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Old 07-27-2004, 09:48 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: arse-end of the world
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Tips on installing Linux on a seperate hard drive?

I'm about to install Slackware on to my computer. Currently, it is running WinXP on one hard drive. The other hard drive I haven't physically installed just yet, but I will do so shortly. It is on this latter hard drive that I plan to install Linux (I think I'm right in believing that it's a good idea to have WinXP and Linux on seperate hard drives). I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to follow the install instructions, but I was wondering if there was any extra instructions or tips that my situation (i.e. two OS's, each on their own hard drive) warrants. Or can I simply boot from the Slackware CDs, log in as root, and issue the "fdisk /dev/hdb" command (assuming that I'm going to use fdisk - I think I might use cfdisk instead - and that my new hard drive will be the primary slave), and then create partitions and follow the rest of the standard install instructions?

I just had a thought. Let's say I do the following:

1) I physically install the second hard drive.
2) I install Slackware on to this hard drive.

I assume now that on reboot I will get a choice of which OS to start up? Oh wait, this is the job of LILO isn't it? Would LILO have any problems with my setup? What happens when I start up WinXP the first time after I've done steps 1 and 2? Will WinXP go into a fit and trash the data on my Linux hard drive?
Old 07-27-2004, 10:07 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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I have a dual boot with win98 on one drive and slackware on another. To set that up I moved the already installed windows drive to the slave position and installed the new drive as the master. You can then install slackware very easily, and the installation program will recognise your windows drive and add it to /etc/fstab so that you can read if from linux.

It will also take care of setting up lilo so that you can choose which one to boot into.

Old 07-27-2004, 10:10 AM   #3
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Lilo is installed to MBR (Master Boot Record) of the first harddisk.

In general, I think you probably don't get into very big problems, because that is quite a common way to install a dualboot system nowadays.
Old 07-28-2004, 06:16 AM   #4
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If you have important stuf in your win install and don't know exactly how to restore MBR's and boot.ini files, then the safest thing, no matter how you move/place the HD's, at first install lilo to a FLOPPY. It's a reaal pain to boot this way, but if you have problems(common) with installing lilo or whatever, you may be unable to boot EITHER OS. if you put lilo on a floppy you'll take less chances. once you get up and tunning good, then turn your mind to the detail of installing lilo to MBR and let it boot windows. Or let windows ntldr boot lilo which you've put installed on the super-block of the linux partition. Also, stick to having your box boot into runlevel 3 (No GUI login), for similar dead-loop-avoidance reasons. And use reiserfs for best recoverability of file system after any crashes or foul-ups.


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