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What must I do to have a dual boot with Win XP (NTFS) on one drive and Linux on a different hard drive? I ask because all documentation I can ...
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  1. #1
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    Dual boot on two hard drives


    What must I do to have a dual boot with Win XP (NTFS) on one drive and Linux on a different hard drive? I ask because all documentation I can find concerns putting them on partitions of the same drive.

    I am making the safe bet and assuming I can't just "go ahead and install them both and it will magically work."

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    There are various ways to do this, but essentially it involves this:
    1) Install Linux to the drive you want it on (one of the steps in the installation will allow you to choose where it's installed to).
    2) Setup a bootloader on the master boot record of the primary master hard drive. The bootloader must be capable of booting multiple operating systems (LILO or GRUB should work).

    The specifics of all of this are distribution-specific. What distribution of Linux do you plan on installing?

  3. #3
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    After thinking about it for a while, Fedora Core 4.

    If it matters, it is on an x86 64 system.

    I also forgot to mention that Windows is already on the one drive and I would rather not re-install it, but I will if it is necessary.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    no, it is not necessary to reinstall windows, but be sure that when installing Fedora, you are installing it to hdb and not hda (2nd hard drive). Also, just to be on the safe side, backup your data on windows incase things don't go according to plan.
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

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    OK, but how do I manage booting? When I install Fedora, is LILO installed/configured?

    Also, I am debating Fedora vs. Ubuntu, so if I went with Ubuntu would the procedure for dual booting be significantly different?

  7. #6
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daedalus703
    OK, but how do I manage booting? When I install Fedora, is LILO installed/configured?
    Yes. Just make sure the bootloader (GRUB in the case of Fedora) is going to be installed on the MBR of your main drive (I assume it's your MS Windows drive).

    Also, I am debating Fedora vs. Ubuntu, so if I went with Ubuntu would the procedure for dual booting be significantly different?
    Not really. Most Linuxes use either LILO or GRUB, and their configuration is basically identical regardless of distribution. Some just do it more automatically while other require you to manually configure it. Fedora and Ubuntu (IIRC) both configure and install the bootloader for you.
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  8. #7
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    I went ahead and installed Fedora with GRUB on the MBR of my main drive (which is MS Windows.)

    I chose Windows to boot by default, but how do I get Linux to boot? I am never asked what I want to boot (it boots the same as it did before I installed Linux.) I checked and the Linux install was successful.

    In other words, now that I have GRUB, how do I use it?

    Yes, I am sort of a n00b.

  9. #8
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    Are you getting a GRUB boot screen? If not, it's still using the Windows bootloader. Otherwise, just hit a key while it's counting down and select Fedora Core.

  10. #9
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    I mean it boots the same as pre-Linux install as in nothing happens except Windows loads... no prompt, no countdown, no GRUB boot screen, no nothing. Just straight to Windows.

  11. #10
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    Then GRUB is probably not installed to the master boot record on the primary master drive.

    Do the following:

    1) Insert the first Fedora Core CD and reboot.
    2) Type
    Code:
    linux rescue
    at the boot prompt.
    3) Type
    Code:
    # chroot /mnt/sysimage
    # /sbin/grub-install /dev/hda
    Use at your own risk.

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