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  1. #1

    Quick Dual Boot/Installation Question

    I have no clue how Linux works and I haven't had much experience installing/dual booting operating systems. Most of my knowledge in computers comes from fixing errors with crappy hardware or Windows. Now I want to learn how to use a computer instead of how to fix it. Hence, I want to have Windows & Linux on my computer.

    My laptop(Acer Aspire 4530) has two hard drives, one is Vista and the other was empty(until I filled it with stuff). My question is pretty simple,

    What is the simplest method to install Linux(or any of its variations) on this computer? Do I just install/partition all of Drive B to Linux and leave Drive A for Vista? Or should I do something else?

    Don't feel you have to give me a step by step guide on how to install it, I'm sure a good guide is only a google search away. But if you could give me some advice or even a few links to good guides for my situation, I'd be very

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    Having windows on one drive and Linux on another is probably the easiest and safest method.

    The first thing you would need to do (if you haven't already) is decide which distriubtion of Linux you want. What you plan to use Linux for is a major consideration. Just using as a Desktop home computer or something more complicated?

    I would suggest going to the distrowatch website Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.

    and scroll down and look on the right of the page for "Page Hit Ranking" which gives you a general idea of what the more popular distributions are. There are links on the site to all of them where you can get detailed information as well as links to download. You can download most of them as Live CDs and burn the iso file as an image and run it as an operating system from your CD drive to test before installing.

    It would be a good idea to have basic familiarity with Linux terminology regarding partitioning.

    Googling Linux hardware compatibility should give you a number of sites telling you which hardware works better with Linux.

    Here's a pretty detailed tutorial:
    How to dual-boot Vista with Linux (Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide with screenshots

    Another Link: How to dual boot Windows Vista and Linux

    I would also suggest that before you do anything, you go to the site below and download the vista recovery cd and burn it as an image to a CD. If you have a vista installation CD/DVD, this should not be necessary.

    Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files

  3. #3
    Hello and welcome to the forums Moneyman228!

    Aside from what yancek shared, you might also want to consider making a third partition to act as your Storage Bin. You can keep all your data there and be able to access it from your windows or linux OS depending what you choose to use to work in.
    Linux User #489667

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru Segfault's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Actually, the best way to share two drives between two operating systems one being Windows is to have Linux with some configurable bootloader on first BIOS drive and Windows on second.
    Because this way when something goes wrong with your Linux experiment you still can use Windows, by setting it as boot drive in BIOS or simply by removing the drive with Linux. Your Windows drive will not be altered in any way.
    To boot Windows from second drive while first drive with Linux is present you just need to set up the bootloader to map the drives.

    Hmmm ... at least this was the case with Windows XP. Last time I used Windows the XP was new ...

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