Dual Booting Windows with Linux (Rusty)

mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
I currently have a computer with windows xp on it and i would like to have linux fedora on it as well for a dual boot setup. I know you can have 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition. I have partition magic/boot magic installed on the machine currently. I have 2 hard drives one with the XP (c) and the other as backup (d). Now. My question is what are my options with the best install method. I have 2 ideas though.
1. Repartition drive c
2. Or Install linux right on drive D

If i would repartition drive c would i create another primary partition or logical partition for linux? If i repartitioned the drive in partion magic as a primary or logical drive would the computer still boot? I know you can only have 1 active partition at a time.
Right now i just want to partition the drive not necessarly install linux just yet.
Or my other option is to just install the linux on my secondary d drive. Which i know would work out pretty easily.
THere are so many options i have with partition magic Im just confused..... I assume i only use partition magic if i have one hard drive and want to repartition the drive to install 2 OS's right? Just havent done this in a long time and want to double check ..thanks


  • mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
    Im still researching but any ideas?
  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    Its been so long since I have done this, but if memory serves me correctly here are some thoughts.

    Linux uses different partitions, swap, root, etc, so the concept of active partitions is a moot point since linux wont be using fat or ntfs parition. This may very by distro, but every one I played with didnt use any of the fat family even for an option.

    You would want to have windows installed first and leave empty space. Then just create your linux partitions on the empty space during the insall process that you didnt let windows have. This should make the GRUB loader (again varies by distro im sure) the boot loader over boot.ini on the win partitions, and that will give you your choice of OS screen.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

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  • jaeusmjaeusm Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm currently running a dual boot system with XP and Mepis Linux on a Dell laptop. To install Mepis on the computer:
    I booted into it from the cd, used QTParted (included in the distro) to resize the Windows partition, created a new primary partition in the empty space, and formatted the new partition with the ext3 filesystem -- all with QTParted. I then installed the OS. This took about 30 - 45 minutes. Afterward, I installed fluxbox and removed KDE. After that, I spent a week further customizing the system.

    Of course, before you do this, you'll want to defrag your hard drive from within Windows.
  • mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
    What i want to do is resize my current partion. I have xp on the system...should i resize it with partition magic or wait to resize it with the fedora utilites during the install. If i did resize it with paritition magic what would i do. I cannot make it a primary because only 1 partition would be active at one time and i already obviously have a primary partion now. Could someone explain a little about resizing partions and stuff. thanks
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    I can't give you a definit answer to your question about the partition you should create (I think it doesn't matter and you don't need to create a second primary, but instead create some empty unformatted space), but I was just curious, why you are not going for option 2. installing it on the second disk? It will still mess up your Windows startup files and install a linux boot menu on the primary disk. Unless you swap the boot order of the disks in the bios before starting. I prefer using hd brackets in cases like this (linux+windows), about 10 bucks each and you got swapable drives, very convenient. Another very viable option is using Virtual PC or VMWare.

    Edit: forgot to mention our Linux+ TechNotes related to partitions etc:
  • mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
    Im so confused...I have to spend a few hours researching this one....Thanks for the tips/advice/help everyone.
  • keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    On the laptop I use primarily for pen-testing, I have Windows XP Pro. I'm running Redhat 9 via Virtual PC 2004. This works like a charm as I often go back and forth between the hundreds of linux pentesting tools and windows apps like solarwinds, sam spade, etc. Sometimes via commuting I can practice by using my linux (running on the Virtual PC) to attack my xp installation.

    Are you trying to have a similar setup? The upside to virtual pc or vmware is you can actually be running two operating systems at the same time. The only partitioning I did was partition about 6 gigabytes of my HD formatted with FAT, not NTFS (this is to allow sharing of files and space between the linux installation and windows. Redhat 9 will not read or write to NTFS partitions.
  • AlienAlien Member Posts: 398
    When installing a multiboot system consisting of Windows and Linux or any other OS, i format the primary partition in FAT 32 and install the Windows then i create other partitions for the other OS. This helps to solves file system compatibility issues. In case you require NTFS security, it would not hurt to have a second Windows in NTFS and then your Linux in the third partition(I prefer to install Linux last).
    Another important thing to remember is configuring the Linux to boot from another OS during setup. I've known Linux to swallow the primary OS if you miss this stage.
    Hard times on planet earth.
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