jefro
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Return the laptop to OEM with the supplied disks or using F key. See owners manual.

I would not have paid bestbuy for that.

Then use a virtual machine if you want to avoid a reboot.
 
Old 07-03-2011, 07:36 PM   #7
sv3456
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Post Thank you!

I want to thank you all that responded to my questions.
Best Buy did not want to admit that they made a mistake, but I insisted that they restore my system to its original status and refund my money. Initially, they did not want to do either, then they accepted and asked for an opportunity to fix the problem to my satisfaction. They couldn't restore the system to its original status because, as you all pointed out, they damaged the Windows partition and had no backup. They apologized. In the end, they re-installed Windows 7 professional and Linux Fedora v14 without using the virtual machine. I do not like the rebooting, but I understand it is the way it is, at least for now.

However, there remains two issues that I don't understand well: (1)When rebooting, the window for selecting the booting OS is not the default. Windows is the default OS. Must kills the auto process (touching any key)for the option window to appear. Is there a different way? (2) There seems to be two installations of Fedora 14. The Window presents both options. Best Buy cannot explain to me why, however. I think this can lead to confusion at booting time. Is there a better explanation for this?

Thank you for your time and kindness.

S Montero
 
Old 07-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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I don't know about the pressing of the key to get the OS-chooser, since I don't use the Grub bootloader that is used by Fedora.
But I doubt that you have more than one Fedora installation. You may have the option to boot in normal and recovery mode. It may also be possible that an update have installed a newer kernel-version. In that case you only have to remove the older kernel in your package manager.

Quote:
Best Buy cannot explain to me why, however.
In that case I would either learn to do those tasks myself or search for a better shop to do those tasks, but never assign them again for a task like that.
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:01 PM   #9
paulsm4
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Hi -

Quote:
1)When rebooting, the window for selecting the booting OS is not the default.
I'm guessing the boot manager is probably "grub".
If so, all you have to do is boot into Fedora and change the grub boot order.

I don't recall if Fedora 14 uses grub or grub2 (the methods are slightly different): just google for "fedora 14 change grub boot order"

Quote:
2) There seems to be two installations of Fedora 14.
Actually, it's quite common for *one* installation to allow you to choose from one or more *kernels*. The idea is - if you have problems with an update (or a custom kernel), you can easily revert back to any "known good version". Try doing THAT in Windows

You can just choose one, and ignore the rest.

After you feel more comfortable with Linux, you can just as easily delete any unwanted kernels (they don't really take up much space), and delete any unwanted grub menu items.

'Hope that helps .. PSM
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:12 PM   #10
chrism01
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Also, if you can get into the cmd line in Fedora, type
Code:
fdisk -l
(lowercase L there)

If Fedora hasn't changed the layout of the relevant files, you could also try
Code:
cat /boot/grub/grub.conf
It's been a while since I used Fedora
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
sv3456
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Thank you very much. Your comments have been very helpful.
 
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
frankbell
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Good for you for not backing down from Best Buy!
 
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