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Old 11-22-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
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How to dual boot

I currently have WIN XP SP2 installed on my notebook. Is it possible to install SuSe linux as a dual boot without killing my XP ?
Old 11-22-2006, 02:39 AM   #2
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Yes. If you use Partition Magic to re-size the xp partition (at the back end) to make room for Linux. The reason I recommend PM is that M$ parks some unmovable files near the end of the partition. If you use Linux tools to resize the partition, you may loose those files,and xp will be non-bootable. So, resize using PM to make free space on the disk.

Then, with the Linux install cd in the drive, reboot. When the install program asks where to install, select the free space, make a Linux partition (file types: native Linux ext2, journaled ext3, reiserfs [also journaled]), take your pick. The partition will then be formated per your choice, and installation will proceed from there.

SuSE will detect your xp, and will write a bootloader config which will allow you to choose which OS to boot: xp or SuSE, if you elect to install the SuSE bootloader (grub) stage 1 to the MBR of the hard disk. SuSe will also probably choose to set itself as the default to boot, but that's easily changed by editing file /boot/grub/menu.lst (change the order in which the OSs are listed, or change the *default* line from 0 to 1, 2, or whatever [grub numbers start at 0]).

Or, if you prefer, you can configure the xp ntldr to boot Linux (can't help you with that. I don't know how it works).

Note: the next time you have to re-install xp, it will overwrite the MBR, and you won't be able to boot Linux without a boot floppy, boot cd, or install cd in order to re-write grub stage 1 to the MBR. That's just M$s idea of how to get along with other OSs.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 11-22-2006 at 02:43 AM.
Old 11-22-2006, 03:47 AM   #3
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And as a side note, don't use undescriptive titles for your post This will fetch you more readers.
Old 11-22-2006, 04:18 PM   #4
Adrian Baker
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I run Suse 10.0 with XP on my laptop and it works great. The info above is correct, but I'll add one extra thing - before partitioning your disc, delete all the junk from XP such as temp files and cached internet files. Then defragment your disk to make partitioning easier.

It is worth doing - after getting used to Suse and learning how it all works (to be honest a steep learning curve!) I now use Linux exclusively on my laptop. Suse rocks!
Old 11-22-2006, 05:10 PM   #5
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I did a small write up on how to do this before. I'll try to find it - but a shorter one should work for now:

Just think of your XP partition, and the one you create with Partition Magic to be analogous to the HDD's...

Here is the good one:

Last edited by PenguinPwrdBox; 11-22-2006 at 05:13 PM.


dual boot, notebook, suse, windows

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