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I was planning on installing Kubuntu on my computer, which currently has XP. I have a hard drive in my old computer which also has XP installed on it. I ...
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    Dual-Bootiong and Formatting and old HDD With Kubuntu


    I was planning on installing Kubuntu on my computer, which currently has XP. I have a hard drive in my old computer which also has XP installed on it. I want to move that to my new computer, format, partition, and install Kubuntu on that, without touching my C:\ drive with XP on it.

    My question is how much of this is automated with the Kubuntu installer? Will I need to format it myself before I install it, or can I leave XP on it and have the installer automatically format it? I also read that Linux needs more than 1 partition, so I'm assuming it will do that automatically.

    So if I want to format a hard drive with Windows on it, and install Kubuntu, how much do I have to do before I can start installing?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums !

    You should be able to select use whole drive and overwrite windows if you want to. I suggest that you delete the windows partition on the hard disk before you swap it to the other machine, that way you are unlikely to get the disks mixed up when selecting them during the installation.
    You should be able to use the fdisk command to remove the partition, alternatively you could use the PartedMagic CD which gives you a GUI for disk partitioning.

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    I wanted to delete Windows, but I figured I would have to do it through BIOS, since I don't want to boot my new computer with the old HDD in, since Windows has terrible security and it probably has a few viruses on it. So how exactly do I use fdisk. Do I need to boot into BIOS, or is it something on the Kubuntu CD?

    I could check out the PartedMagic CD. That is probably the easiest way to do it. I know how to use DOS and Command Prompt, so I could try with the fdisk command first.

    If no one else used the computer I would just do away with Windows altogether, and it would probably be much easier.

    Also, I read that there are "fake" ways to dual-boot and "real" ways to dual-boot. What are the advantages of the "real" way over the "fake" way?

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I think you should be able to run windows fdisk ... you could do the Linux install on the old machine and let it wipe windows off the disk. Your only problem will be getting the dual boot to work without doing another install after fitting the hard disk in the new machine.
    I guess you mean by fake some sort of virtual machine setup ... A real dual boot is when both Windows and Linux operating systems are installed on a machine. A bootloader (usually GRUB) is used to allow booting of either the Linux or Windows operating system. Once you select the operating system it boots as if it were the only operating system present eg a full version of Windows is used with no additional overhead associated with a virtual machine or a full version of Linux is used.
    I have not used virtual machines ... I use the real dual boot method. I'm sure others will be able to provide more background information on virtual machines.

    Edit: I'd probably do the Linux install on the old machine and then fit the hard drive in the new machine after. Sorting out the boot loader shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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    Yeah maybe the fake dual-boot was the virtual machine. I don't even remember where I read about fake and real dual-booting. I obviously want to have both fully installed, and an option to select one at start-up. Is GRUB easy to set up, and if so is there a tutorial? Or is there a way Kubuntu sets up the dual-boot? I remember reading somewhere that you need to make a boot floppy in a tutorial to dual-boot Linux and XP, but I don't have a floppy drive. If I do need one could I just use my flash drive as boot disk?

    So if I do install Kubuntu with the old computer, then put it in my new one, I'm guessing that it would boot into XP. I would probably need to change the boot drive in BIOS right?

    So what do you recommend? I've never set up a dual-boot before, and the old hard drive already has Windows on it. Would it be easier to install Kubuntu before putting it in the new computer or after. Also, can a virus spread to the C:\ drive even if I don't boot into Windows?


    EDIT: I found a link that talks about Kubuntu installing GRUB here. If that is true, then I should be good to get Kubuntu installed.

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I'd do the Kubuntu install on the old PC, Grub should be installed as part of that process. You can find the grub manual on the net - here. There is also a tutorial referred to in this thread.

    Linux tends not to be affected by virus to anything like the same extent as Windows.
    Last edited by Jonathan183; 02-05-2008 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Add thread link

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    The fact that Linux is almost immune to viruses is one of the main reasons I'm getting it. What I was asking is if a virus can spread from the old hard drive to my current version of XP even if I don't boot into XP.

    So GRUB will install on the old hard drive, then I can put it in my new computer, and when I turn it on I'll have a boot menu? And do I need to edit a file and add XP?

    Also, how is the install time for Kubuntu, because my old computer is terrible and does everything very slow (I would say it's at least 6+ years old). I just thought it would be easier to install on my new computer, but I'll trust people who know what they're doing.

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Ok - you will be replacing the boot loader, erasing the existing partition information, creating new partitions and formatting the new partitions with a non-windows format. I would have thought its pretty unlikely that a virus would predict & survive this sequence .... if your really concerned about this you could download the ultimate boot cd and use one of the disk wipe utilities.

    If you want to use the new PC to do the install thats fine ... but if I were you I'd disconnect the existing hard drive while your doing drive wipe & format parts of the install.

    When you have both drives installed you will get either ...
    Windows boot because this is the master & boot occurs from this disk, grub menu (which looks as it did when you installed), or no boot because you have two drives which think they are both masters. You may need to play with jumper & cable setting until you get one of the operating systems to boot.

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if Kubuntu installer will install Grub correctly to allow dual boot if you run through the installation again ... it should.

    The alternative is to add the relevant lines to the Grub config file. If you open a terminal run the command
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    and post the output together with output of
    Code:
    cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
    them we should be able to work out the additional lines.

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