Dual booting help

The place to post if you need help or advice

Moderators: ChrisThornett, LXF moderators

Dual booting help

Postby sidd » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:20 am

Hi,
i am a newbie to linux.... i have friends who have linux installed so on their advice i thought of giving it a try....
I planned to download FC3.... i have downloaded the ISO's and they are all OK....
I have one HD which has a SATA interface.. the total size of the HD is 80 GB..
i have 5 partitions on the HD out of which one is NTFS(win XP is installed) and one is the boot partition(FAT32, boot.ini file is here) and the rest are normal partitions with FAT32 file system...
I had loaded FC3 before but i accidentally loaded FC3 on the boot partition and so i could not boot from WinXP..... i tried reloading XP but it won't load so i had to delete FC3 and install an XP fresh copy.
Because my main partition and xp partition are different, i cannot load FC3 on either one of them but can i load it on other partitions and will linux automatically detect win xp?
Also can i do something so that the boot.ini files and win xp are on one single partition?

I would appreciate any kind of help from you guys...

Sidd
sidd
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:03 am

RE: Dual booting help

Postby sidd » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:01 am

am i gonna get a reply?
sidd
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:03 am

RE: Dual booting help

Postby towy71 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:12 am

Have you got backups of all the stuff you want to keep? If so blank the hard disk and install XP creating one partition at the beginning of the drive, then add whatever partitions you need for your data, leaving empty space for the linux install.
Install linux to the empty space creating three partitions:
/ 6GB
/swap double your RAM
/home 10GB
install the linux bootloader to the mbr

simple ;-)
still looking for that door into summer
User avatar
towy71
Moderator
 
Posts: 4264
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: wild West Wales

RE: Dual booting help

Postby sidd » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:18 am

wat if i don wanna reload XP? and can i change location of boot.ini file? if i can change the location of the boot.ini file then i was planning to load FC3 in that partition..
sidd
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:03 am

RE: Dual booting help

Postby towy71 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:40 am

for information on XP please look to an XP help forum
I have limited experience with XP but know that it is very picky about where it finds things especially the location of .ini files
sorry I can't be more helpful
Dick
still looking for that door into summer
User avatar
towy71
Moderator
 
Posts: 4264
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: wild West Wales

RE: Dual booting help

Postby jjmac » Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:11 pm

Howdy sidd

>>
i have 5 partitions on the HD out of which one is NTFS(win XP is installed) and one is the boot partition(FAT32, boot.ini file is here) and the rest are normal partitions with FAT32 file system...
>>

I would be inclined to let XP live were it wants to. I'm curious about this "boot partition" for XP though (grin)

Could you use your fdisk to post a layout of your existing partitioning scheme as no one can really tell just what your disk looks like. Other than just guessing ... which isn't the best of approaches.

You say 5 partitions, all formated for FAT and one for NTFS. I suppose there must be a couple of "logicals" there ???.

Basically you will need to free up some space for your Linux install. Probably in the "extended" partition somewhere. And install Linux there. During the install there __should__ be an option to make a boot floppy for your new Linux. It is highly desirable ... and you will save yourself so much time and bother, if you do that. Rather than letting the install overwright your MBR with a Linux boot scenario !!!.

You can then boot into Linux with the floppy, and from Linux, decide on a boot scheme that wont stuff up XP. If you allow the Linux installer to overwrite your MBR i will expect a post along the lines of ...

I just installed FC3 and now i can't get into XP ... why ? (grin).

My basic suggestion will go along the lines of ....

Drive devided into some primary partitions with a primary-extended containg the major part of your disk divided into logical partitions. One of the primaries will hold the NTFS for XP.

What the XP boot partition is all about ... first iv'e heard anyone mention that. Is it really necessary. Arn't all the boot files on the C:\ drive. With the XP partition set "active" in the master-table. The bios then goes to the first sectory of your XP partition and loads the first stage XP loader from there. Thats how i always though XP did its' stuff.

When you can boot into Linux with the floppy you will need to make a choice...

If you install a Linux loader (Lilo/Grub) to your MBR, which is the way the installer will suggest :roll:, you will need to be able to correctly add a reference for your XP to its' configuration file. Other wise it wont work ...

A post to here though should provide that info. It isn't hard, but it may be unfamiliar. And, before that is done, from Linux it would be a good idea to copy your whole MBR ... before it is interfered with, to a floppy. Linux has some good tools for doing that too.

In fact, if the bios can see your extended partition, installing the Linux loader there instead will keep your MBR intact. You will then just have to set the extended as "active" from Linux. A windows styled fdisk wont do it, but a Linux fdisk will. If XP has been correctly referenced, then it will be slectable for booting. If you should wish to go back to XP only ... all you need do is set the XP partition "active" and the bios will auto boot that instead. No need o uninstall Linux and you could reverse the whole thing by booting into Linux with the floppy, and resetting the "active" partition back to the extended. Plus you will have a backup of you intact MBR.

But thats all just possibles, if you post the partition table layout, and what you see as neede space etc, then a plan can be worked out.


So, welcome to Linux sidd :), the world of reinstalling to solve issues will become something of the past. :)


One thing about "installers" ... i haven't met one yet that i'd consider not at least half brain-dead (grin). And, as for defaults ... if an installer suggested to people that jumping of a cliff was a good idea ... would they :D

(that last bit was stollen from a knoppix.net post) (grin).

anyway, hope to see the table post. If not me, someone else will be able to suggest something based on it.

Good Luck.



jm
http://counter.li.org
#313537

The FVWM wm -=- www.fvwm.org -=-

Somebody stole my air guitar, It happened just the other day,
But it's ok, 'cause i've got a spare ...
jjmac
LXF regular
 
Posts: 1996
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Marrea » Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:35 pm

What the XP boot partition is all about ... first iv'e heard anyone mention that. Is it really necessary. Arn't all the boot files on the C:\ drive. With the XP partition set "active" in the master-table. The bios then goes to the first sectory of your XP partition and loads the first stage XP loader from there. Thats how i always though XP did its' stuff.


jjmac

I seem to remember reading somewhere recently that boot.ini and the WinXP operating system do not necessarily have to be on the same partition. As long as boot.ini has the correct information, it will find XP on another partition. Although I'm not sure what the advantages are of having them on separate partitions.

Surely a default install would put both of them on the C drive unless you specifically directed the installer to put XP somewhere else. Was there a reason for doing this, sidd?
User avatar
Marrea
LXF regular
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chilterns, West Hertfordshire

Postby 1slipperyfish » Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:54 pm

i used pclinuxos to create my liux partitions and left xp where it was,but you can also use the distro (well you could with mandriva)if you can't make partitons when you install fd3 i would use pclinux or another live distro to make them first
paul
i am a follower of the culture

Image
User avatar
1slipperyfish
Forum Jester
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 2:52 pm
Location: wigan

Postby sidd » Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:46 pm

there is no reason for putting the boot.ini file and win xp on separate partions Marrea.... it happened by accident.... and jjmac, your post was really informative as i am new to the linux scenario....
one thing i'd like to know is that when i try to create a partition out of the extended partition with Partition Magic 8, then it won't do so... can i use pclinux in Windows to make a linux partition?
Also i'm planning to buy a new HD(atleast 2 mths from now!) so i guess i'll br transferring linux onto that...
And one thing i'd like to point out about this forum is that everyone is very helpful and co-operative, i never expected so much detailed replies!

Well, thx for them

Sidd
sidd
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:03 am

Postby 1slipperyfish » Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:44 pm

can i use pclinux in Windows to make a linux partition?

that's what i did although i dare say that other live distros also do this?
i now have linux on a separate hdd and find it much easier and less risky,no more "no, i didn't delete it we must have a virus" :D
when i installed mandriva you could do the partitioning when installing but be careful make sure you do a back up(although i didn't)
paul
i am a follower of the culture

Image
User avatar
1slipperyfish
Forum Jester
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 2:52 pm
Location: wigan

Postby jjmac » Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:49 am

Marrea
>>
I seem to remember reading somewhere recently that boot.ini and the WinXP operating system do not necessarily have to be on the same partition. As long as boot.ini has the correct information, it will find XP on another partition. Although I'm not sure what the advantages are of having them on separate partitions.
>>

The advantage would be if the bios was cylinder limited, and the install was further into the disk than what the bios could see. All the bios bootstrapper would have to do would be find the initial XP 1st stage, then everything would be handled by it from there, using logical sector mappings. In a way, similar to using a separate boot partition for Linux, and installing Lilo/Grub on its' first sector. I would expect that MS would be considering a dual boot scenario with an other MS flavour there. But ... as the other flavour would likely not have that facility ... it would have to steal the space to do it. Nice of them to actually provide the flexibility, but also a little strange for MS to do so (really strange) (grin).



Paul,
>>
I used pclinuxos to create my liux partitions and left xp where it was,but you can also use the distro (well you could with mandriva)if you can't make partitons when you install fd3 i would use pclinux or another live distro to make them first
>>

Thats just what i was going to suggest :)



sidd
>>
one thing i'd like to know is that when i try to create a partition out of the extended partition with Partition Magic 8, then it won't do so...
>>

If your going to use tools like PM, try not to jump around using like tools if problems (scrambles) occur. Iv'e noticed that when people do that, they inevitably end up just digging them selves a bigger hole. I don't no scrap about those tools personally though, so i can't really give much info on any of their quirks, or hidden benefits. I do know that Windows generally isn't very keen on providing to much formatting flexibility with the extended-partition (grin). My OSR2 fdisk just blurts out, at the speed of light, "can't set an extended partition active" then exits, when ever iv'e tried to use it for that.

Yes, the LiveCD is a good idea, as Paul suggested. You really want a back-up of your existing MBR on a floppy first though. Then, you can use that to restore from if some error occurs. It will also allow you to boot into your existing XP as well. So, i would do that first, bring up a window manager, and have a sniff around its' menus to see what kind of copy tools/boot disk type tools it has. As a ... we might as well try and do it safely first ... type of thing, if that proves to drawn out. Then we can just use "dd" and kill it with one shot (grin).

In the LiveCD boot ... you should have access to a couple of very good boot-sector/partitioning tools.

fdisk and cfdisk.

could you post the output of ...

]# cfdisk -Pt /dev/hda

It will look something like,

Code: Select all
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[root:21:30]# cfdisk -Pt /dev/hdb
Partition Table for /dev/hdb

             ---Starting---      ----Ending----      Start       Number of
 # Flags Head Sect Cyl   ID  Head Sect Cyl     Sector    Sectors
-- ----- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----------- -----------
 1  0x80       1     1      0  0x83  254   63      8              63         144522
 2  0x00       0     1      9  0x82  254   63     60      144585        835380
 3  0x00       0     1    61  0x05  254   63 1023      979965    59071005
 4  0x00       0     0      0  0x00     0     0      0             0           0
 5  0x00       1     1    61  0x83  254   63   589          63     8498322
 6  0x00       1     1  590  0x83  254   63 1023          63     8498322
 7  0x00   254   63 1023 0x83  254   63 1023          63     8498322
 8  0x00   254   63 1023 0x83  254   63 1023          63     8498322
 9  0x00   254   63 1023 0x83  254   63 1023          63     8498322
10  0x00  254   63 1023 0x83  254   63 1023          63     8498322
11  0x00  254   63 1023 0x83  254   63 1023          63     8080632
[root:21:51]#
-------------------------------------------------------------------


Just to get an idea on what things look like.

>>
can i use pclinux in Windows to make a linux partition?
>>

If thats a Linux LiveCD, then you just boot it from your cdrom drive, you don't go into windows. You will have to key "del" (usually, could be different for you) to get into your bios setup screens at boot time. Navigate through the screens until you find the page that lists the boot sequence, then change it so that the cdrom is first on the list. The same is true for a floppy boot.

Once that comes up, it may be slow, depending on how much ram you have and your processor, but basically, you will have an OS environment running completlt from a ram image, in conjunction with your cdrom :) :). You can mount partitions etc, and function as though it was a normal OS installed. It will pay to read over the docs on the cd first though, as you may need to supply various command line switches at boot to suite your particular hw setup. fiddly at first i guess, but the LiveCD has managed to turn into a complete gem of a recovery tool :).

]# cfdisk /dev/hda

Will give a very straight forward access to your existing partitions, and both the Linux fdisk and cfdisk will set the extended active.

The only thing they wont do is resize, or image.

Thats why the table dump would be handy, to see what space you do have, and how it's arranged.

There is a tool called "fips.exe" that goes on a windows start-up floppy, that will resize down fat partitions. Which should be on all Linux installation disks.

as far as imaging tools, and things like PM, other people will be much more suited to comment there. Hopefully someone will.

If you decide to mount your XP when the LiveCD is running, don't try writting to your NTFS partition. Write support is very scratchy in Linux on account of MS not being prepared to releas the specs on that filesystem fully.


post the dump )



jm
jjmac
LXF regular
 
Posts: 1996
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby towy71 » Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:55 pm

There is also the UltimateBootDisk to do a lot of work for you, including making and resizing windows partitions. It will also allow you to make linux partitions, the advantage is that it isn't a full distro but just various small images that provide useful tools. I have to say for those using secondhand and gash computers it is very handy.

Oh and the reason that the boot.ini can be on a different partition is so that you could run Win95/98 and WinNT on the same computer for the gamers safely because Win95/98 could not read NTFS so, in theory, your NT data was safer. :roll:

HTH
Dick
still looking for that door into summer
User avatar
towy71
Moderator
 
Posts: 4264
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: wild West Wales

Postby jjmac » Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:50 pm

>>
Oh and the reason that the boot.ini can be on a different partition is so that you could run Win95/98 and WinNT on the same computer for the gamers safely because Win95/98 could not read NTFS so, in theory, your NT data was safer.
>>

You mean not a geometry/addressing reason ? ... How would putting boot.ini off the NTFS root make it safe from an attempted read from 95/98. Why would they try that anyway. ?


jm
http://counter.li.org
#313537

The FVWM wm -=- www.fvwm.org -=-

Somebody stole my air guitar, It happened just the other day,
But it's ok, 'cause i've got a spare ...
jjmac
LXF regular
 
Posts: 1996
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia


Return to Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests