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Hi All, I have been trying unsuccessfully all day to try to install a dual boot copy of Linux (Red Hat Fedora) on my laptop, which came installed with Windows ...
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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Up against a wall- Installing Linux/Dual Boot on Vista Laptop


    Hi All,

    I have been trying unsuccessfully all day to try to install a dual boot copy of Linux (Red Hat Fedora) on my laptop, which came installed with Windows Vista.

    I first noticed that Vista has a Computer Management section that claims it can shrink filesystems and create unallocated space on the fly. I used this feature to create 10GB of unallocated space on my laptop.

    But, how do you install Red Hat Linux from there? Doesn't it actually need to be installed first, before Windows, so that the GRUB boot loader can lauch Linux? Or can it simply be dropped in the unallocated space.
    Vista also has a preloaded "Recovery" partition that I am loathe to wipe out, as I can't find any information anywhere on how to re-create it.

    I have searched the web endlessly and can't find any information. Surely someone has done this. Anyone??? Help!

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    Surely there is a way

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    Linux Engineer Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    If you've already created the unallocated partition for Linux, then you can simply boot the Linux install CD and then at the stage where it asks you where you would like to install Linux to, select "Free or unallocated space", this will install Fedora to the free partition and automatically set up dual boot for you so when you boot the machine, you'll be able to choose which operating system you want to boot to, Windows or Linux.

    Also, in the future, when manipulating partitions, try using the GParted Live CD, it is very simple and intuitive to use.

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    Thrillhouse, this is the answer I've been looking for all day.
    So I can leave Vista and the Vista recovery partitions as is, and just go ahead and load Red Hat?

    If this is the case, it will be the first time I've been impressed with any Windows upgrade.
    (At least my practice of downgrading every PC I get to Win2000 to avoid bugs and run faster may stop, although I admit that is a bit maniacally prepossessed).

    I hope my iso files work on Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat, in which case I should be able to make a bootable CD. I have used Red Hat 8 briefly and enjoyed it, although its installation off the ready-made CD was simply click-and-go.

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    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    So I can leave Vista and the Vista recovery partitions as is, and just go ahead and load Red Hat?
    yes. during installation, select Free/Unpartitioned space in Partition Section. Linux installer will create and format partitions out of free space and setup dual boot.
    I hope my iso files work on Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat, in which case I should be able to make a bootable CD. I have used Red Hat 8 briefly and enjoyed it, although its installation off the ready-made CD was simply click-and-go.
    you dont have to make CDs bootable explicitly. Linux .iso images are bootable by default. select BURN IMAGE to DISK in CD/DVD burner.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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    I wonder why the iso image files are so much smaller after downloading? Is this because HTTP can't handle ISO files larger than 2GB.

    I've heard urban legend about that, didn't know if that's true. If so, I'll have to try another way to get the isos, and I got a hellofalot more download hours coming.

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    For the record, this can sometimes not work.
    I finally purchased a copy of Fedora from the bookstore (gave up on downloading and burning an ISO file).

    When I installed Fedora using Fedora's 'use only unused space' option, Windows Vista would no longer boot. Vista goes immediately to "System Recovery Options" when you select the Vista partition and sticks in an endless loop. It appears to be trashed.

    Tried the Startup Repair and System Restore options but they will not recover my files. The Complete PC Restore option won't work either, it says "No Valid Backup Locations Can Be Found".

    Trying the "Factory Image Recovery", will see how it goes..........

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    The problem may be that GRUB points to the Recovery Partition instead of the actual Windows partition.
    If that's the case then it can be easily fixed by manually modifying the menu.lst in /boot/grub/ .

    Please post the outputs of:
    Code:
    fdisk -l
    and
    Code:
    cat /boot/grub/menu.lst

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    Well, crap.

    That makes sense, if it's true. Wish any of the writeups I looked at mentioned that point.

    The problem being, I have already been whisked through the Windows prompts demanding I do a (three hour long) factory recovery of Vista.


    I guess I will have to wait and see what rises from the rubble, and proceed forward from that point.


    I imagine worst case scenario (which is what it looks like), I will have to reconfigure Vista from scratch, then reload and configure everything I've put on the PC since I bought it, and then possibly re-partition and then re-install Linux all over again a second time.

    Comfy in the knowledge that none of this was probably even necessary. A mere change of a line or two in a Linux boot file may have fixed it.

    Hayyyep.

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    OKAY

    I've got Windows Vista reloaded, and the partitions remained intact. I also have the Fedora partition intact. In fact, I'm actually browsing in Firefox on the Fedora partition!

    Here is the output of fdisk -1:
    -----------------------------------------------
    [root@localhost ~]# fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 1271 10209276 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 * 1272 8697 59642821 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 8697 13288 36881408 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4 13289 14593 10482412+ 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 13289 13301 104391 83 Linux
    /dev/sda6 13302 14593 10377958+ 8e Linux LVM
    [root@localhost ~]#



    And here is the contents of /boot/grub/menu.1st:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    # grub.conf generated by anaconda
    #
    # Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
    # NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
    # all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
    # root (hd0,4)
    # kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
    # initrd /initrd-version.img
    #boot=/dev/sda
    default=0
    timeout=5
    splashimage=(hd0,4)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
    hiddenmenu
    title Fedora Core (2.6.18-1.2798.fc6)
    root (hd0,4)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
    initrd /initrd-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6.img
    title Other
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1
    [root@localhost ~]#


    >>>

    Any takers? I assume the hd0,0 or chainloader would have to be changed. Checking the web...............

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