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une 08-28-2006 06:10 AM

Dual boot tutorial sought
I am about to buy a Dell Inspiron 6400 notebook that will come with Win XP installed. I want a Win/Linux dual OS machine. I have heard that Ubuntu is a good Linux distro for notebooks.
Can anyone point me to (or provide) a step by step tutorial of how to install Ubuntu onto a machine with WinXP already on it?
On my desktop I found it easier to obtain dual OS functionality by having each OS on its own hard drive, as I had problems with Win XP meddling with the Linux boot partition without my knowledge when both OS were on the same hard drive. Any help appreciated.

odcheck 08-28-2006 06:21 AM

The easiest way if you don't want to re-install windows would be using a third Party tool like partiton magic in order to shrink your Windows Partition.
Example if (I know Dell ships always their systems with a single partition...)
HDD size 100GB then reduce it using Partition Magic to lets say 60GB.
Let the rest be unpartitioned without any filesystem on it.
Then just boot with the Ubuntu CD and follow the steps.
Ubuntu Setup will recognize that their is windows installed on the 1st part of the HDD and asks you if it should use the rest and if it should load windows on next boot after the install is completed using GRUB Bootmanager where you'll have the choise between other (win) and Linux. The other way is backup your files from winxp. Boot with WinXP delete all old partitons make a new one that has got the size you will offer winxp and let the rest unused! Finish XP install.... and then boot with ubuntu ... same process as above. THAT's it? I am happy to see the replies of all those other LQ Members

PS: before you choose a Linux Distri like Ubuntu check and tuxmobile there are install how tos listed of nearly every NB. Take the Distri that has a got How To to your System. By the way I am using a Latitude C400, D410, and a Latitude D620 all those systems work GREAT using FEDORA CORE 5!!!

druuna 08-28-2006 06:24 AM


And from the official Ubunta site: Dual Boot

PS: Google could have given you loads of links.
PPSS: Don't crosspost (yes I know the other one is about mandriva...., but still.)

Hope this helps.

une 08-28-2006 06:44 AM

Thanks. I will investigate your suggestions and I will be wary of cross posting in the future. I just assumed Ubuntu people would read Ubuntu posts only and Mandriva people Mandriva posts only. This is apparently not true. Your point is taken.
I only thought of Ubuntu because somewhere it got into my head that it works well on notebooks. Perhaps other distros have a better reputation for the application I am proposing? You can probably tell I have only enough Linux knowledge to be dangerous, so this must be taken into account when I choose a distro. I use Mandrake 10 on my desktop.

druuna 08-28-2006 08:30 AM


'All' distro's work on a laptop, but I must admit that some perform better then others (out of the box, that is) and some are harder to maintain.

If you have experience with Mandrake, try Mandrake first. You already know where to find certain things and don't loose any time learning about the new look and feel of Ubuntu (to name just one).

If you are looking for a new, easy to use, distro: Ubuntu and Gentoo come to mind.

About crossposting: I did hope your intentions where good, but too many people crosspost without thinking. Maybe you should have posted this in 'Linux - Laptop and Handheld' to reach a bigger audience, but that's water under the bridge ;)

digital8doug 08-28-2006 12:38 PM

Please make a new DUAL booting sub-forum in LINUX sw
As a fairly new user I can attest it is possible to search w/ da Big G or other search engines for GOOD information on how to dual boot, but there is too much junk or outdated information that wastes time for a novice. If one can not find a good answer in top ten, frustration sets in, user gives up, or worse cross posts in an incorrect place. Computers were built by people to operate logically, but the user's public education probably did not teach logic. Should we encourage more to build ther own DT, or LT from barebones, and really learn something, fix own stuff

I have been investigating how tos for ~2 months, getting info, considering distros. Finally found this forum, which seems to be the best for researching other peoples problems that might apply to me. But where should the question be posted / which forum should I search?
Linux people might think it is simple, which it actually is w/ a bit of GOOD info, but newbies being weaned from WINdows may have to be spoon fed a bit. From an education standpoint there are many different learning methods, some work better for one person than another, some need more information.

Jeremy root, Moderators & Senior members, I think a new sub forum like the recent split btwn server & desktop would help. Or even Linux-Dual Booting (??)
An entry right at the beginning of Linux- Software that new users can see and focus in on before the frustration settles in. Short explanation of the basics w/ links to recommendations. Common problems seen, mistakes made on Initial installs. As new releases come out, initial findings & conflicts, how to resolve if possible when Dual booting.

1. DUAL BOOT Win XP crap w/ any Linux, what can be shared, what must be separate (Most everything) & why (incompatible File systems).
2. HOW TO dual boot various Linux distros, what can be shared, what must be separate & why. How to share swap, considerations when sharing /home.

Once a novice figures out / understands basics behind DUAL (or multiple booting) AND has all the OS operating/booting OK, then posts could/should/would shift to the respective Distro forum, or in this case to the LT area.
Or have sticky at the top of each distro area that does link to Dual Boot somewhere.

I would hope that this could help out new users, decrease the number of largely repetitive postings, as there are many that rehash Newbie Qs & problems w/o any logical progression in knowledge level. The large # of posts makes it hard to search for information actually relevant to an individual's situation or question being asked. [Then we shoot newbies for cross posts, instead of only chastizing them, since if we shot all the stupid people there would not be as many of them, less likely to spawn/reproduce!] Chastisements (or flames) are probably more appropriate as an email to the offender, not as posts:tisk:

Another thing big help is if the Subject line more accurately reflected topic (NOT `A few questions', or `Having problems w/ xxxx', Need help, Will I be able to..).
Unable to load ...., Error ......, Fedora core 5 on Abit AN8 A nice percentage already accomplish this, but few.
Updating by the repliers to specific part of discussion/help offered. When the Subj line more accurately reflects the overview of topic, it is much easier to filter out irrelevant info.
Newbie (& old) encouraged to list Hardware & OS info in their signature, really helps when reading to determine if applicable to MY situation.
{I should probably be shot as this is in the wrong place for this post [not in Suggestions] as i drifted off une Q topic, but newbies may find it sooner}

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