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I just bought a Sony Vaio laptop that I would like to make dual boot. It currently has Windows Vista on it. The problem is this: I do not have ...
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  1. #1
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    Dual Booting with Recovery Partition


    I just bought a Sony Vaio laptop that I would like to make dual boot. It currently has Windows Vista on it. The problem is this: I do not have recovery media for it as the drive has a "recovery partition" that you access by pressing F8 or F10 during boot. From there I can restore Vista to its original state in case of a emergency. I'd like to still have that available after my dual-boot.

    I understand that I can just leave the partition alone, resize the big Vista partition, and everything should be great. My concern is that when we overwrite the MBR it may overwrite whatever thing Sony has on there that lets me access the recovery partition by pressing F8 or F10.

    I've read the posts in this thread, but they do not address my concern: http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/ins...partition.html

    As long as I'm writing this I also have 2 more smaller questions:
    1. Is there a way to copy the recovery partition to CD/DVD that I can boot from if the partition or HD gets messed up?

    2. Does anybody know what the best way to triple-boot between Vista, XP, and Ubuntu is? Can I use Vista's bootloader for Ubuntu?

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
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    My concern is that when we overwrite the MBR it may overwrite whatever thing Sony has on there that lets me access the recovery partition by pressing F8 or F10.
    I've wondered about this myself. My guess is that putting a new bootloader
    into the MBR would indeed render the recovery partition inaccessible.
    If the Linux installer recognizes the recovery partition, it may set up
    the bootloader with the recovery as one boot option. The recovery partition
    is simply an MSDOS bootable system that launches the recovery program.

    If the installer doesn't recognize it as an operating system, it may be
    because of the partition ID. It is marked as a hidden partition. If you
    used partitioning software to change the partition ID to FAT32, it
    would become visible, but would also be visible from within Windows.
    It is hidden so people won't screw with it and render it unusable.

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie ryptyde's Avatar
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    I have installed Fedora Core 6 and Fedora 7 to a Sony VAIO laptop and an Acer Aspire laptop both came with Vista preinstalled. Both computers had a provision to create backup /recovery discs, maybe yours does too.

    Well anyway I used Vistas disk management tool to shrink the NTFS partition and left the part that was going to house Linux as "unallocated freespace" and then during the install Fedora was installed to the "unallocated freespace" it was really quite simple and painless. When boot screen shows I can choose either Fedora or Vista. Have dual booted Fedora/Vista since FEB 07 without problems.

    I would check to see if you have the ability to make recovery discs though and if you do make sure they are bootable. I have no concerns of doing it again if I had to as the first 2 installs went well with no loss of data or screwing up the Vista partition.

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