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I tried to search a comprehensive how-to around and here in these forums, but I could not find something for me. I have 2 hard disks; on the first (master) ...
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  1. #1
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    How to install linux on a second hard disk


    I tried to search a comprehensive how-to around and here in these forums, but I could not find something for me.
    I have 2 hard disks; on the first (master) there's Windows XP; the second is a 240 Gb Maxtor with a single NTFS partition, which i've been using as a "repository" of files, music, etc.
    I'd like to install linux on this second hd, so that to have a dual boot (in case of success, my wife would keep on using windows, while I finally would use linux only). The secondary question is: do i have to make a little ntfs on this second hd to allow files exchange between Xp and linux (i think linux can't write on ntfs?)
    Thanks a lot in advance

    ps: I find this thread here, but this dude has already installed linux

  2. #2
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    Most linux distributions should allow you to choose which partitions/drives etc you want to use for your installation, the exact procedure depends on which distribution you are using. With most distributions you should just need to boot from your install cd and follow the instructions. If the ntfs partition on the second hard drive takes up the whole drive then you will need to backup these files and delete the partition first, or use some windows based partition manager to resize it. I don't think resizing ntfs partitions can be done in Linux.

    Some distributions will also search for currently installed OS's and automatically add them to the boot menu, if windows doesn't automatically appear in the menu then you will need to follow the instructions at the thread you've linked to.

    Linux systems cannot write to ntfs by default although you can install ntfs write support if you need it, on ubuntu you install a package called ntfs-3g and then manually reconfigure your filesystem config (/etc/fstab) to use type ntfs-3g instead of type ntfs. I'm not sure why this is not installed by default, possibly it is still not 100% stable. I generally use fat32 partitions when I want to share data between linux and windows, this is the older (ms-dos/win9 file format and is definitely stable in linux.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your help, I finally did it and installed ubuntu

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