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preeth26 04-06-2006 02:26 PM

Dual booting Windows XP after Linux install
Hi everyone
I am very much a newcomer to Linux and have been using 64 bit SUSE 10.0 on a HP Pavilion DV5000. I first had Windows XP Home Edition preinstalled on the computer and then set it up with SUSE on the same hard drive, after Windows XP. I was keen on finding a way to dual boot SUSE with Windows XP, with SUSE first and WinXP later on the hard drive. I did much searching on the web to find a safe way to do this and found that most of the material on this subject to be quite discouraging, with almost everybody suggesting that Windows XP should be installed first and then Linux. There were a few posts that described rather complicted ways of getting Win XP after Linux but I hesitated to try this because I was not confident that I had enough Linux experience to do this.

I finally decided to take the plunge and try it for whatever it was worth. I proceeded to use the SUSE installation CD to create three primary partitions and one extended partition. The third partitio on the hard drive was set up for Windows and formatted as FAT, using the Custom partition set up in SUSE. The first two partitions, dev/hda1 and dev/hda2 were set up to be boot and root respectively. The extended partion contains the other Linux partions. I then set up Windows XP Pro 64 bit Evaluation edition on the third primary partition. There was a Windows warning about Windows having to mark the Windows partition as active and hence other operating sysetms may not be bootable after the install. I ignored this message and completed the Windows install. I then used the SUSE CD 1 and chose the repair option to reinstall the Grub Bootloader. I noticed that the boot menu now had Windows as one of the options, whereas Windows was not an option on the menu before the Windows install. After I reinstalled the bootloader I now had a fully functioning computer with the Grub Boot Menu offering Suse Linux and then Windows, followed by SUSE Linux Fail Safe mode.

I was amazed at how easily this had been accomplished, given how difficult the whole thing appeared when reading various postings on the web. I thought I would document my experience for the benefit of anyone who might want to install Linux first and Windows XP next.

Since I am a newcomer, I am aware that this may already be stale news to more experienced Linux users and that modern Linux distributions such as SUSE 10.0 have made the whole process straightforward and easy and that it is no longer a convoluted process requiring much tweaking by the user.

However, I thought this might all be interesting in case many are not aware of it!

b0uncer 04-06-2006 02:44 PM

actually it's not even difficult. it just depends on a few things..if you install Ubuntu Linux, for example, it automatically detects installed ms windows (at least it has done that for me this far) and adds the entry to grub, and it just works. actually I've only had problems making a dual-boot system back with redhat 6..and that was probably because the lack of information. nowadays I don't get how you people manage to screw the dual-booting up :) but I guess it's possible then..

but nice that you wrote that text above. help is always welcome for those who have probles.

preeth26 04-07-2006 10:32 AM

Thanks for that response
Just a quick clarification, I am assuming that you are talking about a situation where Windows XP is installed after Linux, right? Most of the stuff on the web that deals with this issue are very discouraging indeed. Maybe as you suggest, this is all in the past. Almost everybody seems to suggest that it is not a good idea to install Windows after Linux. Needless to say, Linux after Windows does work very well.
Thanks and regards

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