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Old 08-02-2010, 01:47 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Tempe, AZ
Distribution: Slackware
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Windows 7 / Slackware Dual boot

I know there are a ridiculous number of guides about this topic, please forgive my laziness. I simply don't have the time or MS Windows expertise to filter out the crap from the gold.

I'm bound to use Windows 7 for work. I tried to like Windows, I really did, and at first I enjoyed learning a new system. Nonetheless, I find it to be absolutely crippling for anything I'd like to do beyond logging into my corporate website.

So now I've rambled on about a very simple question. I'm looking for a concise and coherent guide to installing Slackware alongside an existing Windows 7 installation. I'm hoping there is a canonical way to shrink the Windows partition, install Linux, and setup a bootloader.

Has anyone found a robust, stable, and efficient set of instructions for installing Linux alongside an existing Windows 7 installation?
Old 08-02-2010, 02:13 AM   #2
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Have a look at this link. It's for dual booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu but the principal is the same.
Dual boot Win7 and Ubuntu.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,

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Old 08-02-2010, 02:13 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
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If I can correctly presume that you are an experienced Linux user, I can provide you a concise guide . . . It may seem strange . . .

1) Download and burn the Ubuntu 10.04 install CD.

2) Download and burn (or buy) the Slackware 13.1 install DVD.

3) Back-up anything on the Windows system that you just can't live without.

4) Boot with the Ubuntu CD, and run as a Live CD (I think you select "Run from CD" at the prompt.)

5) Once the Live Ubuntu system loads up, open a terminal and do a 'sudo gparted'

6) Use gparted to re-size your Windows 7 partition as small as you like.

7) Shut down.

8) Boot the Slackware install DVD.

9) Use cfdisk to define swap and Linux native partitions behind the Windows partition.

10) Install Slackware as normal.

11) During the LILO configuration after the installation of the packages, be sure to include the Windows partition.

12) Enjoy the dual-boot Slackware/Windows 7 system.

I know that it may seem odd to recommend burning and using an Ubuntu install CD . . . especially as a Slackware guy talking to another one.

However, the Ubuntu 10 CD is a pretty nice Live CD to have around, and the Slackware DVD doesn't provide gparted. I discovered the handiness of the Ubuntu CD when putzing around with the new release. It's also nice to have around when you're at a friend or relative's house and they start complaining about their computer . . . "My computer's getting slow. I hate getting viruses. I can't stand these error messages." You just pull out the Ubuntu CD and say, "I can fix it in thirty minutes or so . . ."
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:15 AM   #4
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What's wrong with gpartd?

A couple of other folks came in before I clicked [Submit].

But it sounds like the consensus is "gparted"

I just read EricTRA's link. In addition to GParted, they also recommend going into Windows 7 Disk Manager and shrinking the partition in Windows, first. Good advice!

Last edited by paulsm4; 08-02-2010 at 02:18 AM.
Old 08-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #5
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Things that may byte you in the hiney (been there, did that, didn't like it too much).

Winders seems to like to be installed first (it overwrites the MBR). And, Win 7 sucks up three primary partitions, so you can only have one primary partition (plus whatever number of logical partitions you want) for Slackware. When you're installing Win 7, you can decide what size you want (I made it 20G on a 250G drive) or, if you're redoing an existing Win 7 installation (like the one from the factory), you can use the Win 7 disk manager and shrink it down to 20G or whatever).

Those Win 7 partitions are a 1.05M "unusable," a 104.86M one for... hell, I don't know and don't much care but it just has to be there (it's Win 7, I only use it when I absolutely have to, and I really don't want to know much of anything about it), and the one for whatever you decide to use (the 20G that I chose). Once you get that part done (and wait for all the security fixes to download and install), you can install Slackware.

The root partition really wants to be /dev/sda3 (the first Win 7 one has no number, the second is sda1 and the third is sda2). I create logical partitions for /opt, /usr/local, /var/lib/mysql, /var/lib/virtual (I have XP, also only for absolutely when needed) in VirtualBox), /home and a /spares that I use for whatever. I do this so that, when a new release of Slackware comes along, I can do a "clean" installation without disturbing anything (just don't format the partition when you're adding entries for fstab during setup). YMMV.

At the end of the installation, write to the MBR and viola you're in business.

Now the one funky thing that, on my box, has to be this way: /dev/sda3 has to be bootable; i.e., the Linux root partition has to have the bootable flag set in cfdisk. Don't know why but it does not work unless that flag is on.

The above works just fine (well, as "fine" as anything Microjunk makes will ever work) and has been through two iterations of Slackware (13.0 and 13.1) with zero problems.

Hope this helps some.
Old 08-03-2010, 12:22 AM   #6
Registered: May 2006
Location: Canada
Distribution: Slackware 13 and fedora 15
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I've had no problem installing Slackware onto a computer with Windows7. The nice thing about Windows7 (and Vista) is that you can make a new partition without reformatting the whole drive and you don't even need Partition Magic or whatever to do it. All you have to do is go to Computer Management in the control panel and select the hard disk, right click and select Shrink Partition. Run Linux Setup and select the second partion for installing it on (probably /dev/hda5). After installing Linux, select to have Linux boot from that partition. Download a BCDEditor like EasyBCD. Using the BCDEditor, add the path to Linux and you should be good to go once you save your BCD file.

If you don't want to mess with the BCD file, then you can opt for installing LILO or GRUB instead.
Old 08-03-2010, 01:01 AM   #7
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well dual boot with windows and slackware is just a shrinking of the windows partition you can choose any of partition for windows instalation but for avoiding the error make it simple first
1.install windows and make sevral other prtition as you like to store the data or whatever
2.for a sinario i take my lappy i make three partition
a.localdrive c:
b.localdrive d:
c.localdrive e: install the win7 in c: and then
4.after that run any live CD of linux as you like for me it is bt4 click for instalation and then choose the resize option (dont worry it dosnt mean that you have to make it by giving it lable and mounting etc)
just use the gui facility in the instalation setup and resize the windows partition
6.and then start installing linux for this sinario bt4

well resizing meanes you have to shrink the win7 partition and make three partition from the remaning free space(root,home,and swap note swap must be half of you physical mamory "ram")
for root ext3 format
for home same
for swap ????? swap
thnk you
Old 08-04-2010, 02:02 AM   #8
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Tempe, AZ
Distribution: Slackware
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Thank-you for all the feedback. I'll give this a try over the weekend and report the results here. It sounds like things have come quite far, as this is sounding much easier than I anticipated. Thank-you tronayne for pointing out some sticking points. Such sticking points are the primary reason for my questions.

Windows was great for the two minutes that I wanted to tweak UI settings without editing a config file, but it's excessively crippling at this point. Perhaps this stems my ignorance of the system, but I'll just go ahead and blame it on Redmond.

I'll be relieved to have Slackware back.

Thanks again.

Old 09-07-2010, 01:06 AM   #9
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 73

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I use EasyBCD from Neo Smart Technologies
Works like a charm... Uses the windows 7 boot manager though so it is especially useful if you already have the windows 7 pre-installed in your PC.


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