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First of all I hope I'm not repeating topics, but I've looked around and I've found similar situations, but they haven't answered all my questions. I have a Windows XP ...
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  1. #1
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    SusSE 9.3, Windows XP, Dual Boot


    First of all I hope I'm not repeating topics, but I've looked around and I've found similar situations, but they haven't answered all my questions. I have a Windows XP installed on a NTFS 30GB drive. Its a small drive but I'm not concerned with space because i have another computer with 30GB free and i can easily transfer files through a network. I have a version os SuSE 9.3 (actually its downloading, but it will be done in a few hours). I want to have both SuSE and Windows XP, the first as a workstation for work, programming and things of the sort and the second for leisure, so I won't be needing much space for Linux, although I still want to be able to transfer files through a shared partition for both OSs. From what I understood, I need to have these partitions:

    1) 2x RAM Swap partition for Linux's virtual memory
    2) 3-5GB partition for SuSE system's files
    3) 10GB FAT32 partition for shared files between XP and SuSE
    4) 15GB NTFS for my Windows XP.

    So here are my questions:

    1) Should I use a software like Partition Magic for partitioning my HD, or SuSE installation CDs include something of the sort? (i want non-destructive partition if possible, but since i have everything backed-up, this is not such a big priority)

    2) From what I've read and head, SuSE9.3 is pretty powerful while mantaining the user-friedliness and Knoppix-type interface, but I was wondering if there are better distros out there that fulfill those criteria but is better.

    3) Will I be able to access the network I have between my two XPs through Linux or will i be limited to the internet?

    If I have any misconceptions about this subject please say so, and I thank in advance for anyone who is willing to help an anoying noob.

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer oldcpu's Avatar
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    Re: SusSE 9.3, Windows XP, Dual Boot

    Quote Originally Posted by goldencako
    From what I understood, I need to have these partitions:
    1) 2x RAM Swap partition for Linux's virtual memory
    2) 3-5GB partition for SuSE system's files
    3) 10GB FAT32 partition for shared files between XP and SuSE
    4) 15GB NTFS for my Windows XP.
    So here are my questions:

    1) Should I use a software like Partition Magic for partitioning my HD, or SuSE installation CDs include something of the sort?
    My recommendation is to first defrag your winxp drive, real good. Backup any important data.

    Then, if you are already familiar and own "Partition Magic" (or if you have a Knoppix live boot CD use the free open source "Partition Magic" similar linux program "qtparted") partially carve up your drive. Do this partial carving before you install Linux, and I recommend you go in and carve up your 30GByte WinXP drive to:
    a. 10GByte FAT32 for shared files
    b. 20GByte with your WinXP.
    Check to ensure you can still boot to your 20 GByte WinXP partition, and access your new 10GByte FAT32.

    Then install SuSE-9.3. SuSE YaST will most likely identify your 20GByte WinXP drive as the partition in which it wants to install itself. But it will likely ask for a heck of a lot more than 3-5 GBytes. Maybe 12 GBytes for WinXP and 6 to 8 GBytes for SuSE. When given the chance by YaST during installation, you may have to deliberately trim down the packages that SuSE-9.3 installs, to get it to fit in the 3-5 GBytes. Also be careful to examine where SuSE YaST intends to install itself, to be certain it carves up your 20GByte WinXP exactly the way you want, and leaves the 10GByte FAT32 alone.

    Ultimately, your SuSE-9.3 should call your 15GByte NTFS as /windows/c and call your 10GByte FAT32 as /windows/d.

    I recommend you use "grub" as your boot manager.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldencako
    2) From what I've read and head, SuSE9.3 is pretty powerful while mantaining the user-friedliness and Knoppix-type interface, but I was wondering if there are better distros out there that fulfill those criteria but is better.
    I'm not a good one for answering this question, as I am a SuSE choir member.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldencako
    3) Will I be able to access the network I have between my two XPs through Linux or will i be limited to the internet?
    Reference your home network, I assume you have a router, or a switch/hub?

    Access the WinXP from SuSE via your network should be easy. Just type smb://home-ip-address in konqueror (also make certain your winXP drives are shared, and your WinXP firewall allows access). [ Where "home-ip-address" is something like 192.168.123.50, for example. You need to put in the ip address of your winxp pcs ]

    Accessing the SuSE PC from WinXP is a bit harder, as it requires you to setup samba. I can't help you there.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldencako
    If I have any misconceptions about this subject please say so, and I thank in advance for anyone who is willing to help an anoying noob.
    I hope you allocate enough hard drive space for SuSE, but I'll let others with more experience than I chime in here.

    [ 15-Sep-05 - EDIT: Corrected typo - changing "qparted" to "qtparted" ]

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    Thanks a lot, I'm defragging my computer right now. Just a quick question, I DON'T make a partition for the SuSE, I let YaST run, and then do that. I think I'll slipt 13GB for Xp and 7Gb for SuSE. Up to now that's it, I hope the instalation rusn smoothly, if it doesn't I'll be sure to post again.

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    My views

    Quote Originally Posted by goldencako
    Thanks a lot, I'm defragging my computer right now. Just a quick question, I DON'T make a partition for the SuSE, I let YaST run, and then do that. I think I'll slipt 13GB for Xp and 7Gb for SuSE. Up to now that's it, I hope the instalation rusn smoothly, if it doesn't I'll be sure to post again.
    Yes, that is correct. You don't have to make a partition for SuSE-9.3, as it will do that for you. .... BUT note this recommendation is for SuSE-9.3 and NOT for earlier SuSE versions, where the earlier versions more often had a problem carving up NTFS partitions. But do carve up into two your 10GB FAT32 data and your initial 20GB WinXP first. (And test it first).

    But my having typed that, the other approach also works.

    If you are at all worried about the SuSE capability to carve up NTFS (as earlier versions did have problems) then you could also carve up the interim 20GByte NTFS to a new 13GByte NTFS (with WinXP), and a new 7 GByte with partition magic (or qtparted) into an ext2, ext3, jfs, reiserfs, xfs, or jfs formatted linux drive. If you create the 7GByte (linux) and 13 GByte (NTFS) before you install then when SuSE YaST starts the installation process, it should discover your linux partition, and it should ask you if you want to install there. It also may give you the option to change your linux file format from one to another. For example, I recently installed a new hard drive (carved up as 50GBytes NTFS, and 250 GBytes XFS), and SuSE recognized both drives, and asked if I wanted to change the format of the XFS. I did, as I changed it to reiserfs.

    Be certain to check out where SuSE plans to install everything, before you let it install. Also check out the sizes that SuSE plans to use by default, as it may not match what you have in mind. By the read of your questions, you have a very good "grip" on what will happen, and I think as long as you are prudently cautious, this will go as smooth as silk.

    I prefer reiserfs as my linux file system, but that is a very subjective choice on my part. SuSE also selects reiserfs by default (I think). There is a very good selection available. Here is a review of different linux file systems:
    http://linuxgazette.net/102/piszcz.html

    [ 15-Sep-05: EDIT - corrected typo - changed "qparted" to "qtparted" ]

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    SusSE 9.3, Windows XP, Dual Boot

    The only helpful tip I can give you on this is:
    First you need to clarify what version of windows XP you do have becouse this will impact you on what you what to do. If you want a reliable dual boot system And one that will function most of the time with little headaches and won't require to much time constantly tweaking it.

    This is my advice for you:
    Figure out if you have windows XP home or PRO already instead on your system. IF either of these are already preinstalled(or any othere microsoft operating system). YOU WILL NEED TO BUY OR FIND THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE to creat a partition for your hard drive & there is no way around this unless you want to reformat your hard drive which will take us to the next part of my advice for you.


    If YOU ARE USING Windows XP HOME or MEDIA Center or what ever flavor of the month they are calling it....
    YOU WILL NEED TO FIND OR BUY THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE!!!!.....
    To repartition your hard drive, yes it is true that when you reinstall windows home edition or the other. You do have a choice of what type of file system you want to have on your hard drive and those choices are:
    NTFS, FAT32,FAT16. And thats all that they are, choices and not actual partitions becouse it will use the the hole hard drive to install that file system you chose....Unless you upgrade from windows 98 or ME.

    But There Is Hope if you are using windows XP PRO And this is the only version of windows that does support disk partitioning and dual booting without third party software. Now you have 2 choices with Xp PRO:
    You can reinstall XP PRO and set up to 3 partitions one disk And you can Mix & Match file systems with in those partitions. I recomend only 2 partitions and the ntfs file system as default for stability. And windows XP PRO will fall into a dual boot system automatically, But you cannot pass files through the partition.
    (NOTE: you can have 3 differnt operating systems with the default windows partitions.)

    Your second choice is:
    If you do not want to reinstall........
    FIND OR BUY THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE for Partitioning. I recommend
    Norton partition magic.

    Yet there still is hope for what you want to do:
    microsoft make a little know program called virtuall machine which will
    allow you to run 2 operating systems at the same time and switch between them on the fly(with out rebooting to a new operating system) and works pretty good ......well at times it does.
    this will run you around $100.00. I do Highly recomend this!! keep your life simple.

    Once you have your hard drive partitioned you will face great troubles trying to run files through your partition to a microsoft machine. File conversions and the microsoft registry will eventually be a nightmare and you system will crash. I bet your wondering why? The microsoft machine will always be the dominat operating system no matter what software you use and anything that says different is just masking it. And one fact of life is microsoft will only play nice for soo long before failer will be promenent for what your trying to do with SusSE 9.3. & a windows enviroment. Just be ready to do alot of widows repairs over time.

    as for your home network keep it simple for file tranfers and install samba on all your network devices and everything will play nice together once it is configured right(pretty painless). whether it is linux to Xp or SusSE 9.3 to Xp.

  7. #6
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    I disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by wacked Guy
    If YOU ARE USING Windows XP HOME or MEDIA Center or what ever flavor of the month they are calling it....
    YOU WILL NEED TO FIND OR BUY THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE!!!!.....
    Is it really all this difficult? 3rd party software is easy to come by.

    With the free Knoppix live CD comes a program called "qtparted", where "qparted" is a GUI front end to "parted", a free open source linux partitioning tool. "qtparted" gives menus that are similar to "partition magic". Perhaps not as powerful, but the latest version will do the job.

    SuSE Yast (in SuSE-9.3) uses "parted" for its partitioning. So why must one purchase 3rd party software? I do agree its easier to use 3rd party software (such as "qtparted"), as opposed to strictly relying on YaST, but YaST will do the job, if one insists on not doing some partitioning in advance, and insists on following the somewhat tortuous path through the YaSt partition options (and insist on having YaST do everything).

    The recommendation I gave (above) was designed to make going through YaST simple, and not make YaST do everything.

    Why must he re-install WinXP?

    I've done the above method (I proposed) successfully with WinXP pro over 1/2 dozen times. (I haven't tried it with WinXP home, but I see no reason why that would be any different. YaST will not touch WinXP home. YaST will change the hard drive partition (likely using "parted"), and YaST will install part of GRUB in the MBR, with GRUB becoming the boot manager). I have NEVER had to re-install WinXP because of a linux install.

    There will be no need to reinstall WinXP.

    [ 15-Sep-05: EDIT : corrected typo - changed "qparted" to "qtparted" ]

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    Linux Engineer oldcpu's Avatar
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    Bad paragraph - recommend you ignore

    Quote Originally Posted by wacked Guy
    Once you have your hard drive partitioned you will face great troubles trying to run files through your partition to a microsoft machine. File conversions and the microsoft registry will eventually be a nightmare and you system will crash. I bet your wondering why? The microsoft machine will always be the dominat operating system no matter what software you use and anything that says different is just masking it. And one fact of life is microsoft will only play nice for soo long before failer will be promenent for what your trying to do with SusSE 9.3. & a windows enviroment. Just be ready to do alot of widows repairs over time.
    I would ignore the above quoted paragraph of "wacked Guy". Its very subjective, with no fact, and I have never seen what this individual is refering to. There are incompatibilities with Linux and WinXP's NTFS, but you have planned around that with your FAT32 partition.

    My apologies for being "controversal" here in criticising another (new member's) post, but this paragraph is nothing but fear mongering IMHO, with little to no basis in fact.

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    A great program to use is qtparted which can resize ntfs or fat32 also SuSE will resize the partitions for you.
    \"TTFN Taa Taa For Now\" by Tigger in Winnie the Pooh
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    Linux Engineer oldcpu's Avatar
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    YES! I should have typed qtparted and not qparted.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheetahman
    A great program to use is qtparted which can resize ntfs or fat32 also SuSE will resize the partitions for you.
    Absolutely correct. I realize now I made a serious typographical error, calling "qtparted" by the name "qparted". A serious mistake, as there is also a program called "qparted".

    So my apologies, and the partition program I mean to type (which is available on the Knoppix live CD, and which I have successfully used with NTFS file format), is "qtparted".

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    Here is the site you can get it from incase you don't have it
    Code:
    http://slax.linux-live.org/download.php
    Then download the basic one
    Additional software for SLAX is provided in the form of compressed modules. The usage is very simple, just add your downloaded module to /modules/ directory on the CD to include it in SLAX permanently, or use "uselivemod" command in SLAX to activate the module on the fly, while running SLAX.
    Download these modules and follow the instructions above or If you are a windows user download MySLAX Creator at

    Code:
    http://myslax.bonsonno.org/download.php
    Code:
    Ntfsprogs-http://slax.linux-live.org/modules.php?id=284 
    QTParted-http://slax.linux-live.org/modules.php?id=298
    \"TTFN Taa Taa For Now\" by Tigger in Winnie the Pooh
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