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Old 09-12-2009, 03:07 AM   #1
markw10
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Best way to set up Mandriva Linux/Windows Dual Boot


I am setting up Mandriva on my laptop but even though I'm not a big fan of Windows I will need to use Windows for a few programs needed for my job.

What is the best way to set up a dual boot environment? If I'm correct I can set up a program such as VMWare or Parallels within Linux to use Windows but since I don't have a fast laptop I will need dual boot.

Which should I install first, Windows or Mandriva? I only have the option of Windows Vista now but can get Windows 7 when it comes out.

If I am correct I will have GRUB menu at bootup asking me which to boot with but do I simply install Mandriva and then Windows or vice versa, Windows and then Mandriva. How would I go about partitioning the hard drive and setting it up for dual boot.

Thank you for your help. I'm a newbie to Linux so don't know much about this yet.
 
Old 09-12-2009, 03:14 AM   #2
mobinskariya
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easiest way is to install windows first and then linux(windows will detected automatically and added to your grub).. so for installing linux there must be atleast three partions one each for windows, linux and swap(since you dont have a fast machine).. format the linux partition as ext3(i prefer)..
 
Old 09-13-2009, 02:54 AM   #3
ernie
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I suggest four partitions, one for windows, one for linux system partition, one for Linux swap, and one for user space. By putting /home on a separate partition, when you install a newer release (at Mandrvia new releases come out twice per year), you can use install, not upgrade, and your user configurations and files will persist because the /home partition is not formatted as a default setting.

I use Window7 RC here for on line classes, but Mandria is my production OS.
/dev/sda1 Windows 7 RC (NTFS) 20GB (80% full)
/dev/sda2 Mandriva "/" (ext3) 20GB (30% full)
/dev/sda5 Linux (swap) 2GB
/dev/sda6 Mandriva /home (ext3) remaining space (varies between 50% and 75% full with usage)

I have purposefully over sized my Mandriva system ("/") partition. You could probably do well with a 10GB partition for the system files.

I have 2 GB of RAM, so I set up a 2GB swap partition, but the system never uses it. I simply like to play it safe and my drive is big enough that I do not miss it. You'd probably be fine with a 512 MB or a 1GB swap partition.

Finally, I give my user partition as much space as possible, so my /home partition occupies the remaining space on the drive.

HTH,
 
Old 09-15-2009, 12:20 AM   #4
markw10
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Thank you for the additional advice. I know everywhere I read the preferred route is install windows first, linux second which I can do. The problem is what if something happens to my Windows partition. Would I have to set up Windows again and later Linux again or would it not make a difference and I would just reinstall Windows in the Windows partition?
Also, I want to at some point start backing up my laptop. I hope to get something like a 500GB USB External Drive to backup up to and want to do something like a mirrored backup so in a worse case I could boot up from that in a crash or even reinstall to a new internal drive.
Since I have two OS's how would I do that? Could I do a complete backup from the linux side or windows side or would I have to do each individually?
 
Old 09-15-2009, 12:55 AM   #5
ernie
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As for the first part, if you have to re-install Windows, after doing the re-install, boot from your Mandriva boot disk, at the boot: prompt, enter 'rescue' (no quotes) and press the ENTER key. This will boot to a rescue system. In the menu, select the 'reinstall boot loader' item. Follow the prompts. When you reboot, you should have your boot menu as before.

For the second item, I suggest you create an image of each partition and store the image files on several DVD's. I use the System Rescue CD (well, DVD here) for most of my system recovery operations. On the disk is a utility called Partimage. You can use it to generate an image of each partition which you should burn to a disk. Then if you have trouble and need to restore your system, you can use the System Rescue Disk to restore the images of each partition. This is much like a system restore tool, but you get to set up your system first. Then as often as you think you need to do so, perform an incremental back up. On the Linux partitions, just back up your user space (the /home partition). If you add new software, create a new image of the system partition. THis is essentially what I do here, and it works well for me. I have used my images to recover once in over ten years, but on that one occasion, having the images and the incremental back up set was priceless! I had a head crash, and went out and got a new drive that day. In less than six hours, I was back where I had been with only the current days worth of work lost because I had not run the backup utility prior to the head crash - it happened while I was working . . .
 
Old 09-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #6
markw10
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That helped a lot. I like how with Linux you can create a /home partition like that. If I'm correct that partition would include all of my data files (pictures, music, docs, etc) and also the settings for programs such as email settings for Thunderbird, etc. Is that correct?
 
Old 09-16-2009, 01:26 AM   #7
ernie
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Yes it is. Any application you use will create a hidden directory in your user accounts home directory, and keep its configuration there. A hidden file is any file whose first character is a dot (.). You can configure Dolphin (and Konqueror) to display these files in the view menu. Check mark the show all files item.

For this reason, I recommend using a separate /home partition. Also, IIRC, this is a default behavior for the Mandriva installer.

HTH,
 
  


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