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Hello all, I am a complete newbie to Linux, and am just about to take that first step. I have absolutely no knowledge of Linux commands and the like. Currently, ...
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  1. #1
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    Newbie installation help (Win XP + Red Hat 9)


    Hello all,

    I am a complete newbie to Linux, and am just about to take that first step. I have absolutely no knowledge of Linux commands and the like. Currently, I have Windows XP installed in my first hard disk. I tried installing Red Hat Linux 9 to my second hard disk, but midway through the process, I felt it was safer to consult first before pushing through.

    The Red Hat installation is smooth, just up to the point where the installation asks me what kind of boot manager I would like to install (GRUB or LILO). I originally wanted to use LILO, because my 3rd party boot manager, Boot-US said so (so it could detect the Linux bootable partition), but apparently most people say otherwise. My concern is that Linux wants to write the boot manager into my first hard disk's mbr (the one with Windows XP). However, most of the dual-booting examples I've seen online are Linux + another flavor of Windows that does not use the NTFS file system, so I backed off. If I do pursue the installation, will the boot manager be able to detect, and properly boot Windows XP in hda?

    Second, I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could recommend which kinds of partitions I should set up in the second HD. Is it advisable to create more than the required /, /boot, and swap? (like RAID and the abbreviated Logical thingamajig?) I plan to use one partition on this Linux HD for Windows 98 just to get some abandonware stuff running, so I guess I've reached the 4 partition limit.

    Finally, this is somewhat embarrassing, but in my very short experience with an old PC that was able to get Red Hat 9 running, I could find no way to determine how much space my HD had left, nor could I locate or mount the HD. How do you find this information in Linux?

    Thanks in advance for all your help

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast
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    to save yourself some aggravation, don't use a boot loader, use a boot disk, just change the boot loader option to "do not use a bootloader" then make sure you create a boot disk.

    make sure you install any windows OS BEFORE you install linux. windows likes to take over stuff and it gets kinda messy sometimes if you do it the other way around.

    to see how much disk space you have left in linux, open your terminal (konsole in KDE) and type this:

    df -h

    that will display all of your partition information.

    In terms of what partitions to create, I would suggest just allowing red hat 9 do that for you this time around, just leave whatever space you want to use for red hat as 'unallocated' - you can do this with partition magic for example.

    A lot of this info is already on my guide, check it out - it's in my sig below.

    Welcome to linux and Red Hat. I have used several distros and still Red Hat remains my fave.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
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    Still, I would want to use a boot loader to not have to use a boot disk every time I would want to boot Linux.
    Now, I haven't even heard of the Boot-US program before, but I guess that it should have an option to load a third-party OS, a chainloader, unknown OS or something like that. In that case, you could still use GRUB, only that it might not detect it as a Linux partition, but that shouldn't make any great difference. Just remember not to install GRUB on the MBR, since it will overwrite Boot-US in that case. Install it on the boot partition instead.

    Why are you talking a four partition limit? That's only the primary partitions. You can create as many logical partitions as you want (but don't confuse it for the Logical Volume Manager, which is quite another thing).
    If you were building a production server environment, I would recommend you to create some partitions except /boot, root (/) and swap, but since this seems to be a home system, don't care about that.
    I don't think that you have to worry about RAID or LVM either. They are ways of combining different partitions in different ways (for example, using two hard drives to back up each other in case one would crash, or compining two partitions or hard drives to create a logical volume or similar tricks). Although LVM makes it easier to resize partitions afterwards, I don't think that is something that you're going to do anyway.

  4. #4
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    WinXP-Redhat 9.0 dual boot - hang at GRUB

    Hi Forum members,

    I am new to this forum and am facing this problem with dual-booting my XP - RedHat 9.0
    My PC has the following configuration -

    Compaq, Pentuim 3 450MHz with 384 MB RAM
    45 GB Western Digital Hard Drive on motherboard's Primary Master Running WinXP
    30 GB Western Digital Hard Drive on motherboard's Primary Slave Partitioned as-
    100 MB boot, 12 GB root, 768 MB swap
    and the rest as FAT32 (for sharing between XP and Linux)

    A CD writer on motherboard's Secondary Master
    A DVD ROM drive on motherboard's Secondary Slave

    I also have a separate SIIG ATA133 PCI controller card with two IDE channels, which has -
    80 GB Western Digital Hard Drive on its Primary Master (formatted as NTFS) and
    Internal Iomega ZIP 100 drive on Primary Slave. The Secondary on the controller card is
    empty.

    I installed WinXP on the 45 GB Drive and then installed RedHat 9.0 on a partition on
    the 30 GB drive. The GRUB loader was installed on the first sector of the /boot partition
    and NOT the MBR of the WinXP drive. I setup the dual-boot as explained by people on many
    web sites by copying the first 512 bytes of the /boot sector and modifying the boob.ini
    file in WinXP to give the boot menu.

    Now when I choose Linux from the XP boot menu, I see the word 'GRUB' written on the screen
    and that is all. The PC hangs there. Nothing else appears on the screen. I have to power-cycle
    the PC to boot it again. I can boot Linux using the boot floppy which I created during Linux
    installation. But I cannot boot it from WinXP. Linux identifies my drives as follows -

    hda - 80Gb drive on controller card's primary master
    hdb - internal ZIP 100 drive on controller card's primary slave
    hde - 45Gb drive on motherboard's Primary Master
    hdf - 30Gb drive on motherboard's Primary Slave
    hdg - CD writer on motherboard's Secondary Master
    hdh - DVD ROM drive on motherboard's Secondary Slave

    As seen above, Linux started counting the drives from the controller's primary and not the
    motherboard's primary. Also it omitted hdc and hdd since the controller's secondary is empty.
    Then it came to motherboard's primary counting from hde onwards.

    With this scenario, can anybody help me successfully dual-boot WinXP-Redhat9.0 using the
    NT loader, with GRUB installed in the first sector of the /boot partition and NOT on the MBR of WinXP drive?

  5. #5
    Linux Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by guddu
    modifying the boob.ini
    What were you thinking of? =)

    Anyway, did anyone tell you that Windows' boot loader is worthless? You would have been much better off putting GRUB on your MBR and letting it chainboot Windows' boot loader if you want to boot Windows instead.
    I don't think fixing it and retainingit as you have it now is an option. Windows' boot loader is crap, there's nothing changing that, and I think that it might just be unable to boot GRUB. Why, I don't know, but then again there is much I don't know about Windows' failures.
    Would you consider putting GRUB as the master boot loader instead? In that case, I can help you, but I can't help you getting Windows' boot loader to boot GRUB. Maybe someone else can, but I can't.

    How the kernel identifies the drives after boot probably doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    Linux User Allblack's Avatar
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    http://www.computing.net/howto/advanced/linuxnt/

    This will let you use the windows bootloader.
    You might as well install Grub. It detects the XP partition and will include it in the Grub bootloader.[/url]

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