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First of all I would like to say that I'm a total newbie in Linux. I would like to know if I can have two systems on one hard disk? ...
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  1. #1
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    Installing Linux on my Windows Xp


    First of all I would like to say that I'm a total newbie in Linux.

    I would like to know if I can have two systems on one hard disk? I have 80 gb disk which is devided into three drives ( c: d: and e: ). On drive c: I have windows xp. I was wondering if I could install Mandriva Linux 2006 on one of the remaining drives ( d: or e: )? Would Linux make any problems to windows xp or would windows xp make any problems to Linux? Thanks for your help guys

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    linux needs its own partitions (you have three partitions on your hard disk - C:, D:, E - one for Linux itself, and a swap partition (bit like Windows swapper.dat file). Linux needs to have these partitions formatted in a way it needs. So the Linux partition will need to be formatted as ext2 or ext3 or reiserfs, and the swap partition needs formatting as, you guessed it, a swap partition (this gets done for you as part of the instal). This means that any data you have on these partitions will be lost. Also, Windows does not admit the existance of anything but a MS operating system, so you will not be able to access your Linux partition from Winows, but you will be able to access windows (C from Linux (but there is a problem with writing from Linux to NTFS windows disks).

    As to how big these two partitions need to be. Well, the Linux partition (which will contain all of the Linux bits and pieces) needs to be a minimum of about 2 and half gig (and that is a real MINIMUM, you really need at least 5 gb and 10 gb is a better start point) and the swap partition should be two times as big as the amount of RAM.

    So you may find that you only have to "sacrifice" one of your windows partitions to make the two linux partitions.

    As to how to boot Linux. As part of the instal you will put a boot loader (either called grub or lilo). This is what you boot to, and then make your choice of operating system (Windows or Linux) from a simple menu.

    If you're unsure if you want to go to all this trouble just to have a look at Linux, then try one of the live distros (like Knopix) which boots and runs from a CD.

    have fun

    Nerderello

    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerderello
    linux needs its own partitions (you have three partitions on your hard disk - C:, D:, E - one for Linux itself, and a swap partition (bit like Windows swapper.dat file). Linux needs to have these partitions formatted in a way it needs. So the Linux partition will need to be formatted as ext2 or ext3 or reiserfs, and the swap partition needs formatting as, you guessed it, a swap partition (this gets done for you as part of the instal). This means that any data you have on these partitions will be lost. Also, Windows does not admit the existance of anything but a MS operating system, so you will not be able to access your Linux partition from Winows, but you will be able to access windows (C from Linux (but there is a problem with writing from Linux to NTFS windows disks).

    As to how big these two partitions need to be. Well, the Linux partition (which will contain all of the Linux bits and pieces) needs to be a minimum of about 2 and half gig (and that is a real MINIMUM, you really need at least 5 gb and 10 gb is a better start point) and the swap partition should be two times as big as the amount of RAM.

    So you may find that you only have to "sacrifice" one of your windows partitions to make the two linux partitions.

    As to how to boot Linux. As part of the instal you will put a boot loader (either called grub or lilo). This is what you boot to, and then make your choice of operating system (Windows or Linux) from a simple menu.

    If you're unsure if you want to go to all this trouble just to have a look at Linux, then try one of the live distros (like Knopix) which boots and runs from a CD.

    have fun

    Nerderello
    Thanks for the info. I think I'll better get rid of Windows xp and install a fresh copy of Mandriva Linux 2006. You mentioned I need a boot loader. Can you tell me more about this boot loader. Cause till now I only used windows. Sorry for the inconvience

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  5. #4
    fah
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    one other thing, which is valid for FC 4

    i don t know abt mandriva (but i suppose it is tied to the newer kernel versions somehow):
    be careful abt what u do with grub ( the boot loader, which is typically part of the linux package). recent versions of grub have totally blown not only my partition table, but also drive parameter settings.this happened on a large ATA-133 drive on a separate ide controller card (on an otherwise old pc).
    i had to install win xp abt 10 times (it woudl abort), me 4 times and fedora 4 times, because grub would destroy boot sector and drive data rather thoroughly. the workaround is to install grub NOT to the MBR under any curcumstances, but to the boot sector of the linux partition.
    u can then copy that sector to the boot drive and partition and start it from the windows boot menu. for that u may need to make a plan, what filesystem type u want to have or can have and u should probably stick to FAT32 if u boot linux from the windows boot menu

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    sorry to hear that grub gave you such problems, Fah. I've used it on many desktop PCs with IDE attached hard drives with no problems whatsoever.

    But Luka25 you may want to check out what sort of hard disk drive you have (under windows in control panel there's a system icon that will tell you).

    As to the actual installation, Luka25, there's no need to get rid of WinXP (unless, like me , you dislike all things MS). The Mandriva instal (boot from their CD number one or their DVD) will take care of the bootloader for you. It should also take care of the partitioning, but what I'd do is, when you get to the "we're going to create the partitions" bit of the install, make sure that it leaves your C: drive alone. You may need to take the "manual partition" route. This will present you with pretty graphics as to what there is on your PC. All you'll have to do is tell the installer which partitions are not to be touched (ie. your C: drive, which will probably be called /dev/hda1 in linux speak). Then you can tell the installer that you either want to delete and recreate the remaining partitions or just re-format them (remember that reformatting or deleting partitions causes the data on them to be rubbed out. They become squeaky clean).

    Don't worry though, the instal program is all nice and gui (graphical) and it warns you before it does anything irreversable (like getting rid of your partitions). It also takes care of such things as bootloader instalation and setup(common two bootloaders are grub and lilo. I think that Mandriva uses lilo. They both do the same sort of job - ie. sit on the very first sector of your boot hard drive (called the master boot record or mbr for short) and present you with a menu of operating systems that you have (ie. WinXP and Mandriva)).

    If you get lost there are tutorials on this site to help you with the grub boot loader and getting rid of any bootloader (if you want to return to WinXP only).

    I mentioned earlier the name that Linux use for hard disks. The Linux naming convention for IDE attached devices (such as hard disks , CDROMs and DVD drives) is /dev/hdx . Where the "x" is a letter from "a" to "d" (you normally only have four IDE devices on a desktop PC, but there's no law against having more). Then each partition within the hard disk is numbered (from 1), so your first partition (probably your C: drive in Windows speak) on your first (and probably only) hard disk will be called /dev/hda1, the second /dev/hda2, the third /dev/hda3, and... oh you get the idea

    But don't let the above worry you, it should all be taken care of by the instal program.

    Re-reading Fah's post, I note that he suggests using the Windows boot loading setup. This entails modifying a file which, I believe, is called boot.ini and is probably hidden (but you could try having a look at it within notepad (ie. start notepad and then open the file)). This would mean that you would tell the Linux instal program NOT to instal any bootloader (this is allowed) and then, when you boot, you will go straight into a windows produced menu, from which you will be able to select Linux. But, I can't help you with this, perhaps Fah will be able to take you through the stages of what needs to be done.

    good luck

    Nerderello

    ps. please don't quote my posts in your replys. It simply adds to the storage requirements of this site, and isn't needed, as you can always scroll to see what I said.

    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

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    But what if I format drive c: drive d: and drive e: what happens then to my graphics? When I bought the computer I also got a cd for my motherboard. This cd contains via chipset drivers, realtek network drivers and via ac97 pci sound drivers. Where can I get that cause this cd is made only for windows users? And there's also driver for graphics, monitor, cd rom and network card.

  8. #7
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    not sue about the realtek network (is that ethernet?) driver, but the rest comes with Linux.

    I think that the best way forwards for you, is to get a live distro (like knoppix) - which means that it does not load anything onto your hard disk - and boot from the CD / DVD . This will, while it loads, check out what hardware you have. If it finds suitable drivers for all of the bits and pieces in your PC, then you're safe, and in fact, if you have Knoppix version 4.0 you can use it to load Linux onto your PC's hard disk.

    Luka25 not sure where you're from, if it's the UK, then the cover disk on this month's Linux Format magazine has a bootable Knoppix 4.0 on it.


    have fun

    Nerderello

    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

  9. #8
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    Luka listen

    What to do:
    1. Get your hands on Mepis 3.3.1 live cd.
    2. Move everything you want to keep off of E:
    3. Insert Mepis into cd-rom and boot to its desktop,logging in as
    user root and password root.
    4. Start partition program QT-PARTED which is located under system->
    filesystem on the programs list.
    5. When in Qt-parted, highlight your drive and when the graphic
    representation appears , right click on E: and choose delete.
    6. Then go up under file and click commit.
    7. Then go back to the graphic and right click on the free space
    area that was E: and click create. Create a ext3 partiton by again
    clicking commit. Then you are done.
    8. Reboot your computer and again boot up into Meois live cd.
    9. Once you are at the desktop again ,click the install icon.
    10. When you arrive at the point of choosing the partition to install to,
    the one you created should be listed there already, so accept it.
    11. When you arrive at the bootloader location choice ,choose MBR
    12. The rest is pretty straightforward, make sure you put in a
    password for root when you get to that screen.

    When you are finished, you will have a dual boot system which will
    allow you to enter "linux heaven" ie. MEPIS !

  10. #9
    Just Joined! Wolve^Rine's Avatar
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    Somthing about KNOPPIX.
    Because it boots from the CD/DVD you can't save anythink on it. Any change you do will be gone when you turn off the pc. You have to save everythink on a disk or on your HD. Knoppix it is good just for practice.
    My opinion.

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