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HuEsY 06-13-2004 02:06 AM

Very new, want to install linux on same drive as Windows XP
I am very new to Linux.

i currently have 200 gb hd with windows xp pro on one partition and lots of room left in the drive. I would like to install mandrake 10.0 to a second partition and then dual boot. I tried installing mandrake 10.0 but it was rather confusing. I chose the option to install. And then after a couple complicated i got this blank screen with a cursor in which i could type stuff.

do i need to format a new partition for mandrake before i install?

everyone is saying that the install is so easy for mandrake but it looked very confusing to me as i am almost totally new to linux.

please help

akudewan 06-13-2004 02:23 AM

Linux is easy to install if you are using ONLY linux. Dual booting can be a little more complex.

You cannot install any linux on a windows drive (except ZipSlack). This is because windows uses a different system to format your hard-disk.

What I'd recommend is that you create separate partitions BEFORE you start installing linux. You can download a software called "Partition Magic" for Windows, which is quite easy to use.

I'm not very sure, but u MAY need to format the whole HDD, but probably partition magic will do it.

Take backups of important data on your disk, and dont delete your windows partition accidently :p

Soulful93 06-13-2004 03:08 AM

You can install linux on the same hd as windows, they just need to be on separate partitions. Newer versions of windows use ntfs linux uses ext2 or ext3 and you can never forget a linux swap.

As for partitioning theres no need to use partition magic, I've never had problems partitioning with Drakx. I've never lost any data due to using it, and I've installed drake at least 60 times =) because thats what I taught myself with.

No you do not need to create a partition before installing, I would just partition within the mandrake installer.

I've only installed Drake10 once however because I quite frankly got tired of it, but I do believe that their still using Drakx (if memory serves me correctly).

Did you get a GUI when you started installing? I mean did you get a graphic menu screen?

Or did you navigate through the graphic menu and then get stuck on a prompt (you mentioned typing things in)

Kroenecker 06-13-2004 03:16 AM

The search option (upper right hand corner) will allow you to find ample posts about this very topic.

But Im feeling nice anyway so ...

Lets start with details...I realize that you dont have any experience with Linux (this is a chicken and egg sort of problem), but being able to describe with sufficient, exacting detail helps you to receive better answers.

I have one question that will help you provide the right details:

How is your harddrive partitioned?

Really this is the first important question.

It sounds like you have one partition and then some unformatted space, but your post is not very clear about that. If so then...the next important lesson about answers is that...

Many people will try to answer your question without having specific experience in what you are dealing with....I have never used Mandrake.

Give us some more detail about what options you are being given during the install. If the install is going as it should, then it will be asking you where to install Mandrake. If, however, this doesnt happen then something is going wrong.

Anyway, google and provide some more detail.

falcon1959 06-13-2004 05:11 AM

dual boot
I have installed mandrake 10 on the same drive as XP Pro. if you are trying to install without using something like partition magic, then you must first defrag your hard drive and then install linux.

Using partition magic is very easy and its the way i set up my dual boot system. All you need to do is create a new partition and with partition magic you can even format the new partition for linux.

Qucho 06-13-2004 05:32 AM

Well, I might be wrong but... reading between the lines he DID installed Linux succesfully.

That black screen where he type stuff is more likelly the Shell prompt.
So he needs to install the Xserver.

I use Debian so I dont know if Mandrake is an apt-get based distro or RPM based. You just need to install a Desktop Manager.

HuEsY 06-13-2004 12:11 PM

K this all seems to help thanx. I was told that mandrake has a user friendly feature that creates its own partition for you. Apperently this is not true. I do have partition magic and I will create a partition with the file system Linux2. I hope thats right.

By the way my setup is:
200 gb Seagate hd
65 gb-windows
88 gb-extra storage
rest will be my new partition for Linux

Hope this helps get me some more insight!

jschiwal 06-13-2004 03:27 PM

If you have reduced the size of the XP partition using PM, then you can use the Mandrake install program to partition and format the empty space. Sometimes with the NTFS file system being on the default partition, you may need to use XP's nt loader to start the boot process. There are many "NT Lilo Boot" howtos that you can google for.

Kroenecker 06-14-2004 08:53 AM

At this point you have probably already figured it out yourself, but, again, if you dont have free space on the drive then you will have to use some program to create free space such as partition magic. Ive never used it. Otherwise, the install should be a breeeeeze. Mandrake will ask you near the beginning of your install where you want it to be installed. With redhat you are given several options. I am sure Mandrake is similar. You want to choose the option that uses only the free space on your drive. And, yes, Mandrake cannot MAKE free space without just deleting a current partition which you DONT want to do I am sure (sorry if I should like Im screaming/condescending).

As far as a boot loader is concerned, as long as Mandrake uses Grub you should do the following two things: make a boot disk when the installation program gives this option (again if its like RH then it will) and install to the Master Boot Record (MBR) when you are asked if you want to intall to the root partition or the MBR. You should SHOULD find out how to use Grub.

How to use your Grub boot disk (This is only if XP does somethings bizarre to the MBR and you can no longer boot like you normally would). Take a look at the following link:

Finally, it really should be a breeze. And I imagine that you wont have to use the Grub boot disk. If things get really sticky you could use your windows disk to repair the MBR, but I am almost certain that that wont be necessary.

If none of the above makes much sense, it will someday.

Rick485 06-14-2004 01:51 PM

At the beginning of this thread, HuEsY originally said he "got this blank screen with a cursor in which he could type stuff". That sounds to me like the might have already sucessfully installed Linux but that he did not have Gnome or KDE running. He was probably looking at the command line interface instead of the X-Windows based GUI interface. I have not used Mandrake much but, in some distros, the install program will ask if you want to have Linux automatically start up the GUI interface. During installation perhaps without understanding what he was doing he might have chosen to have it start in run level 3 instead of run level 5. If he can still get back to what he calls "this blank screen with a curser" then perhaps he should type "startx" and see if the GUI interface starts up. That is assuming he chose to install XWindows but to not have it start up automatically. Another alternaltive would be to type "df" and see what partitions he currently is using. Am I correctly understanding what he originally said?

I believe that Mandrake is a Red Hat derived distro and uses RPMs just like Red Hat does. If Mandrake really never was installed, then a partion or two would need to be created. I am not sure if most Linux installation programs can resize NTFS partitons or not. I have used Partition Magic to resize a Windows NTFS partiton. On another computer I also once used a program from the free "Ultimate Boot CD" to resize a Windows FAT32 partition. I booted up the computer directly from "The Ultimate Boot CD" without running Windows and used one of the utility programs that were on it. I am not sure if that program could also resize an NTFS partition or not. If the partitions have not already been created you should create at least two. The Linux swap partition which typically is about twice the size of the amount of RAM you have. The other would be the main "/" partition. They could be either primary or logical partions.

I would also make a Windows boot disk and a Windows repair disk before re-installing Linux. You should also back up critical data such as photos and tax information onto CDs, floppies, tape or Zip disks just in case. Most of us just let Linux install to the Master Boot Record (MBR) and then use LILO or GRUB to choose which operating system to run. Some people do it differently. People that use System Commander let it control the MBR and boot up first and show its OS selection menu first. In that case LILO or GRUB should be installed to the first sector of the boot partition instead of to the MBR. That would only apply if you are using System Commander or something similar. System Commander and Partition Magic are made from the same company and are very similar Products so if you use Partition Magic that advice may or may not apply to use. I hope I did not missunderstand HuEsY's current situation or loose you with some of the MBR details in this paragraph.

Rick485 06-14-2004 02:54 PM

One other thing that I forgot to say is that dual booting Linux and Windows can also be done the way that jschiwal describes. I think he is probably talking about editing the Windows XP boot.ini file or something like that. It is not the most common way of booting Linux and is not how any Linux installation program would set it up for you. I have Windows XP and just let the Linux installation program overwrite the MBR. I probably should not have even brought up the fact that there are several different ways to boot Linux. Any of the methods will work and a newbie like HuEsY probably would not need to understand all the details. He could mostly just let the installation program do its thing. I do not claim to be an expert on this subject by the way.

jschiwal 06-14-2004 03:00 PM

Not all XP systems will work by writing to the MBR. I have an XP laptop were it does work. The laptop actually has a small hidden initial partiton that is not NTFS. On my Desktop computer this method does not work and I need to use the NT Loader setup.

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